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Curriculum Overview

 

The school provides a continuous education for pupils between the ages of 3 to 13 and in the main prepares children for the CEE at 13+ and a range of scholarship exams and awards.

 

The school also ensures that pupils are properly prepared for transfer to other schools when the need arises, for example by CEE entry at 11+ or through other school pre-assessment or transition procedures. The curriculum we offer is broadly based, creative and engaging and aims to provide a quality educational experience for all the pupils in our care

Nursery and Pre-Prep

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Children in Early Years follow the teaching and learning requirements of the Early Years Framework. They learn through a variety of exciting, first hand learning opportunities and play based experiences which stimulate their imagination and engage their attention, within the context of a creative, cross-curricular curriculum. The primary focus in Nursery is on the core areas of learning which are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. Whilst these remain central to the children’s learning in Reception, the specific areas of learning which are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design, become more prominent. As part of their communication and language curriculum, children in Nursery develop their phonological awareness skills through a variety of listening activities, rhyme, rhythm and alliteration games (Letters and Sounds Phase 1). In Reception children rapidly progress through a structured phonics programme (Letters and Sounds Phase 2 and 3), learning to blend sounds together to read simple words and to segment sounds to spell. Consequently, strong foundations are laid in early reading and writing skills. Children read on a regular basis with their Key Person and begin to take books home to share with parents. Children also begin the Kinetic Letters Handwriting programme in Reception, building on the gross and fine motor skills as well as core strength which have begun to develop in Nursery. Music lessons are taught by specialist teachers in Nursery and Reception. French and P.E. are also taught by specialist teachers in Reception. In Early Years, learning dinosaurs are introduced to the children (Triatops, Explainosaurus, Pretendosaur, Explorosaurus, Thinkodocus, Askaraptor) to help them understand what the characteristics of good learners are and to begin to take responsibility for their own learning. Dinosaur footprint challenges are sometimes offered to children in Reception to enhance their learning potential during periods of child led learning.

Years 1 and 2

Children are allocated to a class teacher, with whom they start every day. All children enjoy a full and exciting ‘joined up’, cross curricular curriculum where we immerse children in a topic each term with a Stunning Start (e.g. an alien spacecraft landing), Marvellous Middle (e.g. a trip to the Farm) and Fabulous Finish (e.g. medieval banquet for children and parents). Wherever possible, all learning in that term relates to the topic including Geography, History, Art and Design and Science.

Throughout Years 1 and 2 children read aloud in some form every day and regular assessments are made to ensure progression. We follow the Kinetic Letters handwriting scheme throughout Pre-Prep. This offers a multisensory approach to learning letter formation with an emphasis on strong core strength. We aim to build fluency and speed through this structured programme. We use the Letters and Sounds programme for our Phonics whilst also using Jolly Phonics as appropriate.  Rising Stars will be introduced from September 2019, to focus on the acquisition and retention of spellings.

We follow the White Rose Maths scheme which aims to shape assured, happy and resilient mathematicians who relish the challenge of maths. They become independent, reflective thinkers, whose skills not only liberate them in maths but also support them across the curriculum. Children apply their mathematical knowledge in a flexible way. 
RS and  PSHE are an important feature of each week and l support the children’s spiritual, cultural, moral and social awareness and their understanding of the school’s Winchester House Way.

Specialist teaching develops further in Key Stage 1 with the addition of Swimming lessons to the already busy curriculum which still contains ICT, Music, French and PE. Years 1 and 2 children enjoy the early stages of team sports in their PE sessions and after school activities programme. 

Regular reading practice at home is encouraged and word and tables work will also be sent home to enable parents to support their child’s learning.

At any stage in their development throughout the school some children can benefit from contact with our Learning Support staff. Parents are always advised of this and individual appointments can be arranged to discuss details.

 

 

Upper School

Year 3

Children in Year 3 are currently placed in three tutor groups, based in The Seligman building, where most of the curriculum is delivered by the Year 3 class teachers. In addition to English and Maths a broad range of subjects are included in the cross curricular, Creative Curriculum including Science, Environmental Studies, History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Drama, and Music. RS and PSHE are also taught in tutor groups by their tutor or specialist teacher. Swimming, Music, PE, Games, ICT and French are all taught by specialists. Children sometimes begin to be taught a musical instrument at this stage. Tables, spellings and reading work are still encouraged at home and or weekends to support work in school. There are designated reading slots in school time.

Year 4

Still based in the Seligman Building, and taught by the Year 4 teachers and specialist staff. Year 4 children do experience the longer day, if parents choose this, with a 6.30pm finish. The ‘Learn to Lead’ programme begins as a popular activity. Year 4 children begin to get a real flavour of Upper School life as they move to the specialist teaching areas and enjoy a wider activities programme. Tables and Spellings will be brought home by day pupils so that children can prepare for weekly tests. Children have set reading and learning times in school.

Year 5

At this level the children all have their own tutor, and much of the teaching is delivered by specialists. This development requires greater independence and organisation and, with plenty of assistance from tutors, the children quickly adapt to this more mature school experience. Children are now in sets for the core curriculum – Maths, English, Science and French plus History and Geography. Mixed ability groups operate in PE, ICT, Art, DT, Drama and RS. PSHE continues to be taught in tutor groups. The formal day ends at 6.30pm and all prep is completed at school for those who choose to stay until 6.30pm, although some children will still be keen to read at home and brush up on work for tests.

Year 6

The programme at this level is similar in structure to Year 5. Latin is introduced to the curriculum and so, too, is Key Skills – an alternative and invaluable programme focussing on additional English, Maths, Science and French for those who would benefit from it.

Year 7

Year 7 begins the final two year course to Common Entrance and scholarship. We try to be as inclusive as we can be at this stage. Some children, particularly those aiming at a scholarship, will begin Greek. In the final two years children follow a Religious, Moral and Ethical programme, delivered by senior staff and visiting speakers.

Year 8

Scholarship exams take place between January and May of Year 8, depending on the particular school. Common Entrance is timed for the first week in June. Specific programmes are built where necessary, but the majority of children have similar schedules aiming at CE in June. It is a demanding year for the pupils and we ensure that the exam preparation, along with interview practice, pre-tests, and non-academic scholarship attempts (Music, Art and All-rounder awards, for example) are all built into their programmes.

At any stage in their development throughout the school some children can benefit from contact with our Learning Support staff or pursue a range of opportunities available within our enrichment and extra curricular programmes.