In Year 1 topic based learning offers the children an exciting and fun way to learn about new subjects across the curriculum. It provides children with an opportunity to explore subjects in greater depth in a hands-on memorable way.
For example the topic “In the Garden” provides the children with the opportunity to build mini-beast homes in the school garden and visit the local ‘Foxburrow Farm’ for a day of pond-dipping and mini-beast hunting. In art the children look at the work of wildlife artists, and in DT create beautiful 3 D mini-beasts for themselves.
Throughout Year 1 the children have daily phonic sessions where they are taught to word build, decode and sight-read a wide range of vocabulary. This is then applied in spelling and all forms of written work.
The focus from the beginning of Year 1 is to ensure that the children use the correct letter formation, and they are taught daily how to join letters and develop a fluid handwriting style.
The children are taught maths in a fun, practical way using the outside environment whenever possible. Maths is taught daily and within some lessons the children will use their own laptops or the interactive board to reinforce and extend their learning.
A Typical Day in The Life of Queen’s House Year 1
8.30 – 9.00
The children come into school and organise their possessions for the day. The first half hour is spent working independently on an activity which varies each day. Examples include maths games, handwriting practice or activity booklets relating to the topic. Registration is at 9.00am
9.00 – 9.20
The whole school gathers in the hall for an assembly. Once a week assembly is taken by the Head of Queen’s House and once by the Deputy Head of the Abbey. Other assemblies taken by the teaching staff include stories, discussions of current or school issues or have a PSHCE focus. It provides the children with the opportunity to get to know all the members of staff.
9.20 – 10.30
Assembly is followed by a Phonics session. This daily session reinforces the children’s learning of how to decode and spell a wide range of words. During this activity the children practice reading, writing and sentence building using the interactive board or their own whiteboard.
Phonics is followed by an English lesson. The children may use a particular text or genre of material as the stimulus for their work. Often this is topic-related. As well as getting to know the text, the children work in ‘Talk Partners’ to discuss and develop their ideas for work based on this material. Each literacy lesson during the week builds on understanding of the learning focus and encourages the children to develop their creativity and writing style.
10.30 – 10.50
After break the children have a music lesson with Maria Williams, Head of Music at the Abbey. This may involve being taught to develop rhyme, play the percussion instruments, use the large space in the hall to respond to a variety of music styles or learn and rehearse new songs.
After Music the children have a Maths lesson. A practical, fun approach in these lessons fosters a genuine love of this subject. Whenever possible the children utilise the outdoor areas around Queen’s House to help them make links with real life. A variety of programs on the interactive whiteboard or individual laptops are used to support their mathematical learning.
12.00 – 12.30
The children walk across to The Tuckwell room at The Senior School for lunch. Teachers sit with the class to encourage healthy eating and good table manners. On returning to Queen’s House the children go out to play together. Some pupils attend a ‘Strings Session’ which takes place in Queen’s Hall. This supports their separate individual tuition and offers the experience of being part of a group. At some point in the year these children will perform in a concert to both their parents and the rest of the school.
12.30 – 1.15
While the children are out at play the class teacher may take this opportunity to spend quality time on a one- to – one basis hearing individual children read. This also allows both teacher and pupil the chance to discuss the text and offer advice for improvement if needed. The child’s reading record enables both parents and teacher to comment on progress, attitude to the current book and highlights anything of note.
1.15 – 2.15
After registration the children have Art. This lesson usually links to the current topic and will include the use of a wide range of materials with the children being taught a variety of techniques and skills. Often they will be introduced to the work of famous traditional and contemporary artists as a starting point for their own designs. The children either work independently or perhaps will work collaboratively on a larger scale, often making use of the outdoor areas. From time to time we invite artists into school to share their expertise and encourage the children to produce their own imaginative creations. Their finished pieces are always displayed in class and around school.
2.15 – 2.30 Afternoon break
2.30 – 3.30
The last lesson of the day is science. The children are introduced to simple scientific language and are encouraged to use prediction and investigation to further their understanding. Science lessons are often conducted outside in groups with adult support. Lessons are usually topic based but also include subjects such as seasonal changes.
The children say the Queen’s House Mission Statement before leaving at the end of the day. Some children may stay behind to participate in a school club such as Karate, Football or Origami. There is also a late room facility for anyone needing a more flexible pick up time, where children are provided with puzzles, drawing and construction toys.
Some children may stay behind to participate in a school club. There is also a late room facility for a more flexible pick up, and an after school club, T Club, operates at The Abbey util 6pm. Children are transported to The Abbey in a school minibus.