Lower School - Years 1 & 2
In Years 1 and 2 at Reigate St Mary’s, pupils enjoy stimulating and interactive lessons, with an emphasis on problem solving and thinking skills.
As our three Reception classes become two for Year 1 and beyond, the children settle in with their new mix of classmates and get on with the business of cementing their phonics, reading and numeracy skills. Lessons become slightly longer, but variety and movement are still in plentiful supply throughout the day.
Learning is based on the National Curriculum Framework. As an independent school, however, we take advantage of the freedom we have to delve deeper and explore further: concepts such as Philosophy for Children (P4C) and Education for Social Responsibility (ESR) helping to develop those all-important soft skills.
RSM pupils typically perform well above the national average by the end of Key Stage 1.
The Year 1 team spends time with the Reception classes during the Summer Term, so that the children are familiar with their new teachers ahead of the next academic year. Our Year 1 classrooms are just across the corridor from the Reception classrooms, so there is plenty of popping in and out to say hello. Equally, by the end of Year 2, children are academically and emotionally ready to cross into Year 3 and the Upper School, having been increasingly inquisitive about what goes on in the classrooms opposite theirs.
Specialist Teaching & Outdoor Learning
Specialist teachers take pupils for Games, PE, Music, IT and Spanish. By the time they reach Year 3, children can confidently use a variety of programs on both Mac and PC, have begun to learn touch typing, and have a solid understanding of E-Safety. Our beautiful grounds are used as outdoor classrooms as well as for team sports and fitness, and in our dedicated Forest School area, Lower School children explore, investigate and roam.
Growth Mindset & Confidence Building
Children in Year 1 use familiar characters to reinforce positive learning: Have a Go Hippo, Choosing Chimp and Busy Bee are still very much in evidence to assist and support the children when making decisions and bravely speaking up in class or during small group activities. The power of ‘yet’ and the confidence to learn from mistakes are by now firmly embedded in the children’s attitudes towards all their work.
Foundations for Future Learning
The balance of activities in Year 1 shifts gradually from predominantly child-initiated towards more adult-led tasks, with emotional wellbeing remaining the top priority. The children settle seamlessly into the new phase under the expert guidance of their teachers and teaching assistants. By the end of Year 2, children have the skills and the confidence to question and challenge, take risks and to persevere, whether a task comes naturally or requires more effort.