Year 1 is an exciting year when we hope that the children's learning really takes off, especially in reading, writing, and number work.
The children feel at home as established members of the school community. They get used to a timetabled day and to taking care of each other and younger members of the school in the play ground and class room, especially younger siblings. Year 1 children begin swimming lessons and have the benefit of special trips including a day at the farm and a joint day with year 2 at the National Gallery. Most importantly, Year 1 pupils continue to enjoy and look forward to their school day. The Year 1 curriculum establishes the basis for the core school subjects for the rest of the children's education at Broomfield. With a strong emphasis on English and Maths, the children cover all the main subjects taught in school using topic work especially to explore Science, History, Geography and Art. The class teacher is closely supported by the Year 1 teaching assistant.
In English, the children extend their reading and writing skills considerably this year. In reading they increase the range and challenge of phonics, incorporating consonant clusters and middle blends. The children progress further through our school reading schemes, being heard two or three times a week at school plus at home with parents twice a week. The children also are inspired to learn through their spelling tests and sentence writing exercises and learn a practical understanding of English grammar and comprehension of texts. The spelling syllabus is aligned with the 2014 National Curriculum. Children’s emergent writing is extended to include capital letters and full stops. Some children are beginning to use speech marks. In writing, pencil grip and correct posture are firmly established in Year 1, and the formation of letters in readiness for joined up handwriting is a feature of our work. Children are beginning to produce more structured pieces of free writing developing their spelling strategies and extending their vocabulary. In addition, our English work includes learning and thinking about poetry, limericks and rhyming words, an introduction to myths and legends, and listening to class stories.
In maths, we aim to give children a working knowledge of number up to 100, lots of practice at mental maths and simple everyday number problems. Addition exercises begin to use carrying numbers, and an understanding of tens and units is established. Mathematical symbols are introduced as are the learning of multiplication tables 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x. Shapes are investigated, as are a range of other key topics from time and measure, capacity, fractions, money and data handling. The syllabus is in line with the 2014 National Curriculum.
In science, we focus on parts of the human body, plants, sorting and using materials, light, forces and sound.
In French, children learn to greet people and say their name, as well as introductory vocabulary about food, clothes, colours, the weather and animals. The focus is on speaking and listening through a range of songs and games. The written word is gradually introduced through simple worksheets.
In swimming, the children go to Pools on the Park in Richmond. Under the supervision of our own staff and teachers from Pools on the Park, the Year 1 children learn basic strokes and to be confident and happy in the water. In PE, the children develop their body awareness, with jumping, rolling, stretching, balancing and other exercises.
Music and Drama
Music and drama develops in complexity and interest this year, with the children being encouraged to sing short solos in class music lessons as well as poems and shows being a regular feature of Year 1 life. This culminates in the Christmas show as well as the participation by Year 1 in the school Harvest Festival and Poetry Day. In the summer term, the children also present music and drama workshops to their families. Children begin to take instrumental music lessons in school in Year 1, often beginning with piano or recorder. The fruits of their work are celebrated at the Junior Instrumental Concert at school near the end of the Spring Term. In addition, two Year 1 pupils are generally asked to sing a duet solo at one of our school carol concerts at local homes for the elderly.
Art and Craft
Art lessons continue to extend children’s imagination and creative ability. Their drawing, painting, cutting and sticking skills mature as they work with a greater variety of materials and a wider range of topics. Representational clay modelling begins. Year 1 often visits the National Gallery to look at a selection of paintings.
To support the children's development, we ask parents to read at home regularly with the children as well as supporting the children in their regular maths and spelling homework. Before children enter Year 1 it is essential they get as much practice as possible at the finer points of dressing themselves in their school uniform such as buttons, tying shoe laces and ties. It is also most helpful if parents can spend time with the children colouring in and cutting out to improve their fine motor skills, and in writing all letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-10 to prepare the children for learning in Year 1 The Year 1 classroom is located on the ground floor of the 3 storey section of Harrow House, opposite the drama studio and opening out onto the Kindergarten playground.