Key Stage One in Durham School for GirlsOverview
As your daughter moves to Key Stage One (KS1) in Durham School for Girls, after the Early Years Foundation Stage, a more formal approach to lessons begins. A lot of the learning is still taught through play, especially in Year 1. Key Stage One is a two-year phase, covering the 5 – 7 years age range. Where possible, class size does not exceed 23.
The learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the pupils with a range of multi-sensory activities. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards to support the children's learning. Display areas celebrate the children's work across all curriculum areas.
The pupils have a dedicated outdoor area to allow curriculum activities to take place outside of the classroom alongside activities that keep them fully occupied at break time. There are two breaks during the school day. During the break times, the children get the opportunity to play and to eat their packed lunch.KEY STAGE ONE CURRICULUM
A smooth transition takes place between Foundation and Key Stage One. Girls in KS1 follow the English National Curriculum. We have adapted this slightly to ensure our curriculum is culturally engaging and teaches skills for our girls to become global citizens. The structure of the curriculum is as follows: English, Mathematics, Science, Arabic and Islamic Studies (for Muslim pupils) are the core subjects in addition to the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Design Technology and Art.
Subject specialists deliver art, design and technology, computing, music, Spanish and swimming programmes. Links across the curriculum are made wherever possible and all activities are planned and delivered to maximise first-hand experience and respond to differing learning styles. Role play continues to be used as a way of developing expressive language skills; role play areas change regularly in classrooms and central areas.
Wherever possible, children are taken out of school for activities that support and enrich the curriculum, for example, the Y1 pupils may visit a local science museum where they get the opportunity to engage in many ‘hands on’ practical activities. Y2 pupils may visit a local desert wildlife park as part of their study of animals in the local environment. Parents are invited into school to see an annual assembly. The children have great fun preparing for this through songs, actions, dancing and some speaking parts. Similarly, visitors with special skills and experience are invited into class to further enrich the curriculum.
KS1 students receive 25 lessons and additional form time. During this time, teachers run booster sessions for Phonics, Mental Maths and PSHE. Our girls will always be encouraged to be independent learners. Technology will be incorporated throughout the curriculum, including computing and programming. We will follow the Ministry of Education Curriculum for Arabic and Islamic Studies. This will be supported with additional Arabic Reading Schemes and songs.
Read, Write Inc. will be used as a basis for the teaching of phonics but other schemes may be used to ensure an individual approach for our girls. The ‘Oxford Reading Scheme’ has been purchased for reading, ‘Talk for Writing’ will be used alongside some elements of ‘The Write Stuff’ for Writing and ‘Maths - No Problem’ has been purchased for the teaching of Maths. We do, however, give full autonomy to our teachers when planning engaging lessons for our girls.
The Curriculum is ‘thematic,’ meaning each term or half term the girls will begin a new adventure through a question which will be posed. For example, Term 2 in Year 1 will think about ‘Where could my fish have gone?’ as they explore Oceans and Seas around the world. Their learning will be tailored to fully immerse them into the world of animals, oceans, Qatari boating history etc. Term 2 in Year 2 the girls will find out if they can ‘Party with a Platypus’ as they research and learn scientific vocabulary surrounding animals and their habitats- art, geography, PE and many other subjects will be taught through this theme. Our curriculum is designed to capture imagination and inspire a love for learning.