Vision and Aims
The purpose of Year One at Reach is to help the children successfully transition from play-based learning in Reception to the more formal setting of Key Stage One. Our aim is to ensure that all children remain happy, confident and curious about the world.
By the end of the year, our aim is that all pupils:
- Write full sentences using varied openers, choosing vocabulary carefully
- Apply phonic knowledge accurately and read common exception words
- Read and write numbers to 100, representing them pictorially and using mathematical language, e.g. more than, equal to
- develop resilience and persist with tasks that they find challenging
- show independence in social settings and build positive relationships with others
Every child in year one is continually assessed in every lesson by teachers and additional adults. Some of the techniques that we use are mini-whiteboards (in which all children scribe a response to a question) and cold calling (in which children are questioned at random).
After each lesson, work is checked and marked to assess whether or not each child has met the learning objective, allowing an opportunity for re-teaching. Broader, end of term assessments are also used to gain a bigger picture of what the children know and to identify gaps, which can be addressed in longer term curriculum design.
All children are also assessed against key constructs for reading, writing and maths – using mastery criteria of emerging, expected, exceeding – half-termly.
These assessments are shared with parents using half termly reports, parent consultations and regular email. Parents are also very welcome to visit their child’s class to take part in a lesson and/or celebrate their child’s work.
In literacy in Year One, we aim to help pupils become strong decoders and so focus on developing their phonics skills and knowledge of high frequency words. In their writing, we encourage children to orally rehearse sentences before writing them. We concentrate on developing children’s basic skills: leaving spaces between words; joining clauses using “and”; and punctuating using capital letters and full stops.
In maths the emphasis is on developing children’s core concepts using concrete objects, conversation and problem-solving. We aim to build confidence in their understanding of number, shape and measure. We also use short, daily maths meetings to consolidate key concepts.
In topic we thematically teach the objectives of foundation subjects including history, geography, art and design, and design and technology. For example, when we teach Traditional Tales, we ask the children to plan, design and create a shoe box theatre. This allows children to develop their art and design skills as well as practising the essential vocabulary they will need to be successful in their writing.
In science we carry out investigations and use our observation skills to explore: plants; animals including humans; everyday materials; and seasonal changes.
In French children are immersed in the language through songs and games. Children learn common phrases and greetings, numbers and colours.
In computing we begin to teach the children to code and become digitally literate using a range of tools.
We love generating curiosity and enriching our learning by going on educational trips. In year one, we visit a professional theatre to watch a pantomime at Christmas and a range of venues which have exhibitions that match our learning (for example, Kew gardens when learning about rainforests and the jungle).
Collaborating with Parents
We believe that for a child to be successful, it is crucial that parents (each child’s first and best teacher) work alongside teachers at school. We communicate regularly with parents via text and email, as well as running workshops with a focus on a particular area of the curriculum.