Class Information
Year 1

Year 1 is an important year for your children as they make the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage One.

In Year 1, we aim to develop social skills, self-confidence and increasing independence. Throughout the year the children will continue to develop and master basic skills in Mathematics and English, as well as develop good working habits that will be essential as they progress through the school.

The children are gradually encouraged to take on more responsibility. They will be asked to choose their own reading books from the designated boxes, take on small parts in our Key Stage One Christmas Production and carry out jobs in the classroom and around school. All children will be involved in a class assembly and class mass over the course of the year and we also depend on our Year 1 children to ‘set a good example’ to the Reception class at playtimes and when in the hall at lunchtime.

Structure of the School Day:

8.40: Leave children in the playground where a teacher will supervise and an LSA will main the gate. We encourage parents to leave at this stage to allow children time to play and meet friends.

8.50: The morning bell rings and our day begins.

10.30-10.45: Morning play

12.15-13.15: Lunch

14.30-14.45: Afternoon play

Children are given free fruit and are encouraged to have this at morning play, or if you prefer your child may bring in their own fruit snack.

The Curriculum:

There is a gradual change in emphasis as more recording is introduced and the children become used to a more structured routine. We fully recognise that the transition from Reception Class to Year One can prove vert demanding for a large number of children, so please do not worry if your children are finding it hard to adjust during the first few months, as this is normal. They may also be very tired by the end of the long week. In light of this, St Francis supports the initiative 'Continuing the Learning Journey' which encourages school to include curriculum time for outdoor play, construction, role play and opportunities to further develop skills through play and practical methods. Year One children will continue to have access to the outside play area for free play sessions, especially during afternoons after a more structured morning - at least until the October half term.

English:

We aim to build confidence in the four areas of communication – speaking, listening, reading and writing. We stress the importance of good speaking and listening skills, with children being encouraged to talk confidently and to continually broaden and develop their vocabulary. Careful listening and not interrupting when others are speaking is a skill which we encourage the children to develop. In class we constantly encourage talk to partners or the members of a small group during lessons where appropriate. This provides them with the opportunity to explore oral language and express their feelings and opinions on a particular topic.

The daily English lesson will involve shared reading/writing activities using a range of texts including ICT and DVD.  A range of genres will be covered from fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

All work is differentiated accordingly to meet the different needs of all the children.

Phonics:

In addition to the daily English lesson, the children will also be taught 20 minutes of phonics a day following a systematic and structured programme called Letters and Sounds. Phonics is by no means the only stategy used by children in learning to read, but it is a very important one. The Government has introduced a National Phonics Screening Test for all Year One pupils. The purpose of the test is to assess the children's ability to decode a range of words based on knowledge of sounds. The test consists of 40 words shown to the children on flashcards, 20 of which are real words and 20 are make up words. The test will be administered on a 1:1 basis with each child in a week in mid-June. We will be getting plenty of practise during our year to prepare for this.   

Reading:

Each child in Year One will be heard reading weekly in a guided reading group where text structure, setting, and language will be studied in detail. This is an opportunity to study more challenging texts and teach the children the real mechanics of reading.

All children will also be heard reading individually at least once a week (more if adult support allows).

  • Please ensure that your child reads at home each night and that you make a regular comment in the home/ school book to let us know your thoughts on how progress is going at home. 
  • Children’s books will be changed on a weekly basis once they have read it confidently to an adult.
  • Please ensure your child's reading books and home/school books are brought into school every day.

It is important to ask questions to test understanding of what is being read. Picture cues, matching words with finger pointing, using sounds and context are also strategies that need to be encouraged when reading with your child. 

Spelling:

We will be working on revision of the first list of words from the key words list in the home/school book and pupils will be tested after half term on these. We will then begin on the Key Stage One word list and expect to complete the first three columns of words by the summer. Reading and writing these words is essential to remembering them.

Handwriting:

Handwriting practise will occur at least twice a week. Children are encouraged to take pride in their writing and to present work neatly as their hand control continues to develop. We will be focusing on correct letter formation, writing on the line, making writing gradually smaller and correct spacing.

Pupils who make very good progress in their handwriting may begin to start cursive or joined handwriting in the Summer Term. Please do not encourage your child to begin joining their writing before they are taught to do so in school. 

Mathematics:

All children will continue to participate in daily Maths lesson with the aim of developing their confidence and skills in both mental and written mathematics. The children will also learn to apply their mathematical skills to ‘real life’ problems.

During the Autumn term, we will initially be focusing on numbers to 20 (counting, writing correctly and recognising accurately) before moving onto numbers up to 100. Correct number formation is very important and frequent practise of ‘problem’ numbers really helps. We will also be carrying out place value work where children will learn to split numbers into tens and ones e.g. 16 = 1 ten and 6 ones. Extending knowledge of early addition and subtraction skills is also covered in both practical and written formats.

Some children find accurate counting on for addition and back for subtraction quite challenging and this requires a lot of practice. Playing games like snakes and ladders and other counting games helps. Using a number line or 100 grid also helps in understanding the patterns that numbers follow.

Other Mathematical topics:

Money – coin recognition (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p) counting pennies and finding different ways to make totals.

Measures – estimating and measuring length using non-standard units, eg. Multi-link cubes, reels, corks, etc.

Time – seasons, days of the week, months of the year, o’clock and half past times.

Shape – Naming, sorting, and describing features of 2d and 3d shapes.

Homework:

One piece will be sent home on a Friday to be returned by the following Wednesday morning. Homework will be sent home in your child's book bag. Please encourage your child to take pride in their work and take time in the presentation and colouring.

General expectations:

In Year 1, children are expected to develop good working habits – gradually learning to put the date on each piece of recorded work, collecting and returning any equipment used for their work, learning to write on the lines and work with growing care and neatness.

At St. Francis we follow a policy of positive praise and encouragement through leading by example. This positive behaviour is promoted in our class in many ways:

  • Buddy system (when appropriate)
  • Pot of Gold (Wednesday's KS1 assesmbly)
  • Presenting good work to the rest of the school (KS1 assembly)
  • Star of the Week (Thursdays)
  • Certificates for completed sticker charts e.g. Stick Man, Gruffalo etc.
  • Showing exceptional work to Mrs Ginzler-Maher and senior teachers
  • Notes home to parents
  • Stickers

Dates for your diary:

Please check school notices for parent drop ins, class lunches, our class assembly, Christmas play, trips, sports day, etc.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child please do not hestitate to come and see us. It is best to make an appointmnet at the school office to allow enough time for discussion.

Thank you and we truly hope you and your child have an enjoyable year being part of Year 1.

Mrs J. Lambert and Mrs C. Peear

Class Teachers