• to help each child reach his/her full potential;
• to provide equality for all the children regardless of gender, race or ability;
• to provide an education to suit each child’s needs; and to be aware of their special talents, interests or difficulties;
• to foster an understanding and respect for all cultures;
• to encourage children to become caring and thoughtful young people, to consider the needs of others and to form co-operative relationships with others;
• to foster a working partnership with parents and to share with them the responsibility for a child’s intellectual, social and emotional development;
• to guide children’s learning through the school day, in the classroom and inthe playground;
• to provide a child-centred school, where children feel safe, happy and valued;
• to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children and to meet National Curriculum and Education Reform Act requirements;
• the ultimate aim is that when children leave this school they take with them the pleasure of learning, the capacity to use and communicate ideas, and a curiosity to learn more.
All founded on gospel values.
The Foundation Stage, introduced from September 2000, is a new stage of education for children aged from three to the end of the reception year. It is a distinct stage and important both in its own right and in preparing children for later schooling. The Early Learning Goals provide six areas of learning that lay a secure basis for children's future learning. The six areas of learning are:
• personal, social and emotional development;
• communication, language and literacy;
• mathematical development;
• knowledge and understanding of the world;
• physical development;
• creative development.
At St Peter's we have always recognised that early childhood is crucial in terms of children's development and well-being. It is a time when children particularly need high quality care and learning experiences. This is what we aim to provide at St Peter's.
National Curriculum programmes of study for Key Stage 1 have been written to be taught in Years 1 and 2. The Foundation Stage prepares children for learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the National Curriculum.
The Foundation Stage clearly lays out the aims of learning through play that we at St Peter's strongly embrace.
National Curriculum - Key Stages 1 and 2
The CORE subjects for Key Stages 1 and 2 are:-
ENGLISH · MATHEMATICS · SCIENCE
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
The Foundation Subjects are:-
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY · HISTORY · GEOGRAPHY
ART & DESIGN · MUSIC · PHYSICAL EDUCATION
(A Modern Foreign Language is compulsory at age 11 years, Key Stage 3.)
These subjects are taught in every school. Each of the subjects is described in detail in the National Curriculum documents, setting out what children should do and how children’s progress will be assessed.
Remember that the National Curriculum is only part of the whole school curriculum. The responsibility for organising the curriculum remains with the school, so that the needs of every individual child can be met.
How the Curriculum is Organised
In the early years it is more appropriate for young children to learn mainly through a ‘topic’ approach, which encompasses all the National Curriculum Core and Foundation subjects and Religious Education.
The teachers decide on a topic e.g. Nature Area (see plan on Page 25) and the staff and children plan around the topic in such a way that the curriculum is broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated and progressive, and that National Curriculum subjects are included. In this way children are encouraged to use and apply what they know, understand and can do at their own level and pace, in a way that is meaningful to them and which they find interesting and enjoyable.
The National Curriculum Council endorses this approach to the curriculum for all primary aged children.
“In life, experiences do not come in separate packages with subject labels” -
National Curriculum Council
There will also be an emphasis on children working in a practical way, through investigation and structured play, so meeting National Curriculum requirements.
“Pupils learn through active engagement in learning experiences .... pupils at every stage can be helped to develop their understanding through appropriate practical activities”.
National Curriculum Council
This approach is particularly important for young children to enable them to develop a real understanding of the skills and concepts they are learning.
The curriculum will also be organised especially in Key Stage 2, in particular subjects to teach specific skills or concepts. The teacher may organise the classroom so that time can be spent with individuals or small groups developing knowledge, skills or understanding in particular subject areas, e.g. numbers, reading, writing. This will always be presented to children matched to their individual ability and level of competence.
How the Teaching is Organised
There is a capacity for 105 children on roll, organised into 4 classes with an average of 26 children in each class. It is usual for classes to have mixed age groups. Our teachers are experienced and successful in this approach as they teach to the needs of each child.
As well as the full-time and part-time class teachers there will be a teaching assistant in each class.
The teachers contribute to the development of the child’s experience in the classroom in the following ways:
• by providing an environment where learning can take place;
• by enabling, supporting and extending children’s learning, sharing as a partner in the process;
• by planning the curriculum to meet the learning needs of each child;
• by observing children in order to make judgements about how the learning is progressing;
• by making records of their observations and collecting other kinds of evidence (samples of work, photographs, data records) of children’s development;
• by reviewing and evaluating their planning and provision in the light of their assessments of an individual child’s progress and needs;
• by sharing with parents information about their child’s progress.
Children need time to pursue their own interests in depth and at their own pace. They need opportunities to choose to work individually and with other children. This requires an organisational framework which is flexible and child-centred, where adults are able to respond to individual children’s needs and interests.
“Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered for himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely”.
The teachers fully recognise their important responsibility as Primary School Teachers in laying down the foundations for each child’s future.
The homework policy is an extension of the natural daily activities with your children. School encourages regular involvement by parents in all subjects for example, reading, spelling, musical instrument practice and general studies. There will be increasing help needed from parents with research as children progress through the school.