Year 1 is another exciting year for the children at St. Anthony’s. The curriculum builds upon and extends the experiences that the children have had in Reception and, in the early stages, our aim is for a smooth transition so that the boys remain motivated, enthused and eager to learn. The information below hopes to ensure that the transition is a smooth one for you too.
As in Reception, there are two forms in Year 1. 1M is taught, primarily, by Milly, with Mimi as the class teaching assistant and 1J is taught by Jo, assisted by Maggie. Sophie will also be teaching in Year 1 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so your sons may well mention her name too.
The Year 1 day starts with Registration at 8.55. It is really important that the children are at school and in the classroom by this time. Unlike in Reception, drop off is in the school hall, anytime from 8.15, where Dana or Sandra and the TA team will be there to greet the children. If you have any information to pass on to Milly, Jo or Sophie, please do tell one of the members of staff on duty. Alternatively, e-mails can be sent through to the office at email@example.com and these will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff.
As in Reception, we spend time developing the boys’ independence and organisational skills, as appropriate, throughout the year, but they do need support from parents and teachers along the way. You can help your son by ensuring that he brings a water bottle (labelled with his name), his book bag, appropriate outdoor wear and a small break-time snack to school every day. In addition, he will need to bring in his swimming kit and P.E. kit to school on the appropriate days (see below).
The school day ends at 15.25, when the boys will be brought out onto the playground, to be collected. We will not release children to people who are unknown to us, so please do let us know of any change to pick-up arrangements.
Swimming lessons take place from the beginning of the Christmas term in our pool that is located in the Senior House. 1J have swimming on a Tuesday and 1M swim every Friday, so they will need to bring a swimming bag containing their swimming trunks, goggles, flip flops and a towel to school on these mornings.
Both classes have P.E. on Mondays taught on the school playground or in the hall and will also have an additional session, which will usually take place on Wednesdays. Please can your son come to school in his P.E. kit every Monday morning, with his uniform brought to school in his sports havasak to change back into. P.E. kits will be sent home on Thursday afternoons ready for the following week. The Year 1 P.E. kit should consist of the school tracksuit, blue sports shorts, a white t-shirt and trainers.
Please could you help your son by encouraging independence when dressing and undressing himself at home.
In Year 1, we will be continuing to teach phonics through the Read Write Inc. Phonics scheme. Key sounds will be focused on each week and the boys will receive a ‘phonics mat’ and a book of sounds to keep at home. Instructions on how to use the booklet can be found on the inside front cover. A video guide on how to say the ‘pure’ sounds can be found at www.ruthmiskin.com.
We hear the children read as much as possible throughout the week. This might be on a one-to-one basis, in the form of a group reading session or out loud in class. We also send home reading books which are changed regularly. Our main focus is on developing fluency and understanding. Please be aware that we are reluctant to move a child onto a higher level unless they are reading with all the necessary skills: pace, expression, awareness of punctuation and comprehension of the text. They are, of course, exposed to a range of different material throughout the year and we explore a range of texts including both fiction and non-fiction and a variety of poetry.
At the beginning of the year, we spend time focusing on sentence structure, ensuring that what the children have written makes sense and the correct usage of capital letters, full stops and question marks. The children write in a journal every week and, as the year progresses, we explore the use of descriptive language, story structure and also other forms of writing. In Year 2, the children are expected to write using a cursive style and so this year, we help the children work towards this by using a pre-cursive style (please see the attached sheet).
The basic skills that are reinforced throughout the year are:
– Number formation – taking care to form the numbers correctly and not to reverse digits;
– Number bonds (initially within 10);
– Mental arithmetic;
– Place value.
The core curriculum, including Science, Religious Education and Humanities is taught primarily by the form teachers, but the children are also taught by several subject specialists, including Rachel for French, Jonathan for Music, and Anthony for P.E.. The children will also be taught by a specialist Mandarin teacher.
A more detailed outline of the Year 1 curriculum is available on the school website at www.stanthonysprep.org.uk.
Please help your son by going through the Read Write Inc. sounds regularly as this knowledge helps to develop both the boys’ reading and spelling skills. We also send home simple spellings every week and, whilst formal spelling tests do not begin until later in the year, we will be assessing the children’s spelling of these words informally at some point during the school week.
In terms of reading development, nothing makes up for the one-to-one attention that your child can receive from you at home. Every night, please take the opportunity to read with your son for five to ten minutes and record this in his reading record book.
To help your son develop key mathematical skills, it is beneficial to give him the opportunity to apply these as often as possible in everyday life, for example: giving him the opportunity to buy small items when visiting shops and calculating and counting his change; spotting two and three dimensional shapes in the environment; talking about time, the days of the week and the months of the year and working on his mental arithmetic.
Throughout the year, a number of visits and activities are planned to support and enrich the children’s learning. We do value parental support but require that any accompanying parents have DBS clearance processed by the school. Please do touch base at the school office if you did not have an opportunity to do this last year. Please do be aware, that we have a strict policy regarding ratios and, if parent helpers drop out at the last minute, there is a chance that trips may have to be cancelled. Please do only volunteer yourself for individual trips if you feel sure that you are able to make a firm commitment.
Your son will be given the opportunity to take part in ‘Show and Tell’ sessions this term. These sessions develop confidence by encouraging children to stand in front of their peers to introduce an item of personal interest to the class. Any items brought in should be directly relevant to something that they have learned about, either at home or at school. We appreciate that a favourite toy is very special, but please do not send these in for ‘Show and Tell’. An excellent example from last year was a handmade ‘potato clock’ brought in during our Maths topic on Time!
To keep you updated on your son’s progress, the reporting schedule for this academic year will be as follows:
October 2018: Target setting meeting with form teachers;
December 2018: End of Term Report in English, Maths and Science;
January 2019: Parents’ Evening to discuss report and to set targets for the coming term;
April 2019: Target setting meeting for the Summer Term;
June 2019: End of year report in all subject areas.
We hope that this schedule will ensure that parents get valuable feedback about their children’s progress at key times throughout the academic year. As in your report at the end of the last academic year, attainment will not be graded, but you will be given a clear indication of how your child is progressing in line with our expectations. If you have any concerns at any other point throughout the year, you should, as always, feel free to make contact with either your son’s form teacher, through the main office e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly with Dana.
We hope that this information is useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Dana, Sandra and the TA team are really good at getting messages through to us first thing in the morning, or do call – we will always get back to you as soon as we are able to!