Our aim in Year 1 is to continue to build on the foundation that students have already developed in the Foundation Stage. Our main focus in Year 1 is to encourage more independent and collaborative learning in order to make children independent thinkers and problem solvers. Our lessons are well structured and aim to provide as many learning opportunities as possible. Much of what we teach, is taught through a cross curricular approach which aims to integrate the skills from all subject areas through key topics. In Year 1 we cover a key topic each term. In Term 1 the topic is ‘Things that go bump in the night’; Term 2; ‘The world around us’ and in term 3 ‘In a land far away.’
The transition from Reception to Year 1 is significant in developing the maturity and independence of your child. Children will be expected to carry out daily routines such as packing and unpacking their bags independently and becoming responsible for their own property as well as respecting the property of others. Homework will be introduced for the first time in Year 1. The children will get 2 pieces each of English and Maths, none of which should take longer than 20 minutes. In addition they will also get Arabic and Islamic homework. The homework reflects what has been done in the classroom and is to help them consolidate prior learning as opposed to new information.
During the first 4 weeks of Term 1 we will focus on developing speaking and listening skills, to help the children become familiar with the language of classroom rules and daily routines. We will also be consolidating the Phase 2 level of the Letters and Sounds phonic scheme. Then we will move on to Phase 3 and Phase 4 in Term 2 and introduce Phase 5 in Term 3. Phonics plays a major role in the first part of Term 1. Reading books will be sent home every day and changed when the teacher decides they are ready to move on. It is very important that reading is done as a daily activity. Once children have the basic phonic sounds we will move on to writing simple sentences using that knowledge and integrating grammar and punctuation. We will cover a variety of writing genres both fiction and non-fiction, such as story writing, report writing, recounting personal events, biographies and instructional writing. In Term 1 we will look at stories about Space, monsters, aliens and light and dark. In term 2 we will look at traditional stories and stories from different cultures and in term 3 we will be looking at fantasy stories involving kings, knights, princesses, dragons and magic. A lot of non-fiction will be covered in science, history and geography topics.
We continue to build on their number skills and introduce different methods of calculations so that children can find a strategy that suits them. We will start to work on developing the mental maths as well as looking at the written form and introduce children to the different symbols and the different vocabulary of addition and subtraction. Problem solving plays a big part in the Year 1 curriculum so children are not just taught to add and take away. They are encouraged to use those skills to solve everyday problems. Again we teach a variety of strategies that can be applied to finding a solution.
We cover the following topics in Science:
- Living things: animals and plants
- Light and dark
- Materials and their properties
A lot of the science work is done practically either in groups or pairs. Children are encouraged to be able to work as part of a team, to develop skills of cooperation and compromise.
All these subjects are taught by specialist teachers. Your children will have 2 lessons in each of these subjects every week. In all 3 subjects, a variety of different activities are included in the curriculum for the year.
We have special days throughout the year which are an integral part of the curriculum. On some occasions the children will be asked to wear a costume. For example, our Book Week character parade, where children will dress up as their favourite character, National and International week where children will be asked to wear their own national dress or the dress of a country they are studying. Fantasy Day where children come dressed as kings, knights and princesses and learn what life was like in Medieval times.
These are but a few and there are many more days just like this. So come along and have fun in GES. We’re waiting for you!
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