As with all the arts, visual art is at the heart of our school curriculum. We believe that creative opportunities provide richness to children's learning and link closely to the values of St Mary’s and St Peter’s school. We take special pride in our new school environment and the space it provides for our art displays.
All pupils are given the opportunity to express their ideas, as well as develop and demonstrate their creativity. Pupils are encouraged to discuss and appraise their own work as well as the work of artists and their own peers.
Art lends itself to many cross-curricular activities and these are explored throughout the year, as well as in-depth, during our annual Arts Week, which culminates in an evening open to the school and wider community, when the work is displayed for all to enjoy.
Beyond the classroom, pupils are given opportunities to work with visiting artists, including members of our own parent body and artists with whom we have special links. We introduce our pupils to the many galleries, museums and historical sites within reach of the school to help develop a keen interest in both the local and wider art community.
ICT is very much an integral part of the SMSP ethos and we pride ourselves on our comprehensive, innovative and safe provision. Teachers make extensive use of ICT in their daily teaching and children personally engage with ICT throughout the curriculum. Access is provided through a number of lapbanks, iPads, class computers and a bank of desktop PCs.
In line with the new Computing curriculum, children learn how modern technology can be used to communicate, collaborate, create and control through a varied and exciting scheme of work. Younger children are given hands-on experience with products such as Bee-bots, digital cameras, remote controlled cars and touch-screen technology. Further up in the school, children have the opportunity to create digital artwork and videos; use the Internet to research and publish work; collect, analyse and present data using a range of software; and design and program their own games and apps.
The world is filled with designed products but how do they get there and why do they look and function as they do?
These questions form the basis of all D &T work at SMSP. Pupils think about the purpose of a product, as well as the needs of those who use them. They consider the problem in depth and across a range of areas. For example, what are the main requirements of a money holder or a sandwich container?
Pupils discuss the importance of each aspect of design, the technology most appropriate to create the product, any health and safety aspects to consider and then go on to design and develop their own creation.
The process involves testing, refining, collaboration and consideration, as well as learning to give and receive constructive criticism. The diversity of D & T lends itself to being exciting and achievable across all key stages.
The school offers a wide experience of drama through both the curriculum and regular performances such as our Christmas productions and class assemblies. External drama companies regularly run workshops and extra-curricular clubs for our children and the school is always keen to embrace innovate projects such as a whole school outdoor Shakespearian workshop and working with Eagle Radio.
From an early age, the children at SMSP are immersed in a wide range of activities that foster a love of language and literature and enable them to express themselves articulately and creatively. We aim to develop children who are confident in the use of English in the areas of reading, writing and speaking and listening.
Reading is the vital link for children to become engaged and confident writers. The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension both listening and reading. Children are taught to read using a combination of phonic and whole word approaches, using shared and guided strategies. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why at SMSP phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start school. We follow the letters and sounds programme outlined by the Department for Education.
At SMSP we foster a love of reading and actively encourage all children to read widely across a range of genres and authors from an early age through shared reading in class, individual reading and guided reading. As they progress through the school, the children are gradually introduced to a range of comprehension skills which allow them to interpret meaning from a text beyond its literal sense. Guided reading is an integral part of learning and enables our pupils to develop deeper comprehension skills, increase their linguistic knowledge and gain a better understanding of grammar. The children are also encouraged to consider why an author would use a range of literary devices to create certain effects. Through participating in these reading activities, our children acquire an appreciation and understanding of how writing techniques can be used by an author to engage the reader. With guidance, they work towards incorporating the ideas and strategies they have learnt through their reading into their own writing. The reading skills practised allow all pupils to read fluently and with confidence in all subjects.
Children are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. All efforts are acknowledged and praised from the earliest forms of mark making to writing in complex sentences.
Spelling is developed alongside writing and children are encouraged to use a variety of strategies to help them. We use Letters and Sounds in the early stages, to develop phonic skills, and a spelling scheme built on these principles is used across the school.
Children are introduced to a joined script and by the end of KS1 are expected to be using it on a regular basis with practice continuing into KS2. Handwriting is taught as a skill, with an emphasis placed upon the careful presentation of work.
Throughout their time at SMSP, we gradually extend the children’s writing skills, helping them to develop until they eventually become confident, independent writers.
Speaking and Listening
Children are given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities - including role play, drama, presentational tasks and organized debates – which allow them to progressively develop their communication skills. These activities promote the children’s ability to listen attentively; to learn how to take turns in conversation; to respect and consider the views of others; and to put forward their own considered viewpoints. All children at SMSP are supported and encouraged to develop their ability to express themselves with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations and contexts.
We believe it is appropriate to allow children to enrich and extend their learning beyond the formal curriculum and regularly provide opportunities for children to take part in after school and lunchtime activities. As well as sporting activities we provide an extensive programme of activities for 'clubs' including ICT, book clubs, arts clubs, music activities, French club, drama club, and many more! We also have opportunities for after and before school care with our 'Saints' After School Club and our Breakfast Club. They run daily and are currently very popular with working parents.
Our geography curriculum aims to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people in it. To enrich the children’s learning, we work collaboratively with schools in Africa, these projects allow us to share our work, discuss ideas and build friendships. SMSP equips the children with knowledge and skills to enable them to gain a deeper geographical understanding of the world, the key physical and human processes within it and to understand the important role we play in caring for the planet.
In History we aim to fire children's curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. We consider past societies and their beliefs and actions. In doing so, children develop their concept of time and a chronology of significant periods, people and events.
During Key Stage 1 pupils learn about significant people and lifestyles in the past, and begin to understand how the past is different from the present. This includes a study of toys, homes and the seaside in the past, as well as the Fire of London and Florence Nightingale.
In Key Stage 2 children's knowledge of different periods, events, people and places is extended through the study of the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Stone Age to Iron Age, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Mayan civilisations and changes in Britain in the 20th Century. Children begin to recognise that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways, and they begin to develop a notion of change and continuity over time. There is a strong focus on building children's knowledge of British History in chronological order throughout KS2.
To find out about the past, children are encouraged to carry out research, find evidence, weigh it up and to form their own conclusions. We are passionate about providing children with the opportunity to use artefacts and primary sources to investigate the past. Equally, we like to use specialist visitors and educational visits to support and enhance the children's enjoyment and appreciation of History.
Our aim is for many budding Historians to leave SMSP!
At SMSP we teach a wide variety of strategies for children to develop their skills and confidence in mathematics. There is a strong emphasis on the acquisition of mental skills as well as developing written methods of calculation. This aims to equip all children with the mathematical skills needed in everyday life and the confidence to apply them in practical situations.
Children develop their knowledge and understanding through practical activity, ICT, exploration and discussion.
Mathematics is divided into sections, although teaching ensures that appropriate connections are made between the different areas. Each section is taught in each year group, gradually increasing in its depth and complexity.
In KS1 children learn to count, read, write and order numbers, initially to 100 and then beyond this in KS2, including negative numbers. They learn place value and develop a range of written and mental calculation skills including addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, and use these confidently in different settings. In KS1 they are expected to know 2,5 and 10 times tables leading to all times tables being taught by the end of KS2. They learn about odd and even numbers, rounding, recognise the relationship between halving and doubling and in KS2 they learn to recognise prime numbers, square numbers and find factor pairs. Through exploration of shape and by using a number line, children are taught initially about simple unit fractions and then in KS2 more complex fractions and decimal fractions.
They present their calculations in an organised way, including using charts, lists and tables to organise and sort data, and can explain the methods that they have used.
Shape, space and measures
Children are taught the names and properties of common 2D and 3D shapes in KS1 and in KS2 can visualise and draw 2D and 3D shapes.
They observe, visualise and can describe position, direction and movements using common and mathematical language. Through practical activities they learn to recognise angle including whole and partial turns. They are taught to estimate the size of objects and order them by direct comparison using common and then mathematical language and learn to measure them using uniform non-standard and standard units of length (cm, m and then later mm), weight (kg), capacity (l) and time.
Children from Years 3 to 6 learn French on a weekly basis. The programme of study enables them to progress through 3 strands of learning; oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. In addition to this, the children will also develop their knowledge about language in general as well as develop a range of language-learning strategies. This provides a basis for children's future development as language learners.
The children will be taught a variety of topics, ranging from numbers and colours to animals, clothes and the weather. They are also provided with opportunities to explore ad experience aspects of another culture throughout the school year.
Children in KS1 are also exposed to learning another language. This is predominantly French. Their focus is training the ear to hearing a foreign language. This involves lots of songs, rhymes and stories in French. They also learn about life in another culture.
Music is at the heart of our school and we believe it is key in promoting pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. At SMSP, through the teaching of music, we provide opportunities for all pupils to express ideas and feelings by performing, listening to, appraising and composing music.
By linking Music with all areas of the National Curriculum from the earliest stages in Reception, through to the end of Key Stage 2, pupils develop their creativity and expand their understanding of different cultures and traditions.
At SMSP, all pupils are encouraged to explore and play a wide variety of instruments. In Year 3, all classes learn the recorder, progressing in Year 4 to vocal, clarinet and saxophone tuition.
We also have a number of peripatetic teachers who visit the school to deliver private instrumental lessons. In addition to our instrumental resources, we enjoy making good use of music technology to explore the dimensions of music.
Beyond the classroom, extra-curricular Music thrives through a variety of musical ensembles, choirs and clubs. Here, we encourage pupils of all abilities to aspire to become excellent performers, work collaboratively, make good progress and develop a wide and varied repertoire.
Our pupils perform regularly for local residents and at our parish churches as well as participating in borough-wide and national projects throughout the year.
As well as the strong links with our community, all our pupils enjoy participating in our regular school performances throughout the year which give them an opportunity to showcase their many talents and accomplishments, of which we are very proud.
At SMSP we encourage children to be active and to enjoy themselves whilst doing so. Within the formal curriculum all children take part in PE and Games, having opportunities to learn fundamental skills and movements in a wide variety of sports such as gymnastics, football, netball, dance, athletics, tag rugby and many other competitive and non-competitive sports.
They also have a wide variety of opportunities to take part in extra curricular sporting activities. As well as football and netball teams we have offered cricket, rugby, rounders, basketball, athletics, swimming, golf, hockey and dance. We have a number of partnerships with local sporting organisations and children are often able to receive professional sporting tuition. We regularly take part in inter school competitions and we are proud to say that our school swimming team were crowned both Large State School Champions and Richmond Borough Champions Girls 2010-11.
For infomation about the sports premium spending please see the performance page.
As a Voluntary Aided Church of England School the principles of the Christian way of life underpin all that we do. We aim to give children a foundation of the Christian faith and belief, which is reflected in the principles surrounding the school's foundation. Children also have the opportunity to learn about other religious traditions. The Governors determine the syllabus for Religious Education in the school and regularly review it.
Our daily acts of worship (assemblies) provide a focus for the school community and are very varied in content. Clergy from the two sponsoring parishes take a weekly assembly.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and Collective worship. Any parents who are considering doing this are asked to discuss it with the Headteacher. Children who are withdrawn will be supervised.
Our Religious Education Policy can be read here.
In Science we aim to stimulate and excite pupils' curiosity about changes and events in the world, and to enable them to satisfy this curiosity with understanding. We link pupils' understanding with scientific thought and thus allow them to develop a greater understanding of the world in which we live and their responsibility to ensure its sustainability. We believe that pupils should be engaged as learners at many levels through linking ideas with practical experience, which develops the skills of enquiry, observation, research, experimentation, use of apparatus, measuring and checking results, making comparisons and communicating results and findings.
Children cover a range of topics from Reception up to Year 6. These include Circuits and Conductors, Solids and Liquids, Teeth and Eating and Materials. Science teaching mostly takes place in the classroom, but the school grounds are used when appropriate and in particular the wildlife garden.
Visits and visitors are an essential part of our Science curriculum as they enable children to learn from experts. These opportunities have included a links with National Physical Laboratory, Science show at Teddington School, Vic Taylor and his mini-beasts, Kew Gardens, The Lookout Discovery Centre, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
Sex education is part of a developmental programme of personal and social education designed to meet the needs and maturity of children. The Governors have agreed a policy for sex education and it is available from the school office. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the non-statutory parts of sex education.