Leaving Reception behind and moving into Year 1 can feel like a big step for both children and their parents. Your child’s Year 1 teacher is there to make this transition easier for everyone by supporting the children (and their parents!) in their next learning step. Year 1 teachers remark about how the children return from their summer break looking taller and wiser and ready for a challenge.
We aim to make the transition into Year 1 a smooth one. The children will have already begun working more formally in Reception in preparation for Year 1. Your child’s day will be a little more structured than it was in Reception and they may have to sit at a table for longer than they are used to, but they will still also be learning in a variety of ways; while moving, exploring outdoors, in groups, on the carpet or walking around the school! We will gradually build up to more formal learning by the Autumn half term.
Here is an all-you-need-to-know guide to life as a parent of a Year 1 child!
Previously your child was working from the EYFS Curriculum in Reception. Year 1 is the first year of the National Curriculum which all children follow at HTP until Year 6. There is a Year 1 Phonics Screening test in June, which helps your child’s teacher to identify if your child is secure in sounding out and blending graphemes. It also detects if they can read phonically decodable words. Don’t be worried about this test. Your child’s teacher will be assessing your child daily and will have identified any areas they need to focus on well before the test date. We will also provide a parent workshop all about details of this.
Phonics is a big part of Year 1. Your child will continue to expand on their knowledge of phonics and will probably surprise you with just how quickly they develop their reading. They will do at least 25 minutes of phonics learning each day, just like they did in Reception. These are fun, quick-fire sessions which involve games and tasks. They will learn tricky words, spelling rules and how to sound out and blend to aid them with their reading and writing. They will probably be encouraged to ‘have a go’ at spelling when writing independently, by phonetically sounding out words. Their teacher may well ask them to ‘write it like it sounds’ and, as the weeks go by, they will learn the correct sounds to replace those guesses.
Maths lessons will be enjoyable, with plenty of hands-on activities. Your Year 1 child will count with objects and work in groups to explore shapes and pattern. Now that they are using numbers over 20, they will learn to use a 100 square to help with their adding and subtracting. Number bonds will also be reinforced. They will learn to count forwards, backwards, in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s and they will double and halve.
There are a wide range of topics covered in Year 1, and your child will undoubtedly have their personal favourites. Some of the Year 1 activities include: experiments (science) product design (DT); learning the history of things (history) and about the local area we live in (geography); dancing, playing games and using gym apparatus (PE); painting, drawing and more creative processes (art). We also develop their social skills and empathy for each other during RE and circle times. Year 1 is an important year for your child’s increasing independence. The days are so varied and busy, the hours just fly by!
Reading at home with your child is so important. It helps them to develop their learning in lots of areas. Your child’s teacher will send a reading book home each evening, and, it is important that children read at least 5 times a week at home. Make sure they are in on time every day and that their attendance is high.
You may not always have time to read the whole book (we understand home life is busy — lots of teachers are parents too) but just a few pages a day can increase their confidence and get them into the routine of practising and applying their phonic knowledge. Sometimes parents say ‘Oh my child wanted to read a book from home’. As long as they are reading, that’s fantastic. Most children this age really love to read new and familiar stories.
In the morning, children must come in through the Year One gate just to the right of the main entrance. Parents should drop their child at this gate and there will be a Year 1 TA placed here in order to take any messages to pass on to the class teacher and to ensure that every child arrives safely at their new classrooms. On transition day the children will have been shown this way to come into school.
At the end of the day, the Year 1 children come out of their classroom doors. The Year One gate will be unlocked at 3pm so that you can come down to the class exiting doors. Class teachers will release to parents as they see you. Please make sure that you have given the school permission for whomever is picking up your child if it is anyone other than you, as parents. As a school, the safety of our children is of utmost importance and we will not release to anyone who is not on our permission list. If there is a ‘late change’ to school pickups then please let our office team know and they will get a message to the class teacher.
By far the most important thing that a child can do at home is read. Children are expected to read each day at home (minimum 5 times a week) and this should be recorded in their reading records. Children are never too old to be heard reading or to be questioned on a book that they are reading. The discussion that can come from reading with your child and questioning them can encourage a real love for reading that really helps them in all areas of the curriculum.
Children will be given spellings to learn each week which will follow the spelling patterns taught in their spelling groups. They will be tested on these the following week.
Children will be given a maths or phonics activity to complete each week. This work will be based on the learning the children are completing in class that week.