Year 1

Welcome to Year 1

Our Year 1 pupils enjoy learning about the local area we live in. The Year 1 curriculum covers a range of topics such as: Journeys, Animals around the World and the Woodlands which includes a visit from barn owls. Whilst exploring our local area we learn about human and physical features, marveling at what is available in Heaton. As part of our Castle topic we visit a castle, engage in a high-quality tour and enjoy playing in the castle grounds! Our Year 1 pupils love to listen to the high-quality texts we have to offer such as The Gruffalo and Stickman. The Rainbow Room is an integral experience for our Year 1 pupils where they become independent learners, develop resilience and practically apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in the classroom. Year 1 is the year where pupils take part in the Phonics Screening Check. Pupils work hard to learn to read words containing Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds and become confident readers.

Autumn 1

Main Text

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Topic: Woodland

Year 1 begins with an exciting topic on woodlands, learning about woodland animals and their classification. This topic includes an owl visit where pupils watch owls fly and closely observe them to learn how their features make them effective predators. They also get the opportunity to hold an owl and learn about the life of an owl handler. Pupils adopt a tree in our woodlands and observe seasonal changes across the year. They learn how deciduous trees change across seasons. During this topic pupils learn about the British sculptor and photographer Andy Goldsworthy who uses natural materials found in an environment to create magnificent art pieces. Pupils create their own Andy Goldsworthy inspired artwork by carefully selecting the resources they wish to use from the woodland setting.

Autumn 2

Main Text

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

Topic: People

During this topic pupils learn about the parts of the human body and how our senses help us make sense of the world around us. We read the text, Once There Were Giants by Martin Waddell and discuss changes across human life by developing our Design and Technology skills, learning how to make sliders to show the stages of human growth. Pupils reflect upon how much they can do now as opposed to when they were babies. We immerse ourselves in the story of Stickman and recreate his journey in our school woodlands. This inspires our pupils to create their own journey stories


In our Science, Year 1 learn the names of materials and explore the properties of different materials, by completing an investigation to find out which material would be the best to use for a swan’s nest. 

Spring 1

Main Text

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Brown

Topic: Animals around the world

During this unit our Year 1 pupils find out about animals around the world and explore the classification of each. We look at the features of animals and how they live in their environment. In literacy we create fact books on a chosen animal. We learn that places closer to the equator are hot and those further are cooler. We experiment with primary and secondary colours to create hot or cold contrasting backgrounds using paint as our media. Our Year 1 pupils make animal silhouettes and create story scenes to orally retell stories and generate ideas for our writing. We read Handa’s Surprise and use this story to inspire our own losing tales about a journey through the Arctic.

Spring 2

Main Text

Mr Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham

Topic: Journeys

Our journeys topic explores maps to its fullest! On a visit around our local area, our Year 1 pupils look for natural and man-made features. They explore their route on google maps and a buzz of excitement is created when they spot their homes, their local park or a favorite shop which supports them to create their own maps. We develop our programming skills and perseverance by inputting instructions into a beebot and watching it make its way to our required destination. We read the story of Mr Gumpy’s outing, re-enact it in our 4D space where images and sound bring the story to life, helping us to invent our own journey tales. We develop our group working skills by jointly creating textile maps of the local area, negotiating which textures to use to represent different places and finally recounting our local area walk.


In science, Pupils name trees and flowers found in the woodland.

Summer 1

Main Text

Lullabyhullabaloo by Mick Inkpen

Topic: Castles

Our castle topic excites our Year 1 pupils as they look forward to a trip to Skipton Castle. They learn key vocabulary associated with castles and then the visit brings this learning to life. Pupils learn about the Royal family and significant events which have taken place in their lifetime. Art work is inspired by the artist Paul Klee and pupils use this knowledge when creating their own castles. Pupils develop their Design and Technology skills to create shields, swords, drawbridges and moveable characters.


In Science pupils name animals which are carnivore, herbivore or omnivore and classify animals according to the category they belong to.

Summer 2

Main Text

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas

Topic: Materials

In our final half term in Year 1 we take part in investigations to compare materials according to whether they meet specific criteria. Our Year 1 pupils predict, investigate and write up their findings based on the practical work they complete. They design and create their own free-standing structures. By investigating which material is suitable for a particular job,e.g building a house, helps develop their critical thinking skills. We read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig to inspire the writing of stories involving conquering a monster.