Welcome to P1
Our year is characterised by some fabulous topics which create a framework for our learning and incorporate all areas of the Northern Irish Curriculum.
At the start of the school year we focus on ourselves, our families, our bodies and healthy eating. We play board games such as Happy Families and Twister and create lots of Art connected to our family, friends and interests. The boys learn about school rules, routines and expectations and quickly become integrated into our wider school family; relating to staff and pupils and enjoying work and play times, both inside and out.
One of the highlights of the school week is Forest School. We build shelters outside, count out ingredients to make mud kitchen recipes, find out about our local environment, enjoy making natural collages and so much more. We are very lucky to have the beautiful Inchmarlo school grounds to learn about local nature.
Christmas is always fun too. Our role play corner often changes to Santa’s workshop and we set up a mini business where the boys dress up as Santa’s elves, answer the phone to take orders (which they are now able to write down) and pass on to their design team. Toys are built using construction materials, wrapped and sent off in sacks for delivery to the large fireplace. Boys also practise for our presentation of Festive Songs when Pre Foundation to P4 perform on stage for the rest of the school, staff and parents.
Other topics which we enjoy during the school year include The Gruffalo and Friends, Polar Lands, Off to the Farm, Under the Sea and Round and Round the Garden where different parts of our world are investigated. They learn about many types of fish, polar animals and garden creatures. We have set up a wormery for several years and they have watched the live worms recycling some natural materials, turning them into soil. We have also really enjoyed watching live baby caterpillars change into the chrysalis stage and finally emerge as amazing butterflies which we set free in the garden. Boys regularly use computers to research these topics and to draw creatures which they have been learning about. This helps their mouse skills and develops their understanding of technology for years to come.
Of course, during all these fabulous activities, Inchmarlo boys learn the basics of reading. Phonic sounds and blends are introduced daily using our wonderful, interactive Jolly Phonics software. They start building words using these sounds from very early on and learn how to write each of them correctly. Alongside lots of story sessions, visits to the library and our online literacy programmes, they are introduced to our Reading Family; Mum, Dad, Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy the dog and they really enjoy reading about their many silly adventures.
They also investigate the numbers up to 20, learn to write the numerals correctly and how they are each made up of components; recording these using plus, equals and take away symbols. Numicon materials are a really excellent resource for this sort of work and alongside our literacy programme, numeracy is an ongoing aspect of all our playtimes. Boys also extend their knowledge of shapes, time, measurement and data handling through a variety of really exciting games and activities.
P1 in Inchmarlo is a really fun place and the boys and staff really enjoy coming to school.
We all feel very privileged to be part of such a great team and after all, learning really is child’s play!
Welcome to P2
We enjoy a vast array of activities. The amount of reading and recording we do is increasing and we are continually learning through practical activities and carefully planned play. In P2 we follow the whole school reading scheme using books from Oxford Reading Tree and Storyworlds.
Our exciting topics include Food, Dinosaurs, Recycling, Pirates and Life Cycles.
We have a huge, bright classroom and every week we visit the computer suite, library, gym and music room. We have exciting class trips to the Grand Opera House and a very special Pirate themed day at Belfast Activity centre. We love outdoor play on our new Astro pitch and we have Forest School sessions in our wonderful grounds. P.E. is fun and in the summer months we look forward to cricket coaching with experts from RBAI.
P.2 is great!
Welcome to P3
In Numeracy the boys develop their numerical skills and learn new concepts such as times tables, place value and formal addition and subtraction problems. Numeracy in P3 aims to equip the boys with an improved mental knowledge of number and number facts, as well as beginning to use different written methods to support their thinking. We spend a lot of time working on.
We use the online scheme Mathletics to support learning, and for homework, and have started using Numicon in practical maths sessions.
In Literacy the boys follow the whole school Big Write initiative and Inchmarlo spelling scheme. We visit the library on a weekly basis where the boys can choose from a wide range of authors and genres of books. P3 follow the Oxford Reading Scheme and the Storyworlds reading scheme. Through the carefully selected topics the boys are given the opportunity and stimulus to write for a wide range of purposes. We use Literacy Planet to consolidate spellings and carryout literacy based activities.
A lot of the work in P3 is through topic-based learning.
At the Seaside.
The boys explore cross curricular themes based around the Seaside. Then we journey under the sea! We discover lots of factual information about sea creatures, from blue whales to zooplankton and use it in report writing. During this topic, we create beautiful artwork in the classroom and outside in Forest School
In this topic we explore ways to travel by land, sea, air and rail. We find out about transport from the past and how it has changed over time. We love carrying out experiments, making predictions and testing out our ideas. We finish our topic with a visit to the Transport Museum.
The Ancient Egyptians
Here we delve into the history of the gruesome practises of the ancient Egyptians through lots of fun activity based learning and literacy activities.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The title says it all! The boys immerse themselves in the wonderful world of Roald Dahl. Despite the contents of the book there is very little chocolate eating but plenty of art, writing, scientific enquiry, designing and being creative and maybe even a visit to a real chocolate factory at the end!
Northern Ireland’s Nature
Another very popular topic in P3 is where the boys have the opportunity to find out all about local nature. We find out about animals and their natural habitats. We learn about nocturnal animals and animals that camouflage and migrate. In Activity Based Learning, we make model animals and build a habitat for them using natural materials. We take a lot of our learning outside to Forest School in our beautiful school grounds.
At the end of the year P3 explore what life was like during the time of William the Conqueror and visit the beautiful Carrickfergus Castle.
Our weekly Forest School sessions are the highlight of our week! The P3 boys explore the beautiful Inchmarlo grounds and have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities linked to our work in the classroom or to the seasonal changes that we see happening around us. Forest School nurtures the boys’ self-esteem, confidence and well-being. Through cooperative work and play the boys develop their communication, cooperation and resilience skills.
The boys have weekly P.E. and outside games sessions and 2 music lessons a week with our music specialist teacher Mrs McMichael.
Welcome to P4
P4 have a very busy schedule both inside and outside the classroom. The main focus of learning continues to be in Literacy,Numeracy and the World Around Us and this is supported through ICT, Music, PE and games and Art.
Skills include talking and listening, Big Writing, extended comprehension including prediction and close procedure and grammar. Boys read from a wide range of materials including Oxford Reading Tree and Accelerated Reader books from which boys can accumulate points through quizzes, to enable them to take a night off homework.
Spellings are learnt daily and weekly and at skills based.
Literacy Planet is used to reinforce many literacy skills.
Much consolidation takes place at the beginning of P4 in this area, for example with place value and times tables, addition and subtraction- the basic number concepts.
Boys have experience of working up to and beyond 1000, and practical materials such as Diennes or Numicon are used to question how a problem might be solved.Boys are expected to increase their mathematical language and explain all their workings out. Problem solving is taken to the next level with more abstract questioning used to extend knowledge.
Math Leticia is used to reinforce many mathematical concepts.
The World Around Us is topic based and focuses on a wide range of skills including literacy, numeracy, art, history, geography, science and music. Some P4 topics may include
– Belfast including the Titanic
Our topic work is very much guided by the boys and their questioning.
Roots of Empathy Programme
P4 participates in this programme which teaches the boys about feelings, their own feelings and the feelings of others. It is taken weekly by a trained instructor and once every three weeks we have a visit from our chosen baby. We follow the baby’s development throughout the year and chart his or her milestones. The programme is a great lever for much discussion on emotion and mindfulness.
Following on from P3, boys have the opportunity in the second term to experience learning outside and all the benefits that this brings. It is especially popular during our World War Two topic and we have even built our own Anderson Shelter!
Sports and Games
P4 have one Games session per week which can include football, rugby, cross-country running, hockey, athletics or rounders/ cricket.
Boys also have the opportunity to have swimming lessons once a week for one term.
One PE session per week is in the timetable. Here the boys have experience of ball skills, gymnastics or even dance.
Homework is an extension of class work and is used to revisit or consolidate concepts or ideas, or to focus on a particular area of learning. This may include literacy, numeracy, research tasks or discussion activities as well as spellings and mental maths.
Reading is encouraged daily as part of a homework routine. Different genres of literature are encouraged through Book Bingo and our Accelerated Reader scheme.
Following from the World Around us, the boys may have the opportunity to go on a number of class outings for example, a Belfast bus tour around the city, and an Evacuee day to Castle Ward. These are always very popular and the boys gain much from the learning outside the classroom.
Aside from the academic expectations in P4 boys are encouraged to display independence, responsibility and a growth mindset to be able to face a challenge with confidence and competence, always striving to improve.
Welcome to P5
A big emphasis is placed on reading, promoting individual progress through the Accelerated Reader Programme, During the year, this is combined with Reading Bingo, to ensure the boys are accessing a wider range of genre and author.
The Inchmarlo Spelling Scheme is differentiated across three levels, with a weekly KS2 Spelling Class.
Big Writing is used to develop the boys writing skills and English Grammar is constantly reinforced.
In Mathematics, consistency is promoted, as the class develop and extend key mathematical concepts. Opportunities are used to make mathematics more relevant to the boys, including tasks based on Premier League Football, McDonalds and booking flights online.
Mental Maths and Problem Solving skills are developed, including trial and improvement, working systematically and pattern spotting.
Mathletics and Literacy Planet are both used to add variety and provide additional challenges to the boys in Literacy and Numeracy.
World Around Us topics in P5 have included the history of the HMS Caroline, with a class visit to the Belfast based ship. Exploring Mount Everest, including its science and geography and the successful summit of former RBAI pupil, Dawson Stellfox. A cross curricular look at The Roman Empire and the influence of the Romans on the world today. The life of Elvis Presley, including his early childhood and schooldays. The rise and decline of Irish Linen, tracing it’s importance within Ulster society.
A broad and varied sporting programme is followed throughout the year, including football, hockey, cricket, athletics and swimming.
The boys have the opportunity to join the Senior Choir, the orchestra and the brass band. The class is fully involved in the Carol Service and the annual School Production.
Welcome to P6
The main highlight of P6 is the residential trip to Share Centre. This usually takes place in May and includes a 3-night stay. The boys get the opportunity to try a wide range of activities including kayaking, banana boating, sailing, climbing, archery and a recent favourite gorge walking. We always have a trip to the Marble Arch Caves, where the boys learn about the amazing structures and caving system. The shop is often the most popular part of the day. The trip proves very successful in developing the boys’ independence and resilience, as well as creating lasting memories and friendships.
There are many activities for the boys to try during their P6 year. On the sporting front we have weekly PE sessions and their Games on a Thursday afternoon include football, rugby, hockey, cross country, cricket, rounders and athletics. The boys have 2 music lessons a week with Mrs McMichael, with their musical appreciation being linked to their class topics when appropriate. The boys further develop their ICT skills during weekly visits to the computer suite. We have even developed working relationships with other local schools as part of Shared Education. We worked with VCB P6 on our Viking topic, and have enjoyed friendly matches with CCJS.
Welcome to P7
Language and Literacy
In Terms 2 and 3 all our literacy is taught through class novels – Kensukes Kingdom, Holes and Street Child. It is cross curricular and will include elements of Creative Writing, Poetry, Art, History, Music and Geography.
Talking and Listening
We participate in class and group discussions for a variety of curricular purposes. We prepare presentations using ICT and deliver these in a variety of formats such as speeches, debates and formal presentations.
We read a wide range of genres for enjoyment and for information. We explore text to discover the way language can be manipulated. Pupils will engage with reading activities each week to develop their understanding of text. Accelerated Reader is also widely used in P7 with boys rewarded for books read, words read and tests completed.
In P.7 we write for a range for purposes and audiences across the curriculum. We have opportunities to create organise and present ideas using ICT. We share and evaluate our own writing and also that of our peers.
Mathematics and Numeracy
Shape and Space
The World Around Us (Science, history and geography)
This area of learning helps us explore and find answers to the many questions we have relating to the world around us.
ICT is an integral part of all subject areas. We use ICT to carry out research for project work. We use programs such as Powerpoint and Publisher to present information as well as a variety of apps such as Book Creator and Explain Everything to enhance the delivery of lessons and pupils’ learning.
The Arts (Art, drama and music)
Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PD&MU)
Personal development and Mutual understanding helps us to build confidence and self esteem as individuals. We explore our emotions, attitudes and moral values and gain an understanding of a healthy lifestyle. We appreciate the need for mutual understanding and respect other cultures. We recognise that we have a responsibility to look after our environment.
During P.E. we participate in games, athletics, gymnastics and swimming activities. The Director of Rugby from RBAI, Mr Morgan also takes the boys twice a week.
This year in P7 we are going on our first residential trip to Scotland. In the summer term we also visit many places around our local area. These can include the museum, parks but also places of work from Alumni and current parents.