Virtual Open Morning!!: We held a Virtual Open morning on Saturday 7th November live at 9:30am! Watch it here! »

Year 1

Update : Monday 23rd November

As we head rapidly towards Christmas, we have another action-packed week of learning to look forward to! … keep an eye out on the school website and Parentmail for any Christmas news… as we may well have a St James’ festive treat served up soon!!

For those children who continue to learn from home, the Year 1 team recommend accessing the following platforms (supplementary to the weekly TEAMS assignment):

Busy Things has a wealth of KS1 content, that will support children in their learning across the curriculum; and Oxford Owls is an excellent online resource for reading.


In English the children will base their learning around one of Julia Donaldson’s classic texts: ‘Stickman.’ They will hear the story read aloud and recall events, predict what might happen next and identify rhyming language.

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

The children have access to a range of resources that scaffold their writing in school. These include: talk tins, sound mats, word banks and finger spacers. Year 1 will use these to write sentences about the story, continuing our Year 1 push on sentence structure, capital letters and full stops.


This week, the children will turn their attention to subtraction. Initially this will be taught as crossing out, before progressing to taking away using ten grids and counters. The children will also relate subtraction back to the part-whole model and solve problems by counting back from the whole to find their answer. E.g. 4 – 2 = 2 (as seen below). 


Our ‘Enchanted Woodlands’ focus continues, with many learning stations supporting understanding of our class stories. These stations include:

Tricky word hedgehogs

Making (repeating pattern) wolf beds

Play doh woodland scenes

Role-play in grandma’s house

Woodland curiosity cubes

Creating seasonal trees out of art and craft materials

… a reminder that the children’s PE and mindfulness day has changed this half-term – to every other Tuesday (our next being Tuesday 24th November 2020). Children should attend school wearing PE kit and will stay in this for the duration of the day (no need to change).


Our whole class text for this week is ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell; a story the children are already familiar with. We will use modelled reading and paired reading to understand the text, and then focus on unpicking the story setting and identifying true and false statements.

Owl Babies: 1: Waddell, Martin, Benson, Patrick: 8601300416243: Books

In phonics, we will be recapping some of the phase 5 sounds we have learnt recently:

ou – ou ou shout it out

ue – ue ue give us a clue

aw – aw aw awful claw

ew – ew ew new jewels

You may have noticed that we sent home yellow reading records recently. Based on feedback from parents, we have decided that they are a vital form of communication between school and home. We ask that you make a note in them whenever you hear your child read, this could be: reading books sent home from school; a book from home/ library; or even a story read online, e.g. Oxford Owls. The main thing is that children are reading as frequently as possible and developing a love of texts!

If reading records could please be kept in the children’s bags and brought into school everyday, this enables staff to make a note in them when your child is heard read at school. However, rest assured that we keep our own reading logs if the yellow reading record is ever forgotten or lost!

Home learning:

If you are wondering how you can provide general support for your child in their learning at home, our advice is to hear them read as often as possible; discussing the pictures in the text, predicting what might happen next and recalling previous events in the story.

Children are also encouraged to practice their word walls. The Year 1 word walls can be found below:

Year 1 Word Wall 5

Year 1 Word Wall 6

Year 1 Word Wall 7

Year 1 world wall 8

Once your child can read all of the Reception and Year 1 word walls, they can progress to practising spelling these words.

Phonics learning can also be supported with various (free) activities on ‘Phonics Play.’ We strongly recommend ‘Buried Treasure’ and ‘Picnic on Pluto.’ Please find the link to the website below:

By the end of Year 1, children are expected to:

  • count forwards and backwards in ones to 100
  • be able to count in 2s, 5s and 10s
  • find one more and one less than a given number up to 100
  • recognise the value of all coins
  • know number bonds (numbers that add together) to total 10 and 20.

These are excellent skills to start practising at home now, although we stress they will be covered over the course of the year in school.

New maths homework has been set via MyMaths (see link below). The children all have their own Year 1 log-ins, which were sent home along with the others. Tasks set focus on consolidating number facts and doubles this week – activities are available to complete until Sunday.


Best wishes,

Mrs Hurley, Mrs Jacobs & Mr Holland

The Year 1 Team

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