Year 1 & 2
Whilst the progression to Year 1 and on to Year 2 is designed to be as seamless as in Early Years, it represents a further important step towards more formal learning and differentiation between subjects in anticipation of your child’s move to Prep which promotes more independence and better organisation. We also begin to group informally for phonics and maths, ensuring that every child benefits from the most appropriate and effective tuition according to their ability and potential. Fully aware, however, that progress changes from day to day, these groups change constantly, making lesson planning dynamic and constructive.
Year 1 sees other changes too, with more structure applied to sport and exercise, increased focus on the arts utilising our specialist Pre-Prep art and music rooms.
All the while, teaching staff are developing and evolving your child’s individual learning plans whilst ensuring happiness and wellbeing. Our expectations are high, but so are our children’s achievements.
In Year 1, the differentiation between subjects becomes clearer, with Literacy, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, ICT and PSHCE now more clearly defined and more naturally challenging. Topic based learning engages, inspires and provides invaluable context across the school week. French is also taught for the first time in Year 1 through fun and engaging activities.
Year 1 sees the introduction of basic coding in readiness for your child’s use of technology both on their learning journey and in its own right. New techniques and styles are introduced in Art, whilst in Music children learn the beginnings of writing rhythms and melodies, singing in the choir and reading sheet music. Our children have been proud to win choir competitions for several years. Private violin or piano lessons with our peripatetic music specialists are offered in Year 1 onwards and in Year 2, children can start to learn the ukulele or recorder in small groups at lunchtime with our Head of Music for Pre-Prep.
Sport becomes more formal and continues twice a week with the addition of swimming in the summer term with our specialist Pre-Prep sports teacher. Although our PE specialists have the flexibility to be creative in their teaching, they are strictly guided by the curriculum, which includes expectations of progression of skills at respective ages. This covers Gymnastics, Athletics, Invasion Games, Striking and Fielding, Net and Wall Games and Yoga, as well as the fundamentals of Movement and Skills. Representing another important aspect of the forthcoming transition to Prep, Year 2 have an additional weekly lesson led by Prep sports staff. Ball games including football, tag rugby, netball, cricket and hockey, introduced according to the term.
Becoming a curricular subject in its own right, Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE) focuses on respect, relationships with peers and personal achievement. It is closely aligned with the Hoe Bridge Way and Code of Conduct and forms an important part of developing essential life skills in preparation for being a responsible citizen.
For further readiness for Prep, our Years 2 and 3 teaching staff work closely to ensure a successful transition to Prep, discussing individual children and familiarising themselves with progress including standardised assessment results. Our Year 2 children also enjoy lunch in the Prep cafeteria every day as well as well as taking weekly games and ICT lessons in the Prep buildings.
Of course, the three-way relationship between child, parent and teacher never diminishes in importance. Most parents welcome the opportunity for a brief, informal chat at drop off and pick up times, and communications on progress and achievements are encouraged via Seesaw, our secure online platform for Years 1 and 2. Formal parent evenings take place in the Autumn and Spring term supported by written school reports in the Autumn and Summer term.
We continue to offer wraparound care in Years 1 and 2 with Breakfast Club open from 7:30am and a ‘soft start’ in the classroom from 8:15am until registration at 8:55am, always a stress-saver in the event of heavy traffic or other causes of delay.
However, an important addition is after school activities, which take place for between 45 minutes and an hour after the end of school day at 3:30pm. All are eagerly anticipated, and in many cases, participation leads to a lifelong interest. They can also be invaluable in supporting your child’s social and emotional development. Activities are as diverse as Running to Chess, Robotics to Musical Theatre with Stagecoach. We always encourage the children to try out new ones.
After activities have finished for the afternoon, wraparound care is available until 6:30pm if required.