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The National Curriculum at KS1 (Years 1 and 2)



We aim to provide a curriculum that enables all children to attain their full potential in literacy. We provide the experience of language within a structured, progressive, balanced and varied programme of study.

In Spoken Language, children have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities, for example, collaborative work in groups or pairs, sharing opinions, questioning, role play, performing to an audience in school productions.

We teach the skills that enable children to become confident and competent readers. Our library provides a rich and diverse selection of reading materials.

We teach children to write in a meaningful way for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Further information about how we teach Reading including the teaching of phonics is available here.


In the teaching of mathematics we aim to enable children to be actively involved in experiencing the mathematical curriculum in a variety of ways. It is important that not only do they develop their understanding of mathematical concepts, but they also acquire skills that they will need to use in everyday situations.

In Years 1 and 2, children are given opportunities to develop mental and oral skills, to learn and practise basic skills in number, shape, space, measures and handling data and to apply those skills to problem solving tasks and investigations.


Science is an integral part of modern life and we aim to challenge our pupils and stretch their imaginations.

In KS1 pupils are involved in:

  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways

  • observing closely, using simple equipment

  • performing simple tests

  • identifying and classifying

  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions

  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions


We believe that ICT is a key part of our children's learning. Wherever possible, the technical skills they acquire through specific ICT teaching are set in a cross curricular context. This learning commitment is supported by the school's networked computing system which links the classroom and the ICT suite computers to the Internet.

Art & Design

By observation and experiment, children develop an awareness of colour, shape and texture in the world around them and an ability to express their response to it through the use of different materials. Children are given experience of a range of artistic styles through being introduced to the work of artists from different periods. Our children's work is displayed around the school, in classrooms and on the school website.


All of our children have a class music lessons in which they play a wide variety of games encompassing listening, composing and performing.

Lots of extra-curricular musical activities take place at Willow Tree. Music teachers offer tuition on the guitar, piano, drums, woodwind, string and brass instruments and we have an active Singing Club at KS1.

Design and Technology

Children are given the opportunity to develop their design and technology skills by combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make products.

From an early age our children enjoy constructing models and are asked to explain processes they have gone through. Children are encouraged to plan their designs and choose the materials they will need from a wide selection of resources.

During their making they are encouraged to discuss and evaluate their progress in order to improve their design where it is needed.


Through History we aim to foster in the children an appreciation of change and continuity, an awareness of the nature of evidence, an empathy with the past, an ability to pose historical questions and a sense of chronology and time.

Our children learn about famous people, events and developments in British history, and also study an ancient civilisation. Our curriculum aims are supported and enhanced by visits to places of interest, visiting speakers and special curriculum days during which the staff and children dress up and take part in historical role play activities


Geography is the study of the environment, local to global, and the physical and human forces that shape it. In order to develop a true understanding of their environment, we encourage our children to ask questions about and show an interest in their surroundings.

The children develop a knowledge of distant places and different cultures and are encouraged to care about the world they live in, appreciating the effects that humans have upon it.


Physical Education

 Our Sporting Aims are to help children to:

  • Participate in physical activity and a healthy lifestyle

  • Develop and understand the importance of good sporting behaviour

  • Learn how to be part of a team

  • Value both group and individual achievements

  • Take part in competitive activities

All children from in KS1 swim in our school pool weekly.


Religious Education

Our children also learn about all the major world religions and we aim to foster links with other faith communities.

The ethos of the school forms the basis of the moral education at Willow Tree. We expect everyone in the school to show consideration and tolerance for others.

We follow the agreed North Yorkshire syllabus for R.E., which aims to teach children about religion and to ensure that they learn from the moral teachings of religions.

Assemblies are held every day and take a variety of forms, including class assemblies. We like to end the week with a Champions Assembly where we can share in the work and achievements of the children and award our very special 'Golden Jumpers' for the week.

Should parents not wish their children to attend collective worship or Religious Education, they can be withdrawn and suitable arrangements may be made following consultation with the Headteacher.


Personal, social, Health & Citizenship Edication (PSHCE)

This programme of study incorporates Drug education and Sex education. PSHCE provides essential knowledge, skills and understanding for all our pupils. It comprises of three strands:

  • Social and moral responsibility

  • Community development

  • Political literacy

In our school we aim to ensure that all our pupils will value their achievements, deal with risks, meet the challenges of life now and in the future and identify their values and strive to live up to them.

Pupils are encouraged to become involved in the running of the school through our School Council. This includes decision-making, taking responsibility and learning about democracy.

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