Year 1

As a school we have high expectations for language development and acquisition. We expect everyone in school to speak in full sentences at all times and encourage and model correct language use to children who are learning English as a second language.

Through our focussed Literacy lessons we teach the skills of reading and writing, grammar and develop and extend vocabulary and comprehension.

This is done through:

  • shared whole class reading and writing
  • smaller group guided reading and writing
  • daily discrete phonics sessions
  • reading common sight words
  • focussed spelling patterns
  • sharing stories for pleasure

We aim to enable and encourage independent reading and writing opportunities in all areas of the play environment and give children a bank of strategies (mantras) which help them to apply their skills and teach them what to do if they want to read or write words or sentences independently.


We teach reading through a mixture of phonics (using the sounds in words) and quick recall of common sight words. Phonics is taught as a discrete lesson daily and we follow a systematic approach throughout the school.

In Year 1 we consolidate and apply the Phase 3 sounds taught in Foundation Stage and move through Phase 4 sounds and Phase 5 sounds as we continue through the year. Children are expected to be able to spot and read these sounds in words and sentences and also use them correctly in their writing. (For Phase 2 initial letter sounds click here.)

At the end of Year 1 all children are expected to take a National Phonics Screening Check which tests them on the sounds taught and their ability to blend them to read a mixture of real and made up (alien) words.


Literacy is a priority area for development in school; therefore our homework currently reflects this in Year 1.

Each week homework will consist of:

  • Spellings – these are learned best if they are done every day using some of the strategies we suggest to make learning fun.
  • Sight words – Children should learn to ‘see the word, say the word’ on sight and not sound them out.
  • Reading – teachers send home levelled individual reading books. Read daily if possible and more importantly ask questions about what the children have read. Ask for full sentence answers.
  • Any other additional homework may be sent out by individual classes or according to need or topic theme.

National Curriculum Link