Curriculum Overview - Subjects
Science at Woodmansterne inspires and equips children with the knowledge and understanding to challenge and explore the world around them. To develop scientific thinking, we build on children’s natural curiosity. Practical science is central to our curriculum. Children explore and investigate by observing, questioning, hypothesising, and testing their ideas. Children use scientific vocabulary and learn to record and interpret their findings. The school has outside green areas where children can study plant and animal life at first hand. Forest School sessions are embedded in our curriculum, including Science, and take place on site and the local environment. Children learn about a range of scientists from diverse backgrounds and are given time to think about their achievements and contributions. We work in partnership with local universities to provide real life scientific experiences.
History and Geography and where possible RE subjects, closely link with the high-quality English texts, giving pupils context and purpose to the topics and core knowledge being learnt. Children are given many opportunities for real-life and practical experiences to bring these subjects to life, such as historical excursions, immersive days in school, field trips and Forest School.
Our curriculum inspires pupils’ curiosity about the past. Children learn to ask searching questions, think critically, consider evidence, and develop their opinions and judgements. They learn about the lives and impact of people, events and periods in the past. From artefacts, books and educational visits they learn how evidence is used and interpreted. Children look forward to their overnight stay on The Golden Hinde when they reach Year 5. Children progress from using stories and their own history to make links with the past within EYFS and KS1 to using of a range of sources and developing their critical thinking skills in KS2. This develops their historical enquiry, knowledge and understanding.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, children learn about human and physical processes that shape environments and the people who live in them. This includes studying transport, weather, landscapes and details about populations. Children learn geographical knowledge through studying contrasting environments. They regularly visit the local environment, coastal areas, city centres and rural environments in the UK. Children develop from being able to read and draw simple maps to becoming competent at using orientation skills and drawing maps using their knowledge of geographical symbols. Children develop their fieldwork skills by taking their learning outside and applying their skills within a real-life context. They do this by using maps, compasses and using equipment to observe, measure and record human and physical geography features.
Every pupil has a legal entitlement to Religious Education and it is a necessary part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Religious Education and Collective worship at Woodmansterne, recognises and values the diversity of culture, religion, language and experience of our school community, and reflects our core values. The curriculum for Religious Education is multifaith and recognises the place of Christianity and the other principle religions in the UK including non-religious worldviews. Children are given rich learning opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the different dimensions of religions and worldviews, and what it means to be a human being. It is essential that pupils understand both religious and non-religious worldviews, as this will enable them to understand more about the world around them and prepare them for their future. They are given opportunities to explore ethical questions, challenge stereotypes and gain knowledge about meaning, purpose and value. They learn about the traditions, writings and guidance offered by faith and non-faith groups. Wherever possible, cross-curricular links are made, and children’s own experiences are brought into the classroom. We follow Lambeth’s agreed statutory syllabus for RE, recommended by SACRE (Standing advisory committee for RE).
Parental requests to withdrawal from RE need to be made in writing to the Head teacher, who will arrange a meeting with the senior leader responsible for curriculum.
All creative lessons are carefully planned to develop sequential core knowledge and skills. Pupils study and celebrate the contribution of diverse artists and performers and link this to their own work. In 2020 the school achieved ‘Artsmark Silver’, acknowledging our quality arts curriculum for music, dance, drama and art
Children learn and develop specific knowledge and techniques for drawing, painting, printing, creating collage and modelling with clay. They study the work of famous artists to help inspire and inform their own artwork with visits to art galleries and experiencing workshops led by local artists. Children learn to critically evaluate their own work and that of others to learn and improve. All children take part in whole school events such as The Campaign for Drawing’s ‘Big Draw’. Children have the opportunity to exhibit their work in the local community as well as at school showcase events and the RA ‘young artist’s summer show.
In DT children are taught about the key processes involved in designing and making a product. They are taught the technical knowledge and understanding they need to design, make, and evaluate their work. A key part of the process at Woodmansterne is using their evaluations for ongoing modifications and improvements. Children are taught how to use a range of tools and techniques as they progress throughout the school and to learn in a variety of contexts, including outdoors and during workshops. The school has a well-equipped technology room where children are taught how to use kitchen equipment to prepare and cook and learn about nutrition. Our garden areas, Forest Schools sessions, Chefs in Schools programme and extra-curricular activities provide opportunities for children to learn first-hand about how food is grown and to understand where the food on their plates comes from.
Music has a long tradition at the school, and there are considerable opportunities for all children to develop their musical knowledge and skills in all aspects of music including singing, composition and performance. All pupils from Nursery to Year 6 have lessons with a specialist music teacher and learn and apply subject specific vocabulary and knowledge which they build on each year. In KS2 every child learns an instrument: Year 3, recorder) Y4 strings with specialists from Lambeth Music Service, and Y5 ukulele and samba with Kinetico Bloco, Y6 learn music technology. There are many musical afterschool clubs and peripatetic lessons. We have an exceptional choir who take part in singing festivals in Lambeth and perform at The Festival Hall and the annual O2 Young Voices concert.
Physical Education promotes an understanding of the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children take part in a range of sports and physical activities, including invasion games, athletics, dance and gymnastics. There are indoor and outdoor environments for sessions and opportunities to be involved in after school clubs compete against other schools. Our specialist PE staff lead and teach PE lessons as well as class teachers and coaches. All children learn core knowledge and skills needed for specific sports, they also learn to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. In Year 5 all pupils attend Cannons swimming pool in Merton for a block of swimming lessons, where all children make significant progress from their starting points.
PSHE and RSE
Children develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. These skills and attributes help pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. Our PSHE curriculum enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. Children are given opportunities to develop skills to investigate, make sense of and communicate with the world around them. Our RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) curriculum provides a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place, it teaches pupils to develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy and provides a focus on giving young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds. We use SCARF schemes of work and resources to teach PSHE and RSE
In computing children follow the NCCE scheme of learning which provides a broad range of opportunities to work with music, audio, design, programming and word processing programs. Children learn not only to program on screen (Scratch, Turtle) but to develop their programming skills to include hardware. From Year 3 each child receives a personalised email and password which provides access to Microsoft Office software. Children are taught how to access and use emails safely, how to navigate Office 365 and how to use programs such as PowerPoint, Word and OneDrive. Lessons take place either in our purpose-built computing suite, on chrome books or on ipads. Teachers use lessons at the start of the year to cover Office 365 skills and E-Safety There are also weekly E-Safety assemblies which cover a wide range of topics from bots to search engines.
Modern Foreign language
French is taught by specialist French-speaking teachers. All children in KS2 are taught French each week. They learn the vocabulary and grammar to communicate their ideas on topics that are relevant to them. There are opportunities to use and develop their language skills throughout the school, such as presentations, events and a residential trip to France in year 6. By the end of KS2 students will have learnt concepts such as masculine and feminine nouns, adjectival agreements and key verbs such as avoir – to have , être- to be and aller – to go.