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Key Stage 1

 The curriculum for Key Stage 1 supports the development of pupils’ self-help skills, communication, emotional wellbeing and social interaction. KS1 follow a modified version of the National Curriculum and equals for the core subjects of Literacy, Numeracy, Science, PSGE and Computing. Non-core subjects are taught thematically through Topic. Specialist teachers teach music, Drama, PE and gardening. Pupils also have opportunities to go swimming for half a term each year, and to experience learning in different areas of the school such as the sensory theatre, soft play room, water therapy, sand house, bike track, life skills room and Zen garden. Teachers plan a variety of different trips outside school, including walks in the local area, visits to the shops, farm, zoo and travel on public transport. Trips form a key part of the pupils learning which supports understanding. Religious Education incorporates the Tower Hamlets agreed syllabus for Religious Education (2012-2017) and visits have taken place at the local mosque and St Pauls cathedral. We are currently in the process of integrating Religious studies into the humanities subjects and we have a focus on value driven approaches to RE with a focus on SMSC.

 

Learning in Key Stage 1 is more structured than in the EYFS, with a balance being created between adult-directed group activities and play-based learning activities where appropriate. There is a focus in some of the higher attaining classes to work collaboratively and this is done through play-dough and Lego therapy. In addition social skills groups are run on a weekly basis, which support understanding of friendships and basic critical communication skills such as turn taking and sharing. There is a termly topic, which is split into fortnightly themes. Classes rotate these themes over the course of the term. Class teachers prepare fortnightly plans taking into account the assessment areas, which support with next steps in planning. Objectives are taken directly from the national curriculum and equals schemes of work and then broken down to meet the learners’ individual needs.

 

Multi-sensory learning is used across the curriculum to engage pupils in their learning, with activities such as messy play, sensory stories, tactile exploration bins, life skills sessions which include cooking and small world play. Pupils have frequent opportunities for physical activity both indoors and outdoors. ICT is used in a creative, cross-curricular way, with pupils experiencing resources such as talking photo albums, sound buttons, cause and effect toys and sound recorders and mechanical devices. The interactive whiteboard, classroom computer and iPads are all used to enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum.

 

Communication plays a key part within the Key Stage 1, and the use of PECS is embedded across the curriculum. We aim to have all pupils moving up to Key Stage 2 on at least Phase IV and as spontaneous as possible. All pupils have regular paired or 1:1 sessions to work on their PECS targets, and there will be numerous opportunities for communicating in different contexts. Spontaneity is encouraged at all times by honouring as many requests as possible, having PECS books easily accessible and using silent physical prompts.

 

Independence is also a key focus in Key stage 1 and teachers and support staff give pupils opportunities throughout the school day to practice this such as eating, self- help and problem solving.