We teach spelling systematically through our phonics lessons. The words we send home on our spelling lists include the words we learned in phonics the previous week plus a few extras - either high frequency words that we have already taught but that several children are still having problems with or words that will be very useful for the topic work we are doing in class.
You will find the lists of all the year 1 words so that you can check if your child knows them by the end of the year. If you are going to test them, just pick a few at a time. If your child is a natural speller (lucky them!) and already knows the year 1 words they might like to have a head start on the year 2 words.