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Otters Class



Class Teachers this year:

Mrs Tiffin (Monday- Wednesday)

Mr Macinnes (Thursday and Friday)

Both adults are supported by all of the school Teaching Assistants throughout the week. 

Mrs Thorn teaches Music for us on a Friday afternoon.

Mr Hennigan coaches us, alongside Mrs Cutmore, on a Tuesday Afternoon.


PE Days: Tuesday and Thursday


Friday 15th November 

In Literacy this week we have continued to explore poetry and refine our shape poems. We have also moved on to spend more time focussing on space through exploring two fantsticaly funny stories, Aliens Love Underpants and Here come the Aliens. Through these texts we have managed to create our own book reviews, recounts and descriptive wanted posters. Our writing this week has been exceptional, all pupils have been involved and worked so very hard. 


In Maths we have consolidated our knowledge of bonds, up to 100 for some of us! We have also solved many money problems using our knowledge of bonds, with some complex two and three step problem solving and reasoning. Our coin recognition has been great and all children have really enjoyed maths work this week. 



Friday 8th November

This week Otters have worked very hard in all areas, especially with so many events going on nationally at the moment, such as Bonfire Night- which must have been very exciting for all who celebrated. 


Children have been working on different poems in Literacy again this week. having the opportunity to write and create their very own Shape Poem based on fireworks. We learnt about all sorts of features of poetry, including rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia and presentation. The children's shape poems are wonderful and represent their hard work and dedication. 


In maths we have continued to work on number, this week focussing on making and solving problems involving different bonds as well as learning how to compare these and address differences in subtraction and addition. The talk taking place in maths at the moment is a key feature of our mastery approach and we are very impressed by the increase in pupil vocabulary. 



November 1st

Otter Class quickly settled back to the school routine and have been working hard all week.  In numeracy, the children have been looking at fact families and how they link together.  They have been finding pairs of numbers that make 10 and then exploring how this links with numbers that make 20 and 100.  Today, they faced different challenges and had to use their skills to work out the missing numbers and how to solve the problems. 


In Literacy, Otter Class have been thinking of adjectives to describe the moon.  Then they used some of these adjectives to write a poem about the moon. Here are some examples of their rhyming couplets:

Moon,moon you are so bumpy,

Moon, moon you are so lumpy.


Moon, moon you are so bright,

Moon ,moon you shine at night.


Moon, moon you are like a finger nail,

Moon, moon you help the ships sail.

Otters so far!

(11th October 2019)

After a very busy few weeks we are long overdue a catch up on the adventures of Otters Class


Our Space: Mission to Mars topic is continuing to grow throughout this term. Until last week we were writing exciting adventure stories about a class trip to the moon, as well as role playing this and building our very own rockets. 


This week we have focused on report writing- making our very own news reports- which we hope to share some finished versions of on our website next week. We have used our research skills to find out facts about the first moon landing and used this as a basis for our reporting skills. We are also developing our investigative skills through learning about types of questions and using these to delve deeper into information for reporting. 


We have also used the inspiration of space to research famous art work and have started our very own 'Starry Night' in a contrasting style to Vincent Van Gogh, we used water colour paints. 


Our Maths work has seen us develop our understanding of place value, ordering and comparing numbers and digits. Developing our use of language skills in Maths and starting to work on skills needed for effective and efficient solving of subtraction and addition problems. 



Parent Information Handbook for Otters Class 2019-20

Week ending Friday 13th September


So we have just finished the end of our first full week. Wow our Otters must be tired, it has been such a busy start to the term.


In Maths: We have been working on counting, ordering, representing and understanding numbers up to 20, 100 and even sometimes beyond. We like to use the Numberblocks a lot in numbers as they really are fun to watch and great at helping us remember number systems. You can watch Numberblocks on Cbeebies every week. 


In Literacy we are working on Instructional Writing. We are learning about Verbs and Adverbs as bossy words, we are learning to follow, read and write instructions and have even had the chance to make up our very own set of instructions. 


In Topic we have started our new theme: Space Mission to Mars and we are preparing to build our very own rockets next week. How very exciting!!



Welcome to the Otter Class page 2018-19


Otter class is our Year 1 and 2 class taught by Mrs Tiffin on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Mrs Gent on Thursday and Friday. Mrs Cutmore (HLTA) also covers Planning, Preparation and Assessment time (PPA) time and along with Mrs Miller (TA) supports in Otter Class.

News, 12th July

With one more week to go we are beginning to see the excitement as well as the exhaustion of the minds in Otters Class. With this in mind, we have been very impressed this week with the work completed. Children have worked hard to develop and grow their understanding of measuring units of mass, reading scales and becoming familiar with grams and kilograms. Children were even able to put their knoweldge to the test when having to weigh and measure the ingredients for baking flapjacks on Wednesday.

This week we have also worked hard within out topic work. We have been creating another fact file book for our class board, this time comparing Brazil and Britain, looking at the differences in habitats, climates, weather, language and many other areas as well as looking for similarities, such as the enjoyment of football in both countries. 


On Friday we had our school Roll-Over day, our current Year 2 Otters moved up to Squirrel Class for the day and new Otters Class children were invited to our classroom. We had a wonderful day preparing for the new year, we are now all very excited for September. 



News: 5th July

This week Otter Class have had a very busy few days. We have continued working on and developing our story adaptations, with most children beginning to type up their stories in order to make their own story book. On Tuesday we had our School Sports Day, green Team won and we were very proud of their efforts. We had a visit from Mrs Marsden on Wednesday, one of our school parents. She is from Brazil and she taught us so much about her home country as well as sharing traditional Brazilian bread with us. We used the information we were taught to make Brazilian Fact File's to share with the remainder of the school. We also had a great time inviting our parents in to see our work on Wednesday afternoon. Our parents seemed very impressed by our work. Thank you for coming to visit us in our class room.

In Maths this week we have had a great time exploring capacity. We have filled a huge variety of different containers and explored reading scales in Mililitres and Litres. We compared and ordered different containers, made predictions and tested whether our thoughts on which container could hold the most were correct. It has also been quite fun to use water during this very hot week. 



News 28th June

This week started off with great excitement as the whole school had a Sport's Activity day.  In the morning the children loved running the gauntlet of the inflatables, with some of them challenging Mr MacInnes to a race!  In the afternoon, the children had the chance to experience boxing, archery and fencing.  Please look at the photographs in the news gallery.  In literacy, the children have written their own version of the Dancing Turtle.  They changed the animal and the talent but kept the rest of the story along the same theme.  This week in numeracy the topic has been measuring and today the children had a problem to solve.  "Your arm span is the same as your height."  Is this true or false?  Otter Class have also been busy practising for Sport's Day in readiness for next week.

News 21st June

Otter Class have been listening to the story of the Dancing Turtle and thinking about the dilemma the children in the story had......should they let the turtle out of the cage to play its flute and dance or should they keep it in its cage for their dinner.  The children all decided they would let the turtle out.  They then planned their own version of the story changing the animal and its talent ready to write the story next week.  We are looking forward to some fantastic stories.  In numeracy, the Year 1's have been learning the days of the week and then the whole class moved on to learning the months of the year.  Then they made a human pictogram of their birthdays finding out that nobody had a birthday in December but lots of children had birthdays in May.  They had an exciting afternoon looking for mini-beasts and investigating their different habitats.

News 7th June

Otter Class have been buzzing with a carnival atmosphere as they were introduced to their new topic this week.  In literacy, they looked a carnival floats and the flamboyant characters in the processions.  They then wrote a piece of descriptive writing using lots of adjectives and similes to describe the photographs. Their writing was amazing: "the eagle's feathers as sharp as knives"..."it is purple like lavender waterfalls"..."with vivid pink feathers", these are just a few examples.  In numeracy, the children have been learning about money, they have identified coins and worked out how much their shopping would cost.  They have also been on a shape hunt to find 3D shapes in the classroom and outside, once they had found the shapes they had to identify its properties. They even got to make thier own 3D shapes after exploring nets. 


News 24th May

Ahoy, me hearties! Ready yer sea legs and leave the landlubbers behind!  On Wednesday, Otter Class was transformed into a mob of pirates.  In the morning the pirates task was to draw a Treasure Map and after break they had to solve the clues to find the hidden message....Land Ahoy!  After lunch there were lots of games which resulted in having to walk the plank!

On Thursday, the children all planned and wrote pirate stories.  They finished off the week by leading the Church Service.  

News 17th May

This week children in Year 2 have been continuing to work exceptionally hard on their SATs papers. With just one more paper to complete next week it is important to acknowledge just how proud we are of the perseverance being shown by all pupils involved. Well done Year 2!


In maths we have continued our work on Division and Multiplication. In literacy we have been preparing for our next Big Write challenge coming next week. Children will be challenged to write a Pirate adventure story. We have developed our understanding of descriptive writing, using adjectives and adverbs and making our simple sentences more complex. 

We have also started preparing for our Church Service next Friday. This half-term Otters will be delivering the service so we hope all of our families can make it. 


We have built some huge pirate ships this week. Keep an eye on this page for photos of the finished products once they are completed. 


Don't forget it's Pirate Day

on Wednesday 22nd May!

News 10th May

This week in Otters Class we have been revising a number of skills in Maths and developing our ability to use a wider range of methods for addition and subtraction. We have also started to look at multiplication and division. Lots of our work has focussed on understanding relationships in number processes. 

In Literacy this week we have been practising different writing skills for higher level sentence building and, later in the week, planned and wrote our own 'Pirate Reports'. 

Our topic this week has moved on to mapping skills, understanding compass points and direction. We have also designed our own pirate ships ready for building next week. In PE we were continuing to develop our tennis skills, working on accuracy in hitting the ball with a racket.


If anyone has any recyclable  materials children can bring in to school by Thursday for building their pirate ships we would be most grateful. 



News 3rd May

This week Otters have been working hard to develop their addition and subtraction skills, extending upon our knowledge of number bonds. One of the key processes in learning at the minute is exploring the why and how. Often children can learn to solve a problem without understanding how they have reached it. With deeper level questioning children are able to unpick their own processes and develop more efficient methods as well as greater understanding. This level of thought is certainly supporting the class to show a greater awareness of how to apply themselves when tackling mathematics problems. 


In Literacy this week we have explored a number of skills, such as the use of subordination, alliteration, rhyme and differences in sentence structure. As well as this children in Year 2 completed their first Key Stage One reading assessment paper. The perseverance seen on day one of exploring this value was fantastic.


In topic we have continued exploring pirates, developing our sketching skills through stages of drawing and completing our science experiment on the best shape of a boat to make it float. 


News 26th April

This week Otters class have started their new Topic: Land Ahoy! In English we have been working on developing note taking skills, gaining information about pirates in order to create our own pirate reports in next weeks Big Write.  In Maths we have been practising many skills, particularly developing our fluency in Number Bonds to 10 and 20 as well as deepening our understanding of addition and subtraction skills. On Thursday we began our experiment on how to make a boat float. This investigation will feed into our Design Technology project where we will build our own pirate ships. Otters class have been very excited by our new topic. At the end of the topic we will have our very own pirate day- look out for further information about this early next week. Have a great weekend!

News 29th March

In Literacy, Otters have been researching how a bean grows and learning words like germination. They then used this knowledge to orally explain a bean's life cycle in preparation for writing an explanation of this next week. During Maths we have been answering questions on a variety of topics to see how much we've learned this term and exploring fractions using lego! In RE the children showed good understanding of the Easter story while playing Easter pass the parcel and they could explain how the chocolate eggs in the middle linked to Easter. They have also drawn some beautiful crosses to show the happy and sad events from Holy week.

News 22nd March

Otter Class have been busy this week explaining the life cycle of a frog and then writing an explanation of their choice. Their explanations ranged from how to feed penguins, dogs or cats to how to write a book.  In numeracy, Otters have been practising finding halves, quarters and thirds of a shape and then moved on to find fractions of number using practical equipment.  Otters have been watching their beans grow and have now planted them up into pots. If the plants mature and produce beans please let us know.

News 15th March

This is Otter Classes week in their own words!

Amelia - In Science we have been seeing if plants can grow without soil. 
Emma - We have been making wind streamers.
Brendan - We made amazing flying kites out of paper and then decorated them!
Sophie - We have been planting seeds to make flowers.
Charlie - To learn how to tell the time!
Dylan - We wrote instructions for our kites.
All - the weather has been pouring and streaming down with rain!

his week.

News 8th March

Otters have had a fun packed week at school. In Literacy, we watched an animation called 'Lighthouse' about a lighthouse keeper who breaks the lighthouse's light just as a ship is approaching the rocks! On Tuesday, the lighthouse keeper (who looked quite similar to Mrs Tiffin) visited the class so that Otters could ask him questions. Having interviewed him the children have written descriptions of him and a recount of his day in a log book. In Maths, we've been learning about fractions and time. As a start to work on fractions we cut pancakes into halves and quarters and chose what toppings we would like for each piece. What things at home could you cut or share into halves and quarters? Many of the children are finding telling the time tricky so it would be great if they could practise O'clock, 1/2 past, 1/4 past and 1/4 to times too. For science, we are learning about the conditions plants need for growth and we've planted some beans in bags and hung them in different places to test our ideas. On Thursday, we celebrated World Book Day and the children loved being in their pyjamas and sharing their favourite stories as well as designing bookmarks, book covers and other creative activities!

News 1st March

Otters Class have really enjoyed reading 'The Storm Whale' and getting to know the main character through role play. Many have written impressive character descriptions! In Maths, we've been getting to grips with division as sharing so please take the opportunity to practise this at home by sharing out real objects. See if they can write the division sum after sharing.

During topic lessons we've continued to measure the weather and had several days with our thermometer showing 20 degrees! We've also looked at different parts of the world on google maps and discussed how weather varies from country to country. The children have used an atlas to label the countries of the United Kingdom and surrounding seas. In RE we have begun learning about the Easter story.

News 22nd February


Otters are well underway with their new topic 'Blown Away!' where they are learning all about the weather. This week they have been taking their weather instruments outside to complete a weekly diary of the weather. It reached 20 degrees on Thursday, according to our thermometer!
In literacy, they have become poets - listening to and writing their own weather poem. Ask your child what their poem is about...stopping the rain, or maybe holding a lightening bolt.
As the new play equipment opened this week, there has been lots of physical exercise, they are excellent climbers and we are impressed with the children's ability on the monkey bars!

News 8th February

Otters have come to the end of their topic Paws, Claws and Whiskers! They have enjoyed learning about animals, including humans in Science. They have learnt all about Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores and can talk about what animals need to eat and how they grow. 

In art they’ve made their own animal art using printing blocks.

We’ve spent lots of time doing creative writing, and using adjectives and conjunctions the children have written their own alternative fairy tales after doing lots of acting! 


We hope Otters all have a fantastic week off!

News 25th January

Otter Class have been busy this week in numeracy learning how to add numbers together, either on a number line or practically with equipment.  In literacy the children have listened to the story of 'Three Little Pigs' and then, in groups, have acted the story out.  They have also planned an alternative version of the story ready to write next week.   In phonics/spelling Year 2 have been changing verbs from the present tense to the past tense and have also begun to look at irregular verbs too, Year 1 have been practising words with the 'A' sound.

News 18th January

Otters have welcomed a family of pandas to their classroom this week!  They have been busy researching pandas and finding out what they need to stay healthy.  After reading 'Dear Greenpeace' which is about a girl who finds a whale in her pond they finished the week by writing a mini-book of letters asking Greenpeace their questions about pandas.  In maths, Otters have been adding and subtracting using a number line.  They have also used Hit the Button on to practise number bonds up to 10 and 20.  Have a go at home and see how quickly they can recall the facts.  In RE they have learnt about the Hindu festival of Holi and the story of Holika.



News 11th January 2019

Otters have made a great start and really impressed us with their hard work this week-well done! In Literacy we have been reading some fictional letters and writing replies as well as learning how to write the school address. It would be great if they could learn their own address if they don't know it already. During Maths we've been busy reading and writing numbers up to 100 (and beyond for some) in numerals and words and partitioning numbers into tens and ones e.g. 30 + 2 = 32. For PE this week the chn had fun trying Yoga and showing how flexible they are. However we had problems with lost items of clothing afterwards so if you could please make sure all uniform and PE kits are named this would be much appreciated.

News 30th November

Science has been fun this week - Otters have been learning about the stages of growth from baby to elderly.  By playing 'Guess Who' with baby photos they have realised how much their faces have changed from baby to child.  We have continued learning about coins in maths, a great opportunity to open piggy banks and count coins.

News 23rd November


This week the children have been telling and writing their own stories based on 'Monkey see, Monkey do!' but with different characters. See if they can tell you their new story. In Maths we have been learning different ways we can record and display data on shapes and to solve the problem of making a cube shaped box suitable to house a family of small bears! Perhaps the children could try making a different shaped box to house a toy they have at home. In RE we enjoyed learning about Thanksgiving and making a paper turkey with feathers showing all the things we are thankful for.

News 16th November

Otters would like to welcome two new children to the class and are looking forward to getting to know them.

In Literacy this week we've had fun learning to tell the story 'Monkey See, Monkey Do!' with lots of actions and sound effects! Ask your child if they can retell the story to you. We've also been learning to write questions and about the past tense. 3D shape has been the focus of our Maths lessons and we are beginning to learn the names of these and to describe the shape of their faces and count how many faces, corners and edges they have. Can they spot any 3D shapes around your house? Our Christmas play is coming on well particularly the singing and we look forward to sharing this with you when the time comes. 
A white, M & S , unnamed polo shirt was left in class after PE on Monday. Let us know if you think it belongs to your child

News 2nd November


Otters new topic this half term is Paws, Claws and Whiskers where they will be learning about everything to do with animals!  In literacy they have enjoyed learning and performing some animal nursery rhymes and poems by heart.  In Maths they have been working on strategies to add and subtract numbers, such as counting on from the larger number and adding and subtraction 10 in their heads.  The room was full of scientists on Thursday when they were investigating 'Do people with bigger hands have bigger feet?'.  Ask them to do an experiment at home to answer this.  A homework sheet with suggested activities for this half term and spelling to learn will be sent home this Friday.



News 19th October

Otter Class have been showing off their skills in poetry this week. They have been really engaged with the work, especially later in the week when learning about Remembrance Day. Some of their lines about poppies have brought a tear to Mrs Gent's eyes!

In Science we had a very loud lesson as they were so excited learning about magnets and challenging themselves to beat the poles - some of the children were determined to make two south poles attract! 

We hope they have a lovely week off of school.


News 5th October

What an amazing week we've had in Otters Class. We planned and made sandwiches and ate them at our Victorian style afternoon tea party. Please have a look at the photo of this event on the school website. Next we wrote instructions on how to make a sandwich and the children have really impressed us with their hard work. In Maths we've been getting to grips with number facts up and in Science we have been investigating silly materials. The children designed items made from the wrong material and explained why they wouldn't work, such as a glass aeroplane, a wooden hat and a concrete car!

Otters are looking forward to their trip to Milton Keynes Museum next Tuesday. Don't forget to bring a packed lunch and coat!

Victorian Tea Party

Victorian Tea Party 1

News 28th September

This week Otters have been giving each other spoken instructions for making a Lego model and cleaning your teeth. They've also looked at how written instructions are set out and had fun following instructions to make a Victorian toy. On Friday, some of the children wrote instructions to teach Mrs Gent a new skill. She now knows how to ride a motorbike and play a practical joke! In Maths we've focused on comparing and ordering numbers using language such as greater than and less than. 
In Science the children had a lot of fun carrying out an experiment to find which material would make a good umbrella. We've also been busy preparing for our Victorian tea party next week. Details to follow in a separate letter.

News 21st September

This week Otters have been trying to find their lost toys!.  They went on a hunt to see where they were hiding, following signs that led the way.  They wrote some independent stories called 'Lost in Northill School'.  In science they labelled all the materials in the classroom - see if they can do the same at home!  In P.E. on a Friday Otters are doing a combination of dance and yoga.   


September 14th News

This week Otters have been reading 'Lost in the Toy Museum' and sequencing the main events.  They have also enjoyed being able to see and play with some replica Victorian toys and games such as Pick up Sticks and Jacks.  In numeracy they have been learning to represent numbers with Numicon, dienes and number lines and made some great posters displaying all the ways a number could be shown.      Well done Otters.


On Tuesday 18th September the children may bring a small toy for their music lesson with Mrs Thorn.



Otter Class are settling well into their new class and routine.  They have been very proud to show their Summer Holiday scrapbooks, thank you parents for all your support.  This week we have been busy reading and writing numbers and counting out everything from cubes to acorns!  We have also discussed and agreed class rules and thought about what we'd like to try and achieve this half term.

Our R.E/ Values afternoon

Our R.E/ Values afternoon  1
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  2
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  3
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  4
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  5
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  6
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  7
Our R.E/ Values afternoon  8

There was a lovely calm atmosphere today in school, as the children worked collaboratively to create displays reflecting the values in the stories they listened to. One group studied Noah’s Ark, another- Jonah and the third group-The Selfish Giant.

It was fantastic to see different age groups working together.

We have been learning about shapes and finding different ways of sorting them.
Picture 1

More shape sorting

More shape sorting 1
More shape sorting 2
More shape sorting 3
More shape sorting 4
More shape sorting 5
Otter Class painted clouds in the style of John Constable.
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

Our visit to the church where Father Frank explained to us it's special features

Our visit to the church where Father Frank explained to us it's special features 1
Our visit to the church where Father Frank explained to us it's special features 2
Please remember there will be a spelling test tomorrow, Wednesday. Spelling books were sent home last Friday with the spellings for the half term.

Otter class had an interesting morning learning all about the weather. A big thank you to Mr. Woolley for sharing his expertise, we loved making clouds!

Our Victorian day at Milton Keynes museum


More photos of our year in Otter class