Year One




At Thomson House we believe wholeheartedly in encouraging children to be avid readers of a variety of texts.  This is a process that starts in Reception and continues throughout the school.  Praise, encouragement and fun are all vital in emboldening children to become independent readers. 

Reading continues to be taught through our daily phonics session, which follows the Government initiated programme ‘Letters and Sounds’.  The children are taught to read and write phonetically, whereby they recognise letters as ‘sounds’ and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which do not sound out, are called ‘tricky’ words and these are taught to the children gradually so they build up their sight recognition.  For more information on ‘Letters and Sounds’ and the phonics phases please click on the link below:

Whilst the children are taught to read phonetically it is accepted that all children learn differently, and we teach the children to use a variety of other strategies to assist with their reading. We encourage the children to read for sense, (if there is a word the children are finding difficult we re-read the sentence and encourage them to guess what word might fit in there given its starting sound), and to use the picture clues.

Much of this learning takes place during our Guided Reading sessions, which take place on a weekly basis.  The children explore fiction and non-fiction texts under the guidance of the class teacher. Discussions take place around the setting of the book, the context, and the inference behind the words.

This is all quite different to how many of us, as parents, will have learnt to read at school.  This link helps with the correct pronunciation of the sounds, and there will be training available to parents at the start of each new school year.

Speaking, Listening And Writing

Writing is the longest distance that thoughts have to travel.  Firstly we have the thought, which we order into inner speech, then process it into oral speech and finally transfer it into written language.  As children learn to write it is essential that we support each of these stages, and therefore talk is an essential part of writing. The creative curriculum at Thomson House will provide the children with many exciting stimuli to fire their imaginations and trigger the thought process. Then lots of talk, drama and response work is done before any writing takes place.

At Thomson House we are determined that our children will have enjoyable experiences with writing.  The children will have Busy Bee books that are a personal space where they can develop ideas, play with language and explore their own world as writers.  It offers an opportunity for both public pride, (they are invited to share their work if they wish to at the end of every session) and private pleasure in writing.  Of course young children need to learn about the conventions of writing.  This takes place all day, every day, across all subjects, and is at the heart of our teaching.  The children will have daily handwriting sessions, and wherever possible their writing will be displayed in a bright, colourful and attractive way. 



At Thomson House we ask children to be able to explain how they arrive at an answer, to describe different strategies and methods, to be able to reason and justify their ideas. We understand that these skills are of equal importance to getting the answer right in maths. We encourage children to show curiosity in their learning and to show courage in participation.  We recognise that children can sometimes learn more from getting the answer wrong!  Children should not be afraid to fail as this is a vital part of the learning process; what we are looking to imbue is resilience. The children will be taught maths daily, and during the course of the year, they will cover the following areas:

Using and applying mathematics – to solve one step problems in real life situations.

Counting and understanding number – for example, counting to 100 and beyond, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s, counting from different starting points, understanding place value and ordering numbers

Knowing and using number facts – children will continue to practise number bonds to 10, 20 and 100. They will learn their 2, 5 and 10 times tables, and begin to understand how they are related to division. 

Calculating – becoming secure with all four number operations, adding, subtracting, multiplication and division, to begin to understand simple fractions.

Understanding shape – being able to name a range of 2D and 3D shapes, understanding the properties of those shapes and observing how we use shape in real life. Children will also start to describe position, direction and movement of shapes.

Measuring – this includes learning about time (including days, months and seasons), money, length, weight, height and capacity & volume.

Handling data – often linked to science, the children will begin to gather data, use tally charts, pictograms and bar charts. They will be interpreting the data, questioning and drawing their own conclusions from the data.



Science should be as exciting and relevent to the children as possible, which means lots of experiments to make the children wonder about the world and the ways in which it works.  One of our core values is curiousity, and we want the children to explore and investigate in as many different ways as possible.  They will learn to make predictions, perform simple tests, observe closely and use these observations to gather and record data to help answer questions. 

The science curriculum can be divided into 4 main themes, they are as follows: plants, animals, materials and seasonal changes.  There will be an ‘Investigation Station’ in the classroom, where the children will investigate different scientific ideas, we will be following the lifecycles of real animals such as butterflies and frogs, we will be using our local area to explore seasonal changes, and linking investigations to our topics, and recording our data using knowledge gleaned in our maths lessons. 



At Thomson House we believe that healthy bodies link closely to healthy minds. We stipulate that all children from Year 1 onwards will have 3 hours of weekly curriculum time devoted to PE.

We aim for children to develop fundamental movement skills, to become increasingly competent and confident and to have access to a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They will be engaging in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Children will be taught to:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities – the children will have a weekly gymnastics lesson and the opportunity to join a multi-sports lunchtime club.

  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending – such as football.

  • perform dances using simple movement patterns to music.

  • master basic swimming strokes – front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke.



At Thomson House we encourage enquiring minds – we link history and geography to Philosophy For Children, exploring ideas, questioning assumptions, justifying explanations and reasoning with each other.

Our creative curriculum will allow the children to learn history and geography in relevant and exciting ways.  For instance children will research famous explorers, and what conditions were like when they were alive. This will lead to a greater understanding of past and present, and encourage a wider use of everyday historical terms.  Throughout the year questioning skills are implicitly taught, we will use stories and sources to clarify their understanding of the key features of historical events.

Likewise with geography the children will learn about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality through our curriculum.  For example during our Pirate theme we will start to use and then create our own maps, firstly of the school to locate the buried treasure, and then within the local area.   The children will use simple compass directions, locational and directional language to solve clues and map our locality.  Through our Explorers theme the children will learn to name and locate the seven continents and five oceans, but also learn about who discovered them and place this within a historical context.



At Thomson House we are devoted to our musical learning journey. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to play a musical instrument – so continuing on from untuned percussion in Reception, the children will start to learn about musical notation through a greater range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments. 

Every week, each class will have two music lessons and a singing assembly. There is a Choir for anyone in Yrs 1 and 2 to join (50-60 members), as well as a Percussion Club (12 members) – both lunchtime clubs.

In lessons the children will be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically

  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music

  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

In addition to the above, individual piano lessons are available at a small charge, for any child in Year 1. Lessons take place during curriculum time although the timetable is rotated to ensure that no child misses the same lesson each week.



At Thomson House children will learn:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products

  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination

  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space

  • about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.



Design and Technology can be divided into four areas – designing, making, evaluating and technical knowledge.

At Thomson House children will learn to design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on exciting criteria. They will generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology. They will explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria. They shall build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable and explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products. Children will also be introduced to the world of cooking – including nutrition values and packaging for snacks.



At Thomson House we believe that RE should be taught through Philosophy For Children, SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning) and through our Well-being programme of assemblies, circle times and specific lessons. The children will be taught to respect the beliefs of others and to respect different cultures.

In Year 1 the children will attend assemblies which will cover emotional well-being; school values; morals, social skills and other cultures. Within the classrooms, teachers will implicitly teach skills through philosophy for children such as questioning, reasoning, explanation, justifying and debate.

Each class will debate and discuss issues which arise as the year progresses, such as, friendship, settling in, sharing, self-esteem and bullying.

Learning about different religions and beliefs, through Philosophy for Children, allows the children to explore ideas, challenge assumptions and debate ideas. Exploring the concepts of religion and belief helps children to develop moral awareness and social understanding.