Welcome to KS1! We hope you had a lovely summer and we are very excited about the year ahead. Here is an outline of what your child will be learning about in their first half term in Year 1. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask. We want to make sure that the transition from reception to KS1 is a smooth and happy one for everyone.
Miss Dean and Miss Berry
Learning Challenge: What African Wonders Await?
We have a very exciting topic to kick start our year which encompasses Geography, Science, Art and Design & Technology. First and foremost, our topic launch includes an afternoon of African Dance and Drumming led by some professional artists. The children will be learning lots of new skills and an impressive African dance routine to perform to some of the other classes in school. Next, the children will be learning all about life in rural Africa. As part of our science unit, the children will also be discovering some of the incredible animals living in the African savannah. They will learn about their different characteristics, sort them into carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and re-create their favourite animal’s face as a paper plate mask! Later in the half term, the children will be working in small teams on a Design and Technology project to design and make a moving picture of an African animal. They will experiment with different materials and mechanisms, carefully plan their designs following their criteria then produce their final pieces. This piece of work will be all about working as part of a team and learning the very important skills of planning, evaluating, critiquing and learning through trial and error. We hope they will really enjoy getting their teeth into this topic.
This half term, we will be utilising skills from the Talk for Writing approach to enable the children to orally rehearse the key language they need before they write. We will be beginning with journey stories focusing on the story of Handa's Surprise. The children will learn the story orally with actions alongside lots of fun talking and drama activities to help them access the language they will need. We will then make some changes to the original text, such as characters or settings to make it our own and help the children write in the same style. Finally, the children will be given the opportunity to write a journey story of their own allowing them to demonstrate the progress they have made. We believe that this approach will not only be very enjoyable for the children, but also increase their confidence in generating ideas for stories and improve their sentence structure and spellings. Then, in keeping with our work on Africa we will be writing non-chronological reports about African animals. We will be reading and researching about lots of different African animals before creating posters and leaflets on an animal of their choice to be displayed in school. The children will learn how to use simple connectives to link their ideas and present their ideas using the features of information texts. In our final week, we will have some fun reading and writing animal riddles!
The children will take part in a weekly group Guided Reading session where they will be in a small group reading the same book together. This is led by the teacher and aims to help children with the key skills of blending, fluency, intonation and comprehension. A wide range of exciting and varied texts are used, ensuring that children get experiences of many types of literature across the year. Guided reading takes place in addition to individual reading books, which will be sent home as well as being read with an adult in school.
Whole class phonics lessons will take place four times a week. Initially, we will revisit Phase 3 and 4, giving the children lots of opportunities to read and write words and sentences in fun and active ways. In week 3, we will begin Phase 5 which looks at some new phonemes and several alternative spellings for phonemes which the children already know. We will continue to learn new tricky words. Reading and spelling these correctly will be embedded into other lessons such as guided reading and writing. In addition to our phonics lessons, there will be a fun phonics challenge in the writing area every week which all children will be expected to complete.
In maths, we want all the children to feel confident, embrace new challenges, take ownership and start to extend their own learning. They will often work with a partner and will be encouraged to help and support each other. Our focus will be on deepening their learning and ensuring they have a really thorough understanding of each mathematical concept before moving on. Each lesson will begin with a game or activity to learn some key number facts. Our aim by the end of the year is for the children to know by rote all the number bonds for the numbers up to 20, double facts for the numbers to 10 and their 2, 5 and 10 times table. We want to help the children to recall these number facts in any order, really quickly, without thinking, counting or calculating. Being really secure in these basic number facts will give them such a firm foundation for their learning as they progress through the school. This half term our focus will initially be on place value: counting forwards and backwards, reading and writing the numbers 0 – 10 accurately in digits and words, identifying one more and one less than a number, identifying odd and even numbers and counting in multiples of 2. We will them move onto addition and subtraction. As well as learning how to calculate, the children will be learning to apply their addition and subtraction skills in a range of different contexts. They will be encouraged to use apparatus to help them to work things out. A big focus, especially at the beginning of the year is going to be around making maths real and relevant for the children so they really get to grips with the abstract mathematical concepts. We will use real objects, stories and lots of equipment so help the children to visualise what the numbers mean.
This half term we will be exploring some bible stories and thinking about how the morals from these stories are relevant to our own lives today.
This half term in PSHE we will be making sure Year 1 know how to look after themselves and their emotional wellbeing. We will learn about different types of feelings and how to manage these, and look at how change or loss can feel. Ensuring we are equipped with strategies to help us recognise and deal with a variety of emotions will enable us to lead happy lives.
Children will explore body movement through dance using the African story of Handa’s Surprise. They will respond to the music focusing on speed and body shape to ensure it matches with the feel of the story and the music. Children will also participate in a range of fun games using balls, hoops, bean bags and other equipment working on their movement control, co-ordination and team work.
We have an action packed half term of music ahead. After a taster of African drumming during the topic launch, the children will continue to hone their drumming skills by re-creating their own version of West End Extravaganza, ‘STOMP!’ Our main focus this half term will be on recognising the beat as the steady pulse behind a piece of music. We will also touch on the concepts of rhythm and tempo. The children will listen to music from a range of different genres including ‘Carnival des Animaux’ to link with our Africa topic (a range of classical pieces each of which depicts a different animal). Songs and rhymes will be a big part of life in Year 1!
We will be looking at what algorithms are and how we use them in everyday life. This will involve some practical lessons where the children create instructions that describe how a “human crane” works. Children will be able to explain how they have created these instructions using key computational vocabulary. We will also be working on our computing and word processing skills - learning about the keyboard, trackpads, Microsoft Word and how to save documents to a cloud server.