Year 1 and 2 (Key Stage 1)

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

Key Stage 1 is a fascinating, rich and exciting time for our children. In Year 1 we start to refine the early enthusiasm that begun in our Nursery and Reception classes whilst building on that love of learning and curiosity. We build on their early skills and we gradually give them more and more formalised learning so they are ready for Year 2 where they can really develop their self-initiated learning and foster further independence and self-motivation.

As your child progresses through the Pre-Prep, they will be encouraged to become more independent.  Being the oldest children in the school, Year 2 will have greater responsibilities, including the opportunity of becoming a Prefect.

As part of the transition to the Prep School, throughout the year we will spend time using the Prep School’s facilities; meeting the Year 3 pupils and teaching staff in order to familiarise ourselves with the Prep School.  Some aspects of lessons will become more formal but, for the most part, the emphasis remains on a creative, child-centred curriculum.

By the end of Year 2, our aim is for your child to be a happy and confident individual who is ready to make the transition to the Prep School and begin Shaping Their World.

The Curriculum Subjects and Topics

Children learn best when the topic has meaning and relevance to them and at this age it is important that children enjoy their learning. We therefore decide the topic studied each term (or half term) through discussions with the children. From these discussions we develop an understanding of their interests and the things they want to learn about. These form the basis of our plans for the following term.

Each term, your child’s class teacher will provide you with information on the topics to be covered, to enable you to support your child at home. At the end of the week, you will receive an email from the class teachers giving information about the work covered during the week.

Literacy and Maths skills are taught on a daily basis. Other subjects include Music, French, PHSCE, PE, ICT, Science, Geography, History, DT, Art, RE, (all based on the National Curriculum) Swimming and Dance.

The skills that we will be teaching include:

  • Literacy, which is divided into three areas:

Word Work (includes spellings, word endings, phonics and consonant blends)

Sentence Work (includes sequencing, structure and comprehension)

Text Work (includes creative writing, independent writing, non-fiction writing and reading)

  • Reading is a big part of our school life we do lots of reading with the children, to the children and encourage children to share books at home through our dedicated Pre-Prep library. We want the children to see the joy that can be found in books. Reading is something which will always be important to your children and we aim to develop a lifelong love of reading and literature in every child. We hope that they will spend much of their lives reading for information and, most importantly, for pleasure. Reading is a key skill as without it children are unable to access other areas of the curriculum.

We enjoy our own dedicated Rainforest Library and children are encouraged to borrow books every week with support and guidance from staff and our Prep School Librarian. Most importantly, enjoy and have fun with books!

  • Spellings – In Year 1 we continue to develop the children’s phonics’ skills and begin to learn spellings in the Lent and Trinity terms. To help the children improve their spellings, we provide a weekly focus, exploring a sound. These are crucial to their writing and reading development so it is vital they practise these regularly at home.
  • Handwriting – we follow the Think Write handwriting scheme which helps form neat cursive script and in Year 2 leads to joined up writing. These fun animals help the children to remember how to form each letter correctly with a visual prompt. We aim to develop their gross and fine motor skills with large movements; encouraging the children to feel the letter shape right through from their shoulder.
  • Maths We follow the White Rose Maths scheme and focus on developing deeper Mathematical thinking and Mastery in Maths. Throughout the Pre-Prep we encourage the children to love maths and to talk about this all the time whether it is cooking, measuring water in the bath or writing numbers on the playground in chalk. The children are always CurioUS to talk about their learning and explain why something is just so. We focus on addition and subtraction to 100 and beyond, number bonds, hundreds, tens and units, mental maths, shape, measures, money and time. Maths is often practical but in Year 1 children will increasingly record some of their work.
  • Science – children will experience close investigation of how things work; developing a deeper understanding of how the world works; conduct simple scientific investigations and ask “how” and “why” questions.
  • Geography – children will develop a sense of place in their local; environment and the world.
  •  History – children will develop a sense of time within their own lives and of the past.
  • Art /DT – children will start to develop specific artistic skills through drawing, painting, 3D and other creative work.
  • RE to include a deeper understanding of Christianity, the ethos of the school and to look at other religions.
  • PHSCE – (Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education) – to encourage self-awareness, empathy, healthy living and caring for others.
  • PE during the week, children will participate in a range of physical activities, including swimming, ball games, gymnastics, and dance.
  • ICT – ICT will be incorporated into all subject areas and used to support the children’s learning and prepare them for the Prep School. We often use the Prep School ICT suite.
  • Music – this is an integral part of our school day. We teach children music in a way that is interesting and relevant to them. Children may listen to a variety music while working or playing; sing songs and listen to music in assembly; respond to music through art or in music and movement lessons and explore music principals and musical notation in music lessons.

Whole College- Being part of the wider College means we benefit from additional teaching and unique opportunities such as special STEM days with the Head of Science in the Senior School, visits from the catering team who have run special cooking workshops and specialist teaching from Sports coaches, musicians and artists.

The children are very active they swim every week, they enjoy forest school with our dedicated Forest School Leader and have recently been gifted a living willow-twig wam by some parents to enjoy. Sport and Dance are an important part of Pre-Prep life and the children all enjoy several sessions of sport each week. We have two Forest School sites and are also lucky enough to explore Nine Acre on a regular basis.