Our school and the curriculum

THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

‘The curriculum is everything within the school which contributes to the promotion of the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society; and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life’

(Education Reform Act 1988)

EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE

Children progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage from Nursery to the end of the Reception year. The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises 7 areas of learning and development.

The 3 prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development with 4 specific areas through which they are strengthened and applied.
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

The early learning goals within these areas, establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage. At St Paul’s C of E Primary School the children are encouraged to be confident and to develop caring, sharing relationships with others.

The National Curriculum forms the basis for all areas of study within the school curriculum. This consists of the Core subjects Numeracy, Literacy, Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and RE together with the six Foundation subjects History, Geography, Art, Physical Education, Music, and Design & Technology. In addition to the subjects specified by the National Curriculum the school also addresses cross curricular issues such as Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education, Equal Opportunities and Multicultural Education.

The curriculum is taught through both a thematic and subject based approach. Schemes of work adapted according to age and ability are followed by pupils. A variety of teaching styles are adopted including individual work, group work and whole class teaching. Help is available for those children with special educational needs. This is provided by members of the school staff and sometimes through services provided by the local authority.

 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

As a Church of England Voluntary Aided School, Religious Education is viewed as an important and integral part of the school curriculum. The purpose of this aspect of the curriculum is to enable children to understand the nature of religion, its place in society and culture and to begin to consider some of the fundamental questions of life.

Religious Education is based primarily upon the Christian faith and is taught throughout the school. At the same time children are encouraged to understand the religious and spiritual heritage of all members of our community.

School Assemblies are held daily and led by the Headteacher, Staff, Parish Priest and other invited guests. Parents who wish to exercise their right to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons/Assemblies should make a written request to this effect to the Headteacher.

SEX EDUCATION

Our Sex Education Programme is taught by school staff. Parents will be informed when this takes place in Year 6. They will also be given the opportunity to view the materials used with the children. We believe that sex education should be taught:

  • in the context of loving relationships and family life
  • as part of a Health Education programme
  • in an open and honest way
  • at levels appropriate for the age of the children concerned

Parents may, if they so wish, exercise their right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons. Preliminary discussions with staff should precede a written request for withdrawal of the child from the lessons.

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

We are grateful to staff and parents who give freely of their time and energy to provide further activities for pupils beyond normal school hours. Throughout the year pupils may be given the opportunity to participate in these activities:

The following is a sample:

  • Cricket
  • Chess
  • Netball
  • Drama*
  • Big Crunch
  • Dance*
  • Football Club*
  • Gardening
  • Karate
  • French
  • Knitting

* There is a small charge for these clubs.

All pupils are encouraged to participate in dramatic and choral presentations throughout the year.

BREAKFAST CLUB

Available to all children at St Paul’s School. It runs from 8 until 8.55am, there is a charge for this club.

SWIMMING

All Year 4 pupils attend weekly swimming lessons at Church Farm Pool as part of the PE curriculum.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT TUITION

Children in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. A number of specialists visit the school on a regular basis to teach violin and cello. Children receive a twenty minute individual lesson each week for which a charge is made. Further information on music tuition is available from Barnet Education Arts Trust.

INCLUSION

St Paul’s has a whole school Inclusion Policy. Our aim is to enable all children to develop their full potential. Individual needs are recognised and catered for with additional support available, if shown to be necessary, from the class teacher, teaching assistants, Inclusion Co-ordinator and the Headteacher. In some instances children may be referred to the Borough’s Psychological, Child Guidance or Special Needs Services.

The school also has a Gifted & Talented Policy which ensures that our extremely able pupils are identified and catered for appropriately.

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION

Although St Paul’s has a Christian foundation we believe that it is essential for all our pupils to develop an understanding of a variety of cultures. Through all aspects of the life of the school we seek to value those cultures represented within the school and local community.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

In a school committed to the individual child, we respect and value each child irrespective of race, gender or religious faith. We believe that the diversity within a school such as St Paul’s can only enrich the total life of the community. Each child, therefore, will be given every opportunity to fulfil his or her potential.

SCHOOL COUNCIL

St Paul’s has a school council which is composed of representatives from each class from Year 2 to Year 6. This provides an opportunity for all children to discuss relevant issues about their school and to take an increased responsibility for their environment.