Year 1 Curriculum


In English there are three main areas. These are speaking and listening, reading and writing. Within English lessons we will be looking at a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts, and using them to develop the children's skills in the three main areas.

In class we work on both speaking and listening skills as they are essential for making good progress in both reading and writing. Children are always encouraged to speak in complete sentences with an audible voice.

Children work individually, in pairs, in small groups and as a class. They are expected to join in discussions and make relevant points. They also learn to listen carefully to what other people say so that they can remember the main points of a discussion in order to express their ideas and feelings clearly. We provide the children with different drama opportunities — often linked to our focus text. The children are given opportunities to re-enact stories, use a variety of puppets to retell the stories and also to create their own inventive performance piece through role-playing different characters and events.

The children are helped to make progress in all areas of reading. These include recognising common words, using phonic knowledge to help them sound out words, reading aloud with expression and fluency and taking note of the different punctuation and text conventions that authors use. The children will also be asked questions about the text they are reading to assess their comprehension skills. The children are free to choose from a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.

Reading continues in the same way that it has done in Reception with children selecting their book from within the coloured reading shelves within the school library on a daily basis. Class teachers decide when each individual child is ready to progress to the next reading shelf. As class teachers we will hear each child read one-to-one with us once a week. As a school we endeavour to have the children read aloud every day. This may consist of reading 1-2-1 with an LSA or parent helper, sharing a book with a partner or taking turns reading in a group.

The children are given many opportunities to write in year 1. They write about a range of subjects within our chosen topic, not just in English lessons. They have many opportunities to write about their own experiences, facts they have learned and imagined situations

The children are encouraged to use a combination of common words that they have learned to spell and words from word banks on particular topics, and to have a go at writing more ambitious words using their phonic knowledge. Later on in the year the children will be given an individual word book in which they can attempt ambitious spellings before checking with an adult. They will be encouraged to use the correct punctuation in their writing such as capital letters and full stops, and to develop and extend their vocabulary.

The children take part in daily Letters and Sounds sessions. Within these sessions the children will develop skills to help them improve their reading, spelling and writing. The teachers use an assortment of flashcards, matching games, practice on whiteboards and IWB games to help the children in their learning.


Throughout year 1, the children develop their basic calculation skills. They learn a variety of methods to aid them with adding and subtracting numbers. The children begin with using actual objects for counting. They then progress to using number lines and number tracks, where numbers are placed along a grid, before starting to use a 100 square.

The children learn to read, write and order numbers, and by the end of year 1 all children should be familiar with numbers up to and above 100. They will be taught how to find 1 more or less than a number, and should be confident counting in steps of 2, 5 and 10, preparing them as they move on to multiplication and division. The children will also be taught to find a half or a quarter of a shape, number or set of objects.

In Year 1 the children also develop their mental strategies and learn number facts, such as the pairs of numbers that make 10, number doubles and how to recognise odd and even numbers. They will gain experience of different ways of problem solving, and will learn how to use money to pay and how to give change for small amounts.

The children learn to recognise and name 2D and 3D shapes, and describe them in terms of sides, corners, faces, edges and vertices. They will be taught to describe position, direction and movement including whole, half, quarter and three-quarter turns. 

The children will have many opportunities to compare objects in terms of weight, length and capacity. They start by measuring with non-standard measures, such as cubes, pencils and footsteps, before moving on to the standard measures of kilograms, metres and litres. We also look at time, covering areas from naming the months and seasons to reading the time to the half hour.

Religious Education

Throughout the year the children will:

  •     learn about the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer
  •     learn about Harvest time, and how it is a time for thanksgiving
  •     explore the Jewish festival of Sukkot, and how it recalls the story of Moses parting the Red Sea
  •     share Parables such as The Lost Sheep
  •     learn about Advent as the time of preparation for Christmas
  •     learn about Jesus’s early life
  •     learn about different miracles that Jesus performed
  •     develop their knowledge of the Bible in terms of the Old and New Testament
  •     learn about some of Jesus friends and disciples
  •     explore the time of Lent and how we remember Jesus in the desert
  •     remembering the events leading up to Easter Sunday
  •     learn about the Ascension and the importance of Pentecost
  •     explore our patron Saint, St Thomas and explore our local church


Throughout the year the children will develop their scientific expertise in various areas including by taking close observations, comparing and contrasting, identifying and classifying, gathering and recording information and performing simple tests to answer aquestion.

The children will experience the following learning:

  •     identifying and naming a variety of common and wild garden plants, and describing their basic structure
  •     identifying and naming a variety of common animals, and sorting them into fish, amphibians,reptiles, birds and mammals
  •     identifying and naming animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  •     drawing and labelling the basic parts of the human body
  •     investigating the five different senses
  •     identifying and naming a variety of everyday materials and describing, comparing and grouping them in terms of their properties
  •     observing seasonal changes across the seasons
  •     observing and describing seasonal weather and length of day


The children will be learning musical terminology including pitch, dynamics, pulse and rhythm.  They will have the opportunity to listen to a range of different styles of music and will make comparisons between the different styles.  

The main styles we will be covering across the year are: 

  • pop
  • blues
  • latin
  • jazz
  • classical  
  • hip hop
  • rock
  • reggae
  • folk

The children will be encouraged to discuss what they like about the music and how it makes them feel.  They will also use a range of percussion instruments and will learn to keep to a steady beat.  The children will learn how to warm up their bodies and their voices for singing and they will have lots of opportunities to perform to the class.



Early in the year, we will be learning about the origins of remembrance day and how its significance has grown to incorporate modern day conflicts.

During our 'Superhero' topic, the children will learn about different ‘real-life’ super heroes from the past including Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa and Mary Seacole. We will be thinking about what they achieved during their life-time, and why we see them as ‘superheroes’ today.

As part of the 'Memory Box' topic, the children will be comparing their own life and interests now with those they had as a baby. They will be looking at toys from the past, and describing the similarities and differences with toys they play with today. They will also work on sequencing artefacts chronologically and will finally be looking at how homes have changed. 

During our final topic, the children will learn about the events of the Great Fire of London. They will create timelines to show the events in order, and will think of the reasons that the fire spread so quickly.



The children will learn the difference between human and physical features, and learn to identify them on maps and in photographs. They will have opportunities to look at aerial photographs and plans of the school grounds, and  they will develop their fieldwork skills by exploring the local area. 

The children will learn how to use maps and atlases, looking at animal habitats around the world. We will look in more detail at the British Isles and surrounding bodies of water, as well as the continents of the world. The children will understand more about plans and bird's-eye views, using this knowledge to design their own wildlife park!

We will look at lots of different maps of London, and use them to identify different human and physical features. The children will learn about compass points and directional language as they plot routes around the capital.


Art and Design

We will be exploring art and design predominantly using the natural environment this term. We will create pieces of artwork and sculptures using natural materials and will take inspiration by looking at the art work of Andy Goldsworthy.  We will also have opportunities to do observational drawings of woodland creatures using photographs and pictures.

As part of our topic 'Paws, claws and whiskers', we will be creating observational drawings of animals, using different media to obtain the effect of animal textures.  We will also be using different materials to create collages and sculptures of some of our animals. The children will also look closely at the work of artists and learn to appreciate and discuss their approaches.

During our 'Superhero' topic, we will be sketching illustrations of our favourite superheroes, villains or sidekicks using a range of different drawing materials. We will experiment with drawing them in different poses and positions. We will also have the chance to create a 3D model of our characters.

The children will look at portraits created by artists and discuss the shapes and techniques that have been used.  They will learn how to draw a self-portrait using a mirror.  This topic will enable the children to develop their art techniques, using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape and form. 


Design and Technology

We will be creating different structures as part of our 'Enchanted Woodland' topic. The first will be using natural materials to create a nest or build a den for woodland animals in their natural environment. The second will be to design and then create a woodland home for an imaginary woodland creature, such as a fairy or gnome, and the children will need to think creatively about how to design entrances and comfortable environments for woodland-dwellers. 

The children will learn about the design process and selection of ideas, bearing in mind the audience of a product. They will select from a range or tools and equipment to create packaging for animal-related products, a model enclosure for zoo animals, and masks of different creatures. We will also learn to evaluate existing market products and feed elements of these into our own designs.

We will be looking at the masks worn by different characters, and the features they have. We will be designing our own masks using papier mache, and using our finished masks in our P.E. lessons.

Later in the year the children will be describing how particular foods smell and taste and we will also sample some distinctive flavours. We will learn about healthy superfoods that a superhero would need to eat to grow strong and stay fit and well.

As part of our 'Bright lights, big city' topic, the children will use sliding mechanisms to make a moving image of a London scene. They will have opportunities to create famous London landmarks using both construction and junk modelling materials.



Throughout the year the children will develop their personal, social, health and emotional skills.  They will do this through the core themes of:       
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Relationships

Health and wellbeing -  The children will learn:

  • about some of the things that keep our bodies healthy (physical activity, sleep,rest, healthy food)
  • to recognise what they like and dislike (how to make real and informed choices that improve their physical and emotional health)
  • about thedifferent feelings we can have and different ways we can manage them
  • the importance of and how to maintain personal hygiene
  • about the process of growing from young to old and how people’s needs change.  About growing and changing and new opportunities and responsibilities that increasing independence may bring
  • to learn about the process of growing from young to old and how people’s needs change.  About growing and changing and new opportunities and responsibilities that increasing independence may bring

Relationships — The children will  learn:

  • to communicate their feelings to others, to recognise how others show feelings and how to respond
  • to identify their special people (family, friends, and carers), what makes them special and how special people should care for one another
  • to recognise how their behaviour affects other people
  • to recognise what is fair and unfair, kind and unkind, what is right and wrong
  • to learn that people’s bodies and feelings can be hurt


Throughout the year the children will take part in Dance, Games and Gymnastics lessons.


The children should learn:

  • trespond to a range of stimuli
  • to make rounded and spiky shapes with their bodies and create different patterns in the air and on the floor
  • to choose appropriate movements to express the dance idea
  • to perform simple rhythmic patterns and repeat them in different formations
  • to work alone with guidance from the teacher to create movement ideas in response to a story or repeated rhythm
  • to select movements from those they practised to create a dance
  • to observe each other and themselves
  • to use a variety of basic actions to create a dance, including turning, rolling, jumping, travelling in different ways, shape, stillness and gesture
  • to communicate mood, feelings and ideas through dance
  • to vary speeds, directions and pathways


The children should learn:

  • to familiarise themselves with a ball — balancing, rolling, kicking, throwing and passing the ball around different body parts
  • to pat and bounce the ball and use the skills in games
  • to throw, catch, roll and receive with different equipment and with one and two hands
  • to kick and dribble
  • to throw and catch using a beanbag, small balls and quoits
  • to develop aiming skills through individual and partner target games
  • to develop cooperation and competence
  • to balance a ball on a bat
  • to hit a ball along the ground or through the air to a partner
  • to skip with a rope
  • to move with and through hoops
  • to develop dribbling skills
  • avoiding games for warm-ups

The children should learn:

  • to bounce, hop, spring and jump using a variety of take offs and landings
  • to observe, recognise and copy different body shapes
  • to link together two or more actions with control and be able to repeat them
  • to describe what they see using appropriate vocabulary
  • to travel confidently and competently on different parts of the body including hands
  • to hold still balances on large and small body parts
  • to link two balances together
  • to adapt floor work safely onto apparatus
  • to spin, rock, turn and roll with control on various parts of the body
  • to plan and link a series of movements together
  • to work safely with an awareness of others