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 by Milly, with Mimi as the class teaching assistant and 1J is taught by Jo, assisted by Maggie.
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 Liz and the TA team will be there to greet the children. If you have any information to pass on to Milly or Jo please do tell one of the members of staff on duty. Alternatively, e-mails can be sent through to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 his book bag, appropriate outdoor wear and a small, healthy break-time snack to school every day (no nuts, sweets or fizzy drinks). In addition, he will need to bring in his swimming kit and P.E. kit to school on the appropriate days.
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, this includes play-dates.
Swimming lessons take place from the beginning of the Christmas term in our pool that is located in the Senior House. 1J and 1M swim every Tuesday, so they will need to bring a swimming bag containing their swimming trunks, goggles, flip flops and a towel to school.
Both classes have P.E. on Mondays and Games on Wednesdays taught on the school playground or in the hall. Please can your son come to school in his P.E. kit every Monday and Wednesday morning with his uniform brought to school in his sports bag to change back into. P.E. kits will be sent home on Monday and Wednesday afternoons ready for the following lesson. The Year 1 P.E. kit should consist of the school tracksuit, blue sports shorts, a white t-shirt and trainers, which all need to be clearly named.
Please could you help your son by encouraging independence when dressing and undressing himself at home.
Literacy and Numeracy
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 believe it unwise 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. Children will be introduced to creative writing, focusing on setting, character and plot through a range of written and non-written activities. 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:
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 Jonathan for Music, and Jonny for P.E.. The children will also be taught by a specialist Mandarin teacher.
A more detailed outline of the Year 1 curriculum can be found below.
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 from early on in the year: we will be assessing the children’s spelling of these words informally on a Friday.
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.
School Visits and Activities
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. Please note that due to Health and Safety regulations, you will not be in the same group as your son; however, there are always opportunities to spend time together, for example, during lunch times.
Please note that there is a school trip organised to Hampstead Heath in the first term that we will be seeking volunteers for.
Show and Tell
Your son will be given the opportunity to take part in ‘Show and Tell’ sessions. 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 pyramid made out of sugar cubes during our topic on Ancient Egypt! We really value the boys’ involvement in the creations of their ‘Show and Tells’.