The National Curriculum is taught to all children from year one. It consists of five core subjects:
Mathematics, English, Science, Computing and Religious Education
The foundation subjects are: History, Geography, Art & Design, PE, Music, PSHCE and Design Technology
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which covers the first year of school in reception, has seven areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Opportunities for learning in all seven areas incorporate indoor and outdoor experiences and play
At Wootton St Peter’s the delivery of the curriculum is constantly reviewed so that it is broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated. Subjects are taught both individually and in a cross curricular way. Many teaching methods and approaches are used throughout the school, recognising that children learn in a variety of ways.
The seven strands of the primary strategy are taught:
Use and apply mathematics
Count, compare and order numbers
Secure knowledge of number facts
Calculate efficiently and accurately
Shapes and their properties
Measures and scales
Process, present and interpret data
The children have a dedicated mathematics lesson every morning involving mental calculations, interactive oral work, written tasks and investigations. A wide range of practical equipment is used. A team of maths counsellors supports it.
English is taught using the Primary Strategy with 12 strands: speaking, listening and responding, group discussion and interaction, drama, word recognition: decoding (reading ) and encoding (spelling ), word structure and spelling, understanding and interpreting texts, engaging with and responding to texts, creating and shaping texts, text structure and organisation, sentence structure and punctuation, presentation.
The children have a dedicated English lesson every morning, though of course literacy is common to all areas of the curriculum. Reading is taught using a rich variety of resources and methods, including synthetic phonics. A team of reading counsellors supports it and there are plenty of books for you to share with your child at home. We aim for our children to become confident and independent readers, who see reading as a worthwhile and pleasurable experience. With writing, the early introduction of synthetic phonics and cursive handwriting, together with other approaches, helps the child become an independent writer.
Science is taught using three broad categories:
life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes
We encourage our children to observe, question and respond to a variety of investigations, related where possible to their everyday experience and knowledge. Science is essentially a practical subject where processes and outcomes are equally important.
Computing prepares children to participate in a rapidly changing technological world. Our children experience the benefits of computers on a daily basis with interactive whiteboards in each classroom. Numeracy and literacy work is enhanced by specifically designed software that children can use independently. Pupils are taught to specific computing skills and learn to use them confidently across the curriculum. They can use a wide range of computing tools and information sources, including the Internet, to support their work. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends the school has 18 laptops and 18 iPads which are used constantly in the classroom to enhance learning. We have also recently purchased 30 notebooks, keeping our computer hardware up to date.
Wootton St. Peter’s is a Church of England school whose headteacher has “a passion and vision for the school Christian ethos”.(Diocesan Inspection)
We follow the Oxfordshire County Council agreed syllabus, introducing the children to the customs, clothing, artefacts and beliefs of four faiths – Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. Pupils take part in a daily Christian act of worship in a whole school assembly or in class. Parents may withdraw their children from Christian worship and religious education. We aim to foster a child’s sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them in religious education and across the curriculum. The school celebrates important Christian occasions in St Peter’s Church and the rector, the Revd. Jon Williams is a much welcomed and valued visitor to the school.
History and geography
These subjects are mostly taught through topic work, often with first-hand experience and observations. By stimulating their interest in people and places, both today and in the past, we hope to enhance their sense of responsibility for the and its people.
Art & Design
Art & Design is taught and enjoyed in its own right and is also used to enhance the learning in other curriculum areas. The children are shown how to use a wide range of media, skills and tools in a 2-D and 3-D context. Their enthusiasm, talent and creativity are celebrated around the school on the display areas. Art is also a wonderful way of appreciating other times and cultures.
Through a carefully planned PE program, we aim to encourage fitness and improve the skill levels of all our children. Indoor PE, which takes place in the school hall, includes gymnastics and dance. Outdoor PE on the playground or field includes athletics and games such as football, netball, rounders, hockey, cricket and rugby. The competition is natural, children are taught to play fairly and with good sportsmanship. It is important that each child has a sense of achievement and enjoyment from PE. All children, except those in the foundation year, receive swimming lessons at Westminster College during terms three to six. May pole and country dancing is enjoyed by all children.
Design Technology gives the children opportunities to explore and investigate as they design and make a variety of models. They are provided with a wide variety of materials and tools through which they build up skills, knowledge about materials, an understanding of how things are made and work, and an awareness of safety.
All children from year one upwards have weekly French lessons. The emphasis is on speaking French, learning songs and studying French culture.
Wootton St. Peter’s is awash with the happy singing voices of our children. Opportunities to enjoy and shine in performances are plentiful, and include Christmas and Easter productions and performances with other local schools. Older children have the chance to receive instrumental tuition from visiting music teachers for example clarinet, piano, cornet. The music curriculum involves: singing, playing and making music, listening to and appreciating music, composing. The children are exposed to a variety of styles and genres of music and have access to a variety of percussion instruments. All year three and four children learn to play the recorder in their weekly lessons. Some go on to play their preferred instrument with a specialist in the upper juniors.
Children benefit enormously from support with their work at home. Appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy homework, and later topic work, are provided to reinforce work covered at school.