We believe that children learn best in a safe environment where they feel comfortable. Teachers establish clear procedures and routines to underpin this and they provide both challenge and support. We provide opportunities for an integrated curriculum where subjects are linked and we make frequent real life connections supported by trips and projects. Small class sizes stimulate educational experiences that are relevant and accessible to all and we engage in activities where children produce and share their work with their own class and others.
We plan an innovative and creative curriculum for English, explicitly designed around the particular needs of our pupils. We encourage children to read, express themselves and become independent learners. We understand the needs of our pupils and ensure that lessons are planned to meet a range of abilities. We challenge pupils with targets and next steps for individuals. Teachers plan for a balance of shared, guided and regular independent reading, sharing of a class novel, hearing reading one-to-one regularly, home/school reading and a positive reading environment in school. Additionally we have a reading specialist who works with those who may need extra support. We emphasise the importance of developing oral skills in our youngest children through structured role-play. We encourage writing from an early age and want every child to know the satisfaction of being able to communicate clearly and correctly. Our library is well stocked and we aim to nourish the children with a balanced diet of excellent language resources.
We believe in the importance of giving pupils the opportunity to solve problems by developing their understanding of numbers and patterns and supporting them to make links. Our planning enables our pupils to be curious, engaged and motivated to operate mathematically. Our nurturing environment means that children respond to high levels of expectation and challenge. They are kept on the edge of thinking. Teaching and tasks are hands on and build on the children’s prior knowledge. Scaffolding takes place, making connections to concepts, procedures, and understanding. High-level performance is modelled. Students are expected to explain thinking and meaning. We use a broad range of mathematical resources and expect children to learn the times tables off by heart.
Teachers use a variety of teaching and learning methods to stimulate the pupils’ fascination and interest to support the development of skills, understanding and knowledge. We ensure that pupils are engaged in scientific enquiry, including practical work, and have the opportunity to strengthen their enquiry skills. Our children particularly enjoy the practical activities in each topic where they further develop lateral thinking skills. We have a science specialist at the school and the science curriculum is supported by trips and projects that encourage the children to develop lateral thinking and a desire to investigate topics further.
We teach a broad curriculum that covers a wide range of additional subjects including: Geography, History, ICT, Religious Knowledge, Art, Music and Drama, PSHE, Physical Education, General Knowledge and Reasoning. All children have different subjects that they are passionate about and by offering the full array of subjects we hope to help them experience a variety of potential enthusiasms! We want our children to be interested about the world and interesting people to be with.
We also offer a diverse range of languages that reflect the school community. We currently teach French from Cherubs class (age 3-4) and Latin from Unicorns (Year 3) and we offer Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and currently Afrikaans as options.
The whole school participates in a Community Kitchen Garden Project located in St Charles Hospital. This is a space where we grow our own fruits and vegetables.
Planning and Assessment
Teachers plan lessons in three stages: long-term (a broad outline of the topics to be covered throughout the academic year), medium-term (a more detailed outline of what should be covered each half term) and short-term (daily objectives for each lesson).
Informal assessments facilitate our ongoing understanding of the progress individual children are making and inform future planning. Teachers plot children’s progress using “I Can...” statements. Formal, end of year assessments take place in June.
Parents are given written progress reports about their child’s development and achievements, and goals for future learning at the end of both the Autumn and Summer Terms. A Parent/ Teacher Consultation Evening is held towards the end of the Spring Term.
Teachers and the Co-Principals are available to discuss with parents any aspect of their child’s learning. This usually happens after school, or early in the morning, subject to appointment.