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Our Curriculum

  • 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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Art and Design

  • Computing

    In Computing, pupils 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.

    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.

    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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Computing

  • 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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Design and Technology

  • Early Years

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Prime areas
    Personal, Social and Emotional Development
    Physical Development
    Communication and Language

    Specific areas
    Understanding the World
    Expressive Arts and Design

    EYFS Statutory Framework

  • English

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 English

  • French

    French is taught from Year 3. 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.

    National Curriculum – KS2 Languages

  • Geography

    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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Geography

  • History

    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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 History

  • Mathematics

    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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Mathematics

  • Music

    From the moment you enter school, past the Courtney Pine and Nicola Benedetti studios, the colourful Music Room full of instruments, the full set of steel pans and the new professional quality sound system in the Hall, our commitment to music is clear to see. In weekly lessons we foster a love of music through listening and talking about music, reading and writing music notation, composing, improvising, performing, as well as appreciating different music genres and traditions. Foundation music skills are taught from Year 3 when each child is given their own labelled Music Bag with a recorder and music writing book which they will have until the end of Year 6, and children are encouraged to develop their individual musicality as they go through school.

    All children from Year 3 onwards have the chance to play a range of percussion instruments and to sing regularly. Year 6 additionally learn to play the ukulele. Pupils have individual Charanga computer logins to provide online practicing help and extension music activities at home.

    Our enrichment programmes include whole-class instrumental lessons offered by the Harrow Music Service, where in recent years children have learnt to sing and dance in the style of West African Ghanaian music and to play tabla and sitar.  We also enable children to take the Arts Award in Year 5, giving a valuable qualification at Primary level which can be extended throughout Secondary school too.

    Extra-curricular opportunities for children include music tuition with visiting teachers from Harrow Music Service on instruments including cello, flute, guitar, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, violin and steel pans. Children can also join Choir, Guitar Ensemble, String Orchestra, Wind Group and Trumpet Group. We celebrate our children’s achievements through participation in the regular String, Guitar and Band Festivals, the Choir Song Festival and Showcase, all from HMS, and in our own class concerts and school events.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Music

  • PSHE

    Personal, Social, Health and Economic 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. We are 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.

    National Curriculum – PSHE Guidance

  • Phonics

    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

  • Physical Education

    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, totalling 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.

    We have a range of sports teams and clubs that you can join, for example, football, tennis, gymnastics, dance, netball.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Physical Education

  • Religious Education

    Religious Education is taught at Whitchurch within two main targets:

    1. Learning about religion and learning from religion
    2. 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.

    Harrow Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education

  • Science

    We believe 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.

    Science at Whitchurch 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 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.

    National Curriculum – KS1 and KS2 Science

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