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St Simon's Catholic Primary School

‘Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God’

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Year 1



Mr Boardman and Mrs Francis are very excited to welcome you to the class page for Year 1.


All about me

When I am not teaching, I play football, watch Manchester City whenever I get the chance and will be looking forward to playing a bit more golf as the weather now hopefully starts to improve. I love the job I do and enjoy teaching in Year 1 particularly, since I can really mould the children to become effective learners whilst developing their resilience and depth of understanding. I also feel quite lucky to be able to have so much fun in my job and your child will have lots to look forward to this year.

I had taught for the last 6 years at Warren Wood Primary School as a Year 5, Year 6 and Year 1 teacher but now feel like part of the St Simon’s family already so thank you for helping me settle into school life through your support and kind words. I hope this will continue and your children will continue to come to school with enthusiastic smiles on their face.


Block 3 Review

I can’t believe it’s the summer term already! Over the last 10 weeks we have been busy learning all about Ernest Shackleton and his intrepid voyage aboard the SS Endurance. We have written riddles about animals we would have seen, made dances for penguins and polar bears (using Penguin Small as a stimulus), learnt about animal adaptations and how to group animals according to their characteristics in science. We also painted penguins and did pencil sketches of the SS Endurance in Art and we mustn’t forget the ‘Arctic bake off’. The children looked at foods with high calorific content before designing their own, making it and best of all eating the finished chocolate cake with marshmallows and white button toppings.

In maths the children have been developing their reasoning by explaining their answers in much greater detail. They have also been learning to tell the time, weighing a variety of objects and their mental arithmetic is certainly improving through our weekly Big Maths lesson. Some of their explanations for how they have solved their problems really have impressed me and illustrate how hard the children have been working!

We looked at the Easter story in great depth and resurrection in R.E. as well as our Islam week where the children looked at prayer mats and compared the similarities and differences between Catholic and Islamic prayer rituals. We have also had two class liturgies where the children spoke brilliantly and with such confidence. Thank you for your attendance at those if you were able to make it, both occasions were lovely.


Block 4 Topic

Over the next 10 weeks our new topic will be ‘A World in Bloom’. We will focus on writing stories linked to Jack and the beanstalk but with a surprising twist. In science the children will look at how food gets from farm to plate, animal and plant life cycles as well as seasonal change. They will also be planting seeds and looking at how different conditions affect growth. We will be exploring our local environment in Geography through local area walks and looking at a variety of maps.

The children will explore the works of Giuseppe Arcimboldo who used fruit and vegetables to create works of art. This will be contrasted with still life of Cezanne (fruit) and Vincent van Gogh (flowers). In computing the children will learn about saving and retrieving work they have already started and will use iPads to create multimedia presentations that they will deliver to the rest of the class.

In indoor P.E. we will be refining our gymnastics skills from earlier in the year but this time using a wider range of apparatus to travel in different ways. In outdoor P.E. we will finish tennis before moving onto multi-skills and athletics (in preparation for sports day).

The children will also begin to think about transition to Year 2 and the changes that this will bring.

Working together

I said at the start of the year that to enable your children to flourish then a partnership between home and school will be essential in reinforcing concepts learnt. Thank you for all your hard work so far, the benefits have been clear to see, not only in ability but also how much more confident your children are becoming. I have been really pleased to see so many children bringing extra work into school to show the class, whether it be spellings, maths or favourites books. This has been really lovely to see.

If there are any questions about anything worrying you or your child then please don’t hesitate to contact me on class dojo (which I will try to respond to as soon as is practicable) or preferably come and ask in person. Thank you.


Notices for the year


* Indoor P.E. kit - Tuesday

* Outdoor P.E. kit (with a jumper and jogging bottoms) – Friday

(If you could provide a bag for indoor kit and a bag for outdoor kit, that would be very helpful)



Maths (2 x Education City Games per week) and English (in the Year1 English homework book) will be set on a weekly basis. They will be set on a Friday, to be completed by the following Wednesday. This will seek to consolidate prior learning. On some weeks this will be substituted by topic work/investigations to support the class topic or words to learn for a class assembly. The date by which any homework will be due in will be clearly stated on Class Dojo.



* New spellings will be given out and tested every Monday.

* Spelling will be sent home in spelling books please keep using the look / say / cover / write / check method when learning the words at home.

* New words will be dated at the front on the spelling book.

* Test spellings will go at the back of the book.



Please read with your child for a minimum of 10 minutes every night (and write something they were really good at or something they found a little tricky in their reading record)


* All children will be listened to by myself and the class teaching assistant every week during Guided Reading.

* In addition to reading with an adult, each week they will also complete an independent comprehension activity and use reading eggs to enhance their phonic understanding.


(Moving up colour bands)

This year, the children have been moving up colour bands rather than stages. They will move up to the next colour band when they can fluently and audibly read the words as well as understand the content of what they have read (both of which we focus on in Guided Reading). I hope that the bookmarks have assisted at home with which questions to ask when reading together to check understanding.



This is how book bands progress in Year 1:   



Thank you for your continued support so far this year and I’m looking forward to see what the last 10 weeks of the year brings.


Kind regards,

Mr Boardman