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Upton St James CofE Primary School

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Bill Costen (KS1 class)

Class information

Your child is in Costen class, named after Bill Costen who was the first Afro-American hot air balloon pilot. Your child’s class teacher is Mrs Thorne, Mrs Jeapes, Mrs Ryan and Miss Porter are the Learning Support Assistants in the class.


Our curriculum learning this half term

Our six curriculum ‘Uprights’ underpin the whole-school curriculum. Uprights are the ropes that hold up a hot air balloon. Each half term centres on a different Upright, the second being Leadership. We firmly believe that children need to learn to be leaders and followers and to respect those who take leadership roles. We are looking forward to choosing our school leadership positions soon. For more information about why leadership is an important part of our curriculum, please visit our website: https://www.upton-st-james-primary.torbay.sch.uk/curriculum/ The children will continue to be learning the British values, many of which link directly to Leadership.  


Our worship centres around a Christian value each term – this term the value is truthfulness which links beautifully to leadership. We provide opportunities to families to join us in collective worship throughout the year.


Our Class Learning

An outline of our class learning is added to the school newsletter each week – please do take a look! We will also post regular updates through the Class Dojo App.

We also have a class page, which can be found on our website at: https://www.upton-st-james-primary.torbay.sch.uk/class-pages/



Reading is the gateway to all learning and is at the heart of our school curriculum. We ask that each child reads for 10-15 minutes each night and records their reading in their reading logs. Please can parents/carers sign reading logs to show that that your child has read and bring them back in each day ready to be checked. If your child is accessing our Read Write Inc phonics programme, please see the separate letter outlining the books that will be sent home.


We have a new Reading ‘Swap shop’ in the foyer area of the school office. Children are welcome to come and choose a book, sign it out in the folder, enjoy and then sign it back in! If you have any books to add to the swap shop, we would be delighted! Please keep this area tidy and only take one book at a time, so that there is enough reading material for everyone to access.


We invite families to join their children in a Reading breakfast before the school day once a half term. This is a wonderful opportunity to come into school and read alongside your child. We will also hold early reading and phonics talks for parents/carers of children in EYFS and KS1. We encourage you to come along to these to find out how best to support your child with their reading – dates can be found on the school newsletter. Our second reading breakfast this year will be on Friday 25th November 2022 at 8.30am – 9.00am – pop it in your diary now!


Our curriculum learning this term:

We are incredibly proud of our Upton St James curriculum. Our overall school curriculum map can be found on the school website by scrolling to the bottom of the website page. Each individual subject also has a separate page with information on how the curriculum is progressive across the school. https://www.upton-st-james-primary.torbay.sch.uk/curriculum/

Our class core curriculum learning will be:


In English, we will be learning how to write stories based on the entertaining story Boa’s Bad Birthday by Tony Ross and Jeanne Willis. We will be learning to use capital letters for names as well as at the start of sentences. We will also be learning to use the conjunctions or and but to write compound sentences.


Useful websites and resources

BBC Bitesize: follow the links to Primary Year 1 and Year 2 https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize?scrlybrkr=bc308c39

Phonics Play: supports phonics learning with fun interactive games https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/


In Maths, we will be learning all about addition and subtraction. In Year 1 the children will be adding and subtracting within ten so that they are really fluent in the number bonds. In Year 2 the children will be adding and subtracting to 100. The children will also be learning about simple 2D and 3D shapes in geometry.


Useful websites and resources

Practice number bonds with:  https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/hit-the-button

Children all have a Numbots username and login. We ask that they practise their number skills using these sites for at least 15 minutes per week. Please let us know if you need help logging in.


Our wider curriculum learning will be:

At Upton we focus on wider curriculum subject each week so that it is taught in depth and to help children know more and remember more as the unit of learning builds over the week. The children’s home learning each week will include some research linked to next week’s learning. We ask that children bring this in on Monday to add to the class ‘Learning Journey’ display in the classroom.


In Geography we will be learning about the weather in the unit: How does the weather affect our lives? The children will learn what the weather is, what the seasons are and why the weather is not the same in different countries around the world.


Grow words: season country weather environment location

Show words: ocean desert equator temperature


In Science we will be continuing with our theme of Living Things and Their Habitats that we started last half term. The children will be studying the living things in the school grounds and collecting data on the insects.


Grow words: woodlouse urban woodland suited suitable

Show words: environment, food chain, habitat


In DT we will be learning how to make objects using wheels and axels.


Grow words: axle, axle body, cab cutting, joining, shaping, finishing, fixed, free, names of tools, equipment and materials used, design, make, evaluate, purpose, user, criteria, functional 

Show words: chassis, assembling mechanism 


In Computing we will be learning about digital photography following the enquiry question: How do I see my photos on a computer?


In Music we will be learning to sing a range of seasonal Christmas songs.


In Religion and Worldviews (RW) we will be learning about the Christmas story through the question ‘What is the good news that Jesus brings?’



As last half term, our class PE day is Wednesday and this term we are focusing on team building and dance. The children will continue to be asked to come into school in their uniform and will get changed into their kit before the extended PE session. Please note that the children will not be able to take part in the PE session without their kit and a PE kit register will be taken each week.


Home learning

Our home learning expectations are to read each night for ten minutes and continue to record in the reading diary. We also ask that your child completes at least 15 minutes each week on Numbots. This half term the children will be bringing home weekly spellings to learn, which will be written in their Home learning book.


Useful diary dates this term

We are going to be returning to the library on Thursday 1st December. The children will be returning books and choosing another one and will take part in a range of fun activities.


School Motto

"Rising to our best"


‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12 v:30 – 31)

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