Springwood Infant and

Junior School Federation

Believing is achieving

Year 1 Learning and Home Learning Ideas

Year 1 Learning and Home Learning Ideas

Over lockdown please refer to remote learning rather than this page. 



Phonics is a key part of our time in Year 1. Phonics is taught daily by Miss De Luca and Miss Turner. During our phonics lessons we learn pure sounds and blend them together to read words.


Some terms you might hear us use:


Phoneme: A phoneme is a sound.

Digraph: A digraph is a sound that has two letters, such as "ai", like in "rain".

Trigraph: A trigraph is a sound that has three letters, such as "igh", like in "night".

Split digraph: A sound where an e changes the sound of a vowel to it's name. There is always another sound in between. For example, in the word "bone", the "e" changes the sound of the "o" to an "oa" (as in "boat"). 

Blending: This is the process of sounding the phonemes and joining them together to make a word. 

Sound buttons: This is a technique to help children recognise digraphs/trigraphs/split digraphs in words to help them blend. 

Phase 2/3/4/5: All of the sounds and tricky words are divided into these phases. This determines which order we teach sounds in and gives children the ability to start making words from Phase 2 (the first 6 sounds are s a t p i n. How many words can you find with these first 6 phonemes?).

Tricky words/common exception words: Words that cannot be sounded out. 


If you need any assistance with phonics, do let a member of the Year 1 team know and we would be happy to explain in further detail. 

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

It is extremely important when children learn to use phonics that they use the pure sounds (many adults were taught to add an "uh" to the end of the sounds, e.g. muh instead of mmmmmm). This video shows the correct pronunciation of these phonemes.

We appreciate that many children prefer to be more active with their home learning, so we have provided some ideas that you could try with your children!


These games work for phonemes or for reading tricky words/common exception words (see below).

Active phonics practice

Reading and Writing


Reading can be one of the most special and rewarding bonding times within families and we encourage Year 1 children to read to someone at home at least three times a week to improve their reading ability. This could mean reading to an adult, a sibling or even a pet (with an adult casually listening in).


Writing can be tricky to practise at home, so our suggestion would be to let your children first of all find a love of writing. This comes through a love of reading, so we recommend reading often to your child with bedtime stories, recipes or even age appropriate news or stories from magazines! 


This will encourage your child to write at home. In Year 1, the primary goal of writing is to write sentences that:

  • Make sense.
  • Are spelt phonetically (except tricky words and common exception words)
  • Have a capital letter at the beginning and full stop at the end.
  • Have finger spaces between words. 

All of this independently by the end of the year! There are other elements of writing that are taught, but those elements will shine through in their writing at home as they gain confidence. 


At this age, we are aware that some children are reluctant to write. This may be that your child prefers to be more active. Remember, writing doesn't just happen at a table! It could be a special notebook on the floor, or a clipboard and pen outside, or even a stick writing in mud/sand. There are many ways to encourage writing which may be different for every child, if you need advise please feel free to approach a member of the Year 1 team. 

Tricky words and common exception words 


These words (which you will find below) are words that cannot be sounded out phonetically. These are the words which a Year 1 child should be able to read and spell correctly by the end of the academic year, along with numbers one to twenty as words and the days of the week.


To show children the difference when teaching these words, we use the letter names instead of the letter sounds. 

Practicing Tricky word and Common Exception words spelling


As said previously, the only words children have to spell correctly by the end of Year 1 are the above, phonetical spellings will be fine! But here are some ideas on how to practise spellings actively/creatively. (Hint: If you type in "Spelling Grids" into Google or "Active spelling" into Pinterest there are many, many different ideas. Also, feel free to ask Year 1 staff for any advice).

Creative/Active Spelling


Number Bonds


One of the trickiest parts of Year 1 maths that takes time to understand is our number bonds to 10 and 20. Number bonds are the different ways to make a particular number. For example the different ways to make 10 are:













In Year 1, we also need to make the link between addition and subtraction. We can use our number bonds to help us!













With this understanding and by learning these number facts off by heart (both in order and out of order), our mental arithmetic dramatically improves. Below are some games you could play to improve number bonds to 10 and 20 knowledge. 


(By the way, these games are for number bonds to 10, but they can also be altered to make number bonds to 20 games!)

Number bonds games

Number bond to 10 song


"9 and 1 make 10,

8 and 2 are friends,

7 and 3,

6 and 4,

and 5 + 5 are twins!"

I Know My Number Bonds 10 | Number Bonds to 10 | Addition Song for Kids | Jack Hartmann

Number bonds for 10 song.

The number bonds to twenty song for children

A slightly nutty song about the numbers that add up to twenty.