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Moving a child to the UK at the start of Year 2 - worried about gaps in education

(21 Posts)
wanderingfree Thu 02-Jun-11 11:52:44

We are moving to the UK. Our youngest is 6 and in the equivalent of Year 1. He will be starting in a UK infant school as a Year 2 in September 2011. I am just wondering if there is a list of what is taught in Year 1 so I can ask his current teacher to go through it and mark what he has not been taught so we know where any gaps are and can help support this during the summer.

I know the two curriculums are different, but I'm not sure of the specific differences. I have searched online but because the curriculum is divided into Key stages, it only tells you what is taught for KS1 which is end of Year 2.

Does anyone know if there a standard list of what children should have been taught at the end of Year 1? Mainly thinking of maths and english, but history, geography, science and RE would also be of interest.

exexpat Thu 02-Jun-11 12:07:17

We moved back to the UK when DS was 8 and he joined a school half-way through year 4. He'd had a year less school than everyone else (started at age 5 rather than 4) and had been following a very different curriculum (bilingual international school using mainly US resources), and it really wasn't a problem. There were a few things they did in different ways in maths, and the rest of the class had already learned joined-up handwriting, which he hadn't, but apart from that

If your son is reading and doing maths at an appropriate level for his age, I really wouldn't stress too much about minute differences in levels - there's a big range in any year 1 classroom. And history, science etc seem to be mainly project-based in KS1, so there don't seem to be many basic facts that all children are expected to know by the end of year 1.

I'm assuming you are looking at state schools? If you are looking at private schools the curriculum might be more formal, but then the school would probably be happy to give you guidance.

hockeyforjockeys Thu 02-Jun-11 12:10:29

There isn't a compulsory list of what has to be covered in Year 1, Year 2 etc., the key stage objectives are the only statutory requirements. Lots of schools still use the Primary Framework (i warn you it is a bastard to navigate) to plan lessons, but many are moving away from this now so it may not be of relevance to what your child's school do. I really wouldn't worry about things like geography, RE etc, if they miss a year it really doesn't make a huge amount of difference particularly when they are so young.

My advice would be to wait until he's been in his new school a little while (e.g a month/ half a term) to allow him to settle in and for his teacher to assess him, then ask his teacher what gaps he has in relation to others in the class. If it's appropriate you can work on them at home then.

exexpat Thu 02-Jun-11 12:14:02

Have you looked at the National Curriculum website? It's all pretty woolly. You'll see that under history for example it just says things like:
"Chronological understanding
1. Pupils should be taught to:
place events and objects in chronological order
use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time [for example, before, after, a long time ago, past].

Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past
2. Pupils should be taught to:
recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result
identify differences between ways of life at different times.

It doesn't say how they have to learn this, so different schools will use different materials or periods in history as examples. They don't teach historical 'facts' particularly. Same for geography, RE etc. And tbh I can't remember DD (who finished KS1 last year) doing anything much historical at all.

Sam100 Thu 02-Jun-11 12:20:25

If you are worried about gaps in say maths then take a look at mathletics here. It is UK curriculum based so you could select the curriculum for reception year and make sure your child can do all of the subjects there and then move on to the year 1 stuff and work your way through that. The reception curriuclum is not very wide and is mostly putting numbers up to 30 in order, shapes, patterns, one more, one less and so on.

LIZS Thu 02-Jun-11 12:22:42

Can you ask the new school what the class have covered to date. tbh iiwy focus on the basics of Literacy and Maths, as the others will be topic based and taught more hands on.

Literacy : Sentence construction, paragraphs and connectives, adjectives and powerful verbs, spelling, handwriting (check whether they have started cursive yet). Encourage reading and ask questions to check understanding. Make up short stories.

Numeracy : Number bonds to 20, counting in 2's 5's and 10's, recognising coins (that threw ds as we'd also been abroad) and making up to prices, telling time, addition and subtraction, recognising 2d shapes and patterns, and terms such as more than/less than/heavier/lighter etc.

This site has some activiities or BBC

wanderingfree Thu 02-Jun-11 12:35:02

Thanks for your responses. I did look at the national curriculum website but it described so much in terms of key stages not year groups.

I think one of the problems is that the country we are in follows a reception type curriculum for the first two years, so by end of year 1 children are not nearly as far ahead as UK children. Examples the teacher gave us at the start of year one (during a meeting where she was telling us what the children would be taught during the year) were:-

in maths - addition for numbers up to 10
knowing the 'story' of numbers up to 20 but not doing double digit addition
no multiplication tables (maybe this is the same?)

in reading - ORT levels 1, 2 and 3 but not over 3. DS2 has been on Level 3 since Easter and he's happy but he rarely, if ever, comes across words that are new to him
spelling - 3 or 4 letter words

writing work - they are given 3 words (i.e. love, goes, mother) and have to put each one in a sentence. Punctuation is not used in their written work, though capital letters are encouraged.

I know there will be gaps, so I think it would be helpful to gently do some stuff over the summer.

Having been in the UK for KS1 SATS with my first child, I know the pressure the schools are under to get children to work to a Level 2 or Level 3 in as much work as possible. If we could absorb some of this pressure by helping before Year 2 starts, it seems sensible to do so.

wanderingfree Thu 02-Jun-11 12:40:08

Thanks LIZS - I think a lot of that will be new. They don't teach number bonds but I remember them with DS1 so will do that to 10 and then when that's clear, do to 20.

Will look at mathletics, thanks.

Writing is very different. It's a big leap from short sentences to paragraphs and different types of verbs. What are connectives?

Good idea about the school, I could ask them what has been taught and discuss gaps with DS2s current teacher.

Do UK infant schools teach a european modern language? There is a french club mentioned on school website but think that's a fun club so I'm imagining you can join at any level and slot it.

exexpat Thu 02-Jun-11 12:51:03

If you are over here in the summer, any big supermarket, bookshop or branch of WHSmiths will have loads of age- and KS-banded workbooks for maths and literacy, all done in a 'fun' way with pictures and stickers for finishing each page. You could pick up a few of those, maybe starting with ones aimed at a year or so younger than your DS, and see how he does.

wanderingfree Thu 02-Jun-11 12:54:40

That's a good idea exexpat. Though he might not thank me for all this involvement!

I tried the mathletics website and it refuses to let me access the UK version from my computer. It sticks to the version for the country I'm in which has the curriculum for this country! How annoying.

I think contacting the school after the holidays is my best bet. They might even suggest I leave it to them for when DS2 starts in September and if they'd prefer that, then I'll go with that.

LIZS Thu 02-Jun-11 13:17:18

Connectives are words that join one sentence to another ie. but , then , because . ds joined a UK school at Year3 and it took a while to adjust (he's dyspraxic and had some dyslexic traits) but he coped. School simply wanted to ensure he could read English before he came. He did have extra handwriting support (now a laptop user) as he had only learnt to print and effectively missed a year out

PoppetUK Thu 02-Jun-11 21:25:25

Hi ya,

Our experience was that DD moved back a few weeks into year 2. She had missed quite a bit but hasn't struggled here. We have helped at home on a few things. To be honest I think moving back at the start of year 2 is a good time because they are still doing some recaps of the basic phonics for some kids and I've heard that a lot of kids improve vast amounts during this year. The things that have helped DD are reading every night, maths whizz. She's not a willing writer to be honest but she's doing well enough considering all the change. School are pretty good at working with her. I've recently done some rapid recall with her as this wasn't something that she had been exposed to. After almost a 6 months I think she's not far off of where she would be had she started in reception. Workbooks do give you a good indication of what they are working at in Key Stage 1 here and i would say mathswhizz has helped me to help DD by understanding the methods they use.

I hope my waffle helps. Good luck with the move.


p.s I'm pleased with the teaching in comparison to the country we were in.

RoadArt Fri 03-Jun-11 06:45:10

Wanderingfree. You can contact Mathletics and ask them to modify the course to the country you want to study. Dont believe they cant do it because they can!

RoadArt Fri 03-Jun-11 06:47:33

Is the curriculum really so different? I know the UK can be appear to be "ahead" but in reality it is the same, but they use different phrasing so its not so easy to compare. Sometimes the ages by which they should be able to achieve something is the only difference.

mummytime Fri 03-Jun-11 07:04:57

The one thing to be aware of is that (at least in State schools) teachers at primary level are used to teaching pupils at a wide range of stages. They are also increasingly used to getting children from other countries who usually don't eve speak English, and at 7 may have had very little if any school experience.

I would not worry.

Join the local library summer reading challenge and try to get to know a few children before he starts school in September, maybe talk about "number bonds to 10" the numbers that add up to make 10.

UK schools tend to be very flexible and shuffle their groups at this age a lot. Also in my experience year one is less boringly academic than it used to be and includes a lot more learning through play. He will probably surprise you with how well he adapts.

wanderingfree Fri 03-Jun-11 10:51:56

That's all very reassuring, thank you all so much.

I started last night explaining with number bonds and we did to 10. DS2 got it straight away and in the time it took him to get out of clothes and into PJs, he had said them all and seemed to find it fun. I wonder if you're right RoadArt, they use different phrasing but perhaps teach the same basics so kids adapt easily.

We started doing number bonds to 20 at breakfast but he found these really hard so I think we need to practice basic adding up of numbers over 10 first as they don't do adding up over 10 in class, so this is too big a leap. Funny though he started doing number bonds to 100 and could do these himself if they had a 5 or 0 at end.

dikkertjedap Fri 03-Jun-11 11:56:21

I would contact the new (UK) school and ask them what they expect him to know. I can only talk about reception, at dd's school they have covered counting to 100, counting in 1-s, 2-s, 5-s, 10-s to 100. Addition and subtraction to 20 for all and to 100 for the very able. Reading varies hugely from blue band to turquoise band with about half being on the red band. Writing skills also vary hugely. However, I know that in their first year they are expected to progress pretty quickly with reading/writing/numeracy as it becomes very class room based. If he is behind I would probably focus on reading/writing/numeracy this Summer but probably best to discuss with his new school. Good luck.

RoadArt Fri 03-Jun-11 20:50:23

a good site to use for younger children is it gives a general broad guidance for maths english spanish french german and science. its not hte who curriculum but its a great package

IntotheNittyGritty Fri 03-Jun-11 23:29:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Fri 03-Jun-11 23:34:03

If t makes you feel any better my ds was home ed until Y2, we did very little formal work but just followed his interests but he settled in just fine. He's Y7 now and is doing well.

Elibean Sat 04-Jun-11 09:05:47

He'll be fine smile

A boy joined dd's class at the start of Y2, he could barely read at all - though he knew his phonics. He has pretty much caught up. Your ds will fly.

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