Key Stage 1 (Years 1 - 2)
Daily literacy lessons cover reading, writing, speaking and listening. Teachers encourage creativity, enjoyment and confident communication, with attention given to grammar, spelling and handwriting as support tools for language development. Children are able to progress at their own rate; support and attention are given to students whose first language is not English. The Oxford Reading Tree remains the core of the reading programme and is used along with reading materials from other sources. Regular phonic activities support reading and writing, helping the children to develop the skills they need to become independent readers and writers.
Mathematics covers the strands of Geometry (shape, position and direction), Number, Problem Solving, Statistics and Measurement. There is emphasis on discovery and understanding as well as the language of numbers and problem-solving. Formal processes (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are introduced through the use of concrete materials. Play activities are important in giving children practical use of their ideas.
Children learn and use scientific investigation methods to explore life processes, physical processes and materials. Topics, which are introduced in Year 1 and developed further in Year 2, include: Plants, Animals including humans, Everyday Materials and Seasonal Changes.
History and Geography
In History and Geography our pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the world, both past and present. Through well planned topics and discovery learning, children study human and physical geography, relating this to where we live. Alongside this, children become aware of changes within living memory, events which have shaped the world and the lives of important people from the past.
All classes participate in Myanmar Studies twice a week. In one lesson the focus is on listening and speaking the Myanmar language. Children learn traditional games, children’s songs, rhymes etc. Students who are native speakers of Myanmar are introduced to the script and they begin to read and write with it. Students who do not yet speak the language learn basic vocabulary such as colours, numbers, greetings and useful phrases.
In the other lesson, they learn about Myanmar culture, including the many tribal groups and their different cultures. They hear stories from history. Each class learns a traditional dance, which they perform at the whole-school Dance and Water Festival.
Network teaches a basic understanding of four main religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Our aim is to foster tolerance and understanding of the beliefs of others. Network has students enrolled from all of these religions.
We have well-resourced computer rooms in which every child has time to develop computer skills. In Key Stage 1, lessons are designed specifically to teach skills in using programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Paint. Children learn to solve problems by creating algorithms using visual tools, implementing solutions using visual programming language. In addition, they learn to ‘debug’ through finding errors and correcting them. Children are also taught e-safety and learn to use internet efficiently and safely.
Weekly lessons encourage the children to take some responsibility for their own health and understand their role in society. Topics in Health include hygiene, friendships, responsibility and tolerance.
Music is taught for performance and enjoyment. The children listen to and respond to music. They sing songs and play instruments to include a wide range of music. Children develop skills in music theory and singing. They participate in regular school assembly performances and in the annual whole-school Christmas Concert.
Art, Design and Technology
The children explore using many different media and materials to create a range of different art and craft projects. The focus is on enjoyment and creativity through manipulation of a wide variety of materials and media. Their work is displayed in the whole-school Art Exhibition towards the end of the year. Through topic related creative and practical activities, Design & Technology focuses on developing the understanding and skills needed to design and make items for a purpose.
Basic sports skills that are applicable in all sports, such as balancing, catching, jumping and athletics, are introduced. There is a focus on enjoyment of physical activity and encouraging an active lifestyle. Social skills such as taking turns, following rules, teamwork and understanding of a healthy lifestyle are an important part of Physical Education lessons.
Key Stage 2 (Years 3 - 6)
Daily Literacy lessons are made up of the 4 modes of language: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students develop their confidence to speak in public, to ask pertinent questions and to express their ideas. They learn to listen, follow instructions and to value the contributions of others. Reading is an essential part of the curriculum and is an important aspect of homework, as children are asked to read daily. Our extensive libraries (on all campuses) provide a wide range of English-language reading materials from which to choose. Writing is a central part of literacy lessons. Students learn to write fiction and non-fiction, in a variety of genres, for different purposes and different audiences.
The main strands in the Numeracy (or Maths) curriculum are:
- Shape and space – investigating properties of 2D and 3D shapes, tessellation, transformations and symmetry
- Measurement, – volume, capacity, distance, weight and time metric units – km to m etc estimation and selecting the correct equipment for measuring
- Number – including various techniques for multiplication and division, fractions, decimals and percentages, probability, place value to millions and rounding to nearest relevant value
- Data handling – making tables, drawing and interpreting graphs
- Problem solving – two and three step problems, using and applying all the skills children have learnt through the other strands of the maths curriculum
Concepts are taught through investigation and practical hands-on activities, using concrete materials. Real-life problems give students the opportunity to use what they have learnt to solve problems. Allowance is made for students to progress at their own rate, with one-to-one assistance for those who need it and challenges for students excelling in the various areas of maths.
The focus of Science is developing understanding of scientific issues and scientific process skills. Science lessons often involve students researching or investigating to find answers to questions they have posed. The themes for Science come from the English National Curriculum. They include: Plants, living things, Animals including humans, rocks, states of mater, light, sound, electricity, forces and magnets, living things and their habitats, earth and space and evolution and inheritance.
History and Geography
In History and Geography our pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the world, both past and present. Through well planned topics children develop knowledge of local and international places and the world we live in.
The History curriculum is taught largely through historical enquiry, where children are taught to devise suitable questions about change, cause, similarity & difference, and significance from an historical perspective. Furthermore, having posed these questions, pupils construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information; utilizing research from a variety of sources such as books, internet and primary sources such as local people. Through a well developed history curriculum, children develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. Pupils study topics including (but not limited to) the achievements of the earliest civilizations including areas such as Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China. In addition to this, World War II and the impact of the Japanese invasion of Burma, give children an insight into significant events which have shaped their locality.
In Key Stage 2, the Geography curriculum focuses on extending children’s knowledge and understanding of their local area and the wider world, whilst developing geographical skills and applying these to fieldwork. Pupils study environmental and locational characteristics, looking at both human and physical geography. Physical geography includes: zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. Within human geography topics include: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. Children are taught to use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features. The fieldwork skills they develop include (but are not limited to) reading and creating maps, using grid references and keys, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.
Each year level is taught in three separate groups:
- Students who already have skills in reading and writing Myanmar script follow a programme similar to Myanmar schools to maintain these skills.
- Students who are native-speakers of Myanmar, but are not confident in using Myanmar script, continue to develop their skills in reading and writing the language, focusing on creativity and their ability to use the language well.
- Students who are not yet fluent in the language learn basic communication skills, including useful phrases and basic vocabulary such as numbers. They are also introduced to the Myanmar script.
Students learn about the geography, history and cultural aspects of Myanmar. They learn songs and traditional dance. The annual Water Festival is celebrated with an exhibition of Myanmar dance and water play time.
In Key Stage 2 students begin to develop an understanding of the basic tenets of four main religions. Our aim continues to be to foster tolerance and understanding of the beliefs of others. Network has students from all of these religions enrolled.
Computers become an important tool in Key Stage 2. Children are taught how to create algorithms in programs such as Scratch and Kodu; extending into sequencing, selection, and repetition to create usable scripts. They are taught to understand computer networks including the internet and how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, alongside the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. Children continue to use programs such as PowerPoint and Microsoft Word to apply to the research they conduct for their topics. Children are also taught e-safety and learn to use internet efficiently and safely, making informed choices about the validity of the web pages they access and the legitimacy of the information they gather.
A range of topics encourages students to understand how their bodies function, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as how to be a co-operative, contributing member of society.
The children sing and play instruments with increasing confidence. In year 3 they are introduced to playing the recorder. As their skills in playing improve, they have the option of learning to play other types of recorder – treble, tenor or sopranino. In Year 6 they make a recorder band using the different types of recorders. Students sing and play recorder in assemblies and in our annual Christmas Concert.
Art and Design and Technology
The children develop their creativity and imagination through producing increasingly more complex art work. They develop their skills in manipulating many different media and materials to express themselves and create a range of different art and craft projects. There is a strong focus on sketching and drawing and developing depth using shading. We have a whole-school Art Exhibition of the children’s work toward the end of the year.In Key Stage 2, in Design & Technology, the focus is on development of technical understanding, enabling children to design and make functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at a certain target audience. Further to this, children learn to evaluate the products they have created.
In Key Stage 2 sports skills are developed, going from basic ball skills to using the skills learnt playing football, handball, softball and netball. Children also develop skills in athletics and swimming. Children play games to develop social skills such as taking turns, following rules and teamwork, and to encourage regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.