In response to the significant amount of school time missed due to the national lockdown of 2020, we made the decision to make some significant changes in Year One. Alongside introducing exciting changes to individual subjects (such as Talk4Writing, a new DT curriculum, a new art curriculum and super-charged science lessons) we decided to re-arrange the entire Y1 timetable at the beginning of each school year (during the Autumn Term) to allow lots of opportunities for child choosing and continuous provision.
Research and experience tells us that young children learn best through play and exploration, this is why we have built on the excellent practice found in Reception. We feel that this will add to the rich tapestry of learning opportunities that the children will be exposed to in Year One.
So far this year we have already witnessed a strong sense of well-being as well as high levels of enthusiasm for learning by adults and children alike. By selecting their own tasks and by fully engaging their ever-developing imaginations. our children get the chance to be chefs, explorers, scientists, mathematicians, authors, historians, storytellers, musicians, architects and engineers.
Carefully planned play-based experiences inspire the children to consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding enabling them to be independent, resilient learners who motivate themselves to take on the next challenge and push themselves to their limits. This also best prepares children to access the Key Stage One Curriculum.
Furthermore, if you listen carefully, you will hear the rich talk in both the outdoor and indoor environments as children converse to the adults, their peers and themselves as they think through ideas, solve problems (and issues that arise), explain, justify and share. This high level of oracy is a key ingredient in Year One.
It was a bold decision that we made at the start of the year but we haven’t regretted it for a second.