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Year 1: Reading and maths, what should they be doing?

(5 Posts)
TessDurbeyfield Sat 06-Oct-12 22:15:48

Sorry it's a bit long...I would really appreciate hearing what is normal in Yr1

DS is in yr 1. His school went into special measures last term. The bit that came off worst was KS1 teaching in key skills (maths, English, writing) and in supporting kids at either end of the ability spectrum. The school is making massive strides in lots of areas but they've recently had a follow-up OFSTED and the bit that wasn't improving fast enough was the KS1 teaching again. So I am worried and we have a parents evening where I want to find out what they are doing in key skills. I want work out how much of a problem there is, so would very much appreciate knowing what is normal/expected for yr 1. From what I can see from books/talking to DS:

Reading/Phonics: he has read with an adult twice since starting Yr 1. The first was with the head of KS1 who put him on 'Lime' and the 2nd was with a TA. He hasn't read with his class teacher at all. He says he doesn't do any group reading or any 'all class' reading (I will check). He has daily phonics with yr 2 (he's the only one). I'm worried that he is falling between the two classes and being ignored.

Maths: they are working on number bonds for 10 and counting and estimating up to 20. DS has been able to do this for ages. We were talking in the bath the other day and I realised he didn't know how to add where the result was over 10 e.g. 8+4 without counting on. I explained how to do it using the number bonds he knows (e.g. 8+4 is the same as 8+2=10+2=12) and he got it immediately so I guess they've not covered it. I was shocked to see another poster with Yr1 homework of 63-27 on another thread - are we far behind?

Writing - he is youngest in the year and his fine motor skills are a bit lacking but they are improving in this class so that is good. Still only writing one sentence at a sitting.

The kids seem enthusiastic, they are engaged by the topic work, happy and the discipline and behaviour are good which is all great but I am very worried that the key skills are not being supported so would really appreciate hearing whether this sounds worrying or normal.

Many thanks.

bamboostalks Sat 06-Oct-12 22:19:41

Well it sounds like he is doing v well whatever the state of the school. Lime is fab at his stage and my dd wouldn't have a clue about that sum and she is doing ok I think.

Catmint Sat 06-Oct-12 22:25:31

My DD is Y1 & is also doing number bonds for 10 - seemingly the subject that never ends! School is good for maths. I think they are investing more time at this early stage to make sure that the basics are really well understood, & getting the principles right with lower numbers means that the children will have more facility with more complex stuff later. (this is my theory, school have not said this!)

She has read with her class teacher once. She does letters & sounds in a small group with Y2.

The class seem to be streamed into ability groups and she is in top one, so from our perspective, your DS experience is normal.

bamboostalks Sat 06-Oct-12 22:33:36

It can actually be v positive to be in a school where weaknesses are highlighted, they tend to be aggressively tackled then. If ofsted are still bleating re ks1 then there will be real input into that area. It all sounds pretty standard for year 1 though. Most of them are still just 5 remember.

TessDurbeyfield Sat 06-Oct-12 22:56:53

Thank you very much for those reassuring experiences. He's our first and neither of us have any experience of teaching so when you know the school is in special measures it's easy to worry that everything is wrong. The poor teacher is pretty worn down by the past few months I think so we're trying to be supportive where possible but obviously want to ask questions as soon as possible if things are going wrong.

Sounds as if it is doing OK - DS is constantly saying they had a 'visitor' in so I think you are right bamboo - they are all over it.

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