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Term 1 & 2 Newsletter – Class 1

Into the Castle

Dear Class 1 Parents,

Firstly, a very warm welcome to Class 1. We are delighted that you have chosen Blackboys C of E school and look forward to getting to know you and your families better. We are pleased to welcome back our Y1 children and hope that you have had a wonderful summer and are ready for an exciting year ahead.

In Class 1, Mrs Booth teaches the class from Monday to Wednesday, with Mrs Nobes teaching Thursday and Friday. We have 2 super Teaching Assistants: Miss Butler a higher level teaching assistant and Mrs Mylon an apprentice. On a Friday afternoon, Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Mrs Hall, takes the class for PE and home time routine.

As it is the beginning of the academic year, and for many members of our class the start of their Primary schooling, we feel that it is essential that we spend the first few weeks of this term getting to know your children as individuals, as well as helping them to get to know one another. We will be encouraging them to share with us their likes, dislikes, their interests, as well as identifying their strengths and areas for development with regard to the curriculum. This information will then be used to inform and personalise our future planning. In addition to this, we will also be spending this period of time helping your children to learn about new routines, expectations, the school Christian Values and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These key skills are all crucial for all children to learn as they will help support them throughout their school life.

Our theme for Term 1 will be Into the Castle which will lead fluidly into our Term 2 theme Fire and Dragons. A copy of our medium term planning grid can be found on the school website.

Our year 1 pupils will naturally start the year 1 curriculum straight away and they are already enjoying rising to the challenges of year 1.


Children will be developing their vocabulary through role-play, drama, speaking and listening activities. We will focus on a number of different fiction and non-fiction texts to base our literacy work on, including:

Into the Castle

Into the Castle
100 Facts Knights and castles

Fire and Dragons

The Egg

...as well as many others!

Our writing focus for Reception children (YR) will be for them to gain confidence in their phonics to write simple words independently and for Year 1 children (Y1) to hold and write sentences independently, using capital letters and full stops.


Through the use of practical maths sessions, in which we will promote the use of a wide range of concrete apparatus, the children will be covering the following objectives:

Reception Objectives

Number - Count reliably with numbers from 1 to 5:

Recognise some numerals of personal significance.

Recognises numerals 1 to 5.

Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.

Count actions or objects which cannot be moved.

Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5 objects.

Counts an irregular arrangement of up to 5 objects.

Shape, Space and Measures

Explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them. Recognise, create and describe patterns:

Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘flat’ 2D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe shapes.

Selects a particular named shape.

Use familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models.

Year 1 Objectives

Number - Place Value

I can count and read forwards from any number 0-10.

I can count and read  backwards from any number 0-10.

I can find missing numbers in a number sequence 0-10.

I can find the number between two given numbers.

I can count one more than a number to 10 (record as a number sentence).

I can count one less than a number to 10(record as a number sentence).

I can use one to one correspondence to compare groups.

I can compare groups using language such as equal, more/greater, less/fewer.

I can compare sets of objects and use <, > and =.

I can compare numbers.

I understand the meaning of zero.

I can recognise and use ordinal numbers.

I can solve problems related to ordinal numbers.

I can sequence a random set of numbers to 10.

Number – Addition and Subtraction

I can use the part-whole model to partition a number into two or more parts.

I can use the addition symbol.

I understand addition fact families.

I can record addition facts.

I can use the part-whole model to fill in missing numbers.

Your child will also be given a log in for an online maths learning platform called ‘Mathletics’.  Your child is encouraged to use this as regularly as possible at home to help develop their maths skills. This was very popular last year and the children loved receiving certificates for points earned!  There will be a parent Maths Workshop on Wednesday 5th October, where Mr Boorman (our Federation Maths Leader) will show you how Mathletics works as well as how Maths is taught at Blackboys School.


In computing there will be a focus on developing our mouse skills to complete a computer program.


In term 1 in RE, we will be exploring why the word God is so important to Christians. In term 2 we will be turning our thoughts to Christmas and the Nativity play.


We use a phonic scheme called ‘Monster Phonics’. The children in reception and year 1 will be introduced to all the different letter sounds through a hook of a monster. The children will also learn to recognise common exception and High frequency words during the sessions. The sessions will then be followed up by Monster Phonic Reading books or other phonic decodable books, which will be sent home for your child to read with you. A phonics workshop will be held on Wednesday 21st September, which will give you more details about how we teach phonics in school and how you can support your child at home.


Your child will be given three reading books: a sharing book, a reading band book and a Monster Phonics or Dandelion book. Year 1 children will be changing their phonics books in their phonic lesson, with Mrs Sullivan, on a Friday morning. Please ensure the book is in their bag to facilitate this. They will not have a book band book this year as the phonic book provides them the breadth and challenge needed.  There will also be a reading record which is for you to use at home but please ensure that it is kept in your child’s book bag. In the reading record please write daily about the books that you have read with your child regardless of whether you or they have read to keep us informed. You do not need to write a separate entry for each separate book read on the same day. One comment per day is sufficient. When 6 pages of the reading record have been completed then a reading certificate will be given to your child during our weekly Thursday act of worship. We will be checking reading records for these certificates on Wednesdays so in order to avoid disappointment with delayed certificates please double check that your child’s reading record is in their book bag every Wednesday.

In Class 1 we believe that ‘reading’ is the best gift a child can be given and as such every child will be read with at least once a week by a member of the Class 1 team. This will be in addition to daily shared story times. Whilst we appreciate that life as a parent is often hectic, we would like to stress the importance of you also completing daily reading with your child. Therefore we expect every child to be reading for a minimum of 10-15 minutes every day at home. For YR this reading time may involve looking at the pictures of a book with your child; encouraging them to make up their own version of the story; or it may be you reading to your child. For Y1 please support your child to read their book but also remember to discuss it. You could share the meaning of unfamiliar words; ask questions about what the characters; get your child to pick out their favourite words; or re-tell the story together. The most important thing to do is to make this reading time fun and enjoyable! Thank you for your support with this area of your child’s learning.

In order to keep the changing of books as simple as possible, reception children will choose a reading book to be changed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These books should be kept in your child’s book bag during the week and should be read and re-read before the books are changed. Whilst reading the same book over again can be ‘challenging’ for us as parents, this repetition is very important for new readers as it helps them to gain confidence; familiarity; build their vocabularies; develop an understanding of rhythm and pattern; as well as for developing comprehension skills.


In Science we will be naming different materials and thinking about their properties and purposes. We will be observing and investigating the best materials to build a house or castle.


In History we will be learning about the parts of a castle, their purposes, how they have changed over time and who lived in them. To support this learning we be looking at local castles and their history. We will be visiting Lewes Castle towards the end of term 1 to participate in some exciting workshops. A letter will be sent out shortly giving you more information.


In term 2 we will be doing DT. We will be learning about what makes a strong structure. We will have the opportunity to design and build a castle tower.


In Art we will be looking at the artist Paul Klee. We will use collage materials to recreate his famous picture ‘Castle and the Sun’.


We have two PE sessions a week. These take place on a Tuesday and Friday. Please ensure your child has their full PE kit (fully named) in school for each session. Whenever possible this session will take place outside so please feel free to also include jogging bottoms, a sweatshirt and trainers for this session to help keep them warm. Please ensure your child’s PE kit is clearly labelled and named.

Year 1 homework

This year, homework in Year 1 will be Maths and English, and it will greatly help your child if you can get them into a routine of completing the work each week and hand in the orange book into be marked. There will be a Maths sheet with a selection of questions related to the sorts of learning your child will have been doing in school, and a Common Exception Words sheet. Homework books will be given out on a Friday and need to be handed in on a Thursday morning.

Forest School

In Class 1, pupils are extremely privileged to be having Forest School sessions every other Monday afternoon. These will be run by a qualified forest school leader and former Blackboys’ parent; Mrs Lydia Godfrey. She is very skilled in this area and has been delivering Forest School lessons for us for a number of years now. In addition to Mrs Godfrey, Mrs Harper (TA) will also be attending these sessions. Please be aware that additional parents will also be required in order for these sessions to run. If you are interested in helping please speak to a member of the Class 1 team or write your name on the rota and sign-up sheet displayed on the external classroom door.

For Forest School your child will need the following items. Please ensure that your child brings the following items into school on your child’s set Monday (a forest school calendar will be made available).

Wellington boots

Long sleeved top

Trousers (not jeans)

Waterproof coat

Waterproof trousers (if possible)

Please be aware that the children will go out whatever the weather and can sometimes get wet and muddy so do not send them with their best clothes.


At Blackboys we pride ourselves on making sure that our children take pride in their appearance as well as in their behaviour and learning. Thank you for ensuring that your child is looking clean and smart for school each day. We do ask that you double check that your child’s uniform, including coat/lunch box, is clearly labelled with their name.

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is very important for learning. The brain needs a considerable amount of water each day to function effectively. Therefore we encourage the children to drink water at regular intervals. To aid us with this please send a named bottle of water for your child to drink in class. Children are able to drink from the water fountain but having a water bottle in the classroom is a lot easier.

Parent Helpers

If you (or a Grandparent) can spare any time each week to come and listen to the children read we would be extremely appreciative as it is most beneficial to the children’s reading development.  Please let me know if this is something you would be able to do - we can be flexible with days and times.

Class 1 Outside Classroom

Please may we ask that when you are waiting to pick up your children from school, it would be appreciated if younger children would not play with or on the equipment in Class 1’s outside area. This distracts the children already in the class and it takes a long time to re-organise ready for learning the following day.

Finally, if you ever have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to email us at:



Very Best Wishes,  

Mrs Booth, Mrs Nobes and the Class 1 team

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