Year 1

Welcome to the page for the Year 1 classes. Below is some information that you may find helpful for the year ahead. All the Year 1 team are very much looking forward to working with you and having an exciting and productive year.

Summer Term Updates!

This half term our topic title is ‘How can we grow our own salad?’ For the second half term our topic is ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!’

In Literacy we will continue to work on our handwriting, presentation and spelling as key skills. We will continue work on time connectives, basic punctuation, conjunctions and adjectives. This will be done through writing stories, poems and non fiction texts about plants, trees, fruit and vegetables this half term and then related to the seaside in next half term.

In Maths we will be learning more about money and time, telling the time and problem solving. We will revisit shapes recognising, naming and describing the properties of 3d shapes and making models. We will look at length and also reading, writing and ordering numbers, using knowledge of place value. We will use this knowledge to add and subtract using number lines, hundred squares and practical objects.

In PE we will cover striking and fielding games, tri golf, athletics and sports day preparation.

As part of our topic we will look at plants. We will conduct science investigations into the best conditions for growing plants, and compare and sort seeds.

Each child will plant a broad bean at school. Your child will then bring the bean and diary home. Please could you remind your child to care for their bean and complete their diary? These are due back in school on Monday 22nd May where we will compare and read our diaries. There may even be prizes for the best diaries, regardless of how well the bean grew!

We will look at healthy eating and in art we will look at the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo and his fruit and vegetable faces.

In Geography we will look at locations around the world where fruit and vegetables are grown and answer questions such as which food grows under the ground, which on bushes and which on trees?

We will also keep learning the names of continents and oceans around the world.

For all the objectives being covered please see the Thematic Overview

Class Arrangements

This year children in Year 1 are organised into two classes.

The children in both classes will be taught using a range of methods, sometimes in groups and sometimes as a whole class. There will also be occasions when they are pulled together as a whole year group for certain activities. Staffing will be deployed creatively and flexibly to ensure effective delivery of all aspects of the curriculum.

 Year 1 children in both classes will follow the same themes over the year. All teaching will be differentiated to meet the needs of each individual within the group, class or cohort. This ensures we provide children with learning experiences which best suit their needs at any given time, based on prior assessment and knowledge of their individual ways of learning.
Staffing in Key Stage 1

The two Year 1 classes will be taught by Mrs Kate McGowan (Year 1 and Year 2 combined) and Mrs Claire Rigden (Reception and Year 1 combined). The teachers will be supported by three teaching assistants; Mrs Collins, Mrs Empson and Mrs Birkinshaw. The team of teaching assistants have a wealth of experience working with Key Stage 1 children and will work flexibly across all three Key Stage 1 classes to support Year 1 and Year 2 pupils.

To enable the staff to take statutory non-contact PPA (Planning, Preparation and Assessment) time, Mrs Rowntree will be covering Mrs Rigden’s class and Mrs McGowan’s class.

Our Teaching and Learning

As a school, we take a thematic approach to planning for the new curriculum. Each term will have a theme, with a ‘hook’ in at the beginning to engage and excite the children and a celebration event at the end, which parents will often be invited to share in. Wherever possible, activities and tasks in individual curriculum areas will link to the half termly theme, helping the children to build cross-curricular links between different areas of knowledge.

There are a number of documents available on the school website that provide more information about the teaching and learning in Year 1.

Long Term Curriculum Overview

The yearly curriculum overview found below for Year 1 gives details of the themes for each half term as well as some of the key cross-curricular aspects of learning in each subject area that will be taught, that are linked to the theme. There will also be other aspects of learning that will be taught discretely, without a clear link to the theme.

Long Term Overview 2016-17

Half Termly Thematic Overviews

The thematic overviews for each half term will be uploaded below at the beginning of each half term. These documents provide more detailed National Curriculum learning objectives to be taught for each subject in that particular half term.

Autumn 1 Thematic Overview

Autumn 2 Thematic Overview

Spring 1 Thematic Overview 

Thematic Overview Summer 1 2016-17 year 1 

THEMATIC OVERVIEW Summer 2 2016-17

Curriculum Newsletters

At the beginning of the Spring and Summer term, a curriculum newsletter will be sent out with information about our learning for the upcoming term, useful resources linked to learning, opportunities to get involved and important dates for your diary. For the Autumn term, this information was sent out as part of the Year 1 Welcome letter and can be found below.

Please bear in mind that these overviews, in no way, detail everything that will be covered during the half term and they are very much working documents, subject to change.

Mrs McGowan’s welcome letter

Mrs Rigden’s welcome letter

Home/School Communication

If at any point during the year you would like to speak to us about any aspect of your child’s academic or pastoral needs then there are a number of ways to make contact.

If you have an urgent query or any messages about lunches / appointments/ collection arrangements during school hours, please contact the school office.

Key Stage 1 staff are often around at the beginning and end of school for any quick queries or messages, however if there is something you wish to discuss at greater length, then please contact the appropriate member of staff to make an after school appointment.

The Key Stage 1 staff e-mail addresses are:

We endeavour to check our e-mail on a daily basis, however due to the busy nature of the school day, we cannot always guarantee to reply on the same day as we receive the e-mail.

Parents/carers will be informed of school events via email if you have signed up to Parentmail or otherwise through paper letters.

Key Stage 1 Routines

  • Playtime snacks: As a reminder, your child can bring in fresh or dried fruit for a playtime snack although we do have a daily delivery of free fruit for the infant children. At morning playtimes we also sell toast and milk. We ask children to bring their snack money in and keep it safely in their book bags and not in their pockets, to avoid it being lost.
  • Toys in school: In reception we allow children to bring a toy into school to play with at playtimes to ease the transition into school life. However as the children move into Key Stage 1 we have found that the presence of toys in school meant that staff were having to deal with issues surrounding the safekeeping, sharing and losing of toys after almost every playtime and this took up valuable teaching and learning time.
    Therefore we are requesting children in Key Stage 1 do not bring toys into school. There is a wide range of play equipment available for children to use at playtimes, as well as the older children who are trained as play leaders, and who organise and play a variety of games with the younger children.
    In line with the policy in Key Stage 2, children will still be permitted to bring a ball (size 3) into school which can be used during playtimes and lunchtimes when the children are playing on the field.
  • Show and Tell– In year 1 we don’t have specific ‘show and tell’ sessions planned into the curriculum. However, if children have achieved something outside school such as swimming badges, gymnastics certificates etc, we always welcome them bringing them in and will give them the chance to share their achievement with the class. Equally, if children have brought in a resource specific to our theme then they will be able to share that with their peers also.


  • Book Bands– Your children will bring home two to three reading books, which may be from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme or from the colour banded shelves in the classroom or school library. The coloured sticker on the spine of the book indicates the colour band of the reading book and within each colour band there are a range of books of different genres and degrees of challenge.
  • Coloured Reading Target Sheets In your child’s reading record there will be a coloured target sheet that corresponds to the book band colour that your child is currently reading within. This sheet gives some guidance as to what we are expecting each child to achieve at each coloured book band. We need to gather a wide range of evidence for each target across a variety of different text genres and when we feel that your child is secure, they will move to a new book band colour and receive a new set of coloured book band targets.
  • If you would like extra reading material for your children, you are welcome to visit the school library to choose books from the colour banded section that matches the colour band on the reading books sent home by your teacher.
  • Reading at home We always greatly appreciate you spending time reading with your child at home and it has a noticeable impact on their reading ability as the school year progresses. When reading at home, please record details of your child’s reading books in their reading record along with any comments you feel are necessary and sign to say when a book has been completed. Please be aware that as well as developing the phonic skills for reading, we are also developing your child’s comprehension of the texts they read and therefore your child may need to re-read reading books for reinforcement as they move through the colour band, to ensure they are confident with any new words and have a good level of comprehension of the text.
  • Reading at school– Children read individually as well as in guided reading groups during reading roundabout sessions. Teachers will always indicate in reading records when your child has taken part in a guided reading session and will leave a comment if necessary however they will not always record if a child is heard on a 1:1 basis since this may happen multiple times during the week. Children are often given the chance to do independent reading and we encourage children to bring in personal books of interest in their book bags for such opportunities.

It may take a few days at the start of term to organise your child’s reading books and if you have any worries or concerns regarding your child’s reading at any stage, please feel free to come and speak to us.

P.E. Kit

The P.E. days for the key stage classes are as follows:

Mrs McGowan: Tuesday and Friday

Mrs Rigden’s class: Monday and Wednesday

P.E. kit is navy/black shorts, a white t-shirt and a pair of plimsolls. Please ensure all items are individually named, remembering that any names that are inked in can fade easily in the wash. In the Autumn and Summer term we often go outside for P.E. so you may wish to include a pair of long trousers, a jumper and more robust footwear such as trainers in your child’s P.E. bag.

We suggest that you send your child’s P.E. kit in at the beginning of the week since, in addition to P.E. session, children sometimes require their kit for other activities such as visiting sports coaches and drama lessons.

Water Bottles

Pupils are encouraged to drink water at every play time and can also ask to have a drink during lesson times. Water bottles are kept in the classroom and the children are given the responsibility of ensuring their water bottle is filled from the water fountain. Please ensure your child has a water bottle in school and it is clearly named.

Children will be asked to take both P.E. kit and water bottles home on a Friday afternoon and bring them back to school on a Monday morning.

How to help your child at home

Many parents are keen to support their child’s learning at home and so we have provided the following material on the school website to aid you in helping your child at home:

  • Coloured Reading Target Sheets– These are stuck into your child’s reading record and give guidance towards the particular reading skills they are developing so are useful to refer to when reading and discussing books with your child.
  • Reading Question Mat– This gives good examples of types of questions to ask your child when you read with them at home. This ensures they develop their comprehension skills as well as their decoding skills for reading.
  • Phonics Rainbows of Sounds– These dyslexia-friendly ‘rainbows of sounds’ give the phase 3 and phase 5 sounds that we would expect most pupils to recognise and decode within words by the end of year 1.
  • High Frequency Words for Reading and Spelling– This lists the first 100 high frequency words for reading and spelling.
  • KS1 Maths Mat– This is a useful table top mat, containing a 100 square, that can be used by your child when doing maths homework as well as for reinforcing some key mathematical concepts and language.

School Visits

We usually go on at least one school visit during the year, which will link to work being undertaken in school at the time. As well as out of school visits we often have visitors who come into school to work with us on activities across many different subject areas.

For some visits we may ask for a voluntary financial contribution if you are able and we always appreciate your continued support in helping to provide varied and exciting educational experiences across the curriculum.

Parent Helpers

Over the course of the year we will be doing a wide variety of activities, some of which require extra adult support either in or out of the classroom. When there are opportunities for parents to get involved, we will send out a note via Parentmail giving details and we simply ask any interested helpers to get in touch with us to say they are available to help. We always look forward to welcoming parent helpers into the classroom to work with us on a variety of different projects throughout the course of the year and often parent support is vital to enable to provide certain learning experiences for the children.

If you would like to come into school on a regular basis to work in a key stage 1 classroom, we always welcome this support. This type of voluntary work requires you to have a full DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) as well as sign a confidentiality agreement. Please contact the school office if you need copies of the relevant documentation.