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St John XXIII Catholic Primary School Inspiring Faith in our Future

Year 1 Overview 2021 - 2022

Welcome to Year 1 at St John XXIII, there are two classes in Year 1:


Year 1D staff are - Miss Delea (Class Teacher), Mrs Rix (LSA) and Miss Qamili (LSA)

Year 1P staff are – Miss McPhillips (Class Teacher), Mr Pastor (Teaching Assistant and KS2 Spanish Teacher) and Mrs Collins (LSA) 

Mrs Worley supports with Phonics and reading from the Autumn 2 Term.

Key Stage 1 Phase Leader: Miss Cotton 


All Year 1 staff make it their mission to facilitate a smooth transition from Early Years to Key Stage 1. To ease the children into the Year 1 curriculum, elements from the Early Years learning environment is incorporated into the Autumn term. The use of continuous provision to support teaching in English, Phonics, Mathematics, RE, Science and Humanities enhances the children’s understanding and encourages the children to explore and take ownership of their new environment. We work hard to ensure the year 1 learning environment is a welcoming, vibrant and accessible space for all which fosters creativity and the love of learning.


The children’s day begins at 8:40 with 20 minutes of independent early morning work, an intervention session with a teaching assistant or independent or partner reading/ sharing a story. To develop children's independence into Key Stage 1 the children are expected to independently take out their Reading Records and water bottles into the right places, as well as their Homework Books and Spelling books when prompted. They put away their coats and bags and take responsibility for their cardigans and jumpers. We ask that parents/carers help to encourage this independence and encourage the children to take responsibility for their belongings and their learning. 


On some days the children will be offered a toasted and buttered bagel as part of the 'Magic Breakfast' initiative that St John XXIII are a part of.  


The morning break is at 10:10-10:25 and children are provided with free fruit or vegetables as a snack.  Lunch is at 11:40-12:25  All children have school lunches, which offers a choice of two hot dishes (1 vegetarian), a salad bar and a pudding or fresh fruit. Children have an afternoon break at 1:30-1:45. 

 The end of the day is 3:10. 


We are always more than happy to speak to you about any queries or concerns you have and you can arrange to make a telephone appointment to discuss any of these via the school office. We kindly request that you do not approach an adult in the class at drop off or dismissal to discuss anything which may require a longer conversation- this is due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions as well as all teaching staff will be very busy at this point ensuring all children are safely collected by their adult. Thank you. 



RE is taught through The Way, The Truth and The Light scheme, which is consistent throughout the school. The scheme aims to deliver a rich learning experience for the children which will deepen their knowledge and develop their understanding key theological ideas and their application to life. Ample opportunities will be offered for children to apply and use their knowledge and skills in order to deepen their understanding of religious truths. Engagement with their own and others’ beliefs and values will help to develop good attitudes and dispositions so that children are instilled with a love of learning. Engagement with difficult questions of meaning and purpose which everyone has to face will enable them to think creatively about their own questions of meaning and purpose. Finally, the scheme will offer children a sense of self-worth through their experience of belonging to a caring community and an awareness of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life. The children will also be learning to appreciate and reflect on their personal relationship with God through weekly Collective Worship and Christian meditation sessions. 



Year 1 follows on with the Read Write Inc scheme used throughout Early Years. Children are assessed termly and grouped into 'Phonics Groups' across both Year 1 classes based on these assessments. This method of grouping children ensures that your child will receive suitable Phonics teaching well suited to your child's reading progress. Every group is taught and led by a member of the Key Stage 1 staff daily for 30 minutes. 

The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence. The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.



Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:


In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all. 





Our English curriculum is supported through deliverance following 'The Power of Reading' which is about teaching Literacy through using high quality books and creative teaching approaches (such as art and drama).  This approach aims to engage and motivate children in their literacy learning. It also enables children to deepen their understanding of texts and provides a meaningful context for writing. Children are supported and encouraged to discuss a wide range of reading materials such as fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They learn to take apart a text and appreciate its individual features as well as talk about and listen to others’ opinions and thoughts. The children immerse their selves in their learning using drama, props art and outdoor learning to access different texts and retell well-known and new stories all which are high quality texts. The development and progression of their spoken language is vital for their development in their writing. The children are encouraged to verbally plan their sentences and discuss what they are going to write with their teachers and peers whilst being supported to write for a range of purposes. As well as this, the children’s writing is supported and developed with the skills taught within their weekly grammar and punctuation sessions. They are also enabled to become independent learners, reading their own work and checking to make sure their writing makes sense.


In Year 1 the children are introduced to the Collin's handwriting scheme which is used across the whole school.  The children are taught to form letters with a clear lead in stroke and finishing the letter with a clear lead out stroke.



In Maths the children follow the White Rose Maths scheme. The children will learn to appreciate and understand the fundamentals of maths and develop their understanding of number facts. An emphasis is placed upon number and place value. We use a range of manipulatives with support and challenge the children’s mathematical understanding. The scheme reinforces addition and subtraction, as well as introducing basic multiplication and division. When introducing any new concept Year 1 relies upon a highly effective CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) approach. The children’s understanding of any mathematical concept is scaffolded by these three crucial steps. It is first demonstrated through physical and concrete resources such as everyday objects which the children can manoeuvre . The same concept is then represented through visuals until the children are confident to use numbers and symbols. The children also apply this within reasoning and problem-solving activities to solidify and master their mathematical understanding.


Extra Learning

Finally, the children are given an opportunity to experience a wealth of different learning through a range of practical and real-life experiences. They will be carrying out fieldwork around the school and the city they live in to develop their understanding of place knowledge. They hope to make contact with their local Parish community through charitable cake sales and carol performances. The children will be engaging in their half term topics through a variety of school trips, memorable experience days and workshops. 


Home Help



In Year One the children are expected to complete either a piece of written Maths, English, RE, Science or Topic (Geography or History) homework as well as their weekly spellings. This is sent home on a Friday and is expected back on the following Wednesday.



Each week the children will be given a new list of spellings in their Homework Books as well as the child's Spelling books for parents to see how their child has done on the test. This book should be returned to class before the next test on the Friday. T Their spellings will involve the tricky words/common exception words your child is expected to know by the end of Year 1, more information on this can be found here:



Reading Records and Reading Books 

Reading Records must be bought in every day. Children are expected to read daily and parents/carers/a responsible older sibling should record when their child has read their reading book and comment on their progress. The reading books are part of the Phonics scheme and would have been read beforehand in school in partners in their Phonics Groups. Depending on your childs' Phonics Group their reading books will either change every 3 days or every 5 days.