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Damson Wood Nursery and Infant School

‘Learning and Growing Together’

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Year 1

In Year 1 at Damson Wood, we make make connections and links within our learning through a thematic curriculum. Many learning episodes are cross-curricular where skills are taught in a progressive way. Our learning themes give depth, enjoyment and meaning to our learning. We begin our learning in Year 1 with a curriculum approach similar to the Early Years Foundation Stage where the children learn through a play-based approach for some of the time each day and engage in focused group for adult-led learning. This progresses throughout the year to whole class teaching on a regular basis.


The projects we learn through are:

  • Autumn 1 - If you go down to the woods...
  • Autumn 2 - All Aboard!
  • Spring 1 - Once Upon a Time
  • Spring 2 - Caring for me and my planet
  • Summer 1 - Seeds, Soil and Sunshine
  • Summer 2 - Lost and Found




Reading - Word Reading

Pupils will be 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.


Reading Comprehension

Pupils will be 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.


Writing - Transcription - Spelling

Pupils will be 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:

    • naming the letters of the alphabet 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 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 will be 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.

At Damson Wood, we teach the children to write neatly using a cursive form so that the children learn to join letters correctly by the end of Year 2.

Writing Composition

Pupils will be 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

  • discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils

  • read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.


Writing - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Pupils will be taught to:

  • develop their understanding of grammar, spelling and punctuation 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 the Grammar Appendix below.

  • use the grammatical terminology when discussing their writing (see Grammar Appendix below)

The Types of Texts to be Studied in Year 1

The children will read and produce pieces of writing inspired by a range of poetry, non-fiction and narrative texts including both modern and classic writing. These texts provide the context for the learning outlined above.




Written calculation methods will be taught as set out in our Calculation Policy to ensure continuity and progression. A yearly mathematics overview below shows the learning structure for children in Year 1.

Number and Place Value

Pupils will be taught to:

  • count to and across 100, forwards and backwards, beginning with 0 or 1, or from any given number

  • count, read and write numbers to 100 in numerals; count in multiples of twos, fives and tens

  • given a number, identify one more and one less

  • identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line, and use the language of: equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most, least

  • read and write numbers from 1 to 20 in numerals and words.


Addition and Subtraction

Pupils will be taught to:

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs

  • represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20

  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero

  • solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations, and missing number problems such as 7 = ? – 9.


Multiplication and Division

Pupils will be taught to:

  • solve one-step problems involving multiplication and division, by calculating the answer using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays with the support of the teacher.



Pupils will be taught to:

  • recognise, find and name a half as one of two equal parts of an object, shape or quantity

  • recognise, find and name a quarter as one of four equal parts of an object, shape or quantity.



Pupils will be taught to:

  • compare, describe and solve practical problems for:

    • lengths and heights [for example, long/short, longer/shorter, tall/short, double/half]

    • mass/weight [for example, heavy/light, heavier than, lighter than]

    • capacity and volume [for example, full/empty, more than, less than, half, half full, quarter]

    • time [for example, quicker, slower, earlier, later]

  • measure and begin to record the following:

    • lengths and heights

    • mass/weight

    • capacity and volume

    • time (hours, minutes, seconds)

  • recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes

  • sequence events in chronological order using language [for example, before and after, next, first, today, yesterday, tomorrow, morning, afternoon and evening]

  • recognise and use language relating to dates, including days of the week, weeks, months and years

  • tell the time to the hour and half past the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times.


Geometry - Properties of Shapes

Pupils will be taught to:

  • recognise and name common 2-D and 3-D shapes, including:

    • 2-D shapes [for example, rectangles (including squares), circles and triangles]

    • 3-D shapes [for example, cuboids (including cubes), pyramids and spheres].

Geometry - Position and Direction

Pupils will be taught to:

  • describe position, direction and movement, including whole, half, quarter and three-quarter turns.




At Damson Wood, we are using the Engaging Science scheme as the basis of our Science planning. This scheme was chosen for its strong focus on practical investigation. Pupils are encouraged to be curious and think both scientifically and creatively, using the outdoor environment to learn scientific ideas in context. Pupils are encouraged to use and apply simple scientific language when communicating their ideas and also to present their ideas in different ways.


Topics covered this year:

  • Our local area

Throughout the year the children will be learning about their local environment and making observations about changes they notice. They will use their senses to observe the area and find common animals and plants within it. They will learn how to show respect for the area and for the living things in it as well as learn how to observe seasonal changes


  • The animal kingdom

They describe the external parts of the human body and learn the basic needs of human beings. They look at a range of familiar and unfamiliar British animals and establish some basic ideas about what constitutes an animal. They learn that animals belong to one of six main groups: birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates and that each class has different characteristics and sometimes different body parts. They learn the names of some common British animals and research one animal in more detail. Pupils also learn about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores


  • Everyday materials

Pupils develop vocabulary to describe and compare the properties and uses of materials. They carry out a range of simple tests on materials and investigate the best material to make a particular object.

Pupils learn how to identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of plants and learn the names of some common native flowering plants and trees. They plant bulbs and/or seeds and observe their growth over a period of weeks. They go outside to study flowers and trees in wild and cultivated areas, making sketches and notes.


  • The weather

Pupils make simple weather observations and record these carefully, drawing some basic weather symbols They study various aspects of the weather and learn how different weather is associated with different seasons.




We are using the 'Purple Mash' Scheme of Work to deliver the requirements of the Computing program of study. This scheme has a focus on e-safety, coding, using the Internet and finding out about technology pupils will be familiar with. 

Autumn Term


The children learn how to keep safe online and when using technology. They will learn to follow a set of computing algorithms and use programs to sort and group information. They will learn that information can be presented using technology into pictograms and use pictograms to record their results from an investigation.

Spring Term

Pupils are taught what the internet is in simple terms and learn the importance of following instructions in the correct order to achieve the desired effect. They will follow and create instructions on the computer. They will learn to use the direction keys and how to debug a set of instructions (algorithms). The children will be introduced to e-books and animation. They will learn to add sound and movement to story animations.

Summer Term

This term the children are introduced to coding. This will include changing backgrounds, character actions and block coding. The children will also be introduced to spreadsheets this term and learn how to enter data into cells and navigating around a spreadsheet.




The children investigate changes within living memory and beyond. We will look at subjects such as transport, toys and everyday life The children also learn about some of the historical figures e.g. Guy Fawkes, Acrimboldo and David Attenborough and how they have impacted on changes to modern day life.




The children locate their own homes and familiar places within the local area. They use geographical language to describe where places are located. They name and locate the 4 countries of the UK. The children are taught about the continents and oceans of the world using maps, atlases and globes. This learning is linked to 'Our World'.


Physical Education (PE)


Children have PE sessions every week and they participate in a range of indoor and outdoor activities. They cover different areas of PE and may work with a PE specialist at times. Forest School sessions take place at least bi-weekly and compliment the physical education of the children in school. The children also have a 'daily dash'; which is a daily jog around the school playground.


Dance – Using a range of stimuli, use simple movements and sequences to perform dances
Gymnastics – travelling and balancing on the floor and on small and large apparatus.
Indoor Sports hall athletics - team games and ball skills. 

During the Summer Term, the majority of PE lessons will be outside. There is a focus on playing team games, developing ball skills, hand/eye co-ordination and sportsmanship.




Throughout Year 1, pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.


We will explore the work of specific artists such as Acrimboldo, Van Gogh and Kandinsky.

Design and Technology (D&T)



Autumn Term
In the Autumn term, the children develop their understanding of simple mechanisms by making model vehicles. 


Spring Term

In the Summer there is a food focus when the children create their own healthy fruit salad or smoothie. The children learn to work in a hygienic manner and use implements in a safe way; whilst following instructions to make a sandwich.

Summer Term
The children investigate how to make 2D and 3D art artwork using design and technology techniques with paper. 




We use the 'Charanga' scheme of work for the teaching and learning of Music at Damson Wood. This is an award-winning scheme where the children develop their understanding, make musical judgements, apply their new learning, develop their aural memory, express themselves physically, emotionally and through discussion and create their own musical ideas.


Autumn Term

The children learn songs in a range of styles. This term the children will learn a repertoire of songs linked to a Christmas theme and the schools values. They will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.

Spring Term

The children continue to explore pulse, rhythms and pitch. They will have the opportunity to explore links across the curriculum, to sing and make musical comparisons. They will work with a range of styles, drawing together appraising, listening, composing, improvising and performing skills.


Summer Term

During this term the children explore the water cycle through a range of activities and songs. They will learn to

  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.


Religious Education (RE)


We follow an R.E scheme called 'Discovery R.E'. This an enquiry based R.E. scheme of learning of challenging and engaging lessons. 

Autumn 1 - Creation

Autumn 2 - The Christmas Story, Diwali, Eid

Spring 1 - Jesus as a friend

Spring 2 - The Easter story

Summer 1 - Shabbat

Summer 2 - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur


Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)


We are using the Jigsaw teaching materials to deliver our PSHE teaching across Damson Wood. This scheme offers a mindful approach to the teaching of PHSE through quality teaching, reflection and discussion with the children.


In Autumn Term the themes are ‘Being Me in My World’ and ‘Celebrating Difference’. In the first half term the children discuss feeling safe and special in their class, recognising how it feels to be proud of achievement and that choices lead to varied consequences. In the second half term, they explore that friends have similarities and differences, that we can get along or sometimes fall out .


In the Spring Term the themes covered are ‘Dreams and Goals’ and ‘Healthy Me’. During the first half term, the children discuss how they learn best and how to approach challenges in a positive way. In the second half term they explore making healthy lifestyle choices and learn how to recognise their feelings.


‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’ are the two themes in the Summer Term. The children reflect on how to be a good friend and knowing when they need to seek help and advice. In the final half term the children will think about growing up and how they have changed since they were a baby. They will also explore that learning new things is fun and that they can cope with change.


Curriculum Enrichment


In addition to the academic curriculum outlined above, Year 1 also offers:

  • Our traditional Harvest Festival in October

  • Educational visit to The Coventry Transport Museum, our local area and visitors linked to thematic learning.

  • Years 1 and 2 Christmas Production.

  • Easter Bonnet and Egg Decorating.

  • One World Week and Aspiration Week.

  • Various themed days linked to the children’s learning through our 'Stunning Starters' and 'Fabulous Finales'.