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English Language
Year 1


Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Primary Year 1

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Primary Year 1 Syllabus

1. Overview:

This syllabus sets out the themes, topics, grammar and vocabulary pupils will learn in
Primary Year 1. It explains how the Year 1 content is organised, the place of thinking skills in
Year 1, and the role of phonics in helping pupils to learn to read. It also sets out text types
suitable for pupils in Year 1.

2. Themes and Topics:

The English Language Curriculum for Malaysian Primary Schools emphasises the
importance of sustaining the use of the English language within and beyond the classroom.
The curriculum adopts an inter-disciplinary approach and this is reflected within the three
broad themes of:

World of Self, Family and Friends

World of Stories
World of Knowledge

The unit topics in the Year 1 textbook, Superminds1 (Introduction Unit Unit 4) and the non-
textbook-based lesson outlines, all support these themes. Details of the themes and lessons
can be found within the Scheme of Work document.

3. Grammar:

Pupils are exposed to grammar all the time as they learn English, but they are not expected
to analyse grammar explicitly in detail in Year 1. The aim of learning English in Years 1 and
2 is very much to provide pupils with positive and successful experiences with English, so
that the motivation to learn comes from meaning and enjoyment rather than a specific focus
on grammar. This focus on meaning and enjoyment helps children to build positive attitudes
to and confidence with learning English. Pupils can carry these positive attitudes and
motivation into Year 3, when they begin to focus more explicitly on grammar.

4. Vocabulary:

The Year 1 syllabus indicates vocabulary in 3 ways: by topic, by category and


The words in the Year 1 wordlist are found in the textbook units and in further lessons
described within the Scheme of Work. Many words are introduced in the textbook and are
recycled in the non-textbook-based lessons. Teachers can choose other words for pupils to
learn or omit some words from the wordlist, if this is appropriate to a teachers local context.

Pupils are not expected to learn these words by heart, or to spell all of them with 100%
accuracy, as complete accuracy in spelling is above pre-A1 targets in the Common
European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Year 1 teachers may also wish to refer to the following available wordlist resource:

Cambridge English: Starters (Pre-A1)

The Teachers Handbook (pages 15 18) contains a useful list of words that can be taught
at a pre-A1 level (i.e. working towards A1).
Primary Year 1 Syllabus
5. Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS):

Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop thinking skills as they learn English in Year 1.
Both the textbook-based and non-textbook-based lessons do this through helping pupils to
think about the content and values shown in stories, and through helping them to apply
knowledge linked to other subjects in the curriculum. Many tasks involve thinking skills. The
Colours section in unit 1 of the textbook, for example, encourages pupils to make
hypotheses and requires them to interpret visual information. A number of tasks in the non-
textbook-based lessons involve pupils in designing tasks for other pupils. Designing these
tasks encourages pupils to analyse and evaluate what they already know and to use their
imagination. The Language Arts strand of the syllabus gives pupils opportunities to solve
problems and to think creatively. A good example here is Lesson 10, in which pupils work
together to use their bodies to represent numbers.

6. Phonics:

Some Year 1 pupils will already be able to read, and others will be starting or still learning to
read. Pupils who are starting or still learning to read will need help with identifying and
recognising letter sounds on the page, matching these with the appropriate letters, and
blending sounds and letters in order to build words. Phonics is a systematic approach to
helping these pupils to learn to read through matching corresponding sounds and letters. A
table of common sound and letter correspondences is below to help you with your phonics

/s/ // /t/ / p/
(s) (a) (t) (p)
// /n/ /m/ /d/
b. (n) (m) (d)
/g/ // /k/ /k/
c. (g) (c) (k)
/k/ /e/ // /r/
d. (ck) (e) (r)
/h/ /b/ /f/ /l/ /s/
(h) (b) (f,ff) (l,ll) (ss)
/d/ /v/ /w/ /ks/ /gz/
(j) (v) (w) (x)
/j/ /z/ /kw/
(y) (z,zz) (qu)
/t/ // // // //
h. (th) (ng)
(ch) (sh)
/e/ /i:/ /a/ // //,/u:/
i. (ee)
(ai ) (igh) (oa) (oo)
/a:/ /:/ /:/ // //
(ar) (or) (ur) (ow) (oi)

Learning to read involves both word recognition and language comprehension. Phonics is
about word recognition, and this is a first step in helping pupils to be able to concentrate on
understanding words. The role of meaning is therefore vital in helping pupils to learn to read.
This is why playful and enjoyable phonics activities which focus on meaning as well as on
sounds and letters can be motivating and memorable for pupils, and can contribute to pupils
reading skills development.

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
It is suggested that teachers teach these sound-letter correspondences in the order they
appear in the above table, starting with /s/ s in the first row, and finishing with // (oi) in the
bottom row. The Year 2 syllabus includes a phonics table of further sound-letter
correspondences. For pupils who require this focus, guidance can be found in the Scheme
of Work, which suggests beginning from Line a and ending on Line j. It is recommended
that relevant activities are selected from the teachers own bank of resources or from LINUS,
Literasi Bahasa Inggeris (LBI) Pupils Module 1 and 2, Second Edition. There are also
supplementary activities in reading and writing lessons in the Scheme of Work. However,
these activities are to supplement the lesson only and should not be seen as a replacement
for the lesson in the Scheme of Work.

7. Text types:

Text types are intended to be interesting and relevant to the lives of children of this age. The
text types provided below are most appropriate to pupils in Years 1 4, covering Working
towards A1 to A1. Additional text types will be added from Year 5 as a result of pupils
reaching an A2 level within the CEFR. When designing or choosing Year 1 text types, it is
important that the teachers focus should be on content which is within their pupils personal
interest or life experience. The concepts in the text types should generally be concrete and
specific rather than abstract, as is suitable for this age group. The text types should be short
(e.g. a two-line postcard or a four-line poem) and should include support for pupils when
suitable (e.g. pictures to support a very simple crossword).

8. Suggested Text Types:

Badges Lists
Chants Postcards
Charts Posters
Crosswords Raps
Descriptions Poems
Dialogues Quizzes
Emails Short forms
Greetings Songs
Instructions Stories

These text types will often be supported by visuals and would usually be around 20 30
words in length. Other text types which suit pupils needs or interests are, of course,

9. Progress within the CEFR

By the end of Primary Year 1, pupils will be working towards A1 of the CEFR in listening,
speaking, reading and writing.

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Year 1 Scope and Sequence:

Theme Unit Topic Grammar Content Vocabulary

World of Introduction Friends Whats your name? Numbers

Self, Family Im (Thunder). One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
and Friends nine, ten
How old are you?
Im (seven) Colours
yellow, red, orange, purple, green, blue

Fixed phrases
Look at me, My turn

Other vocabulary
balloon, cat, animal, sing, dance, speak, nice,

World of 1 At School Whats this? Classroom objects

Self, Family Its a (pencil). pen, rubber, pencil, book, notebook, bag,
and Friends desk, ruler, pencil case
Is it a (pen)?
Yes, it is. / No, it isnt. Colours
pink, grey
Open your book, please.
Pass me a (ruler), please. Instructions
Sit at your desk, please. come back, tell me, sit (at your desk), open
(your bag), close (your book), pass me (a
pen), watch out, put away (your book), take
out (your ruler), look for (the rubber), write

Fixed phrases
Thank you, Please, Im sorry, Its OK, Here
you are, Heres (your pencil case), This is,
in a mess
Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Other vocabulary
fat, rat

World of 2 Lets Play Whats his/her name? Toys

Stories His/her names (Ben/Sue). kite, doll, monster, plane, computer game,
train, car, ball, bike, go-kart
Whats his/her favourite toy?
His/Her favourite toys his/her ball. Adjectives
favourite, long, short, big, small, ugly,
How old is he/she? beautiful, old, new
Hes/shes seven.
Its a (new kite). triangle, square, circle, parallelogram,
Its an (ugly monster). rectangle, diamond

Other vocabulary
fish, bird, boat

World of 3 Pet Show The lizard is in/on/under the (bag). Animals

Knowledge elephant(s), rat(s), lizard(s), frog(s), spider(s),
I like/dont like (dogs). duck(s), dog(s), cat(s), snake(s), butterfly(ies),
crocodile(s), tiger(s), giraffe(s)

beautiful, clever, amazing, great, silly, tall

Other vocabulary
sister, logs, trees, leaves, grass

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
World of 4 Lunchtime Ive got/havent got a (sandwich). Food
Knowledge banana, cake, cheese sandwich, apple, pizza,
Have we got any (cheese)? sausage, chicken, steak, pea(s), carrot(s),
Yes, we have. / No, we havent. orange juice, hot dog, fruit, broccoli, onion(s),
green bean(s), mushroom(s), potato(es),
corn, peach(es), pineapple(s), pear(s),
orange(s), coconut(s), tomato(es),
strawberry(ies), pepper(s), vegetable(s)

eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen,
sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen,

Other vocabulary
grow, ground

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Year 1 vocabulary by category elephant(s) Heres (your pencil case)
fish How are you?
Adjectives frog(s) How do you spell?
amazing giraffe(s) Im fine, thanks
beautiful lizard(s) Im sorry
big rat(s) in a mess
brown snake(s) It goes
clever spider(s) Its OK
cold tiger(s) Look at me
cool My turn
fat Classroom objects Please
favourite bag Sorry
great book Thank you
hot desk There are
healthy notebook This is
hungry pen Wheres?
long pencil
new pencil case Food
nice rubber apple(s)
old ruler banana(s)
short broccoli
silly Colours cake
small blue carrot(s)
tall green cheese sandwich
ugly grey chicken
unhealthy orange coconut(s)
pink corn
Animals purple fruit
butterfly(ies) red green bean(s)
animal(s) yellow hot dog
bird(s) mushroom(s)
cat(s) Fixed phrases onions
crocodile(s) Bye! orange juice
dog(s) Cool! orange(s)
duck(s) Here you are peach(es)

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
pea(s) Numbers
pear(s) one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, Toys
pepper(s) eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, ball
pineapple(s) fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, bike
pizza eighteen, nineteen, twenty car
potato(es) computer game
sausage Other vocabulary doll
steak brother go-kart
strawberry(ies) balloon kite
sweet(s) boat monster
tomato(es) day plane
vegetable grass train
Instructions grow Verbs
Close (your book) leaf/leaves dance
Come back logs find
Look for (the rubber) lunch go
Open (your bag) mum grow
Pass me (a pen) robot guess
Put (the book on the chair) sister listen
Put away (your book) tangram put
Sit (at your desk) times (3 times 2 is 6) read
Take out (your ruler) trees run
Tell me sing
Watch out Shapes speak
Write circle spend
parallelogram stop
rectangle take
square touch
triangle turn around
diamond write

Primary Year 1 Syllabus
Year 1 Vocabulary in alphabetical order
Cool! Here you are
amazing corn Heres (your pencil case)
animal crocodile(s) hot
apple dance hot dog
bag day hour
ball desk How are you?
balloon diamond How do you spell?
banana dog(s) hungry
beautiful doll Im fine, thanks
big duck(s) Im sorry
bike eight Im very sorry
bird eighteen in a mess
blue elephant(s) It goes
boat eleven Its OK
book fat kite
broccoli favourite leaf/leaves
brother fifteen listen
brown find lizard(s)
butterfly(ies) fish logs
Bye! five long
cake four lunch
car fourteen Look at me
carrot(s) frog(s) look for (the rubber)
cat fruit monster
cat(s) giraffe(s) mum
cheese sandwich go mushroom(s)
chicken go-kart My turn
circle grass New
clever great nice
close (your book) green nine
coconut(s) green bean(s) nineteen
cold grey notebook
cold grow old
come back ground one
computer game guess onion(s)
cool healthy open (your bag)
Primary Year 1 Syllabus
orange juice sit (at your desk) watch out
orange(s) six Wheres?
parallelogram sixteen write
Pass me (a pen) small yellow
peach(es) snake(s) yummy
pear(s) Sorry
pea(s) speak
pen spends
pencil spider(s)
pencil case square
pepper(s) steak
pineapple(s) stop
pink strawberry(ies)
pizza sweet(s)
plane tall
please Take out (your ruler)
potato(es) tangram
purple Tell me
put ten
Put away (your book) Thank you
race There is/are
rat(s) thirteen
read three
rectangle This is
red tiger(s)
robot times
rubber tomato(es)
ruler touch
run train
sausage trees
seven triangle
seventeen turn around
shark twelve
sheep twenty
short two
silly ugly
sing unhealthy
sister vegetable
Primary Year 1 Syllabus