“Mistakes are proof that you are trying.” Anon

Welcome to Year 1

Mrs Talbot

Mrs Talbot

Class Teacher

Mrs Baranyai

Mrs Baranyai

Y1 Class Teacher & SLE in Early Years and Phonics

Mrs Diggle

Mrs Diggle

Teaching Assistant

Autumn Term

We have had a fantastic start to year 1! All the children are settling in beautifully and embracing the changes in Year 1! We have been learning all about the new subjects we do in Year 1 such as Geography, Science and Art and the children are very excited to begin to dig deeper into the content.

Collective Worship

In Year 1 we have collective worship every day. On Monday we have a whole school collective worship. On Tuesday we join together with Reception and Year 2 for our collective worship lead by a different teacher each week. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays we have our own collective worship in class. We encourage children to bring any prayers that they would like us to share during our collective worship into class to put in our prayer box. Sometimes we have collective worship outside at St Joseph’s prayer garden. We will share photos of some of our collective worship sessions throughout the year on our class page.

Christ at our Centre

We take a lot of pride in our RE corner in Year 1 from our Prayer Table, our thoughtful displays, beautiful displays of children’s work, children’s prayers to others, our prayer box and Disciple of the Week box. Take a look at our wonderful pictures of how Christ is at our centre always.

PSHE – Autumn 1

This half-term we have been working on many areas of the PSHE curriculum – from learning the importance of class rules, how to be a good friend and disciple to others, to learning how we can play nicely on the playground. Year 1 completed a task on feelings and how we feel when we play outside on the playground and at home. This created a lot of discussion about happy feelings and games we love to play in Key Stage 1.

As well as learning about PSHE in Year 1, we often have regular Circle Times. Pupils can take the time to talk and reflect on their days, work, friendships and time spent at home. We often use our circle time mascot ‘Max Marley Moose’ to help us and he is also one of our class rewards as he gets to go home with a child every weekend!

Growth Mindset 

Growth Mindset is very important to us in Year 1. We focus a lot on our class characters – Perseverance, Making Mistakes, Independent Learners and Challenge. We ensure we use this terminology as often as we can in order to learn and succeed. Our Growth Mindset learning wall is a Minion Pit and it shows how we can overcome difficulty even if we find things tricky. Kevin the Minion is also another one of our class rewards and he goes home each night to a super learner! Take a look…


In RE this half term we are learning all about God’s Great plan. We have started out topic by thinking about the story of Creation and all the things that God made. Children retold the story and created some art work to share all the amazing things that God has made. We have also been thinking about how to look after God’s world. This week the children are going to create some posters to help explain to others how to look after God’s world.

Our Class Saint is Mary, Mother of God. We have been looking really closely at Mary and how important she is to us at St Joseph’s. Year 1 wrote a prayer to Mary asking her to look after our family, friends, animals and others around the world. Here are some examples…



This half term we will be using our Under the Sea topic as a stimulus for our English learning journey. We will be using the story of the Storm Whale, The Lighthouse Keeper and The Rainbow fish to look at different characters, settings and the use of full stops and capital letters. We will be encouraging all children to start joining there letters. Please encourage your child to do the same when they are writing at home. By the end of the half term we will be encouraging children to create their own under the sea story working on all their next steps and new learning from the Autumn term.


The children in Year 1 have been working very hard on writing sentences. Take a look at some examples of the children using different sounds – oe, o-e, oa and ow.


This half term we will be spending some looking at place value. We will be looking at the value of digits up to 100, ordering numbers up to 100 and reading and writing numbers up to 100. We will be counting in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s this half term. By the end of the half term we will have looked at the four operations- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We will continue to revisit the operations throughout the year. We will be applying our maths in lots of practical ways. We will also be practising our maths skills during our maths in the wood sessions every Wednesday, as well as having a biscuit and hot chocolate! Keep looking back for updates and pictures on our maths learning journey this half term!


Our topic this half term that the children have chosen to learn about is life under the sea. We will be looking at all the creatures that live under the sea and also plant life under the sea. We will also look at explorers from around the world throughout history. We will be following the children’s interests during the topic and answering the questions they come up with. Our role play are has turned into life under the sea. The children are already enjoying extending their learning through play and challenges in the area.


We love painting in Year 1! We paint every Friday and love being creative. Year 1 painted a rainbow last week with Mrs Hemming. So far we have painted fish under the sea, self portraits and colour wheels. We are currently mixing primary colours to make secondary colours.

Spring 1

Welcome back after a lovely Christmas break. We have lots of fun things to learn about this half term and we are sure to have a brilliant time.  The new theme for this half term is Around the World. The children are already enjoying learning all about different places.

RE: Families and Celebrations

Year 1 have been asking and responding to questions about their family; their family at home, school and in the community. They are reflecting and starting to understand what it means to be a member of all these families. 

We have learned a lot about the different celebrations that take place in church. We have learned about what happens during a baptism, wedding and other special events that happen in church. We have discussed the story of Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to the temple. The children have re-enacted scenes from this story as well as baptisms and we have also created collages of baptisms and weddings, where the children had to correctly identify features of these special events.


In English, we have been focusing on writing in full sentences, always remembering capital letters, finger spaces and full stops and adding adjectives and conjunctions to writing. We have been pretending to be Rainforest Explorers and writing in different genres – letters, diaries and lists.

We have been retelling and writing the story of The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson. We have learned an edited version of the story, and have been using our story map to help us retell it and write it. Here are some of our story maps.

We have been writing letters from the Snail back to his friends to tell them what he has seen around the world.



The children have been working very hard in maths, they have revisited multiplication and division and are beginning to understand the vocabulary involved, such as times, share, divide, multiply, groups of. We have also been looking at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes and identifying the edges, vertices and faces. The children went on a shape hunt around school. The children have also been solving problems involving length. They have been measuring using standard (centimetres) and non-standard (cubes) measures. We had great fun reading our challenges and making playdough snakes that were the correct length.

We have also been learning to tell the time to o’clock and half past. We started our maths lesson with a game of What’s the Time Mr Wolf, but the wolf had to make the time on a clock instead of shouting it out!

As well as all of this, we are continuing our Maths in the Woods sessions. These help the children to embed key knowledge such as writing number words, the days of the week and months of the year. We also have hot chocolate and biscuit at the end!


In Science, we have been learning about different animals from around the world. We have been working scientifically to observe and classify animals into different groups; mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and invertebrates. We have also been looking at what animals eat and how we can classify them according to this, into the groups of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. We have been enjoying finding out facts about different animals and animal groups in books.


In Geography, the children have been enjoying using atlases and maps to explore the UK as well as different part of the world. They have been naming the four countries of the UK, their capital cities and the surrounding seas. They have been looking at key features of environments. We are also going to use atlases and globes to name and locate the world’s continents and oceans.


In PE, we are learning how to balance in different ways and make different shapes with our bodies. We have been learning the following shapes; tuck, straddle, pike, straight and star, and we are trying to be like real gymnasts, making sure we have straight arms and legs. We have also been learning different rolls such as a pencil roll. Our next challenge is to travel along equipment and turn our shapes into jumps, making sure we land safely.



This half term we have already looked at many artists including Andy Warhol and Mackenzie Thorpe. We concentrated on the skill of drawing lines of different length and thickness, we then used this skill to create our own drawings and ensured we coloured them in neatly and carefully.

For the next few weeks we are going to be looking at how we can change colours. We are going to focus on creating tints and tones of our favourite colours. The children will be learning the skills of adding white to colours to change the tint and adding black to change the tones. We will then look at how we can use this new found skill to create fantastic paintings of our own. This half term we are using the book The Snail and The Whale as part of our topic ‘Around the World’, and we will be looking at the pictures of Axel Scheffler to see how he uses different blues for the sea and skies of the snail and whale’s adventures. 


An important part of our PSHE this half term is our ‘Anti-bullying Week’. This will provide a great opportunity to reinforce the message about how our school approaches and deals with bullying. This includes knowing what steps to take if someone is being bullied. The children will also learn that bullying is taken very seriously and they will begin to appreciate how bullying can have a long term impact on friendships, self-esteem as well as emotional and mental health and well-being. We will create our own catchy slogans to produce vibrant posters to inform others about the importance of anti-bullying awareness. This year’s focus is on ‘Choosing Respect’ which as we know is an integral part of our school ethos.

We had a fantastic Anti-bullying Week. As a class, we thought very carefully about choosing respect and thought deeply about how we can show respect to others. We talked about filling each other’s buckets with positive behaviour and kind words; we called these fillers. Every time someone showed respect in class, we filled our bucket. It was very full by the end of the week! We learned how to sign to the ‘Choose Respect’ song, using British Sign Language. This really helped us respect and appreciate what learning is like for people who are hard of hearing. On ‘No Pen Day’, we carried out many activities without using a pen of any description! We created shape pictures using tangrams, we cracked codes using numbers and letters from the alphabet and we learned a lot about what it is like to be dyslexic. We continued the theme in art by having no paint brushes! Instead we used our fingers and lots of different art media to create a picture that resembles us and reflects our individual personalities. These were created on jigsaw pieces to show that even though we are all individual and unique, we can still fit together as one.

Spring 2

The theme this half term is The Secret Garden. The children will see a performance of The Secret Garden at school and our learning will be based around plants and gardens.



In RE, the children will be thinking about ‘Following Jesus’ and thinking about how Jesus chose disciples and how they choose friends. They will be learning the story of the Good Samaritan and thinking about how Christians live their lives. The children will also learn the Palm Story and how we “welcome Jesus.” They will also be learning what happened on Good Friday.

In week 1, we talked about how Jesus chose his disciples and why he chose the very special people that he did. As a class we listened carefully while we told our peers who our friends are and what makes them so special to us. We listened to and discussed the story of Jesus choosing his very first disciple through the story of ‘The Miraculous Catch of Fish’, we watch the story, acted it out in groups and then wrote the story in our own words.



In English, the children will be learning how to write for different purposes – poems, recounts and instructions. They will be making sure they choose the correct language to use when writing for each genre. We will, of course, be continuing to ensure the children structure their sentences correctly and punctuate them accurately.

In phonics, the children will continue to learn sounds and how to use their phonic knowledge to sound out and blend nonsense words in preparation for the phonics screening check. We call these “alien” words and the children find it good fun!

In English over the past two weeks, we have become budding poets in Year 1. We have learned all about the vocabulary of poetry including stanza, line, rhyme and rhythm. In week 1 we linked our poems to our garden theme. We read the story of The Tiny Seed and re-wrote it in the style of a poem. To help us appreciate the journey of a plant, like that of the Tiny Seed, we ventured into our outside space to observe new spring flowers. We also planted tiny seeds of our own (we shall look forward to tasting the radish and basil when they are fully grown!) In week 2 we linked our poetry to our Living in Leeds week that we celebrated in school. Living in Wetherby, we are very proud to be part of such a vibrant city as Leeds. We researched lots of facts about Leeds that we were inquisitive to know about. We then studied how an acrostic poem is structured.

With all this knowledge, we then created our very own acrostic poems about Leeds. 

In week 2, we also celebrated World Book Day! The staff and children came to school dressed as a character from a book, but with a twist….it had to be a garden theme, linked to our topic of the Secret Garden. There were some fantastic costumes! We had animals, fairies, scarecrows, gnomes, butterflies and bugs. During the day, the children were able to share their favourite stories…we had great fun.

Here we are giving and writing instructions to our friends, outside. Some of our instructions were “Do 10 press ups!” “Run around the whole playground!” “Jump up and down!”


In Maths, the children will continue to increase their knowledge of using numbers to 100. They will be ordering and comparing and using numbers to add and subtract. They will begin to do this in more abstract ways, such as using number-lines as well concrete objects. The children will also be challenged to explain their knowledge and apply it in different situations.




In Geography this half term we will looking at, and understanding the meaning of, physical and human features of different landscapes. We will specifically focus on our local area of Leeds, a metropolitan borough that we are very proud to be part of here in Wetherby. This will link really nicely with our Living in Leeds week that we will be celebrating in Week 2 of the Spring Term.

In week 1 we started to look at the human features of Leeds, focusing on Elland Road Stadium, the shops and buildings of the city center, The White Rose Center, Leeds Arena, The Town Hall and other prominent features of our great city. When discussing the physical features we thought about the grounds of Temple Newsam, the River Aire and the many parks that make Leeds one of the greenest cities in the country. Did you know that Leeds is the 7th greenest city, having 21.7% of its land as a park or green space? We have also learned the compass directions and used these to discover where all the amazing features Leeds can be found within the borough.

Design and Technology and Computing

In Spring 2 we are going to become budding chefs and learn to master different culinary skills; step aside Jamie Oliver! Within the first few weeks, we are going to learn how to cut using a knife, grate and peel different foods, including fruit and vegetables. We will then put all these skills into practice by designing and creating our very own plates of delicious and tasty delights. We will taste test and evaluate our work as well as looking at the cooking skills and menus of some of the most important chefs of our generation. So watch this space for our skills in action and our menus for the Master Chef final!

In computing, we are learning how to log on, use different programmes and save and retrieve documents.


In Science, we will becoming excellent gardeners and learning all about plants. The children will be looking at the basic structures of plants and how seeds and bulbs grow into plants. We will have lots of practical activities.

This half term, it will be Science week. We will have lots of Science based activities. We are sure it will be great fun!

Science Week

What a fantastic time we have had celebrating Science Week from the 11-15th March. Year 1 have become true scientists and have really played the part whilst wearing their personally designed lab coats. We have enjoyed carrying out experiments, learning new scientific facts and visiting a Science Fair in school. The children particularly enjoyed our Egg-speriment  when we discovered that we can make an egg fit through a hole that was far too small for it by applying heat and changing the air pressure.

On Thursday morning, Year 3 and Year 5 held an amazing Science Fair for us to visit. We made rain, played magnetic Subbuteo, watched volcanoes erupt, tested our senses and separated materials, among many, many other activities laid out for us to participate in and have fun with. We loved it!


In Music, this half term, we will be learning to follow the melody accurately when singing and we will be experimenting with different instruments. We will learn songs that relate to our theme of “The Secret Garden.”



In PE, the children will continue to have Total Sports sessions with Mr Cooper as well as another PE session each week. We will be learning the skills needed to play team games, such as rolling, hitting, running, jumping, catching and kicking in combination. We will be thinking about the terms ‘opponent’ and ‘team mate’ and how we can be good team mates.

We have had a Cheerleading workshop from a Leeds Rhinos coach. We learned a routine. It was great fun!


In PSHE, the children are learning about how to keep themselves safe. We will have special events taking place, a police safety talk and an assembly by the NSPCC. The children will also be learning about the importance of dental health.

In our learning about dental health we carried out an experiment using eggs!  Eggshells are a lot like tooth enamel and they will get eaten away when they come into contact with acidic liquids. We placed eggs in a number of different liquids including coke. The children were amazed at the results; we found that the egg that had been soaked in coke had actually developed holes in the shell and had even produced black marks! This was a great learning experience for the children and will certainly encourage them to brush their teeth twice a day, every day!