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Welcome to Southtown Primary School Nurturing shoots - growing minds


Year 1 - Birch

                                                                             Welcome to Year 1!

Teacher: Miss Birks     Teaching assistants: Miss Neve and Mrs Linton

Our day starts at 8.50am and finishes at 3.20pm

PE days are on Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning so children will need to come to school wearing their PE kits on these days

What to expect in Year 1

Leaving Reception behind and moving into Year 1 can feel like a big step for both children and their parents. We aim to make the transition into Year 1 a smooth one. The children will still be learning through play, they will still be exploring, discovering and engaging in role play. Your child’s day may be a little more structured than it was in Reception and they may have to sit at a table for a little longer than they are used to, but they will still also be learning in a variety of ways; while moving, exploring outdoors, in groups, on the carpet or walking around the school!

What will my child do in Year 1? 

Your child will have left the Early Years Foundation Stage behind in reception, although some goals may be carried on with them as they move into Year 1. This will be their first year of the National Curriculum. Like all year groups, Year 1 has government statutory schemes of learning to follow. There is a Year 1 phonics screening test in June, which helps us to identify if your child is secure in sounding out and blending graphemes. It also detects if they can read phonically decodable words. Don’t be worried about this test, we will be assessing your child regularly and will have identified any areas they need to focus on well before the test date.

1. Phonics

Phonics is a big part of Year 1. Your child will continue to expand on their knowledge of phonics and will probably surprise you with just how quickly they develop their reading. They will do at least 20 minutes of phonics learning each day, just like they did in Reception. These are fun, pacy sessions which involve games and tasks. They will learn tricky words, spelling rules and how to sound out and blend to aid them with their reading and writing. They will be encouraged to ‘have a go’ at spelling when writing independently, by phonetically sounding out words. We will ask them to ‘write it like it sounds’ and, as the weeks go by, they will learn the correct sounds to replace those guesses.

2. Literacy and stories

Your child will be learning through a topic this year, which makes lessons relevant and exciting. They will learn English through all sorts of wonderful stories and they will also act out stories that may be familiar to you at home. They will plan and write their own wonderful creative stories, design posters and leaflets. They will learn to write in sentences and to use exciting language — all while improving their handwriting. You will probably be amazed at their development on your first parents’ evening!

3. Maths skills

Maths lessons this year tend to be enjoyable, with plenty of hands-on activities. Your Year 1 child will count with objects and work in groups to explore shapes and pattern. Now that they are using numbers over 20, they will learn to use a 100 square to help with their adding and subtracting. Number bonds will also be reinforced.

They will learn to count forwards, backwards, in 2s, 5s, 10s, 20s, and they will double and halve. They will do maths inside and outdoors and, because we work in a very cross-curricular way in Year 1, he/she will be talking about maths during other subjects, for example; while measuring ingredients for cooking (DT), drawing tables to record experiments in science or drawing maps in geography.

4. Topics

T here are a wide range of topics covered in Year 1, and your child will undoubtedly have their personal favourites.

Year 1 topics this year:

Autumn term 1- What is an island?

Autumn term 2- What’s out there? (Space)

Spring term 1- What is in Percy’s Garden?

Spring term 2- If there were no bricks what would The Three Pigs use?

Summer term 1- What if the Masterchef kitchen were to burn down? How can a brand new ship sink?

Summer term 2- What shall I wear today?

We also develop their social skills and empathy for each other during RE and PSHE. Year 1 is an important year for your child’s increasing independence. The days are so varied and busy, the hours just fly by!


How can I help my child in Year 1?

1. Carry on reading

Reading at home with your child is so important. It helps them to develop their learning in lots of areas. 

You may not always have time to read the whole book (schools understand home life is busy ) but just a few pages a day can increase their confidence and get them into the routine of practising and applying their phonic knowledge.  As long as they are reading, that’s fantastic. Most children this age really love to read new and familiar stories.

2. Keep everyday learning light

Otherwise, try to keep any home learning light, and don’t push it if they seem tired or reluctant. School is exhausting for a child in Year 1. If you do want to do more than reading and spellings, ask your child to write a message to a family member, count their toys,  help to make dinner or help you weigh or measure something. Disguise the learning! They won’t want to sit at a table and focus quietly after such a busy day.


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