Staff plan and organise the learning for each year group to ensure that there is continuity and progression. Our curriculum planning framework aims to provide a broad, balanced and exciting education set within the context of the National Curriculum.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri we make every attempt to develop meaningful links between these subjects. Although English and Maths are taught discretely at certain times of the day, they are also taught within a cross curricular context.
Visits and visitors are seen as a vital stimulation for children’s interest and are closely linked with the context for learning.
Each year there is at least one themed curriculum week in which the whole school focuses on a particular area of interest. These have included Cultural events, Book Week and Science.
In the Foundation Stage
Children’s learning is planned, organised and assessed under the following headings
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and Language
- Mathematical development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Expressive Arts and Design
We place a firm emphasis on learning through structured play both indoors and outdoors. The development of children’s social skills such as sharing and turn taking are very important at this stage.
Key Stage One & Key Stage Two
Through the teaching of reading, all staff at Our Lady and St Philip Neri aim to ensure that all pupils have a strong commandment of the spoken and written word, developing their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment and purpose.
To achieve this, we aim to ensure that all students:
- Have a firm understanding of phonics and apply their phonic knowledge when reading.
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Acquire a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar.
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- Use discussion in order to learn; children should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, evidenced from the text they have read.
- Have high quality teaching in regular phonics, Daily Supported Reading, Destination Reader and guided reading sessions.
- Are read to daily by an adult.
- Are heard read by an adult no less than once a week.
- Are provided with appropriate reading materials that support their phonic knowledge and understanding.
All children are provided with opportunities to read in small groups, whole class or individually with the support of a known adult.
Children in EYFS participate in weekly guided reading sessions. The children are placed into small groups of no more than six, reading books that are banded according to their ability, attainment level and phonics phase. These small group sessions are taught by the class teacher and at times the class teaching assistant.
Upon entering KS1, the children begin Daily Supported Reading sessions. This is a quality first teaching programme that ensures sustained independent reading opportunities for the children. Each day, the children receive a 25 minute reading session that is aimed at their instructional level. The groups are small, with no more than 6 children and lead by the class teacher or a trained adult.
Throughout the day, in any classroom at Our Lady and St Philip Neri, you will find whole class reading taking place. All staff are encouraged to read stories and other texts aloud to their class. As the children get older, this story would be a class novel that is read over a longer period of time. Teachers and support staff are able to use this as an opportunity to check the children's comprehension and consolidate other reading skills that are or have been taught through other structured reading sessions.
All children at Our Lady and St Philip Neri School take books home weekly that are suitable for their instructional level. The books are banded and support the pupils reading ability, comprehension skills and phonic understanding. Children are heard read by the class teacher or teaching assistant on a 1:1 basis and a comment is written in their home/ school reading log.
In addition to the various hard copies of suitable texts, our school has also purchased an online subscription through Bug Club/ Activelearn, where children are able to access extra reading materials that are allocated by the class teacher. Each child has their own account that they are able to access from home. These online books are also banded and run alongside the other reading books that are used in our school. Parents are encouraged to support and listen to their children when reading the online books. The online books are accessible for all children from Nursery through to Year 6.
This is our third year working with Destination Reader in Key Stage two for the teaching of reading. By following this scheme we have introduced the children to seven different strategies we use when reading. In addition, the teaching of comprehension forms part of daily lessons and as a result, the children have become more confident and competent when completing comprehension tasks. On Friday, the children are taught Big Picture lessons where they have the opportunity to read texts that are familiar to them (class texts) and texts which are unfamiliar (unseen). Questions about the text are answered using the seven reading strategies and a range of open and closed questions. The children are also encouraged to support their answers using evidence from the text to prepare them for assessments.
We teach writing using books from 'The Power of Reading' scheme. Each year group can choose books that are age appropriate, from a wide range of genres. Drama and poetry are embraced and the children develop a range of skills linked with other areas of the curriculum such as art, geography, history, music and PSHCE.
The teaching of phonics is the strategy for teaching children to decode words in order to read them and segment words in order to write them. It runs alongside 1: 1 reading, group reading, whole class reading and Destination Reader (KS2). Please see our Reading statement.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri School we teach phonics through structured, daily sessions outlined and supported by the accredited Sounds-Write program. The children in EYFS, KS1 and LKS2 are taught through daily, 30 minute sessions. These sessions are delivered by Sounds-Write trained staff.
The Sounds-Write approach begins with the sounds in spoken language and moves on from the sounds to the written word.
Through the teaching of Sounds-Write, children will understand that:
- Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
- A sound may be spelled by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.
- The same sound can be spelled in more than one way.
- Many spellings can represent more than one sound.
Children will learn three (3) very important skills:
- Blending- the ability to push sounds together to build words.
e.g. /k/ /a/ /t/ = cat
- Segmenting- the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words.
E.g. pig = /p/ /i/ /g/
- Phoneme manipulation- the ability to insert sounds into and delete sounds out of words. This skill is necessary to test out alternatives for spellings that represent more than one sound.
E.g. spelling < o >
Is it /o/ in hot, /oe/ as in no, or /u/ as in son?
Each phonic session follows a structure of well scripted, vocabulary specific lessons that allow children to recognise (new learning), read (consolidate learning) and retrieve (previously taught learning) information for reading, writing and spelling.
Phonics Screening Check
Children in Year One complete the Phonics Screening Check in Summer Term- usually in early June. This is a statutory assessment that all children in Year One must complete. The check is administered by a known adult, usually the class teacher, but sometimes this can be done by the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher. The Phonics Screening Check takes between 5 and 10 minutes and children are asked to read/ decode 40 words- 20 real words and 20 pseudo (nonsense) words.
If a child does not meet the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check, they are able to resit the screening check in Year Two.
Children who do not meet the expected standard in reading when they leave KS1 or do not pass the Phonics Screening Check resit in year two continue to receive high quality, first wave phonics lessons in KS2.
The staff at Our Lady and St Philip Neri encourage and support the engagement of parents in the teaching of phonics. Due to Covid-19, we have been unable to provide the level of support through workshops and information sessions that we would have liked.
Please keep a lookout for any upcoming workshops being offered.
Mathematics is taught in a daily lesson based on the National Curriculum. Aspects of Mathematics such as number and algebra, shape, space and measures, handling data and using and applying maths are covered each term. There is an emphasis on developing mental calculation strategies and problem solving activities; which allow children to apply their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts. Wherever possible maths teaching reflects everyday experiences. This year we are following White Rose maths planning throughout the school.
Our faith is at the heart of our school. Religious Education is one of the core subjects at Our Lady and St Philip Neri school. The school follows the Catholic approved The Way, The Truth and The Life scheme of work as well as studying Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. We look to develop a deeper knowledge, understanding and love of the Word Of God, as revealed in the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church. We also use the Ten Ten resources for Collective Worship.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri, Science is a core subject that is taught from Nursery up to Year Six. To help children think and work scientifically, we aim to build on children's natural curiosity. We encourage them to explore and investigate by developing their skills of observing, questioning, hypothesising, fair testing and recording. Over the years, we have aimed to foster a love of science outside of the classroom; educational visits have included trips to the Science Museum, the Horniman and Godstone Farm. We have also run an annual Science week, during which children take part in workshops, meet local 'experts' and participate in investigations and experiments.
In the early years, teachers develop the children's understanding of the world. In particular, the children will explore the natural world around them. They will make observations about what they see, hear and feel and will begin to learn about the changing seasons. Additionally, they will be taught about their own health and personal hygiene through topics such as 'Myself'. This will include handwashing, teeth brushing and healthy eating.
As the children move through their primary education, teachers use the 'Outstanding Science' scheme to support our full delivery of the National Curriculum. We aim for lessons to be knowledge-rich and regularly quiz the children to encourage them to retrieve previously-learnt information from their memories.
The specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics are studied throughout the primary phase. In Key Stage One, children learn about living things, including animals and plants, and their habitats (biology). They also learn about materials (chemistry) and seasonal changes (physics). The Key Stage Two curriculum is mapped over two years to ensure full coverage of the curriculum. This year (2021-22), Key Stage Two Science will focus on physics, with topics around electricity, forces, sound and light. Year Five and Six will also study 'Earth and Space'. KS2 children will also learn about living things. Next year (2022-23), they will focus more on chemistry, with topics including 'Rocks' and 'Properties and Changes of Materials', although they will still cover some biology and physics topics as well.
The Geography curriculum is knowledge rich. This means the knowledge the children will gain has been carefully specified, orderedcoherently and builds over time, As children work through the geography curriculum they will know more, understand more about the world around them. A good geographical understanding relies on firm foundations of knowledge and skills. The skills our curriculum develops, like the knowledge, are specified and progress over time in complexity and accuracy. The curriculum structure helps pupils to deepen their understanding of physical and human geographical processes, fostering curiosity and fascination for the world we live in.
As the children work through the curriculum they will know more about their local area, the UK, Europe and the World. We build on the children's geographical knowledge and understanding, allowing the pupils to make meaningful connections and gain an understanding of how our World is connected.
Each year the geography curriculum begins with a 'Spatial Sense' unit, that explicitly teaches geographical skills such as how to use an Atlas, locating places on a map, using keys and symbols, interpreting scale, population data and identifying elevation on a relief map. This unit begins each year and explicitly teaches the children the skills they will need throughout that year in future units.
In Key Stage One fieldwork is undertaken in order to use observational skills in order to study the geography of our school and the surrounding area. In Year Five children will further study the local area and will undertake fieldwork to observe, record and present the human and physical features in the local area and the issues we face.
In years two, three and four, children will study units of European geography that introduce regions of Europe, climate, trade, industry, physical and contrasting environments. Children will also interpret information in maps, graphs, diagrams and climate graphs and comparisons made to the UK. This will link in with studies in History say with the Vikings and Science.
Alongside their study of the UK and Europe, children will extend their knowledge to World geography. The children will study each continent and by applying their knowledge and understanding of the globe, longitude and latitude, time zones and hemispheres, children will describe and understand the physical geography of continents and countries including biomes, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. They will consider a range of human geographical features such as settlements, land use, trade links and resources. In year six, children will study globalisation, sustainability and ecology and to recognise their own role in becoming a responsible global citizen.
Where possible, children will undertake fieldwork to further their understanding of the subject.
The history curriculum is knowledge-rich and designed to be coherently sequenced. We teach the substantive knowledge of key historical events, the disciplinary concepts of history (cause and consequence, continuity and change, significance) and an understanding of the methods of historical enquiry and how evidence is used to make historical claims.
As per the aims of the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure children know and understand the history of the British isles as a coherent, chronological narrative, that they know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world, and that they gain an understanding of key historical concepts as well as abstract terms such as empire and civilisation.
The curriculum is currently mapped over a period of 2 years. This allows us to respond proactively to the curricular needs of our split year classes (years 3/4 and years 5/6).
Children start in Year 1 with an introduction to history and they begin to learn about British monarchs, prime ministers and parliament. They also complete a local area study about the Crystal Palace. In Year 2, children study significant individuals of the past through the theme of exploration. They also study an ancient civilisation (Ancient Egypt) and a significant event in British history (The Great Fire of London).
Years 3 and 4 study another two ancient civilisations (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome) and take a chronological journey through British history starting from the Stone Age and all the way to the Anglo-Saxons.
Years 5 and 6 study two further ancient civilisations (The Shang Dynasty of China and 10th century Baghdad), then spend time comparing the different ancient civilisations they have learned, exploring the disciplinary concept of similarity and difference. They also undertake a local history study of London, charting how the city changed from the Roman to the modern era. They also undertake a thematic study on the evolution of parliament from its early inception to suffrage reform in the 20th century. Finally, they explore the Industrial Revolution and learn about the Victorian age.
Art and DT
Art and DT
In Art children are taught a wide range of skills and techniques with a variety of media. They gain an understanding and appreciation of the art forms and styles from other times and cultures. Art is often linked to other areas of the curriculum. We encourage children to develop their skills of observation and self expression. We try to foster in our children a sense of aesthetic awareness and a critical appreciation of the work of artists. Our children regularly visit local and London art galleries.
DT is a practical subject which involves children in designing and making products that have purpose. We aim to encourage children to find solutions to practical problems. Opportunities for learning include picture frames in year three and bridges in year six.
Music is a strength of the school. In Music, children listen to, play and appreciate different forms of music. All children sing, use instruments, make music and perform. We currently have a 60 strong brass band. We offer lessons in trumpet, tuba, recorders, violin, percussion and guitar. We have a 30 strong choir for children in years five and six. Children regularly attend other schools to perform. We hold a Summer Concert and perform at local events, church and for charity. We have a hymn practice at the Infants once a week and at the juniors twice a week.
PE is an important aspect of school life as it helps to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. PE develops self discipline, self awareness and the ability to work as a member of a team. We aim to give children a varied programme of athletics, dance, gymnastics and team games including football, hockey, netball, cricket and tag rugby. We have a number of visiting coaches who teach the children specific skills.
Children in years three and four have the opportunity to go swimming. There are sports afternoons in the summer term to which parents are invited.
Spanish is our chosen modern foreign language.
All children from Reception to Year 6 will have the opportunity to develop their linguistic skills in an enjoyable way. Each Spanish lesson uses a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement with Spanish, and to develop a positive approach to languages.
Our Spanish curriculum is in line with the new National Curriculum and is adapted to each class topic, where possible, to ensure children learn Spanish in a meaningful context. Children are given opportunities to listen to and perform traditional songs, join in with story-telling and engage in short-conversations or role-play
Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1
The children will learn greetings, colours, numbers, the Spanish alphabet, parts of the body, animals and fruits and vegetables. This will be through song and story-telling.
Key Stage 2
Per the National Curriculum, in our Key Stage 2 Spanish lessons, the children will learn to:
- communicate orally in Spanish
- share their ideas and feelings in Spanish
- compare their use of English grammar and spelling to another language
- express some ideas in writing in Spanish
A good way to help your child is to use some of the free online resources that are available.