Term 2 Update

Posted by admin

Welcome to Term 2! It is great to see the students settled and ready for learning. 


3 Way Conferences

We are looking forward to seeing you and your child at 3 way conferences today. The purpose of these conferences is to encourage the students to verbalise their learning goals and share some of the activities they do to help them grow as learners. 

It can sometimes be a little overwhelming for the students during these conferences and so together we will ensure that the students are excited to share and celebrate their learning. We encourage the use of positive language, like:  “I can”, “I am learning ..”, “I am growing by…”, “I am having a go at” to help develop the growth mindset.

After the teacher – parent – student session you will spend some time outside the classroom looking at your child’s books, play a game that is connected to their learning goal and look at their Seesaw post. Then you will be asked to record a message to your child on Seesaw talking about what you have noticed about your child’s learning and what you are most proud of.


Solving Problems

During the conference we will share with you how we have been solving problems. We will give you a copy of our classroom poster which shows you the strategies that we use in class to solve a variety of problems. We hope that your child will be able to also use some of these strategies at home to develop their confidence and independence. This website gives further insight into how we can support children to make safe and positive choices when faced with peer conflict. 


Keeping Ourselves Safe

After the Chinese New Year Holiday we will be continuing our work on solving problems. We will be asking the students to identify “adults that you trust” so that they know who to go to if they have a “big problem”. 

We will be reminding the students that if ever they get hurt or are touched in a way that they are not happy about or feel worried about, then they need to say “Stop”. Then they need to “Walk Away” and “Find an adult they trust and tell that adult what has happened.”

This will be an ongoing focus for the students to ensure they know what to do and who to talk to when they are not feeling safe. If you have any questions please email your class teacher. 


Students will be able to:

  • Identify the 3 safety steps – say no, get away, tell an adult.
  • Identify adults they can talk to if someone breaks the touching rule.
  • Learn that it is never the child’s fault if someone breaks the touching rule.


Unit of Inquiry:

Transdisciplinary theme: How the World Works. 

Central idea: “Structures are designed for a variety of purposes.”

Inquiry into:

  • Types of structures. 
  • Structure making and design. 
  • Various Influences on the design of structures. 


In this unit the students will be exploring the world around them and noticing the many structures in their environment. They will be identifying the purpose of these structures and how they are made. The students will be challenged to design and make their own structures for different purposes. Through tinkering with many different objects the students will be encouraged to ask questions about design, how things are made and the materials used. They will be using different thinking dispositions and will be encouraged to be open-minded as they reflect and consider different designs.


This unit will have a strong science link as the students learn about different materials and how things are made. They will also find out how we use the natural resources that are around us. Students will learn how different climates require different needs and will explore how designers meet these needs. 


As a continued focus on well-being this term we will further explore the character strength of gratitude.


In math we will continue to consolidate our knowledge of numbers to 100 and beyond. The students will explore addition and subtraction with concrete materials and how to record numbers in different ways. Through this unit we will be developing the concept of shape and measurement as we design and make different structures.


How to Help At Home: 

Continue to play games with the 100 board we gave you before the Christmas holidays. Look for different shapes around you – compare the shapes and describe them. Draw the different buildings around you and talk about the shapes they see. Use the language of measurement to describe and compare different objects at home: 

  • big / small / bigger / smaller / biggest / smallest
  • long / short / longer / shorter / longest / shortest
  • tall / short / taller /shorter / tallest / shortest
  • heavy / light / heavier / lighter / heaviest / lightest
  • more / less / most / least



This term we will be exploring writing non-fiction texts connected to structures. Students have identified that good writers plan, write, read, re-read, use different ideas, sound out words, use finger spaces, capital letters at the beginning of an idea (sentence) and full stops at the end. Each student has their own writing goal and will continue to develop these through non-fiction writing as well as their own ‘free writing’. The children will continue with regular reading of different texts, reading with the teachers, buddies, parents and to themselves. Each child has specific reading goals to help them read new words and ensure that they are “reading for meaning”


How to Help At Home: 

Many children are learning to read the 100 magic words. These words are the most common words in the English language. The students need to recall these “sight words” easily to help with fluency in reading. A daily 5 minutes game or activity with these sight words will greatly improve your child’s reading. Daily reading of your child’s home readers will also help develop fluency.



Parent Help

Thank you to the parents who are currently helping in the Year 1 classes. Your support is truly appreciated and the children really enjoy the parents being in the classroom. If you think that you would like to help in your child’s classroom (even if it is once a month or occasionally) please email your class teacher. We are hoping to run another workshop that will inform parents of the things that they can help with in the classroom as well as the protocols that are expected of all parent help. The school policy is that If you would like to help in the classroom you need to attend a Parent Help workshop.


Celebration of Learning: 

All parents are invited into the Year 1 area to find out what the children have been learning though this unit of inquiry, Please save the date: Wednesday 11th March 1:25 – 2:45

Year 1 Update – Who We Are

Posted by admin

Central Idea: Understanding who we are as individuals and as a community help us to GROW. DISCOVER. DREAM.

Inquiry into:
The core emotions and the extent to which these are felt (Causation. Grow. Discover)
Personal strategies for solving problems or differences (Perspective. Grow. Discover)
The impact of actions on others (Responsibility. Dream)

Overview: This unit will help students understand their emotions, the different causes of their emotions and how these emotions can impact on us. We will use the school’s guiding statement ‘GROW DISCOVER DREAM’ to explore how developing our self-awareness of emotions will help us to grow. We will find out more about ourselves and others. We will develop strategies for solving problems as they arise.

Language: We are exploring how to tell personal stories connected to our emotions and are encouraging students to think about interesting and relevant details when talking to others. We are also asking the students to use these ‘ideas’ and their ‘voice’ in their writing. At the same time we are continuing to identify all the letters and sounds of the alphabet and make simple words. In reading we are starting to notice individual words. For some children, they are being encouraged to read sight words in isolation. Other children are learning to ‘read’ simple books through the pictures and use 1:1 correspondence to recall simple sentences.

To support learning at home: Read with or to your child everyday. Play games that help the children notice things around them and develop their vocabulary. For example ‘I spy”. Using some key words in your child’s reading book (the, and, come etc.), write the words on pieces of card and play a game. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use the cards for hopscotch,
  • Stick the “Passwords” on the door and read everytime you go through the door
  • 10 pin bowling (use water bottles with the cards stuck on),
  • Memory match/ concentration
  • Paint the words,
  • Write the words like a rainbow (write over the top of each word again and again in different colours),
  • Make the words with playdough,
  • Use magnetic letters to make the word,
  • Use thick popsticks to make sight words dominoes (two words on a stick – one at each end)

Children are enthusiastic writers when they are enjoying and having fun. Children love to have their own special notebooks, diaries, mini whiteboard to write messages to family members, lists (shopping, things to do, places to go, people), cards, post it notes are also a great tool to encourage writers.

Patterns, patterns are everywhere!
We are noticing patterns in our environment, repeating patterns of shapes, colours, size and growing number patterns eg 10, 20, 30, 40, 50. We are also learning how to copy, describe and create patterns using materials, people and through music with body percussion.
We are beginning to use mathematical language of pattern to understand the repeating part of a pattern (term) and the individual parts of a pattern (element) to help us describe what we notice.

Check out these short youtube clips below.

Some simple ideas of how you can help at home;

  1. Help to notice the patterns in our environment.
  2. Help to copy and describe patterns you may see eg; big-little, big-little or bumpy-smooth,-smooth, bumpy-smooth-smooth or red-blue-green, red-blue-green.
  3. Play simple games with everyday items to make patterns eg; set the table boy-girl, boy, girl arrange cutlery knife-knife-fork, knife-knife-fork and ask, ‘What comes next?’
  4. Play walk and talk number patterns in 2s and 10s. Each step you take count a growing number 2-4-6-8-10 to 20 and 10-20-30-40 to 100.

Welcome to Year 1

Posted by plantd1


Welcome to the Year 1 blog. The purpose of the blog is to provide general information about Year 1,  give an overview of learning and highlight important dates to remember.

We have had a positive start to the year with the Year 1 students settling in well. We are pleased to see the students developing independence through ongoing daily routines. 

Thank you to the parents who attended the Parent Information Fair. Here is an edited version of the presentation.

Unit of Inquiry

As you may well be aware as an IB PYP school most of our learning is taught through transdisciplinary themes. Year 1 students experience learning through four different theme. Please see information about our first unit of inquiry below:

Transdisciplinary theme: How We Organise Ourselves

Central Idea: Communities can flourish through the involvement of its members

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Our communities  (connection)
  • How a learning community works (function)
  • Flourishing communities (responsibilities)

Over the past few weeks, the students and teachers have been setting up different routines in the class that enable us to learn. We will be identifying what ‘ready to learn’ looks like, sounds like and feels like. The students will explore how our classroom is a community of learners. We will be learning about the concept of responsibility and investigating how we all have a role to play within this community to be ‘the best we can be’ as well as supporting our peers to learn. We hope that by the end of this unit your children will be able to tell you about flourishing learning communities and have conversations with you about being happy, safe and ready to learn.

Well Being

Student well being will be an ongoing key focus throughout your child’s life at DC. Students with a higher level of well being are able to identify their emotions, have an understanding of how they best learn, are able to build positive relationships, are resilient and can identify their own strengths and use them when they face challenges. This term we will learn about character strengths and explore how the strengths of Self-Control, Teamwork, Love of Learning, Fairness and Kindness help us to learn and flourish both individually and as a community of learners. Throughout our current unit of inquiry, a snapshot of your child demonstrating Strengths will be posted on Seesaw. 

To support learning at home: talk about well-being in your family; ask what your child is learning, how they are learning and talk to them about the things that you are learning; use the word ‘responsibility’ when you are giving them a ‘job’ to do at home (such as tidying their room), explore your ‘family community’, what are the expectations, what fun things you do together for well being?


Language is a fundamental part of everything we do. Students learn language by using language and so we are intentional about the experiences we provide to facilitate rich and meaningful language. Through play, students develop language and learn to communicate with their peers and teachers. We encourage the students to also explore communicating through drawings and writing (letters, labels, words or sentences depending on their learning goals).  The students will be learning about books, concepts about print, and how the alphabet works. To support learning at home: Read with your child regularly. Talk about the pictures and together discuss the story. Model how to retell familiar stories (in your home language). Make reading an enjoyable and family time. Encourage your child to draw and tell you about their pictures. Play rhyming games and read rhyming books. Puzzles, cutting and sticking, threading and construction toys are all great ways to develop hand-eye coordination. Physical exercise and climbing are great ways to develop gross motor control, as well as being very beneficial to our well-being.


Mathematics is around us every day and everywhere. Using a variety of materials such as blocks, puzzles, beads, Lego and counters, children are using the language of mathematics to solve problems and explore ideas such as; more than, less than, next, before and after, same and different etc which supports an understanding of number sense and develops logic and reasoning.

Through inquiry, we will understand that numbers are used for different purposes in the real world,  to count and use number words to represent quantities to at least 20 and beyond. We will explore making sets of numbers to 10 and see how they can be represented in different ways. Using the skill of noticing, we will explore patterning of shapes, colours and numbers. 

To support learning at home: Take every opportunity to count with your child, sing songs and notice patterns around them. Fingers and toes are portable counting tools when working out how many. Encourage them to read the numbers they see, when they are shopping, on the bus and at home. Play board and card games. 


Parent Workshops: 

Friday 13 September  8:30 – 10:00 a.m. How do young learners develop and how can we support their growth? 
Tues 17 Sept 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.How can we support our students as early readers?
Tues 24/25/26 Sept 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Classroom Follow up sessions for parents who attended one or both of the two workshops above.

Parent Teacher Conferences: Wednesday 18th (School finishes at midday) / Thursday 19th September. Please sign up on Gateway for an appointment

Year 1 Assemblies (Term 3):

Tuesday 9th June 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Mrs. Warner
Tuesday 9th June 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Mrs. Kiprotic
Wednesday 10th June 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Ms. Plant
Wednesday 10th June 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Ms. Dunn