Key Stage One (KS1) is a crucial time when good learning habits are developed, a love of learning continues to be established and children begin to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses. We aim to provide a fun environment where children learn through first-hand experience, and start to take responsibility for their own learning. It is absolutely vital that parents support their child fully during this period of their schooling, as they have the key role of pointing their child in the right direction regarding their attitude towards peers and the wider world around them.
Our approach to KS1 teaching
KS1 is the time when we give children multiple opportunities to develop and demonstrate their aptitudes in each of the eight areas: logical, linguistic, cultural, physical, social, personal, moral and spiritual thinking. We follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning.
The IPC has been designed to ensure rigorous learning, but also to help teachers make all learning exciting, active and meaningful. Children learn basic key skills in history, geography, ICT, art, technology and science, which introduce them to all disciplines and help them form the beginning of their own learning journey. By ensuring children are exposed to a wide range of subjects, we allow them to experience things they may have previously overlooked. This, in turn, may well influence later academic subject choices.
Children will also start to develop formal methods for recording mathematical calculations. All KS1 children take part in mental mathematics challenges, concrete mathematical experiences and learn to record their findings more formally. Mathematics activities are designed to be fun, challenging and have a real purpose, with an emphasis on problem solving. Children have opportunities to revisit different areas of mathematics each half term and build on previous knowledge. Basic concepts are cemented at this crucial stage and become the building blocks for all future learning.
Key areas of parental guidance and support
On a practical level, parents need to consistently read with their child each evening and be positive in their approach. This time may include questioning your child about the book they have read, predicting, discussing the pictures and characters and sharing opinions. Your child will be taking part in daily phonics at school and this reading time at home is when they apply and develop the phonic knowledge that they are learning in school. Homework will include weekly spellings based on the new sounds and sight words that your child is learning. Practicing these spellings in a fun way for five to ten minutes each day is important. If your child is finding this difficult, ask their teacher for some practical ideas and help.
Creating a solid foundation for future learning
By developing each child’s aptitudes and then reinforcing them at home with reading practice and homework sessions, teachers and parents are able to give pupils everything they need to prepare them to tackle the challenges of their future years of education with complete confidence.
Deputy Head of Pre-Prep (KS1)