With Zach having just finished his year in reception, I am well aware that the serious learning starts in September with his entry into year one. He already mentioned to me that he’s sad that he won’t get to play as much any more, although the head of early years did tell me that they ease them in gently and spend the first half having a similar set up to reception, so that reassured me a bit.
I have been astounded by how much he has learnt this year with his reading, writing and maths and I know that there is so much to come from the year ahead. And so I thought I would get a little insight by asking a fellow mumma to tell me the best bits of year one! Let me pass you right on over to Fiona who has gotten me all excited for the next school year!
For those of you with children about to embark on Year One, you may be worried about what lies in store for them. While it’s true that Year One has a much bigger focus on academia, that doesn’t mean there are no fun and games to be had. Year One is really the start of your child’s school career, a chance for them to dip their toes into school life and learn more about the world around them.
My daughter has just finished Year One and this year has been amazing. She has changed so much this year, she seems to be twice as tall and twice as inquisitive as she was at the start of the year. In truth, I wasn’t looking forward to Year One. I thought it would feel too much like hard work and that it might squash my daughter’s spirit, but I am pleased to report that it hasn’t.
So, if you have a child about to start Year One, do not fret. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of phonics, but there are some really great things going on, too. Here are my five best things about Year One:
1. They learn to read
Obviously, it goes without saying that all children are different and learn at different speeds. Some kids are probably pretty good at reading when they enter Year One and others may be struggling to grasp it when they leave. But, for me, my favourite thing about Year One has been my daughter learning to read. She can read anything now – books, signposts, the frustrated text messages I send her dad when she won’t go to sleep (yeah, you might want to watch your language in Year One). My daughter has turned into a bit of a bookworm and I could not be more pleased. I love reading and I am really enjoying seeing her get lost in the same books I loved when I was a child.
2. They get more involved with school life
By Year One, children are old enough to really take part in the school community. They are invited to take part in after school clubs and enjoy extra-curricular activities. At my daughter’s school, there have been art clubs, music lessons and sports clubs for them to take part in. She has also had more freedom during breaks and lunchtimes. Whereas in reception, children stay in their own playground, Year One have access to a much bigger shared playground. They spend sunny lunchtimes playing on the field which fills me with nostalgia for my own childhood. And she has been able to use the library and borrow books to read at home.
3. They can remember what they had for lunch
For me, one of the most annoying things about reception was that my daughter could never remember what she had done that day. I never got to find out anything about her day. I picked her up from school and yet she had already forgotten everything. She couldn’t even remember what she’d had for lunch, even though most of it was usually spilled down her top. Year One must be the year that memory really take off because this year I have heard all about her lunches, her lessons, the drama with her friends and who is going out with who (oh yeah, that starts in Year One as well). I finally feel like I know what’s going on in her life, which was something I really longed for last year.
4. They form tight-knit friendships
In nursery and reception, kids seem to flit around from group to group. My daughter always said everybody was her best friend. In Year One, her social circle has tightened. She has her best best friends and then she has other kids she plays with, and while she will still occasionally play with others, she does seem to say the same few names over and over again. This is great because smaller friendship groups means smaller birthday parties. Not only will it save you some hassle when you’re planning a party, it will also mean you don’t have to attend a class worth of birthday parties throughout the year.
5. They love learning
My daughter has covered a lot of different topics this year. I have loved seeing them branch out into history and other subjects for the first time. And she has been coming home inspired. Inspired not only by what she has learnt in class but also inspired to learn more. She wants to build on her knowledge from class so she can understand more about the topics. She reads books, we go to museums, we look things up together – it has been lovely. It is great to see her excited about learning. She recently had a taster day for Year Two and came home full of facts – and desperate to learn more – about the Great Fire of London.
Fiona writes over at www.watchingyougrow.co.uk, where she documents life with her two children. The blog is a mixed bag of posts about motherhood, veganism, interiors and adventure. You can also find Fiona on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.