Year 1 2023 - 2024

Mrs Chilton-Jones

Welcome to Year 1!

Mrs Chilton Jones, Mrs Rice-Birchall, Mrs Pitchford and Mrs Ledgar

Mrs Chilton-Jones and Mrs Rice-Birchall  will be teaching the class supported by Mrs Ledgar and Mrs Pitchford who  are our class teaching assistants.

Mrs Chilton-Jones will be teaching Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  and Friday and Mrs Rice-Birchall on a Thursday.  


St John's Catholic Primary School - Autumn Poems



Welcome to The Autumn term in Year 1!


Dear Year 1 Parents,

As your children begin their new school year, we would like to welcome you as Year 1 parents.

Mrs Chilton-Jones and Mrs Rice-Birchall will be teaching the class supported by Mrs Ledgar our class teaching assistant and also Miss Pitchford (who most of you will know from reception). Mrs Chilton-Jones will be teaching Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and Mrs Rice-Birchall on a Thursday.  


As in Reception, the following items should be sent into school each day:

  • As per our school prospectus. Named water bottles (with plain water only). The school policy is still drinking water only please. No juice or fizzy drinks are permitted within school. (unless under medical advice and evidence is provided).
  • Reading books and diary protected inside the blue bag.
  • A shower proof coat
  • Children in Key Stage 1 and Reception do not need to bring a snack (unless of course you wish to), as fruit will be provided.



  • We are very proud of our uniform at St. Gabriels. We request that all clothes worn at school are cleared labelled.
  • Hair should be cut smartly, with no ‘fashion designs’ of lines, patterns or extreme designs. No haircut should be cut below a ‘grade 2’. Hair should always be tied up in a ponytail if it is long enough (shoulder-length).
  • Nail polish is not permitted to be worn at school.
  • Jewellery should not be worn in school for health and safety reasons. Under no
  • circumstances should jewellery be worn during PE lessons. If your child has their ears pierced, we would recommend that earrings are removed for their PE days. However, if earrings are worn this is restricted to studs and children will be asked to remove these during PE lessons for their own safety. Covering with plasters is not permissible. Adults must not attempt to assist children with the removal or replacement of studs. It is always our recommendation to have ears pierced in the Summer break enabling safe removal during term-time.



If your child is absent for any reason, to ensure this is recorded correctly, please email the main school office rather than the class teacher.  Absences should be reported at the start of the day to the following email:   



Letters into school

In year 1, we don’t go through your child’s bookbags as we move to build their independence.  We do prompt our children, to hand in any letter responses they may have in their bags, but any urgent letters can be handed in at the school reception desk, at pick-up or drop off. If you do put a letter into your child’s school bag, please let them know and do try to remind your child to hand these in to their class teacher.   



Lots of children like to share sweets/cake with their class friends when it is their birthday, as a kind gesture.  We do have a few children with allergies and are unable to check parental consent easily or check food ingredients easily when these treats arrive in school.  If you would like to share treats with class children, when it is your child’s birthday, if you can just notify the class teacher, then we can arrange for you to hand these out, directly to children at the end of the school day, when they are able to seek parental consent at the same time, preventing any risk to those with dietary risks/allergies. 


The Curriculum

Year 1 introduces a more formal approach to learning as the children begin the National Curriculum.  The following information provides an overview of the curriculum in Year 1 this term:


Maths and English:

In Maths, we will continue to work through the Primary Stars Scheme.  In English, we will mainly work on a text based approach, using a range of picture books and non-fiction texts that link to our topic theme for the term. In addition, discrete grammar, spelling and handwriting lessons will also be taught.  Daily phonics lessons will ensure children develop as fluent, confident readers and prepare them for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in June 2023 (more information about this will be sent out closer to the time).  In year 1 the children continue to learn phonics and spelling through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Scheme.



Our Autumn topic is ‘It’s Good to be Me’.  In geography we will be looking at our local area  and in history we will be finding out what it was like to be a child long ago.  The children will enjoy being scientists, exploring everyday materials and observing seasonal changes.  During art lessons we will be exploring techniques for painting. drawing and collage and finding out about a range of artists.


Children are often keen to bring items from home relating to our topic to share with the class but please check before sending things in.  Please ensure toys and other non-school items are not bought into school.  You can message us via our emails if you are unsure about anything.



Our Religion topics are ‘God’s Great Plan’ and ‘Mary Our Mother’. We will be learning about the Story of Creation and God’s wonderful world.  In the second half of term we will learning about Advent and the joy of Christmas.




This term  P.E is every Wednesday and Thursday.  Please could you ensure the P.E kit is in a labelled drawstring bag.  A blue t-shirt and a pair of navy blue shorts need to be on your child’s cloakroom peg from Monday to Friday each week. Long hair should always be tied back on  P.E days and  earrings should be removed at home prior to the school day.  Staff are unable to remove children’s earrings. The children will need warmer outdoor kits as we move into autumn- long jogging trousers, a long sleeved top and sturdy trainers.  We advise against plimsols as they do not provide adequate grip for PE on the tarmac outside.


     Please ensure all clothing is clearly labelled.  This is especially important in these early years of school as the children are becoming more independent and learning to manage their own belongings. 


Reading and Phonics

In Year 1, as in reception, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Programme.

The children will each read three times a week in school and their new book will be sent home after the third day, either Thursday or Friday.  We will start the autumn term revising the sounds learnt in reception and continue to practise blending and segmenting these sounds into words for reading and writing.

You can see more about how we teach phonics and how you can support your child with phonics and reading on the Little Wandle website: 

It is essential that you read daily with your child.  Each child should read a minimum of 4 times a week at home.   Your support each week with reading is essential and highly valued as reading regularly at home makes a huge impact on your child’s individual progress.


As the year progresses, spellings will be gradually introduced and we will send out more information nearer the time.  


            Your support helps the classroom to run more smoothly and we will keep you informed about further developments throughout the coming year. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries or concerns. The children have already made a wonderful start in Year 1 and we look forward to an exciting year ahead. 


  With best wishes,


 Mrs Rice-Birchall, Mrs. Chilton-Jones, Mrs Ledgar & Miss Pitchford


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St Gabriel's Catholic Primary School, Well Lane, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2PG