Our Learning

Year 1

Welcome to Year 1 at Samuel Lucas

The first year of Key Stage 1 (KS1). There are 2 classes in Year 1, and both have direct access to the KS1 playground.

Hazel Class

Mrs Houlihan is the class teacher for Hazel class.

Birch Class

Mr French is the class teacher for Birch class.

Year 1 Spring Term 2024

Welcome to Spring Term!

In English, we will be enhancing and embedding our basic English skills. Through a series of different text and text types we will continue to perfect our sentence structure, sequence sentences to form short narratives and form our letters correctly.  We will be using the text ‘Lost and Found’ written by Oliver Jeffers as a piece of contemporary fiction to support the children’s writing.  We will be looking at the structure of poems and writing our own free verse.

As Mathematicians, we will continue to develop our understanding of number by focusing on place value, addition and subtraction within 20, particularly looking at and understanding our teen numbers.  Building on from this we will look at place value within 50, length and height, as well as capacity and volume.

As Scientists, we will be using our science skills to explore the science learning of ‘Animals Including Humans.’ The children will identify, name and draw the different parts of the human body and make connections with the senses. Building upon this knowledge the children will take part in different senses experiments. After the half term break, the children will move onto animals, learning about the different animal groups, what they eat and their features. The series of lessons will provide the children with opportunities to question, test, look for patters, record information and explain results.

In Geography we will be thinking about the wider world around us by learning about mapping the world, as well as the continents and oceans. Through a sequence of practical lessons, the children will learn to map the word using geographical vocabulary, use and understand compass points, name, compare and contrast the continents and oceans, identify the similarities and differences between Hitchin and the Inuit people, and comparing and contrast polar, equatorial and desert climates.

As Historians, we will use our skills to investigate and learn about The Great Fire of London. Through a sequence of learning and practical application of their history skills the children will understand the main events of The Great Fire of London and how the city was rebuilt. In the second half of the term, the children will explore and compare the lives of the two significant historical figures of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. Through hands on experiences the children will question and think about the impact they had on history and why we learn about them.

In Computing children will be con,tinuing to use and familiarise themselves with our online learning system Purple Mash. We will be learning about the topic ‘Maze Explorers’ linking logical thought processes to the way that computers are programmed. In the second half of the term they will work on a unit where they will create animated story books. The series of lessons will provide an opportunity for the children to develop the skills to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content through the creation of their own animated story book.

As Designers, after half term we will be building on our knowledge of materials learnt from Autumn Terms Science to make a moving picture using sliders and levers. Through a sequence of lessons and following the design process the children will make their own free standing chair for one of the three bears in the story of Goldilocks and the Three bears. The children will investigate, design, make and evaluate their own chair out of their chosen material.

As Artists, we will be learning different techniques to use when drawing and linking our art to The Great Fire of London. We will also be learning how to collage using different materials.

In PE, we are developing our gymnastics skills. The unit of work will develop pupils’ ability to apply ‘champion gymnastics’ as they explore movements and balances in wide, narrow and curled ways on the floor and on apparatus. Pupils will transition between the theme words as they move and develop simple sequences, linking movements together. After half term they will be working on their games for understanding. In this unit the pupils’ apply the principles of attack vs defence, with a particular focus on creating simple attacking tactics in order to move the ball up the court, creating an attack that results in a shooting opportunity. They will then go onto ball skills with their feet. The children will develop their ability to apply effective dribbling skills. Pupils will develop their understanding of why we need to be accurate when kicking (passing) a ball. Pupils will be able to collaborate and work together in a team.

In RE, we are thinking about what it means to belong to a faith community.  We will talk about what it means to belong to different non-religious groups, we will learn about how Christians, Muslims and Jewish people show how they belong.

As we continue on with our Jigsaw learning this Spring Term we will be exploring the two new Jigsaw pieces ‘Dreams and Goals’, followed by ‘Healthy Me.’ During the first jigsaw piece the children will talk about challenging themselves, success and storing positive feelings. In the second half of the term they will explore the body and what it needs to stay healthy, along with what choices we can make to have a healthy mind and body.


In PSHE & RSE theme for the Spring Term 1 is “Dreams and Goals”.  In Year 1, our weekly sessions include:

  • setting ourselves simple goals and working out how to achieve them,
  • tackling new challenges and identifying and overcoming obstacles which make it difficult to achieve them and finally,
  • practising describing how we feel and how we celebrate when we succeed in a new challenge.

Every lesson has a social and emotional development learning intention which focusses on either how we communicate or our feelings.

Vocabulary will include: motivate, challenging, positive attitude, celebrate, persevere and resilience.

In PSHE & RSE our theme for the second Spring Term is “Healthy Me”.   In Year 1, our weekly sessions include:

  • Knowing the difference between being healthy and unhealthy and knowing some ways to keep healthy
  • Knowing how to keep myself clean and healthy and understand how germs cause disease or illness
  • Knowing that medicines can help if we feel poorly and knowing how to use them safely
  • Knowing how to keep safe when crossing the road

Every lesson has a social and emotional development learning intention which focusses on either how we communicate or our feelings.

Vocabulary for this half term: healthy, unhealthy, balanced, exercise, sleep, choices, keeping clean, body parts, toiletry items (e.g. toothbrush, shampoo, soap), hygienic, safe, safety, medicines, trust, Green Cross Code, eyes, ears, look, listen, wait.

We are very much looking forward to an enjoyable term ahead!

Mrs Houlihan and Mr French

Year 1 Autumn Term 2023

Welcome to your new classrooms Hazel and Birch. Our theme this term is Adventures.

In English, we will follow the theme of adventures by exploring the adventure story, ‘Peter Pan’. We will be discovering this story through lots of activities and different written outcomes.  We will be improving our pencil grip and practising perfecting our letter formation.

In Maths, we will continue to develop our understanding of number by focusing on place value, reading and writing number as well as addition and subtraction.  We will also look at the properties of shapes in Geometry.

In the first half of the term, we will be using our science skills to explore different everyday materials. During this, we will take part in experiments to test and learn about their properties. In the second half of the term, as part of our work around our theme, we will be using our observation and exploration skills to investigate the weather and seasonal changes of autumn.

In Computing, children will be introduced to Purple Mash our online learning platform. Through this platform, children will learn about online safety, basic computing skills and communication and networks.

In PE, we are developing our teamwork skills. They will be focusing on co-operation and communication to problem solve as a team. The children will also be developing their ball skills, with a focus on using their hands.

In RE, we will be learning about Beliefs and Practices by focusing on how Christians and Jews celebrate the fruitfulness of the Earth. We will also be exploring the idea of Justice and Fairness through charity work. In the second half of the term, we are developing our understanding of Festivals of Light.

In DT, we will be developing new skills that will help the children to investigate different aspects of DT in the context of mechanisms, structures and food.

In RSHE, we are thinking about ‘being me in my world’ and ‘celebrating differences’.

In PSHE & RSE theme for the Autumn Term 1 is “Being in My World”.  In Year 1, our weekly sessions include:

  • Feeling special and safe in my class
  • Understanding rights and responsibilities as a class member
  • Knowing my views are valued
  • Recognising the choices I make and understanding that there are consequences

Every lesson has a social and emotional development learning intention which focusses on either how we communicate or our feelings.

Vocabulary will include: safe, special, calm, belonging, rights, responsibilities, proud, rewards, upset, disappointed, consequences.

In PSHE & RSE theme for the Autumn Term 2 is “Celebrating Difference”.  In Year 1, our weekly sessions include:

  • Accepting that everyone is different
  • Include others when working and playing
  • What bullying is
  • Know who to talk to if unhappy or being bullied
  • How to make new friends
  • Know how to give and receive compliments.

Every lesson has a social and emotional development learning intention which focusses on either how we communicate or our feelings.

Vocabulary will include: same as, similar, different from, difference, bullying, bullying behaviour, deliberate, on purpose, unfair, bully, bullied, included, celebration and unique.

We are very much looking forward to working with the children and getting to know them during the exciting term ahead!

Mrs Houlihan & Mr French

Core Subjects

Click on a tab below to read detailed information about how and what is taught in English and maths for Year 1 children. For an overview of the other subjects taught please view the Year 1 Curriculum Overview document.

Year 1 English


In English lessons, children are taught speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through studying a variety of styles of writing (genres).  Teachers follow the 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.

The Primary National Curriculum statements will be taught through the modules below.

Y1 English Coverage

The Year 1 English curriculum consists of the following modules.

Term OneTerm TwoTerm Three
NarrativeStories with predictable phrasingContemporary fiction – Stories reflecting children’s own experienceTraditional Tales
Fairy Tales
Non-fictionLabels, lists and captions
PoetryVocabulary building
Structure – Rhyming Couplets
Vocabulary building
Structure – Rhyming Couplets
Vocabulary building
Take one poet – poetry appreciation

Curriculum Content

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.  At Samuel Lucas we use ‘Letters and Sounds’ to teach phonics.  Our reading schemes to support this are: Bug Club – online,  Phonics Bug – Pearson publishers, Oxford Reading Tree – phonics, Dandelion Readers, Yellow Door.

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

We are able to provide you with lists of age appropriate texts to support the learning :

Stories with predictable phrasing

  • My Granny Went To Market : A round – the – world counting rhyme – Stella Blackstone
  • We All Went On Safari : A Counting Journey through Tanzania – Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns
  • Handa’s Hen – Eileen Browne
  • One Smiling Grandma: Caribbean Counting Book – Ann Marie Linden and Lynne Russell
  • This Is the Tree – Miriam Moss
  • Unfortunately – Alan Durant and Simon Rickerty
  • Monkey and Me – Emily Gravett
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen
  • We’re Going on a Lion Hunt – David Axtell
  • Over on the Farm – Christopher Gunson

Contemporary fiction – stories reflecting children’s own experience

  • Naughty Bus – Jan and Jerry Oke
  • Do You Know What Grandad Did? – Brian Smith
  • Mr Davies and the Baby – Charlotte Voake
  • I Don’t Want To (and others) – Bel Mooney
  • Something Special – Nicola Moon
  • The Most Obedient Dog In The World –  Anita Jeram
  • Nothing – Mick Inkpen
  • Tales of Trotter Street (and others ) – Shirley Hughes
  • Dogger – Shirley Hughes
  • Amazing Grace – Mary Hoffman
  • Clever Sticks – Bernard Ashley
  • Bens Baby – Michael Foreman

Traditional Tales and fairy tales

  • Once Upon a Time – Nick Sharratt
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff – Nick Sharratt and Stephen Tucker
  • The Teddy Robber – Ian Beck
  • The Ugly Duckling – Ian Beck
  • Twice Upon a Time Series – Rose Impey
  • The Great Big Enormous Turnip – Alexei Tolstoy and Helen Oxenbury
  • The Tiger Child: A folk tale from India –  Joanna Troughton


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’

Year 1 Maths

Working mathematically

By the end of year 1, children begin to solve simple problems involving addition and subtraction in familiar contexts such as going shopping, using a range of hands-on equipment, symbols, images and pictures. They begin to use what they know to tackle problems that are more complex and provide simple reasons for their opinions.


Counting and understanding numbers

Children will identify and represent numbers using objects, pictures and models, such as the number line, and use ‘equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most and least.’ Children will accurately count numbers to, and across, 100 forwards and backwards from any given number with increasing understanding. They count, read, write and order numbers in numerals up to 100 and from 1 to 20 in words. When given a number, they can identify one more and one less. They can count in multiples of twos, fives and tens.


Children will understand known addition and subtraction facts within 20, including zero. They will demonstrate an understanding of multiplication and division through grouping and sharing using hands-on resources, pictorial representations and arrays (2, 5 and 10). They understand doubling and halving small quantities.


Through play and hands-on resources, children will find and name half and one quarter of objects, shapes and quantities.


Children will begin to measure using non-standard units (finger widths, blocks etc.) moving to standard units of measure (e.g. cm) using tools such as a ruler, weighing scales and containers. They will begin to record and compare measurements such as lengths and heights, mass and weight, capacity and volume using language such as long / short; heavy / light; full / half-full / empty. They will tell the time to the hour, half past the hour and be able to sequence events in chronological order using precise language (for example, before and after, next, first, today etc.). Children will recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes.


Children will recognise and name common 2-D shapes, e.g. rectangles (including squares), circles and triangles, and 3-D shapes, e.g. cuboids (including cubes, pyramids and spheres) in different orientations and sizes. They will describe position, direction and movement, including whole, half and three quarter turns.


In preparation for year 2, children will begin to compare, sort and classify information, including through cross curricular links e.g. science – sorting materials into groups according to their properties. They will also begin to construct simple pictograms and tables.

Year 1 Learning Blog