Dear Class 1 Parents,
Firstly, a very warm welcome to all our new Class 1 parents! We are delighted that you have chosen Blackboys CE School and very much look forward to getting to know you and your families over the coming weeks. May I also say welcome back to our Year 1 parents. The Class 1 team very much hope that you all had a wonderful summer and feel rested and ready for the new and exciting year ahead.
As I briefly mentioned to many of you already, Class 1 have had a terrific start to the school year! We are extremely proud of the way in which all the children are settling into school life and for embracing our school’s ethos of ‘Being the Best You Can Be!’
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. Therefore during the next three weeks, through our ‘Mr Men, Little Miss and Me’ topic, we will be learning as much as we can about each of your children. 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 topic for the latter part of Term 1 will be “Into the Castle” which will lead fluidly into our Term 2 topic ‘Fire and Dragons’. We will be learning about the parts of castles, their purposes, how they have over time changed and who lived in them. To support this learning we will be looking at local castles and their history, as well as having an educational visit to a castle, at the end of Term 1, to get some hands on experience.
This week your child will been given two reading books, a sharing book and a yellow (YR) or green (Y1) reading record book. The yellow/green reading record 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 shared with your child regardless of whether you or they have read it as well as any appropriate comments. 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 assembly. We will be checking reading records for these certificates on Wednesday so in order to avoid disappointment with delayed certificates please be sure that your child’s reading record is in school 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 1:1 at least once a week by a member of the Class 1 team. This will be in additional 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, your child will choose two reading books and one sharing book every Wednesday. These books should be kept in your child’s book bag during the week and should be read and re-read for one week before they will be changed again the following Wednesday. 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.
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:
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
- Count to ten, forwards and backwards, beginning with 0 or 1, or from any given number.
- Count, read and write numbers to 10 in numerals and words.
- Given a number, identify one more or one less.
- Identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line, and use the language of: equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most, least.
Number - Addition and Subtraction
- Represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 10
- Read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (-) and equals (=) signs.
- Add and subtract one digit numbers to 10, including zero.
- Solve one step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations and missing number problems.
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!
If you (or a Grandparent) can spare any time each week to come and help in Class 1 we would be extremely appreciative as it is most beneficial to the children’s learning. Please let me know if this is something you would be able to do - we can be flexible with days and times.
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:
Mr Men, Little Miss and Me:
- Salt in his shoes
- The Koala who could
- The Lion Inside
- The Squirrels who squabbled
Into the Castle / Fire and Dragons:
- Into the Castle
- See inside a castle
- George and the Dragon
- The Kiss that Missed ...as well as many others!
Our writing focus for Reception children (YR) will be for them to gain confidence using phase 2 phonics to write simple captions independently and for Year 1 children (Y1) to hold and write sentences independently. YR children will be introduced to all of the phase 2 phonics sounds from the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. Year 1s will we revisit phase 3 and begin phase 5.
Year 1 Spellings
As a Federation, we will be continuing to use a spelling initiative that encourages children to learn their spellings in a more creative manner and with the emphasis being on these spellings being used correctly when completing any written work at school. Research shows that learning spellings for a test is ineffective for improving spelling in children’s writing and therefore we do not test the children on their spelling words. Instead we will be expecting to see these spelling words applied correctly when children complete written work in school.
At the beginning of each long term your child will be issued with a ‘Spice up Spellings’ activity menu stuck inside their spelling book. Each Monday your child will stick that week’s list of words in their spelling book. They are to learn those words by the following Monday using one of the menu choices. We expect the children to complete one activity per week and for it to be signed and dated by an adult. The tasks can be completed in their new spelling books. However, please remember that spellings will need to be practised regularly at home and in school throughout the week so please ensure that your child’s spelling book is in school daily. For more information on this please check the school website.
We have two PE sessions a week. These take place on a Tuesday and Thursday. Please ensure your child has their full PE kit (fully named) in school for each session. At Blackboys School we are extremely lucky that the Tuesday morning session will be taught by coaches from All Stars Soccer. 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.
In Class 1 we are extremely privileged to be having whole class Forest School sessions every Monday afternoon. These will be run by a qualified forest school leader and 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, Ms Butler (Class 1 TA) and Miss Pavitt (Class 1 & 2 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 sign-up sheet (outside area).
For Forest School your child will need the following items. Please ensure that your child brings the following items into school every Monday;
- 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 are likely to get wet and muddy so do not send them with their best clothes.
Parent voice is extremely important to us and we love to hear what your child is getting up to at home, so in addition to your child’s reading books, we will also be sending home a weekly ‘WOW’ slip each Wednesday. Please fill these out if you see your child do anything special. The children love sharing their ‘wow’ certificates with one another.
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.
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.
9:05-9:20 Monday morning - share a book!!
In order to promote a love of reading our YR children stay in the classroom during assembly time on a Monday for our class ‘share a book’ session. This is a special time for parents to come into the class and read a story to a pair or small group of children. Hearing different people reading is extremely valuable to the children because as adults we all read with different expression, tone and intonation. The children really enjoy these sessions and younger siblings are also invited to join in the fun. These sessions will begin on Monday 17th September.
9:05-9:20am Thursday Assembly
As a school we like to support local and international charities. Each term a charity is chosen by our school counsel and a collection for that charity takes place each Thursday during our assembly. It would be greatly appreciated if your child brought a small donation (spare change) on this day so they can put money into this collection. Parents are also always welcome to attend this assembly.
Class 1 Outside Area
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.