Year 1 & Year 2
Years 1 and 2 (known as 'Key Stage 1') is an exciting stage in a child's education where they build on the foundation laid in our Early Years Department and begin to develop important skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects. Our dedicated team of educators are committed to creating a safe and stimulating learning environment where children can thrive and reach their full potential. We believe in a holistic approach to education that focuses on the individual needs and interests of each child, enabling them to become confident, independent learners who are well-prepared for the challenges of Key Stage 2 and beyond.
- 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, the teaching in Year 2 then 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.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.