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Year 1

Age: Usually between 5 to 6 years old

Stage of learning journey:  First year of Key Stage 1.

Curriculum:  National Curriculum


Find out in detail what you child will be learning in Year 1.

Phonics Screening Test: A phonics check takes place in the June of Year 1. Your child reads 40 words and non words* out loud to a teacher.

The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections -

  • Section 1 - simple word structures of three or four letters
  • Section 2 - complex word structures of five or six letters

The teacher doing the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first, so they understand more about what they have to do.

The teacher will assess whether they need extra help with reading and they’ll tell you how they did.

If your child doesn’t do well enough in the check they’ll have to do it again in Year 2.

More information about phonics, the screening check and how you can help your child is available.

*Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them

How you can help

Marking scheme:  Each school will use a different marking scheme, you need to ask which one your child's school is using.

Reading:  The school should publish their reading scheme on their website.  Most schools use Oxford Reading Tree or Bug Club.

By interacting with your child as you read 'around a book' you help to increase their understanding.  You can do this by:

  • Asking questions about the book when you are reading together
  • Talk about how your child feels about the book
  • Linking the story to their own experiences 

For more advice download this guide to reading with your child by the Book Trust.

Maths: The school will have a calculation policy which explains how they teach maths, this is individual to the school so you need to ask them.

Phonics: Generally schools use one of three schemes called letters and sounds, Jolly phonics or read write inc. you need to ask which they are using.

Useful Links

The Book Trust - lots of advice about reading with your child


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