Class 1 is a Reception and Year 1 group this year. The class teacher is Tom Ottewell-Taylor, who is supported by teaching assistants Hilary Walker (Tuesday-Friday), Sharron Wilde (mornings only) and Heather Thomson (Mondays) . Mr Ottewell-Taylor can be contacted directly at drop off and pick up time or by email:


Dear Parents/Carers,

In light of a growing number of children remaining at home I have added a few suggested activities below to keep you going until the Easter holidays. Please note that I am trying to steer away from worksheets for the time being, mainly because they are not very inspiring for young learners but also because some of you may not have printers at home. The below activities are pitched at the level of Class 1 children who spend the whole day with me. You will notice some slightly harder variations of activities which you are welcome to engage your child in, should you feel it appropriate. I would LOVE to see parent submitted photos or observations on Tapestry (Reception children only) of your child’s learning.


This week, we have been learning the below sounds. These are particularly tricky vowel digraphs so any additional consolidation of these sounds would be useful. I have listed the sounds below alongside a (rather amateur) video in a format which your children are familiar with. It may be worth using this video to introduce/reintroduce the new sound and then read out the listed words which include that sound for your child to write. To further motivate your children it would be a good idea to vary how they record the listed words. For example, they could write them using chalk outside, magnetic letters on the fridge, a wet paintbrush on a dry paving slab, etc.

Day 1-ow

  • now, down, owl, cow, how, bow, town, clown, brown, growl, howl, frown
  • Harder words- downtown, growling, howling, frowning.
  • A suggested topic related sentence for this sound- Can an owl howl to the moon?

Day 2-oi 

  •  oil, boil, coin, join, soil, foil, oink, point
  • Harder words- toilet, poison.
  • A suggested topic related sentence for this sound (including some nonsense alien names)- Poib and Doib chomp foil and drink oil.
  • An extra activity- one of my favourite things to do when teaching this sound is to write oi words on individual scraps of tinfoil, have the children read them, then screw them up and aim them into the bin!

Day 3-ear

  • dear, fear, hear, gear, near, tear, year, beard, gear, spear
  • Harder words- hearing, earring.
  • A suggested topic related sentence for this sound- Mars is near and Saturn is far.

Day 4-air

Day 5-ure is a fantastic website who are now offering free access with the following login details;

Username: march20

Password: home 

This website is used weekly at school, there are many excellent games online including;

  • Picnic on Pluto- (select  Phase 3 followed by any of the specific sounds listed above)
  • Dragons Den- (select Phase 3 followed by any of the specific sounds listed above)
  • Buried Treasure- (select Phase 3 followed by any of the specific sounds listed above)
  • Grab a Giggling Grapheme- (select All Phase 3)
  • Flashcards Speed Trial- (select Phases 2 & 3)

For any of you seeking a worksheet based activity, here are some pictures and captions which can be matched (including many of the sounds taught so far)


This week we have been focusing on finding different ways to make 5, e.g. 0+5=5, 1+4=5, 2+3=5, 3+2=5, 4+1=5, 5+0=5. Please have a go at a few of the below activities to further consolidate this concept;

  • Gloves. Give your child an individual glove and ask them to fold an amount of fingers down and count how many fingers are left up. Encourage them to say the corresponding number sentence aloud; “__ fingers add __ fingers equals 5 fingers.” As an extension your child could have a go recording this number sentence as __ + __ = 5. (it may be an idea for an adult to write the + and =, leaving gaps for your child to add the numbers)
  • 5 bean bags/balls/anything throwable and a hoop (as taught on 16th March). Lay a hoop outside and give your child 5 throwable objects and ask them to aim them into the hoop. When all 5 have been thrown ask your child to count the objects in the hoop and the objects out of the hoop. Say and/or record the number sentence as above in bold.
  • 5 pebbles/butterbeans/counters (as taught on 17th March). Prior to the activity colour in/paint 1 side of five 2 sided objects and place them in a cup. Ask your child to shake the cup and then pour out the five objects, encourage them to count how many objects they can see with the coloured side facing up and the how many they can see without the coloured side. Say and/or record the number sentence as above in bold.
  • Lego/Duplo. How many different ways can your child build a tower using only 5 pieces of Lego/Duplo in only 2 colours. E.g. 1 green brick add 4 red bricks equals 5 bricks.

For any of you seeking a worksheet based activity, here are some part whole models which can be filled in to make 5.

For greater challenge, please attempt the above activities with quantities of 10 instead of 5.

Understanding the World

I’m sure we will all soon be desperate to get outside for a walk. Please find here a ticksheet for a Harrowbarrow Hedge Hunt. Venture out of the house to observe the hedgerows as they continue to bloom as Spring gets into full swing. Have a few goes at this activity and see what you can find weeks apart as different plants/animals can be found. This is also great preperation for our ‘Growing’ topic when we return after the Easter holidays.

I hope that there are enough activities listed above to keep you all busy. Again, please do add any photos or observations of your child completing the above activities to their Tapestry account (Reception children only) for me to see how you’re getting on. To any children not currently at school, stay safe and I will look forward to seeing you all soon!

Mr Ottewell-Taylor





 Information from the teacher 

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Our topic for the spring term is Space, a rough outline of what this term will consist of is available here. Please note that all plans are subject to change depending on the children’s interests, weather, etc. You can also view a copy of our weekly timetable here (this is something which we will be gradually building up to). Your children are more than welcome to bring in any Space related items from home (especially books) to show the class.

Our show and tell timetable for the Spring term is available to view here, as well as on the cloakroom wall. On their allocated day your child will be welcome to bring in an item from home to show their friends. Alternatively photos can be emailed to me at the above address and I can project these for your child to talk about. Show and tell is a great opportunity for children to develop their speech and self-confidence and self awareness whilst discussing something which they are very interested in.

It would be great if parents could fill in WOW bricks to celebrate their child’s achievements at home. Additional sheets can be downloaded here, if you are unable to print any out then please help yourself to the sheets attached to the Wow wall in our cloakroom. You are more than welcome to email me photos, etc. linking to your child’s wow brick at The children love to share these wow moments with their peers, the bricks are then attached to the board in our cloakroom for everyone to celebrate.

I will be providing Melissa Meerkat for children to take turns in looking after over the period of a week. With Melissa Meerkat, I have attached a scrapbook so children can write/draw about their week at home with her, and attach photos, etc. if they would like. I have put up a blank timetable for you to fill in on the right side of the cloakroom wall; this is for the whole year in the hope that Melissa Meerkat will be able to join you on any exciting excursions/events/holidays you already have planned. This is not compulsory but as mentioned during our learning together meeting; this is a great opportunity for your children to share Melissa Meerkat’s adventures with the rest of the class.

All children will now be receiving reading books and work to be completed at home soon. This will be in the form of short, simple activities related to the week’s phonics learning. These will be stuck into your child’s phonics book (which will go into your child’s book bag) every Friday to be completed by the following Thursday. Your child will also begin to have high frequency word flashcards attached to their book bag.  I hope that you will find the opportunity to share these with your child throughout your daily routines. These words must be learned by sight, Mrs Walker will informally check how your child is getting on with these cards every Thursday/Friday, remove words that your child is confidently recognising and replace with new words. A rough overview of reception children’s phonics learning throughout the year can be viewed here. When your child begins to receive reading books please note that it is the expectation that these are to be read at least 5 times a week. This will give your child the chance to apply their phonics knowledge that they are working on in school. Children in Year 1 will be continuing with home reading, phonics homework and high frequency word flashcards/sheets. Year 1 children are all now receiving number bond challenges to work on at home. These should be practised at short intervals during the week. I will work with your children on Wednesday’s to see how they are getting on with these and move them onto the next challenge as appropriate.

For those new to the school, here is a quick reminder of the morning routine. The classroom will be open at 8.40am (please do not arrive before this) for children and parents to leave belongings. Book bags and liaison books can be placed in their labelled boxes. Children are to find their name card and attach it to the rocket. Any other belongings can be placed on or under pegs. P.E kits should be left on pegs throughout the week (P.E is  on Wednesdays). Wet weather gear should also remain on your child’s peg at all times. All children are to then make their way to the covered playground.

Please can I also remind parents that all children must be bringing a name labelled water bottle into school. These should be filled with water only, and not fruit juice or squash.  Children are provided with a fruit snack for break time by the school therefore snacks coming in from home are unnecessary. If the weather is sunny please can you ensure your child brings in a sunhat daily. Sunglasses are not appropriate for children in Class 1 as they very often get damaged. High factor sun cream should be applied before coming to school as we are unable to apply it during the school day. Please note that this is essential as children in Class 1 have access to our outside area for the majority of the day. All sunhats, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, etc. must be labelled with your child’s name. A copy of the letter about uniform you received can be viewed here.

Thank you for your continued support. If you ever wish to speak to me about any questions or concerns you may have please do not hesitate to approach me before or after school. You are also welcome to write any messages to me in your child’s liaison book. Alternatively, I can be contacted at if necessary.


Staying safe online

Do you know how to keep yourself safe online? Do you know what to do if you feel unsafe? To find out more, click on the Think U Know logo.

thinkuknow logo

Latest News

Parent View

Parent View - Give Ofsted your view on your child's school

If you would like to comment on the performance of Harrowbarrow School, please click the Ofsted link above.