Lower School: Years 1 - 3
The central curriculum aim in Lower School is for children to know God and understand their identity as children of God. We deliver a curriculum that meets the National Curriculum requirements whilst exploring God’s character and Christian beliefs, enabling pupils to discover how each topic fits into the larger narrative presented in Christian Scriptures. Our Lower School curriculum develops in children a sense of presence in the world, knowing that they are part of something greater than just themselves and their immediate family, understanding some of the length and breadth of human history and culture.
- The Lower School curriculum is broad and balanced: Pupils have timetabled lessons in English, Mathematics, Science, Bible, History, Geography, Design and Technology (including Computing), Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), Swimming and PHSME.
- A firm foundation in literacy is achieved in Lower School through the Jolly Phonics synthetic phonics reading programme which runs concurrently with a structured reading scheme. Grammar is taught through a related grammar scheme. Every day pupils take home a reading scheme book with a reading record, as well as enjoying a quiet or guided reading session in school.
- Our numeracy curriculum is based on Abacus Maths materials which enables pupils to develop master mathematical knowledge and skills and become inspired and confident mathematicians.
- Bible, PHSME and worship are core curriculum areas in keeping with our school vision and ethos.
- In Science, History and Geography units of work or themes are chosen and planned to be deliberately inclusive of the diverse cultures and backgrounds of our children, whilst giving children the knowledge and tools to be active and responsible citizens in contemporary Britain.
- PE is taught with a different focus each half term with boys and girls engaging together in the same planned activities. An important feature of the Lower School curriculum is our swimming programme that ensures that all pupils learn how to stay safe in water and to swim for pleasure.
- Our PHSME lessons include relationships education, in line with statutory requirements for RSE, developing the children’s understanding of the characteristics of positive relationships, particularly those among friends and within the family. Pupils learn about people who are there to support them and are taught how to be safe online. Children also learn about how to handle different kinds of feelings and respond to situations of change, difficulty or loss in a resilient and hopeful way.
- Children in Lower School learn about the world of work through visiting speakers and trips, discovering how people have many different callings that are all important to achieve God’s purposes in the world.
- Through all parts of the formal and informal curriculum, we aim to deliberately cultivate positive personal attributes and character traits, rooted in our understanding of Christian virtues such as compassion, integrity, generosity, kindness, hopefulness, humility, courage, faithfulness, self-control and perseverance.
- Our curriculum approach is to harness the curiosity, spontaneity and joy of childhood to promote learning through a tailored mix of child-led and adult-led approaches. Children explore their world, build relationships and develop their faith in a nurturing community. They are encouraged to enjoy nature and wonder at creation through structured and unstructured outdoor activities, including gardening and forest school activities.
- The Lower School curriculum provides opportunities for able pupils to extend their learning and for gifted and talented children to experience a range of activities beyond the national curriculum, including taking part in an annual Christmas musical production and sporting activities.
- Lower School children with special education needs are supported in the classroom to enable them to succeed and thrive. Teachers devise individualised targets for pupils on the SEND register and plan suitable learning activities to enable them to reach their potential. Where appropriate, individual pupils may participate in individual or group interventions, including Beat Dyslexia, Beat Dyscalculia, Lego Therapy, social stories, inference skill development and social communications skills.
- Pupils with English as an Additional Language who are identified as needing additional English language teaching are supported to competence through group or individual language development.
- All pupils are given opportunities to serve and as they reach Y3, they are supported to take leadership roles within the Lower School community, including contributing to the whole school student council.