Key Stage 2 Pedagogy
In Key Stage Two, we continue the learning through themed projects known as Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs). As in Key Stage One, this hooks the students into the topic and provides an exciting vehicle to deliver the National Curriculum for England. Recently, these have included themed days such as ‘Mexico Day’ or ‘Viking Day.’ In others ILPs we have held art exhibitions or have gone on external visits. We believe that by providing enriching experiences, learning will be more memorable. External visits are planned carefully to ensure they link strongly with the learning taking place. The aim of these visits is to provide something which may not be possible in school; taking the children to explore the street art of the city, giving them the opportunity to discover the scientific forces that allow rollercoasters to move or to learn about conservation in the ocean. Additionally, we use visits to teach children about the culture of the UAE, such as a visit to the falconry centre to learn about a beloved sport in the UAE. All visits across GEMS Founders School are carefully planned and full risk assessments are carried out before visits are authorised. Our teachers promote the use of a range of digital technology within the Imaginative Learning Projects to innovate and express their learning.
As children progress into Key Stage Two teachers continue to embed a love of reading. Children build on their prior learning, deepening their skills of decoding, comprehension and inference through whole class and guided reading sessions, using books chosen carefully to match both their interest and their level of competency in reading. Reading strategies are delivered through small group teaching and independent tasks. During guided reading, children look at punctuation, vocabulary and give their opinion about what they are reading. They develop strategies to retrieve information and make inferences from the text which improves their comprehension when reading. Pupils’ book band levels are checked regularly to ensure each child is on the correct level. This takes into account both their ability to decode words as well as their comprehension skills.
Our approach to writing in Key Stage Two gives students the opportunity to engage with high quality texts, which carefully match our current themes, through hearing lots of rich language and being truly immersed in a purposeful environment. The teaching of writing is applied to many subjects across the curriculum and encourages the application of taught skills. By creating carefully planned lessons within a sequence, students are given the opportunity to practice and refine their writing culminating in a ‘Hot Write’ at the end of each unit.
In Key Stage Two, children continue their Maths Mastery journey, continuing with the already now familiar ‘Power Maths’ programme which provides many opportunities for children to develop confidence and fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. Lessons follow the same structure as in Key Stage One lessons; ‘Discover’, ‘I do’, ‘We do’ and ‘You do’.
Assessment is ongoing and takes a variety of forms in Key Stage Two. Most of our assessment is completed formatively during daily lessons. This can take the form of questioning, quizzes, marking, verbal feedback and through working with groups and observations. However, teachers also assess periodically in particular subjects. All internal assessment carried out at GFS inform teachers of the pupils’ next steps in learning. It is vital for teachers to know where the children are in their learning in order for them plan effectively for the future. We try not to put too much of an emphasis on the assessments so that we avoid the children feeling pressured. On many occasions children don’t realise they are having an assessment.
To prepare students for the future, in Year 6, the students transition into the Secondary school with an introduction to a typical timetable with taster lessons in a range of subjects, Q and A sessions and early teacher introductions. The benefit of being an all through-school on one site allows for creativity and flexibility in this transition for our leaners.