Monksmead School

Respect, Reflect, Believe, Succeed

 Welcome to Year 1

Teacher: Mrs Moynihan

TA: Mrs Kevin

Happy New Year all!  We have an exciting term ahead in Year 1 and I am looking forward to teaching and learning along with the class.  Our class timetable has been uploaded onto the website, so please take a look at that.



After a wonderful first term, where the children had the opportunity to ‘discover’ as they transitioned from the EYFS curriculum into the Year 1, we will now be adopting a more ‘formal’ style of learning.


This term, all children will complete the work at the same time, at tables, much like they will be doing as they move through the school.  This will be a challenge for many as they learn to become more independent, and ‘have a go’ themselves, beginning to rely a little less on adult support.  It is also an exciting time, as we have the opportunity to teach the children what to do when they are not sure, how to solve a problem, where to find help… all very important life skills that will support them throughout their school journey and beyond. 


My main message for the class this term is to, ‘have a go,’ and not be scared to make mistakes, as mistakes are how we learn!  In Year 1 the children know my famous saying, mistakes mean that we are learning!  This will hopefully help them to feel able to persevere and try their best, even when they are a little unsure.    



As was the case last term, I will teach reading through our daily English lessons and phonic sessions.  In addition, an adult will hear each child in the class read at least once a week on their allocated reading day.  Please continue to read at home each night and record this in their reading record.  It is particularly important for the children to read their ‘phonics book’ at least four times a week to really practise their sounds, especially as we are beginning to learn lots of new ‘Phase 5’ sounds.



Homework will be given out on a Wednesday and is due back in on a Monday, as it was last term.



PE lessons will now be on a Tuesday and Friday every week.  Please make sure that your child has their PE kit (named) in school on both days.  Each child will need a pair of plimsolls or trainers for PE and a tracksuit in case we have any lessons outside.  I would suggest leaving the PE kits in school and taking them home to wash at the end of a half-term.



Please make sure that your child has a named water bottle in school so that they can keep hydrated during the day.  Due to hygiene reasons, we can not provide cups for the children, so it is very important that they have their own water bottle. 


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to pop in to school to see me, it is ever so important that we work together to provide your child with the very best experience at school.


Thank you,

 Natasha Moynihan


Phonics and Reading

At Monksmead School we have adpoted a new synthetic phoncis scheme called ELS.  ELS has a clear progression of reading books that are phonetically decodable.  Books have been carefully aligned so that they specifically match what children have been learning in class.   Children in Reception and Year 1 will bring home a phonetically decodable book, linked to their learning, each Friday.    With ELS, there is a daily phonics lesson where the teacher teaches a new sound, or reviews sounds learned earlier in the week. This is shown to the class on the whiteboard.  Children learn the letters that represent the sounds. They are then asked to read words and sentences with the new sounds in. Children will also practise writing the letters that represent the sounds.

Children learn to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sounds they represent. Pronounce the sounds as you would say them within a word. It is important to ensure that you (or the children) don’t add ‘uh’ onto the end, so for ‘m’ say ‘mm’ not ‘muh’ and for ‘l’ say ‘ull’ not ‘luh’. The below video gives you all 44 sounds in English.


Please click on the links below to see the sounds the children learn as part of ELS.


Phase 2 sounds Phase 3 sounds Phase 5 sounds

To support their love of reading, children will also be encouraged to choose a 'sharing book' - this is a book that may or may not be fully decodable but can be enjoyed with parents and family members as a book to read together.

Science Knowledge Organisers  - Spring 2023


Click on the images below to enlarge the knowledge organiser for the individual topic area.