2024–25 | DBIS Primary KS1 Curriculum Handbook

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Primary Key Stage 1 Curriculum 2024–25

Year 1 & Year 2

Key Stage 2

Years 7 to 9

Years 10 & 11

Sixth Form

Our Core Values

• We respect the needs and rights of each member of our community.

• We show care, kindness and compassion to others.

• We are supportive of each other.

• We embrace diversity and celebrate individuality.

• We are responsible and honest in our actions.

• We promote a sense of personal identity and a global mindset.

Our Mission

• We provide an outstanding holistic international education to students in an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. We seek to inspire and empower students to succeed in fulfilling their individual potential as global citizens in a rapidly changing world.

Our Aims

• To promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning.

• To provide a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the international nature of the DBIS student community.

• To encourage internationalism, providing students with the skills, dispositions and knowledge to participate in an increasingly interconnected world.

• To ensure a supportive, happy and secure environment for learning.

• To develop leadership skills and a sense of service to others through a range of extracurricular opportunities locally and internationally.

• To encourage the physical and emotional wellbeing of each individual.

• To use innovative pedagogy and technology to enrich learning.

• To work in partnership with parents, alumni and the local and wider community in the ongoing development of the school.

• To foster a learning community where every student, teacher, staff member, parent and DBIS alumni has an ongoing passion for learning.

Welcome to Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 at Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) consists of Years 1 and 2 and is the second of three parts of the children’s learning journey in our Primary School. Our children follow the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum of England, which is adapted and personalised to suit our international context and is delivered through an inquirybased pedagogy that is progressive in nature as children move through the phase.

As we do in all sections of our Primary School, in Key Stage 1, we view children as having extraordinary potential for learning and the ability to form their own understandings of the world around them. Our focus is upon nurturing creative, resilient and independent learners who are excited and confident to experiment and explore through active learning. The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the DBIS Learner Profile provide the foundations to support our children in becoming lifelong learners and critical thinkers. Supporting the development of different learning dispositions, behaviours and habits continues to be an important part of our approach to teaching and learning within Key Stage 1 as the children transition into a different phase of their learning journey in which the curriculum moves from the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to specific subjects in Key Stage 1.

Our environments continue to be viewed as the third teacher in Key Stage 1. Continuous provision (the resources and materials that are continually available to the children) is carefully planned to ensure learning within all subject areas is constantly happening, skills can develop and the children can make connections between different subject areas.

The environments are enhanced with resources, activities and opportunities that link to the children’s interests and the current areas of focus within the curriculum to ensure that learning is placed in a meaningful context for our children. The children engage with a mixture of adult-directed, adult-initiated and child-initiated learning opportunities to ensure new concepts, ideas and critical knowledge are acquired and can be applied in a range of ways which meet the expectations for achievement and attainment in Key Stage 1. Our timetable is flexible to allow the children the time and space required to explore concepts and engage with both adults and their peers to develop understanding and demonstrate and practise newly acquired skills. Every aspect of the children’s day is seen as an opportunity for learning; therefore, incidental opportunities for learning, including tidy-up time and transitions, are capitalised upon to ensure there is always the potential for learning to take place.

We continue to identify the children’s strengths so that learning can be tailored to meet individual starting points and consider the knowledge, skills and understanding the children will need in order to successfully transition to Key Stage 2. Our children are supported to take risks, think critically and develop understandings through openended and guided inquiry, as well as through explicit teaching and activities. Our children continue to experience authentic learning opportunities such as woodwork and Forest School. This experience is underpinned by our child-centred, personalised learning approach, which supports the development of the whole child.

The role of teachers and educational assistants is crucial to ensure the children make the best possible progress. Adults are involved with the children’s learning throughout the day in a range of different ways, including explicitly teaching new ideas, questioning the children’s thinking, co-constructing new ideas and observing the children as they explore different concepts to identify the next steps in their personal learning journeys.

We place great importance on positive relationships and interactions amongst all members of our Primary School community as these support our holistic and inclusive approach. We derive much of our strength from the surrounding community; therefore, establishing and maintaining supportive relationships is key to our Primary School’s ethos. By working together, we can ensure that all children continue to value and enjoy their time at DBIS, that they are sufficiently challenged and supported in their learning and that they realise their potential in a happy, nurturing environment.

After reading this booklet, you will gain a sense of how our warm and caring environment as well as the provision of opportunities for stimulating, inquiry-based learning inspire our children to become curious, independent learners who demonstrate awe and wonder at the world around them.

Our DBIS Learning Principles

The learning experience at DBIS is:

• Enriched through Discovery;

• Achieved through Personalisation;

• Stronger through Community.

Our curriculum is underpinned by our five Learning Principles, which have been developed to ensure all our children have access to a learning experience in a through school which is driven by consistent values. Our commitment to these principles ensures our children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and achieve optimal learning and development.

The DBIS Learning Principles are:


At the heart of best practice and the development of the whole child lie strong and meaningful relationships. At DBIS we nurture positive environments where our students are safe and feel a sense of belonging and happiness.


The DBIS learning experience enables our students to make connections, transfer skills and develop a local and global perspective. Our students develop a strong sense of selfesteem and self-awareness, which enables them to lead sustainable and fulfilling lives.


Intentional learning at DBIS is the mindset of seeing every experience as an opportunity to learn. Learning opportunities are designed and facilitated to ensure that all students develop a love of learning and approach challenges positively with creativity and independence.


The DBIS learning experience raises aspirations and creates personal pride in achievement. A greater meaning to learning is given through the cultivation of students’ natural inquiring minds. They are encouraged to be curious and motivated to learn by exploring and expanding their experiences and broadening their interests.


Every DBIS learner is valued as an individual. We celebrate students’ strengths in order to identify realistic and challenging expectations that are uniquely tailored to each individual’s learning journey and meet their specific needs.

The DBIS Learner


The DBIS Learner Profile further supports the children to grow as learners and global citizens. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, our Learner Profile characters support the children in becoming familiar with each attribute and with how the attributes support their growth as a learner. Our children are positively recognised as they develop competence and capability in the different attributes.


I am curious and motivated to learn. I am committed, adaptable and resilient, and I learn from my mistakes.


I am empowered to lead others. I respectfully communicate with others and demonstrate flexibility. I value honesty, kindness and equality.


I can work independently. I can work collaboratively with others to achieve an end goal.


I enjoy finding out new things. I am a risk-taker and learn by trial and error. I set myself goals, and I plan to find solutions.


I am reflective and thoughtful and consider how my actions impact myself and others. I believe that more effort or a different approach will pay off.


I am aware of my responsibilities, and I courageously make good choices to help other people, my community and the environment.


I organise and share my ideas clearly and confidently, and I show active listening to others.


I am inquisitive and imaginative. I make connections to further my understanding, which helps me to create new ideas.


As the children move into Key Stage 1, we continue to support mathematical fluency throughout their engagement with the learning environment. As part of this, we ensure the children are given opportunities to apply their mathematical understanding in reallife contexts, which helps them develop a love of the subject. We continue to support the children in developing a firm understanding of numbers, building upon the knowledge and understanding acquired in EYFS. The children are encouraged to apply their mathematical understanding to problem-solving and to describe the reasoning behind the steps they take. The children begin to understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data, and this is applied in different contexts, including through their play.

In Key Stage 1, we ensure that the children are fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, are able to reason mathematically, can solve problems and are ready to build upon these skills and develop confidence in tackling concepts and strategies in the Primary phase.


In Key Stage 1, a great deal of attention is placed on enabling children to experience and observe phenomena, closely examining the natural and man-made world around them and building upon the experiences they have gained in EYFS. Our environments are carefully planned to promote curiosity, encourage children to ask questions and develop their understanding of scientific ideas through inquiry. We provide opportunities for first-hand practical experiences to support the children with developing their own investigations to find answers to their questions and to test hypotheses. Our Discovery units are planned to ensure the children develop skills and obtain a firm understanding of critical scientific knowledge related to living things and everyday materials. The children’s experiences in Key Stage 1 prepare them for broadening their scientific view of the world around them in Key Stage 2 (the final stage of DBIS Primary).

The Foundation Subjects

There are seven foundation subjects; these are:

• Art & Design

• Design & Technology

• Geography

• History

• Physical Education

• Music

• Learning Technologies


We support our children in continuing to develop an appreciation of art as one of the many languages of learning. Our ateliers support the children in developing new skills with which they can experiment, invent and create. Our children are encouraged to think critically about their designs and to develop an appreciation for how art and design shape and reflect our history and contribute to different cultures.


Our environments provide the children with the opportunity to see themselves as designers and to engage with the design process to create a product which can be evaluated and critically analysed. The children’s creativity and imagination is supported with opportunities to engage with problem-solving and to design products that solve these problems by drawing upon mathematical, scientific, engineering, artistic and computing disciplines. Our woodwork sessions allow the children to take risks and innovate in order to produce creative and enterprising designs.


In Key Stage 1, we build upon the children’s experiences in EYFS, inspiring curiosity and fascination in the world around them. Through carefully planned environments and Discovery units, the children begin to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes as well as the formation and use of landscapes and environments. The value we place on our surrounding environment supports the children to engage with their community and develop as responsible, global citizens.

By developing conceptual understandings, the children are encouraged to question, think critically, evaluate and develop perspective and judgement. Keeping our international context and community at the heart of our learning, the children are supported in understanding the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and the diversity of societies and relationships. We value the individual histories our young learners bring to our setting and provide regular opportunities for these to be celebrated through the children’s play and within the environment.


Physical Education (PE) at DBIS is taught by specialist teachers. Through exposure to a wide variety of sports and movement patterns, children in Key Stage 1 develop fundamental movement skills, becoming increasingly competent and confident through access to a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination. The children are able to engage in competitive (both against self and others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations. They are taught to master basic movements, including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and coordination. The children begin to apply these skills in a range of activities and participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending. They also participate in gymnastics, in which they perform sequences using simple movement patterns.

By the end of Year 2, the children will be expected to achieve the following outcomes in the different disciplines:


• Demonstrate flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance

• Perform simple moves, including balances, rolls, jumps and travelling actions

• Apply the basic movements to short routines with a clear start and finish


• Competently, confidently and proficiently swim a distance of at least 25m

• Use a range of strokes effectively, including freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke

• Perform a self-rescue in different water-based situations


• Perform basic movements, including running, jumping and throwing

• Perform these skills in competitive situations


• Begin to apply basic hand–eye and foot–eye coordination skills to sport-specific activities

• Remember and understand basic rules when playing games or participating in drills

• Participate in small/modified team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending


Music lessons in Key Stage 1 are taught by specialist teachers and continue to build on the children’s ability to sing and play in time with their peers. The children begin to understand basic rhythm notation and prepare small-group performances independently. In Year 1, the children explore Music through singing folk songs from a wide range of different cultures and explore instruments through storytelling. In Year 2, the children explore both tuned and untuned percussion instruments and learn to sing in rounds. By the end of Year 2, the children are expected to sing rounds confidently, compose three-note phrases on pitched percussion instruments, and play in time with the class.


The curriculum in Key Stage 1 aims to develop the students’ skills in utilising technology for learning and collaborating effectively. Throughout Year 1, they learn to navigate digital tools and platforms to access and organise information, gain an understanding of computational thinking fundamentals and create basic multimedia projects. In Year 2, the students further develop their digital literacy skills by exploring different software applications and programming tools. By the end of Year 2, they will be expected to confidently use digital tools to collaborate with peers, create and present their own multimedia projects, and demonstrate an understanding of basic programming concepts. Both year groups also gain hands-on experience using a Chromebook, preparing them for when they are assigned a one-to-one device in Year 3 to use across the whole curriculum. Learning Technologies lessons at DBIS are taught by specialist teachers.


In Key Stage 1, the children learn Mandarin either as a second or foreign language (non-native) or as a native speaker.

Native Speakers

By the end of Key Stage 1, the children will be able to retell stories that have been introduced in class. They will also be able to apply the language in classroom communications with increasing confidence as they move through Years 1 and 2. They will be able to create their own short stories verbally and will be able to read and write key sentences based on the learnt stories.

Non-native Speakers

By the end of Key Stage 1, the children will understand common classroom language and have a firm understanding of stories that have been introduced in class. They will be able to perform role plays with gesture aid prompts and express their feelings and requests in the classroom with increasing confidence as they move through Years 1 and 2. They will be able to write key Chinese characters and short sentences in the correct form.

Our Discovery Curriculum




Inquiry is a powerful vehicle for enabling children to learn and develop understanding. Children learn most effectively when they feel safe, are engaged and are having fun. Children’s learning becomes really meaningful when they are free to inquire and learn at their own pace and in their own way. It is for this reason that learning in Key Stage 1 is facilitated through an inquiry-based approach as well as through quality adult-led and adult-initiated experiences that truly challenge them.


Our Key Stage 1 curriculum is enhanced by our Discovery units. Through these units, our children learn the subject knowledge, skills and understanding they need to become aware of the world around them. Our units focus on ways of thinking, communicating, conceiving and realising ideas and information. Different concepts underpin the planning, and this supports the children in being able to make connections between subject areas and other aspects of learning.

Our Discovery units also enable our children to develop the personal skills they need in order to take an active part in their world throughout their lives. They help our children develop an international mindset alongside their awareness of their own self, encouraging them to become lifelong learners. Each Discovery unit is linked to one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Global Goals, which helps children to learn more about the impact they can have on our world as well as how they can protect the planet and how they can ensure that people enjoy health, justice and prosperity.


Year 1

Discovery Units

Term 1


Where do I Belong?

In this unit, the children develop their sense of self and belonging to their class and school community. They consider their place in their own family and the role they play in the class family. Each child explores where they belong in the world and the role they play in their community. They discuss the consequences of their actions and how their actions affect others.

SUBJECT DRIVERS PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Wellbeing), Spoken Language, History


KEY CONCEPTS Process, Learning, Growth Mindset, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Psychology, Potential, Technology, Systems


What causes animals to become endangered or extinct?

In this exciting unit, the children use their knowledge of historical pasts and the present to understand the significant changes, both positive and negative, that have occurred to our wonderful world. They begin to learn about the continents and oceans that make up Earth, and they explore habitats , extinction and changes within our natural world. Their learning is brought to life by a special visit to the Hong Kong Space Museum to deepen their understanding of the extinction of dinosaurs many years ago.

SUBJECT DRIVERS Science, Geography, History, Art


KEY CONCEPTS Resources, Environment, Consequences, Communities, Classification, Living Things, Survival, Adaptation, Environment, Conservation, Repetition, Shape, Pattern, Colour

Term 2

Year 1 Discovery Units

Term 2


How have structures in Hong Kong and across the world changed over time?

In this unit, the children learn how structures are designed and built to meet the needs of the community and environment. They use their local knowledge of Discovery Bay and Hong Kong to explore the amazing structures within our local community and compare these with the wider world. They explore which materials are used and begin to develop an understanding of the materials’ properties, acknowledging why particular materials are used for different structures. The unit concludes with an exciting bus tour around Hong Kong Island and Kowloon for the children to make links from their classroom learning to real life.


How do mapping and cartography help explorers travel the world?

In this unit, the children develop their spatial awareness of their local community and beyond. They explore our local environment and school grounds to create their very own maps from different views. They use print and marks to locate and describe features of our environment. They explore the lives of significant explorers past and present, recognising the impact these people have had on our world. They delve into questions such as “why might explorers have thought the world was flat?” and “is map reading an essential skill today?” to develop their understanding of cartography.


Science, Geography, History, Design



Production, Components, Experimentation, Light, Sound, Mood, Effect, Reflection, Audience

SUBJECT DRIVERS Geography, History



Location, Community, Weather, Habitats, Cause & Effect, Change, Beliefs, Values, Progress, Civilisation, Roles, Power

Year 1 Discovery Units

Term 3


How do you write or illustrate a book? How do you know the difference between a story and a poem? How do authors improve and change their work? What makes a good book?

In this unit, the children explore the lives of different authors and how storybooks have changed over time. They have a magical visit to Disneyland to learn about the theories behind the classic Disney stories and animations, observing how these came to life.


English, Speech & Language, Drama, Art, Science




Landforms, Change, Forces of Nature, Processes, Properties, Communities, Technological Innovation, Impact, Change, Materials, Shape, Pattern, Tone, Colour


What do our bodies need to survive? How does what we eat impact our bodies? What does exercise do to our bodies? What makes a healthy diet?

In this final Year 1 unit, the children discover body systems, the influence of diet and exercise, and our intriguing five main senses. They look at significant people who have done amazing things with their bodies, such as Usain Bolt, and how people from the past, such as Florence Nightingale, have improved how we look after our own bodies.


Science, Design & Technology




Values, Significance, Process, Functions, Systems, Nutrition, Diet, Health, Exercise, Choices, Balance, Lifestyle, Technology, Responsibility


Year 2

Discovery Units

Term 1


Why is it important for us to understand how our actions can affect others and how we fit into our class, school, family and community? In this unit, the children develop their sense of self and belonging to their class and school community. They consider their place in their own family and the role they play in the class family. They ask “what does family mean to you?” and share those close to them with their new peers and class family. They explore where they belong in the world and the role they play in their community. They discuss the consequences of their actions and how their actions affect others. They explore The Zones of Regulation and begin to express feelings and emotions linked to colours. They discuss morality and what they can learn through fables, and they take on roles and responsibilities within the classroom. They consider what it means to be a good learner and explore the concept of having a growth mindset.


How do plants grow and change, and what can we learn from observing them and their natural environment?

In this unit, the children study plants and their natural environment. They observe growth and change and look at art inspired by nature. They make observations about plants and living things around them and study life cycles of plants and animals. The children explore the question “how does the natural environment inspire art?”, both in the classroom and during their Forest School sessions, and are encouraged to explore plants and nature and to represent their observations and discoveries artistically.

Through scientific inquiry, the children learn what living things need to survive, and they explore different seeds and how living things grow. They learn how to use a microscope and sketch different parts of the plants microscopically. They plant bean plants and then keep a journal to make observations about the plants’ growth, using units of measurement and other observational skills, and discuss how environmental factors impact this. This unit is further embedded in the students’ learning with a visit to Kadoorie Farm to explore different plant and animal habitats and the local plants and wildlife there.


PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Wellbeing), Spoken Language



Process, Learning, Growth Mindset, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Psychology, Potential, Technology, Systems


Science, Art



Evidence, Information, Art, Living Things, Condition, Health, Habitat, Weather, Climate, Responsibility, Tone, Colour, Shade, Mood, Observation

Year 2

Discovery Units

Term 1


What makes someone an artist, and how can we explore different art forms to express our creativity?

In this unit, the children explore what it means to be an artist. They study a variety of different art forms, including performance, music, dance, painting and drawing. They look at the art of storytelling with their class text, I Believe In Unicorns, and visit a theatre to see a stage performance as part of the Hong Kong Kidsfest programme at the Performing Arts Centre in Wan Chai. The Year 2 Christmas Sing-Along gives the children the opportunity to put their newfound performance skills into action.

This unit gives the children the autonomy to explore different arts mediums, including photography, watercolours, sketching, still life, sculpture and modern art. They learn about traditional and contemporary artists and are encouraged to form their own views and opinions about the artwork they encounter.

Term 2


What are some important ‘firsts’ in our lives and in history? How can we use our creativity to invent and innovate like the great inventors of the past?

In Term 2, the children jump into a world of innovation and invention with the Discovery unit ‘Fantastic Firsts’. They delve into the concept of ‘firsts’ by exploring their personal experiences and achievements, creating timelines that showcase milestones in their lives and looking at the groundbreaking inventions of notable figures. From personal milestones to historical breakthroughs, the children unravel global events and inventions, bridging the gap between their own experiences and moments beyond living memory. Using inventions as a springboard, they engage in hands-on experiments with a focus on forces, fostering a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.

Experiences include exploring push and pull with ping pong football, springs and plasticine and bubble blowing! The children explore simple machines, resulting in the planning, design and creation of their own Rube Goldberg machine in


Art, Design



Design, Process, Tone, Colour, Shade, Mood, Make, Genius, Innovation, Expression, Individuality


Science, History



Chronology, Similarity & Difference, Engineering, Innovation, Design, Invention, Understanding, Conclusions, Improvements, Questions, Creativity, Design Process, Scientists, Inventors, Research, Problems, Development

Year 2 Discovery Units

Term 2

the outdoor classroom. This process includes creating plans and blueprints and studying different Rube Goldberg machines in preparation to create the finished product. Through these experiments, the children not only learn about scientific principles but also develop critical-thinking skills and a passion for exploring the unknown. A real highlight of the unit is an exciting trip to the Science Museum!

Term 3


What can we discover about the world beyond our local community? How does this knowledge help us understand our place on planet Earth?

Prepare for an extraordinary journey as we introduce ‘What Lies Beyond’, a captivating unit designed to ignite the children’s curiosity and fascination with the mysteries of the universe. Starting with a gaze at the mesmerising skies above, the children embark on a thrilling adventure through our awe-inspiring solar system. Through engaging scientific investigations, they delve into the intriguing concept of life on other planets, sparking imaginative discussions and critical thinking. Delving into the question of which planets could potentially sustain human life, the children engage in thought-provoking research and analysis, unravelling the wonders of our cosmic neighbourhood. Our immersive trip to the Space Museum elevates learning from theoretical to experiential, offering real-life exploration and hands-on experiences that will leave a lasting impact.

The children then embark on a captivating journey from the vast reaches of the galaxy to the intricate details of Planet Earth. They study the continents, oceans and diverse climate regions, fostering a global perspective and beginning to make observations about, and connections with, the world around them. From these wider observations, the children focus even closer on their own locality of Hong Kong and Discovery Bay. Using maps and research, they embark upon an exciting journey around their home town, planned entirely by the students themselves!


Geography, Science, History



Gravity, Planetary

Bodies, Solar System, Constellations, Technology, Navigation, Curiosity, Space Exploration, Survival, Environment, Adaptation, Sustainability, Community, Home, Locality, Climate

Curriculum Enhancement


At DBIS, the outdoor learning environment is as valued and important as the indoor learning environment. Young children often demonstrate their learning and understanding differently between the two contexts. We ensure that our children have access to high-quality outdoor environments in Years 1 and 2, linked to the curriculum foci, the children’s interests and the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the attributes of our Learner Profile. As with the indoor environments, the outdoor environments are carefully planned to ensure their purposeful use. In addition, the climate here in Hong Kong provides a wonderfully rich and dynamic environment for exploration, play and discussion.


Our experiential learning opportunities help our children to:

• Develop a positive sense of themselves and others;

• Develop the confidence to use their communication, language and literacy skills for a range of situations and purposes;

• Explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about mathematical ideas in a broad range of contexts;

• Work at making sense of their world, encountering and exploring creatures, people, plants, tools and materials in natural and real-life situations;

• Be active and interactive, developing sensory integration, movement, coordination, control and manipulation;

• Nurture their creative curiosity, exploration and play, using a full range of experiences to explore and share creative thoughts, ideas and feelings.


DBIS was the first school in Hong Kong to adopt the principles of the Forest School programme. The children visit the forest every week, giving them a unique opportunity to investigate the natural world, to collaborate, to construct and to begin to develop an awareness of sustainability and of our ecologically diverse world. Forest School enhances authentic learning opportunities for our children and is an important part of our Key Stage 1 curriculum.


The children visit the Key Stage 1 woodwork area once a week. Having been trained how to use the tools and equipment safely, our children are able to explore the woodwork area. They are encouraged to engage in the design process and to implement their ideas using wood alongside a range of loose parts and other recyclable materials. All staff are responsible for differentiating the curriculum for children identified on our challenge register and will monitor their progress. Our teachers review and monitor the progress made by the children and the efficacy of resources and other curriculum material.

Our Curriculum Adventures

Our school is located in a unique and environmentally diverse part of Hong Kong, and we therefore make the most of the exciting context in which our children are educated. Throughout Key Stage 1, the children engage with trips within our local community, including to the beaches and hills of Discovery Bay. These experiences give the children a unique opportunity to investigate the natural world, collaborate, construct, build and further develop their awareness of sustainability and our ecologically diverse environment.

In addition, the children participate in excursions that take them outside of Discovery Bay to explore other areas of Hong Kong. These trips are linked to the curriculum and provide the children with opportunities to learn from experts in their field, explore new areas and engage directly with aspects of the curriculum they have been learning about. For example, previous excursions have included visits to Disneyland when learning about structures and mechanics.

We also arrange for guest speakers to visit the children in school, and we welcome parent visitors to help the children learn about different traditions, celebrations and occupations. Furthermore, we invite parents to join the children as mystery readers to share stories throughout the year, which is a wonderful way of helping the children engage with our rich and diverse community.

Assessment for Learning

The observation, assessment and planning cycle is an integral part of our practice in Key Stage 1 and underpins the decisions practitioners make with regard to the environment for learning, direct teaching opportunities, and interventions. In addition to observing the children as they learn, our teachers provide feedback to the children about their learning through written comments, conversations, and by analysing the independent work the children engage with. The children also provide each other with feedback on their learning and the learning process. All formative and summative assessment opportunities inform future planning so that the children’s strengths are continually being celebrated and next steps are being identified.

At the heart of our assessment lies a deep understanding of your child as a learner. We really get to know our children as unique people with special skills, interests and ideas. Our observations help to inform our knowledge of each child within the setting; the more we understand about your child, the better we can support them.

At the end of Year 2, the children complete a set of standardised assessments to assess their attainment in English and Mathematics. These assessments inform the judgments our teachers make of the children’s attainment at the end of Year 2 and inform baseline judgments of the children in English and Mathematics as they move into Year 3.

We always place great importance and value on our teachers’ assessments of the children; they are the people who know your children’s capabilities the best, and summative assessments are used to inform their judgements.

End-of-Year 1 Expectations

At DBIS, we aim to ensure that our children meet certain standards of attainment by the end of Year 1; these are detailed below for each core area of the curriculum. Having said this, we also know that children learn and develop at different rates; therefore, if some children have not met end-of-year expectations in certain areas of the curriculum, support, interventions and next steps will reflect each individual child’s stage of development when they transition to Year 2.

The end-of-year expectations for Year 1 are outlined below.


By the end of Year 1, we work towards the children showing confidence in the following aspects of the spoken language:

• Listening and responding to adults and other children by engaging in turn-taking within a conversation

• Asking relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge

• Having developed vocabulary which can be rehearsed and applied through play and everyday interactions


By the end of Year 1, we work towards the children beginning to show confidence in the following aspects of reading:

• Reading accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the common graphemes for all 40+ phonemes

• Reading accurately some words of two or more syllables that contain the same grapheme phoneme correspondences

• Reading many common exception words (we refer to these as ‘Tricky Words’)

• Reading aloud a range of familiar words quickly and accurately without overt sounding and blending (we refer to this as ‘Fred Talk’)

• Sounding out many unfamiliar words accurately (we refer to this as using ‘Fred Sounds’)

• In a familiar book that is read to them, answering questions in discussion with the teacher and making simple inferences

• Re-reading books to build fluency and confidence

• Beginning to retell familiar stories

• Using repeated phrases from familiar stories in their imaginative play


By the end of Year 1, we work towards the children beginning to show confidence in the following aspects of writing, either with the support of an adult or independently:

• Understanding that writing is a form of communication and beginning to apply this purposefully within their play

• Writing sentences that are sequenced to form a short narrative (real or fictional)

• Demarcating some sentences with capital letters and full stops

• Applying knowledge of the sounds learnt in phonics lessons to spell some words correctly and making phonetically plausible attempts at others

• Spelling common exception words relevant to children in EY1 (we refer to these as ‘Red Words’)

• Forming lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place

• Forming lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another in some of their writing

• Using spacing between words


By the end of Year 1, the children should have a fluent understanding of whole numbers and counting as well as a developing knowledge of addition and subtraction using concrete objects and pictorial representations. They should be starting to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity and volume, and they should recognise simple fractions. The children will be beginning to tell the time and should read and spell mathematical vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing wordreading and spelling knowledge. The teachers will observe the children applying their understanding through play and exploration. In addition, the children will be beginning to show confidence in the following:

• Reading and writing numbers in numerals up to 100

• Partitioning a two-digit number into tens and ones to demonstrate an understanding of place value, with the support of resources

• Recalling at least four of the six two-number bonds for 10 and reasoning about associated facts (e.g. 6 + 4 = 10; therefore, 4 + 6 = 10 and 10 – 6 = 4)

• Counting in twos, fives and tens from 0

• Knowing the value of different Hong Kong coins

• Naming some common 2D and 3D shapes and describing some of their properties


By the end of Year 1, the children should be beginning to develop confidence in the following areas, which will be consolidated in Year 2:

• Asking questions about what they notice

• Using different types of scientific inquiry to gather and record data, using simple equipment

• Making simple observations

• Communicating their ideas and making simple hypotheses

Critical Scientific Content

By the end of Year 1, the children should be beginning to develop confidence in the following areas:

• Naming and locating parts of the human body, including those related to the senses

• Describing and comparing the observable features of animals from a range of groups

• Grouping animals according to what they eat

• Describing seasonal changes

• Distinguishing objects from materials, describing their properties and identifying and grouping everyday materials

End-of-Year 2 Expectations

By the end of Year 2, we aim to ensure the children have developed the skills and dispositions to be able to embark upon their next chapter of the Primary phase (Key Stage 2). Throughout their time in Key Stage 1, the children will have had the opportunity to develop the ability to make decisions, cope with setbacks, think critically, problemsolve and sustain concentration. Furthermore, we aim for the children to have developed a positive sense of themselves as a young person and as a learner. This will provide firm foundations from which to embark upon the demands of the Key Stage 2 curriculum in our Primary phase.

We aim for our children to have reached certain levels of attainment, and we ensure that support and intervention are planned for those who are still working towards the endof-year expectations for Year 2. Transition into Key Stage 2 is therefore a key feature of the children’s learning experience in Year 2.


By the end of Year 2, we work towards the children showing confidence in the following aspects of the spoken language:

• Being able to participate in discussions about what they are reading, taking turns, listening, and considering what others have to say

• Being able to provide well-structured explanations and narratives and express feelings

• Contributing confidently to whole-class discussions

• Explaining and discussing their understanding, giving opinions and supporting reasons

• Having developed further vocabulary which can be rehearsed and applied through play and everyday interactions


By the end of Year 2, we work towards the children showing confidence in the following aspects of reading:

• Accurately reading most words of two or more syllables

• Reading most words containing common suffixes

• Reading most common exception words (we refer to these as ‘Tricky Words’)

In age-appropriate books, we aim for the children to:

• Read most words accurately without overt sounding and blending and with sufficient fluency to allow them to focus on their understanding rather than on decoding individual words

• Sound out most unfamiliar words accurately, without undue hesitation (we refer to this as using ‘Fred Sounds’)

In a book that they can already read fluently, we aim for the children to:

• Check it makes sense to them, correcting any inaccurate reading

• Answer questions and make some inferences

• Explain what has happened so far in what they have read


By the end of Year 2, we work towards the children showing confidence in the following aspects of writing, either with the support of an adult or independently:

• Understanding that writing is a form of communication and applying this purposefully and in a range of contexts within their play

• Writing simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real or fictional)

• Writing about real events, recording these simply and clearly

• Demarcating most sentences in their writing with capital letters and full stops and using question marks correctly when required

• Using present and past tense mostly correctly and consistently

• Using coordinations (e.g. or/and/but) and some subordinations (e.g. when/if/that/ because) to join clauses

• Applying their knowledge of the sounds learnt in phonics lessons to spell many words correctly and making phonetically plausible attempts at others

• Spelling many common exception words (we refer to these as ‘Tricky Words’)

• Forming capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters

• Using spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters


By the end of Year 2, the children should have secured a firm understanding of place value and will have begun to apply this knowledge to solve mathematical problems. The children should be able to reason mathematically and will have an appreciation of the value and importance of Mathematics in everyday life. The teachers will observe the children applying their understanding through play and exploration. The children should also show confidence in the following:

• Reading scales (e.g. number lines) in divisions of ones, twos, fives and tens

• Partitioning any two-digit number into different combinations of tens and ones and explaining their thinking verbally, in pictures or using physical resources

• Adding and subtracting any two two-digit numbers using an efficient strategy and explaining their method verbally, in pictures or using physical resources (e.g. 48 + 35, 72 – 17 etc.)

• Recalling all number bonds to 10 and using these to reason with and calculate bonds to 20, recognising other associated additive relationships

• Recalling multiplication and division facts for 2, 5 and 10 and using them to solve simple problems, demonstrating an understanding of commutativity as necessary

• Identifying 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 , 2/4, 3/4 of a number or shape and knowing that all parts must combine to make the whole

• Using different Hong Kong coins to make the same amount

• Reading the time on a clock to the nearest 15 minutes

• Naming and describing properties of 2D and 3D shapes, including the number of sides, vertices, edges, faces and lines of symmetry


By the end of Year 2, the children should have consolidated confidence in the following areas in preparation for the Key Stage 2 curriculum:

• Asking their own questions about what they notice

• Using different types of scientific inquiry to gather and record data and using simple equipment, where appropriate, to answer questions

• Observing changes over time

• Noticing patterns

• Grouping and classifying things

• Carrying out simple comparative tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information

• Communicating their ideas, what they do and what they find out in a variety of ways

Critical Scientific Content

By the end of Year 2, the children should have confidence in the following areas:

• Naming and locating parts of the human body, including those related to the senses, and describing the importance of exercise, a balanced diet and hygiene for humans

• Describing the basic needs of animals for survival and the main changes as young animals, including humans, grow into adults

• Describing the basic needs of plants for survival, the impact of changing these, and the main changes as seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants

• Identifying whether things are alive, dead or have never lived

• Grouping animals according to what they eat, describing how animals get their food from other animals and/or from plants and using simple food chains to describe these relationships

• Naming different plants and animals and describing how they are suited to different habitats

• Distinguishing objects from materials, describing their properties, identifying and grouping everyday materials and comparing their suitability for different uses

Sharing Your Child’s Learning

We believe that parents are our children’s first teachers. We will therefore continually engage with you regarding your child’s learning journey. In addition, there will be different points in the year at which we will formally meet with you or report on your child’s learning and development.


Three Parent–Teacher Conferences (PTCs) take place during the year: August, October and March

Parents are always welcome to make appointments outside of these formal PTCs at mutually convenient times throughout the year to discuss any aspect of their child’s learning and development.


One short report including data that details your child’s attainment in each subject area will be communicated at the end of Term 1.

One long report detailing your child’s attainment and progress in all areas of the curriculum will be issued at the end of Term 3.

Should your child leave DBIS part way through the year, you can request an interim report which shares your child’s learning and development.


Throughout your child’s time in our Primary School, we will record their learning in an electronic learning journey (Seesaw) to celebrate their experiences. Over time, it will tell a story about your child and their learning. Whilst your child was in EYFS, you will have been used to seeing lots of photographs and written observations of them. In Key Stage 1, the children are expected to independently document different aspects of their learning. In EYFS, much of the assessment is informed by observations of the children. In Key Stage 1, a wider variety of assessment techniques will be used by teachers; therefore, parents should expect to see less photographs uploaded by our teachers of the children engaged with their learning and more of specific pieces of work, uploaded by the children, which demonstrate their understanding of a particular task or experience.

The DBIS Key Stage 1 Experience

We hope that by reading this curriculum booklet, you have gained a firm understanding of what we intend to achieve for your child in terms of their growth and development throughout their learning journey in Primary Key Stage 1. Our inquiry-based approach, which is grounded in research about child development between the ages of five and seven, is crucial for the development of confident, capable learners, and it provides our children with the opportunity to secure the very best outcomes of achievement and attainment.

We recognise and celebrate the individuality of all our learners at DBIS and look forward to continuing to support your child on their exciting journey through our Primary School.

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