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Grade 1

Primary Years Programme



In Grade 1, students develop their roles as contributing members of a learning community. There is focus on developing their sense of self, identity as a learner, and their role in belonging to a larger group. As they engage in academic pursuits, they develop social emotional skills such as learning to name and regulate their emotions, express their wants and needs, and understand perspectives different from their own. Students practice social and emotional strategies throughout the day, while engaged in learning activities and during free play. Grade 1 students demonstrate responsibility, ownership, and confidence allowing them to take increased academic risk. Learning activities are stimulating, challenging and suited to the individual needs of the children.

Our Curriculum



Reading comprehension skills are developed through one-on-one reading with a teacher, guided reading groups, and interactive read-alouds. Grade 1readers represent a range of skill levels, from those building their knowledge of early print decoding, to others who are integrating their decoding and sight word skills to decipher more complex texts. Across this range, students are supported in their growth through frequent, informal assessment and skilled adaptation of the reading program.

Synthetic phonics

Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words. At HIS, our phonics programme includes actions for each of the 42 letter sounds. The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.

The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below.

The five skills taught in the HIS phonics programme:

1. Learning the letter sounds

Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.

2. Learning letter formation

Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.

3. Blending

Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

4. Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)

Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

Tricky words

Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.


At HIS, our Language program has been tailor-made to give students a thorough grounding in the main fiction and non-fiction text types and purposes for writing. Language units are progressive and guide students through a scaffolded process of reading, analyzing, writing and editing of texts. Each unit is supported by grammar, vocabulary and phonics/spelling practice.

When writing in Grade 1, students are encouraged to use a combination of phonetic spelling and conventional spelling. Students are supported in expressing their full ideas in written form, using pictures, labels, sentences, lists, and all other forms of recording.

Literacy Units in Grade 1


Mathematicians in Grade 1 explore ideas, play games, and search for mathematical connections in the world around them. Students are encouraged to inquire, investigate, discuss, and construct as they explore in all mathematical areas. They participate in ongoing investigations developed within real-life contexts.

In Grade 1, teaching time time focuses on four main areas:

  1. Developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20
  2. Developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones
  3. Developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units
  4. Reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.


Overall Expectations

Students in Grade 1 will develop their observational skills by using their senses to gather and record information, and they will use their observations to identify patterns, make predictions and refine their ideas. They will explore the way objects and phenomena function, identify parts of a system, and gain an understanding of cause and effect relationships. Grade 1 students will examine change over varying time periods, and will recognize that more than one variable may affect change. They will be aware of different perspectives and ways of organizing the world, and they will show care and respect for themselves, other living things and the environment. Students will communicate their ideas or provide explanations using their own scientific experience.

Source: PYP Science Scope and Sequence

Science Strands

Living things

The study of the characteristics, systems and behaviours of humans and other animals, and of plants; the interactions and relationships between and among them, and with their environment.

Earth and space

The study of planet Earth and its position in the universe, particularly its relationship with the sun; the natural phenomena and systems that shape the planet and the distinctive features that identify it; the infinite and finite resources of the planet.

Materials and matter

The study of the properties, behaviours and uses of materials, both natural and human-made; the origins of human-made materials and how they are manipulated to suit a purpose.

Forces and Energy

The study of energy, its origins, storage and transfer, and the work it can do; the study of forces; the application of scientific understanding through inventions and machines.

Social Studies

Overall Expectations

Students in Grade 1 will increase their understanding of their world, focusing on themselves, their friends and families and their environment. They will appreciate the reasons why people belong to groups, the roles they fulfill and the different ways that people interact within groups. They will recognize connections within and between systems by which people organize themselves. They will broaden their sense of place and the reasons why particular places are important to people, as well as how and why people’s activities influence, and are influenced by, the places in their environment. Grade 1 students will start to develop an understanding of their relationship with the environment. They will gain a greater sense of time, recognizing important events in their own lives, and how time and change affect people. They will become increasingly aware of how advances in technology affect individuals and the environment.

Social Studies Skills

  1. Formulate and ask questions about the past, the future, places and society Use and analyse evidence from a variety of historical, geographical and societal sources
  2. Orientate in relation to place and time
  3. Identify roles, rights and responsibilities in society
  4. Assess the accuracy, validity and possible bias of sources

Social Studies Strands

Source: PYP Social Studies Scope and Sequence

Our Team