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Year 1 English


Phase 5 phonics and tricky words will be taught throughout Year 1. We follow the order outlined on the Phonics Play website and play many of their interactive games on the whiteboard daily. Lots of other fun, practical activities ensure that the boys retain the spelling patterns covered. Weekly differentiated spelling tests and dictation are also carried out. Our handwriting lessons are closely linked with the current spelling patterns that we are focusing on. As appropriate boys are given an individual spelling list to learn over each holiday for an individual test on return to school. The words given are key words that have been misspelt during independent writing. 


We start off the year with short, daily lessons revising the formation of individual letters in family groups. The boys are introduced to the fully cursive style of the “Curly Caterpillar” letters, “Ladder, Zig-zag Monsters and One Armed Robot” families. We then begin to join pairs of letters to tie in with the spelling patterns that we are focusing on in our phonics lessons. 


Each boy reads aloud daily to an adult whilst in school and reading books are sent home every day. When appropriate boys will be asked questions about the text they are reading to check upon their comprehension, this may include being asked to make a prediction about how the story line may progress and about character’s feelings as well as factual questioning. More formal class comprehension exercises begin with the boys answering verbally before moving on to written exercises. These written tasks are often linked to our history or geography topics as are some of our closed passage activities. 

Punctuation and Grammar

The boys are initially reminded of the importance of leaving spaces between words, starting each sentence with a capital letter and how most sentences end with a full stop. This is done through fun activities and the boys begin to work more formally from textbooks. Exclamation marks, question marks and apostrophes for omission and possession are introduced. The boys become aware of a variety of conjunctions and nouns, plurals and adjectives are also covered. We begin to consider the past tense of regular and irregular verbs and common suffixes. 


Many of our writing projects follow the format of listening to a story or poem, the teacher model writing and creating class pieces before the boys set about creating their own versions. 

Autumn Term

We start with welcome poems and clues about ourselves to play a “Guess Who” game. The boys go on to write their own versions of the stories “One snowy night” and “Hansel and Gretal.” The idea of using a variety of sentence starters is introduced and how to “Uplevel” work by using descriptive language. It is always amazing to hear the boys’ ideas about alternative settings and characters for their stories. They are encouraged to let their imagination go wild and they love to “perform” their work to their peers. The boys also learn about the main differences between writing a fiction piece and a non-fiction piece when writing an information text on hedgehogs!

Spring Term

As the boys’ progress through the spring term the individual triangles in the VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation) writing model are looked at in more detail to improve the standard of their work. Thank you letters for Christmas is our first task followed by factual writing about the Great fire of London and then owls. The boys will look at couplets when writing their own versions of “Humpty Dumpty” and create a poem using alliteration. 

Summer Term

Linking in with our science the boys will write reports on spiders, bees or wasps and write accounts of real and imagined events. The importance of editing and the skills needed are demonstrated through teacher modelling and with class shared writing. We will also write alternative versions of fables. The boys will finally write to their next teacher, telling them interesting facts about themselves.