Welcome to Year 1 – ‘We are a brilliant bunch of top bananas

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Welcome to Year 1!

Dear ______________________and family,
I hope you have had a lovely time over the summer. I am sure you are now ready to start the new School Year, so welcome to Year 1! I am looking forward to getting to know you and working together with you so that we have a very exciting and productive year. I hope you enjoy the new challenges and approaches to learning that Year 1 has to offer!

Below I have outlined the main themes to be focussed on between now and December. As you can see we are going to be very busy!


  • Share stories using big books and animated text through whole class teaching, small groups and individual reading.

  • Learn how to write a simple sentence.

  • Enjoy listening to and joining in with rhymes and simple poems.

  • Share news and ask/answer questions.

  • Engage in a range of activities to focus on correct letter formation and pencil control.

  • Continue to develop phonic knowledge and understanding using the Read Write Inc materials.


  • Count forwards and backwards in ones from any small number.

  • Read and write numerals up to 20.

  • Order numbers to 20 and position them on a number track.

  • Count on and back in 10’s.

  • Recognise the value of each digit in ‘teens’ number.

  • Understand 1 more or 1 less than a given number.

  • Begin to understand the operations of addition and subtraction.

  • Recognise coins of different values and order them according to their value.

  • Recognise doubling as addition and know doubles of numbers up to 5.

  • Begin to use the names of common 2D shapes and describe their features.

  • Compare length, height and mass by direct comparison.

  • Know the days of the week and order familiar events in time.

  • Know the seasons of the year and begin to know the months.


Through an ‘Ourselves’ topic we will learn:

  • To know that humans have bodies with similar parts and to be able to name parts of the human body.

  • To identify differences between ourselves (hair, ears, eyes and so on).

  • To recognise our five senses.

  • To understand that animals, including humans, are living….and move in various ways.

  • To match young and adults of the same animal.

Through a ‘light and dark’ topic we will learn:

  • To know that there are many sources of light.

  • To know that sources of light show up best at night time.

  • To know that it is dangerous to look at the sun.

Through a ‘Sounds and hearing’ topic we will learn:

  • To recognise that there are many different sources of sound.

  • To explore sound using our sense of hearing.

  • That there are many different ways of making and describing sounds.

  • That we use our sense of hearing for a range of purposes, including recognising hazards.


We will launch our ‘Where in the world is Barnaby Bear?’ ongoing project. This will encourage us to look at different countries and cultures.


Linking with the topic ‘Ourselves’, we will look at changes from generation to generation and use words related to the passing of time. We will focus on our own families and investigate differences between family life now and in the past.


Linking with the ’Ourselves’ theme we will create self portraits by carefully looking at our facial features, hair and eye colour.

There will also be regular opportunities for painting, printing, collage and drawing.

Design & Technology

‘Moving pictures’ - we will look at and investigate how simple levers and sliding mechanisms can be used to create movement.


We will learn that computers have a variety of uses and continue to use the mouse to select and move items on screen. We will begin to match words, pictures and assemble text using the class computer and interactive white board. We will learn to use the listening station in order to enjoy stories and music.


We will use songs and rhymes to support all areas of the curriculum.

We will learn about different instruments and explore how they make different sounds.


Games - large ball skills and games.

Gym – ‘Flight’ – jumping, bouncing, landing.

- ‘Points and Patches’ – a focus on balancing.

Dance - we will use the themes ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Room on The Broom’, ‘Festival of light’ and ‘Winter wonderland’ to link movement to music.


Our theme is ‘The Good Earth’. Through this we will learn about:

  • Seasonal changes.

  • Saying thank you for our world through our Harvest Celebrations in School.

  • Looking after our world.

In term two our theme will be ‘Celebrations for Christians’ – we will focus on festivals of light throughout the world and particularly on preparations for Christmas.

SEAL (Social and emotional aspects of learning). Our themes will be:

  • ‘New Beginnings’.

  • ‘Getting on and falling out’.


Some dates for your diary:

  • Monday 23rd September – School photographs (individual/family).

  • Friday 4th October – Harvest Festival.

  • Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th October – book fair 3 – 4pm.

  • Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th October – Early Year discussion evenings.

  • Thursday 17th October end of term one. (School closed Friday 18th October for staff training).

  • Monday 28th October – start of term two.

  • Saturday 7th December – HSA Christmas Bazaar.

  • Week beginning 9th December – Christmas Assemblies.

  • Tuesday 17th December – Year 1 and Reception Christmas party.

  • Friday 20th December – end of term two.


  • Your child will bring home an individual reading book, a group reading book and a class library book of their own choice. These books will be changed once a week but the children are also encouraged to read books of their own.

  • Tasks to be completed at home will be sent out occasionally – these will be linked to learning already initiated in the classroom situation. Of course these are not compulsory but we encourage participation in order for your child to gain maximum benefit from their learning.

A few polite reminders to help things run smoothly ….

  • Please encourage your child to become increasingly independent – say goodbyes at the entrance to the playground. They can bring bags into school at 9 o’clock when collected by the teacher and shouldn’t need access to the building unless you have an important message to give to a member of staff or in the event of wet weather.

  • Please ensure that your child brings appropriate outdoor clothing.

  • The children will do PE on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please ensure that your child has their PE kit and that all items are clearly labelled.

  • Please bring book bags EVERY DAY as reading activities take place daily on a rotational basis.

  • Please check book bags daily for letters.

  • Water is constantly available at the water fountain. However, please feel free to send extra drinks to have with mid-morning snack.

  • If you have any queries or problems please do not hesitate to make contact, however small it may seem.

And finally ……

Help your child make the most of their time at school:

  • Enjoy reading together.

  • Use every opportunity to talk together and involve them in everyday tasks.

  • Encourage them to share their special times, events, visits made at weekends etc by bringing in pictures, postcards, photos and artefacts.

J Fytche – September 2013
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