Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Year 1

Year One Topic Curriculum

Our children are taught in line with the expectations that are set out in the National Curriculum.  English, Mathematics, R.E., Art, and Music are generally taught as discrete subjects along with PE which is taught by specialist coaches. All the remaining subjects are taught through the Curriculum which is a stimulating topic based approach to learning. In addition to this, Year 1 are also being given an introduction to a range of Modern Foreign Languages such as French.

The Curriculum has been designed to ensure rigorous learning of knowledge but also to help teachers make all learning exciting, active and meaningful for children. It is a comprehensive, thematic and creative curriculum that really engages children and gets them interested in the world around them. Learning with our Curriculum takes a global approach by helping children to connect their learning to where they are living now as well as looking at the learning from the perspective of other people in other countries. The curriculum also emphasises the history and culture of Britain and promotes fundamental British values.

The theme for each term's topic can be found in the table below.

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Local Environment

Bright lights, big city

Paws, claws and whiskers

Moon Zoom!

Splendid skies

Memory Box

 

Mathematics

We use an innovative, focused programme of work, which teaches children mathematical concepts practically first, before moving on to pictorial representations and finally the abstract recording. This is based on the Singapore Maths approach to teaching and aligns well with the focus in the National Curriculum on ‘mastery’.

The key features of Singapore Maths are:

  • Emphasis on problem solving and comprehension, allowing pupils to relate what they learn and to connect knowledge.
  • Careful scaffolding of core concepts through:
    • visualisation, as a platform for comprehension;
    • mental strategies, to develop decision making abilities;
    • pattern recognition, to support the ability to make connections and generalise.
  • Emphasis on the foundations for learning and not on the content itself so pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to merely reciting formulas or procedures.

English

Lessons and activities for all areas of English are planned carefully to help children continually develop and improve their skills in speaking and listening,  reading, and  writing. We use the Year 1 Programmes of Study based on the National Curriculum to ensure all children gain the knowledge and skills they need. 

Reading
In Year One, we believe that reading is the gateway to learning but should always be pleasurable and fun. We aim to give children a concrete set of skills to decode and understand text but also enable them to develop a lifelong love of books. As children progress through year one they continue to read regularly with adults in guided reading sessions and other classroom activities. Our well stocked fiction and non-fiction class library areas aim to offer children a wide range of personal choice alongside the books selected by adults for learning activities.

Handwriting
Year one are taught to use a pre-cursive script. We believe that this promotes flow and speed, and supports spelling as the children develop as writers. All teachers in Year One model the pre-cursive script when working with children or marking books.

Writing
In Year One, writing is taught through two separate but intrinsically linked lessons. Firstly all children, participate in regular ‘writing skills’ sessions where the focus is on learning and developing the ‘tools’ or ‘skills’ of writing such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, drafting and improving in an age appropriate manner. Compositional and creative writing is taught in the main through our thematic topic work which allows the teachers to select writing tasks that match well with other learning in the topic, we believe that this helps them to feel that their writing is meaningful and has a purpose.

Phonics
Children in Year One follow our SoundsWrite programme and take part in a daily phonics session. The focus is on children learning different combinations of letters that can make the same sound (e.g. /ay/ /ai/ /a_e/ in play, rain, game) or how the same spelling can be for different sounds (e.g. /oo/ in book and moon). This enables them to read more complicated vocabulary and also to spell words accurately.