Learning to read and write – Year 1 progress report

my best toy - writing practiseI’ve been meaning to write an update on the girls progress for a while (since half term!) but keep getting side tracked so I’m biting the bullet and here we go.

Just before half term our school opened the classroom doors and invited the parents in to have a look around. This is an excellent opportunity to discover what the children have been up to as more often than not presented with the question, ‘What did you do today at school?’ the answer will be ‘I can’t remember.’ which is more of a don’t bother me now mum, I’m tired and don’t want to think but leaves parents wondering what the heck the kids do at school.

Here’s what I managed to discover …

Our class of 30 has been split into groups of 6 and both twins were in the Rocking Horses group which I discovered yesterday has been renamed Lanterns but more of that in a minute.

Each group sits at desks with a tray underneath holding their work, they have places to put their water bottles and the first weeks of school were learning all the new rules. The children are expected to sit at their desks to complete ‘jobs’ which consist of writing and numeracy tasks.

Jenny in bed - year 1 topic

On the walls there were lots of posters and work that the children had been working on, the twins were very excited to take me around the classroom and show me all their hard work. They were very proud.

The first term of school was to focus on toys as a subject to talk and discover. They made robots – see Jenny in Bed above and also robots hanging from the ceiling below.

classroom wall

We have had reading books from the first week and I was delighted to see the girls have been moved up two levels to turquoise since the start.

We also get homework at the weekends which is writing or numeracy skills.

To keep the kids enthusiastic our teacher has a star system and she will reward two children ‘Star of the Day’ daily. It just so happens that on the Open Day both Alice and Bessie had been rewarded their first Star of the Day awards and they were thrilled.

Star of the day

If you are a lucky star of the day you also get to bring home a  signed certificate from the teacher. This certificate is duly bluetacked up for everyone to see in our house ;)

Another system our teacher has put in place is a sticker chart. Each child on completing a job or for being particularly good at something is rewarded a sticker. The sticker goes on the sticker chart and once you have completed the 20 spaces with stickers you are rewarded with a gift from teacher. Well you can imagine the delight when they are given stickers. There’s a lot of discussion about who has completed their chart of an evening.

This term, term 2, the topic is Light and Dark which is why they are now in Lanterns, we have been given number charts and will be learning to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. Literacy and Phonics is assisted by Digby Dinosaur, a book of challenges to complete as and when we want to but fortunately for me the girls LOVE them and we seem to be doing one a night. A short exercise like find 5 words with the sound ‘ee’ in them and to write one sentence using one of the words.

I am really pleased to see they are enjoying school, on a few occasions they have returned home with a sticker from the head teacher which is a very special occasion, the latest was Alice who was rewarded for her excellent writing.

We do do an awful lot of writing at home as they love it and Stabilo recently sent us their Early Writers kits including some fabulous writing tools with easy grips and a tripod shape which is so much easier for little fingers to grasp and use.

You can find lots of resources to support young learners with their early writing skills on the Stabilo website, all completely free and ready to download

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