Our themes for the year are Owl Babies, Celebrate, Amazing Antarctica, The Rainforest, The Victorians and finally Rule Britannia.
At the start of the year we aim to support children in the transition from the Early Years setting into Year 1 in a gradual, staged approach. This allows the children to adapt to new routines during the first half of the Autumn term. Initially, we are guided by the principles of The Early Years Foundation Stage approach to learning and then introduce the National Curriculum requirements. In Year 1, the children are taught in a more formal structured way but are still encouraged to develop their independent and self-directed learning opportunities within our learning areas. These include a role-play area, a small world and construction area, a story corner, a reflection area as well as the outdoor area.
Developing early reading and writing skills is an important part of the Year 1 curriculum. In addition to English lessons, children have a daily Phonics session in which they are taught to recognise new phonetic sounds and to read and spell words through sounding out and blending. In the Summer term all Year 1 children will participate in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. This is a national assessment of each child’s ability to decode and read words using their phonetic knowledge. The check consists of 40 real and pseudo words for the children to read. The children know these as ‘Alien Words’ e.g. brip, snorb.
Throughout the year, the children will experience of a wide range of activities across the curriculum. They will take part in Forest School lessons in which they will be able to develop their understanding of the natural world. They also have the opportunity to lead the Christmas Service at St Guthlac’s and perform as a class in Collective Worships twice a year. During the Summer term we have an exciting trip to Burghley House to develop their historic knowledge about the Victorians in a practical hands-on approach. We have the opportunity to dress up in Victorian costumes, experience practical servant jobs, play games from the era and learn what it was like to live in the Victorian Age. The children always return to the classroom inspired and ready to present and share their learning in many creative ways.