Key Stage One Curriculum
The term ‘curriculum’ covers all aspects of the school experience. This includes The National curriculum and the wider curriculum. Each week teachers will add a 'What we are learning' sheet to their class page of the website to provide detail of content to be covered during that time.
- To engender a love of learning
- To make the most of learners’ potential
- To develop independent learning
- To develop skills
- To learn to value
- To learn to question
- To open up to possibility
- To provide security
- To prepare for life
Key Stage 1 covers Y1 (5-6yrs) and Y2 (6-7yrs) and the school’s curriculum includes RE, Personal, Social, Health Education, Philosophy for Children (P4C) and all National Curriculum subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Computing , History, Geography, Music, Design and Technology, Art and PE.
English and Maths are taught in some form every day. Other subjects are taught weekly or are organised into topic units. The curriculum is organised across the year to link subjects wherever possible.
Teachers in each year group work together to plan lessons that fulfil the school aims. They use a variety of teaching methods with the whole class, groups or individuals and have regard for the way their pupils learn best. Artefacts are used wherever possible and local visits as well as travelling visitors are used to provide a wide educational base. We are committed to making learning a fun, memorable and enriching experience.
Parents/carers can find out more about the areas covered each week by downloading 'What we are learning' sheets from the 'Classes' section of this website.
Our English curriculum aims to ensure all pupils become proficient in reading and writing as well as speaking and listening. We aim to inspire our pupils with enthusiasm, enjoyment and the will to express themselves effectively both orally and on paper. English work is applied across the curriculum and it is imperative that all pupils develop their language skills to be able to express themselves in all situations. English learning includes speaking, listening skills, reading, grammar, spelling, punctuation within a variety of genres of written English.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and Listening is at the heart of our English Curriculum. The skills acquired through Speaking and Listening are vital in all areas of learning and social situations. Children are taught to listen carefully to others and to speak clearly with confidence. Oral skills are developed through Talk for Writing, P4C and role play.
At John Hampden School, developing reading skills is of the highest priority. Our aim is to equip children with the desire, as well as the skills, to read whilst instilling a love, appreciation and respect for books. This happens through shared reading, guided reading and individual reading. Children learn to read and comprehend a wide range of texts including stories, poems, plays and non-fiction. Each child has a reading book to bring home and read to parents. Reading schemes are used to give structured progress and includes a range of books including stories, non-fiction, poetry and a range of phonic reading books to support our phonics teaching at school.
All children have a daily phonics session where they learn letters sounds, to blend to read and segment to write. Phonics is taught in phases, following the Letters and Sounds Phonic Scheme.
Children learn to write freely and creatively through careful teaching, encouragement and an exposure to an environment where there are numerous opportunities to write in a variety of writing styles, for a range of purposes and audiences. The Talk for Writing approach is adopted to provide children with the appropriate structure and an enhanced range of vocabulary to call upon. Genres covered include imaginative stories, traditional tales, recounts, instructions, reports and explanations. These are repeated each year in order to improve and develop writing skills across a range of genre. Grammar, punctuation and spelling is taught progressively throughout the school.
We teach children to develop a fluent and legible handwriting style to foster pride in the presentation of their work. Initially we teach the children to form letters correctly. Children then follow a handwriting programme where they develop a neat, joined, legible style.
Skills that children learn in English are transferred and used in all other areas of the curriculum and help children to communicate ideas and feelings as well as gain an understanding in the world in which we live.
At John Hampden, we aim to instil a love of Mathematics and encourage children to become confident learners. We recognise the value and importance of Mathematics in everyday life. Pupils are taught to recognise that developing understanding and use of mathematical concepts is a key life skill, elements of which are used daily in a wide variety of everyday situations. Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Maths is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind at John Hampden School we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives. Maths can be a creative subject, giving rise to moments of wonder when a child solves a problem for the first time or suddenly sees a hidden connection.
Children are given the opportunity to do practical investigative and written work. There is an emphasis on mental and oral work using a wide range of strategies. We make learning experiences enjoyable, motivating and exciting and encourage all children to participate. We provide open-ended problems for the children to solve, usually on a weekly basis, which help to foster an enquiring mind where Maths is seen as a challenge rather than a chore. It is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our pupils in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society.
At John Hampden, we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We aim to provide the pupils with a mathematics curriculum and high quality teaching to produce individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and adequate resources so that pupils can develop their mathematical skills to the full.
Learning and Teaching in Mathematics
A daily maths lesson takes place in Years 1 and 2, lasting from between 45 minutes to 1 hour. In Foundation Stage there is also a daily maths session, but this varies in time and format depending on the area of learning. In all year groups short mental warm ups are considered an important start to the session. It should be noted that this warm up does not always focus on number activities but also activities related to shape, space and measures. In Years 1 and 2 children may also have a daily number challenge focussing on number bonds and quick mental arithmetic. This forms part of the mathematics lesson.
There is a balance of whole class, group, paired and individual learning. Pupils are, on the whole, grouped by ability, but there are some exceptions to this. Activities are clearly differentiated within each year group, as well as across the age ranges.
There is a large emphasis put on practical maths activities at John Hampden School, throughout all the year groups. We are extremely fortunate that both our indoor and outdoor learning environment facilitates a creative approach to maths teaching. Where opportunities arise, maths teaching and learning is cross-curricular.
Parents are encouraged to support their children’s learning. Information about each child’s progress is shared at parent’s evenings.
Through the teaching of science, we build upon children’s natural curiosity. We develop their knowledge and investigative skills and enable them to observe, record and report their findings. All children are encouraged to carry out practical activities so that they can see themselves as scientists. This includes working in a scientific way- asking why things are the way they are and what happens when things change.
Through child initiated activities children are encouraged to use a variety of equipment in a safe way and use the equipment to carry out their own experiments.
All science at our school is based around the following key areas.
- Working Scientifically - developing questioning and scientific skills.
- Animals, including humans and their habitats.
- Materials and their everyday uses.
- Seasonal changes.
Our aim is develop our children to be independent thinkers who can use their scientific knowledge to make informed conclusions about what their see in their everyday lives.
In History, we aim to ensure that the children develop an awareness of the past using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They know and understand where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They are encouraged to use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. We also offer the children the opportunity to ask and answer questions, sometimes using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. Children start to understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. We focus on three key areas: The lives of significant individuals in Britain's past who have contributed to our nation's achievements; Key events in the past that are significant nationally and globally, particularly those that coincide with festivals or other events that are commemorated throughout the year: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Through Geography we aim to help children become more aware of the world in which they live, starting with the local area, where they live and go to school. Looking at the different countries of the United Kingdom through 'Saints Days' will deepen the children's awareness of similarities and differences between places and people. During their time at John Hampden the children will have opportunities to learn about the continents and oceans of the world, and as part of 'World Weeks' will study a small area of a non-European country. Map skills will be developed throughout all topics, using maps of different scales, atlases and interactive displays children will be enabled to make their own maps, and to represent their ideas and discoveries in a variety of ways, using a range of media. All work linked to Geography aims to develop curiosity and knowledge in our pupils.
Design and Technology
In Design and Technology, our children are encouraged to develop an awareness of their environment, the world around them and how technology can be used to solve problems. The children use the skills they have learnt to design and create a variety of models and projects linked to their own experiences. They are given opportunities to experiment with a range of materials and to make decisions about which materials would be most suitable for their design. At the end of a project, children evaluate their models and look at how their work could be improved for future designs.
Children at John Hampden enjoy a music curriculum which includes them being actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, exploring body percussion and whole body actions, and learning to handle and play simple classroom percussion instruments. Through a range of whole school, class group and individual activities, children have the opportunity to explore sound, listen actively, compose and perform. They also experience many different music styles from different places, culture and times. The musical elements of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo and structure are experienced and explored throughout the music curriculum. Music is an integral part of the classroom , assemblies, celebrations and Golden Time, and is integrated across the KS1 curriculum.
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
From their time in Foundation Stage, children experience regular Philosophy for Children (P4C) sessions. P4C is at the heart of what John Hampden Infant School is all about. It encapsulates the ethos, vision and values that focus on learning as a community and developing the individual as a caring, thinking individual who develops a love of learning ‘caring, sharing, taking turns, we learn to love, we love to learn’. We believe children are inquisitive by nature; P4C nurtures their questioning and wondering and challenges their own and each other’s thinking.
We aim to help our children develop into effective, critical and creative thinkers and to take responsibility for their own learning in a caring and collaborative environment by providing practical opportunities for them to develop good thinking, questioning and communication skills. P4C sessions are also used to develop children’s basic skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute to a pluralistic British society. Through the use of P4C we aim to create a caring classroom situation where children; learn to listen to and respect each other and make links between matters of personal concern such as; love, growing up, friendship, bullying, fairness and the schools Golden Rules. We also cover more general philosophical issues such as; tolerance, rules of law, change, personal identity, free will, space, time, truth, safety, science, religion, history and the future.
RE and Assemblies
We believe the importance of teaching children RE is fundamental to society at large and shaping the future. The teaching of RE embodies respect for the law and the principles of freedom, responsibility and fairness. The RE curriculum at the school focuses primarily on the Christian faith but considered efforts are made to ensure our children also receive a broad and balanced view of other faiths including Judaism and Islam. We understand that at this young age pupils begin to make sense of the world based on their own experiences. Therefore, we ensure the religious and personal beliefs of our pupils are reflected in our teaching. We have formed links with the wider community and invite guest speakers into the school as well as visiting local places of worship including a church and mosque. We place a significant emphasis on not only learning about religion but also deriving moral and spiritual values from religion. We adhere to the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Buckinghamshire and take a thematic approach by exploring: special occasions, special stories, special places and special people.
There is a daily assembly which may be taken as a whole school or in smaller groups.
Assemblies include an act of collective worship which may be a quiet reflective moment or a prayer and usually an appropriate song. Occasionally, members of the local church community may come and take an assembly.
Children may be withdrawn from assembly and parents should consult the Head Teacher about this.
Teaching and Learning
We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that best suit them. We therefore include in our teaching, opportunities for children to experience a wide range of teaching and learning methods. We base our teaching on our knowledge of the child’s level of attainment and use targets to focus children on what they need to do to improve. Regular assessment of progress enables us to ensure that children are working at a level that is appropriate to their ability and planning takes into account differing rates of progress.
Teachers and teaching assistants quickly establish good working relationships with all children in the class. We treat the children with kindness and respect. We treat them fairly and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities. We praise children for their efforts and, by doing so, we help to build positive attitudes towards school and learning in general.
Our classrooms are attractive learning environments as we believe that a stimulating environment sets the climate for learning. An exciting classroom promotes independent use of resources and leads to a high quality of work from the children.
We take our logo line ‘Loving to Learn’ seriously and actively develop a 'Growth Mindset' learning vocabulary in our pupils alongside the confidence to discuss how they are learning and what they can do to improve.
The Wider Curriculum
Children are involved in a variety of activities and experiences outside of The National Curriculum. These include active playtimes, cooking, clubs, FJH events, visitors, workshops, performances, Maypole dancing, country dancing, Arts Week, World Weeks and Health & Safety Weeks. We aim to invite parents/carers to share in the work of the school regularly.
More Able Children
We recognise that some children may have exceptional ability. We identify these children through careful assessment procedures. We applaud excellence and success and our short term planning has in-built provision for the able child. The extension activities for these children can be open ended and involve more problem solving and creative thinking opportunities rather than just more practice.
The school has a strong commitment to the added value of learning beyond the school premises. Each year the school will arrange a number of activities that take place off the school site e.g visiting local museums, farms, local buildings, places of worship. Parents will be notified by letter of a planned visit and will be asked to sign a consent form. The school may ask for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the trip.