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Whinless Down Academy

Whinless Down Academy

Year 1

Year 1 Curriculum

“Why are we learning this?” “Why is this important knowledge?” “How is this learning important?”

At Whinless Down Academy we believe that ‘learning changes lives’. We are committed that each of our topics has a purpose and a ‘Big Idea’. The ‘Big Idea’ is the rationale behind our curriculum and choice of topics.

Big Ideas

Term 1


Me, Myself and I

We learn and play together, supporting one another as we explore and experience new things every day. We have lots in common, but there are also lots of things that make us unique. This term open-minded octopus helps us to celebrate and recognise the differences and challenges that others may have.

As super Scientists we learn all about our bodies and senses, thinking about how these are used to make sense of the world around us.

As aspirational Artists we learn about self-portraits, using the work of our key artist ‘Pablo Picasso’ as inspiration and developing our skills in experimenting with line and colour.

As growing geographers we consider ‘What we can find out about where we live?’ Exploring Dover and learning how to devise simple maps and use keys to help us.

Term 2

The Seasonal Journey

What are the seasons and how do they change? Over the year the weather and daytime length changes, why does this happen? How and why does this impact on our daily lives at home and in school? How do the changes in the seasons help us decide what we can wear and do? Lots of exciting events are celebrated throughout the year. Why do they happen at that time? Using this knowledge can we make observations and draw conclusions to inform our decisions.

As hands-on Historians we learn all about the circumstances that led to The Gunpowder Plot, what happened when Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes and the other plotters tried to execute their plan - and the consequences of their actions, right through to modern day Bonfire Night celebrations. We will begin to learn about the theme of democracy and why this is important.

As growing geographers we will ask: ‘What is the weather like in the UK?’ We will become weather reporters and develop our skills in identifying seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom.

As aspirational Artists we learn about our key artists David Hockney and Andy Goldsworthy using nature’s resources to create pictures and sculptures.

Term 3

Home Sweet Home

Home is where the heart is! Are all homes the same and who lives where? This term we explore the idea of what a ‘home’ means. All homes are different. Our homes are in the United Kingdom, which is made up of four countries – what can we learn about these countries to help us better understand where we live? Are homes made up of bricks or families? We think about the difference between a ‘home’ and a ‘house’. We will explore materials used to make houses but also what it is that makes home feel special to us.

As hands-on historians we travel back in time and consider how houses have changed over time and think about why this might be.

As growing Geoographers we ask; ‘What countries make up the United Kingdom?’What is a capital city?’ ‘What are the capital cities of the United Kingdom?’

As determined Designers we will design and make a house based on a design criteria that the three little pigs have sent to us.

As super Scientists we will compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties and use this to inform our investigations.

Term 4

Amazing Animals

We are all different, but how different are animals? Can we identify animals and their features? What makes them unique? What features do they have in common? What do they eat and how can you classify them? How do their features help them in the climate they live in? This term we become walking-talking Animal Encyclopedias!

As super Scientists we will learn lots of new scientific vocabulary! We will name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.

As hands-on historians we will study the life of Sir David Attenborough and learn all about why it is important to look after animals. Have humans always been kind to animals? How has this changed?

As growing Geographers we will study maps to learn about where different animals live and why they need to live in that environment.

As aspirational Artists we will use animal texture and pattern as inspiration to create our own prints and designs.

Term 5

Precious Plants

Let’s be super scientists and go exploring! What can we observe in our local habitat, focusing on plants? Do they all look the same? Can we find any similarities or spot any differences? Can we name these common flowers? Can we identify and group different plants, including trees?  Do we see them all year round? How does the weather and seasons affect how things grow? Let’s look at how they change over the year! This is a great starting point to become junior gardeners and to understand how the world changes around us each year. 

As super scientists we will explore our natural surroundings to identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees and be able to describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.

As aspirational Artists we will develop our observational drawing skills using Vincent Van Gogh as our inspiration.

As determined designers we will ask are there plants that we are able to eat? We will consider how we can create a healthy meal and the skills we need to do this.

Term 6

Be beside the seaside!

Image result for cartoon Grace Darling

Oh we do like to live beside the seaside, oh we do like to live beside the sea! We live along a very famous coastline, Dover! So it’s important we know who can keep us safe at the beach and how we can keep ourselves safe. We love going to the beach, let’s step back in time and see how the Victorians did it. Can we be history detectives and find out what has changed or stayed the same? How have lighthouses, lifeboats and coastguards adapted to keep us safer? What features can we identify that make up this famous coastline and does it differ from other places in the world?  The seaside has inspired many great artists, poets, musicians and story tellers. How can we use it to inspire our creativity? 

As super scientists we will work scientifically to carry out our sand castle investigation.

As hands-on historians we will be very busy considering Victorian past times and how they are different from leisure activities today. We will go back in time and consider the lives of Grace Darling and Lionel Lukin.

As determined designers we will follow a design brief to make traditional textile puppets to create our very own Punch and Judy Puppet Show!