Year 1

Our aim in Year 1 is to promote happy, confident and creative learners. We have a nurturing environment where all learners flourish and develop their independence and curiosity. We believe that play should still be an integral part of children’s learning and therefore, we have a unique Year 1 curriculum, whereby, children still have access to continuous provision on a daily basis.  Continuous provision is not just provision that is continually accessible. It is a selection of resources that have been carefully planned that continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult.This includes role play, craft activities, games and the use of technology.  These activities encourage investigation, exploration and thinking and are closely linked to our thematic curriculum. Whilst in Y1 children learn through a balance of independent continuous provision (supported by a learning facilitator), guided activities and focus groups. 

Each week, learning is built around an exciting key question and theme. The learning interlinks and encourages curiosity and discovery, deepening understanding all of the time. By the end of Year 1 children will have explored a range of topics, such as; Seasons, Animals, Traditional Tales, Toys, Growing, Our Local Area, Under the Sea, The Jungle and Around the World. 

In Year 1, we promote a love of reading in by encouraging children to read for pleasure. We also build upon children’s comprehension skills by introducing inference, prediction and expression when reading.  Each key question is linked to a key text which the children explore in depth over the course of the week.  Children are also read to at the end of each day.  Children are also prepared for the Phonics Screening Test in Year 1, which helps your child’s teacher to identify if your child is secure in sounding out and blending graphemes. There is no need be worried about this test. By the end of Year 1, children will be able to segment and blend a variety of words which contain graphemes from Phases 3 and 5, use their phonics to read unfamiliar words and read the Year 1 tricky words. Phonics sessions are fun, pacy sessions which involve games and tasks. 

In Writing, children will be able to apply their phonic skills to write sentences, as well as use a large selection of high frequency words and adventurous topic based vocabulary. Children will be encouraged to ‘have a go’ at spelling when writing independently, by phonetically sounding out words.  Teachers may ask the children to ‘write it like it sounds’ and, as the weeks go by, they will learn the correct sounds to replace those guesses. During the teaching of writing the children will be encouraged to use capital letters, full stops, adjectives and commas, whilst writing for a range of genres.

We follow a Maths Mastery approach to our maths learning. This means we focus on ensuring that all children have a solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills. We take learning at a steadier and deeper pace, ensuring that no child is left behind, as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are working above the national expectation for their age. Children build upon their learning from Reception and can reason and problem solve with growing confidence. 

In Science, children begin to work scientifically through completing simple science experiments. They also widen their subject knowledge through discovering changes in the environment including seasons, naming, describing and sorting materials, identifying different types of plants and naming and describing animals. Through our creative curriculum, children also experience lots of exciting wider curriculum subjects such as Music; where they perform as part of a group and learn to play un-tuned instruments, Geography; where they learn the continents of the world and Art; where they learn about different art movements and artists such as Andy Warhol and Henry Rousseau. 

Through the in depth teaching of our PDW (personal development and well-being) curriculum we explore many topics including feelings, behaviour, different family structures, internet safety and disabilities.  Our children develop a respect for each other’s differences as they grow.  

Non-core subjects are delivered through our thematic curriculum.  The knowledge and skills taught are defined in our bespoke progressive learning journeys which are used to plan lesson sequences and assess skills taught.  These are linked closely the National Curriculum.  

Key Questions to drive learning and progress

  • Whatever next…?
  • What will it be like in the year 3000?
  • What makes the cauldron bubble?
  • Why do leaves fall from the trees?
  • Can penguins live in Birmingham?
  • Who’s been sitting in my chair?
  • What are friends for?
  • Is it OK to be different?

 Exciting events in Year 1

  • We visit exciting places such as The Hippodrome and Hatton Country Farm as part of our learning experience.
  • We undertake our phonics screening check in the Summer Term.

Class Novels include

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, The Twits by Roald Dahl, The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith, A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, Illustrated Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp by Philip Pullman.