Year One is an extremely important year for your children as they make the transition from Reception class to Key Stage One.  Throughout Year One, all children will continue to develop and master basic English and Maths skills as well as developing good working habits that will be essential as they progress further through the school.


In Year One, children are gradually encouraged to take on more responsibility. They will be expected to change their own reading books in the school library, take their own things out of their books bags each morning and take on small parts in our Key Stage One Christmas Production. All of the children will also be involved in a Class Assembly and Class Mass over the course of the year as well as taking on active roles during our class Business Enterprise Week.  


The Curriculum

As the children have now left the Foundation Stage and are part of Key Stage One, their timetable is now more formally organised with structured English and Maths lessons each morning and designated lessons throughout the week to cover all other areas of the Primary Curriculum. There is a gradual change in emphasis as more recording is introduced and the children become used to a more structured routine.  It has been recognised nationally that the transition from Reception to Key Stage One can prove demanding for a large number of children, so please do not worry if your children are finding it hard to adjust during the first few months as this is normal for most children. 


In light of this, St. Joseph’s supports the initiative ‘Continuing the Learning Journey’ which encourages schools to include curriculum time for outdoor play, construction, role play and opportunities to further develop skills through play and practical methods. Year One children will continue to have access to the outside play area for free play sessions and more structured curriculum activities on a weekly basis.



Whilst in Year One, we aim to build every child’s confidence in the four areas of communication – speaking, listening, reading and writing. 


The daily English lesson will involve shared reading and writing activities using a range of texts

 The topics we will be covering this term are:

  • Fiction – Percy the Park Keeper stories, fairy tales, traditional tales, adventure stories and magical stories

  • Non – Fiction  -  Instructions, recounts, reports and information texts

  • Poetry –  rhymes and poems


All work will be differentiated accordingly to meet the different needs of all children.



In addition to the daily English lesson, the children will also be taught 20 minutes of phonics a day following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme that they began in Reception Class.   It is very important that all children are encouraged to use their phonics skills daily at home when reading text and when attempting to spell words.


The purpose of the test is to assess your child’s ability to decode a range of words when reading. The test consists of 40 words shown to the children on flashcards – 20 of the words will be real words and 20 of them will be non-words that will test purely their decoding skills. All of the children will be made aware which of the words are non-words as they will have pictures of aliens beside them – please see the attached sample test.  I will be administering the test on a 1:1 basis with all of the children throughout the week commencing 8th June 2020. We will be completing several practice tests throughout the year and, on occasion, sets of words will be sent home for your child to practice.  The test is nothing for you or your child to worry about and will be used to aid the assessment of your child’s progress in phonics and identify areas for further development as they move up into Year Two.



Each child in Year One will be heard read weekly as part of a Guided Reading Group where text structure, setting, language and topics arising in the text will be studied in detail. All children will also be heard read individually at least once a week (more if adult support allows). 


  • Please ensure that your child reads at home each night, and that you make at least a weekly comment in the Home/School book to let me know how home reading is going.

  • Please ensure your children’s reading books and Home/School books are brought into school everyday. 


When reading with your child, please encourage them to point to the text whilst reading. At the end of some pages point to some key words out of context for your child to identify or ask them to choose some words for you to say.  It is extremely important that the children demonstrate a good understanding of what is being read as the national assessments at the end of Year 2 focus largely on comprehension skills.


Please also continue to work on reading and spelling key words from the Key Stage One lists which can be found in the front of your child’s Home School Book.  Key word reading and spelling will be formally assessed each half term throughout Year One.


The Salford Reading test will also be undertaken twice during Year One to determine your child’s reading age.



Handwriting practice will continue at least twice a week – children will be encouraged to take pride in their writing and to present it neatly as their hand control continues to develop over the next few months. We will be focusing on correct letter formation, writing accurately on a line, writing size and correct spacing.  Please encourage your children to practice their handwriting at home, the attached letter formation sheet should provide useful guidance when writing at home. Please do not encourage your child to start ‘joining’ their writing before they are taught to do so in school.



All children will continue to participate in daily maths lessons with the aim of developing their confidence and skills in both mental and written mathematics. The children will also learn to apply their mathematical skills to ‘real life’ problems.


This term, we will initially be focusing on numbers to 20 (counting, writing correctly and recognising accurately) before moving on to numbers up to 100.  Correct number formation is very important and frequent practice of ‘problem’ numbers really helps. We will also be carrying out place value work where children will learn to ‘split’ numbers into tens and ones e.g. 16 = 1 ten and 6 ones. We will also be working on extending understanding of early addition and subtraction skills both practically and then in the form of number sentences.


Some children find accurate counting on for addition and back for subtraction quite challenging, so support at home would be beneficial, either by playing games such as Snakes and Ladders or using a number line or 100 grid.


Other topics we will be covering in Numeracy lessons this term are:

  • Money – coin recognition (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p); counting in pennies and finding different ways of making a set amount.

  • Measures – estimating and measuring length using non standard units e.g. multilink cubes, reels, corks etc…

  • Time – seasons, days of the week, o’clock and half past times.

  • Shape – naming, sorting, and describing features of 2D and 3D shapes.


Mathletics – As I am sure you are aware all children across the school have access to the online Numeracy programme ‘Mathletics.’  This programme is designed to improve your child’s skill in all areas of Numeracy whilst also encouraging independent learning.  As your child’s class teacher, I will be able to log on and assign specific tasks to each child as well as monitoring the progress they make when using the programme throughout the year. Once your child has completed the assigned tasks they will earn points and begin working towards a bronze, silver or gold certificate. On occasion, I will set a unit of Numeracy homework that involves using the Mathletics website.  You can access ‘Mathletics’ online at the following link: and will need your child’s username and log in details to sign them in. These can be found stuck into the very back of your child’s home school book. If you do not have internet access or experience any issues logging onto Mathletics please let me know.  It is suggested that your children only use the ‘Mathletics’ programme for a maximum of 15 minutes a night as it is still essential for them to continue with their reading and spelling practice.




Weekly homework will be set each Wednesday, this will usually have an English or Maths focus but on occasion, topic themed pieces of homework will be set. Homework should be handed in on a Monday morning unless otherwise stated. Please ensure written homework is not completed in pen, thank you!



Our Expectations

In Year One, children are expected to develop good working habits – gradually learning to put the date on each piece of recording; collecting and returning any equipment used for their work; remembering to write on the lines and with growing care.


The children are encouraged to listen attentively to adults and to each other. Praise and encouragement is given to promote a positive attitude to school and learning – this includes a ‘Star of the Week’ award; stamps for effort and achievement (if children earn 20 stamps on their chart they will be presented a certificate at the weekly Key Stage One Good Work Assembly); taking good work to show Mrs Webster/Mrs Ginzler-Maher and other teachers, notes home to parents in Home/School books and presenting work at the weekly Good Work Assembly.


Other Subject Areas


  • Science – Ourselves – identifying and naming body parts and senses as well as recognising similarities and differences between humans, grouping animals, everyday materials,  plant detectives and seasonal changes

  • History – Toys Old and New, The Gunpowder Plot, Famous Kings and Queens, Travel and Transport  

  • D &T –  Fabric Faces, Dips and Dippers, Fabric Bunting,

  • Geography – Our Local Area, Wonderful Weather, The United Kingdom

  • Art – self-portraits,  famous artists,  nature sculptures

  • Computing – We are Treasure Hunters, We are TV Chefs, We are Painters, We are Collectors,  We are Storytellers, We are Celebrating

  • PE – gymnastics, dance, games, athletics – PE lessons will usually be on Wednesdays and Fridays


Dates for your Diary


  • Parent drop ins –  Tues 28th Jan, Thurs 21st May

  • Parents Evenings – Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th Nov, Weds 1st, Thurs 2nd April

  • Class Mass -  T.B.C

  • Class Assembly – Wednesday 25th March

  • Class Lunches –  T.B.C.

  • Business Enterprise Week – Week commencing Monday 15th June

  • Sports Day – Thursday 9th July

  • KS1 Christmas Play –  dress rehearsal Tues 10th December 2:00pm, performances – Weds 11th December 2:00pm and Thurs 12th December 6:00pm



I am available after school most evenings, if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to come and discuss them with me.


Many thanks,


K. Banks

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St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Trinity Square

South Woodham Ferrers





Tel: 01245 321828

Fax: 01245 321 795


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St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School