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Key Stage 1

In KS1 children have discreet sessions in Numeracy, Literacy, ICT, PE and Dance with other subjects like History being taught through topic.

Links are made between subject areas so that children apply skills taught in different learning contexts and make connections between different areas of learning.

Learning in KS1 is through practical exploration using real resources and activities both inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits support learning by providing real experiences for children.


In KS1 Numeracy sessions develop and support children’s thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Children learn key skills to analyse information and to solve problems. Teachers plan and provide practical experiences which allow children to explore new concepts and practise and apply mathematical skills. Teachers plan time for children to think and talk about their ideas, methods and mathematical representations of the real world by working in pairs and small groups with practical resources like counters, number lines and coins. Children’s learning is assessed at regular periods by observing and talking to the children as well as looking at recorded work which informs next steps in planning children’s learning. Parents and Carers can support learning at home by counting objects like buttons and coins and by encouraging children to join in with activities like cooking and shopping.


Speaking and Listening

In KS1 Speaking and Listening are key skills in their own right and as tools for other learning. They are developed both within Literacy sessions and across all areas of learning. We ensure children have many planned opportunities to talk and rehearse ideas orally through play, role-play and drama. Children may work in mixed ability groups which include more expert speakers of English as well as groups where there are children who share a first language.


Reading opportunities using a range of media occur not just in Literacy lessons but across all areas of the curriculum. Teachers plan opportunities to practice and apply reading skills across the curriculum in order to give context and real purpose to reading. Each classroom has a book corner with a wide range of stories, information texts and poetry where children are encouraged to read and share books. Parents and Carers can support reading by regularly taking home books and reading with their children. Teachers assess reading across a range of different text types to find out the progress children are making and the obstacles to their progress.

Children are taught to read through phonics lessons every day. During these phonics lessons, children progress through learning the sounds in the English language. Children apply their sounds to the reading of individual words which then supports them in being able to access whole texts. When children become more secure with their sounds, they begin using this knowledge to write words, supporting them with their spelling.​


A range of play and practical experiences across the curriculum provide a rich source of experience, stimulation and real purpose to support writing. Success in writing is partly determined by the experience of reading so children at Altmore experience hearing and reading many stories and books to enable them to internalise the structure of different texts and use them in their own writing. Each classroom has a writing and role-play corner with a wide range of writing materials for children to access. Parents and Carers can support their children’s writing by encouraging them to write as part of their play at home, for example, writing a shopping list as part of playing ‘shops’. Teachers assess writing across a range of different genres to find out the progress children are making and the obstacles to their progress.


In KS1 children develop knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills and relate these to everyday experiences. They learn about ways of thinking and of finding out about and communicating ideas and explore values and attitudes through science; e.g. Year 1 children investigate how different conditions affect a plant’s growth in their ‘Garden’ topic. In Year 2 children investigate how the force of different sized ‘cannonballs’ knock over ‘castle walls’ as part of a topic about ‘Kings, Queens and Castles’. Year 1 visit B&Q and work in the school garden to plant and learn about plant growth as part of their garden topic. Year 2 visit the Soames Centre to learn about 'Minibeasts' in different environments.


In KS1 children find out about people and important events from recent and more distant times, making links across different periods of history. Children carry out historical enquiries using a variety of sources of information like educational visits and photographs and discuss why things happened through speaking and listening and drama activities. Historical visits in Year 1 include a visit to the Bethnal GreenToy Museum to learn about and compare toys past and present. In Year 2 visits are made to ‘Eastbury Manor House’ and the Tower of London to find out how lives have changed when comparing to the present.


In KS1 children investigate and learn about the physical and human features of their own environment and appreciate how their locality is similar to and different from other places. In Year 2 children visit Southend to learn about a seaside environment. Children develop and use geographical enquiry skills, including fieldwork skills, geographical terms, making and using maps, and using photographs. As part of the topic ‘Sustainable Environments’ Year 1 discuss how to improve their local area.

Design and Technology

In KS1 children develop designing skills, including generating and developing ideas, working with materials and tools. They develop skills like planning, measuring and marking out, cutting and shaping, joining components and evaluating their product. Children develop language skills through questioning, describing and presenting their own ideas. Year 1 visit Central Park to gather ideas before designing their own playground equipment.


In KS1 children explore materials and processes and learn to use colour, shape and space, and pattern and texture to represent their own ideas and feelings. Year One visit the National Gallery as part of the ‘Take One Picture Project’. They look at and use the work of artists, craftspeople and designers to stimulate their own ideas. Year 2 study work by artists Miro, Mondrian and Andy Goldsworthy, Matisse, etc..

Religious Education

In KS1 children explore different faiths through speaking and listening, drama and art to help them understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions. They share in the celebration of different festivals and hear stories from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. They visit places of worship, for example, St Paul’s Cathedral and a Hindu temple.


In KS1 children listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of different kinds of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions, with increasing confidence, imagination and control. They explore and enjoy the way sounds and silence can create different moods and effects. Year 2 have a weekly Samba drumming session and perform in our annual carnival.

Physical Education

In KS1 children explore a range of basic skills, actions and ideas, such as running, jumping and turning, throwing or kicking a ball and responding to music in dance. They learn to practise by repeating what they have done in ways that make it better, such as making movements more controlled, effective or expressive and they use movement imaginatively to communicate ideas and feelings. Children have the opportunity to work with a Dance and P.E. coaches and they take part in activities such as Cheerleading, Sports day and ‘Bollywood’ dancing.


In Key Stage 1 children develop basic ICT skills and explore a range of ICT programs that they use to support their learning in all areas of the curriculum. These include learning to use the internet safely, word processing, taking photos with digital cameras and giving instructions to a programmable toy. All classes have a weekly slot in the ICT suite and there are at least two computers in every classroom.

Parental Involvement

We value the involvement of all parents in the life of our school. We encourage parents to come into class at various times of the year to help with various activities linked to topics. We value support from parent volunteers during educational visits. Talking at home about your child’s learning at the end of the school day and sharing the new things they are learning will support our home-school partnership.