Class 1: Mrs Rees
Class 1 2023
Welcome to Class 1!
I am looking forward to getting to know you and the children over the next few months. Please bear with us over the next few weeks as we get familiar with faces and learn who belongs to who at hometime. It is always helpful if you give us a wave when your child is brought to the door.
I am the full time teacher for Class 1, supported by our teaching assistant, Miss Terry. Mrs Cornwall will be teaching the class every other Thursday.
Information for the start of term
Our theme this term is 'Colourful Communities', and I will be putting more information about our planned activities online soon.
PE will be on Mondays (outdoor) and Thursdays (indoor). Please could you send your child to school wearing their PE kit on those days (trainers, shorts/joggers and the blue school polo shirt). Please also make sure long hair is tied up and any earrings are removed.
Please make sure your child has a bottle of water in school each day and a snack of fruit or vegetables. They should also have a coat every day in case we work/play outside. To avoid items going missing please label everything clearly.
School reading books will be coming home soon, once assessments have been completed. I usually send a book on Tuesday night and another on Friday night. Both books are returned to school the following Monday. This gives you the opportunity to read small amounts throughout the week. Please use the reading record books to pass on comments about how well your child managed with their reading and to ask any questions you may have.
The purpose of the Big Maths Learn Its is to learn 'off by heart' some key number facts or calculations. This will make the children's maths much easier as they progress through school as it will relieve the load on their memory when doing more involved maths problems. They need to be able to answer the calculation read out to them, but also seeing them written down.
You will see that for the Reception test they only have 20 seconds in which to answer, for Year 1 they have 30 seconds.
For this reason it would be a good idea if you could practise number formation with your child at home so that it becomes automatic. In contrast to our letters, all the numbers are formed starting at the top!
I always give additional time in class for the children to finish their test so that they can show off their maths skills and have the satisfaction of being able to get more calculations right.
I thought it might therefore be useful to give you a brief overview about how children develop their reading skills at this early stage. Where possible we teach children to learn letter sounds and words in a multi sensory way - that means we look at the sound, say it and make it (or write it), all in the same session
1. Learning Letter Sounds
Your child needs to see a letter and be able to say the sound it represents (a, b, c rather than 'ay' 'bee' 'see'). At the same time they should begin learning how to write those letters using the correct formation.
We teach the letters of the alphabet in the following order: s a t p i n m d g o c k e u r h b j v w x y z qu
This is so they can start to learn to blend sounds together to read simple words as soon as possible.
We then practise hearing where sounds are in words - at the beginning, in the middle or at the end.
When looking at words we teach children how to 'sound out' and blend sounds together to say the whole word.
As well as learning individual letter sounds, the children learn to read and write digraphs (when 2 letters make 1 sound) e.g. sh, ch, th and oo, ee, ai. Again they will learn to recognise these and use them when sounding out or blending sounds to read whole words.
4. High frequency words
At the same time as the above three steps we start to teach automatic recognition of words which appear frequently when we are reading and writing. Sometimes these words can be sounded out e.g. mum, dad, and, sometimes they are tricky words which can't be sounded out e.g. the, was, me. They are important to learn by sight, automatically, as they will help children to become fluent readers and will give confidence when reading. It's very hard for the child to process what they are reading if they are having to sound every word out.
5. Fluency and comprehension
Once the children are confident in their reading and reading more words we can begin to work on fluency, using punctuation and expression, talking about vocabulary and understanding what they are reading.
As Year 1 progresses, we start to teach cursive handwriting. We start initially with the 'flicks' in and out of letters and then move onto joining letters when the children are ready. We teach the letters in letter families - letters which share a similar pattern of writing. Below are the letter families