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Key Stage One

Key Stage One follows on from the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is the collective name for Years One and Two and is for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Once children turn 5 they are of Statutory School Age, which means legally they must receive an appropriate education, whether this is in a local authority school, an academy or home educated.


All local authority funded schools must follow the National Curriculum. This is a document that sets out what children must be taught in each Key Stage, for all subjects. Our long and medium term planning ensures that children cover all the skills in Key Stage more than once, to make sure they are well embedded. 

You can look at the National Curriculum by clicking the link:

National Curriculum for England

Starting from Story

At our school we have tailored the curriculum to meet the needs of our children. 

We noticed that a lot of children were starting school not knowing any traditional tales (apart from the Disney film versions). We then saw that this was making them less confident writers as they were struggling to think about what to say happened next, as well as working out spelling and grammar and letter formation. 

We decided that we would take a story each half term and use this as a way to teach as much of the curriculum as we could, this could be a traditional tale or a modern book and could be set in the UK, any other country or a completely made up place. Our children pull the stories apart and investigate the settings, the characters, the order things happen and why. They learn the stories off by heart and practice telling them to each other, using actions and signs.They begin to play with the original story, to change parts of it and add extra things. Then they start to write their own versions. We've found that the more stories they do this with, the more confident they are in writing. 

We have also noticed improvements in other areas- our children are more resilient and confident because they practice reciting stories to each other and they are have learned it's fine if you get a bit wrong, you can just start again or change the story as you go along to make it fit. We noticed they were more comfortable talking about how they were feeling and had more confidence naming the emotions, because they had got used to talking about how characters might feel. 

We know we still have some work to do on this approach to make it even better for our children but we are all excited and optimistic about what the next steps are and where they will take us.


Our staff informally assess our children all the time. They do this by talking to them, discussing the work they are doing, sharing their ideas and challenging their thinking. This is how we know how well they are doing in each subject, where they may need some extra support and what they need to do next. 

We formally assess the children at the end of each term. Like all schools we have our own system of tracking and recording this and we regularly meet as a whole staff to discuss and agree these judgements, to make sure every child is assessed fairly and objectively. These assessments help us to make sure children are on track to reach their end of year targets  and to put in any extra support if it's needed. 

In the Summer term of Year 1 children take the National Phonics Test, which is a short test delivered one to one with each child by a familiar staff member. Children are given a series of words to read, some made up and some real, to test their phonics skills. If they reach the pass mark then they are considered to have met the National Standard for phonics. If they don't reach the pass mark then they will take the test again a year later. Children are not told they are taking a test and they are not told the result. You will be informed if your child has met the Standard or not in the End of Year report. You can find our more about the Year 1 Phonic Test and how you can help at home by clicking the link:

The Year One National Phonic Test

in 2024 the Year Two Sats tests become an optional tool schools can use to inform their teacher assessments. This was as a direct response to the consultation the Department for Education held around Primary Assessment in 2017. We will ensure that parents/carers are still provided with infomation in the summer term of Year Two as to whether their children are Working Towards or have met the Expected Standards or at working at a Greater Depth of the Expected Standard. This information will also be sent to the Junior settings each child will attend. 

Phonics and Reading

Our phonic scheme is called Essential Letters and Sounds. It is published by Oxford University Press and has been quality assured by the Department of Education as one of thier 'validated' schemes. 

Children continue to build their phonic knowledge through Year One with a daily teaching session. This follows the same format as it did in Reception. All children are assessed every five weeks to ensure they are keeping pace with the scheme. Any chld who is not quite where they should be will have additional short, fast paced intervention sessions with a member of staff. Children will also bring home an ELS reading book which is matched to your child's current level. This means they will be able to read it to you independently. The main aim is fluency in reading, and this is achieved by repetition. Reading the same book 3 or 4 times makes it a familiar text and this helps children become confident readers; if they know they will succeed they will want to read more and slowly we develop capable, confident and fluent readers. 

You can find out more by clicking these links:

Essential Letters and Sounds

Oxford University Press Resources

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