In Year 1 pupils will find the structure and content of their day rather different from that of the Reception class. To aid transition we will continue some child-initiated activities, known as 'Plan, Do and Review' in the afternoons and children will be encouraged to link their plans and activities to the themes we are studying in class.
All children will also be in a separate reading, writing and maths group, these groupings are flexible and may well change from term to term.
Pupils will receive daily teaching in Maths and English, with a daily phonics and handwriting session. All activities will take account of their age and expected concentration span and will involve plenty of physical activity and learning through music, drama and carefully chosen educational toys and games.
Learning in Year 1 progresses from the E.Y.F.S to the New National Curriculum for Key Stage One and, as such, children will learn about Science, Information Technology, History, Geography, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art & Design, Music, Personal, Social & Health Education and Design Technology. Children will be taught some subject specific lessons but many of these subjects will be taught as cross-curricular themes in a manner more appropriate and meaningful for younger children.
The points listed below may help to answer some of the day to day queries about life in Year 1.
- Monday afternoon - The children will be taught by a mixture of specialist teachers, outside clubs and teaching assistants.
- Show and Tell- We will have a ‘Show and Tell’ session on a Monday afternoon with Ms Alfredson and Mrs Mills. This could be linked to the topic, science or other curriculum subjects. There will be a rota for this each week on the bottom of the children's homework.
- Home Contact Books - These will be checked by one of our Teaching Assistants every morning so you are welcome to continue to use the books to communicate brief messages. If you have a concern or a more detailed query, it is preferable to speak to myself after school or at another mutually convenient time.
- Year 1 - Children should enter the school by the door opposite Stocks Green Pre-School in the morning and come into the classroom independently, any time between 8.40 to 8.50 a.m. At the end of the day, they will leave the classroom via the classroom door KS1 playground).
- Homework – This will be set throughout the year. We start gradually with a spelling investigation linked to our class phonics/spelling focus for the week and a Maths, Topic or other curriculum related activity. Homework will be sent home on Monday, to be completed by the following Monday, the latest Tuesday.
- Spelling test –The spelling words will be given every Friday. So for example, the spellings given on 13th Sept, will be tested on 20th September. However, the first spellings given on Monday 9th September will be checked on Friday, 13th September.
- Handwriting – The children will continue to learn the cursive style of handwriting. We begin by progressing through the alphabet, teaching children the lead-in and lead-out stroke for each letter, which will eventually guide them towards joining their letters fluently and correctly. All children will be introduced to this system but we fully appreciate that some children will need greater support with pencil control and exercises to help them achieve in this area. We will also send handwriting templates home to reinforce this cursive handwriting style.
- P.E. – Please ensure your child has P.E. kit in school and that it is all clearly labelled and that all school uniform is named. Our PE lessons will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Book boxes & Library - Pupils will bring a range of picture, story, non-fiction and poetry books home to share with you. They will be able to choose a book from the library or from the Class Reading boxes. The class reading boxes include some assorted reading scheme books but also a range of ‘real’ books. The children are not expected to read them completely independently as they may be more challenging than the scheme books that they are used to. We believe it is very important to introduce children to a wide range of reading material, which, in turn, will promote confidence in pupils to try to read any text. We are keen for the children to foster a love for 'real' books through becoming familiar with different genres, interesting story structures, a range of different story language, varied plots and characters.
- Reading scheme books – All children will continue to read the scheme books at school, on a one to one basis, with myself, teaching assistants and a number of volunteer helpers. All children will continue to be given a reading scheme book to take home to further develop their reading skills. These books will be changed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Reading comments - Please write the title of the book and date in the contact book each time your child brings a new book home. This helps us keep track of how regularly the children are reading their books. A brief comment on their reading experience is useful but is not always necessary. Please encourage your child to share a book with you every day to ensure they progress well.
- Good behaviour – This is encouraged through praise and reward such as through team points, classroom rewards, ‘Golden Time’ on Friday afternoons, stickers, Gold Star Awards in Celebration Assemblies and Termly Head Teacher Awards.
- There are sanctions if our Class Rules are not obeyed which include warnings followed by missing a proportion of Golden time if children do not heed the warnings. This system is clearly explained to the children at the outset and adhered to consistently by all Year 1 staff.
- Phonics screening - This statutory assessment takes place in June and you will receive more information nearer the time.
Our Learning in Year 1
A brief description of the Year 1 curriculum follows. However, please note that our assessments guide our planning and teaching for the class so some pupils may require further support with the Reception objectives before they can successfully access the Year 1 curriculum, whereas others will need extending and challenging.
English - Our Literacy texts include stories with familiar settings and those with predictable and patterned language. This term in English the children will be learning to say a simple sentence to prepare for writing sentences. We will be introducing capital letters and full stops. At the end of Term 1 we will focus on a core text related to out theme ‘Knights and Castles’. The children will explore the story through drama and their writing will be supported by the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach.
Phonics - Phonics work will involve word building, hearing and building rhyming word families and alphabetical order. Pupils will be encouraged to know the sounds and the names of all the letters of the alphabet. We build on the Letters and Sounds scheme alongside the Twinkle. This links with our grammar work which focuses on sentence building strategies and demarcation. Pupils will have the opportunity to work in a role-play situation and take part in various drama activities.
Maths - Our daily Maths lessons will focus on numbers to twenty, adding, subtracting, finding less and more than a number, partitioning numbers, making sequences and patterns and applying this knowledge to real life situations.
Computing - Computing will be used to support all curriculum areas whenever possible and will be available for children to use in child-initiated activities.
Topic - In History we will be learning about ‘Kings, Queens, Knights & Castles’ and exploring the wonderful castles we have around us. This will also be linked to our school trip, where the children will have the opportunity to visit one of these. We will also be learning key events such as ‘Bonfire night’ and ‘Remembrance Day’ and the key issue and events behind these.
Science - The Science module for the term is learning about ‘Animals including humans’. This will be taught with an emphasis on practical investigation and exploration. This also has cross curricular links with our history topic, learning about ‘Ourselves’ by learning about our body parts and the senses associated with these.
RE - The children will be looking at Christianity. We will also look at Autumn and Winter festivals such as Harvest Festival and Christmas.
Art/DT - Our Art work will focus on drawing and painting. In Design Technology we will be looking at 'Freestanding Structures'. The children will be making their own models out of Junk Modelling. This will be related to our topic theme. We will, of course, also be making various Christmas decorations!
Throughout the year, we will be following the SCARF scheme for PSHE.
As you can appreciate, rehearsing and preparing for the Christmas play does take up a considerable amount of time in Term 2 but does provide great opportunities for the pupils speaking, listening and singing skills to be put into practice.
Thank you very much for all your support so far. We very much look forward to working with you and your children this year.
Mrs Urszula Saganowska-Kearney