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Holy Family Catholic Primary School



01229 828018



Our class teacher is Mrs Johnson.

Mrs Johnson will be available to speak to you at the start and end of each school day. 

Please have a look at the tables below that show our reading, writing and maths targets for this year:

Our Curriculum

 Have a look at the images below which show the curriculum maps for the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms of Year 1. Our Autumn topic is Superheroes, our Spring topic is Explorers and our Summer topic is Our Town.

Homework in Year 1

Year 1 children are encouraged to read every day at home and please record this in the children's reading journals so that we can see how they are getting on. Later in the Autumn term we will also send home some spellings to learn each week from the Year 1 Common Exception Word list (please see below) and a short phonics activity in preparation for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check (more information below).


Every child will read with an adult at least once a week in school. The children will also take home a school reading book and we will change these books once a week. These books will be closely matched to the phonics phase the children are working at and will be linked to the Bug Club scheme that we follow. We encourage the children to read their books at least twice as this greatly helps with their comprehension, fluency and expression. 

PE and Outdoor Day

Outdoor day for Year One is on a Monday and the children will have two PE lessons a week (Monday and Thursday). On these days, we ask for the children to come to school in their outdoor uniform. Please ensure any piercings are removed. 


Phonics is a very important part of the Year 1 journey and, through their phonics, the children will become more confident and fluent readers and writers. We will begin by revising phases 2-4 which the children have covered in Reception class and we will then move on to phase 5 where the children will learn alternative spellings and pronunciations for the sounds they have already learnt. The children will take part in daily phonics sessions and will be given lots of opportunities to build on this in their reading and writing lessons. Our school has adopted the Pearson Bug Club phonics scheme - please see the Phonics page on our website for more information on this.


Alongside phonics, the children will also learn to read and spell the Year 1 common exception words (which can be seen in the image below). These words will be sent home for children to practise later in the year.


As you may be aware, all Year 1 children will take the statutory Phonics Screening Check in June. I have outlined some further information about phonics in Year 1 and the Screening Check below.

 The Phonics Screening Check

What is the phonics screening check?

The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.

The check is not about passing or failing but checking appropriate progress is being made. If children do not reach the required standard, then we will be in touch to discuss plans and offer additional, tailored support to ensure that your child improves their reading skills. Children progress at different speeds so not reaching the threshold score does not necessarily mean there is a serious problem. Your child will re-sit the check the following summer term. In our school, we already identify individual children who need extra support and provide early intervention support, however we must comply with the statutory requirement.


How is the check structured?

The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have.


Is it stressful to test such young children?

The assessment will be age-appropriate, with children sitting with a teacher and reading one-to-one. It should be an enjoyable activity for children which will take no more than 10 minutes.

Why are nonsense words included in the screening check?

Nonsense words are an established assessment method of many schools, and are included in many phonics programmes. They are included because they will be new to all pupils, so there won’t be a bias to those with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. This is a test of a child’s ability to decode using phonics. Children who can read non-words should have the skills to decode almost any unfamiliar word.


How long does the check take?

Every child is different but in most cases the check should take approximately 10 minutes per child but there is no time limit.


How will the results from the phonics screening check be used?

We have to inform parents towards the end of the summer term in Year 1 of their child’s results. We will let you know in our end of year report how your child did and if there is anything that you need to do to help your child improve. If your child does not reach the required level, we will tell you what provision we are going to be making at the end of Year 1 and beginning of Year 2 to help this be addressed and also how you can support us in developing this key skill.


What happens if a child struggles with the screening check?

The screening check will identify children who have phonic decoding skills below the level expected for the end of Year 1 and who therefore need extra help. We will then provide extra help at the end of Year 1 and in Year 2 and children will then be able to re-take the assessment in Year 2. If your child requires extra help then we will inform you of this. As parents you will continue to be kept well informed of your child’s progress in all aspects of reading including phonic development in Year 2.


How can I help my child?

In school we are continually checking your children’s phonic development within our approach to the assessment of reading. This screening forms part of our overall assessment procedure. However, there are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading skill development.

  • Let your child see you enjoying reading yourself – they are influenced by you and what you value!
  • Immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines with your child, take them to the library to choose books, read to them regularly, point out texts around you, e.g. in the street etc.
  • Make time for your child to read school books to you regularly – encourage them by pointing to the words and ask them about the story they are reading
  • Use phonics play . This is a website which is packed with interactive phonics games to help children to learn to hear sounds and blend sounds. We use this in school and some aspects of it are free to use at home.
  • Help your child to practice reading the pseudo words which will be sent home.
  • Attend our Parent Workshop meeting
  • Make sure you are pronouncing the sounds correctly by watching this short clip Sounds Pronunciation

What shall I do if my child is struggling to decode?

Say each sound in the word from left to right.

Blend the sounds by pointing to each letter, i.e. /b/ in bat, or letter group, i.e. /igh/ in sigh, as you say the sound, then run your finger under the whole word as you say it.

Talk about the meaning if your child does not understand the word they have read.

Work at your child’s pace and have FUN!