Our Transition class (Year 1) allows children the opportunity to move seamlessly from more the play-based learning of Early Years into the slightly more formal teaching of Key Stage One. Our broad-based curriculum places much emphasis on literacy and numeracy with lively oral work engaging the interest of the children and encouraging the development of skills.
The children are taught to read in an enjoyable, stimulating but ordered way using primarily a phonics programme but combining this with whole-word recognition and sentence building. Children read and have experience in many different aspects of literacy every day, exploring and experimenting with sounds, words and texts and responding to and writing their own stories, songs, rhymes and poems as soon as they are able.
Mathematically, as during the preceding Foundation Stage, there is much practical work with emphasis on the further development of mathematical language, mental strategies and problem solving. The children are taken at a challenging pace, yet with differentiated tasks enabling all to progress at a level suited to their needs. Our purpose is to develop confident, skilful mathematicians who enjoy their subject.
Experience of their own environment is extended to the wider world through Science, Geography and History topics. A hands-on approach, a range of multi-media in addition to several visits out of school are used to enrich the curriculum.
Singing and music making activities are an integral part of the curriculum as are gymnastics and games with swimming from eight years upwards. French too is taught by a specialist teacher throughout Junior House, beginning in the Early Years.
The pastoral aspects of the curriculum are seen as being as important as the academic ones. The children have weekly Religious Education lessons, based on the school's Christian ethos, but with insights into other religions and cultures. Circle Time, in which issues such as friendships and feelings are considered, is planned into the timetable on a regular basis.
The youngest children are encouraged to become increasingly independent, showing initiative and making choices. They take a full part in school life and are valued for their contribution.