The core subjects in Key Stage 1

English – Literacy Skills

English is a core subject of the National Curriculum. We aim to ensure that all children who Banks Road Infant and Nursery School are confident, articulate and independent in all aspects of Literacy. For this reason we place equal value to the teaching of:

  • Spoken language
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
Spoken language

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We encourage the children to be confident speakers and give them plenty of opportunities to express themselves effectively and appropriately. They learn how to take turns and be careful and interested listeners. We use “talk” as a basis for much of our other learning. If children are confident, articulate speakers, using a wide vocabulary, this impacts positively on their learning in all areas.

Children are encouraged to develop the ability to engage with each other asking questions and widen their use of different vocabulary appropriate to task. They participate in activities that promote clear correct pronunciation and grammar whilst recognising and celebrating cultural and regional differences in speech.


Reading consists of ‘word reading’ and ‘comprehension’ in the National Curriculum. It is essential that we focus on developing children’s competence in both of these areas. We teach the skills of reading using a range of strategies and offer the children a wide selection of texts to share, read and respond to. We want the children to develop the ability to have opinions and respond to quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction. We have opportunities to use the local library and to share in different authors’ work. We ensure children read from a huge range of texts related to our topics and units of work.

All children in KS1 have a daily phonics session where they are taught how to blend sounds in words for reading and writing. The children are put in phases so they can be taught at their developmental stage. Phonetic teaching also impacts immediately on children’s confidence to blend and segment sounds for reading and writing.

Children’s reading opportunities include reading from books, magazines, comics and multi-modal texts presented using interactive whiteboards.

Our aim is to nurture a love of literature and reading for pleasure.


Writing consists of Spelling, handwriting and writing composition in the National Curriculum. We teach the skills that allow children to communicate effectively as writers. This includes the teaching of handwriting, spelling and punctuation. We want the children to feel they are writers and that they can enjoy the writing process. We aim to give them a wide range of interesting and stimulating tasks in order for them to look forward to, and improve, their writing.

Children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. They are given opportunities to write in different ways across the curriculum such as reports, science evaluations.

Our hope is that the children are enthusiastic and interested in language activities, that they see themselves as readers, writers and speakers and gain pleasure from the range of tasks given to them. We use the national literacy framework as the basis for our teaching programme as well as developing a cross curricular approach to our teaching. Our topic or theme is at the heart of children’s writing, ensuring that children write for a real purpose and audience related to other aspects of learning.

Our aim is to enthuse and excite our children, to stimulate their imaginations and to offer them opportunities to make choices in the presentation of tasks.


Mathematics is a core subject of the National Curriculum. Regular maths lessons throughout the week are provided in KS1 through Targeted Maths Groups.

In the Early Years children develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. We teach basic mathematical concepts providing them with a good foundation and ensuring a natural progression into National Curriculum levels. Mathematics will be planned and taught discreetly as well as through a cross curricular approach in a variety of settings.

The children will learn about number systems, measures, shape and space and data handling. Increasing emphasis will be placed on problem solving by applying what they have learned.

High priority is given to the development of mental mathematics and how to predict and anticipate solutions through clear understanding of concepts and the use of a variety of strategies.

Our planning for mathematics is based on the new curriculum being introduced.


Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum. We live in an increasingly scientific and technological age where children need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to prepare them for life in the 21st century.

Here at Banks Road Infant and Nursery School we believe that the teaching of science develops in children an interest and curiosity about the world in which they live.

We also aim to help them develop a respect for their immediate environment and the planet in general, understanding how it is affected by on-going human activity.

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. Sometimes we do this through whole-class teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures and photographs. They use ICT in science lessons where it enhances their learning.

They take part in discussions and engage in a wide variety of problem solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in ‘real’ scientific activities, for example, researching a local environmental problem or carrying out a practical experiment and analysing the results.