Whilst as an independent school we are not bound by the National Curriculum, we try to ensure that our curriculum encompasses the national requirements as well as going as far beyond as the children’s progress allows.
We operate a cross-curricular approach to our education from Reception onwards, which will be based on a theme that is explored by the whole school each term. The aim of the theme is to promote thinking skills and encourage the children to explore their own learning journey. We may have exploration as the theme for the term, which will encourage staff to look at exploration within the physical world, mental world and spiritual world. When looking at themes for the term, all teachers will look at ways in which to make links across subjects. This is only done when there are obvious links and the integrity of the subject is not compromised. For example, in Science there may be a topic such as habitats. This can be taken up as a Literacy theme as well by encouraging the children to create a woodland creature. Having explored its habitat and living conditions, they can then follow this up with a story using all these elements. Furthermore, they can use this theme in Art and DT by creating homes for their sculptured animal. This could also involve a trip to a woodland area as a conclusion to this theme. The children become fully involved in their learning and enjoy the challenge which this offers.
Our curriculum is constantly reviewed and updated to meet changing requirements.
Please see each subject policy in the ‘Curriculum’ list in the ‘Policies’ section under About Us.
Assemblies are held for different age groups. Children and staff participate in these, saying poems, prayers and performing music and plays to illustrate a particular theme. The aim of these assemblies is to nurture in the children a spiritual, social and moral awareness, rather than any particular doctrine. The children are told Bible stories to suit their level of comprehension and maturity.
We have a wide range of creative technology available to the children: the Art Room, the Food Room and the Music Room all encourage a ‘hands on’ approach.
In addition we have a very strong tradition in French, Drama and Music.
Children of our present generation need to be familiar with and able to use a keyboard and learn Word Processing, Spread Sheets, PowerPoint and Data Base Programming Skills. Children throughout the school are offered experience on computers.
In the Reception classes (4-5 years) we develop further the skills learned in the Pre-school and broaden the Curriculum. This includes:-
- being confident in letter sounds and formation,
- to be able to start forming simple sentences independently,
- to use their phonic knowledge to decode words to assist with reading ,
- to be able to recognise, count from numbers 0- to 10 and beyond,
- to complete simple addition and subtraction problems,
- to be able to differentiate, sort, match and group shapes, sizes and colours
Personal, social and health education is taught through assemblies and circle times. Children are taught to behave in a responsible manner, caring for each other and their environment.
Children are assessed and monitored constantly; parents are informed of their progress at parent’s evening and through written reports.
Children are encouraged to take phonic practice and reading books home.
Key Stage 1
In Years 1 and 2 (ages 5 to 7) the emphasis is on a more formal education. We consider these early years to be among the most important in a child’s education, and it is during these formative and vital years that we must lay a thorough and sound foundation upon which all the future learning will stand. Each class has its own teacher responsible for the core National Curriculum subjects of Numeracy, Literacy and Science.
Classes remain small in order that each child has the individual attention to suit his or her needs within the statutory learning programme. The children have Spanish lessons from Early Years to Reception and in Year 2 they have French lessons.
Classes from Reception to Year 2 share a 3-year topic plan. The topics are Cross- Curriculum linked and planning reflects all areas of the curriculum. Planning is done together by each year’s teachers. There is an overall plan for the year. This is put into greater detail during the holiday proceeding each term.
There is on-going assessment and parents are informed through parent’s evening and written reports (and daily conversations!)
Reading and spelling homework is begun in Year 1. In Year 2 the children are given one piece of Literacy and one piece of Numeracy homework at the end of each week.
There are after-school clubs and lunch-time clubs. A number of these activities are available to the KS 1 Children.
Key Stage 2
KS2 is for Years 3 to 6, KS2 (Ages 7 to 11). The main aim is a continuation of the skills begun at KS1 and introducing the children to a broader range of individual subjects; developing self-confidence, self-discipline, manners and consideration for others in a vibrant yet secure atmosphere. The curriculum incorporates basic requirements of the National Curriculum and prepares children for the entrance examination subjects for independent schools in Maths, English and Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning as well as the National SATs examinations in May.
Children are assessed formally each term in the core subjects of Literacy, Numeracy and Science. Informal teacher’s assessments are given in all subjects after a topic has been taught.
The curriculum includes: Mathematics, English, Science, French, Art and Craft, ICT, Design and Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Music, Religious Education, Study Skills, PE and Games. Latin is introduced for Year 4 onwards and Classical Civilisation just for Year 3. Debate is introduced in Years 5 and continues into Year 6.
Each class has its own tutor responsible for the overall pastoral care of the children.
From Year 3 the children are taught increasingly by specialist subject teachers.
The children are encouraged to develop their independence and take on responsibility through duties and activities.
French and Spanish are continued into KS2 with children learning to sing French and Spanish songs, to ask and answer questions also to act short stories, but there is more emphasis on formal teaching grammar and written work in French.
National tests (SATs) are taken during Year 6. The interim tests in Year 3, 4 and 5 are also used.
At the beginning of Year 6 we assess the children in Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning. This establishes their potential for making choices for secondary school and helps them to strengthen their thinking skills. Predictions for their achievement at KS2 are made based on the results of these tests.
By year 6 children are well prepared to take the entrance examinations for state Grammar schools.
Pupils with Special Needs
The school operates a full system of intervention. Depending on the level of need, a child may have anything from a group target plan to a school action IEP or a school action plus IEP to a full EHCP which is reviewed annually with all professionals, teachers, parents and local authorities. These will be discussed with relevant staff and parents on a regular basis. Additional help and support will be given to these children. Parental requests for curriculum variation will be listened to, discussed and implemented where it is considered beneficial to the child and workable within the school.