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Year 1's Curriculum

In Year 1 we try to make to link other subjects together to make them cross-curricular where possible. The development of skills in a progressive way also underpins our curriculum.



In Year 1 we build on the work the children have done in the Early Year’s Curriculum. We try to make links between different subjects to make the children’s learning as cross-curricular and interesting as possible. We also continue to develop the children’s skills in addition to their knowledge and understanding of different areas of learning.

Reading - Word Reading

Pupils will be taught to:

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
  • read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.


Reading Comprehension

Pupils will be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • being encouraged to link what they read or hear read to their own experiences
    • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
    • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
    • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
    • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read and correcting inaccurate reading
    • discussing the significance of the title and events
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.


Writing - Transcription - Spelling

Pupils will be taught to:

  • spell:
    • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
    • common exception words
    • the days of the week
  • name the letters of the alphabet:
    • naming the letters of the alphabet in order
    • using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound
  • add prefixes and suffixes:
    • using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es as the plural marker for nouns and the third person singular marker for verbs
    • using the prefix un–
    • using –ing, –ed, –er and –est where no change is needed in the spelling of root words [for example, helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest]
  • apply simple spelling rules and guidance, as listed in English Appendix 1
  • write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far.



Pupils will be taught to:

  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • form capital letters
  • form digits 0-9
  • understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these.

At Greswold we use the Penpals scheme to teach handwriting.

Writing Composition

Pupils will be taught to:

  • write sentences by:
    • saying out loud what they are going to write about
    • composing a sentence orally before writing it
    • sequencing sentences to form short narratives
    • re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense
  • discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
  • read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.


Writing - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Pupils will be taught to:

  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:
    • leaving spaces between words
    • joining words and joining clauses using and
    • beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
    • using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’
    • learning the grammar for Year 1 in English Appendix 2
  • use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing.

The Types of Texts to be Studied in Year 1

The children will read and produce pieces of writing inspired by a range of poetry, non-fiction and narrative texts including both modern and classic writing. These texts provide the context for the learning outlined above.



In Year 1 children will be taught in classes for Maths. Written calculation methods will be taught as set out in our Calculation Policy to ensure continuity and progression.

Number and Place Value

Pupils will be taught to:

  • count to and across 100, forwards and backwards, beginning with 0 or 1, or from any given number
  • count, read and write numbers to 100 in numerals; count in multiples of twos, fives and tens
  • given a number, identify one more and 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
  • read and write numbers from 1 to 20 in numerals and words.


Addition and Subtraction

Pupils will be taught to:

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs
  • represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20
  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero
  • solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations, and missing number problems such as  7 =  ? – 9.


Multiplication and Division

Pupils will be taught to:

  • solve one-step problems involving multiplication and division, by calculating the answer using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays with the support of the teacher.



Pupils will be taught to:

  • recognise, find and name a half as one of two equal parts of an object, shape or quantity
  • recognise, find and name a quarter as one of four equal parts of an object, shape or quantity.



Pupils will be taught to:

  • compare, describe and solve practical problems for:
    • lengths and heights [for example, long/short, longer/shorter, tall/short, double/half]
    • mass/weight [for example, heavy/light, heavier than, lighter than]
    • capacity and volume [for example, full/empty, more than, less than, half, half full, quarter]
    • time [for example, quicker, slower, earlier, later]
  • measure and begin to record the following:
    • lengths and heights
    • mass/weight
    • capacity and volume
    • time (hours, minutes, seconds)
  • recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes
  • sequence events in chronological order using language [for example, before and after, next, first, today, yesterday, tomorrow, morning, afternoon and evening]
  • recognise and use language relating to dates, including days of the week, weeks, months and years
  • tell the time to the hour and half past the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times.


Geometry - Properties of Shapes

Pupils will be taught to:

  • recognise and name common 2-D and 3-D shapes, including:
    • 2-D shapes [for example, rectangles (including squares), circles and triangles]
    • 3-D shapes [for example, cuboids (including cubes), pyramids and spheres].

Geometry - Position and Direction

Pupils will be taught to:

  • describe position, direction and movement, including whole, half, quarter and three-quarter turns.




At Greswold we are using the Engaging Science scheme as the basis of our Science planning. This scheme was chosen for its strong focus on practical investigation. Pupils are encouraged to be curious and think both scientifically and creatively, using the outdoor environment to learn Scientific ideas in context. Pupils are encouraged to use and apply simple scientific language when communicating their ideas and also to present their ideas in different ways.


Topics covered this year:

  • The environment

Throughout the year the children will be learning about their local environment and making observations about changes they notice. They will use their senses to observe the area and find common animals and plants within it. They will learn how to show respect for the area and for the living things in it as well as learn how to observe seasonal changes


  • The animal kingdom

They describe the external parts of the human body and learn the basic needs of human beings. They look at a range of familiar and unfamiliar British animals and establish some basic ideas about what constitutes an animal.  They learn that animals belong to one of six main groups: birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates and that each class has different characteristics and sometimes different body parts.  They learn the names of some common British animals and research one animal in more detail. Pupils also learn about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores


  • Everyday Materials

Pupils develop vocabulary to describe and compare the properties and uses of materials.  They carry out a range of simple tests on materials and investigate the best material to make a particular object.

Pupils learn how to identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of plants and learn the names of some common native flowering plants and trees. They plant bulbs and/or seeds and observe their growth over a period of weeks. They go outside to study flowers and trees in wild and cultivated areas, making sketches and notes.


  • The Weather

Pupils make simple weather observations and record these carefully, drawing some basic weather symbols They study various aspects of the weather and learn how different weather is associated with different seasons.   




We are using Solihull's Scheme of Work to deliver the requirements of the Computing programme of study. This scheme has an annual focus on esafety, using the Internet and finding out about technology pupils will be familiar with. Each year computer science skills and transferrable ICT skills are also developed in a progressive way.

Autumn Term

The children learn the main parts of a computer and refine their mouse control. They use simple text handling programs to enter and edit text. In work on esafety they learn about how a password restricts access to a computer account and that these should be kept safe. The children control roamers and on-screen sprites using LOGO commands, debugging a series of instructions where problems occur.

Spring Term

Pupils are taught what the internet is in simple terms and know how to navigate adult selected sites. They learn why it is important to keep personal information private and where to go for help if something or someone makes them feel uncomfortable when they are using the internet. They learn about the basic principles of copyright with regard to images. The children also learn how technology can be useful in everyday life including barcodes and databases.

Summer Term

This term the children learn how to write their own algorithms using simple coding programs. They complete specific projects and debug programs. The children are also taught how to use a digital camera effectively and how to download pictures from the device. These images are then imported into a document and integrated with text.



The children investigate changes within living memory and beyond. We will explore changes in history such as technological changes over time, schooling and everyday life. The children also learn about some of the historical figures e.g. George Stephenson, the Wright Brothers and Tim Peake. that have impacted on changes to modern day life. 




The children locate their own homes and familiar places within the local area. They use geographical language to describe where places are located. They name and locate the 4 countries of the UK. The children are taught about the continents and oceans of the world using maps, atlases and globes.
Physical Education (PE)


Children have 2 sessions of PE each week and they participate in a range of indoor and outdoor activities. They cover different areas of PE and may work with a PE specialist at times.


Dance – Using a range of stimuli, use simple movements and sequences to perform dances
Gymnastics – travelling and balancing on the floor and on small and large apparatus.
Indoor Sports hall athletics

During the Summer Term, the majority of PE lessons will be outside. There is a focus on playing team games, developing ball skills, hand/eye co-ordination and sportsmanship.




Throughout Year 1, pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.


We will explore the work of specific artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Van Gogh and Anthony Gormley.


Design and Technology (D&T)


Autumn Term

Using the context of history and the year 1 theme of 'Castles and the British Monarchy', the pupils will explore and experiment with mechanisms, including pulleys, to imitate and design their own drawbridge entrances. 


Spring Term

The children will also explore different fairy tales and evaluate existing moving picture books, before they create their own moving pictures using levers and sliders.


Summer Term

Making links with our PSHE unit, ‘Healthy Me’, the children will taste and evaluate premade dips and dippers, before creating their own healthy and balanced products. They will evaluate their work by comparing it to other dips created by members of their class. 




Autumn Term

The children learn songs in a range of styles. They identify different sound sources and make sounds using different parts of their body. They repeat clapping patterns and play percussion instruments, keeping a pulse. They use a range of tuned and untuned instruments to reflect the mood of a story improvising their response.

Spring Term

The children continue to explore pulse, rhythms and pitch. They control volume and tempo when singing and playing instruments. They make and control long and short sounds using voices and instruments, working as a class and in partnership with other children.


Summer Term

During this term the children continue to explore how to use instruments and voices in different ways. They will listen and respond to live and recorded music.

Religious Education (RE)


We follow the locally agreed Solihull syllabus for RE.

Autumn Term

The children learn about the Bible and understand what a parable is. They find out about the festival of Holi, who celebrates it and why they do so. They learn what an Aarti lamp is and why it is important to Hindus. Also this term the children find out about the Christmas story and who St. Nicholas was. They find out about the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and the role light plays in this festival.

Spring Term

The pupils are taught about the story of Moses. They find out what is a seder plate is and when it is used. The children also find out why Jewish people celebrate Passover and learn about the Christian celebrations associated with Easter.

Summer Term

The children learn about Christian churches and the stories of some saints. They find out about how different people pray and how Hindus use prayer flags. They also learn how babies are welcomed into different faiths.

Personal and Social Development (PSD)


We are using the Jigsaw teaching materials to deliver our PSD teaching across Greswold. This scheme offers a mindful approach to the teaching of PHSE through quality teaching, reflection and discussion with the children.


In Autumn Term the themes are ‘Being Me in My World’ and ‘Celebrating Difference’. In the first half term the children discuss feeling safe and special in their class, recognising how it feels to be proud of achievement and that choices lead to varied consequences. In the second half term, they explore that friends have similarities and differences, that we can get along or sometimes fall out .


In the Spring Term the themes covered are ‘Dreams and Goals’ and ‘Healthy Me’.  During the first half term, the children discuss how they learn best and how to approach challenges in a positive way. In the second half term they explore making healthy lifestyle choices and learn how to recognise their feelings.


‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’ are the two themes in the Summer Term.  The children reflect on how to be a good friend and knowing when they need to seek help and advice. In the final half term the children will think about growing up and how they have changed since they were a baby. They will also explore that learning new things is fun and that they can cope with change.


Curriculum Enrichment


In addition to the academic curriculum outlined above, Year 1 also offers:

  • Our traditional Harvest Festival in October
  • Educational visit to Coldlands Woods  and other visits and visitors linked to topics
  • Spring Term production
  • Various themed days linked to the children’s learning