Primary 1 Curriculum

Primary 1 Curriculum



Reading In Primary 1 pupils begin learning to read within a planned progression. We adopt a three-pronged approach to learning to read, emphasising the importance firstly of sound recognition, then moving on to pictorial clues and word recognition. We use the Jolly Phonic Scheme intensively from the beginning of Primary 1.

As reading skills develop, pupils are encouraged to read clearly, fluently and with expression. Comprehension of the text is discussed from the earliest stages.

Pupils have their own reading record and usually work in reading groups of approximately six to allow for group discussion.

Writing From the first days in Primary 1, pupils are encouraged to write freely. They are taught the correct formation of all letters and a programme of spelling of common words is introduced. As the year progresses they look at simple sentence structure and some pupils begin to use conjunctions. All pupils are encouraged to extend their writing, allowing for a sequence of two or three linked details to emerge.

Much of our writing is child centred and based on our topics, the pupils' personal experiences, favourite book characters and school trips.

Listening and Talking Pupils build on their early experiences by listening carefully to information and instructions, and acting upon them. They are introduced to a wide range of poems and texts and encouraged to respond to them in a variety of ways. Pupils are given opportunities to convey a short item of information, or an instruction or direction. They also talk about their own experiences and feelings, both in small groups and in the larger class setting.

Listening and Talking is a main focus across the curriculum and specific time is set aside to concentrate on further developing these important skills.

Assessment in English language is ongoing throughout the year and is based on teacher observation of activities and discussion with the pupils.

Modern Languages

With a Modern Languages specialist, girls are introduced to short sessions of different languages tied in with their topic work. The girls learn simple vocabulary and greetings and learn an awareness of different types of languages, building their confidence in and enthusiasm for language learning.  


Number, Money and Measurement Through active learning, pupils become familiar with numbers to 20, learn to add and subtract within 10, and use coins to buy things. They find the largest and smallest items in a group and learn vocabulary related to all aspects of measuring and ordering. They learn to tell the time to the nearest hour and learn the days of the week and the seasons.

Information Handling Pupils collect information, display their findings using coloured pictures on a simple bar chart and discuss what they have found out.

Shape, Position and Movement Pupils learn the names of simple 2D and 3D shapes and sort and classify them by simple properties. They learn how to continue a pattern with shapes and learn simple vocabulary to describe the position of objects.

Problem Solving and Enquiry Pupils work together to solve simple problems by acting out the situation or using games.

Social Studies

In Primary 1 the Social Studies programme aims to develop knowledge, understanding and enquiry skills through the following topics:

  • Myself as a baby
  • My family - People who help us


In Primary 1, scientific ideas are developed through play, investigations, first-hand experiences and discussion. Highlights of the P1 session include a trip to Edinburgh Zoo and a visit to Butterfly World.
Topics covered are:

  • The senses
  • Weather and the Seasons
  • Life Cycles
  • Owls

Health and Wellbeing


In Primary 1, pupils explore the three aspects of Health Education: Physical Health, Social Health and Emotional Health through discrete topics or as links to another curricular area
The topics include:

  • Safety Education
  • Healthy Eating
  • People Who Help Us
  • Keeping Myself Safe

Physical Education

Basic movement competence is developed through travelling, object-control and balance movements. Technical, adaptable and creative tasks are undertaken to give children opportunities to practice, consolidate, extend and apply basic movement.

  • In Dance pupils learn to respond to music as a stimulus for dance, learn the basic steps of skipping and slipping and use their imagination to create movement phrases. They develop the use of percussion as a stimulus for creating a short dance and work in small groups to create a dance.
  • In Games pupils develop the skills of throwing, catching, rolling and kicking, they develop the ability to use a small bat with a bean bag or ball and they learn to co-operate and share space safely.
  • In Gymnastics pupils learn to jump and land safely, they develop rolling skills and are introduced to formal gymnastics skills.

Expressive Arts

Art and Design

Throughout the Junior School a programme of skills is taught and practised, and a range of art activities offers pupils the opportunity to experience different materials and media. The art activities in Primary 1 support much of the cross-curricular work undertaken during the year.


At all levels pupils improvise and experiment with movement, speech, space, physical objects and sound, showing imagination and inventiveness appropriate to age and stage of development. As they progress through the levels pupils develop their understanding and control of the media and processes of drama.

In Primary 1 pupils develop ideas, explore situations through play activities and begin to use facial expressions, gestures and movement to convey simple contrasts of mood.


At St George's we aim to give every pupil the opportunity to take part in music-making, to invent music and to listen and respond to music. Over the course of their time in Junior School, pupils will learn to understand the building bricks of music i.e. structure, texture, duration, tempo, pitch, dynamics and timbre.

In Primary 1 pupils learn simple songs, rounds and singing games. Through playing unpitched and pitched percussion instruments, they learn to keep a pulse, explore repeating rhythms and have experience of performing to others.

Religious and Moral Education

The programme in Primary 1 covers the following areas - Harvest, Christmas, Noah's Ark, Stories Jesus Told, Easter, Moral Values, Judaism - the Wonderful World, Caring, Friends, Happy and Sad and Our Environment.
The majority of teaching in this area is delivered through stories and discussions.


Craft and Design

Pupils design shopping bags and make junk models with 3D shapes


Pupils work cooperatively to raise funds for materials, which are used to design products to sell at the Festive Fundraiser.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Pupils are timetabled for weekly sessions in the Junior School Information Centre and also have access to a computer and a Smart board in their own classroom.

In Primary 1 the pupils develop their ICT Capability by learning to use a painting program to create a variety of pictures and patterns. They also manipulate words in a word processor, learn to change the text size, font and colour and to use clip art. They learn to log on and off using their own username and begin to practise saving files.

Support for Learning

The Additional Support Needs department has a broad role, which allows it to support students with specific learning needs and general academic difficulties. This allows the department to be committed to encouraging and promoting the creation of successful learners, responsible citizens, confident individuals and effective contributors.

In order to maximise the individual’s potential it is considered important to develop support strategies that complement their learning requirements.

At this stage, students are carefully monitored for progress by staff. The aim is to help students meet their long-term targets in the Primary curriculum. Ongoing liaison between class teachers, Learning Support staff and parents is an essential part of this process.

In Primary 1, pupils may participate in our Early Intervention programme, which aims to ensure all the students have a good foundation for literacy. By intervening early it is hoped that the foundation will be achieved through consolidating class work. The length of time students participate will vary depending on their individuals needs.

International Education

Primary 1 have links with Seymour College, Adelaide, Australia.


Homework is very much a part of our school programme and it helps to foster a link with parents in their support of the girls' learning throughout the Junior School Years. As the pupils progress, they are acquiring individual study skills beyond the classroom which in turn contribute to the development of independent learning as they mature. We always appreciate interest and support in this essential aspect of the learning process. The time required for individual tasks may vary. However, please let your daughter's teacher know if she is regularly taking longer than the guide times. Homework is generally given on 4 evenings each week (Monday - Thursday).

In Primary 1 x 20 mins

  • Every night: phonics/ reading reinforcement of work done in class.
  • Twice weekly: Written work usually English Language, Mathematics or Social Studies