Home Page

Early Years, Year 1 and Year 2

Early Years

Early Years at Hackness CE Primary School continues the young child’s development from their previous settings (home / playgroups / nurseries) through to the end of Reception age group (four to five years). We are delighted to have very close relationships with local pre-school providers which smooths the transition as new pupils join us. As part of our transition programme, Miss Fanous visits children in their existing settings before the children attend a number of transition days in school during the summer term.

At the end of Reception, assessments are shared formally in writing regarding children's achievement and learning styles, against the Early Learning Goals: the prime areas (Communication / Language, Physical Development, and Personal / Social / Emotional Development) and the specific areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World, and Expressive Arts and Design). These judgements are informed by children's work throughout the year, in their independent and adult-directed play-based learning, and are enhanced through regular contributions from parents and other adults known to the child. Staff also follow objective-led planning in order to identify and build on children's knowledge, skills and understanding. Attainment is judged as 'Emerging', 'Expected' or 'Exceeding' based on average achievements at the end of the child's first year at school, per the following statutory and non-statutory guidelines:


Early Years Framework

Phonics/Reading Schemes

Phonics is taught using a multisensory approach to support children’s developing understanding of decoding words for reading and encoding for writing. The school follows 'Letters and Sounds’ but also utilises elements of ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘Bug Club’ to embed the children’s learning.

When children are secure in their knowledge of 'phonemes' (sounds) and the 'graphemes' (letters) that correspond to them, and are beginning to blend them into words, children will begin to bring books home to share with you. We encourage children to 'sound out' words, or 'press the sound buttons' and blend the sounds to read the words. There are, however, 'tricky words' which are not easily decoded and so it is necessary for children to begin to recognise them on sight.

Children have access to graded reading schemes from Oxford University Press (including Oxford Owls, a vast range of eBooks), Collins Big Cat and National Geographic, allowing them to apply their phonic knowledge across a range of texts and develop their comprehension skills as they do so. In school the children also take part in Guided Group Reading in Early Years and KS1 and currently uses a range of texts from Scholastic, Rigby Star, Floppy’s Phonics and ‘free’ readers (such as well-loved books by Roald Dahl, Jill Murphy or Julia Donaldson), depending on children’s ability and interests.

See the link below for details of our phonics and reading schemes:

Please login with your child's individual details (FS2/Year 1)


In their reading packets are 'Planners' (or reading records), which we use to exchange any news or comments with you, our parents and carers, and we welcome any contributions you would like to make. We also use them to record individual reading, and would encourage you to add your own comments to them, letting us know when you have read with your child, and how they got on. Planners should be kept in reading packets and brought to school each day. You will also find other items have been included which will help your child to practise writing his/her name, and forming letters correctly.

Year 1 and Year 2


In Year 1 and 2 we use our number skills in practical situations all the time. Practising mathematical skills every day in a variety of ways helps children to apply what they know, and gradually access number facts automatically. We are aiming to know all the addition facts to 20 then 100. For example, 5 add what makes 10? 50 add what makes 100? We start by working it out but eventually want to be able to come up with the answer instantly! Similarly, with subtraction...We have 30 children in our class, but 4 are away. How many children are here today? Children are constantly required to challenge their mathematical thinking by reasoning why something is or is not true and demonstrating their understanding in different contexts. The aim of this is to deepen their understanding of key mathematical principles and connections between these.


In English each day we have discrete phonics sessions throughout Key Stage 1. During these sessions the children learn to read, spell and write phonemes from single letter sounds to trigraphs (three letters making one sound) like 'air' in h-air. It is based on the Primary National Strategy's 'Letters and Sounds' teaching programme which was created in response to the Rose report. Embedded in the 'L&S' programme is an emphasis on the importance of speaking and listening, so we offer lots of opportunities for this to take place in the classroom. We also practise reading and writing using a wide range of texts with the whole class, in guided reading in small groups, and when possible, we continue to listen to readers individually. Meanwhile, the value of reading at home cannot be emphasised enough.


During the year, we will be using high quality texts to drive our topics and the children’s interests. In our English we look specifically at internalising the text and learning it off by heart using pictures and actions. Following this, the children create class versions of these stories or non-fiction texts, by following the same pattern of language.

In Years 1 and 2 children bring home spellings on Friday which are linked to the phonics teaching from that week. These will be tested the following Friday.

At the end of Year 1 all children are required to undergo the 'Phonics Screening Check' which tests their grasp of phonics and ability to blend sounds accurately. The check involves reading 20 real words and 20 pseudo words and for the past 3 years the pass threshold has been 32/40. Should the required standard not be met, children will take the test again at the end of Year 2.