KS1 Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to offer a broad content of study although the basic framework of the Key Stage One National Curriculum is a guideline.

The Year Two children do not take the National Curriculum KS1 tests, consequently this enables staff to enrich and broaden the curriculum as appropriate. The predominant mode of work is a combination of group and individual work promoting learning for all children across differing levels of progress and ability.


Children build upon prior experiences of the Foundation Stage by developing skills in:

Speaking and Listening – speaking with clarity, fluency and confidence to different people; listening, understanding and responding to others; participating in group discussion and drama.

Reading – building upon phonological awareness, grammatical and contextual understanding through both non-fiction and fiction books. NB The core reading scheme is New Ginn 360. In addition, a wide variety of other reading schemes are colour-coded to correspond with the core reading scheme, encouraging a broader reading scope. (See notes on helping with reading.)

Written Skills – developing correct use of a wide range of punctuation, grammar and comprehension skills, imaginative story writing, factual accounts, spelling strategies, dictation and handwriting skills.

N.B. All children begin to write in joined-up form in Year Two but learn cursive skills from Reception.


Children build upon prior experiences of the Foundation stage by:

Using and applying Mathematics – developing their knowledge and understanding through practical activities, exploration and discussion.
Number – Using and applying number through problem solving, communicating and reasoning, exploration of the number system, methods of calculation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), data interpretation, money and mental maths activities.
Shape, Space and Measure – Understanding patterns and properties of shape, position and movement, time, measurement, capacity and weight.
N.B. The Pre-Preparatory School’s core scheme is ‘New Heinemann Mathematics’.


The science curriculum is organised to stimulate children’s curiosity through opportunities for investigation, discussion, prediction, practical and written work.

Scientific Enquiry
Life Processes and Living Things
Materials and their Properties
Physical Processes (forces, motion, electricity, light and sound)
Many strands of study are incorporated into other subjects across the curriculum.


A selection of topics are covered in Years One and Two, incorporating History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology.


Children learn how the past differs from the present, about the lives of significant people from the past, how to use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions and selected time eras.


Children learn about their immediate environment and the wider world, map reading skills, varying climates and landscapes, how to use geographical vocabulary, fieldwork skills and secondary sources (e.g., pictures and information books) appropriately.


Children have opportunities to explore artistic techniques through colour, form, texture and pattern using a variety of different materials and techniques. They learn to evaluate their work and talk about how they could change/improve ideas and designs. Children learn about the work of artists and designers in different times and cultures.


Children in all classes, except Nursery and Kittens, enjoy French activities each week, taught by specialist staff. The lessons are short interactive sessions and include the use of puppets, songs and rhymes. The Year Two children begin ‘La Jolie Ronde’ scheme and some written work is introduced.


All classes have computers and children use ICT tools to find, explore and present information. They develop keyboard and word-processing skills, using a variety of programs. The ICT curriculum is both an independent area of learning and a subject which is integrated into cross-curricular study. Reception, Years One and Two have weekly lessons in a specialist computer suite.


The Pre-Preparatory School adheres to the Dean Close Christian Foundation. A number of different methods are used to promote the ethos – circle time, sharing time, RE lessons and assemblies. These activities provide opportunities to teach the difference between right and wrong, tolerance and self-awareness, the development of co-operation, sensitivity, good moral values and social awareness. The children also learn about differing cultures and festivals around the world. Each week a class leads an assembly, usually on a topical theme. Staff take it in turns to lead assemblies and periodically Year Two join the Prep School, whilst the Foundation Stage classes hold their own special assembly.


PHSCE helps to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active responsible citizens. PHSCE activities encourage children to:

Express feelings
Communicate needs and wishes
Consider the consequences of actions and take responsibility
Consider the similarities and differences between themselves and others
Develop responsibility for their own health and safety


Circle time is an ideal opportunity to promote all of the above points
Circle time is positive, encouraging and non-judgemental
It is a time when the children can be themselves
It allows the children to be reflective about their own behaviour
It creates an environment where children are able to look at problems and difficulties and share experiences
It is an opportunity for children collectively to suggest strategies for dealing with difficulties and problems
It helps children to be patient and wait their turn
It is about love and encourages positive interaction within their peer group


PE plays a vital role in the education of your son/daughter in developing co-ordination, motor control skills, manipulation and movement. Activities offer appropriate physical challenges both indoors and outdoors, using a range of equipment. Children learn to work independently, in pairs and in group activities.

Outdoor Games – Initially children work with ball skills and movement skills, developing these tactics for use in team games by Years One and Two.

Indoor Gym – Children enjoy the use of specialist apparatus in the Pre-Prep Hall, developing balance, rolling, taking off and landing techniques, linking these together to form a sequence of movements.

Dance – Children learn to move imaginatively to music, changing rhythm, speed and direction creating movement patterns.

Tennis – Reception and Years One and Two have half termly blocks of tennis coaching throughout the year.

Swimming – All children in Reception, Years One and Two swim each week in the school pool. Parents of children in Reception are encouraged to accompany their children as this greatly enhances the child’s ability to swim independently; Reception swim sessions are always held first thing on a school day (see your son/daughter’s timetable). A rota for volunteer parents to help with changing is set up in Year One, whilst Year Two children are more independent and well supervised by staff.

N.B. All swimming is taught by qualified specialist swimming teachers.


At the end of each week, children who have started on the independent reading programme bring home a current reading book. In addition, children are encouraged to take home daily, an extra reading book corresponding to their reading level. This freedom of choice to choose a book promotes a love of reading.

N.B. We do appreciate that children are tired at the end of the day or families have commitments, sometimes preventing any extra reading from being completed.


Children in Year One bring home weekly spelling lists for learning and practice sheets for ‘minute maths’.


Children in Year Two bring home weekly spelling lists, ‘minute maths’ and have a homework sheet each Friday. This is based on work that has been learnt during the week and is a task that children should be able to complete independently.

In this section

Contact Senior School

Shelburne Road
GL51 6HE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1242 258000
Fax: +44 (0)1242 258004
Email: office@deanclose.org.uk

Admissions Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)1242 258044
Email: registrar@deanclose.org.uk