Building on the rich experiences from their early years curriculum, the children in Years 1 and 2 enjoy a wondrous school life, full of exciting learning activities each day and increasing opportunities for ‘real-life’ exploration and investigation through trips out and visitors joining them in school, all of which is woven into their rich timetable.
Literacy and numeracy continue to be the core building blocks of each day, as the children consolidate their formative learning from the early years. In small classes with dedicated staff, they are guided individually to develop their skills and challenge themselves to achieve. They read to their teachers and assistants daily, apply their mathematical knowledge and relate it to their everyday lives; they engage enthusiastically in times tables competitions and spelling bees, all of which fire their zest for learning as well as secure their skills, and they immerse themselves in the rich, inter-disciplinary tapestry of topic work, brought to life by passionate and enthusiastic staff who give their all to the children. We have had Tutankhamen’s tomb appear in one of our classrooms one day so that the children could be Howard Carter and discover it anew; we have re-created the Great Fire of London on the top corridor (not literally, of course!) so that the children could write diaries of their experiences, and the children have travelled on their Passport Around the World, visiting different countries each week and sampling food, culture and language as they have journeyed. All these experiences, and more, keep the magic alive, maintain the spark for learning, and the flame of curiosity burns brightly as the children grow further their sense of wonder in a world at their fingertips.
Spelling and maths homework are set on a weekly basis and the children are encouraged to read in some shape or form at home each night where possible. Children are also give the opportunity to engage in challenges or activities linked to their topic work which they absolutely love!Specialist lessons continue and increase in Years 1 and 2, with art, computing and Spanish added to dance, French, gymnastics, music, swimming, team games and tennis. In sport, they begin to play friendly fixtures with children in local infant schools.
The children in Years 1 and 2 are encouraged to aspire towards greater independence. They progress at different rates and their curriculum is underpinned by robust and specific support for those children who might need more structure, or by deeper challenge for those children whose imaginations and curiosity need channelling further. Expert staff monitor, track and analyse progress made against the children’s starting points so that we can all ensure the children’s needs are being met in every area of their learning.
We help make sure the children in the Pre-Prep feel relaxed and confident about heading up into Year 3. It is another change, and managing change is an important skill to develop. However, we work carefully as a team, together with parents, so the step up doesn’t feel too huge and hopefully feels exciting!
All staff engage in a comprehensive handover between current class teachers to ‘new’ class teachers. There is a ‘Move Up Day’ in the summer term each year during which the children meet their new teacher and spend the morning in their new lessons, and we work carefully to ensure that where there might be apprehension or nerves, we help to build confidence and resilience to greet the new year with anticipation.