KEY STAGE 1
|Years 1 and 2 (Key Stage 1)
|Ms Catherine Okill (Assistant Principal, Early Years & Key Stage 1)
Shrewsbury International School is a warm, friendly and caring school that welcomes children from all cultures, backgrounds and experiences. It is important to us that we maintain an ethos where each child can be happy, secure, valued and fulfilled and their individuality is recognised and respected. It is a vibrant, lively and challenging place for children to learn and thrive. While respecting the language and culture of Thailand, all children develop English as the language of the classroom.
Learning in Key Stage 1 is based around 4 core themes:
HOLISTIC, ROUNDED DEVELOPMENT: We continue to develop the child academically, socially and emotionally in Year 1 and Year 2. All the skills that are developed in the Early Years are nurtured and built upon to ensure that each child thrives in their own way.
TOPIC-BASED: The curriculum objectives are taught through a range of inspiring topics that encourage the children to be creative. These topics are delivered in a variety of ways to ensure that all learning styles are met.
CHILD-LED: There are still elements of carefully planned play, keeping the interest of the children high. We know that children learn best when they have an input in what they are learning, so we give the children a voice. The children have many opportunities to lead their own learning, which is carefully monitored by the teachers.
A PARTNERSHIP WITH HOME: At Shrewsbury
International School we promote a very close working
relationship with our parents. Parents are kept informed
and we work together to ensure that every child has an enriching
The English National Curriculum objectives and standards for the basis of our teaching. We provide our children with many opportunities to perform, present and listen in a variety of situations. They are encouraged to participate in assemblies, class performances and whole school events to share their achievements and talents whilst developing and strengthening their confidence and self-belief. There is an incredible sense of community within the school where the children build vital teamwork skills, pride in themselves and respect for their peers.
The Key Stage 1 education we offer to is based on the following principles:
- It builds on what our children already know and can do
- It encourages independence, resilience, confidence and self-assurance
- It highlights children’s unique qualities and nurtures them
- It supports children to develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
- It offers a structure for learning
- It provides a rich and stimulating environment
- It builds positive relationships
These principles influence our staff roles, organisation,
planning, assessment, environment, equipment and relationships
Shrewsbury International School City Campus has been purposefully designed to facilitate our curriculum and to meet the varying needs of the children in our care. The classrooms are designed to allow for the children to flow freely between the classrooms and the internal space, giving children opportunities to work collaboratively with their peers from other classes as well as a lot of space to achieve this.
The Year 1 and Year 2 classes are positioned in our “main” classroom block, which also accommodates Years 3-6. Every classroom has views of, and access to, outside spaces which are much part of the child’s learning environment.
The overall environment is very carefully planned and resourced with high quality equipment, all to support the children’s learning.
Children also have access to specialist learning spaces that enhance their learning, including a Food Technology space, a Science Laboratory and a Digi-Pod. The brand new facilities are purpose built for primary aged children, giving them the best opportunities to thrive.
The children have access to a lot of physical equipment and natural materials in the playground to support their play.
This enables children to continue to build important
relationships, engage in creative play, develop physical skills
and sustain their independence during break and lunch
The day is split into 6 lessons, these timings however are flexible to meet the needs of the children. The subjects have been allocated to each lesson but due to the cross-curricular nature of how we teach many of these lessons will merge together.
Children should arrive at school by 7:30am.
Below is an example of what a week in Year 1 or Year 2 could look like.
7.30am - 7.45am
|Child-led activity / registration
|Child-led activity / registration
|Child-led activity / registration
|Child-led activity / registration
|Child-led activity / registration
7.45am - 8.45am
Phonics/ Guided Reading
|Phonics/ Guided Reading
|Phonics/ Guided Reading
|Phonics/ Guided Reading
8.45am - 9.45am
|11.05am-12.05pm PERIOD 4
1.00 - 2.00pm
|Golden Time / Assembly
|"YOU-TIME!" (after school activities - optional)
The following subject areas are integrated and tied together within a creative topic-based curriculum.
- Computing/Digital Literacy
- Art and Design
- Humanities (History and Geography)
Throughout Year 1 and Year 2 (KS1) the children are taught all the above subjects by their class teacher. An integrated learning approach is followed, with key objectives taught through half termly topics.
Every month a “Value of the Month” is shared in the Pre Prep Assembly and then discussed in class. Examples of values are “compassion”, “honesty” and “courage”. As well as this all teachers continually support the children in their social and emotional development through the Learning for Life programme.
The specialist subjects in Year 1 and Year 2 comprise:
- Physical Education
- Thai Language and Culture
There are six to eight topics taught across the year. These topics are linked where appropriate to learning in Literacy and Numeracy and cover the age-appropriate skills and knowledge required in the rest of the curriculum. The children are involved in discussions about what they want to learn and the teachers tailor the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of the children, while matching these to the English National Curriculum objectives. Objectives are taught through a less-structured format to ensure the transition from Early Years to Year 1 is smooth and supportive, and in line with meeting the children’s needs.
Examples of Year 1 Topics:
- Food, glorious food!
- Amazing Africa
- Once upon a time...
example year 1 topic: rainforests
What is a rainforest? Is it a forest where there’s a lot of rain?
What lives in the rain forests? And where are they? We will be looking for them on the globe and finding out what makes these forests so very special.
There are six half termly topics taught across the year. These topics are linked where appropriate to learning in Literacy and Numeracy and cover the age-appropriate skills and knowledge required in Science, History and Geography. In addition, there are often links to Learning for Life.
Examples of Year 2 Topics:
- Perilous Pirates
- Terrific Time Travellers
- Flower Power
- Kings and Queens
example year 2 topic: ROBOTS
What is a robot? Are they from a future world where no humans exist anymore? In fact we are surrounded by robots everyday - at home, at school even in the street. Let’s find out where they are and what they all do!
Art / Design Technology
In English the focus is on the areas of speaking and listening, phonics, reading and writing. All children have four lessons a week of Guided Reading (one of which will be in Thai), where time is spent working in small groups reading and discussing stories and texts.
Throughout Years 1 and 2, the children will focus on developing different skills. Each week the class teacher will work with the children on developing skills across 7 main areas (so-called assessment focuses). These are:
- Decoding accurately. The children will use phonics skills to decode new words and use a range of strategies to make sense of what they have read.
- Seek, find and understand. The children will find specific information and answers in a text.
- Reading between the lines (inference). The children will search for clues so that they can comment on characters, motives, events and ideas as well as making predictions.
- Structure. The children will look at how the text has been put together and organised. They will look at using correct terms such as glossary, captions and sub-headings and begin to understand how these features contribute to meaning.
- The writer’s use of language. The children will think about and explain how writers use words and how particular words and phrases make a text more powerful. They also think about the effect these words have on the reader.
- The writer’s viewpoint. The children will think about the purpose of the text. Is it meant to inform, persuade, entertain, instruct, scare, or just to record events? They will also think about how the text makes the reader feel.
- The Text and the World. The children will compare and contrast stories set in different cultures and times. They will think about what makes this writer special and how their writing compares with that of others.
Throughout Years 1 and 2, the children will experience a range of
different texts, which will inspire their writing. The children
will create their own writing in the style of each genre both
independently and with support. The children will look at
Narrative, Non-Fiction and Poetry texts which will be linked to
the topic for that half term.
The children will focus on developing the writing skills below:
- Develop the sense of a sentence and grammar. Write single words and phrases
- Be able to say and write a simple sentence independently. Use capital letters and full stops when punctuating a simple sentence
- Choose appropriate and interesting words for writing from alternatives supplied (e.g. from a word bank or from stories read) or from their developing vocabulary
- Produce ideas about what to include in a narrative with a beginning, development and ending
- Develop their spelling ability through their knowledge of phonics
- Continue to develop taught in Year 1 skills
- Using connectives to link clauses
- Start to write a variety of different, more complex sentence types
- Generally using past and present tense accurately
- Vary their sentence openers
- Be able to confidently write a range of different text types
- Begin to edit and improve their work.
Our Numeracy curriculum has been designed to emulate some of the best pedagogy from around the world. The curriculum in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is designed to allow children to become increasingly secure in their number facts, and to progress to their Senior School education able to communicate mathematically and to solve challenging everyday problems.
Every Numeracy lesson is planned to incorporate activities that challenge children and that help to develop their skills in three key areas; mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. Mastering these skills helps children to become confident mathematicians, and in turn, enhances their understanding of the world around them and their learning in other subjects, especially the sciences.
Our mastery approach to teaching Maths encourages discussion, collaborative paired work and ‘hands-on’ learning. We use pictorial representations and highly visual resources to help explain mathematical concepts, and help children to “see” and understand the patterns and structures that underlie them. To assist this, Teachers are equipped with a range of tactical, hands-on resources including Dienes blocks, bead strings and Numicon.
We follow the Numeracy programme outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum of England, which aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
In Numeracy, objectives are covered wherever possible through exciting practical and problem-solving activities using a theme linked to the termly topic where possible and appropriate.
During Years 1 and 2, the children have a Numeracy lesson every day during which, they will revisit and build upon previous learning.
Here are some useful websites you may like to look at with your
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In Science, practical work is at the centre of each topic, often with questions asked which the children need to solve. They are taught to use a structured logical approach to answering the question, with emphasis placed on fair testing, predicting, recording observations, explaining observations (drawing graphs when appropriate) and making conclusions.
Children in Years 1 and 2 are taught by their class teacher backed up by a Digital Literacy specialist. We aim to integrate their digital learning into every subject by utilising the latest hardware and software programmes to make the children’s learning both inspiring and relevant. As well as developing their basic functional skills such as mouse control and typing, the children also have experience of using tablets to produce a range of multimedia such as video, animation and Ebooks. All of their digital literacy work is focused towards helping our learners become 21st Century Digital Citizens utilising skills such as collaboration, creativity and e-safety.
Art and Design
Art and Design and Technology are again linked to the topic. The children experience a range of different media, such as sculpture, printing and painting.
History and Geography skills are taught through our topics. Children will learn a variety of geographical and historical skills, for example placing events in chronological order, recognising why people did things, why events happened and what has happened as a result. They are encouraged to express their own views about people, places and environments.
Day visits, visitors and special days are arranged to support the
THAI LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
All children have three Thai Language and Culture lessons each week, lasting two and a half hours.
The students in Year 1 and Year 2 are divided into groups according to the level of their language abilities. Some groups are for Thai speaking students and others are for Non-Thai speaking students. The content of the curriculum for Thai national students is aimed at developing their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The topics are closely linked to those that are being studied in the main classroom.
For Non-Thai speaking students, the curriculum focuses on oral language development and learning about Thai culture. Each term special events will be celebrated in order to further enhance and deepen all the children’s understanding of Thai culture.
MANDARIN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Mandarin is the modern foreign language at City Campus. This starts in Year 1, immersing the children in the language in a variety of ways.
Languages are part of the cultural richness of all societies and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfillment. The ability to communicate in another language is a lifelong skill through which students will learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people.
Students will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence. They will develop their communication skills and will explore the structures of language which will lay the foundations for future study of other languages. This will also support the development of literacy skills in the students’ own language.
The focus is on developing key skills:
The children learn to play tuned and untuned percussion and have many opportunities to perform as a group to a wider audience through assemblies and other school events. They also learn about the different musical terminology. Most music lessons are linked to the half termly topics.
PE is taught by specialist PE staff. The children cover a broad and balanced curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to develop their physical skills, ability to follow simple rules and to learn how to make decisions in changing situations. Throughout the year, the children follow a curriculum designed around:
- Games, with a focus on agility, balance and coordination
- Gymnastics, with a focus on strength and conditioning
- Athletics, with a focus on performing at maximum levels
- Dance, with a focus on patterns, rhythm and an appreciation of movement to music
The children receive one swimming lesson a week as part of the PE curriculum. Covering the essential building blocks of swimming, the children learn the following skills:
- Aquatic breathing
- Balance and buoyancy
- Rotation and orientation
- Water safety
These skills are combined to develop independence when travelling through the water both on the front and the back. All pupils will learn the four strokes of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.
At Shrewsbury International School we consider all our students to be English language learners. We understand that language acquisition is an ongoing and integral part of learning across a broad and rich curriculum. This is just as true for children who speak English at home as for those who do not.
As a vibrant international school that welcomes children from all over the world, we acknowledge that our students join us with differing levels of proficiency in English, and that it is the responsibility of every teacher to help students to develop and improve their English language skills.
Regardless of the subject they are teaching, teachers plan and deliver lessons that include a focus on and planning for the promotion of English language acquisition. As a community of language learners that recognises how the speaking of English brings our international community together, we place high importance on cooperative learning among students; throughout the school day children are given ample opportunity to use English during discussion, problem solving and hands-on activities. As well as improving the sense of community, this approach provides authentic contexts in which to develop language, the kinds of context that we know work best for developing English.
Support for children new to English
Proficiency and confidence in English will be considered as part of the assessment process. Where necessary, our team of English language specialists will work closely with mainstream teachers to provide targeted support and specially adapted activities for children, until we are confident that they have reached a point where they can cope independently in the classroom. EAL specialists and class teachers plan together and teach together to provide learning experiences that take account of the language learning needs of the children, always in the context of the subjects and themes being taught in the classroom.
Language at Home
It is important to remember that development in English is supported by proficiency in a child's first language. This is especially important in relation to younger learners, who are still in the early stages of first-language learning. Children who are competent in their first language stand a much better chance of being competent in additional languages also.
Parents can help their children by talking in their first
language with them about their day and about what they have
learnt about at school. When your child brings books home it is
helpful to look at the pictures and talk, in your child’s
first language, about what you see. When you receive half termly
overviews from your child’s teacher it can be helpful to
talk with your child, in your first language, about what they
already know about the topics and themes therein.
Parents can also be fabulous role models in using English where necessary. This is not to suggest that parents should enforce English at home (quite the opposite in fact) but that when a situation calls for English – such as at school, meeting English-speaking friends, or on holiday in an English-speaking country – parents' use of English shows their children what a valuable tool speaking English can be.
It can be beneficial to promote English language learning during
long breaks from school, such as during the summer holidays, by
encouraging your children to read English books, play with other
English-speaking children, or join clubs and activities that are
run in English.
In Year 1, the focus for home learning is reading, and activities that are based around what children read. Year 1 bring home one Guided Reading Books every week (Year 2 bring 2 home per week). The children read and discuss the books in class, but please read the books again with your child and discuss fully. The children also visit the library weekly and are able to borrow two books to read at home. The children can also visit the library after school with their parents or nanny to exchange books.
As well as reading, Year 2 children have a half-termly topic-based long term project. Parents are encouraged to work with their child on this work which will be based on the class topic.
Parental support is very important in completing home learning activities. If your child finds aspects of the homework difficult or too easy please advise the teacher of this by noting it on the homework, via the Home School Communication book or by speaking to the teacher in person if you feel this more appropriate. We would ask that you find a regular time to complete this work preferably once the children have had time to unwind from the school day and away from distractions such as the television.
READING AT HOME
Reading at home is a very important part of helping your child. Reading aloud to your child is just as important as having them read to you.
You can take a large role in helping your children have a life long love of books.
Here is a suggested list of authors that have written books that are suitable for Pre-Prep children. Our library at school stocks many of these books and your children will love to share them with you.
- Deborah Allwright
- John Burningham
- Julia Donaldson
- Allan Ahlberg
- Nick Butterworth
- Mini Grey
- Giles Andreae
- Eric Carle
- Jill Murphy
- Quentin Blake
- Babette Cole
- Michael Rosen
- Anthony Browne
- Roald Dahl
- Tony Ross
- Nick Sharratt
- Dr Seuss
- Jill Tomlinson
- Martin Waddell