Lockdown English Learning at Home


There are three main areas of English we teach in school, these are: reading, writing and phonics. Children learn and practise content and skills for each of these aspects, and then practise and apply them in a wide range of contexts, across all areas of learning.  


Regular reading practise is one of the best ways to help your child continue to learn at home. Two publishers have made their books available online and provided temporary free access for parents.  

Reading Scheme Books - Oxford Owl: https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/ 

Reading Scheme Books - Collins Big Cat: 

(Note you will need to use the login to access these - Username: parents@harpercollins.co.uk and Password: Parents20!) https://connect.collins.co.uk/school/teacherlogin.aspx 

Reading, sharing and listening to a wide range of books generally is also encouraged. The following websites are useful for sharing new stories with your children: 


At this point in the year, your child is working on:  

  • Recognising, using and applying their phase 3 and 5 phonics sounds. 
  • Recognising sight words from their word books 
  • Comprehending the storyline by: retelling the story, answering questions on the text, predicting what might happen next, making inferences. 
  • Exploring the meaning of words they have read e.g. They had a quarrel. “What does quarrel mean? Can you find out from the pictures/context of the sentence/events occurring before and after the word?” 
  • Recognising differences between fiction and non-fiction books. 


Phonics is the primary way we teach your children to read and write. Children are taught to identify the sounds they can see and hear in words, and to segment and blend words accordingly in order to read or spell them.  

We teach a new phonics sound daily in Year 1. Your children have covered all Phase 3 and Phase 5 sounds this year already, and are now at the stage where they need to constantly practise recognising, reading and writing those sounds, spotting them in individual words and identifying them in words they hear in order to spell them 

All Phase 3 and Phase 5 sounds can be found in: 

  • Your child’s reading record 
  • The Year 1 Home learning pack  
  • Your child’s word book 

Included in the Year 1 Home learning pack were phonics games for your child and any remaining phonics bookmarks for sounds your child was not yet fully confident in when schools closed.  

We recommend that your child practises phonics and spelling by accessing Nessyhttps://learn.nessy.com/account/login#/monkeyLogin 

You need to have consented to your child using it by clicking the link in the parentmail that was sent previously. Once consent has been given an account will be set up for your child and the details of your child’s personal login will be sent to you. If you did not receive this email, or require help accessing the site, please contact our school office and we will be happy to help you.   

‘Letters and Sounds’ is a government recommended page uploading daily phonics lessons for Year 1: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP_FbjYUP_UtldV2K_-niWw/   

We also recommend using the website phonics play as a way to practise recognising and reading Phase 3 and Phase 5 sounds: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ 

Some words are not phonetically decodable and it is important to practise these too. You can find all of the Year 1 tricky words in your child’s word book. We usually practise only 3 at a time, moving on once a child can remember the word by sight (not decoding it using sounds). If your child is now confident with the words they have been practising, keep moving through the booklet.  


BBC Bitesize Daily are producing daily English lessons which cover explicit teaching of content and skills for writing: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/tags/zjpqqp3/year-1-and-p2-lessons/1  

(One or two lessons per week focus on reading skills too). 

In Year One we would be focusing on the following at this point in the year: 

  • Say their sentence out loud. 
  • Punctuate their sentence with a capital letter, fingers spaces and full stop. Begin to use an exclamation mark and question mark. 
  • Spell known words correctly and use and apply phase 3 and phase 5 sounds for unknown words. 
  • Spell words using the suffixes -ed, -er, -est, -s, -es, -ing correctly and the prefix un-. 
  • Form their letters correctly. 
  • Adding greater detail to their writing e.g. connecting 2 sentences using ‘and’, using adjectives and other conjunctions. 

Writing is particularly tricky to teach, especially if your child is reluctant to write. Use the Bitesize lessons to help your child practise key skills, but allow them to practise by writing something of their choice, on a topic they find interesting. If they love trains, or animals, or dinosaurs, they could write a fact file or story about them. If they love a particular video game, they could write instructions to tell you how to play it. 

While your child is writing, these are the areas you can encourage and support them with: 


In Year One most spelling will be phonetic (sounding out the word and choosing a plausible sound, even if the spelling is not technically correct). For example: the word dinosaur may be spelt ‘dighnoasaw’. The child has segmented the word and identified all sounds. They have then identified a plausible grapheme (written sound) for each sound (d-igh-n-oa-s-aw).  

For more common words we would expect the children to start to recognise which grapheme (version of the sound) is the correct one. The word ‘house’, for example, appears in children’s spellings and regularly features in their reading. If children spelt this word as ‘howse’ we would acknowledge and praise the fact that they had identified all the sounds, but then show the children the sound mats in your child’s word book and point out the sounds ‘ow for cow’ and ‘ou for cloud.’ Write out both and see if children can spot which looks correct. (You only need to do this occasionally and for more obvious spellings, especially ones you know your child has encountered in spelling tests. On the whole, it is fine if children do not recognise the right grapheme in Year 1, as long as the sounds they have chosen are plausible).  


Children should practise the letter and number formation sheets provided in the home learning pack. We have also been practising sitting handwriting on the line and beginning to make letters of the correct size.  

Grammar and Punctuation: 

Your child will be aware that a sentence should start with a capital letter and finish with a full stop. Children may not always remember to put all full stops in their writing in Year 1, but saying their sentence aloud before they write it will help them and ensure that their writing makes sense. They may use an exclamation mark in the place of a full stop when the writing is exciting, surprising or scary, and may start to identify when they need to use a question mark. These skills have been taught, but require regular practise and returning to regularly to fully embed them in Year 1 and the beginning of Year 2.