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 aim to develop scientific vocabulary so that we can articulate scientific concepts clearly” after the sentence ending “…through first-hand, practical experiences.”
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 build on Early Years exploration 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. In recent times we have begun to make use of Seesaw to keep parent/carers in touch with their child’s learning, document our learning journeys and improve comunication.
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, and we look to make the school day as active as possible. We offer games, gymnastics, athletics, dance and, for KS2 children, swimming. Coaches and local sports players are invited in to share their expertise, and at KS2 we employ a specialist PE teacher for two days a week to take lessons and work alongside our other teaching staff. Our coordinators meet regularly with other sports bodies to organise a calendar of sports events, that includes competitive tournaments and participatory Festivals. In the summer term, older children experience Outdoor and Adventure Activities through our residential visits.
There are a wide variety of extra-curriculum clubs that children can take part in, both before, during and after school each day. School clubs are available to all pupils and as a school we are proactive in finding extra-curricular activities for all pupils at their own level of development and interest. The school has a strong ethos for encouraging all pupils to participate in competitive sport. Our Learning Mentors and Sports Leaders are pro-active in encouraging less active children to join in with fun activities. We also participate in all of the School Games competitions available to us within the city and where possible take B and C teams to maximise the number of pupils experiencing competitive school sports. We have been awarded the ‘Your School Games’ Silver Award by the government.
All children participate in our annual sports days held each summer in the local park. The infant sports day has a strong ethos of participation and enjoyment, ensuring a range of activities for all children to demonstrate their own skills and abilities in the key areas of the curriculum. The Junior sports day continues to build on the on the ethos of enjoyment and participation whilst introducing the children to the competitive aspects of sports. Our Sports Days also give opportunities for our Sports Leaders to help organise the activities.
At St. Luke’s, we believe music is an important, powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way all pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of all cultures, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between home, school, the local community and the wider world. It brings people together. The teaching of music at St. Luke’s develops pupils’ ability to listen carefully and appreciate a wide variety of music, to compare musical features and make judgements about musical quality. We encourage active involvement in different forms of music making from around the world, both individual and collaborative, developing a sense of group identity, togetherness and a multicultural outlook. We believe that music increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
The music curriculum at St. Luke’s is ambitious. It rises above the expectations outlined in the National Curriculum and strives to give the children the best musical experiences possible.
We understand music to be:
· equal for all.
· an expressive art through which one can communicate and share sounds regardless of culture, age, gender, race or class.
· a vehicle for personal, collaborative and communal expression through performing and composing.
· a fundamental and life enhancing experience which is practised in all cultures and societies.
· an intrinsic part of artistic and aesthetic development.
The principles for teaching music at St. Luke’s are:
· to provide equal access for all pupils to develop musical skills, knowledge and understanding.
· to provide equality of opportunity for every child to experience and share in a wide variety of music and songs from different styles and cultures.
· to provide the best possible musical experiences for pupils through self-reflection and ambitious targets set by children and staff. This approach is flexible and continually strives to adapt and improve according to the changing needs and contexts of all the children at St. Luke’s.
· to provide a rich, multi-cultural and ambitious music curriculum with cross curricula links.
In music, we aim to encourage the development of:
· cultural bonds and experience.
· enjoyment; collaboration; enthusiasm; confidence; satisfaction and technical ability through performing music and practical involvement.
· perceptual skills through listening, performing and composing .
· a wide variety of personal and group responses to sounds, demanding an involvement intellectually, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
· using different ways to represent sounds graphically and symbolically.
· technological skills and ICT as a tool for creating, manipulating and storing sounds.
Our music curriculum provides a well-structured approach to the learning of music. The emphasis is on enjoyment and practical involvement and the children are encouraged and motivated to discover and develop their own skills as much as possible. Each teaching module focuses on ‘Sounds and Music’, ‘Singing and Percussion’ , ‘Rhythm, Pitch and Composing’ and ‘Listening, Appraising and Performing’ and these are revisited and built upon term by term and year by year.
Through Brighton and Hove Music & Arts, there is a wide range of peripatetic lessons available. These include brass, violin, cello, guitar and woodwind lessons. There is also a wide variety of music clubs available including an orchestra and a mixed age choir. There is a charge for these peripatetic lessons and clubs but subsidies are available.
Other music clubs are run on a voluntary basis by members of staff and are free. These include choir, 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.