JUNIOR SCHOOL CURRICULUM
(A) CORE SUBJECTS
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them by developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. We promote confidence and competence with the number system through practical activity, exploration and discussion. We develop the children's ability to solve problems through decision making and reasoning in a range of contexts and explore features of shape and space and measuring. Children have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources including ICT to support their studies. We ensure children apply their learning to everyday situations.
Literacy studies develop children's ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become critical and enthusiastic readers of stories, poetry and plays as well as of non fiction and media texts. Pupils gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. They are encouraged to plan, draft and edit their written pieces. Opportunities for drama are numerous as this is built into our literacy provision to foster self-confidence and effective communication. The Nelson Handwriting scheme is followed. All children are timetabled to use our well stocked Junior School library.
Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. We aim to stimulate a child's curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that they do. Children learn to ask scientific questions and plan and carry out investigations in our dedicated Junior School Science lab. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data such as statistics, graphs, pictures, photographs and ICT to enhance their learning. Pupils are taught to analyse their results, evaluate evidence and present their conclusions clearly and accurately.
(B) OTHER COMPULSORY SUBJECTS
Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences which the pupils can explore in the Junior School art studio. Art enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think, through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. They learn to make informed judgements, and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of various artists and designers.
Complementary Studies (PSHE) enables children to become healthier, more independent and more responsible members of society. We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing we help develop their sense of self-worth. We teach them how society is organised and governed, about their rights and their responsibilities. They learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse society.
We develop imaginative thinking in children and enable them to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making things. Children talk about how things work, and draw and model their ideas using appropriate tools and techniques for making a product, whilst following safe procedures. They develop an understanding of technological processes and products, their manufacture and their contribution to our society.
Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area, and they compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps, and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures.
The aim of history teaching is to stimulate the children's interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach a sense of chronology and through this pupils develop a sense of identity and an understanding of their historical heritage. We show children how events in the past have influenced our lives today. They develop the skills of enquiry, analysis and interpretation. Children are encouraged to think as historians by examining historical artefacts and primary sources.
ICT has become part of the way we all work and entertain ourselves. Almost everything we do at school now involves the use of ICT which the children enjoy in our own purpose built ICT suite. Through ICT we equip children to participate in a world of rapidly changing technology. We enable pupils to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. Whilst children are given direct instruction on how to use hardware and software, the main emphasis in our teaching is to enable pupils to be confident, creative and independent learners who are capable of finding, selecting and using information appropriately and safely.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE
French is taught to all children throughout the Junior School. The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language is acquired. Primary School children tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud, which is why we introduce French at this stage of their development. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build confidence in our specialist music room. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music and the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. Children make music together, study musical notation and compose pieces. There is a Junior School choir. Private instrumental lessons are also available which include woodwind, brass and strings.
Physical education develops the children's knowledge, skills and understanding, so that they can perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. Our excellent facilities include the sports hall and playing fields at Lammack, our gymnasium and swimming pool on the school site. Physical education promotes an understanding in children of their bodies in action. It involves thinking, selecting and applying skills, and it promotes positive attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle. Thus we enable the children to make informed choices about physical activity throughout their lives.
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by human beings. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of the major world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Pupils reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.