Our Curriculum – Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2)

At St. Andrew’s CE Infant School we aim to provide our children with a curriculum which is engaging, relevant and promotes oracy (both spoken and written) and also enables children to acquire important factual knowledge alongside important skills for life-long learning.

The development of children’s language skills is key to their success as a learner. For this reason our curriculum is carefully structured to allow them to expand their vocabulary and their understanding of its meaning by reapplying learning from one subject area to another over a half term period (layered learning). The example below illustrates how this might look:


Week 1: Science focus – investigating materials and their properties

Week 2 : art focus – investigating how sculptors have used materials to create their artwork

Week 3: history focus – investigating and comparing homes now and in the past

Week 4: English focus – Studying the text ‘The House That Once Was’ by Julie Fogliano. The children are encouraged to imagine who the past owner of the derelict house might have been and what the house might have looked like when they lived there.

Week 5: DT focus– Design and make a model house for their chosen previous owner of the derelict house explored in week 4.

Throughout this learning sequence the children will continually reapply and extend the language and knowledge introduced during their science learning which occurred in week 1 through a variety of relevant learning experiences. By layering their learning in this way the children not only develop deep understanding and a rich vocabulary but also recognise how learning in one curriculum area is intrinsically linked to another.

The teaching of history, geography, DT and art

These subject areas are taught using units of work from the ‘PlanBee’ schemes. Each unit consists of between 5-8 40 minute lessons. The units allow the children to explore key subject content through engaging activities which can be easily adapted by teachers in order to ensure the correct level of challenge for all children within the class.

The teaching of science

This subject area is taught using units of work from the Collins ‘Snap Science’ scheme. Each unit consists of between 6-12 40 minute lessons. The units cover all aspects of the Key Stage 1 science curriculum and enable the children to develop their scientific knowledge and understanding through practical investigations. Two units of work are taught each term.

The teaching of music

This subject area is taught using the ‘Charanga’ scheme of work. Each unit consists of six 30 minute lessons. Two units are taught each term. They encourage the children to develop the skills of listening and appraisal, exploring rhythm, pulse, pitch and tempo and performance. The lessons are taught weekly by the class teacher.

The teaching of Religious Education

Religious Education follows the content of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. This syllabus encourages children to explore the beliefs and practises of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and Christians. In order to ensure appropriate coverage of this agreed syllabus we follow the lesson plans contained within the ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme of work when teaching about Christianity and the lesson plans contained within the ‘Units of work for Coventry and Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus’ (RE today) for the teaching of all other aspects of RE. Each RE unit of work is taught as a block of 6-8 lessons over the course of one week. Two units are taught each term.

The teaching of PE

Children receive two 40 minute PE lessons per week which are delivered by the class teacher and our PE and School sport apprentices. The lessons are delivered using the ‘Champions’ scheme of work produced by Rising Stars. Four units of work are taught each term. The units encourage the child to develop their physical skills alongside their knowledge of how their bodies work and how to stay fit and healthy.

The teaching of mathematics

Collins ‘Shanghai Maths’ scheme of work is used to support teachers in their delivery of a daily mathematics lesson. The lessons last for one hour. Each unit of learning is taught over a period of between 2 and 3 lessons, depending on the complexity of the content being taught. Children work in mixed ability table groups and are provided with appropriate levels of intervention or extension depending on their confidence levels during each particular lesson. The lessons consist of adult modelling of concepts using concrete objects, pictorial representations and abstract (written calculation methods). Regular opportunities are also provided outside of these lessons for children to also participate in investigative maths activities. Daily ‘Big Maths-Beat That!’ sessions are also used to support children in their quick recall of mathematics facts. These sessions last for ten minutes. (Please refer to our mathematics policy for further details about the teaching of mathematics).

The teaching of English

We deliver the English curriculum in the following ways:

  • Reading – through daily ‘guided’ 20 minute reading sessions and through detailed week long ‘book studies’ which take place at least twice each term.
  • GAPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) – through daily 50 minute sessions
  • Phonics – through daily 20 minute sessions delivered through the use of ‘Floppy Phonics’ scheme of work
  • Handwriting – through 30 minute sessions delivered at least 3 times per week following the ‘Nelson Handwriting’ scheme of work.
  • Creative writing – this takes place within all subject areas and involves the children reapplying skills they have been taught in reading, phonics, handwriting and GAPS lessons in their independent writing. (Please refer to our English policy for further details.)