Living and Learning in the Love of God
At St Margaret’s we aim to prepare children fully for life in modern Britain through our broad, balanced curriculum, and our strong ethos underpinned by Christian values promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development.
The school follows all the requirements of the National Curriculum but also uses Cornerstones and the Power of Reading for cross-curricular themes. We have developed a creative, enquiry-based curriculum that successfully offers a wide range of developmental opportunities. This topic-based, creative curriculum enables pupils to be highly inspired and immersed in challenging learning opportunities that will meet the individual development of all the children in our care. Our aim is to promote in our children a lifelong love of learning.
The Creative Curriculum at St Margaret’s incorporates the following subjects:
- Art and Design
There are five maths sessions timetabled each week and an additional calculation lesson focusing on sharpening arithmetic skills in key stage 2. We use Hamilton Trust to support our medium term planning and weekly plans are bespoke according to the needs of the children in each class. Practical equipment such as Numicon and the Singapore Bar Method are used to support problem solving.
As a Church School it is our aim to give the children in our care a sound understanding of Christianity. The children also learn about Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. Children attend St Mark with St Margaret’s Church and the Ascension Church on particular festival occasions. We also use the Church, the Hindu Temple next door to the school and other local places of worship as a valuable learning resource. RE is a core subject at our school and is taught every week for a minimum of 1 hour. We use the Southwark Diocese Schemes of Work and ensure a balance of learning about Religion (AT1) and learning from Religion (AT2).
St Margaret’s core values are distinctly Christian and are clearly linked to the Gospels and Biblical teaching. Our twelve values, with the core value of love running throughout, have a significant impact on the way children learn and respond to each other. Children learn that they are all unique and valued in the eyes of God. They provide our children with a focus and are exemplified further through stories from other cultures and world religions. We use the Values for Life resources to promote values from a Christian perspective. Twelve values are taught over a two year cycle.
READING AND PHONICS
We use the Letters and Sounds phonics teaching scheme. This scheme has been produced by the Government and is systematic in its approach to teaching phonics. Phonemes are taught as discreet sounds which enable the child to apply blending and segmenting skills more successfully. Phonics is taught every morning for 20 minutes.
Guided reading is taught explicitly through planned group activities every day for half an hour outside of the English lesson. We focus on reciprocal reading and P.E.E. (Point, Evidence, Explanation) as well as comprehension and reading for pleasure. It is expected that children read at home every day. Each child has a reading record in which comments can be recorded by pupils, parents and teachers.
There are two timetabled PE lessons allocated to classes each week: An indoor session covering gymnastics and dance, and an outdoor session covering games and athletics. Pupils are taught the fundamental movement skills to become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They are taught to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and cooperative activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations. The outdoor PE session is taught by a Sports Coach.
We run Forest School sessions for EYFS children every week. It is an inspirational process which offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop their confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences outdoors and in a natural environment. RE teaching is incorporated into our Forest School programme.
Music has an important place at St Margaret’s and the curriculum offers the children a variety of experiences such as singing, listening to and appreciating music, performing and composing. A music specialist supports the teachers in delivering quality music lessons. The scheme of work used is Music Express but sessions are linked to topics and cross curricular learning at every opportunity.
For a small charge, Peripatetic teachers offer the opportunity for individual children to learn piano, keyboard and brass instruments. There is also a Junior Choir which performs regularly at music festivals.
We use Forest School, visits to local places of interest and residential school journeys to enhance pupils’ learning of the wider world and to develop social and physical skills. We also run a variety of after school clubs such as football, music, drama and dance.
Formative assessment is carried out each week and records of children’s achievements are recorded into Target Tracker, the school’s assessment tracking tool. Children’s progress will be tracked through their acquisition of statements taken from the National Curriculum and a teacher assessment/judgement is made each half term in the form of steps achieved. The teacher assessment will be made using gap analysis information, evidence from children’s books and work samples, as well as the teacher’s knowledge of the child.