↑ Return to Curriculum

Curriculum – Year 1


During each term the children explore both fiction and non-fiction themes which are linked to our topics. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught through these topics.

Autumn Term

Our topics for this term are Memory Box and Super Heroes. The children will write labels and write simple sentences linked to objects and memories. The children will also write simple sentences linked to Super Heroes and then create a report.

The children will then write simple sentences using stories about their own experiences, as well as create a story board and use this for a Super Hero comic strip.

Spring Term

Our Topics for this term are Moon Zoom and Dinosaurs Planet. The children will recite familiar poems by heart and write and perform a dinosaur poem. The children will write a fact file to report on space, as well as write a simple recount about discovering eggs on an egg hunt.

The children will then write simple sentences using patterned language based on science fiction stories and create a short narrative about having a pet as a dinosaur.

Summer Term

Our Topics for this term are Enchanted Woodland and Rio Da Vida. The children will write explanations about the lifecycle of a woodland creature and write carnival poetry using alliteration. The children will also write instructions for a simple recipe of a Brazilian dish.

The children will then write a story telling of a woodland adventure for example Little Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks and The Three Bears. They will also read Brazilian mythology tales and write a series of sentences to describe a mythical creature.


MATHS (Maths No Problem)

Year 1
Autumn The focus this term is on number. The children will be developing their understanding of counting, place value and number bonds initially to 10 before extending this to 20. This will lead into some learning about addition and subtraction. They will also be learning about naming positions in geometry and the associated language including left and right.
Spring This term Year 1 will be learning about both 2D and 3D shapes and their properties and they will use the shapes to create patterns. Their understanding of measurement will be developing through some work on length and height where they will be comparing heights and using the subject specific language associated with this for example taller, shorter and longer. They will also be learning to measure objects with increasing accuracy using both non-standard units and rulers. They will continue to work on their understanding of number, addition and subtraction but this will be extended to 40 and they will be introduced to the concept of multiplication. This learning will also feature in a number of lessons on solving word problems.
Summer The children will be continuing to develop their multiplication skills and will be introduced to the inverse skill of dividing- they will be learning to group and share equally. Their work on fractions will begin with the idea of splitting an object (shape) into equal parts initially halves and then quarters. Counting, place value and number skills will be extended to 100. Measurement learning will focus on time, money, volume and capacity and mass. Time will focus on o’clock and half past and the associated language for example before and after. In their work on money they will be learning to recognise notes and coins. The skills of position and direction will be revised and extended to include the idea of turning.



The National Curriculum requires children at KS1 & KS2 to study science. Starting in the school year 2017 – 2018, children throughout Holdbrook are following an exciting new science scheme called ‘Engaging Science’. This scheme covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and is supplemented by additional exploration in relevant Cornerstones topics. The life and work of famous scientists are linked to relevant units of work throughout both Key Stages.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Further detail about the National Curriculum requirements for science at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Science

Our Curriculum:


Year 1

The Animal Kingdom

Children will become familiar with common British vertebrates and invertebrates. They will learn about the different groups of vertebrates and be able to describe the main external features of each group. They will look at what animals eat and will understand that different animals have different diets. They will describe the external human body in detail.



Everyday Materials

Children develop vocabulary to describe material properties.   They carry out a range of simple tests on materials and investigate the best material to make a particular object.




Children learn the names of some common native flowering plants and trees. They plant bulbs and/or seeds and observe their growth over a period of weeks.   They go outside to study flowers and trees in wild and cultivated areas, making sketches and notes.


The Weather

Children study different types of weather through making and using a weather station and looking at the weather around the World. They study different aspects of the weather and learn how different weather is associated with different seasons. They give different weather forecasts for different times of the year.

Additional unit: Our Environment

Children study the same natural area during the course of the year, looking at how the area as a whole changes and at how individual aspects such as a single tree change during the different seasons. They use their senses to observe the area and find common animals and plants within the area. They learn how to show respect for the area and for the living things in it.


The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum in London are both free and well worth a visit.

TOPIC (Cornerstones)

We follow the Cornerstones Interactive Learning Projects scheme of work in order to build a group of well-rounded individuals who love to learn in innovative and dynamic ways. This new scheme has allowed us to create links between pupils’ learning, the classroom environment, the outdoor space as well as consolidate learning through trips and visitors.

Each half-term we engage our children with a new topic, develop their ideas and understanding, allow them to innovate with their new skills and express their ideas using all of their creativity.

Below is a summary of what Year 1 will be learning about during each half-term. You will find information about their topic, the books they will be reading, the phenomena they will be investigating – as well as information about what they will be studying in each of the foundation subjects during that time.

Ensuring children are exposed to high-quality literature is key to improving vocabulary and writing as well as developing a love for reading that will stay with children for life. We have invested in classic literature which supplements and adds to the curriculum themes. Our English curriculum has also been developed in line with the Cornerstones’ scheme of work so that children’s understanding and application of skills can be developed throughout the school day.

Homework ties in with the curriculum in school- the details for this can be found in our revised Homework Policy.




Autumn 1 – Memory Box Hi 6

To begin with, the children will be developing their awareness of chronological ordering of their recent history of their peers and other changes within living memory by looking through photos and other artefacts from their lives. Families are encouraged to share their own histories; the older the better!

Autumn 2 – Moon Zoom Ge HP 2a Hi 3 Hi 1

The children will make their first steps into geography in this topic. They will begin by looking at common and key features from around Britain such as beaches, forests, mountains, oceans and more. They will also begin to develop their awareness of human and physical geographic features.

In History, the children will be learning about key figures in our recent history who are of significant note to develop their understanding of chronological ordering and also how lessons can be learned from the past. The children will make simple comparisons between these figureheads to reveal how the world has changed over the years.

Spring 1 – Super Heroes Hi3

During this topic, the children will look at modern day super heroes and learn about what it takes to be one! They will look at both historical figures and heroes we find in our day to day lives to help them understand the roles of these people and how they help us.

Spring 2 – Dinosaur Planet Ge LK1 Hi2

The children will go back in time to the prehistoric period and learn about events beyond living memory. They will explore the land before time using a variety of complex resources to develop their reading comprehension skills and help them understand quite how old the Earth is. They will develop their reasoning abilities through the use of factual evidence and references to texts.

Next, they will look at how the world has changed since this time and use this knowledge as a basis to identify the seven continents and five oceans around the world that still exist today.

Summer 1 – Enchanted Woodlands Ge SF2 Ge SF3

In this topic, the children will begin to develop their directional awareness using simple directional language and by using a 4 point compass. They will use this knowledge to create their own map of a local area as part of a field study and use prepositional phrases through their English lessons to further develop this skill. Through this unit the children will also be developing their geographical terms for physical geographic features.

Summer 2 – Rio De Vida Ge PK1 Ge SF1 Ge SF3

In the children’s final topic, they will be exploring the rich and vibrant culture of Brazil. They wil start by continuing to develop their geographical understanding of the world by discovering where Brazil is on the map and its major landmarks using a variety of resources. They will also look into the surrounding oceans and compare a location in Brazil to a contrasting locality in Britain to explain how the Geography of an area can be used as an indicator for many aspects of an area and country.


Here is a link to the National Curriculum that explains these strands in and the other expectations from your children if you wish to review this further:

Geography: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1


History: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1



The Department for Education, as part of the new Primary National Curriculum (2014), stated that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education would remain non-statutory. It did, however, guide that ‘All schools should make provision for PSHE education, drawing on good practice.’

At Holdbrook Primary School, we teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education through the comprehensive scheme of learning called ‘Jigsaw’. During the year, all classes from Nursery through to Year 6 benefit from a weekly, engaging PSHE lesson.

The ‘Jigsaw’ approach has children at its heart and helps them to understand and value who they are and how they contribute to the world. Celebration Certificates are awarded in a weekly assembly, to pupils in each year group, to recognise their contribution to a particular aspect of each theme.




Lessons are based on a theme (Jigsaw piece). In Year 1, Jigsaw Jack will help children learn about: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference; Dreams and Goals; Being Healthy; Relationships; and Growing Up.



Autumn Term

The lessons in Year 1 in the Autumn term cover this learning:

Spring Term

The lessons in Year 1 in the Spring term cover this learning:

Summer Term

The lessons in Year 1 in the Summer term cover this learning:

Further information about the ‘Jigsaw’ approach in Year 1:






Autumn: Let’s Create

The children begin to explore the use of digital texts, using varied devices and software to look at, discuss and start to create digital content. They investigate differences between input and output and hardware and software. They explore the idea of computers being connected either at home or at school, logging on to their area with support. They use unplugged computing approaches to explore the devices they use. They consider eSafe practice through the use of Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) materials during the first half term to make the children aware of how to stay safe when online, whether through the use of the internet or apps they may use at school and home.

Spring: Visual Information

The children investigate how we get information from different sources. They create graphs and charts and make general statements about them. They use apps and software to explore environmental conditions both inside and outside the classroom. They organise objects using simple branching databases. They explore how computers might sort objects, noting the process of Repeat during basic coding. They build on their eSafe practice through discussion and regular elements of lessons to refresh their understanding of staying safe online.

Summer: Discover Programming

The children start work on naming the main external parts of a computer and explore how they work together. They explore programmable devices they are familiar with, relating their understanding of inputs and outputs to natural and digital types. The children use a variety of both app based and computer based approaches and simple onscreen and physical devices to develop understanding of algorithms and programming. They start to find out why a set of instructions might not work and try to solve problems to make simple algorithms work.

Department for Education Computing Program of Study KS1 and 2



At Holdbrook, we are now following the ‘Music Express’ program for teaching Music.


Year 1
Autumn 1 The topics are ‘Ourselves’ and ‘Number’

In the topic ‘Ourselves’ the children will explore ways of using their voices expressively. They will develop skills of singing while performing actions, and create an expressive story.

In the topic ‘Numbers’ the children will develop a sense of a steady beat through using movement, body percussion and instruments.

Autumn 2 The topics are ‘Animals’ and ‘Weather’.

In the topic ‘Animals’ the children will develop an understanding of pitch through using movement, voices and instruments. They will identify contrast of high and low pitches, and create animal chant sounds and sequences.

In the topic ‘Weather’ the children will use voices, movement and instruments to explore different ways that music can be used to describe the weather.

Spring 1 The topics are ‘Machines’ and ‘Seasons’.

In the topic ‘Machines’ the children will explore beat through movement, body percussion and instruments. They will combine steady beat with word rhythms and explore changes in tempo. Of pitch movements

In the topic ‘Seasons’ the children will further develop their vocabulary and understanding of pitch movements, exploring pitch through singing, tuned percussion and singing games.

Spring 2 The topics are ‘Our School’ and ‘Pattern’.

In the topic ‘Our School’ the children will explore sounds found in their school environment. They will investigate ways to produce and record sounds, using IT to stimulate musical ideas related to geography.

In the topic ‘Pattern’ the children will develop an understanding of metre – groups of steady beat – through counting, body percussion and readying scores.

Summer 1 The topics are ‘Story Time’ and ‘Our Bodies’.

In the topic ‘Story Time’ the children will learn how music can be used to tell a story. They will identify contrasts of fast and slow, loud ab quiet, leading to a performance.

In the topic ‘Our Bodies’ the children will respond with their bodies to a steady beat and rhythm in music. They experience combining rhythm patterns with steady beat, using body percussion.

Summer 2 The topics are ‘Travel’ and ‘Water’.

In the topic ‘Travel’ the children will develop their performance skills and learn songs about travel and transport from around the world.

In the topic ‘Water’ the children will be using their voices, movement and instruments to explore changes of pitch. They will develop a performance with different vocal pitch shapes and tuned percussion.



At Holdbrook Primary and Nursery School the children will learn about the six main religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism. The children may also learn from other religions and theological ideas to ensure they are exposed to a diversity of faiths and viewpoints so they can begin to appreciate and understand that people around the world may have different beliefs and practices from their own.

This academic year, the RE curriculum will be delivered in a new and exciting way. The children will participate in six curriculum days, meaning they will not follow their usual timetable instead they will spend the whole day learning about Religious education. Each curriculum day will be based on a different ‘theme’ and the children will study a key area of focus set by Hertfordshire for Learning.

The themes for this academic year are:


Curriculum Day



Term 1 – Curriculum Day One Nature and Thankfulness
Term 1 – Curriculum Day Two Creationism
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Three Belonging and Places of Worship
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Four Festivals
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Five Ceremonies
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Six Signs and Symbols


What are the eight key areas of learning that the children will study?

Belief and practices Sources of wisdom Symbols and actions Ultimate Questions
Identity and belonging Prayer, Worship and reflection Human responsibility and values Justice and fairness


Click on the link below to see key information regarding Religious education in English schools (Non-statutory guidance)