Year 1 and Year 2 (Pre-Prep)
Year 1 and Year 2
Children in Years 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum relatively closely but we have the flexibility to follow children’s questioning in many topic areas. This allows them to gain more independence in and take responsibility for their own learning. We have adopted certain learning themes per half term and the children become familiar with these and therefore develop an understanding of the necessary disciplines which will help them to become successful learners.
Form teachers are with the classes for most of the week, usually based in their own classrooms. The staff has looked at how to cater appropriately for children in that all children tend to have different learning strengths. Some children are visual learners, some auditory, some kinaesthetic and some a mixture. Some children learn best through separate subject teaching, some by a themed approach, known as a ‘Creative Curriculum’. Therefore at Ewell Castle we hold creative curriculum days and/or weeks in each term to allow for a different approach to learning. These special times help the staff to provide real-life links to learning and exploit the chance to develop independent thinking. We like to think we provide the best of both worlds and something for every type of learner.
We are very lucky to be able to make excellent use of the specialist teachers at Glyn House too. Year 1 and 2 pupils have a weekly music lesson with our Head of Music and French lessons with a language specialist. From Year 1 upwards, classes have weekly swimming lessons at Banstead Pool where they are taught in small ability groups and given the confidence and encouragement to feel at ease in the water. Games and P.E. lessons are taught at Glyn House by our specialist staff. The children have the opportunity to make full use of the extensive grounds, whilst dance and gymnastics can be carried out in our hall.
We also teach I.C.T. from the computer suite in Glyn House, where pupils learn to access, edit and save their work with independence. This regular contact with Glyn House ensures that children make a smooth and easy transition from Year 2 to Year 3.
We feel that visits out and having visitors into the school is an important part of learning. We like to offer an educational day trip in each term for children in Years 1 and 2, including an outdoor based trip in the summer term. We meet together most mornings for a short assembly in Nursery. Once a week, we have a special achievement assembly where the House Cup is presented and certificates given out to individuals who have made a particular effort, achievement or progress in a certain area. We also all meet together at lunchtime; Chessington Lodge children sit with their friends and teachers to enjoy their packed lunches.
Parents receive a ‘Parent Handbook’ and in September, an ‘Information Meeting’ is held which helps them to learn all about what their child will experience that year and the general routines and practices. The children will also receive their very own ‘Pupil Handbook’ which explains all that they need to know and many useful ‘What to do if.....’ sections. It also includes the praise and reward system including House Points.
Finally, aside from the first class education, a mention of the pastoral side of school life. If a child is unhappy they will not achieve their full potential. At Ewell Castle School with our warm and caring ethos, small classes and teachers with a passion for their vocation and a great respect for the pupils in their care, we quickly spot when things aren’t right. We have strong and well-established communication links with parents and we liaise to get to the root of the issue before it becomes a problem. We take action, we do not turn a blind eye and are very proud when we can see the positive difference we are making to the children’s lives. Never is this more obvious than with newly arrived pupils who are self-confident, smiley people within just a few weeks!
And what do our parents think? Some responses from a recent parental questionnaire:
‘The teaching staff are very approachable and the infant school has a real sense of community’
‘Gives fantastic personal attention to the kids as a result of the small classes’
‘Making happy children want to come to school’
‘Treat the pupils as part of a big family. All the children are familiar with all the staff, they feel safe and secure in their environment.’
‘My child’s confidence has grown as he thrives at the school’
Key Learning Themes:
|Autumn Term 1st half-term||Concentration and Perseverance|
|2nd half-term||Co-operation and Collaboration|
|Spring Term 1st half-term||Courage and Self-Belief|
|2nd half-term||Independence and Initiative|
|Summer Term 1st half-term||Responsibility|
|2nd half-term||Risk Taking|
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