Early Years Foundation Stage
The nursery and reception classses are referred to as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Our nursery caters for both part-time and full-time pupils with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Our learning is planned using the early learning goals published by the DCSF. The learning is planned in conjunction with reception to ensure continuity and progression. Reception Class have a carefully planned curriculum that ensures pupils gain basic skills as well as sustaining their motivation and love of learning through an exciting curriculum.
Year 1 and Year 2 are referred to as Key Stage 1 (KS1); Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 as Key Stage 2 (KS2). Pupils’ learning is planned using the National Curriculum and the Learning Challenge Curriculum. Pupils are taught in whole class and small groups depending on the activity.
We value stories and information texts so plan using high-quality fiction and non-fiction books. Concentrated periods of time during the morning are spent developing key Maths and English skills. During the afternoons we consolidate learning through a very broad range of activities both in and outside the classroom. We take part in music projects through Wandsworth Music Hub as well as many other opportunities.
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The school provides a wide variety of materials for teaching children to read, for developing fluency and promoting the enjoyment of books. These materials and methods include reading schemes and a school library which houses a wide variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction. We provide a good reading-aloud programme in every class and foster close partnerships with parents. Pupils are taught to use a variety of skills including phonics to support reading and writing. Pupils are expected to take their books home in their book bags every night. This is called the PACT scheme (Parents and Children Together). The support and encouragement given by parents is invaluable to the child and cannot be compensated for in school. For parents of pupils in the Foundation Years, there is an opportunity to hear about the PACT scheme from the teacher during the Autumn Term. As pupils move up through the school they will continue to need encouragement to read at home. From Year 2 we use a reading cloud for pupils to share their enjoyment of authors and books online.
The writing process involves encouraging pupils to express their thoughts and feelings clearly as this helps to develop their understanding of the world around them. Pupils are taught to form their letters as soon as they know the sounds (phonemes) and can recognise the letters. This gives children independence to write words by sounding out. As soon as they can do this they are taught to create and build sentences to express themselves and their ideas. They are taught to learn words that cannot be sounded out. Children are then set targets as they progress through the school to develop their writing through a range of genre. They learn the appropriate way to write in each genre until they are accomplished writers. Our author in residence Margaret Bateson-Hill comes into school to work with pupils on a variety of writing projects.
Accurate spelling is developed by starting from the earliest efforts pupils make to write down the letters they think are needed for the words they want to write, and by gradually helping them become more accurate. Children in Reception class start to learn spelling from a series of graded word boxes to complement their phonic lessons. This continues through to Year 1 and pupils will start to bring these words home to learn. Pupils from Year 2 onwards will have spellings to learn for homework. These will be a range of age and topic appropriate words.
By the time children leave primary school they will have learned to write neatly and fairly quickly using joined-up writing. The earliest stage of this process is to learn how to form the lower-case letters correctly, starting each letter in the right place and making the right sequence of movements. Children are taught how to join their writing as soon as they can form their lower-case letters correctly. They learn to form their letters starting on the line. This is also a skill that parents can help their children to learn.
The school uses a range of practical maths resources to support learning and all pupils have a daily timetabled maths lesson as well as a maths meeting which is a shorter session to practice skills. This addresses all of the standards from the National Curriculum.
In general, primary children’s understanding of mathematical ideas is best developed by practical work first, followed by pencil and paper work. The range of maths work includes arithmetic, geometry, data, shape, space, and measure as well as reasoning.
Outdoor learning is used to develop maths skills further by giving pupils opportunity to practise their maths skills in a practical activity.
Each class has a weekly RE lesson. These lessons are planned around a range of topics and include the study of Christianity and the other major world religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. Pupils will visit places of worship, learn about the spiritual and moral truths of Christianity and other faiths. This will be done through age appropriate activities.
Each year RE week takes a theme and develops it across a week to help pupils understand a particular aspect of religious education.
History & Geography
We use the Learning Challenge Curriculum to develop knowledge and skills in these subjects.
In Key Stage 1, much of the work in these subjects is covered through stories and discussion. Wherever possible the school arranges educational visits or workshops to extend the learning experience for these subjects. The work in the garden and the school’s international link with GKV Primary School in India provide age-appropriate and real experiences that continue to raise the global perspective of teaching and learning in the school.
Science involves a great deal of practical learning. We use our two gardens for a great deal of this learning. Our Secret Garden, a large plot of land in Falcon Estate and our small garden in school, as well as our Perfume Garden are used for a variety of learning including: science, RE, literacy, maths and art & design. There is biology, chemistry and physics in the garden. Our main purpose in this area of the curriculum is to develop children’s ability to think in a scientific way – to ask themselves and others why things that they see are happening and to try out ideas that they have for making things happen differently. We take part in national science projects, for example growing rocket seeds that had been in space with astronaut Tim Peake.
In this subject children consider practical problems and find solutions to them. They are encouraged to think
carefully about the problem, about the possible solution, try to put the solution into practice, and then evaluate
how successful it is. Children use a wide range of media in this subject:
- Textiles: sewing, collage, dyeing, knitting
- Graphics: paint, paper, photo printing
- Construction: clay, wood, plastic, metal, card
- Food: cooking, preparing, designing
Information & Communication Technology
The school has 60 laptops and 30 iPads, to enable every class to have ICT lessons where they learn important ICT skills.
These sessions are timetabled and linked with learning in other subjects. This means children can practise skills they have been taught. Children access the school network regularly as well as learning with an interactive whiteboard during whole class teaching.
School-wide internet, a range of software programs, and apps are available to develop ICT skills and application. Software is carefully selected as learning aids to be used throughout the primary curricula and is planned into each subject area.
The school uses Wandsworth Music Hub to enhance provision; they provide three singing projects a year. KS1 children work on singing and percussion to produce a Christmas nativity and a musical presentation in the Summer Term.
Children in Years 4 have the opportunity to play the clarinet. If they enjoy playing there is the opportunity to continue through Y5 and Y6.
The school hires a peripatetic tutor for Steel Pans and all pupils in Year 3 are given Steel Pans taster sessions. A further 3 groups comprising pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 who have displayed a particular ability and talent for steel pans receive steel pan tuition.
The Year 6 teacher works together with Y6 pupils and our author-in-residence Margaret Bateson-Hill to to produce an end of year musical during the Summer term. As well as school concerts, children have participated in local and national music events.
PERSONAL, CITIZENSHIP, HEALTH, & SOCIAL EDUCATION
A program of personal and social education is taught to all year groups from the Nursery upwards. Some of the topics included in the program are: Personal safety, pedestrian training, travel to school, people who help us, drug awareness, dangerous substances, citizenship.
This area of the curriculum provides children with knowledge about their bodies, which will help them to develop positive attitudes, and make responsible decisions in their lives. Children learn about healthy living, the importance of diet and exercise and the risks involved in the use of harmful substances. The school has a drug awareness policy. The governors have also agreed a Sex & Relationships Education (SRE) policy. Some aspects of SRE education are discussed in a sensitive, honest and appropriate way as and when they arise. We use a scheme of work developed by the Timothy Winter Project and older children are taught more specifically in the context of the science curriculum. We select teaching materials, TV programmes and videos, which are appropriate to the needs and maturity of the children concerned. Parents are informed when SRE education will be part of their topic work and have the right to withdraw their children from these lessons if they so wish. Please see the Head teacher if you wish to discuss this further.
Art is an important part of the curriculum because it allows pupils to work on a range of projects both in and out of school time. This can culminate in work being displayed in galleries in and around Battersea. It enhances the work done in both history and geography by consolidating the learning using another approach.
Physical education at Christ Church School is about developing children’s enjoyment, confidence and skill in physical activity. To this end it aims to introduce them to the pleasures of sport irrespective of age, gender, or ability, and promote an enjoyment of exercise that will hopefully be continued into adulthood as part of a healthy lifestyle.
All children from Y1 – Y6 take part in a daily mile this is in addition to their swimming and PE lessons.
Throughout the school children are taught PE through a variety of activities including gymnastics, movement & dance, and games skills. All children do indoor PE in bare feet and wear school PE kit.
Swimming is taught in Years 2 – 4. Children have a weekly lesson at the Latchmere Leisure Centre throughout the year. All children are expected to be able to swim 25 metres by the end of the four years.
During the summer, all children wear school PE kit with trainers or plimsolls. In winter children require tracksuits with trainers or plimsolls. Children have one session of outdoor games each week.
Children may not wear jewellery during any PE lesson or related activity.