The Early Years department at GES includes Pre-school and Reception classes. We follow a curriculum called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum of England and Wales with the introduction of The International Early Year Curriculum (IEYC) from 2017/2018.
The EYFS covers the development of a child from Birth to Five however in the Early Years at GES we focus on the developmental ages 30 to 50 months and 40 to 60 months.
The Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning, all of which are given equal status.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive Arts and Design
As children develop at their own rate and in their own ways our focus is always to help each individual achieve their personal best however by the end of Reception we would expect most children to have achieved the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). There are 17 ELGs across the seven areas of learning.
Our work in the Early Years Foundation Stage emphasizes the value of play as the medium through which a child achieves most in the Early Years. Play motivates children to learn and helps them make sense of the world through direct experience. Through play, children can encounter all areas of the curriculum (EYFS) and develop their growing social skills. Through careful planning we ensure that the children have a wide range of challenging and stimulating experiences and play opportunities, which will excite their curiosity, interest and motivation.
Planning includes outdoor play, which promotes and enables physical activities, encourages social and moral development and self-esteem and confidence, as well as providing for children who learn better outside and allowing children time to consolidate skills they have learned.
Key Stage 1 ( Years 1 and 2)
At The Gulf English School we follow the National Curriculum of England and Wales (2014) as well as the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for our topic areas of learning. This curriculum begins in Key Sage 1, which includes Year 1 and Year 2. As Early Years and Key Stage 1 are both housed in our Infants building we provide a learning experience that seamlessly links the one key stage to the other.
From Year 1, children follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales 2014 which is more formal and includes specified subjects, including English and Mathematics. At The Gulf English School we are dedicated to making learning meaningful for all our children and therefore we modify and enhance our curriculum, where appropriate, to help each pupil achieve their personal best. All subjects are assessed using appropriate assessment indicators and are reported in levels to parents each academic term. We cover the following subjects in both Year 1 and Year 2:
- Arabic/Islamic Studies/ Qatar History
- IPC (including Science, History, Geography, Art, Computing and International Learning )
The class teacher takes his/ her group of children for the majority of the school day, covering all the main subject areas of English, Maths and IPC (including Science, History, Geography, Art, International Learning and Computing). For the other specialist subjects (Arabic, Music, and PE) we employ experienced subject specific teachers who are timetabled to work with each group during the week. This system ensures that teachers and children build meaningful relationships which foster ever healthier and supportive learning environments. Class and specialist teachers are responsible for monitoring students’ progress closely and ensuring that students achieve according to their ability and in-line with our school expectations.
English as a subject is divided up into Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening. These are the different and essential elements that are combined to help a learner acquire a new language. Each area is taught using the National Curriculum (2014) standards and teachers plan very carefully to aim to ensure that learners reach the yearly attainment expectations.
At GES we follow a structured synthetic phonics programme called Jolly Phonics.
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children. The letter sounds are split into seven groups Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. These are: learning the letter sounds, learning letter formation, blending, identifying the sounds in words (segmenting) and tricky words.
We teach students the Year 1 and 2 common exception words and expect them to be able to read them on sight. We have a banded guided reading scheme which students move through from Reception to Year 2. We teach the essential reading skills of decoding and encoding words, using a planned and structured phonics programme (Jolly Phonics). We teach reading in small groups and these are run by both the class teacher and trained teaching assistants.
Students are taught to use all their previously acquired knowledge in the Early Years to start to write for meaning. In Key Stage 1, phonics is built on within writing to include digraphs and phonemes and students are expected to use this knowledge when writing words. We link writing to real life experiences and encourage students to talk about their writing with meaning, using the Talk for Writing approach to developing confidence with writing skills. Students learn the format and orientation of writing and the importance of writing for a purpose. We focus on teaching a range of writing types including story writing, letters, non-chronological text and fairy tales. All these form part of the National Curriculum 2014 expectations.
Speaking and Listening
We firmly believe that speaking and listening forms the basis for all language acquisition. Children are encouraged to explore language in real and meaningful ways. We focus on the elements of a good speaker and listener and we teach these skills during all our lessons. We believe that when learners are confident in their own skills they will venture out and try new things. We know that our students feel more confident when they have a solid vocabulary and the skills to convey that knowledge in response to various tasks.
Maths is about number, shape, space, and measure. In Key Stage 1, we build on the work done in the early years stage around number concept development and build on that solid foundation using the National Curriculum 2014 Maths programme of study. We broaden and deepen the child's knowledge of numbers and the properties of numbers. We allow them time to explore what can be done with numbers when we add, subtract, double, and halve each number. Once students are secure in these operations we move onto the start of times tables and division through practical applications. We know that for true mathematical development to take place, learning needs to be fun and stimulating so we endeavour to make all lessons practical and concrete. We also focus on time, measurement, capacity and fractions in Key Stage 1.
We believe that the IPC units that we plan as a route through Key Stage 1 provide exciting and challenging learning for our students and bring the exploration of science, history, geography, art and computing to life. The IPC allows students to really get involved with finding out about the wonders of science, the past, the world, the increasingly challenging skills of computing as well as develop their creative skills. A key aspect of our IPC delivery is that all students will reach an ‘exit point’ for a unit of learning where they will be encouraged to present their learning to a wider audience, often including their parents. The IPC route we follow is fully aligned with the National Curriculum 2014 subject standards.
Students are assessed according to the IPC assessment criteria and the National Curriculum attainment expectations.
PE and Music
PE and Music are taught by our on-site specialist subject teachers. Each lesson is planned using the National Curriculum 2014 programme of study for that subject and is delivered in a fun and exciting way. In each subject, students are encouraged to develop a love for the subject and are often enabled to nurture a natural talent.