Learn about our curriculum here. If you would like to find out more about the curriculum Whitchurch Primary School and Nursery is following, please phone or email the office and your message will be forwarded to the relevant person.
Art, Design and Technology
Art and Design
We believe that studying Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form and pattern using different materials and processes. Children become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.
Please find out more information about our latest Art work on the Art and Design page on Frog
Design and Technology
We believe that studying Design and Technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems.
Through the study of Design and Technology the children combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and Technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.
Please find out more information about our latest DT work on the Design and Technology page on Frog
The new National Curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. They will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
The programming element of the curriculum involves the use of programs such as Kodable, Scratch, Logo and Python, and hardware such as Beebots and Lego Wedo.
Pupils in every year group learn about the importance of e-safety. In addition, pupils in Year 3 and Year 5 follow Safe, a programme of practical activities that develop pupils’ skills, self-confidence and safety awareness when using social networking sites. Safe Certificates are awarded to pupils at the end of the course.
Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard, visualiser and at least two networked computers. We have an infant computer room and junior computer room, each with 32 networked computers. We also have two banks of iPads, two radio stations, two green screen film studios and a 3D printer.
School Radio Stations
At Whitchurch we have a two school radio stations run by pupils. The infant radio station is run by Year 6 and Year 2 pupils, who create podcasts every month that are published on our learning platform. The junior radio station is run by Year 6 pupils and is broadcast live to the whole school during lunch breaks.
Green Screen Film Studio
Pupils use our green screen film studio to film scripts that they have written. The films are then edited using Adobe Premier Elements to create some wonderful movies.
The school has a wonderful 3D printer. Pupils design items using an online computer-aided design software package. These models are then transformed into plastic objects via our 3D printer.
We have two groups of digital leaders who support with the teaching of Computing across the school. The infant team support other pupils in their own classes; the junior team support teachers and pupils across the school.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning.
The EYFS has 4 themes. These are:
- Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
Areas of Learning and Development in EYFS
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the Early Year’s Curriculum in Nursery and Reception. Children will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through these 7 areas of learning and development. They include 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas, each of these areas are then also divided into 2-3 aspects.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Making relationships
• Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Managing feelings and behaviour
• Moving and handling
• Health and self-care
Communication and Language
• Listening and attention
• Shape, space and measure
Understanding the World
• People and communities
• The world
Expressive Arts and Design
• Being imaginative
• Exploring and using media
Our Nursery and Reception years constitute a distinctive phase of the children’s education. We give the children time to adapt to their class by bringing them into school gradually over a period of three to four weeks. We find that this gives them the necessary time to adjust to the many social, physical, emotional and intellectual demands – tears at Whitchurch are rare!
In the EYFS learning is an integrated process. Children are provided with a balance of child initiated and adult led experiences. First hand experiences and play provide meaningful contexts for learning both inside the classroom and outdoors. This type of learning persists throughout the school with the necessary ‘stepping up’ to new challenges that is required as the children move through the school.
Every child deserves success right from the start. We know that the sooner children learn to read, the greater their success at school. This is why we put reading at the heart of what we do.
We use a teaching programme called Read Write Inc. Phonics to teach our children to read and write. The programme starts formally from Reception and we make sure every child can read phonic stories before they progress to our higher level programmes. Some children complete the programme in Year 1 and others in Year 2. Year 3 and 4 children who need extra support follow this programme too; as well as other supporting schemes through interventions.
Children are sent home reading books to further consolidate their phonic knowledge and reading skills. We use a mixture of reading schemes to support this.
Phonics Scheme: Read Write Inc.
Main Reading Scheme: Oxford Reading Tree
The ability to use language effectively is at the heart of all learning.
We encourage good speaking and listening skills, providing opportunities for children to share ideas, express opinions, give explanations for what they are doing, and recount stories and to extend confidence in speaking through drama and discussion.
The aim is to extend the reading skills of all children, so that they can become fluent, independent readers. The children are encouraged to read, and to be read to, at home. We aim to increase the children’s independence in writing for different audiences, extend their vocabulary and introduce them to many varied styles and formats. Correct spelling and grammar is important and the children are encouraged to produce work of a high standard following the handwriting style taught in the school.
Please also visit our English Frog site for current events and work.
Children are assessed on their reading termly through both teacher assessments and tests. Based on these assessments they are placed into one of 3 bands of reader. Within these bands appropriate reading teaching techniques are used with the children. Those children who need to increase their reading ability significantly are given individual reading session.
At Whitchurch we use a range of reading schemes depending on the children’s needs. Commonly Years 3 and 4 use the levelled Bug Club books, Pocket Rockets and The Dandelion series. Year 5 also Bug Club and the Rapid Reading book series. Year 6 choose their own books but still participate in guided reading and 1:1 reading depending on their ability.
Click here for a list of recommended books in each year.
Click here for a guide to reading with your child.
All year groups also participate in guided reading sessions using a variety of schemes. This way we can personalise the type of books the group read for their reading ability and interests.ling
Children are taught spelling rules so that they can be applied when faced with an unknown word. Children in Key Stage 2 also have access to the website Spellodrome. Those that need additional support also have access to Wordshark and Star Spell.
Click here for an overview of spelling in Years 1 to 6.
Click here for spellings to practise at home in Years 1 to 6.
Whitchurch Primary School are involved with the Read2Dogs charity. ‘Read2Dogs’ is a scheme that has been running since 2010, with the explicit aim of encouraging and improving reading and communication skills in children. The scheme has proven to have sensational results on a child’s reading attainment and a positive impact on motivation to read.
French is taught from Year 1, although the National Curriculum requires this to be taught only from Key Stage 2. The aim is to encourage the children to enjoy learning another language through a variety of oral activities, games and songs. We familiarise the children with some basic practical vocabulary, grammar structures, as well as studying some aspects of life in France.
All aspects of language development are attended to, including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Research has shown that it is only through the development of these four areas together that pupils can become competent in their later development.
To encourage interaction and conversation, pupils participate in events such as the French Fashion Show in Year 5 and the French Market Experience in Year 6. The French Market has been an excellent way to motivate pupils who earn “Euros” in all of their subjects for one term that they will later spend in our Market Experience. It has cross curricular links to PHSE as budgeting and saving are required as well.
Please follow our French Frog site for current events and work.
The geography curriculum explores the relationship between the Earth and its peoples through the study of place, landscapes and the environment. We aim to widen children’s understanding about the world we live in. Topics fit into four themes: changing environment, diversity and community, living and working together and changes in the way people live. Children learn about the land, its rivers and settlements, the weather and the environment through use of maps, ICT, first-hand experience and observation. Undertaking fieldwork is encouraged as a way of developing geographical understanding.
Please visit our Geography Frog site for current events and information.
The National Curriculum programmes of study are followed by each year group and the children study a wide range of different historical periods and aspects. Our aim in teaching history is to give children a deeper understanding of the present in the context of the past, as well as increasing the knowledge and understanding of their own cultural roots and inheritance.
Visit the History Frog site for current events and information.
Mathematics is all around us; it underpins much of our daily lives and our futures as individuals and collectively. It is therefore of fundamental importance to ensure that children have the best possible grounding in mathematics during their primary years.
Number, or arithmetic, is a key component of this. Public perceptions of arithmetic often relate to the ability to calculate quickly and accurately – to add, subtract, multiply and divide, both mentally and using traditional written methods. But arithmetic taught well gives children so much more than this. Understanding about number, its structures and relationships, underpins progression from counting in nursery rhymes to calculating with and reasoning about numbers of all sizes, to working with measures, and establishing the foundations for algebraic thinking. These grow into the skills so valued by the world of industry and higher education, and are the best starting points for equipping children for their future lives.
Mathematics lessons at Whitchurch cover a wide variety of topics in accordance with the National Curriculum. These include: number work, shape and space and data handling. Through these topics, pupils will develop skills in using and applying number; the number system; calculations and solving problems.
Children also experience daily mental maths quizzes and activities giving them the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real life situations. Mathematics lessons emphasise the importance of applying the knowledge learnt to practical and investigative situations.
We wish to foster a love for music through listening, composing and performing, as well as appreciating different styles and types of music. At Whitchurch, pupils have the unique opportunity to learn a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument at no cost starting in Year 4. Each child selects an instrument with the guidance of the Music teacher that they will play for the next three years, thus developing their skills as a musician. Pupils have individualised computer logins to provide online practicing help at home.
In Year 3, pupils learn foundation skills on the recorder, singing, xylophone and non-pitched percussion instruments. We are also fortunate to participate in a whole class instruction program offered by the Harrow Music Service and Inspira Works. The project teaches pupils to play, sing and dance in the style of traditional Balinese music.
All pupils participate in weekly singing rehearsals as well as assembly singing and year group singing too.
There are also a number of extracurricular opportunities for children including Choir, Chamber Choir, Recorder Club, Guitar Club, Junior and Senior Orchestra and Band. Pupils are also encouraged to share their learning from outside the school setting by playing in assemblies and sharing with their class such as our January Piano Recital, Xmas Factor Talent Show, Our Christmas Concert, Summer Music Concert and year end musical production. Parents have a chance to participate too in our Wednesday evening Parent Band (also at no cost). This allows parents to try their hand at playing a musical instrument with no prior learning required.
Individual music tuition is also offered through the peripatetic music support from the local authority. They offer guitar, violin, viola and cello.
Please follow our Music Frog site for current events and work.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education allows learning opportunities and experiences that help children grow and develop as individuals and as members of families and of social and economic communities. It supports children to make informed decisions about their lives. The curriculum contributes to pupils’ life chances, developing knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes.
Sex and relationship education is taught at appropriate stages of the school and also through other curricular subjects.
The curriculum raises pupil’s awareness and enables them to deal with issues and behaviours including safeguarding, bullying, equal opportunities, homophobia, extremism, radicalisation, racism and discrimination.
Our PSHE curriculum is closely linked to our RE and SMSC curriculum.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)
Whitchurch Primary School is fully committed to promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Other areas that relate to SMSC that you may find useful are Religious Education, Safeguarding and British Values.
At Whitchurch, we have a wide range of sports which children can take part in. Pupils will experience Physical Education through dance, gymnastics, athletics, games, swimming and outdoor and adventurous activities. Lessons will include a range of activities designed to help the pupils improve their skills, teamwork, application and tactics. Lessons will occur twice per week, totaling 120 minutes. To supplement this, we offer a wide range of extra-curricular sports clubs to help the children reach their targeted 5 hours of sport per week.
We are linked to a number of community sports and dance clubs who provide both coaching and further opportunity for our pupils to be engaged in sport. All pupils at our school will compete in a range of intra-school competitions throughout the school year. There are also opportunities for our talented athletes to compete in inter-school competitions.
Whitchurch Primary School is currently participating in the Sainsbury’s School Games initiative which involves competitive sports between the school teams on a regular basis. We have been awarded the Sainsbury’s School Games Kitemark: Gold.
At Whitchurch we have a range of sports teams and clubs that you can join, for example, football, tennis, gymnastics, dance, netball.
Religious Education at Whitchurch Primary School is taught within two main targets:
- Learning about religion and learning from religion
- Learning about the historical and cultural diversity of over half a dozen World faiths, comparing and making links within religions
Pupils consider their own beliefs and experiences and reflect on what might be learnt from religions.
Our RE curriculum is closely linked to our PSHE and SMSC curriculum.
We believe learning in science is fundamental to understanding the world in which we live and work. It helps people to clarify ideas, to ask questions, to test explanations through measurement and observation, and to use their findings to establish the worth of an idea. As with every other subject we expect our pupils to be innovative life-long learners in Science.
In-line with the National Curriculum, science at Whitchurch Primary School involves pupils investigating the living, physical, material, and technological components of their environment and making sense of them in logical and creative ways. The working scientifically element of the new Curriculum specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. It has been embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. We aim to build on their natural curiosity encouraging them to observe, make predictions based on those observations, form a hypothesis, plan and carry out investigations and experiments. They then record and interpret information and results and communicate their findings to others.
Science at Whitchurch Primary School reflects the importance and use of scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. The children are assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
We are a well-equipped school with a large variety of science resources; this includes our Eco-Garden and pond. Children at our school learn to choose and use appropriate materials and resources safely while having fun, learning. Year groups organise trips and welcome visitors into school to support and enhance the learning of science. Please look at our Science Frog site for further updates and photographs of what we do in science at Whitchurch Primary School.