Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important as it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The aim of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. Learning and development is planned around the individual needs and interests of the child to give children the best possible start in life and informed by the use of ongoing observational assessment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principals are
- a unique child
- positive relationships
- enabling environments
- learning and development
The EYFS sets standards to enable practitioners to reflect the rich and personalised experience that many parents give their children at home. Practitioners have a responsibility to ensure positive attitudes to diversity are displayed towards others, not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also so that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society.
The prime areas of learning are:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical Development
- The specific areas of learning are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design.
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They support a rounded approach to child development.
Mathematics is taught on a daily basis and follows the structure and objectives outlined in the National Numeracy Strategy. We aim to ensure that all our pupils are confident with all aspects of Maths. Significant importance is placed on developing the ability to use Maths in every day situations. Children are taught to use and apply mental and practical strategies to solve problems that they may face in day-to-day life. We aim to make Maths as practical and as much fun as possible, using it in other areas of the curriculum as appropriate, especially in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The literacy framework has been organised to provide whole school progression for the development of skills, knowledge and understanding. In daily lessons children are taught skills in reading and writing through a range of planned activities. We recognise the importance of communicating understanding through a range of techniques including drama, talk partners and artwork.
Differentiated activities support the less able and challenge every child to achieve their best. Skills and techniques are demonstrated and explained by the teacher through shared reading/writing, group and independent work. Regular guided group work in reading and writing is led by the teacher or another adult in the classroom.
We have developed an exciting range of resources throughout the school that enthuse and inspire the children to produce the best work that they can.
Throughout the school Science is taught as an integral part of our creative curriculum. At St Peter’s it is recognised that children have a natural curiosity and that practical interaction, exploration and experimentation will give them a greater understanding of the world around them. Therefore children will learn how to be ‘young scientists’ and carry out fair investigations while covering the three attainment targets of the National Curriculum: Plants and animals, materials and physical processes.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
At St Peter’s ICT is used to enhance, extend and enrich children’s learning across the whole curriculum and we aim equip all learners with the experiences and skills of ICT that they will use in a rapidly changing technological world. Children will learn skills of communicating information using text, multimedia and images; collect and present information; use control technology by inputting information to get an output; explore models and simulations; use ICT to research and understand how to use digital media safely.
We are in a very fortunate position of being very well resourced for ICT. As part of the new school each classroom has a state of the art Smartboard. Each class also has six laptops that can be used for individual or small group work and we have recently purchased thirty-two of the latest touch screen notebooks, which are housed in a charging trolley making up an excellent mobile ICT suite that is shared by all classes across the school.
Geography and History
Children begin to learn about the past by finding out about everyday life through pictures, books, and artefacts and by talking to people. As their understanding develops, they investigate ways of living beyond memory and begin to gain a sense of chronology. Following the national curriculum and using a topic based approach (which allows the children to really absorb the subject) we learn about peoples as Ancient Egyptians, The Victorians and what our grandparents remember. Visits to historical sites, buildings and the use of museum artefacts are vital in bringing the subject to life.
Geography begins by helping the children to develop an awareness of their own immediate surroundings. Gradually, the children are introduced to the world and what extends beyond their own locality, at the same time learning important skills such as map reading and knowing how to describe the landscape. Themes such as ‘weather’ and ‘rivers’ are studied alongside contrasting locations in
both Britain and abroad. Local field trips support and enhance this work whilst exciting in school resources brings the topics to life.
Children take part in a range of musical activities, ranging from singing to playing instruments. The Music Express scheme forms the basis of lessons taught to pupils, which is taught alongside the National Curriculum. We have a very good range of percussion instruments, which all the children enjoy using. Specific tuition is provided for KS2 pupils. These opportunities include a Choir Club held by school staff, and specialist teachers visit the school to provide music lessons. These may vary from violins, guitars, keyboard and ukulele, depending on the amount of pupils wishing to play an instrument. These lessons are held at a reasonable charge. Two ten week programmes are provided by South Glos Music Service free of charge, Djembe lessons for Year 4 and a vocal programme for Year 2.
‘Our school music lessons are provided by FunkyPunk Music – to apply click the link www.funkypunk.org.uk
Worship through singing plays a main part in our daily assemblies, and concerts are held periodically to allow children to share their work in music.
Physical Education (PE)
Physical education at St Peter’s forms an important part of the curriculum. In order to develop co-ordination and stamina alongside creativity, lessons in games, gymnastics and dance are provided.
St Peter’s has a large hall where children have plenty of space to express themselves in dance and to develop gymnastic routines using apparatus. Outside there is a large tarmac area that is marked out for netball and tennis. The playing field is used for football, volleyball and athletics alongside various other small-sided games activities. Every child in the school will have the opportunity to receive swimming lessons. In addition to curriculum time many children attend out of school hours clubs including: netball, football, athletics.
Religious Education (RE)
RE forms an integral part of the school curriculum and is based on the South Gloucestershire Mystery and Meaning Agreed Syllabus. Whilst the main focus, as a Christian school, is Christianity, the other main faiths are studied. Pupils enjoy learning about and from different religions in a provided to visit places of worship and meet people of other faiths. Outside speakers from the different faiths are invited in to classes or assemblies to share what it is like to be an active part of their faith community.
In RE lessons pupils are given opportunities to explore and develop their own spirituality, ideas, opinions, values and morality. Prayers are said at lunchtime and the end of the day. Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from religious assemblies and activities upon written request.
Collective worship takes place on a daily basis and is an important part of the school family life. Acts of worship follow the Christian based Values For Life scheme in which pupils learn about and from the Christian faith: it’s values, the teachings of Jesus and Bible stories. There is a weekly focus on Worship Through Song and the week ends with a Celebration of Achievement Assembly in which the whole school gather together to recognise and celebrate pupil achievements within and outside of school.
There is an active Pupil Collective Worship Committee, which meets weekly, with representatives from each class. These pupils are actively involved in the planning and delivery of the acts of worship, using a variety of engaging and purposeful activities including drama, song, prayer and reflections.
Pupils also learn about the festivals, special dates and events from the other main religions.
The children of St Peter’s have really embraced the introduction of Forest Skills.
“The outdoors can have several advantages for practical learning • there’s more space; noise and mess are often seen as less serious issues; and children can try out many real
activities. It’s often when some of these learning styles are combined during first-hand experiences that the best learning takes place, because all our senses are being used.”
Learning through landscapes 2008
When the children do Forest skills they are expected to wear appropriate clothing, not school uniform.
Design and Technology
All children are given the opportunity to solve problems and to design, make and evaluate products in accordance with the National Curriculum and the QCA. Children are taught to use different tools, techniques and materials throughout the school. DT is taught through termly topic work and covers a wide range of activities, designing and making models, using construction kits, textiles, food technology and woodwork.
PSHE, Citizenship and Sex and relationship Education (SRE)
The school follows the national scheme of Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning (S.E.A.L.) that provides a structured programme of seven, age appropriate, units. Through these units pupils are taught to respect and value themselves and those around them. The themes focus on developing children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in four key social and emotional aspects of learning: empathy, self awareness, social skills and motivation. PSHE/Citizenship is planned and directly taught in classes weekly with discreet learning taking place throughout the curriculum and school family life.
Governors at St Peter’s School have agreed that Sex Education should be taught at our school as part of our personal, social and health curriculum. Material may be made available to parents to view on request and they have the right to withdraw their children if they wish. The process of human development and reproduction is discussed in Years 5 and 6, with the help of educational TV programmes. Prior to these lessons being taught, parents will be notified and can withdraw their children from these sessions.
Primary Languages (MFL)
Language learning at St Peter’s provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all our pupils. Our aim is to develop a positive attitude in our children to the learning of other languages. During their time at St Peter’s all children will have the opportunity to learn French through songs, games and role play; particularly through KS2 where French is taught as part of the normal school curriculum.
Extra Curricular Activities
Ranges of clubs are held weekly to allow children to follow particular interests and develop skills.
Clubs include Football, craft, J.A.M, netball and gardening. Where possible Cycling and Road Safety Training is offered to children in Year 5 and 6 and taught by experienced instructors. Read more
Voluntary activities are an important part of school life and encourage involvement and commitment on the part of children, staff and parents. School trips are often subsidised by the ‘Friends’ of School’, helping to keep the cost of trips within the reach of all families. Year six children are offered a week’s residential trip during the summer term.
Local trips which take place at different times throughout the year during the school day eg. swimming, walk to the local church do not require completion of permission slips, these are only required for days trips/residential trip.