What will my child do in Year 1?
Your child will have left the EYFS curriculum behind in Reception, although some goals may be carried on with them as they move into Year 1. This will be their first year of learning the National Curriculum.
Like all year groups, Year 1 has a set of age related expectations. The children will be assessed throughout the end of the year to see if they have reached these standards. All children are helped in order to achieve this and are given extra support and guidance if needed.
There is a Year 1 phonics screening in June, which assesses whether your child is secure in sounding out and blending graphemes. It also detects if they can read phonically decodable words. Don’t be worried about this test. Throughout Year 1, we will be assessing your child daily and will have identified any areas they need to focus on, adapting learning accordingly.
1. Phonics and early reading
Phonics is a big part of Year 1. Your child will continue to expand on their knowledge of phonics and will probably surprise you with just how quickly they develop their reading skills. They will take part in phonics learning each day, just like they did in Reception. These are fun, pacy sessions which involve games and tasks. They will learn how to sound out and blend. They will also learn non-phonetic tricky words which we call red words.
Your child will continue to learn texts off by heart, as part of our Talk for Writing approach. They will learn all sorts of wonderful stories, including acting them out. This will help them to plan and adapt text patterns, so they are confident to write their own stories. They will learn to write in sentences and to use exciting language, alongside developing cursive handwriting. You will probably be amazed at their development on your first parent/carer consultation evening!
How can I help my child in Year 1?
1. Carry on reading
Reading at home with your child is so important. It is essential in helping them to develop their learning in lots of areas. Your child’s teacher will send a phonetically decodable reading book home each evening.
You may not always have time to read the whole book (schools understand home life is busy) but just a few pages a day can increase their confidence. This will get them into the routine of practising and applying their phonic knowledge. Your child will also bring home flash cards to learn to read. They may also bring home a library book of their choice to share with you.
2. Keep everyday learning light
Otherwise, try to keep any home learning light, and don’t push it if they seem tired or reluctant. School is exhausting for a child in Year 1. They are learning so many new things at school, and may well also be starting to join activities after school as well, such as swimming or gym.
If you do want to do more than reading and spellings, ask your child to write an email to their auntie, count out the cutlery for dinner or help you measure up for a new blind. Disguise the learning! They won’t want to sit at a table and focus quietly after such a busy day. Remember, your child is only 5 or 6 and still so young. There is plenty of time for them to worry about homework… in the future.