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Whitewater CE Primary School

Whitewater CE Primary School

Rabbit Class YR

Here is our Learning Overview for Summer 2, 2023:

Rabbit News (26th May, 2023)

What a wonderful term this has been! We have thoroughly enjoyed our 'Let's Go Outside' theme and made the most of our fabulous outdoor area. Last couple of weeks we improved our skills and got better at making sculptures. Rabbits came up with the idea of making sculptures with Lego which wasn't something I had planned for this term. What great thinkers!

Maths lessons can be challenging at times but this week I was amazed at the confidence children showed while using two ten frames and playing taking away games with teen numbers!

Phonics assessments went well and some of us now need to focus on reading all tricky words we have learnt so far. You can do this Rabbits! I will stick a list in homework books to practise over half term; if you haven't got them all right. 

We have managed to produce lots of writing thanks to 'Omar, the bees and me'. We planted bee attracting flowers, made bee baths, learnt about the life cycle of a bee, wrote letters to people who live in Rotherwick and delivered seeds for them to grow, to help bees in our village. We loved trying on the bee keeping suits that Mrs Brett kindly brought in while she shared her expertise about Bee Keeping. We have never been so excited about meeting a visitor before, probably because they never showed us a honey comb with real larva inside!

We also have designed and built our own Gurdwaras in RE, we learnt about Pentecost in worship and learnt new stories from Open the Book. Enjoy the break everyone!

Rabbit News (5th May, 2023)

What a wonderful time of the year seeing the progress being made in so many areas of learning. I love watching Rabbits' increased independence and also their courage to persevere in all challenges set. We love our texts this term which inspire lots of writing. The Cook and the King was so popular that I had to plan lessons around it following children's interest and demand!  Rabbit Class created story maps in groups with such excitement and then shared them with the whole class!

I wonder if you have noticed the difference in their handwriting, especially since we started focusing on kinetic letters. Thank you all for joining our Book Share Morning every Thursday. We worked really hard with the children tidying our book corner to get it ready for this week.

Our class tadpoles are growing fast and with the lovely weather we have had so many great opportunities to observe and talk about different minibeasts and plants (dandelions in particular!). We are becoming expert sculptors creating sculptures with paper, sand, playdough and clay! We have found out so much about King Charles III in the last couple of weeks, our little historians enjoyed putting a timeline together with the help of our new class volunteer. Please ask your children about the facts they have been learning about our king. Maths lessons are so much fun with everyone participating. Rabbits put their hands up confidently to give the right answers in each lesson. Their love for maths shows in the way our resources are used carefully and correctly. Last but not least, what an inspiring day we all had learning about so many different professions during the Aspirations Day. Special thanks to the parents who came in and shared their expertise.

Here is our Learning Overview for Summer 1, 2023:


Rabbit News (24th March 2023)

In Rabbit Class we have been improving lots of skills. Children enjoyed climbing, making miniature gardens and making prints with different objects. They loved making Lego prints for their Mother's Day cards. Xylophones in music lessons have made it so much fun with the focus on weather.  Wow what a lot of noise. We have been watching our bean plants grow, in the meantime we have our cress seeds growing so hopefully we will be ready to surprise our parents with our produce next week!

I have never seen a class as excited about watching the lifecycle of a frog as this cohort. The tadpoles must feel the love, they are growing really fast! In English we have enjoyed Oliver's Vegetables and Oliver's Fruit Salad. Following the text Handa's Surprise we cut lots of exotics fruits in half and decided to make a smoothie and taste it!  In maths lessons we had a lot fun playing bingo games, mastering composition of 9 and 10, shapes and patterns.

Book Share mornings have been amazing, thank you parents for coming in and making it special for everyone.


Rabbit News (10th March 2023)

Rabbits enjoyed the challenging phonics lessons and showed a lot of growth mindset while writing the words. They compared numbers within 10 using different resources. Everyone enjoyed using number tracks while making sure they found a number that’s fewer/ greater than the one they picked. We celebrated Holi with a fun art lesson led by Miss Maisey and Miss Capon. It was so much fun getting out in the snow and building a snowman. Rabbits are observing their beans and hoping that they germinate soon. They made a wheel showing the lifecycle of a seed, had a go at writing sentences. Thank you to our parents who could make it to the first Book Share morning and supporting us.


Here is our Learning Overview for Spring 2, 2023:

Rabbit News (3rd February 2023)

Rabbits made us all very proud with their behaviour during our school trip to QMC Science Centre. Experiments were fun and everyone had a turn with each activity. They were fascinated by the fire alarm hunt. The firefighters' visit also was an exciting event. We enjoyed the stories read by the team and learning about how to stay safe. We have been making story maps following our lessons about the Emperor's Egg. Rabbits enjoyed writing captions and sentences to go with the story. Building igloos with sugar cubes was a favourite this week. Children enjoyed finding out about 6, 7 and 8. They independently found resources to show different ways of matching these numbers. Our new outdoor area resources have been delivered just in time to help us with our lessons, children are loving the giant numicons and the HUGE wooden ten frame in maths. We had some fascinating helicopter stories from Rabbits again this week. I look forward to putting the remaining stories on stage next week and meeting you at the parents' evenings! 


Rabbit News (20th January 2023)

Welcome back to business Rabbits, what a positive start to a new year and a new term with fun filled learning activities. We have started talking about cold places and changes in weather. Children enjoyed their woodland walk with clipboards and produced lots of writing despite the cold. They all enjoyed setting up their home corner as an igloo and built a play park for the penguins with slides out of guttering. Their imagination and interests are leading our planning. Our tuff trays are filled with ice and rice! Rabbit class started learning about Chinese New Year; it's the year of the Rabbit. So far, every time I ask them what year it is, they don't say 2023 - they shout 'Rabbit'. Phonics lessons are going so well, I almost want to teach two lessons a day! I would like to thank you all for your support at home and happy to announce that this week you will receive a home learning book with your first homework! - of course, it has to be Phonics.

There is a lovely buzz in the room and our visitors this week praised the way our children are learning and their understanding of the learning behaviours. You must have seen the stickers; we have lots of slinky linky snakes, proud peacocks, independent iguanas and creative chameleons...

In our Maths lessons we are covering measures, so if you find an opportunity please talk about heavy/light objects, empty/full containers and explore comparing capacity. Here's a helpful link:

We celebrated World Religion Day and looked at some symbols for each religion, it was lovely to see the respect children show towards all religions. 

Enjoy the weekend and keep warm.


Here is our Learning Overview for Spring 1, 2023:

Rabbit News (2nd December, 2022)

In Rabbit Class we have been enjoying our new texts and making links. We have seen some amazing examples of independent story mapping! We are securing our maths skills while we continue to count, subitise and compare as we explore 1 more and 1 less; using our five frames and multilink cubes carefully and explaining our work. Simple way of consolidating this at home is to include singing 5 currant buns or 5 green bottles. During our woodland walk sessions, we have been collecting natural objects to make wreaths. We are thinking about making decorations using sticks next week. Christmas is coming and we are all immersed in learning about Jesus, celebrations and birthdays. Rabbits are very excited about performing in front of all of our parents next week and practising singing every day. What a hardworking and resilient class!

Rabbit News (18th November, 2022)

In Rabbit Class we have been busy celebrating World Nursery Rhyme Week. We sang some of the all time favourite rhymes and also started learning our nativity songs. We listened to Julia Donaldson books and focused on rhyming words. In maths we loved singing 'My Buttons' with Pete the Cat and practised forming numerals. We compared numbers 4 and 5; using our 5 frames. During PE we played team building games and worked on sharing skills. We are so excited about watching our pumpkin seeds grow. Our experiment with the chickpeas turned out to be a great success too! The story of the Little Red Hen taught us the importance of hard work. Rabbits enjoyed making rice flour using a pestle and mortar; great for motor skills. Thank you for your cardboard box donations, I now have a super snazzy handbag made out of a box! Our learning journey continued with our RE lessons thinking about birthdays, organising a birthday party and then talking about the birth of Jesus. Our RE floor book is filled with examples of great learning in our lessons. Really proud of everyone's efforts this term especially in Phonics and music. Well done Rabbits!

Here is our Learning Overview for Autumn 2, 2022:

Rabbit News (14th October, 2022)

We have all been working very hard to sound talk and blend new words during and after phonics lessons. I have observed some children using the resources independently to stretch their learning. They are recognising we are focusing on independence and putting themselves on the proud cloud for achieving tasks independently.

Following the introduction, children enjoyed talking through the story 'Pumpkin Soup' and using the story map we created together. Some children are enjoying performing the story using the props provided within the enhanced continuous provision. Following on from growing fruit and vegetables, we looked at different seeds, starting with pumpkin seeds and then looked at bulbs. We are now planting bulbs to observe the lifecycle of a bulb.

I have to say this week I feel so proud of every single child in Rabbit Class, they all did so well on their first visit to the church hence the pompom jar is nearly full! -ask your child if you are not sure what this is. They were confident getting up in front everyone singing the Harvest Samba and performing with musical instruments.

Thank you all for attending the parents' evenings and sharing your enthusiasm about your child's achievements this term.


Rabbit News (30th September, 2022)

What a wonderful start to the new school year with our new Rabbits. They have settled in really well and are already working hard to sound talk and blend CVC words in our phonics lessons! In Maths we have been 'comparing'. Children were given progressive experiences throughout the week where they compared collections of vegetables (which they harvested in our veg patch), conkers and acorns from our woodland walk. We began to talk about which group has more or fewer things.  Collections also offered challenges, such as including more small things and fewer large things, to draw attention to the numerosity of the comparison. We put our pets in boxes to compare the sizes of animals and the boxes.

Children show huge levels of energy and enthusiasm, making the most of the opportunities in our indoor and outdoor classrooms. We love watching them making marks, writing their names, making models out of playdough, building with Duplo. They all made self-portraits, mixed colours, celebrated International Dot Day with dot art after listening to the story 'The Dot'. To start our new topic, we first met Coco the rabbit, read wonderful books about pets and talked about our own pets. Following the input children enjoyed making pet portraits and writing WANTED posters for the Perfect Pet during continuous provision. It’s all been great fun!

Here is our Learning Overview for Autumn 1, 2022:


Rabbit News (1st July, 2022)

It was lovely to come back and find the children continuing their journey confidently, following our routines independently and being supportive towards all of the adults who have been helping during my absence. Rabbit Class finally saw one of the tadpoles turn into a frog, which was an exciting moment for everyone. We are still observing the caterpillars and talking about the lifecycle of a butterfly. Children had access to lots of experiments during discovery time, showed an interest in floating and sinking; made boats out of different materials to investigate. Everyone is enjoying problem solving in Maths, we extended floating and sinking experiments into maths and counted how many marbles would make the boats sink. PE lessons had a particular focus on co-operation so that we can combine all skills to get ready for Sports Day. During phonics we revisited many words with suffixes -ing and -ed;  you will enjoy building on this learning while you do this week's homework with your child.

In Summer Term we are launching our topic called The Blue Planet! You can find out more information in our Topic Overview below.

Rabbit News (17th May, 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!

Rabbit News (20th May, 2022)

I have loved observing our lovely children with our visitors and talking to them about our achievements this week as they all made me very proud. Rabbits were so independent and confident during continuous provision; taking orders, making tea with real tea bags, selling coffee & cakes at their Beach Cafe. Catching fish using their new rods (just picture them sitting on their beach chairs with their flip-flops on), frying fish at the Fish & Chip Shop they set up. Watering their plants, making aquariums…They were so excited to discover our new playground while using the new resources in each area imaginatively. They were also so welcoming towards their new friends who joined us the last couple of weeks. We found different ways of working with shapes all week. Made up our own number track game outside. I got defeated by Mrs Baronne, which was highly amusing for them. Last but not least, they showed off their new vocabulary to Marion when she popped in to see their learning. HUGE progress since September so well done Rabbits. ‘Keep calm and carry on learning’.


Rabbit News (6th May, 2022)

Rabbits have been our champions the last couple of weeks with their impeccable behaviour during both school trips; QMC Science Centre allowed us to look at minibeasts’ lifecycles, make a wormery, pond dipping and investigate a leaf heap. The Blue Reef Aquarium was filled with new facts we didn't know about sharks and rays, eels, turtles... Nemo and Dory aren't actually real fish names, Nemo is a type of orange clownfish that lives in sea anemones and Dory is a royal blue tang. We have started our new topic 'The Blue Planet' with enthusiasm and curiosity. They set up a 'fish and chip shop' and a 'beach cafe' where a lot of new learning is already taking place. Amazing retention of new vocabulary has been observed by the adults working in our class. Maths lessons focus on numbers to 20 and beyond, homework last week matched the expectations in class so thank you for your support. Writing about the sea creatures we met at the aquarium was also a great success.


Rabbit News (8th April, 2022)

With Easter right around the corner, we have been mega busy; making decorations, cards and creating spring scenes with broccoli print blossom trees. We have been listening to Easter stories and learning lots of Easter songs. The term has been a great success especially with growing our beans and daffodils. Rabbits asked lots of inquisitive questions while measuring and comparing them. We all joined the Gardening Club last Thursday led by our experienced gardener Lisa; on that day children watered their potatoes, also moved their bean plants into bigger pots. Weekly woodland walk activity was collecting the right sticks to learn how to whittle with peelers and talking about our new bug hotels built by the PTA. Our story mapping and sequencing was a great success and the children loved acting out the Enormous Turnip during discovery time. We now have our tadpoles in the classroom well-loved by all! We are observing the changes daily, learning about the lifecycle of a frog. Lucy's two gorgeous chicks visited us on Wednesday which then led onto learning about the lifecycle of a chicken, comparing egg sizes and boiling real eggs!... This term's final event was the Royal Banquet which we all enjoyed in style! Wishing you all a happy and restful Easter.

Rabbit News (18th March, 2022)

During Science Week Rabbits loved growing a bean in a cup, enjoyed watering the daffodils and the snowdrops they had planted, observing the pumpkin seeds growing roots and noticing the changes in the nature in our woodland walk area. Learning about germination fascinated them! We are all becoming experts in making 10 in maths. I keep finding Post Its with number bonds to 10 written on them which is amazing! We all made maps of the area with the giant traps children built to catch the dragon. PE lessons were so much fun learning to control the ball. Rabbits are persevering and getting so much better at dribbling

Rabbit News (4th March, 2022)

Before half term, Rabbits loved making Valentine’s cards and enjoyed engaging in various activities within the enhanced provision. They met Mrs Onslow's pet snails; Dave and Mario and made patterns using Mrs Jolliffe's leftover snail shells. It was so creative in our class before the storm. Children completed their knickers collages and then made knickers for the queen using the real sewing machine. The skills involved to get to the end product were challenging but everyone showed a great growth mindset attitude when faced with a challenge. We all met Rabbi Solomon and listened to the story of Moses. This week, the pancakes we made in our classroom were delicious and the linked writing activities made us very proud. Last but not least have you heard about the dragon footprints that appeared on the windows and the dragon eggs? Watch this space!


Rabbit News (11th February, 2022)

Last week we enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year. We made dragons, learned how to cook noodles in a wok and then learned how to use chopsticks! Some of the children fascinated us by having a go at writing their names in Chinese. This week Rabbits have found six pairs of underpants in a trunk and listened to the story 'The Queen's Knickers'. More excitement to follow! Maths was about measuring length, height and time. They built towers outside and compared them. The children could excitedly talk about which was the tallest. Our 'Woodland Walk' activity was making a rainfall gauge and estimating how much rainfall we will find – we’re hoping for a few rainy days! Writing their tricky words in rice was also very popular; we have almost no rice left in the tuff tray!

Rabbit News (28th January, 2022)

YR in maths spent a lot time outdoors engaging in exploring 6,7 and 8. The aim of the week was understanding that one number can be made up from two or more smaller numbers. Their spiders with 8 legs are now hanging down from the ceiling above our maths area! We also went down to the woodland walk area with our clipboards using our rspb birdwatch numicon record sheets to observe the birds visiting our birdfeeders.  You can access these resources on their website.

In English we have been talking about the Queen's emotions when she lost her hat in the story. Rabbit class came up with some amazing adjectives and recorded them. We all enjoyed joining in with James Carter during his fun filled poetry morning!

Rabbit News (14th January, 2022)

This week Rabbits have been super excited about solving the mystery of the hat that appeared in our school! We now know how it got to Rotherwick as we have started reading a story by Steve Antony: The Queen's Hat. 

We have been comparing numbers this week which involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other. This depends both on understanding cardinal values of numbers and also knowing that the later counting numbers are worth more (because the next number is always one more). 

Children were fascinated by the way their art work displayed outside turning into a science lesson in the rain. We then created an observation station and put strips of paper with black ink on it into cups of water (based on the principle of chromatography)! They enjoyed exploring ice in the mornings so much that we wanted to capture their excitement.

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Other Important Information


As you are now aware, Rabbits Class is taught by Mrs Jolliffe and supported by Mrs Onslow and Mrs Baronne. Miss Hairsine will teach Rabbit class for half a day on Thursday and Friday providing statutory PPA cover for Mrs Jolliffe. 


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 Rabbits class, the homework consists of:

  • Daily reading for 10 minutes
  • Maths (fortnightly)
  • Phonics (fortnightly)

We will send phonics and maths on alternate weeks.

PE Kit

There will be two sessions of PE per week; one indoor and one outdoor session. These are planned for Monday and Friday. This term we do expect all pupils to bring in their full PE kit on a Monday and take it home on a Friday as we would like them to start managing their own needs; get changed for PE independently. Also there may be additional opportunities for PE presented through the week.