September 2018

Dear Parent/Carer


Welcome to year 1. We are really looking forward to teaching the children and to working with you.

Our topic for the first half of term is; Who was William the Conqueror and why did he build castles?(See overleaf for an idea of what we will be covering).   

We have set out some further information below:


Homework and helping your child at home:

  • Reading

Every child should read aloud to an adult every day.  This is by far your child’s most important homework throughout the year.  Children who read at home make noticeably better progress.  We will send home reading books (book bags are checked daily and books changed when necessary) which may include story books, non-fiction and phonic activity books and a reading record in which we would be grateful if you would note your child’s reading.  Over the course of the week please work on all your child's books, reading and re-reading and talking about the story or information.  Repeated reading will help build up your child's fluency, comprehension and confidence.  If your child is reluctant to read please talk to us as we have a range of strategies that have worked well in the past at motivating children.  We may also send home word or sound cards to practise with your child as appropriate.

We have a reading reward system whereby children get a sticker if they have read to an adult the previous evening. Once they have filled their sticker chart they get a reward.

Reading to your child is also one of the most valuable activities you can do as it builds on their story knowledge. This story knowledge improves their comprehension skills and allows them to become better writers. Reading to your child also increases their vocabulary which leads to better writing and a better understanding of what they read independently.



The children will have a daily phonics session. There will be a phonics curriculum event for parents during the first week of October when you can find out the best ways to support your child in their learning of phonics. At this event I will also give out a parent booklet containing all the sounds and other resources to help you support your child.


  • Maths practice.

The maths fact knowledge expected in each year group by the end of the year is attached to this letter.


The key maths fact focus for Year 1 this term is

  • understanding numbers to 20 which includes recognising these numbers both as symbols (17) and words (seventeen), understanding that 17 is one ten and seven ones (using 10p and 1p coins is a good way to do this at home), knowing 1 more and 1 less than a given number to 20 and being able to order numbers to 20.
  • Knowing the number pairs for 10. This means knowing all the pairs of numbers that make 10 e.g. 8+2/6+4 etc. It also includes being able to manipulate this knowledge. If you know that 8+2=10 you should also know that 2+8=10. 10-8=2 and 10-2=8.


Our maths objectives this half term can be seen below.

  • Count to 20 and estimate quantities
  • Partition teen numbers and compare
  • Count to 100 in 1s and 10s; compare numbers
  • Say 1/10 more or less than a number up to 100
  • Add by counting on
  • Partition to create number bonds
  • Subtract by counting back
  • Number bonds to 10


As well as helping your child with their number facts, any ‘real life’ experience will really help.  Cooking and shopping are particularly valuable.  Your child will benefit from counting up their own coins and using them to pay at the shop.  They may not yet be able to work out the total price or the change but they will benefit enormously from the experience of needing enough money to pay and getting change when they give too much.  Other (less stressful!) activities include, checking the time (0’clock and half past), ‘helping’ with measuring tasks, spotting and reading numbers in different contexts (door numbers, road signs, etc.), counting anything including money (counting in 2’s and 10’s).

  • Spellings

Attached to this letter you will also find a list of all the words your child is expected to be able to spell by the end of year 1. In class we have a short, daily spelling session when we work on learning 5 spellings each week in addition to revisiting and consolidating previously learnt words. I have highlighted on the list the words we will be focusing on this half term. I recognise that some children will already know some or all of these words. I have deliberately started with the simpler words in order to build confidence and self-esteem. The expectation is that the children can not only spell these words during the daily spelling session but also within their own independent writing. Fridge magnet letters, whiteboards, scrabble letter tiles, iPad apps etc. are all great ways to practise the spelling of these words.


  • Topic work

Other home activities that would enhance your child’s learning experience this half term include finding out about castles, visiting a castle, drawing, writing or craft activities related to castles, knights and princesses.


Other information

We will continue the snack regime from foundation class; children will have fruit during the morning and will not need any additional snacks.  Your child will be able to drink during lessons but this should be water only and should be in a non-leaky water bottle. 

The children will have PE with Mr Bain on Tuesday afternoons and a second session on a Wednesday morning but please ensure your child’s PE kit is in school at all times. Please do ensure that your child’s jumper and PE kit is named. 


Yours sincerely



Jacqui Payne, Eli Wiltshire