The KS1 curriculum covers linguistic, mathematical, scientific, social, physical, and creative education. Priority is given to establishing a secure grounding in reading, writing and mathematics, as it is on this foundation that all later education is built.
Learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom, and is enhanced by educational visits and outside speakers to inspire and ignite passion for learning beyond the curriculum. Our aim is for the children to think deeply, to extend specific skills and talents, and for each child to realise their full potential.
Our curriculum is designed to encourage children to:
- be passionate
- be inspired
- use initiative
- become independent learners
The main focus in these formative years is on developing confidence in using numbers. Every effort is made to help pupils realise that the subject is a lot of fun where games and practical activities encourage pupils to use imagination and initiative. We employ a child-centred approach to teaching Mathematics, as we know the learning requirements for each pupil are different from one pupil to another. Through practical activities and the exposure to relevant real-life material we make Numeracy alluring for all of our young people and ensure a sense of achievement is experienced.
We combine conventional teaching methods with new ideas to provide a more stimulating environment which provides the children with a more relevant outlook in their understanding of the curriculum area in the outside world.
Mental arithmetic games play a large part in the children’s learning as this is vital to building self-confidence. We also focus on the acquisition of times tables from Year 2 to aid mental arithmetic.
We have recently introduced online Numeracy programme, Manga High, which pupils and parents can use at home to help support, consolidate or challenge their children. Manga High’s games-based learning approach leverages the buzz and excitement of rewards and competition to engage pupils in their learning. Pupils achieve medals for each activity based on their level of understanding, and they can also compete with their classmates to get on to the Top 10 leader board. Schools have the opportunity to compete against other schools in a bilateral competition (known as a Fai-To) in which every pupil collaborates to gain as many medals as possible in an attempt to beat other schools.
Literacy is an essential part of society and our education. English lessons are a portal for pupils to share their creativity and opinions in a secure and open environment. Children are taught handwriting, spelling, grammar, comprehension and composition in a variety of ways which enable them to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. It is therefore important that key skills are not only taught but a genuine love of the subject is fostered at an early age.
Literacy is taught through the following subjects:
- daily reading
- guided reading
- creative writing
- report writing
- speaking and listening
Reading is a prerequisite for access to the rest of the curriculum and is therefore a key focus. As the children move through the School they are given a wide range of texts, including stories from different genres, poetry and plays, and through this they are taught a variety of reading strategies. The children progress from books designed to help teach reading and extract literal understanding, through to books that encourage skills such as inference, deduction and evaluation. Older children from the school read with the younger children; the joy of this interaction is clear for all to see. We foster a love of books which gives pleasure, entertains and informs.
International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
We know that children learn best when they want to learn. That’s why IPC has over 130 different thematic units of learning, designed to appeal to children’s interests and help them to learn more about the world around them. Themes include Who Am I?, The Magic Toymaker, Buildings, Chocolate, Active Planet, Young Entrepreneurs, Mission to Mars, and What Price Progress.
Themed units help children to see how subjects are both independent and interdependent. This enables them to see the big picture of their learning, make connections across different subjects, and talk about a topic from multiple perspectives.
Personal goals underpin the individual qualities and dispositions we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. There are 8 IPC Personal Goals – enquiry, resilience, morality, communication, thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect and adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practise these are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work.
Subject goals cover the knowledge, skills and understanding of children relating to the subjects they are learning. There are subject learning goals for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, ICT & Computing, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Art and Society.
Games, Gymnastics, Dance and Swimming
Teamwork, healthy competition and fun are encouraged through P.E., Games and Dance lessons. Children receive an all-round education in health and fitness and learn specific skills to approach sport confidently. All children are encouraged to be physically active. Our three sports pitches, sports hall, tennis courts and squash courts allow us to offer a variety of physical activities. Key Stage 1 children are coached in football, basketball, netball, cricket and tag rugby. In the summer, children are coached in athletics, culminating in our annual Sports Day.
All children have weekly dance lessons which apart from the physical advantages offer social opportunities for children to work together in a non-competitive environment. We dance because it is fun and it feels good to move freely; jumping and spinning, leaping and dancing. We cover multiple genres, styles and traditions.
Pupils receive a weekly swimming session which is taught by Mount Kelly swimming coaches.
We recognise the many benefits that drama brings, principally to develop a child’s confidence and their interpersonal and performance skills. Like all the arts, Drama allows pupils to communicate with and understand others in new ways. Drama also helps pupils develop tolerance and empathy.
Further opportunities for Drama are provided through the Harvest Festival, Nativity and the summer term end of year performance.
Speech and drama lessons are available at Mount Kelly as an extra-curricular activity with our experienced teacher and LAMDA examiner from Year 2 onwards.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) fosters the values and skills that will guide children through the challenges they will face in life. The curriculum incorporates elements of philosophy, self-reflection, charity and healthy living and the ability to empathise with, relate to, and understand others. As part of this, pupils visit Dame Hannah Rogers, a school for disabled children and young adults. This partnership has developed over the years and the benefits are reciprocal with teachers from Dame Hannah Rogers teaching us Makaton and our children entertaining the residents. We also encourage pupils to respect and value the older generation and invite residents of two local homes to our Nativity and summer performance.
The importance of initiative, self-reliance, endeavour and respect are taught. We promote a Growth Mindset; we aim to develop this vital life skill through encouraging children to face challenges and learn from their mistakes.
We encourage children to become Upstanders who think about helping others and understand that we are all responsible for each other’s happiness. The Kindness Elves reside in the Pre-Prep classrooms and often leave the children messages to promote Random Acts of Kindness and congratulate reflective behaviour.
During Key Stage 1 children follow La Jolie Ronde. The lessons are hands on fun practical sessions with listen and respond songs, rhymes and even familiar stories in the language being learned. Use of gesture and visual prompts help the children begin to understand the language. These approaches encourage active learning as children explore language together in games, songs and show what they know. There are opportunities for those who are not confident enough to contribute orally to make contributions and develop confidence by watching others.
Every classroom is equipped with an interactive white board. Children are taught the value of the Internet and, within the security of the School’s network, the importance of being safe on-line. Access to the internet is restricted, monitored and protected. We hold eSafety workshops for children and parents, though safe practice is ongoing and thorough.
Children are encouraged to use technology as a tool to learn in all aspects of the curriculum. Pupils attend discrete computing lessons in Reception to Year 2 and have 40 minutes per week in which they are equipped with the skills to use a computer effectively to learn.
Discrete computing lessons broadly follow the national curriculum objectives, however much more emphasis is placed upon learning in a curriculum context rather than learning discrete computing and digital literacy skills for the sake of it. This enables children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. Lessons also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way.
Parents’ Internet Safety Page
Common Sense Media is an independent organisation that provides reviews on a wide range of digital and online content and also offers eSafety guidance.
The Vodafone Digital Parenting Magazine can be downloaded from:
CEOP also has a great website of information on eSafety for parents. Please click the link below to visit the page.
Think U Know website from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
Learning Outside The Classroom (LOTC) takes place in our amazing grounds, providing pupils with challenging, exciting and different experiences to help them learn. At Mount Kelly Pre-Prep we have weekly sessions from Nursery to Year 2 and a whole week outside the classroom in the summer term.
LOTC is a tool for teaching and learning which has been proven to raise attainment and achievement, improve behaviour and engagement of all groups of pupils, including those who are hard to engage inside the classroom environment.
The ‘places’ where learning happens can have a significant effect on how a young person engages with a subject or an idea. Learning outside the classroom can happen at almost any time and almost anywhere: in the school grounds, on the high street, in the local park, in museums and art galleries, on mountain tops and rivers, in Britain’s remote places, or elsewhere in the world. We enjoy visiting Tavistock for Road Safety week, Tavistock canal to view poetry in the wild, Dartmoor and local supermarkets for Numeracy and healthy eating.
We believe that young people should have access to frequent, continuous and progressive experiences in the school grounds and to educational visits, and that these experiences should be utilised as a tool for teaching, learning and delivering the curriculum across all subject areas. We thoroughly enjoy our trips to the theatre, Bristol Science Museum, Broomhill Sculpture Garden and local beaches.
Art and DT
At Mount Kelly Pre-Prep we know that Design and Technology develops children’s skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. It encourages children’s creativity. The joy of creating is central to life and is encouraged from a pupil’s first day at the Pre-Prep. DT develops areas of individual self-expression and helps to develop practical skills. Through this curriculum, children are engaged, inspired and challenged, thus being equipped with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
The Pre-Prep benefits from its own fully fitted kitchen which allows pupils to prepare a variety of feasts; three course meals for Burns Night, cakes and biscuits for the MacMillan Coffee morning and soups for Harvest. The children also grow their own produce so that they fully understand the journey from seed to plate.
In Religious Education (RE) we provide knowledge of world religions. We include the study of Christianity as well as an understanding of the other major religions. It is important to understand and respect the beliefs and customs that the children will encounter in life, together with a confidence in their own faiths. We invite in parents to share knowledge of their cultures, visit local churches and synagogues and often celebrate events such as Chinese New Year, Sukkot, Diwali and Eid.
Our extra-curricular programme is designed to extend our pupils’ experience of the world, to give them opportunities to work and play together. We aim to offer skills and interests which may last their whole lives, such as sewing, choir, football, yoga, Lego, dance, cooking, tennis, chess and ICT.