There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation in the Year 1 classroom. It stems from the children’s enthusiasm to take their learning to the next level.
They’ve left Reception and the simple act of walking down the corridor to wait outside class like the big children clearly changes their perspective on a day at St Thomas Garnet’s school.
Year 1 is still fun. The focus on visual and physical learning tools makes the transition from Reception class smooth and reassuring. There is more of an emphasis on sitting down to learn but it’s mixed with activities and outdoor study.
IN YEAR 1 WE START TO TEACH THE CHILDREN BY SUBJECT...
We still use engaging techniques but a less cross-curricular approach avoids any confusion, as this year is essentially the children’s first introduction to a more structured learning experience.
We use the modelling method of teaching, where we demonstrate and act a new concept or topic with students observing and participating. For this age group we find this technique very effective; it involves the whole class and clearly shows the teacher that all children fully understand each step.
Interactive games and group learning – especially when we’re covering subjects that could be complicated – means the children’s attention levels are maintained as they help with each other’s understanding. This collaborative method further teaches tolerance and patience towards their peers.
We encourage discovery and exploration – nurturing inquisitive minds – using the understanding and history of subjects to explain how things work, their connections, and where they came from.
WE DEMONSTRATE PATTERNS IN MATHS - NOT JUST REPEATING VERBATIM - SO THE SUBJECT MAKES SENSE...
And the children are encouraged by the connections they are able to make. We have specialist equipment on hand and a clear methodology to ensure no child is left behind.
There is a balance in the classroom in that more supportive, or challenging, work can be individually assigned as appropriate so that all children feel they are learning and making progress along with their peers, regardless of their strengths and areas for development.
YEAR 1 CULTIVATES A POSITIVE AND OPEN ENVIRONMENT.
Our class agreement asks for the children to foster mutual trust – with each other as well as teachers – and emphasises the importance of telling the truth.
The children are heard and their viewpoint recognised so they always feel encouraged and appreciated by peers and staff alike.
We put great emphasis on listening to the children and helping them to use the correct language to be understood and able to express their emotions.
KEEPING PARENTS INVOLVED WITH THEIR CHILD'S EDUCATION.
We encourage a level of work at home to continue the momentum so tasks covering literacy, maths and spelling are set weekly.
This also allows our parents to be more involved and to see what the children learn during their school day.
We do keep in mind however that the children are still young so in order to maintain their interest in study they are only given a level and amount of homework appropriate to their age and energy levels.
Homework is designed to be an interesting consolidation and, in parts, a stimulating challenge.
We understand our parents need support during this key year so our class teacher has an open communication policy and is available during pick up times, by email, and for longer meetings by arrangement.
Thank you for reading our Year 1 Class story.
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