Our curriculum has been designed by the teachers and children to provide a rich learning context, relevant to the needs and interests of the children, to help them understand their place in a rapidly changing world, where our lives are increasing linked. The curriculum topics take them on a learning journey where they often take on a role. They become pirates or ecologists, archaeologists or Tudor sailors. Many of the topics make direct links to global issues and sustainability challenges. The curriculum activities are tailored to promote independent thinking and learning often in a collaborative context. Our curriculum has successfully incorporated appropriate elements from the new National Curriculum and its new expectations. Each topic ends with a ‘celebration’ where you can share the learning with your child.
At St. Luke’s:
- We provide real experiences – We believe that children learn by doing, so we take them on lots of educational visits, invite speakers into school, bring in artefacts and interesting objects, and use our environment to spark learning.
Encourage children to take a lead- We discuss with children what they want to find out about a topic and we ensure that there is time for children to direct how the learning will flow. This isn’t to say that any of the rigour of the learning is lost, quite the opposite – if the children are really wanting to discover more about a topic then the depth and quality of the work produced is often exceptional.
- We develop problem solving and thinking skills – We want children to be able to think creatively and critically question. We believe problem solving is key to their future success and the ability to tackle problems in a range of ways will help them succeed.
- We develop links with the community – St. Luke’s is an exciting place to come to school and learn; we want children to be aware that they are a central part of our community and have a role to play in that community. They are also part of a bigger national and international community. We have links with the local churches, mosques, environmental groups and arts groups and with other contrasting communities in the wider world.
The Wider Curriculum
The education of the children extends well beyond the classroom. We offer an excellent range of extra-curricular clubs including dance, drama, ukulele, rock band, comic, coding, multi-sports, Spanish and football. Teachers organise regular educational visits for their children to support their learning. We regularly compete in local school sports’ competitions and offer two residential trips for the children, one in Year 5 and one in Year 6.
The year is enriched by many focus weeks and days where children have the opportunity to be immersed in a particular curriculum area. These include World Philosophy Day, Number Day, Fairtrade Fortnight, Book Week, Arts Week and Science Week
Global Citizenship is at the heart of our school and our relationships. It runs as an important theme through many areas of the curriculum and is actively promoted through a range of activities, opportunities and responsibilities at the school. Class and school councils develop pupil voice and active involvement in school improvements.
St. Luke’s has a special role to play in preparing children to build a brighter future through educating children in a sustainable approach to living by promoting positive attitudes relating to food, travel and healthier lifestyles. Other themes lie at its heart, including energy and water, local well-being, the development of global understanding and the promotion of global links.
We have been awarded Enhanced Healthy Schools Status by the government, which means we have developed an ethos, curriculum and a range of opportunities for the children which support the physical and emotional well-being of the children very effectively.
The Learning Environment
We believe that children learn best in an environment, which is well cared for, which clearly shows we value the learners within it and which fully supports the curriculum. We aim to offer an exciting, stimulating environment for learning. Each classroom contains high quality displays celebrating the work of children of all abilities. Children are provided with quality up-to-date resources including access to the latest ICT equipment. We also have a range of rooms dedicated to specialist teaching. Outside we have the wildlife garden, the edible forest garden and extensive equipment for physical play. We have also received funding for an astro-turfed sports area. The playground is managed by children and adult play leaders. We have developed and will continue to develop the playgrounds greatly, recognising the immense value of play.
Talking does not just involve speaking. At St. Luke’s we also use gestures and signs which promote and stimulate speech development and give extra information which can be seen.
Peer Massage is proving to be an enormously beneficial programme within the school. The children take part in regular 15 minute massage sessions. They are seated in chairs and wear their normal clothes. Massage is given to each other on the back, head, arms and hands. A protocol of mutual respect lies at the core of Peer Massage. Peer Massage encourages calm behaviour, enhances self-confidence, and develops concentration and well-being; respect for themselves and for other children grows.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
At St. Luke’s we take a whole school approach to the promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education as we recognise that it plays a significant role in children’s ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:
- their own values and beliefs; their own spiritual awareness;
- their own high standards of personal behaviour;
- a positive, caring attitude towards other people;
- an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and;
- an appreciation of the diversity and richness of their cultures.
- Development of SMSC is supported through our school ethos, our behaviour policy and through all areas of the national curriculum. A significant contribution is made by Religious Education, Philosophy for Children and through assemblies.
Pupils’ spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions.
Pupils’ moral development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right. They are able and willing to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others. They develop the knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them.
Pupils’ social development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities (local, national and global), and an ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good. They display a sense of belonging and an increasing willingness to participate. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities.
Pupils’ cultural development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and the ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in others’ ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.
British Values at St. Luke’s
At St. Luke’s, we teach pupils about British values which are defined as:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs (as published in June 2014 by the Department of Education)
These values are taught through the curriculum and experienced explicitly through our school relationships and our celebration of diversity and inclusion. The school takes opportunities to actively promote British values through our whole school systems and structures, such as electing school leaders, council members and running a successful School Council. The children also have an active voice in many initiatives and school improvement matters from helping designing the new school website to offering their opinions on the teaching of maths.
At St. Luke’s, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an important aspect of our school values. Our pupils have the opportunity to express their views through the school council (where children are selected by a class vote), pupil conferencing and active pupil voice through such roles as Arts Ambassadors, Thinking Ambassadors, the Equalities Team and the Eco Council. Children frequently lead campaigns for change through a curriculum which encourages consideration of local and national issues. They are also encouraged and taught how to construct a fair and persuasive argument around topic themes as wide ranging as rainforests, marine development and the Elgin Marbles.
The Rule of law:
The Golden Charter and Our Rights and Responsibilities Charter provide the moral and social framework in which children learn how to contribute in a positive manner to the safety and well-being of all members of the community. They are encouraged to reflect on the impact of possible choices on other individuals and they learn to develop a respect for all in their behaviour and attitudes.
Our school ethos and personal and social education emphasize our freedom to be who we want to be and to be proud of who we are as long as our actions or thoughts do not infringe the freedoms of others. Our school environment is safe and supportive and encourages children to express themselves. In lessons, children often lead their own learning through choice of challenge and lines of enquiry. In Philosophy lessons, they often reflect on freedoms, choices and questions of responsibility.
‘Respect each other’ is a value at the centre of our school ethos. As a multicultural and inclusive school, we nurture understanding and appreciation of our diversity through our curriculum and children’s voice.
Through projects and presentations, we work closely:
With parents/carers and pupils to share their knowledge and understanding of their heritage
With Carousel at understanding physical and learning disabilities
With Allsorts at understanding transgender issues
With Buckingham Rd at understanding learning disability
The children themselves often give presentations around their own disabilities such as autism, visual impairment or cerebral palsy or about gender issues or homophobic behaviour.
We encourage adults with learning difficulties to work alongside the children to challenge stereotypical views and fears.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs:
As a multicultural and multi-faith school, it is part of our school ethos to respect and understand other pupils’ faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through teaching children about world faiths throughout the curriculum and through celebrating special days and festivals from our children’s religious backgrounds and others. Our assemblies celebrate and explain festivals from all religious backgrounds: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism.