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Whitewater CE Primary School

Whitewater CE Primary School

Otter Class Y1/2

Here is our Learning Overview for Summer 2, 2023:

Otter News (26th May, 2023)

What a jam-packed term we have had! We have been so impressed with the children’s resilience and creativity over the last few weeks. Weaving takes a lot of patience and every child has given their all in producing a piece of weaving for their art masterpiece based on the book, The Journey.

The creativity hasn’t stopped there and in DT we have designed and made our own fruit salads! The children used a range of skills to produce the salad such as peeling, chopping and mixing. I’m sure the children will tell you just how delicious the salads tasted.           

Otter Class had an amazing time showing off to family members what they had learnt in their Ukulele lessons. It is never easy performing in front of a large number of people, however, they completely smashed it and were so proud of themselves afterwards, as we were too.

Our Thursday, Book Share mornings have been a huge hit and we have been blown away by the number of family members who come to share a morning read with their child. It is so lovely to see everyone happy and enjoying a book together. Thank you so much for your support. We wish you all a fantastic half term holiday and we look forward to a brand-new term with new and exciting learning opportunities for Otters.


Otter News (5th May, 2023)

With the warmer and brighter weather here, Otter Class have been enjoying athletics PE lessons and developing their skills in team activities. We have been thinking about ‘achievement’ in a broader sense too within our topic of ‘Adventurers and Explorers’ where we have been learning about a variety of famous people both from the past and present times. It has been interesting to learn about their achievements in addition to speaking about our own successes and reflecting on what makes us special.

In English we have enjoyed reading the book ‘The Journey’ and changing parts of it to make into our own stories. We will use the beautiful drawings in the book as a basis for our art masterpieces in the coming weeks, watch this space!

In DT, we designed and made boats, linking to Dame Ellen MacArthur and her solo voyage. The children were given a variety of materials to use and it was fascinating to see their finished boats! We tested the boats to see if they could float for a minimum of three seconds and much to everybody’s relief, every single boat made floated!

Here is our Learning Overview for Summer 1, 2023:


Otter News (24th March, 2023)

It has been a fun-packed 2 weeks for Otters! We have continued learning about ‘Australia’ and its landmarks, weather and amazing animals – the children particularly enjoyed learning about quokkas and writing fact files about them.

In Art, the children have created their own Australian landscape using pastels or paints and this week starts the journey of creating Faberge-inspired eggs!

This week, the children had a very exciting trip to Queen Marys College. They did a range of activities there including a ‘Leaf heap’ study and various activities on food chains as well as discovering some amazing facts about animals and what they need to survive.                    

We have enjoyed learning new skills in Computing this term by learning how to make characters fly in Scratch Junior! The children were fascinated with how they could give the character a set of instructions and then watch to see the short animation that followed.

As we get nearer to the Easter holidays, we have been exploring Holy Week in RE and discussing ‘Forgiveness’ and reflecting on times when we have forgiven and also been forgiven.


Otter News (10th March, 2023)

Otter Class has gone ‘down under’ this term to Australia! From creating our own cave drawings with pastels to learning about the seven continents, it has been a fun and varied start to the new term and our feet have not touched the ground. As well as this, Book Week brought many reading adventures our way and we loved meeting the authors that visited us and the ‘character dress up day’ saw such a variety of characters coming to school from Matilda to Sir Captain Tom Moore – thank you for your support in providing such amazing costumes!

In Science, we have started to explore food chains and we made our own, thinking of a variety of habitats. From the oceans to deserts, we thought about which animals would be there and what the food chain may look like. In our Maths learning we have been exploring the value of different coins and our Year 2 children have been finding different ways to make the same amount of money by filling up piggy banks!

Whilst reflecting on our collective worship value of ‘Forgiveness’ this term, in our RE lessons we have been talking about ‘The Easter Story’ and ‘Holy Week’. The children worked as team to discuss and sequence events of ‘Holy Week’.


Here is our Learning Overview for Spring 2, 2023:

Otter News (3rd February, 2023)

Otter Class have stepped back in time to the cobbled streets of London in 1666! After having learnt what Tudor houses were like, the children had the task of designing their very own Tudor house complete with appropriate features such as jetties, thatched roof and beams. Planning and thinking of the materials that were needed was done thoughtfully and the features were added to the finished designs.

Staying on the theme of ‘Fiery Flames’, Otter Class were beyond excited to have a visit from the Fire Service! It was a fun and interactive visit and gave a great insight into the day in the life of a Firefighter. As well as learning about the type of jobs Firefighters respond to such as rescuing cows who have become trapped, we learnt an important fire safety song to tell our grown-ups when we got home.

Otter News (20th January, 2023)

Otters have had a fantastic start to 2023! The class have immersed themselves in our new topic, ‘Fiery Flames’. We have gone back in time to 1666 and learnt about ‘The Great Fire of London’ and what life was like at that time and how the fire started.

In English, ‘Masha and the Firebird’ has been the focus of our lessons with the children having the opportunity to create their own mythical creature! The class have shown amazing creativity with their creatures and at the same time, thought of some brilliant expanded noun phrases.

We have got messy with charcoal in our art lessons, experimenting with different pressures and strokes to create smoke effects in preparation for our art masterpiece based on the Great Fire of London.

In Science, the children absolutely loved creating their own habitat for pretend animals. The children designed and then created their habitat, thinking of what their animals would need in their environment to thrive.


Here is our Learning Overview for Spring 1, 2023:


Otter News (2nd December, 2022)

It has been a busy few weeks in Otter Class. Otters have been incredibly busy learning lines and singing in preparation for their Christmas play, ‘Donkey for sale’. The excitement is building for their performances next week! Thank you so much for your support in providing us with costumes!

In Maths, the children have been learning all about ‘Shapes’ and the Year 1 children went on a ‘Shape Hunt’ around the school. They managed to spot most 2-D shapes, however finding a pentagon around the school proved difficult! Let us know if you find one whilst out and about this weekend.

We have finished our final ‘moving pictures’ in DT using the skills we have learnt over the term including sliding mechanisms and pivots. The children are excited to bring home their finished moving picture soon. In Geography, we have enjoyed learning about our local area and locating local landmarks on a map. Lastly, in Science, we have been learning all about plants and trees as well as learning some scientific words such as ‘deciduous’ and ‘evergreen’.

Otter News (18th November, 2022)

Creativity and team work have been in abundance in Otter Class!

During our Computing lessons, the class have been planning their own digital stories without words and started taking photos of their chosen characters in different settings. They needed to draw and plan their frames of their stories before using the cameras to take photos. Working in a team proved really important due to organising the props and holding the camera at the same time. As you can see from the photos below, there has been a variety of characters chosen! We are very much looking forward to the finished stories.

During our Design & Technology lessons, we have continued the theme of ‘moving pictures’ and had lots of fun creating pivots and levers using split pins and card to create individual moving pictures.

Our topic ‘Up, Up and Away’ has got off to a flying start with learning about ‘Beegu’ in English which has a space theme as well as exploring art work from Jazzberry Blue who creates art pieces from a bird’s eye view. The children have loved learning about the continents and oceans of the world as well as sharing what they already know about the UK and different landmarks that they have visited!


Here is our Learning Overview for Autumn 2, 2022:

Otter News (14th October, 2022)

Otters have been enjoying preparing for the Harvest Festival and creating a variety of wonderful art work – from fields with tractors to beautiful images of fruit and vegetables.

The class have been so enthusiastic about learning about Bengal Tigers as part of their non-fiction fact file writing! They have impressed us with the facts that they have researched and we all have definitely learned something we didn’t know about Tigers!

Learning about money has been the focus for maths this week in our class. We’ve had some interesting activities alongside our main tasks including our very own shop in the classroom where the children have been able to have a go at buying fruit and vegetables with coins.


Otter News (30th September, 2022)

It has been a busy start to the school year in Year 1 and 2!

The class have embraced our topic of ‘What makes a family?’. This has included learning about what a Victorian home looked like and how it compares to modern homes. We have also been reading about ‘The Perfect Pet’ in English and doing a wide range of activities to support our learning ranging from role play in a Vet’s surgery to designing homes made out of Lego for the perfect pet!

In Science, we have continued our topic focus and explored minibeasts in our school grounds. We’ve been discussing how we can categorise some animals into mammals, invertebrates, reptiles and birds.

In Maths, we have been looking at place value, in particular ordering numbers to 100 and exploring patterns and missing numbers on a 100 square and in sequences.

In PSHE, we have enjoyed talking about feelings and recognising the different emotions that we can have. We had fun playing a game of ‘Emotions Bingo’.


Here is our Learning Overview for Autumn 1, 2022:


Otter News (1st July, 2022)

Otter Class all managed to sew and complete their sea creatures! We had a range of fish, sharks, dolphins, starfish, sea snakes and sea horses. Fortunately, both Mrs and Miss Miles were able to help me with re-threading needles and untangling knots! Thank you to the grown-ups who sent stuffing in! It was great fun and we are very proud of our end results.

In writing, we wrote a newspaper report telling people that the Titanic had sunk!  This week, we have been busy reflecting on the year and our favourite things we have done or learnt. It is incredible how much we have crammed into the year and it’s not over yet! In Maths, we are reminding ourselves about number bonds to 10 and 20 and will be multiplying and dividing next.

Our History lessons have enabled us to compare life on board the Titanic depending on whether you were a first, second or third class passenger. We all agreed we would have had a better time aboard if we had been a first class passenger as we would not have had to share toilets! Next week, we shall think about why it sank and who was to blame!

Our caterpillars are all now chrysalises. We were fascinated by their wiggling as they settled in and created their ‘shell’. Hopefully, the sunshine will be back out by the time they are ready to break free!

We have missed many of our friends this week as they have been at home with chicken pox. We hope they are all feeling better and look forward to welcoming them all back. Hopefully, no one else is ‘brewing’ them!

Otter News (17th June, 2022)

Rabbits Class have been amazing coping without Mrs Jolliffe! Mrs Hairsine and the team have had a fun filled couple of weeks and have continued to learn loads! Despite being upset in missing out, Mrs Jolliffe is very proud of all of her Rabbits.

The children in Rabbit and Otter Class returned rested and raring to go for our final half term and we all enjoyed sharing our own Jubilee Celebrations. We kicked our topic off by finding out what the Titanic was. We used photographs to predict what had happened to it and have now begun finding out about the Titanic’s timeline of events. We have tried drawing it and have lots more planned for the coming weeks. The Titanic theme continued in English as we are writing about a mouse called Samson, who was a passenger aboard the Titanic.

Rabbit and Otter Class were very excited to meet a real-life local marine artist on Tuesday! Len Murrell visited to share some of his incredible oil paintings. He talked about how he had started painting when he was 50 years old having also been in the Royal Navy. Len’s love of boats and ships was very obvious as they feature heavily in his work.  The children loved seeing his paintings. Favourites were the War Ships, the Titanic and the ones with familiar buildings such as Windsor Castle in the background. Everyone had a go at drawing a rowing boat which we all agreed was not as easy as we thought; everyone was in the Learning Pit! Like true artists, we persevered and showed our resilience. We hope that Len will visit us again before the summer, so that we can all join in and paint a boat alongside him.

We are so excited to have five caterpillars! Although very small now, we shall watch them grow and follow their life-cycle. Hopefully, we will release Painted Lady butterflies before the summer holidays! Rabbits have some too so the race is on to see which ones hatch first!

We hope to begin sewing our own sea creatures next week. If you have any old tights or stuffing scraps we can use for stuffing, we would be very grateful!


Otter News (20th May, 2022)

I have been so impressed by the resilience shown by Otter Class over these last 2 weeks. We began by attempting to fold and then float paper boats. The instructions confused Mrs Rolph but we all got there in the end – after a number of ‘in the pit’ moments from us all! Not surprisingly, our boats quickly sank but we all took new dry boats home. A big thank you to Maggie who became our ‘Master boat builder’ and helped her friends which was a great help to Mrs Rolph. Next, we folded and flew paper planes which were much more successful! We have written stories about where our planes flew to, as well. This week, we have been writing diary entries and descriptive settings about a boy who found a whale on the beach and took it home to his bath! Look out parents if you are visiting the beach soon! In maths, we have started to learn about tally charts and bar charts, and we are loving our topic work as we explore different seaside places and their habitats. We have welcomed 10 new baby stick insects and enjoyed discussing the size of their ‘poo’! We’ve also been busy with algorithms and using oil pastels to draw flowers in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe. Our Year 2s have impressed me with their calm positivity in working through our SATS ‘quizzes’ and I am very proud of them all. One more busy and exciting week before half term! We will look forward to seeing you at the Jubilee.

Otter News (6th May, 2022)

Otter Class have had a fantastic start to this Summer Term. Our Year 1's were very lucky to go on mini buses to Queen Mary's College Science Centre. They were able to share with everyone what they had found out about mini-beasts and pond dipping. Did you know worms only have one head, not two!

This week, we all went on a fancy coach to Blue Reef Aquarium AND explored Southsea Castle. Everyone behaved and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was a busy day, we were surprised only a couple fell asleep on the way home! The castle’s cannons were huge and many of us enjoyed pretending to fire them. The sea creature favourites were the puffer fish, turtles and sea horses. We loved getting splashed by the rays and were rather disappointed that the sharks were so small! However, we have learnt lots about sharks and are busy creating fact-files for you to enjoy.

We are busy counting in twos, fives and tens after a tricky week dividing which had us all in the learning pit! We have continued to show how well we are doing in phonics and are loving our Science and Geography lessons exploring seas and habitats. Planting sunflowers for Ukraine has been fun and we will look forward to comparing whose grows the tallest! Let’s hope the sunny weather arrives to please us all.


Otters News (8th April, 2022)

It has been a very strange end to the Spring Term for Otters as so many of us have been unwell with Covid. Mrs Rolph was very grateful for all the hard work that Miss Hairsine, Mrs Wood and Miss Miles did to look after and teach those Otters who were in school. Everyone worked so hard, Mrs Rolph is proud of everyone’s positive resilience. We have made our own impressive 3D castles and written glowing Estate Agent reports to sell them! In maths, we have learnt about money and what different coins represent. We have been learning to multiply too – tricky stuff!

We thoroughly enjoyed our Drama workshops and learnt a Dragon story and dances. Visiting the Church for an Easter Walk helped us to remember the Easter Story and the Easter Worship service was very special. Our dress up day and Medieval banquet was a big success, thank you for your support with costumes! We have another exciting term ahead along with our school trip and hopefully, lots of sunny weather. Have a wonderful Easter break, stay well everyone!

Otters News (18th March, 2022).

I have been very proud of the work Otters have been doing. In maths, we have learnt about 2D shapes and had fun spotting them and creating our own shape pictures and patterns. We took part in the Hampshire Book Awards, where we read 4 story books and voted on our favourite. Winning by a large majority, was ‘The ABC Factor’ by Katrina Charman. We have also been busy writing letters to instruct RAF Odiham on what they need to do to catch the River Dragon – recently sighted over the River Whitewater. Don’t worry, Otter class are certain we are all safe!  We have had fun in music with Miss Hairsine and are busy learning about plants with Mrs Wood. It is Science Week this week and we have noticed lots of signs of Spring. We also enjoyed our visit to the Church for Worship and spotted even more flowers, blossom and even a tank of fish! What a busy time!

Otters News (4th March, 2022)

Otters all returned this week after a well-deserved rest and were raring to go! Before half term, we had fun making paper which was very exciting – especially the glittery pages! We learnt about the Jewish faith through Rabbi Solomon‘s visit and we completed our reports on the Queen, showing how much we have learnt. This half term is all about Dragons and Castles and we were super excited to find a nest of Dragon’s eggs in our classroom. We have found out about many types of dragon and have invented our own. In maths, we have all been ’in the learning pit’ and shown resilience as we explored counting on and back across the 10s.


Otters News (11th February 2022)

Otter Class have shown great resilience these last two weeks. We have been working hard on our Phonics through Little Wandle which has been an exciting but steep learning curve for us all – especially Mrs Rolph! We have now got the home reading set up too and look forward to hearing how it is going at home. In maths, we are adding and subtracting using number lines and learning to jump on or back in numbers bigger than one, using our number bonds knowledge. We have enjoyed finding out what happened to the Queen’s knickers and all wrote a news report for the 6 o’clock news. Our Safer Internet Day was fun with lots of discussion about what is safe to share online. We hope you enjoyed seeing your children’s work. We have so much more to cram in before half term – including a Drama workshop and a visit from a Rabbi!


Otters News (28th January 2022)

Otter’s class have had an enjoyable couple of weeks. We found out that the Queen’s hat had travelled all around London. We wrote diary entries as if we were the Queen, describing our favourite parts of the journey. Many of us chose to write about the last part, when the hat landed on a baby’s head. Next week, we shall find out about the Queen’s Knickers!

In maths, we have explored the pattern between numbers and created number sentences. We have been adding and subtracting using number lines too.

We have enjoyed exploring different materials like plastic and metal, especially as we also had fun stretching, bending and twisting play dough!

As part of Collective Worship, we have spent time talking about Martin Luther King. Mrs Rolph has been impressed with Otter’s compassion and their desire that everyone should be treated equally.

Our time with the poet James, was amazing! We all enjoyed the day. We wrote a class poem together called Cranky Creatures, which we performed to the school, and wrote our own Happy poems too. These will soon be displayed around school and in our classroom on our Otterly brilliant work display!

We are looking forward to another busy and fun couple of weeks, with a greater focus on phonics and reading.


Otters News (14th January 2022)

Otters class have had a fun first two weeks settling back in and getting to know Mrs Rolph. They have all enjoyed talking about Christmas and sharing stories about pets. They have met the new class pets - stick insects! They have begun to find out about the adventures of The Queen's Hat and have sorted materials depending on whether they are hard, soft, natural or manmade. Mrs Rolph has been so impressed with the children's friendly manner and positive attitude to learning.


Other Important Information


As you are now aware, Otters Class is taught by Mrs Rolph and supported by Mrs Miles and Mrs Baronne.  Miss Hairsine will teaching Otter class for half a day on Thursday and Friday mornings, providing class cover. 


Learning out of school is vital to developing successful learners. We have looked at the engagement throughout last term and made some slight adjustments as a result. We have made the decision to change how we set homework and how you can submit the work. With the purpose of making homework more accessible, we are providing the children with homework books and hard copies of the set homework meaning that we rely less on Seesaw.

We want homework to be engaging and purposeful so that it consolidates the learning from the classroom. We also want it to be manageable as we appreciate how busy home life can be.

Homework will be sent home on Fridays and collected in the following Wednesdays. For Otters class, the homework consists of:

  • Daily reading for 15 minutes. This will be linked to the Phonics work
  • Maths once a fortnight
  • Writing once a fortnight

PE Kit

There will be two sessions of PE per week; one indoor and one outdoor session. These are planned for Monday and Friday, however we do expect all pupils to bring in their full PE kit on a Monday and take it home on a Friday as there may be additional opportunities for PE presented through the week.