Year 1 2021 - 2022

Mr Ellis

Welcome to Year One

Thanks to our new learners for a fantastic first few weeks in their new class. They're working really hard and adapting so well to a really different environment from the one they were used to in their Reception class. Thanks to all our parents and carers too for a really smooth and succesful start to the year. I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all better and supporting you in the coming year. There’s lots of new things to remember so if you need to ask for help with anything please don’t hesitate to do so. The best way to do this is usually via the secure, private message system on Class Dojo. Most of you are already signed up but if you need to know more about how to join please just let me know.

Mr Ellis


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This year children in Year One are taught by myself, Mr Ellis, with support from our incredible teaching assistant Mrs Harrison. We will also be enjoying regular Forest School/outdoor learning sessions with the amazing Miss Wilding, as well as weekly art sessions with the awesome team of Ms Lynch, Mrs Ahmed and Mrs Murphy. Our current forest school/outdoor learning day is Thursday and children should bring comfortable, waterproof clothing along with the kind of footwear that you don’t mind them getting muddy or wet so that they can really get stuck in and get the most out of the experience.

Children in Year One follow the National Curriculum (2014) and an outline of the topics we cover through the year can be found here: Year One Curriculum Map 2020-21

The curriculum expectations for children in Year One can be found here.

Start and End of the day

Mr Ellis and/or Mrs Harrison will be waiting to greet children in the KS1 (front) playground at 8:45am when the first school bell rings. Please ensure your child is not unsupervised in the playground before this time. Children come into school and begin their 'Early Work'. This routine enables parents/carers to share information and hopefully ensures that there is minimal disruption to the start of the school day. We encourage children to take ownership of their own learning, which includes being organised: it is their responsibility to bring water bottles, book bags and anything else they need inside the classroom and put them into the right places. A second bell will ring at 8:55am, when the classroom door will be closed and the register will be taken. If you arrive after this time please report with your child to the school office and they will be escorted to the Year One classroom by a member of staff.

Children in Year One are handed-over to their parent/carer in the same KS1 playground at 3:15pm. It is important that all children are collected by an adult to ensure they go home safely. If there are any changes to picking up arrangements please let the school office know as early in the day as possible. If you have children in more than one of our classes at Mersey Vale we encourage you to collect your youngest child first wherever possible. Children cannot go to different classes to pick up their siblings as each class teacher has responsibility for the children in their own class. If children are not collected by 3:25pm they will be escorted to the school office and then to our after school club. This will incur a cost.

Water and Healthy Snacks

Children should bring their own water bottle, clearly labelled with their name, which needs to be brought home, cleaned and refilled each day after school. They may also bring a healthy snack for our morning playtime such as fruit, a cereal bar or a yoghurt tube. Chocolate biscuits, crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks should not be brought as snacks. Our school policy is that children should only have healthy snacks at morning playtime. Please help your child to make healthy choices.


All classes take part in weekly PE sessions of gymnastics, dance or games. Our current PE day is Friday and children in Year One are expected to come to school wearing their kit. New Mersey Vale kit is available - t shirt, shorts and PE bag. Children should also have navy joggin bottoms and a sweatshirt for cold weather. A special hooded sweatshirt with the school logo is also available and costs approximately £12.25 depending on the size. Please speak to the school office for more information about how to order any of these items. Please ensure all clothing is labelled with your child's name.

Follow us!

For the most up to date news and information about what’s happening in Year One please see our page on Class Dojo or follow us (and leave us feedback) on twitter – if you’re not sure how to set up an account just send me a Dojo message or catch me after school:


Class Dojo

Updates about what’s going on in class, particularly related to specific children and their achievements, are also often shared through the Class Dojo website/app. Most parents in the class are already signed up to this and are hopefully finding it useful, but please let me know if you’re having any problems with this when you collect your child and I’ll be glad to support you in getting set up.



Homework is given to all learners in line with our homework policy. Brief details are as follows:

  • Homework is given out each Friday to be handed back in at any time before the following Friday.
  • Homework will usually consist of an English and a Maths challenge. It will also often include a challenge linked to one of our current topics.
  • At Mersey Vale we use a reading and phonics scheme called Read Write Inc. The children will bring home a 'Book Bag Book' from this scheme each week. All children should also have a home/school reading record book in which we encourage parents/carers to write comments. In addition the children will also bring home a high-quality picture book each week from our class library.

Managing Medical Needs

We support and welcome pupils with medical conditions and aim to provide all pupils with medical conditions with the same opportunities as others at school. The school understands the importance of medication being taken as prescribed and parents must complete an authorisation form for this. All medication should be kept in our locked medicines cabinet at the school office.

Some children in the school suffer from asthma and have inhalers to be taken when needed. Children’s inhalers should be passed on to their teachers who will keep them where they are out of reach but easily accessible. Any child who uses an inhaler must also have it available during any off-site lessons such as swimming or a school trip.


Medicines in School

No child is allowed to self-administer medicine in school. Only Ms Whitehead, Ms Varetto and Mr Farrell are allowed to give a child medication eg. prescribed 4 times a day medication. Parents should be referred to the Head/Deputy Headteacher with any requests for a medicine to be administered.


Useful Apps and Online Resources

There are  dozens of great apps that we use in school. Here’s a short list of a few of the most commonly used apps in Year One:

Book creator
Pic Collage
Scratch Jr

Twinkl Phonics
Twinkl spell pop
Writing wizard
Hairy Letters

Math Duel
Reading Number
Counting Dots

There’s also tons of links to resources and games you can play on PCs and laptops right here on this very page! These online resources are used throughout the year in class. Some of them may not link to our current topics and may be beyond your child’s abilities at present, but hopefully you’ll find something appropriate (and enjoyable) here.

It’s also well worth exploring the Oxford Owls website ( which has a broad range of free e-books for younger readers of varying abilities.

If you have any suggestions for other resources that you or your children are enjoying using please share them – there’s so much on offer nowadays, and it’s changing so fast, that your suggestions are always welcome.

Supporting Your Child at Home

Here are a few ‘How to…’ documents that will hopefully be useful in supporting your child with their work in Year One:

How to help your child with Maths in Key Stage 1

How to help your child with phonics

Phonics Workshop-Advice for parents.

Key Words to Know in Year One

Year 1 – Maths Curriculum – Yearly Overview

Year 1 – Reading Curriculum – Yearly Overview



Links to Online Activities

Barnaby Bear's Weather Activity


Matching Numbers and Number Words

Try this brilliant game to see how well you know number words. It's a flash based game so you might need to try opening with Internet Explorer instead of Google Chrome.



We've been learning how to identify plants and trees by looking at their leaves carefully. The Woodland Trust website and this identification checklist are both really useful if you'd like to try it at home.


There's all kinds of fun activities about weather here on this fab website.


Why not try using this fantastic sheep game to work on some subtraction problems?


Subtraction Stories

We've been using this brilliant game on the big whiteboard in class to explain the first stages of subtraction. Why not try it at home to practise your skills.


Got It - Two Player Maths Game

Have a go at this fantastic Maths game with a friend. Can you work out a pattern that will let you win every time?


Traditional Tales

This fantastic website contains lots of our favourite traditional (fairy) tales. Read or listen to one of them and have a go at some of the fun activities to check your understanding.

Weather Forecast

Can you create a weather forecast using this fantastic website?


Number Bonds to 5 and 10

How quickly can you work out your number bonds to make 5 or 10? Try this exciting game to find out!


Special Space Jumps - Addition Game

Have a go at this tricky but fun Maths game to practise adding numbers that make more than ten.


Describing Different Kinds of Weather

Can you think of interesting adjectives to describe the different types of weather? Click here to have a go!


Weather and the Seasons

Can you put the seasons in the right order and describe the weather at each time using interesting adjectives? Find out by playing this cool game.


Island Chase

Will your boat be the quickest in the race? Answer the quick subtraction questions to become the winner in this fun game.


Number Pyramid

Test your number bond skills in this fantastic addition and subtraction game!

Barnaby Bear Report

Listen to this report with a partner. Then try and answer the questions. Make sure you listen carefully!

How many ways can you share the teddies?

Try this fun Maths game to work out how many different ways you can share the teddies.


Toys Timeline

Can you put the toys in order on the timeline in this super sorting game?


Ten Frame Games

Have a go at this fantastic ten square game to test your number bond knowledge.

Then try this brilliant ten square game to extend your skills even  further.


Have a go at this brilliant game to test your knowledge of different coins.

Making Change

In this fantastic game you'll need to scan each item on the supermarket conveyor belt, then work out how much change each customer should be given.


Making Ten

Can you use these digitial cuisenaire rods to find all the ways to make ten? Try it with two numbers first. Then have a go using three numbers!

Sorting Materials

Can you group these toys and give them labels to show how you grouped them?



Have a go at this fantastic triangle investigation game. Can you explain to a grown up why you chose the different groups for your triangles?


Animal Questions

Check out this cool game!

Addition Stories

Can you make up a fishy addition story using the numbers in this clever game ?


Going on a Bear Hunt

Watch Michael Rosen perform his story We're Going on a Bear Hunt here. Can you use the same kind of voice and copy his actions?


Check out this fantastic section on the BBC website to learn more about France and practise using some French words

Animal Facts

Show what you know about animals by playing this fun game on the BBC website

Animal Labels

We've been learning about labels and captions. Can you write labels and captions for the different animals in this fantastic game?

Ladybird Adding Game

Try this fantastic adding game. Just count the spots on the ladybirds to find the different totals!

Test the Toad Adding and Subtracting Game

Use the number line in this fun addition and subtraction game to help you work out the calculations.

Ordering Numbers

Have a go at this fun Caterpillar Ordering Game to test your ordering skills!

Plants and Animals

Have a go at this fun BBC game to test your knowledge of plants and animals. How much do you know?


Funky Mummy Number Bond Game

Try this fantastic Funky Mummy maths game to practise your number bonds. How many can you get right? Can you beat your partner?



Have a go at this fun plants quiz.

Plants Research

Write down 5 amazing plant facts from this fantastic website.

Number Problem Solving

How many different ways can you make 7? Use the rods to help you work out the answers on this brilliant website.

Mend the Number Square

Get out a hundred square. Then work with a partner to try and help Walter the Worm mend the broken hundred square in this fantastic game. Have fun!


Jack and the Beanstalk

Click here to listen to the whole Jack and the Beanstalk story. Which parts will you include in your re-telling?

BBC Jack and the Beanstalk Story

Click here to enjoy the BBC version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Remember to think about how Jack's mum would feel when he swapped the cow for magic beans!


Balloon Pop Fives

Have a go at this fun game to practise counting in fives.

Butterfly Fives

Try this brilliant game and catch the butterflies to practise counting in fives.


Fairy Tales

Click here to listen to one of the fantastic fairy tales with a partner. Then retell the story using one of the little zig zag books. Can you write a 2A sentence?

Weather Forecasts

Click here to create a weather forecast. Can you create a forecast from the instructions I gave you?

Cashing In

Can you choose the correct coins to make the different totals? Remember: choose the total that's right for you. Start with up to 10p and get harder when you feel confident!

Number Pyramid

Can you work out the right numbers or symbols to add to these addition and subtraction number sentences? Work out your answers carefully to escape from the pyramid!

Island Chase - Subtraction Race

How quickly can you solve subtraction problems? Use your fingers, counting cubes or a number line to work out the answers to these problems. Be quick or your speedboat will fall behind in the race!

Partitioning Fun!

Can you partition these numbers and add them back together to help splat the ogre? Remember: go for level 1 to begin!

Subtraction Game

Have a go at this fun to test your subtraction skills. Remember: try 'within 5' if you're finding it tricky!

Barnaby Bear Visits an Allotment

As part of One World Week we're going to find out about how we can grow our own fruit and vegetables. Watch this clip to find out more from Barnaby Bear!

Rocket Rescue

A fun phonics games!

Cross the Swamp

How many more or less should the monkey add or take away to cross the swamp? Play this funny game to improve your skills!

Little Animals Adding Ladybird Game

How many spots do you need to make the answer? Count them carefully!

Number Jumbler

Can you solve the missing symbol problems?

Properties of Materials

Which materials are shiny? Which can float? Which are made from a natural material?

Materials Game

What are the different objects made from? Can you sort and label them?

Adding and Subtracting

A fun game to help with your adding and subtracting!

Writing Instructions

Can you write the instructions for how to get ready for school?

What do animals eat?

Can you sort out the animals depending on the different foods they eat?

r sounds.

Phonics play games - for reading key words

We use this game in school to read and recognise key (CVC) words, and match it to the picture shown. Have a go at home!

Splat square! - for counting and recognising numbers

The children use this splat square to count and recognise numbers. Have a go at home!

Espresso maths games - counting, adding and subtracting

These are just some of the maths games we play in class. The children know how to count the actions, objects or sounds. Some of the harder games are adding or subtracting numbers. Have a go at home!

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