The Junior Years


In L1, the curriculum will include a wide variety of topics.


All four elements of language: reading, writing, listening and talking are taught from L1. From the start of session, children are introduced to letters and sounds, using synthetic phonics. A progressive writing programme enhances opportunities to develop creative and personal writing through discussion and basic sentence structure. We use Oxford Reading Tree, a structured and progressive reading scheme. Very quickly, pupils are reading and enjoying the stories and learning about the characters. Reading for pleasure is a major focus of L1. Stories, poems and rhymes are enjoyed daily and all pupils visit the school’s well-stocked library each week where our school librarian guides the children as they take out books of their own choice for reading at home.


The L1 Mathematics course involves recognition and formation of numbers, addition and subtraction. Practical activities, mental arithmetic and regular written number work reinforce this learning. The children also learn about 2D and 3D shape, both analogue and digital time, measurement, money and simple graphs.

Environmental Studies

During the course of L1, children are introduced to Science, History and Geography through a variety of topics including '’Myself’', '’Weather'’, '’Clothes and Materials’, '’Animals'’ and '’People who Help Us’. They also begin to learn about our needs and our surroundings. There are many practical activities, such as science experiments and keeping weather charts, as well as class discussions, teamwork and gaining information from books and visitors to the classroom.

Personal and Social Development

The High School of Dundee recognises the importance of our pupils’ health and wellbeing. We develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Exploring emotions and wellbeing using a variety of media, the children are given the opportunity to learn techniques to manage and control their feelings. They also consider how to keep safe at home and online and learn the importance of telling a trusted adult when something happens that makes them feel anxious.


L1 pupils have an introduction to Christianity, exploring the idea of a Christian God and learning about the important figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They learn about the festivals of Harvest, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and hear a range of Old and New Testament stories. The pupils are encouraged to respect faiths other than their own.


Physical Education in L1 is delivered by a specialist teacher and covers a variety of activities selected from dance, gymnastics, games skills and team games. Pupils are provided with opportunities to achieve success and enjoyment, in addition to developing their physical and social skills.


Music in L1 is delivered by a specialist teacher and begins with lots of singing, rhyming and clapping games, designed to develop rhythm and pitch skills. All pupils learn how to listen to and move to a beat. This then leads on to simple percussion work. Pupils also enjoy demonstrations on the instruments of the orchestra.

Art and Drama

Children explore a variety of media in drawing, painting and modelling. They are given many opportunities to express their ideas and feelings visually and create drawings from their own imagination. In Drama, L1 pupils respond to exciting stories through mime, movement and music. They are encouraged to participate individually, in groups and as part of the class. Each year the children participate in an Early Years’ Nativity production.


Information Communication Technology  (ICT) is delivered by our specialist teacher. The children learn to use the mouse and begin exploring the keyboard. Pupils develop graphic skills, add text, use simple databases and follow directional instructions using an electronic device. These activities promote confidence and develop their skills in using ICT. iPads are used in the classroom to deliver lessons across the curriculum.

Active Learning

We recognise that, in the Early Years, Active Learning leads to a deeper understanding for our pupils of the world around them. Active Learning challenges children’s thinking using real life and imaginary situations. Teachers provide opportunities for children to learn by doing, thinking and exploring.


Homework tasks are directed by the teacher and act as reinforcement of work completed in class. Parents engage with their child’s learning by completing homework tasks with them. Homework in L1 consists of reading, working on sounds and number bonds and should take around 20 minutes per night.