What Is Behind The Castle Door?


Our topic this term is entitled ‘Knock Knock’. This topic covers all areas of the curriculum, providing opportunities for deep memorable learning and creating an inspiring provision for developing lifelong learners!

Learning within a Topic sessions provides a wealth of opportunities for critical thinking, problem solving and developing imagination. In Year 1, there are high but realistic expectations in the setting, with each stage and skills carefully modelled to promote purposeful independent learning.

Our children were inspired on the first day of term when they came in to find a Castle Turret situated in the middle of the classroom. This immediately promoted excited vocabulary and discussion questioning as to what could be behind the Castle door! The children’s special Treasure Boxes gradually appeared each day from behind the door, linking to discussions in our PSHE lessons as to what is particularly special and meaningful to each member of the class.

Aside from the wealth of learning through topic, we have already quickly moving into the KS1 curriculum and working seamlessly together in all subjects.


“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King.

The daily reading with an adult provides invaluable opportunities to develop comprehension and intonation whilst enjoying and exploring the huge range of texts available. In addition to this quality time with an adult the children are also beginning to enjoy Guided Reading sessions in small groups.

‘Validated research shows that guided out loud reading has significant beneficial impact on word recognition, fluency and comprehension across a range of levels’ Guided reading benefits all readers.

Guided reading has significant beneficial effects on helping student’s develop reading skills. It is one of the most effective tools not only to improve a student's fundamental reading skills but also to help the student develop higher level comprehension skills.  With guided reading you can directly help establish fundamental skills necessary for proficient reading, identify weaknesses and strengthen specific skills, improve attention to detait, build fluency, expand vocabulary knowledge and develop reading comprehension skills.

PLUS guided reading is enjoyable! Guided reading offers a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of reading. The children are now able to attempt some spellings, confidently and with much success.

In Maths, we have a daily ‘smartie‘ numeracy focus, giving opportunities for solving quick mental problems! This session is always met with great excitement, and concluded with the reward of …………a smartie! They are already beginning to understand addition, subtraction, doubling, halving, problem solving, estimating and recording and we are only in Week 3!


Our specialist lessons have proceeded with equal speed and focus. After just 2 French lessons the children were singing and counting with admirable fluency and accent. Dance is providing opportunities for creativity and expression in a fun and focused environment, whilst developing balance, co-ordination and simple choreographic skills. Fantastic Swimming and Games lessons have been impressive to witness – we have so many capable athletes already! While our new Head of Music, Jane Pendry has filled our building with joyful singing and musical arrangements! It is lovely to see so many children also taking up the opportunity of learning a new instrument!

Well Done Year 1, an AMAZING start to the Autumn term. I am really looking forward to the weeks ahead.