What we do in Key Stage 1
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are the Infant Stages of Primary School, and cover the first year at school and Years 1 and 2. The Head of Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 at Longvernal is Mrs Alison Phillips.
In the Infants we currently have two classes called Holly Class (FS), taught by Mrs Phillips and Willow Class (Years 1 and 2) taught by Mrs Lynette Banks.
Because of Longvernal's small class sizes, children enjoy a higher than average level of care, which makes the step from home and nursery much easier for them.
The First Year at School
Parents of children who are due to start in September are invited into school in May to meet Foundation Stage staff, receive relevant information and to discuss any specific concerns they might have. They are also given a handbook for their child to fill in, which is returned when children visit the School with their parents in June to meet their new teacher and the Teaching Assistants who will be working with their class.
Working with parents
In Foundation, we see parents as partners in their child's learning and our teachers work closely with them. We have an open-door policy for parents, and the parent teacher interviews held each autumn and spring offer a specific opportunity to feedback on progress. There are also 'stay and play' sessions once every term where parents are invited to join in a variety of activities such as a the Pirate Treasure Hunt and Easter arts and crafts.
Learning through play
We believe that children learn best through play-based activities. To that end they are given a wide variety of creative learning opportunities such as cooking, forest schools, visits and themed weeks, which include days for dressing-up. In and around the classrooms there are areas that stimulate creative and physical development and allow for sand and water play.
The size of the school and classes means that the move from Foundation Stage to Year 1 can be managed very smoothly and that what children have learned in Foundation Stage is consolidated and built upon.
Key Stage 1 is where children begin the next part of their learning journey. Across the Key Stage children are taught the core and curriculum subjects through Topics.
Year 1 is an important year as it sees the transition from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1. In keeping with the ethos of the Foundation Stage, the first term in Year 1 follows a play-based approach to learning where the six areas of learning are covered. Children continue with a strong phonic approach to reading and writing, building on what they learned in Reception. As Year 1 progresses, the children are introduced gradually to the National Curriculum, but even here play-based learning is key to steering them towards independent learning. Throughout the year the children are assessed in literacy and numeracy by ongoing teacher assessments.
Year 2 consolidates the learning and skills acquired in Year 1.
As in Year 1, the children work towards independent learning following the National Curriculum, and learning through Topics. By the end of Year 2 the children take part in SATs, the statutory assessments for the end of Key Stage 1. This takes the form of ongoing teacher assessments in Literacy, Numeracy and Science. By the time the children leave Year 2 they will have been given a specific level of achievement in these three areas.
Trips and visits
Across the Infant years the children take part in educational visits, usually tied in with Topic themes. These may be in and around the local environment or further afield, but all will enrich their learning. As with other year groups, there are always opportunities for parents to help in class or to come in and share their expertise, which always adds a special something to the mix.