Year 1

On this page you will be able to find out about all the exciting learning happening in Year 1. Below you will find our year’s planning, half termly newsletter and link to our Twitter page.

First, we’d like to introduce you to the Year 1 team.

  • Elder’s class teacher is Mrs Binks and she is the Leader of Learning for Key Stage One. Mrs Binks is a very experienced and dedicated teacher who has worked across KS1 and KS2. Over the last year, Mrs Binks has implemented an innovative approach to teaching and learning in Year 1, with a focus on ensuring learning is age appropriate and fun for the children. Mrs Binks will be leaving in December to go on maternity leave.

  • Elder’s class teacher from December will be Mrs Cole. Mrs Cole is a very experienced Early Years and Key Stage 1 teacher who also leads music across our school. Mrs Cole specialises in Early Years education and is really looking forward to supporting the children with our new continuous provision approach to learning. Mrs Cole knows the children in Elder class very well and is looking forward to working with them when she returns from maternity leave.

  • Hazel’s class teacher is Miss Dadzie. Miss Dadzie has a very strong understanding of early learning and has spent the first part of her teaching career in Reception. She is passionate about teaching and has high expectations of all learners. Her background in Reception means she is very confident when supporting early learners. Miss Dadzie will be working with The National Literacy Trust (and our English leader, Miss Farrall), to run an exciting reading project across Year 1 this year.

  • Beech’s class teacher is Miss Panesar. Miss Panesar has spent the year developing her teaching practice in Year 1. She is extremely hardworking and dedicated to the children and is very committed to her profession.

  • The LSAs supporting the children in Year 1 are Miss White, Miss Levatt, Mrs Savage, Mrs Webb, Ms Sadra and Miss Alderton.


Year 1 is a very exciting year as children move from the Early Years Foundation Stage into Key Stage One. As well as teaching the Year 1 National Curriculum, we will also be recapping important learning from the Early Years Framework. This will ensure any gaps in children’s learning from Reception are closed and the framework is mastered which ensures great stepping stones for them as they continue their learning journey at Alexander McLeod.

Albert Einstein stated that ‘play is the highest form of research’. Year 1 will be using continuous provision to cover our curriculum. We will use child-initiated play, along with small adult led focus groups to cover our curriculum. Each day we will provide various resources for children to explore freely in different areas of the classroom. Each area will be engaging, offer challenge and allow children to develop important life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, as well as meeting the National Curriculum. As the children learn and develop, our provision will gradually become more formal. This will support children with their transition into Year 2 where all learning is formalised.

In Year 1, a big part of our provision is the use of books all around the classroom to enhance the children’s learning. As well as linking to our topics they also link to PSHE issues such as friendship and kindness and offer a range of diversity to ensure all children can see themselves represented through the books in our classrooms. As well as each child reading with an adult twice a week, we also use high quality texts to teach whole class reading every day.

The topics that are being covered in Year 1 this year are Superheroes, Dinosaurs, Space, Journeys, The Wonder Garden and Journey to Jamaica. We have chosen these topics as they all lend themselves well to cross curricular learning which will enable children to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, while motivating them to learn in a variety of creative ways.

In Year 1, children will complete a Phonics Screening Check at the end of the year. Children will take this test in an informal setting, one-to-one, with a teacher. Whilst children learn phonics to help them with both word reading and spelling, the Phonics Screening Check only tests their skills at word reading. This is sometimes called decoding. During the Phonics Screening Check, children are asked to read (decode) 40 words. Most of these words are real words but some are pseudo-words (made up words). Pseudo-words are included to ensure that children are using their decoding skills and not just relying on their memory of words they’ve read before. As some children may misread these pseudo-words based on their similarity to words in their existing vocabulary, each pseudo-word is clearly identified with an image of an alien. Most teachers and children, therefore, refer to pseudo-words as alien words. Children are taught phonics every day and they will be taught the difference between pseudo-words and real words throughout the school year.