All posts by Mrs Leslie

Maths in Primary 1

  • The school uses the Scottish Heinemann maths scheme, however, we are moving to more active methods of learning so do not be alarmed if not every workbook page is filled in.
  • All maths topics covered are also reinforced by playing mathematical games and by using the interactive whiteboard.
  • Some work covered throughout the year will include:

– being able to recognise, order and write numbers to 10

– addition and subtraction of numbers to 10

– knowledge of 2D and 3D shapes

– ability to produce and continue simple patterns

– practice in measuring using non-standard units for length, weight and capacity

– classifying information e.g. making simple block graphs


Any homework given will be revision or consolidation of work already taught in class.  We would encourage you to involve your child in as much real life maths as possible. This could be through cooking and baking, handling money, writing on a calendar or counting things as you are out for a walk for example.


We do not impose the use of uniforms, but many children in the school do wear them.

Speaking from a Mum’s point of view, they are hard wearing, good value for money and they wash well.

Information about ordering uniforms can be found here:

Uniform Ordering

Literacy in Primary One

As the previous post explained, we will be taking a developmental approach to literacy.  Emerging Literacy will be the base of our teaching and when your child is ready we will support their learning in other ways:

  • Jolly Phonics

We use the Jolly Phonics scheme to help children learn their initial sounds. When we do begin this, your child will learn at a pace that is suitable for them.  The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order.  They are introduced in random order so that they children can quickly learn to blend some of the letters together to make simple words e.g. s  a  t  i  p  – makes many three letter words.

The children listen to a short story to introduce the new sound and learn the action that helps them to remember the sound.  They are encouraged to think of words that use this sound and to bring in small items from home to share with us.  They are then shown how to form the letter correctly and are encouraged to use the correct formation when writing.  We go over formations in lots of practical ways as well as using paper and pencil.  Please encourage this at home too.

Each day a new sound is introduced, it will be stuck into their Sound Book.  They will take this home each night and will be asked to draw a picture of something starting with that sound or do a more “hands on” activity to help them remember the sound and how it is written.  They could record this in drawings, photos or in which ever way you choose!

If they are ever too tired to do this, don’t worry.  Let us know in your child’s diary and we will try and find time at school to work with your child.

  • Reading

Our main reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT).  It is a scheme that encourages reading through the “story method” which is based on the assumption that, although young children may not “understand” separate letters or isolated words on a page, they can understand and retain a simple story.  The pictures and text work together to give the children clues to help them predict the meaning of the sentences.

Taking into account the development approach to literacy, the children will not get reading books straight away and will be given books home to read when they show that they are ready and have all the building blocks needed to be able to do this with success.

As they approach this stage, we will still be introducing the ORT characters and looking at how their names are written and the beginning key words they will need when the books do go home.

Reading will be heard daily and reading homework will be sent home each night.  Please sign the diary to say it has been done.  Depending on their readiness for reading, they may not all get a reading book at the same time.

Discussion is an important element in the scheme, not only at Stage 1, but also throughout the scheme.

At every stage, a wide range of resources to support reading development is used.  This means that your child is practising reading in many different and enjoyable ways.

The story books at Stage 1 use pictures without any words to tell the story.  These picture storybooks teach children important skills:

  • to talk about the pictures
  • to create their own story
  • to make the connection between the picture and the story

These skills are invaluable as they will be needed later on to help the child read an unfamiliar word.

At Stage 2 the children begin to read the stories by themselves.  First they hear an extended version of the story and then they are guided and encouraged to predict what the captions say and to read them.

At each stage there are key words which we expect the children to learn before moving on to the next stage.  We will give you key words for each book in bags which are taken home to be learned.  However, because of the story method approach, the vocabulary introduced is quite extensive and we will not expect all the words in a book to be learned.

Emerging Literacy in Primary 1

Over the last few years, we have altered how we introduce literacy in primary one.

Emerging literacy is a developmental approach to learning and it allows us to build solid foundations in the skills that are needed before children are able to read and write. In line with the more play based approach that we will be taking this year, we will be able to help build these skills through a variety of activities.

Traditionally, when a child started P1, they started to learn their Jolly Phonic sounds (s,a,t,i,p,n etc), at a very quick rate, sometimes up to 4 sounds a week. This can be overwhelming.  At such a young age, it is important that we foster an enjoyment for learning so that bairns are keen to engage. If children feel overwhelmed, they will disengage from the learning process.

With emerging literacy, we will look at four different areas, as your child starts primary one:

Concepts of Print:

  • Know to write from left to right
  • Know what each of the letters look like

Phonological Awareness:

  • Know the sounds which make up each of the words
  • Hear the individual words within the sentence
  • Listen to and recall the words within the sentence

Oral Language:

  • Understand the meaning of the words within the sentence
  • Can follow the instructions to complete the activity

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Hold the pen correctly
  • Form the letters correctly

Reading and writing skills mostly fall into these categories and that’s a lot of skills to put into action in one go. It would be a huge expectation to think that every pupil starting primary one in August is at the stage where they are ready to do all those things at once, especially given the fact that they have missed out on their last term in nursery.

When designing our literacy programme, we ensure that our pupils develop their pre-reading and writing skills, alongside developing an awareness of phonics and mark making. We take a developmental approach, so that your child is secure within these skills. It has been found that by doing this; we can reduce the need for additional input as they move up the school and generally create a more positive attitude to learning. We build extremely solid foundations, so that when the children do move towards more formal learning, they will generally find it easier, and can progress at a good rate. This will mean that we will not start phonics right away and when we do start, we may do it in a different way to the traditional sound book. There may not be a reading book that comes home until we are well underway in the school year. We will be looking at letters and sounds constantly, but this may be through play and active learning.

To allow this to happen, we will set up a variety of activities, that allow us to assess the different skills needed to be able to start reading and writing (these will be through play, so there will be no pressure on your child), we can identify gaps and then set up fluid groups to take part in activities that will fill those gaps. In primary one, your child will be seen as an individual and we will tailor the activities in class to suit each and every pupil, allowing them to make progress and their own pace.

There is a sheet attached to this post that summarises this for you, along with some suggested activities that you can be doing at home to support your child.

Emerging Literacy Overview


When sending your child to school, please ensure their name is on EVERYTHING! It is amazing what can get misplaced, so having names on as much as possible really helps us reunite lost items with their owners.

Your child will need a PE kit that can be left at school, this should include a t-shirt, shorts and indoor gym shoes.

Please also send in an art apron with your child.

The PE kit and art apron will get sent home periodically for you to be washed.


This information may be subject to change in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines. 

Going out to play!

A very important part of your day in Primary one is play time. This video shows you how to get back outside from the P1/2 classroom. Both doors in this video are used, but it often depends on what the weather is doing each day!

Hanging up Coats

Another peerie video to show you what will happen in the morning in primary 1.  You may also have a diary to show the teacher, and you will have a place to put your school bag and book bag. We will be able to tell you that when you come in.

Important to Know!

Lots of you asked where the toilets would be for you to use in Primary 1.  This short clip shows how you go from the P1/2 classroom to the toilets. First the girls then the boys. They are really close by if you need any help when you are there.

Finding your Classroom

Here is a short video to show you where you go to get to the Primary 1/2 classroom.

There won’t normally be painting bits and pieces in the corridor and the classroom space is a bit of a muddle just now but hopefully you get a rough idea were to go.