Top 10 tips for Year 1 parents

  1. Reading every day for 5 to 10 minutes – regular reading practice is vital to support their progress. Those children who read every day are more likely to become confident readers by the end of Year 1 giving them a solid basis for their future learning.
  2. Share books with your child – read to them and talk about the story. Discuss what you like about the books. 
  3. Help your child to practise reading and spelling the first 100 High Frequency words at speed. If they can recognise them on sight, reading fluency will be vastly improved.
  4. ‘Gimme 5’ – strategies for reading unfamiliar words.

·      Think about it – does the word they said make sense?

·      Look at the picture – What is happening in the picture that can give a clue.

·      Sound it out – this works well as long as it is not a ‘tricky’ word.

·      Go forward – miss out the tricky word and carry on reading the rest of the sentence. Can you think of what might make sense in the gap?

·      Go back – Go back and re-read the sentence – this helps them to make sense of what they have just read.

  1. Encouraging correct tripod pencil grip – the more a child holds their pencil correctly, the more natural it will be to them.
  2. Encouraging correct letter and number formation when writing at home.
  3. Look for opportunities to talk about numbers. If you see numbers, can your child read them? What is the next number, or the one before?
  4. Does you child know how much each of the coins is worth? Look for opportunities to allow your child to handle money, and talk about change. Do they ever have to save up for something?
  5. Can your child tell the time? – begin by talking about what the time is now, and what happens at different times of day. Help them to use a clock to know when it’s bed time/ tea time/ time to go to school. This helps them to develop their understanding of the importance of being able to tell what time it is.
  6. Continue to use a range of creative tools (as you did in Reception) to help to develop/extend your child’s fine motor skills. Use scissors, play-dough, chalk, sand etc. Physical activities such as crawling, climbing, throwing, pushing, pulling etc develop upper body strength which is vital for good pencil control. 


Year 1 Homework expectations


In Year 1, there is an expectation that children will read for a few minutes every day with an adult as children who do this make significantly better progress in their reading. Please make a note of reading done in your child’s Learning Journal. Children have the opportunity to change their books every day during the reading session. They are encouraged to read a variety of different types of book at their level, changing their book if they have read it all. If your child wishes to continue reading after they have read their school book, you could share a book from home. If they are not yet able to tackle the whole thing they could look for the words that they know from their own reading while you read the rest of the words for them.


The Year 1 Spelling List is made up of the 100 High Frequency Words from ‘Letters and Sounds’, many of which are common words which cannot be ‘sounded out’. By the end of Year 1 all children should be able to read these words on sight and to spell them all correctly each time they use them. The list is sorted into five groups of twenty words, with the easiest words in the first group and the hardest in the last group. Children should practice spelling and reading these at home. Twenty words will be tested during the last week of each half term (in order of difficulty).

Phonic Sounds

In addition, the phonic sounds that we have been learning in Phonics groups each week are stuck into your child’s Learning Journal each Friday, so that you can support their reading and writing by practising using these sounds at home. A ‘prompt’ list of example words using these sounds is also included, though it is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is it a list of spellings to be ‘learnt’. Children confident with using the sounds will be able to break the word into parts to spell it phonically without having to learn the spelling of each individual word.

Supporting a child with Phonic Spelling

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