Years 1 & 2 (ages 5-7 years)

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), we aim to provide exciting opportunities which will stimulate the children’s desire to be independent learners and internationally minded individuals. Through the provision of a creative curriculum delivered through a range of themes over the course of the year, children are encouraged to follow their own interests and work towards achieving the learning objectives as defined in the English National Curriculum.

In Year 1 the themes are:

  • Who am I? - learning about ourselves and where we live
  • Time Traveller - history focus
  • Once Upon a Time - looks at traditional tales and includes a science focus
  • Wild and Wonderful - explores plants and growing
  • Up, Up and Away - has an international flavour, exploring geographical concepts.

In Year 2 the themes are:

  • Extraordinary Lives - science and geography focus
  • Twisted Tales - literacy and drama focus
  • Magnificent Minds - history and literacy focus
  • Material World - science, art and design technology focus
  • Islands of Fire - geography focus
  • New Beginnings - prepares children for their transition into Year 3.

In Year 2 the children also have access to other exciting opportunities, such as our Christmas Concert, Year 2 University on a Friday afternoon, and lunchtime Music CCAs.

Areas of Learning

Chinese

Chinese at Tanglin is a proficiency-orientated foreign language programme; we believe that “acquisition” is very important. Hence, in the Infant School we carry out repetitive, interesting, comprehensible, input-based teaching.

We have extended the provision of language input in Year 1 and 2, enabling more children to further develop their language proficiency. Up to 150 most frequently used simplified Chinese characters are introduced through the Advanced Reading Programme for more able Chinese speakers. We have also devised and produced a range of easy-to-read Chinese stories to cater for those children in the early stages of language learning, which provides them with increased opportunities to speak Chinese at home.

Carrying out surveys is one of the learner-centred activities employed in Year 2 Chinese lessons. This kind of activity helps the learner to turn input into intake. This “children-to-children interaction” makes the exchange of information meaningful; they are engaged and motivated to complete the task, applying what they have learned in a natural way.

English

At Tanglin, children are encouraged to develop a passion for English through a creative, inspiring and innovative curriculum. We believe that English is best taught through exciting, challenging and well-organised lessons where all children are motivated to achieve their full potential whilst developing the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The stimulating learning environments and high quality resources which the children access are effective tools in engaging children so that they are able to express their ideas throughout a range of contexts and learning styles.

Sharing and listening to exciting stories encourages a love of reading throughout Years 1 and 2. Children are motivated to read and write a wide range of genres and to express their ideas using a variety of media. Children discuss the texts which they have read with enthusiasm and enjoy taking part in individual, shared and guided reading sessions. Writing is an integral part of the English curriculum and children are encouraged to write imaginatively within a range of meanings and contexts.

Our outstanding curriculum is continually adapted to suit the learning needs and interests of our children, and teachers are effective in using a range of assessment strategies to monitor and target all pupils so that every child is able to achieve their full potential.

Humanities

We study History and Geography in the context of our international setting in Singapore, incorporating into our curriculum local outdoor education visits to places of interest and relevance.

Our varied and exciting topics offer the children in Key Stage One a chance to embed key historical and geographical skills in a stimulating, cross-curricular approach. As an integral part of the humanities curriculum, the children are given many inspiring opportunities to participate in research and to lead their own learning.

In our motivating Geography curriculum, we aim to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We equip our children with knowledge about places, people and their own environment, whilst nurturing critical thinking skills through explorations and investigation.

Through memorable History topics, the children begin to understand the past and start to gain a wider perspective of the chronological order of events, starting with ordering recent events on a timeline. Our aim is to inspire curiosity in the children to know more about the past. We prepare the children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgements.

All of the skills learnt through the experiential topic areas support our children as they progress through their wider learning journey at Tanglin.

Integrated Technology

Children develop IT capabilities as they learn to use digital tools effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school. Our learning programmes give children an opportunity to make the most of the technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.

Tanglin provides an impressive technology‐rich learning environment for its children and teachers. All classrooms have an interactive white board, a visualiser and access to a wired and wireless network to support the use of our iPads, iPod touches and PCs. Teachers and children have access to a wide range of software and hardware to enhance the curriculum, from learning green screen techniques, handheld video cameras and sound recorders to Lego Robotics, floor robots, digital microscopes and hand held data logging devices.

IT skills are taught through the learning objectives of the other major curriculum areas. When taught in this context, children use IT as a vehicle or a powerful tool to solve problems and develop digital wisdom.

Mathematics

At Tanglin, we aspire for our children to become confident and competent mathematicians. We recognise the value of equipping our young children with the skills to understand the mathematical world around them. We foster the skills that you need to become a successful mathematician such as:

  • A commitment to and passion for the subject
  • An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics
  • A broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics
  • Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts and the number system
  • The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts
  • The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions
  • Fluency in performing written and mental calculations
  • A wide range of mathematical vocabulary.

Experienced teachers provide a fun, motivating and challenging environment, which enables the children to develop critical thinking skills. Activities are planned which are relevant to the children’s lives and offer meaningful opportunities for them to apply and consolidate their mathematical skills. The use of mathematical language is key in allowing the children to communicate ideas, discuss findings and test theories. Teachers model the use of mathematical vocabulary so that it becomes embedded in the children’s long term memory.

Role play is vital within our environment, encouraging the children to use their mathematical thinking in a relevant way. For example, a castle role play area allows children to apply their knowledge of many concepts, such as investigating different combinations of ingredients to make food for a feast; exploring shapes and patterns when designing shields and predicting the amount of food each guest will have when sharing it equally at a banquet. Stories are a fantastic stimulus for enquiry based questions such as, ‘How tall will you grow with this medicine?’ George’s Marvellous Kitchen role play area gives children the practical opportunity to predict, discuss, record and analyse their findings.

When the children are ready to leave the Infant School, we want them to feel successful and proud of their achievements, equipped with a lasting and positive attitude towards mathematics and well-prepared for the next stage in their learning journey.

Music

Music is an international language accessible to all at Tanglin, where children are given many exciting opportunities to participate. It is a subject which we believe children should cherish and that should be an integral part of their emotional and physical development.

Singing is one of the key skills developed within this diverse and inspiring curriculum. All children from Reception upwards have a weekly Choral session with a specialist teacher which gives them the opportunity to learn songs as part of a large group of children and to develop their confidence as a singer.

All children have a specialist music lesson once a week which is both creative and practical, encouraging children to develop their musical appreciation and sense of rhythm, as well as developing their compositional skills. There is a very well-resourced music room with a wide variety of excellent tuned and untuned percussion instruments as well as keyboards, ukuleles and recorders. All children in Year 2 will be introduced to the recorder as part of the curriculum to assist with the smooth transition into music within the Junior School. The skills developed through music enable them to develop socially and emotionally as well as creatively, enabling them and to access all other areas of the curriculum with greater success.

Music at Tanglin promotes children as performers both individually and as part of a group. Students have the opportunity to take part in an annual concert with their year group and showcase their talents. In addition, all children sing weekly in fun-filled choral sessions which develop their sense of community as well as their vocal skills. We recognise and celebrate through music the various festivals within the region and also have many world instruments within school which the children are introduced to and have the chance to explore.

Within the Infant School, the music curriculum follows the British National Curriculum guidelines and provides many opportunities for children to take part in musical activities above and beyond the well-balanced and broad curriculum. At lunchtimes in Year 2 we offer Infant Choir, recorder, djembe drum, fun singing, percussion for fun and string groups, all run by expert instrumental staff. We also have an exciting singing playground project which fosters musical links between the Infant and Junior School. This has enabled children from both schools to sing together at playtime.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

Within Key Stage One we understand the importance of our children’s social and emotional development. Through our tailored PSHCE curriculum we aim to help our children understand themselves, their culture and their role as a global citizen of tomorrow.

Underpinned by the Tanglin Learner Profile and the high level of pastoral care from class teachers, our children receive weekly PSHCE focused circle time sessions where collaboration, communication and a development of self allow our children to develop socially and spiritually. Through tailored assemblies and events, children appreciate Singapore’s international diversity through links forged with local community schools, and they enjoy cultural growth through discussion around important global religious celebrations.

In addition to circle time, children throughout Key Stage One develop their critical thinking skills through open ended stimulus. This is formalised through philosophical inquiry-based learning in Year 2 where children learn to develop their reasoning, question their peers and even involve themselves in structured debates.

Establishing children as a member of the school community is at the heart of the curriculum: the children have buddies in the Junior School and work with all members of the Tanglin community on Our World Day. PSHCE flows throughout our wonderful curriculum and is a key strength in developing our community of lifelong learners, who we hope are able to reflect, question and understand both themselves and the world of tomorrow.

Physical Education

At Tanglin, we are privileged to have outstanding facilities in which we endeavour to teach outstanding lessons. We deliver a curriculum that gives children the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities in an atmosphere of enjoyment and personal development. Through a range of activities the children learn about cooperation, healthy lifestyles and following instructions.

In Year 1, all children experience one hour of physical education with a PE specialist as well as a minimum of thirty minutes with class teachers per week. In Year 2, all children experience one hour of physical education with a PE specialist as well as an hour of PE with a specialist and a class teacher. This gives the children an opportunity to try out a range of different activities from fundamental skills, games, athletics, swimming and gymnastics. This allows the students to work individually and in small groups, developing fundamental movement skills and learning through progressive games with an emphasis on fun and participation.

Children take part in their year group sports day where they demonstrate many of the skills they have learnt through the year. This is always a highlight of the Infant School calendar and the events are designed to be inclusive, with parents following their children through the events.

Science

Science in the Infant School is primarily concerned with developing the necessary skills for your child to be a scientist in a fun, active, relevant and engaging way. This is to instil a sense of enquiry so that the children will question (everything) and then think of ways to find the answers to those questions, developing critical thinking skills and depth of understanding.

For example, whilst finding out about the structure of a flowering plant one question asked by a child was “How do plants drink their water?” (Questioning). The teacher then supported the child in thinking about what they needed to answer the question (Equipment) and how they would go about setting up the test (Method). Before carrying out the test the child guessed what might happen (Prediction) and whether it was a fair test (only one aspect of the test changing with everything else staying the same). The child then carried out the investigation and recorded their observations (Recording). We have often used technology such as iPads and GoPro’s to do this. The child then analysed their results, compared them with their friend’s data and then discussed what they had found out (drawing Conclusions). The child then thought of another question, based upon their findings, for further testing and the process began again.

This is the overall process of scientific inquiry. The children would not be expected to follow this whole process independently and all at once. Teachers will focus specifically upon one or two key aspects of investigation at any one time.

These skills and specific subject knowledge are taught through the areas of plants, animals (including humans), living things and their habitats, everyday materials (and their uses) and seasonal changes (weather). Many opportunities for scientific development are also provided through continuous provision activities that allow the children to use, apply and extend their knowledge and skills in fun-filled creative ways and pursue their own specific interests.

Art and Design

Art and Design is an essential part of our broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. It is the formation and expression of ideas through the use of materials and has a significant role to play in the children’s personal growth. At Tanglin, Art and Design is not seen as a stand alone subject, it is fully integrated into the curriculum, associated with cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills.

Art and Design is taught through a skills based approach with equal focus on processes as well as individually created pieces. Children experience a diverse range of media and techniques within visual art (craft, design, painting, sculpture, textiles and printmaking) and multi-media art (including photography and digital arts).

We also take the ideal opportunity to explore the wealth of artists and artistic talent within our location in Singapore and Asia. Depending upon ability and task, children will be taught individually, paired, grouped or as a whole class.

Children’s understanding of the value and importance of Art and Design is enhanced through utilising the expertise of visiting artists. Learning opportunities through the use of artists in residence also provide an important springboard for Art and Design skills development in Key Stage One.