Years 1 and 2
At Bede's Prep, our aim is to develop a lifelong love and enthusiasm for language and literature in all forms, and to enable our pupils to become confident and creative communicators. This philosophy is embedded as soon as children join our Bede's community.
At these early and rapid stages of development, we develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. All children follow a staged reading scheme, read with their teacher daily and use the well-stocked Holywell Library.
Year 1 marks the first year of the National Curriculum and, as you might expect, the teaching of phonics plays a big part. Children will learn how to apply their phonic knowledge and skills in order to decode words, learning how to blend the different sounds in unfamiliar words.
The Autumn Term brings Book Week - a festival of fun, packed with visiting authors, competitions and costumes - which rejoices in reading for pleasure. Furthermore, children from an early age are encouraged to take part in national writing competitions such as the Wicked Young Writers Awards. Many of our fantastic writers, as young as 6 years old, have been hugely successful in reaching the finals and even winning their age categories.
Creative writing in Year 1 is inspired by traditional stories, fairy tales and classic fiction. Likewise, poetry is celebrated throughout the year through reading and performance and children collaborate on a shared poem as well as writing poetry using pattern and rhyme.
Children in Year 2 explore an array of books that demonstrate a range of genres and writing styles. Pupils write their own narrative based on literature such as Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach' and focus on the use of dialogue in stories such as Oscar Wilde's 'The Happy Prince'. During the year, children will also learn about other genres of writing including poetry, instructional, travel writing and news reporting. There is also a strong focus on developing pupils' grammatical and technical skills in English, learning how words work and how to form clear sentences and use punctuation effectively.
As in all departments at Bede's, we focus on the individual child. We provide tailored support to every learner: from those who require extra help, to those who wish to further their interest in the subject, and everyone in between.
Our principal focus of Maths teaching in Years 1 and 2 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value.
In Year 1, we start the ‘teaching for mastery’ approach, which continues throughout the school. Using this whole-school approach, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Children in Year 1 will start the year exploring numbers to 20 and place value, as well as investigating shapes and space. During the Spring Term they build on this knowledge and move onto adding and subtracting numbers within 20 and place value to 50. They also explore measurement, including length, height, weight and volume. They complete Year 1 in the Summer Term with multiplication and division, and place value up to 100. They are also introduced to fractions, money and time, and explore geometry through position and movement.
Year 2 sees a continuous progression of the skills taught in Year 1. Children in Year 2 will start the year building on their knowledge of the four operations, as well as solving problems linked to money. During the Spring Term they continue their work on multiplication and division, as well as investigate statistics, shapes and fractions. They finish Year 2 in the Summer Term with applying their understanding of the four operations to problems linked to geometry and measurement, including length, height, time, capacity, mass and temperature.
Although we teach separate topics, we recognise that Maths is an interconnected subject and no topic is taught in isolation. The pupils are supported and encouraged to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas in order to develop fluency, reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated mathematical problems.
Bede’s pupils are active learners and acquire knowledge and skills through ‘seeking’ and ‘doing’. This practice begins in the Early Years and continues and is built upon in Year 1 and 2, where children are encouraged to take risks and ponder open-ended questions.
The beautiful environment that surrounds Bede’s Prep is the perfect place to inspire the exploration of Science in the curriculum. There are also a variety of visits and activities that will enable the children to broaden their experience.
At Bedes we focus on the individual child and work to support their needs and interests through support and extension tasks, so that all children become the best scientists they can be!
In Years 1 and 2 science is taught through a creative and engaging curriculum which encourages awe and wonder and gives the children opportunities to focus on the world around them and the question why things happen and make predictions. Across Key stage One the children will learn about Seasonal Changes, Plants, Animals (including humans), Materials, Living Things and Habitats.
The Bede’s local environment provides the perfect place for the children to explore the many different habitats that animals may live in. Regular trips to the beach and the South Downs allow us to study these in depth and encourages children to give reasons as to how animals adapt to their environment.
The highlights of the year in Science lessons are always practical experiments, whether this is planting seeds and seeing in what conditions they grow best, or testing different materials for a purpose e.g. which material will make the best boat to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river to escape the fox. This also provides excellent links to our English learning.
During the ‘Animals’ unit the children will classify and put animals into groups e.g. carnivore, herbivore, omnivore etc and investigate the different animal groups such as reptile, mammal and amphibian. In Year 2 there is continuous progression and the children move their learning on the life processes and living things and use MRSGREN mnemonic to help them in sorting objects into ‘living’, ‘dead’, and ‘never alive’. Classifying a pencil as ‘dead’ has always resulted in much confusion!
Learning a language is like discovering a new world. Pupils at Bede’s Prep study French from Reception; at this young age, children are able to pick up accurate pronunciation of French words easily.
In Years 1 and 2 pupils develop their languages skills further through a plethora of activities such as games, songs and role plays. We also use a range of media (such as books and video clips) in our lessons to tell authentic stories in the language. Repetition is key in the children’s learning and we consistently revisit a range of songs and rhymes which helps the children to cement their learning and increase fluency in their target language.
Alongside speaking the language itself, learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures; through their French lessons, pupils in Years 1 and 2 start to deepen their understanding of the world.
In Years 1 and 2, pupils revisit and extend the basic vocabulary learned in Reception to craft full sentences in French and gain the confidence to begin speaking the language in a conversational setting.
Children learn through games, songs and video clips, as well as building their literacy skills by starting to read and write single words and simple sentences in French. Pupils learn to say their names, ask someone else’s name, tell someone their age and ask how old someone else is. Pupils also start using French numbers confidently, and can name different parts of the body.
Other basic vocabulary learned includes the days of the week, months and colours, and we also cover the topics of clothes, home, weather, family and food.