Welcome to the New English School Primary Department. We hope that you find the content on our pages informative and that it will assist both new and existing parents in reassuring you that we continue to provide the best in British style education.
- COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
- UNDERSTANDING OF OUR WORLD
- PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- SPECIAL EVENTS
- COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE EARLY YEARS
Our KG and Reception classes follow the Early Years Curriculum from England. We strive to develop creative skills, social and emotional values, thinking skills and physical development in our young pupils. Our British School Overseas (BSO) accreditation in November 2015 highlighted and praised the creativeness within our Early Years Foundation Curriculum, enabling our pupils to be imaginative, develop new ideas and express themselves.
Students experience the joys of learning and discovery, as well as the spontaneous delights of childhood in a secure environment. We believe that early development of basic skills provides a sound foundation for future learning.
Pupils’ learning is monitored carefully, and activities are planned as children's personalised learning is considered to be of the highest importance.
In addition to class-based lessons, Kindergarten and Reception pupils also experience some specialist lessons:
- Music lessons are taught by music specialists. Musical language, rhythm and movement are introduced through songs and children have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of instruments.
- P.E. lessons (Physical Education) are taken by P.E. specialists. These lessons focus on developing the pupils’ physical control, awareness of space and the ability to handle and experiment with a range of equipment effectively.
- During Library visits, pupils are taught how to look after, explore, appreciate and enjoy a variety of books. Reception pupils take library books home within the second term.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills are an extremely important part of the curriculum. These are developed through storytelling, role play, conversation, learning songs and rhymes, following simple instructions, circle time, general play activities, drama and using a listening centre. The pupils use these skills to support their reading, comprehension, writing and general language development.
Phonics in KG and Reception
A strong emphasis is placed on learning phonics. In KG a sound (not letter names) is introduced each week. These help develop and link between early reading and writing skills. During Reception, more complex sounds are learnt, alongside spelling patterns for each sound. Pupils learn to build simple words with three and four sounds, in addition to learning to read simple 'sight' or 'tricky' words from their reading books. In keeping with the expectations for children in England and Wales, by the end of the Reception year, pupils are expected to be able to identify more complex letter combinations, and understand their relationship with how to spell them.
Early Reading in KG
Pupils learn to develop an awareness and appreciation of books to prepare them for the introduction to reading. They learn to identify, match and relate each sound to a variety of objects. 'Letter sounds' are linked to songs, actions and pictures, making learning enjoyable, stimulating and 'multi-sensory.' Many cross-curricular activities are linked to the sound they focus on each week.
Pupils also learn to recognise and read their name, and begin to identify familiar words used frequently around the classroom and in books.
Pupils take home books in the second term, learning to share and help develop the enjoyment of pre-reading skills. Pupils’ reading is personalised, and books are carefully selected at the appropriate level to support or extend individuals where necessary.
Reading in Reception
Reception pupils read in small groups, using a wide selection of the best modern reading schemes on offer to schools in the UK. Each pupil is heard to read three times each week. A strong emphasis is placed on reading at home each day. Reading books are taken home each day, with a reading record book for parents to sign. This enables each pupil to develop and practice their reading skills, and for parents to share in this important stage of their child's development.
Individual words/vocabulary are sometimes also sent home, encouraging pupils and parents to play simple games, and to help learn words out of context of their books. We expect parents to spend about 15 minutes a night sharing the reading book with their child, and playing games with their words.
Gradually the reading books will get more demanding, ensuring each child is progressing to the best of their ability.
Early Writing in KG
Pupils are given activities to develop their pencil control and spatial awareness. Simple pencil control exercises include left to right direction activities, and tracing over shapes and pictures.
Fine motor skills are also developed using paints, modeling materials, messy play activities and cutting with scissors. 'Role play' activities and 'writing areas' around the classroom enable pupils to develop their writing skills informally.
Our pupils use a variety of media for 'free' drawing and self expression, as well as experiencing some more directed activities.
Developing Writing Skills in Reception
Pupils are encouraged to record their ideas with marks, then simple words and sentences, using their growing knowledge of phonics. The 'learning environment' within each class encourages students to develop their writing skills. Pupils are encouraged to tell the teacher what their writing says. Throughout the year, children are taught to write using the correct letter formation for each letter. The use of capital letters, full stops and finger spaces between each word are frequently modelled to the pupils.
Pupils are introduced to the concepts of mathematics through both play and directed teaching activities, all of which encourage problem solving, the development of thinking skills and the use of 'talk' to share their ideas.
Pupils develop their mathematical skills and understanding, along with a wide range and variety of mathematical vocabulary. Activities are very practical, and are recorded in different ways, using photos, words, numbers or pictures.
Areas of the curriculum include number, shape and pattern and measurement. Practical activities encourage the children to develop their reasoning and thinking skills, in addition to developing a wide and varied use of mathematical vocabulary. The children are encouraged to talk about their work and record their findings in a variety of ways.
Pupils are introduced to 'their world' through a variety of topics. There is a strong emphasis on practical ‘hands on’ activities. There is also a cross-curricular approach to topic work involving science investigation, art and craft activities, play, language and general knowledge.
As the world becomes increasingly technological, we place a significant emphasis on providing children with opportunities to utilise equipment that supports their growing understanding of technology. All Early Years classrooms are well supplied with a wealth of the latest child-friendly devices, such as cameras, video-cameras, microphones, programmable toys and 'talk-time' cards. Children are able to select to use these whenever they feel it will support their learning.
Examples of some recent topics are:
- Transport and Road Safety
- My Body and Myself
- Health, Food and Hygiene
- People Who Help Us
- Fairy Tales
- Sea and Water
- Going to Space
- Colour and Shape
- Nursery Rhymes
During the Early Years, pupils learn the many social skills that are important within the school environment. These ensure they are well prepared for learning in the years ahead of them.
- Practical independence
- Taking care of personal belongings
- Personal hygiene and safety
- Looking after and using a wide range of equipment appropriately
- Learning to share and take turns when playing
- Being polite and respectful to both adults and other children
- Developing an awareness of respect for other cultures and people
In addition to Curricular and Introductory Meetings, parents play a key role in many events during the year. These include...
- KG Story Afternoon
- KG 'Play and Stay' afternoon
- KG Maths Afternoon
- The KG Art Exhibition
- Reception ‘Open Afternoons’ for pupils to share their work with their parents
- Celebrations relating to National or International themes.
- Special themed days e.g. KG colour days, Reception Pirate Day
- Class Assemblies/Concerts
- Sports Day
- Book Week, Maths and Science Week
- Visiting Book Fairs
Parents are kept continually informed about activities within the Early Years. Department. This includes providing information regarding activities within school, curriculum information and the development of each individual pupil.
- A newsletter each fortnight is produced by each teacher for the Parent Portal, showing details of events and activities that have taken place in each class.
- Curriculum Information, for each year group is produced every two months and is available on the Parent Portal, to enable parents to support learning at home
- Parents are invited to attend an 'Introductory Evening,' and 'Curriculum Information Evenings' each year.
- Each teacher devotes time each week to meet with parents. Teachers are as flexible as possible to accommodate parents wherever possible. Teachers will also request to see parents if they feel it is at all necessary.
- Parents are encouraged to communicate via email with their child's individual teacher when necessary. All staff, including the Head Teacher and the Deputy Head Teacher are available via email. Communication via email ensures close ties between school and home.
- KG and Reception children are collected from their classroom at the end of the school day. This provides an excellent opportunity to see the teacher if you have any minor concerns.
- Formal individual parent/teacher conferences are held once a year.
- Written reports are sent home, twice a year for Reception pupils, and once for KG pupils.
- Each family has a personal Parent Portal account, giving parents access to a wealth of information, including the latest curriculum information, details of upcoming events and activities to support learning. Parents are encouraged to check this daily as it is the primary form of communication.
- LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
- SPECIAL EVENTS
- COMMUNICATION WITHIN YEARS 1 AND 2
The basic skills acquired in the Early Years Department are consolidated and built upon in Year 1, and the teaching in Year 2 helps prepare pupils for the transition into the Junior Department. Pupils continue to develop their skills of independence in both thinking and personal organisation during their time in these year groups.
Pupils' learning is considered to be of the highest importance, and learning and activities are carefully planned and monitored to ensure the very highest standards are maintained.
Years 1 and 2 follow the 2014 National Curriculum of England.
In addition to class based lessons, pupils also experience the following specialist lessons:
- Music lessons taught by specialist music teachers. Pupils are taught to perform, listen, review and evaluate a variety of music. They learn to sing and use their voices, creating and composing music on their own and with others. Pupils learn to play a variety of musical instruments, understanding and exploring how music is created, produced and communicated.
- P.E. (Physical Education) taught by specialist P.E. teachers. The lessons focus on developing children’s physical skills through a range of physical activities. Pupils learn to be active for sustained periods of time, in addition to learning how to lead healthy active lives. A range of equipment, which the pupils learn to handle effectively, is used to develop a variety of skills.
- I.T. lessons taught by a specialist I.T. teacher. There is a computer and Interactive White Board in each classroom, and pupils also have the opportunity to use Google Chromebooks to aid their learning. IT lessons ensure pupils become digitally literate, able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology, as active participants in a digital world.
- Library lessons, where children choose books to take home. During this time, children are taught how to look after, appreciate and enjoy books. The Infant library is a fully functioning lending library, and our Infant librarian supports children, helping them select books to borrow on a weekly basis.
In Year 2 children have the further opportunity to attend a variety of after school clubs that include sport, art and craft, music and computer activities.
Speaking and Listening
A significant emphasis is placed on developing both speaking and listening skills. Pupils are taught to consider before speaking, and to convey their ideas confidently. Speaking and listening skills are developed to help support their reading, comprehension, writing and general language development. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions to check their understanding, to develop their vocabulary, negotiate, evaluate and build on the ideas of others.
They are encouraged to give well structured descriptions and explanations to explore their ideas. This is necessary to clarify their thinking and help organise their ideas for writing.
'Role play' activities are used to explore and identify with characters, and are an opportunity to use and expand on the language they have been introduced to through stories. Children are taught to present and demonstrate their learning in front of others.
It is important that children have experience speaking English outside of school in order to develop their fluency.
We are very proud of the New English School phonic and reading programmes, which deliver the highest possible standards to ensure children are receiving the full curriculum in line with UK expectations.
Phonics is taught as one of the main reading and spelling strategies. Pupils are taught to use and identify the 44 sounds of the English language. The different and complex choices of grapheme and phoneme combinations, and the ways that these are used to spell words are key to pupils spelling and reading skills.
The children read in groups within their class. They have many opportunities to listen to, share and discuss a wide range of high quality books with teachers, other adults and each other. New English School pupils develop quickly into strong independent readers. The acquisition and command of vocabulary are key, and feeds into their writing skills. Key reading skills, including applying phonics, and discussing the vocabulary in each book are both equally important in pupils’ development into confident readers. Reading comprehension plays a very important role in both Year 1 and Year 2. Pupils are continually assessed on their ability to understand and discuss the texts they have read. It is vital that pupils understand the meaning of words in their reading books across different subjects, in order for them to access the whole curriculum.
Parents are expected to share reading books with their child for 20 minutes at home each day. This, together with additional reading material from the library and the online 'Bug Club' reading programme, promotes wider reading, making pupils keen 'readers for life.'
Writing is frequently modeled to the pupils, helping them develop their writing skills. Pupils are taught to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. As pupils confidence grows, they are expected to write more independently. Pupils are taught to plan for their writing tasks, and to evaluate their writing to help continually improve and develop their skills.
They are taught to use different forms of punctuation and grammatical structures. More advanced punctuation and grammar are introduced as the children become more independent in writing.
The range of writing includes factual accounts, instructions, descriptions, comparisons, letters, personal news, results from science experiments and imaginative story writing.
Children are taught to write using the correct letter formation for both upper and lower case letters. Children will develop their handwriting, joining letters with an emphasis on size, shape and spacing.
A sense of enjoyment and curiosity and the growing ability to reason mathematically are the key to mathematical teaching in Years 1 and 2.
New English School pupils develop confidence and mental fluency when dealing with problems involving number (number, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions,) measurement, statistics (data handling) and geometry (properties of shapes, position and direction) using a variety of practical resources.
Pupils are taught to break down problems into a series of simpler steps, and use questioning and discussion to probe their learning. A variety of language is taught so that pupils can explain their findings and justify the methods they have used.
Evidence of recording in a variety of ways, and mental arithmetic help the children develop the skills of explaining results to a variety of both routine and unfamiliar problems. The use of varied and frequent practice with increasing complex problems, ensures pupils develop the ability to both recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Pupils become less dependent on practical materials as their mental agility develop, and are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to Science and other subjects of the curriculum.
Today's children face an uncertain future, it is hard to anticipate all of the issues they may face. Scientific development occurs so rapidly, that the skill of scientific questioning and a curiosity of the world around them is fundamental to their future.
During Years 1 and 2 pupils are starting to be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
New English School pupils are taught to ask simple questions, observe, perform and test simple experiments and investigations. They use a variety of simple equipment to help them in their observations, and they suggest answers to questions. Pupils gather and record data from their tasks, and review this to answer questions and explain their findings.
Year 1 and 2 children learn about science through a series of topics.
Examples of topics include.....
Habitats, feeding and exercise
Uses of materials
Identifying and comparing materials
Identifying plants and the structure of plants
Classification of animals
We have various events throughout the year that encourages parental involvement. These include:
- Class Assemblies
- Sports Day
- The annual Primary Concert
- Maths Week
- Book Fairs and a Book Week.
- Science Week
- Celebrations relating to National and International themes.
- Health Week
- 'Open Afternoons'... these afternoons are opportunities for the pupils to show and explain to their parents the work in their exercise books.
Communication with parents is one of our highest priorities. Parents are kept continually informed about activities within each year group. This includes providing information regarding activities within school, curriculum information and the development of each individual pupil.
- A newsletter each fortnight is produced by each teacher for the Parent Portal, showing details of events, and photos of activities that have taken place in each class.
- Curriculum information for each year group is produced every two months by each Head of Year, and is available on the Parent Portal, enabling parents to support learning at home
- Parents are invited to attend an 'Introductory Evening,' and 'Curriculum Information Evenings' during the year.
- Each teacher devotes time each week to meet with parents. Teachers are as flexible as possible to accommodate parents whenever possible. Teachers will also request to see parents if they feel it is necessary.
- Parents are encouraged to communicate via email with their child's individual teacher whenever necessary. All staff, including the Head Teacher and the Deputy Head Teacher are available via email. Communication via email ensures close ties between school and home.
- Both Year 1 and Year 2 children are collected from their classroom at the end of the school day. This provides an excellent opportunity to see the teacher if and parent has any minor concerns.
- Formal individual parent/teacher conferences are held once a year.
- Written reports are sent home, twice a year for Year 1 and 2 pupils.
- Each family has a personal Parent Portal account, giving parents access to a wealth of information for each child in their family, including the latest curriculum information, details of upcoming events and activities to support learning. Parents are encouraged to check this daily as it is the primary form of communication.