Key Stage 1
Play is vital. Especially when you’re between 5 and 7 years old. At this age, play should be independent, creative, and explorative. There should be no set rules or limits. Play helps develop negotiation skills and build social relationships. It’s an opportunity for children to take risks and learn from them.
Key Stage One at Dania is a natural extension and progression from our Early Years provision, maintaining the same fun atmosphere and a continued focus on play, alongside more formal and structured learning activities. This Key Stage covers Year 1 (age 5 – 6) and Year 2 (age 6 – 7).
At Key Stage One we transition towards a holistic approach to learning. We take into account the different ways children learn, providing many different opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, during set lessons and free time. Every interaction, every experience, is a learning opportunity.
As we begin to follow the National Curriculum, a lot of the teaching becomes quite formal at this Key Stage. The classroom setup, lesson structure and the introduction of workbooks, begins to feel more like school. However, there is still a very big focus on play. Children still have the opportunity to explore the various different resources in the classroom as well as enjoying plenty of outdoor time.
In Year 1 and Year 2 formal classroom learning is kept quite short. Of course, we cover all items on the National Curriculum for this Key Stage, but we place extra importance on playing and the creative subjects, still following the children’s interests using our flow learning model to help foster their love of learning.
At such a young age, it’s still important for our timetable to be fluid and flexible. We gently and gradually help our children build and develop their concentration through short structured activities sandwiched between periods of play. With this approach, by the end of Year 2 children will have developed the maturity that allows them to cope with longer, more complex lessons. This incremental resilience leads our children to develop a secure foundational knowledge of reading, writing and mathematical skills by the end of Year 2. The perfect preparation for life in Key Stage Two.
Parental involvement and communication is always important. Although no formal homework is set in Key Stage One, we still involve families in our teaching by preparing “show and tell” sessions, assemblies, progress meetings, and social activities.
To love learning, to understand how to learn, and why we’re learning, we first have to be allowed to enjoy learning. That’s Key Stage One.