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P1 Parents' Information

Below are Miss Warke's notes from her talk to parents on the P1 Information Day, mid June 2007.

Revised Curriculum

What is it?
The Northern Ireland Curriculum has recently been revised.  The revisions to the curriculum aim to give greater emphasis to children’s Personal Development and the development of skills for life-long learning.  In the early years, learning focuses on the acquisition of skills through practical lessons.

“The aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum is to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives.”   
(NI curriculum)

What does this mean in Forge IPS?
Forge IPS is in a very fortunate position as our school has already been involved in the implementation of the Enriched Curriculum project for the last four years.  This project focuses on the development of the child’s personal, social and emotional well-being and teaching skills in contexts meaningful to the children through practical activities.  It has therefore been a means of putting the suggested curriculum review proposals into practice.

What will happen in the classroom?
In P1 children will experience much of their learning through well planned and challenging play.  Teachers will encourage the children to play an active role in their own learning by using their ideas and interests to pursue topics in greater depth.  We have found that this serves to generate greater motivation and desire to learn. 


1) Language & Literacymaths
2) Mathematics & Numeracy
3) The Arts (Art and Design, Music & Drama)
4) The World Around Us  (History, Geography, Science & Technology)
5) Personal Development & Mutual Understanding
6) Physical Development & Movement
7) Religious Education


Language & Literacy
Through a range of practical activities your child will have opportunities to develop skills in Talking & Listening, Reading and Writing. 

Talking & Listening
• Encourage your child to make eye contact when talking
• It is important to talk with your child and encourage them to engage in one-to-one conversations.  Encourage him/her to use different kinds of language to express him/herself. Eg-  who, what, where, why, when, how…..?
• Discuss activities you are taking part in with your child eg shopping, watching TV, visiting a park, visiting relatives
• Encourage your child to listen by questioning him/her on something you have talked about/ read

• Join the library and make regular visits together
• Read to your child and talk about the book – did he/she enjoy the book? Why?
• Talk about the features of the book – front cover, title, illustrations
• Try to set an example by reading yourself -  a magazine, newspaper
• Emphasis letter sounds instead of letter names.  This will support the approach taken in school following the Linguistic Phonics programme

• Model writing in front of your child eg writing shopping list, letter
• Encourage your child to write/draw. This will be experimental writing so will appear as marks on a page. Please do NOT encourage your child to copy your writing.
• Allow your child to experiment with a range of tools – pens, crayons, paint, cutting out with scissors, constructing jig-saws, shape-making in dough.
**This helps to develop their fine motor skills **

**COMET (Communication and Education Together)
This is a programme produced by speech and language therapists to develop children’s early skills in Attention and Listening, Phonological Awareness (knowledge of letter sounds) and spoken language.  We have been following this programme in P1 for 3 years.  Many activities will be incorporated into home learning activities. (see leaflets included)

**Linguistic Phonics
The initial emphasis is on developing attention and listening skills and oral language. This is followed by a focus on phonological awareness so that children learn how to identify syllables, rhyme and eventually, individual phonemes (sounds) within words. Each phoneme is then matched with its corresponding grapheme. (letter or letter-combination).
This programme links well with the COMET programme and has been followed in Forge IPS for 2 years.

learning-shapesMathematics & Numeracy
Your child will explore and experiment with a range of maths resources in developing their understanding of different mathematical concepts.  Your child will also be introduced to the vocabulary associated with the different concepts taught. They will develop skills in Number, Measures, Shape & Space, Sorting and Patterns. 

• Sing number rhymes with your child eg 1,2 buckle my shoe, 1,2,3,4,5,once I caught a fish alive
• Talk about numbers in the environment, your child’s age, number of the house

• Discuss who is the tallest, who has the longest feet in the house.
• Which is heavier – teddy or book?
• Chat with your child about nursery school encouraging them to sequence the day eg at nursery what did you do first? What did you do next?
• Talk about important times of the day – morning, lunchtime, bedtime, cartoon time?

Shape and Space
• Identify 2D shapes around them eg square, rectangle, circle, triangle
• Identify shapes around them that are the same eg tin of beans same as tin of soup. Sun same as a football. 

• Ask your child to put all the red pencils together.
• Ask your child to set the dinner table- sort the knives and forks
• Ask your child to sort their toys. Encourage them to talk about the way they have sorted items

paintbrushesThe Arts (Art and Design,Music & Drama)
• Encourage your child to experiment with different art materials eg paint, pens, pencils, crayons, playdough
• Play music in the house and encourage your child to sing and dance along to the songs.

The World Around Us (History, Geography, Science & Technology)world-globe
In Forge IPS we aim to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which is achieved through a topic based approach.  Children will complete 5 topics in the school year.  We will try to inform of you of these as early in the school year as possible.

Through practical activities, experiments and educational visits, children will have opportunities to develop skills in:
- exploring, experimenting, comparing, identifying, sorting

• Play observation games when walking in town, in the park, on holidays
• Chat about the different seasons and the changes around them eg colour of leaves on the trees
• Look at family photos and discuss how your child has grown up, how granny’s hair has changed colour etc.
• Talk about different weather – what happens to puddles when the sun comes out? What happens to snow when it starts to melt?

macPersonal Development & Mutual Understanding
In Forge IPS we place great importance on developing the whole child. Pastoral care is at the core of all our teaching and filters through into all areas of learning.  Through Circle Time, Show & Tell, whole class and group activities, your child will have opportunities to develop an understanding of :
- themselves, their own thoughts and feelings and the importance of keeping healthy
-  their relationships with family and friends, similarities and differences between other people and how to be a good citizen.

• When reading stories, talk about the feelings of the characters
• Talk with your child about their likes, dislikes
• Talk about importance of personal hygiene- brushing teeth, washing face and hands etc.
• Encourage your child to share with siblings, friends

Physical Development & Movementjumping
Your child will take part in PE lessons twice a week which will give them the opportunity to develop skills in athletics, dance, games and gymnastics.  In addition to this, they will have outdoor play 3 times each week allowing for further physical exercise and learning experiences.

• Play games which reinforce the importance of following rules
• Play ball games eg football, tennis,

crossReligious Education
In line with the Northern Ireland curriculum, your child will be encouraged to listen to bible stories, attend and take part in whole school assemblies where all religions, faiths and cultures are welcomed and celebrated.

• Talk about different people in the community and how they differ from us eg, skin, clothing, church they go to.