During Year 1, teachers build on work from the Early Years Foundation Stage, making sure that pupils can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. Teachers also ensure that pupils continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual GPCs. The term ‘common exception words’ is used throughout the programmes of study for such words. Alongside this knowledge of GPCs, pupils develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This will be supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time they will hear, share and discuss a wide range of high quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.
Pupils are taught to:
- apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
- respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
- read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
- read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
- read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
- read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
- read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
- read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
- re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.
Pupils are taught to:
- develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
- listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
- being encouraged to link what they read or hear read to their own experiences
- becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
- recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
- learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
- discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
- understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
- drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
- checking that the text makes sense to them as they read and correcting inaccurate reading
- discussing the significance of the title and events
- making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
- predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
- participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
- explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.
Pupils are taught to spell:
- words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
- common exception words
- the days of the week
- name the letters of the alphabet (and in order)
- using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound
- add prefixes and suffixes
- using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es as the plural marker for nouns and the third person singular marker for verbs
- using the prefix un–
- using –ing, –ed, –er and –est where no change is needed in the spelling of root words [for example, helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest]
- apply simple spelling rules and guidance, as listed in English National Curriculum Appendix 1
- write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far.
Pupils are taught to:
- sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
- begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
- form capital letters
- form digits 0-9
- understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these.
- start to join letters (using Holy Trinity handwriting scheme)
Pupils are taught to write sentences by:
- saying out loud what they are going to write about
- composing a sentence orally before writing it
- sequencing sentences to form short narratives
- re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense
- discussing what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
- reading aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.
Vocabulary, spelling and punctuation
Pupils are taught to develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English National Curriculum Appendix 2 by:
- leaving spaces between words
- joining words and joining clauses using and
- beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
- using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’
- learning the grammar for Year 1 in English National Curriculum Appendix 2
- using the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing.
Pupils entering year 1 who have not yet met the early learning goals for literacy continue to follow our school’s curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage to develop their word reading, spelling and language skills. However, these pupils follow the year 1 programme of study in terms of the books they listen to and discuss, so that they develop their vocabulary and understanding of grammar, as well as their knowledge more generally across the curriculum. If they are still struggling to decode and spell, they are taught to do this urgently through an additional, rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly.