We follow the National Curriculum Guidelines and we extend the curriculum to cover our specific needs. We give our staff freedom to work alongside the curriculum but to use their individual skills to add to the children’s learning. The children are usually split into two ability groups for their literacy and numeracy work. Each day the children have both literacy and numeracy lessons and these usually take place in the morning where possible. On occasion these lessons will be accommodated during the afternoon – in some cases where the classes have split for other subjects.
The average class size in the Prep Department (Years 3-6) is 18 children. When split evenly for various lessons this will mean that no more than 9-10 children are present in the group at one time.
Literacy – one hour a day minimum. The subject covers a wide variety of areas. During the course of the week the children will have assignments in each of the following: spellings, comprehension, grammar work, handwriting skills, poetry/drama, story/creative writing and the various other components which make up a full literacy course. Every class using speaking, listening, reading and writing skills on a daily basis. Homework for this subject is in the form of a reinforcement exercise.
All children in Years 3 and 4 read to a teacher daily. While in Years 5 and 6 they read at least three times a week. Reading is always part of the daily evening homework. Often the children will have a group reading session during the week, where small groups of children read aloud to each other from the same book. The classes enjoy reading for pleasure when a teacher will read to them. Each class stages a drama production once during the school year to which parents, family and friends are invited.
Numeracy – one hour a day minimum. The subject is usually taught by the class teacher, although in some classes specialist teachers will take one or more lessons per week. All the topics set out by the National Curriculum are covered during the year and each class differentiates for the varying levels of ability possessed by the children in the class.
Other subjects taught within Key Stage 2 are - Science, ICT and Music
In addition to differentiating within normal lessons, several children are given 1:1 support within the lesson where appropriate and sometimes with a peer led discussion. Occasionally extra support is needed and a TA will come into class.
During the summer term we take on a project which is driven by Year 6. 2004/2005 we worked on recycling. We liaised with the LBR Recycling Officer and carried out a survey of the whole school’s use of facilities and assessed what recycling was being done already. We also had a paper-making day and did a recycling assembly for the whole school. We won the Silver Eco-School Award for this work.
During 2005/2006 we looked into the topic of endangered species. We ran a school project assisted by Port Lymphe Zoo and we raised £100 to feed a new baby African elephant for one month.
History – one hour per class per week. Our history teacher follows part of the National Curriculum. He teaches the same time periods as the National Curriculum covers: Year 3- Greeks and Egyptians, Year 4 – Romans and Saxons, Year 5 – Tudors, Year 6 – 20th century.
Geography – one hour per class per week. Each class follows the National Curriculum for the subject. The geography teacher teaches each class once a week. The topics covered are those set out in the guidelines. For example in the autumn term Year 3 will study life in a village, Year 4 will look at improving the environment, Year 5 will study water and Year 6 will investigate rivers. Each lesson is subdivided into little ‘bite’ sized pieces of the topic. The children are encouraged to ask questions about what has been taught/discussed and then they complete set questions or activities that relate to the topic. Usually the questions and activities are completed as a group but on occasion children are asked to work independently. Differentiation is used for special needs children; this may include using a scribe or pairing able and less able children.
French – one hour per class per week. French is taught to most of the school by a specialist teacher who comes into the school on a Thursday. She teaches Nursery through to Year 4 (the Year 5 teacher teaches Years 5 and 6 French). French vocabulary, spelling of common words, numbers and colours are taught as well as basic conversation. Work sheets and a text book are often used during the lessons.
Nature – one hour per class per week. Each class has an hours nature lesson a week. The topic work is often closely connected to the season. They look at weather and its effects, animals and their way of life, habits and habitats. They also look at birds, plants and trees. During the summer term often a continent or large country is studied in depth. Year 3 looked at the rainforest of South America last year.
We teach about environmental issues and educate the children about “saving the planet”.
RE – one hour per class per week. All the major religions of the world are covered in the RE lessons. During this time they will look at different religious festivals, buildings, books and symbols. They look at bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments and are encouraged to bring in religious artefacts. We have visited a local synagogue to see their sukkah at harvest time. Ministers of different faiths have also visited the school.
Art – one hour per week. Children get the opportunity during the art class to explore and develop their own ideas. They use a variety of different materials to build, construct, design, craft and paint. Sketchbooks are used and the history of art is an integral part of the curriculum. Children are given the freedom to express themselves through this subject.
Sports and PE