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Year 1



In English lessons, children are taught speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through studying a focus text – one for each half term.  Teachers follow the school’s Teaching Sequence for Writing, which means that children will firstly be taught to read and understand the text, then practise the skills of the style of writing (including grammar) and apply into their own writing.  


Speaking and Listening


The children will become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations.  They will, for example:


  • Listen to and discuss a wide range of books and poems
  • Recognise and join in with predictable phrases
  • Learn some rhymes and poems to recite by heart
  • Discuss the meaning of words and extend vocabulary
  • Join in with discussions and explain their understanding
  • Change their speaking when taking on a role of a character during play




This part of the curriculum is broken down into ‘word reading’ and ‘comprehension’. 


In Year 1, pupils continue to learn to read words using phonics as well as learning to recognise words that cannot easily be sounded out (e.g. once) and if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you will find a list of these words which are called common exception words. 


For further information regarding the programme the school follows for phonics refer to this page.




As well as being able to read words, children need to understand what they read and develop a life-long love of reading.  They will learn to do this through carefully structured activities using a wide range of high-quality books. They are encouraged to:


  • Make links between their own experiences and the story
  • Check that they understand what they are reading
  • Talk about the title and the main events
  • Predict what might happen before they read it
  • Join in with predictable phrases


The Library

We highly recommend you join the local library in Waltham Cross where the librarians will be able to help you take out age-appropriate books for your child to have at home.






In Year 1 children develop their writing through the following areas:




  • Spell words using phonics
  • Learn commonly used whole words that are difficult to sound out
  • Spell the days of the week
  • Begin to look at patterns and rules















  • Hold a pencil correctly
  • Form letters and digits correctly and confidently
  • Leave spaces between words







  • Speak in whole sentences  
  • Write sequences of sentences
  • Re-read and check for sense
  • Develop a wide vocabulary
  • Use capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks
  • Join sentences with ‘and’