At St Luke’s, we aim for all children to become confident, skilled and creative users of language. Our curriculum includes: speaking and listening; reading; writing; spelling and handwriting. Our approach involves the children exploring a variety of text types e.g. stories, information writing and recounts. They do this using a number of strategies, such as playing language games, identifying common features of a text type, role play, and evaluating different examples of a genre. They also learn text extracts by heart, choosing their own actions or drawing story maps to help them remember the words. This enables children to become immersed in the language they need for a particular topic, giving them the confidence to then write their own version. At St. Luke’s, we endeavour to plan cross-curricular Literacy projects – for example, when children are learning about the Romans in History, they might also be involved in writing a newspaper report or filming a drama based on Boudicca’s revolt.
Children engage in 4-5 hours of Literacy learning each week. Phonics is taught on a daily basis from Reception – Year 2 with some revision in Year 3. From Year 3, the children learn a range of other spelling patterns and strategies. You will find further details of specific spellings that children are learning on each year group’s home page. Children also read for about twenty minutes each day and, for one or two of these sessions, children are taught reading skills within a guided reading group. Handwriting and spelling are also taught regularly at other times during the week.
All children have a daily Maths lesson, which includes mental and written maths activities. We plan thoroughly for a variety of activities which extend children’s skills and understanding of number, algebra, shape, space, measures, data handling and investigative work. Children become confident in using mathematics in a broad variety of real life situations and in using a range of strategies to solve problems. We regularly hold special Maths Weeks. We are aiming to be a Lead Maths School for the Authority
Our aim in science is to create and nurture a sense of wonder about our world and beyond. Most of our learning is done through first-hand, practical experiences. All science topics begin with exploration and question raising sessions. These questions are then answered by using a range of enquiry skills (observations over time, fair testing, identifying and classifying pattern seeking and research). We are currently in the process of applying for the Primary Science Quality Mark
Changes to the National Curriculum have led to a renaming of the technology strand of children’s learning. What was previously known as ICT is now known as Computing to reflect the increased emphasis on programming or coding. At St. Luke’s we have built on existing Early Years practice to develop a range of code experiences right through KS2. These include programming languages like Scratch and HTML which allow children to design and create games or control robots and equipment; and build websites, respectively. Children also design and build apps for their phones and use a variety of real and virtual programmable robots to support their learning in positional language, understanding of angle, co-ordinates, etc. This is all built on developing logical reasoning, problem solving and collaborative learning. Importantly, we are also ensuring that technology continues to be used by all children to support, extend and enhance their learning across the whole curriculum on a regular basis. We utilise up to date cloud based technologies for presentation of ideas and research and different devices suited to purpose e.g. tablets for animations and research. We have a well maintained broadband connection and a high spec wireless network. There are banks of laptops on each floor; interactive whiteboards/televisions in every classroom and learning space; and digital microscopes, cameras, visualisers and data loggers all of which are used continually across the school. We have video conferencing and interactive animation facilities which allow the children to engage with experts and real time moving characters to bring history (and other subject areas) to life. We are continually reviewing our use of our website to maximise the link between school and home learning and develop the children’s communication skills through blogging and discussion forums.
PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education
PSHE at St. Luke’s aims to enable children to:
Develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to achieve, to be resilient and lead safe, confident, happy, responsible and independent lives.
To understand how they are developing personally, socially and emotionally.
To explore a range of attitudes and values.
To practise and develop skills needed to manage the moral, social and cultural challenges and responsibilities that are part of growing up and living in a rapidly changing world.
Art and Design
At St. Luke’s we aim to nurture children’s enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts. Children develop their understanding and skills in printmaking, drawing, collage, 3D work, textile and painting through a range of engaging cross-curricular projects. An important part of the learning process includes experimentation and an exploration of ideas within groups and/or individually. The curriculum is further enhanced by educational visits, arts weeks and projects with the local community. We have received the Gold Artsmark Award from the Arts Council.
History is often taught through the creative curriculum; linked to a wide range of other subjects. Through their learning (which is enriched with historical artefacts, visits, visitors, music and drama), children develop an understanding and appreciation of the past and how it relates to their present life. The children explore a wide range of sources in their roles as history detectives / researchers. They are encouraged to be critical and reflective thinkers and to follow their own lines of enquiry as they consider the global impact of past events on the world today.
Through geographical enquiry, the children will learn about the physical processes and human activities which shape their immediate surroundings as well as the wider world. We aim to raise children’s awareness of their roles and responsibilities in relation to their environment and to help them to develop a sense of identity through learning about the UK and its connection with the rest of the world.
Global citizenship is at the heart of our school and our relationships. We want our children to see themselves as active citizens who seek to make the world a better place. Global citizenship is a core theme running throughout the curriculum, tackling areas such as diversity, social justice, sustainability, peace and conflict and globalisation. St Luke’s has strong links with the local and wider community and children often take part in local community projects.
We recognise how important children’s physical development and health is in their overall education. We offer games, gymnastics, dance and, for junior children, swimming. Coaches and professional sports players are invited in to share their expertise. Our coordinators meet regularly with other sports bodies to organise a calendar of sports events. In the summer term, older children experience Outdoor and Adventure Activities through our residential visits.
There is also a wide variety of extra-curriculum clubs that children can take part in, both before and after school each day. The school has a very good reputation for participation in sport and regularly performs well in local competitions. We have been awarded the ‘Your School Games’ by the government. Our wonderful Sports Day at Withdean has now become an annual event.
The music curriculum provides a well-structured approach to the learning of music. The emphasis is on enjoyment and the children are encouraged and motivated to discover and develop their own abilities and talents as much as possible. Each teaching module incorporates composing, performing, appraising and listening skills. The school is one of the top two schools in Brighton for specialist music provision.
Through the Brighton and Hove Music Service, there is a wide range of peripatetic lessons available. These include brass, violin, cello, guitar and woodwind lessons. Visiting teachers from Brighton and Hove Music and Performing Arts teach these lessons and they are usually in great demand. A charge is made for peripatetic lessons. Other music clubs are run on a voluntary basis by members of staff. These include choir, recorder, samba, percussion and drumming.
Children are taught how to plan, design and make a whole range of exciting items including beds for a bear, bags, moving vehicles and torches. They develop a deep understanding of design in society and the importance of the use of materials appropriate to purpose.
French is currently taught to all pupils. They learn conversational language and learn simple phrases to describe themselves and their families. It is taught through song, games, stories and role play. An important aspect of our curriculum is to have a deeper understanding of French culture and everyday life. We achieve this aim by nurturing links with French schools.
Children in the Early Years at St. Luke’s Primary School follow the Framework For The Early Years Foundation Stage. This is based on seven areas of learning and development:
Three prime areas
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional
Four specific areas
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
These seven areas aim to develop the all-round growth of each child building on their previous learning experiences, knowledge and skills and focuses on first hand experiential activities. Great emphasis is placed on developing:
- The holistic development of children and their skills across the curriculum
- Personal, social, emotional and intellectual well-being
- An environment which promotes discovery and independence
- Positive attitudes; learning is seen as a fascinating, natural and enjoyable experience.
- Self-esteem and self-confidence to experiment, take risks, solve problems, make decisions and form new relationships
- Creative, expressive and observational activities which show their personal responses
- Outdoor learning with hands on, practical learning of physical activities and the natural world, as well as large scale learning related to all areas of the EYFS.