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 and a pond where children can study plant, pond 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. We work in partnership with local universities and agencies, to provide real life scientific experiences.
Humanities and Arts
Our topic based approach links themes, high quality texts and a challenging Humanities and Arts curriculum. 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 gallery visits. Specific Project Based Learning experiences instruct children in the creative process and give a real purpose and final product that children work towards, critique and improve on.
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. overnight on the Golden Hinde Children progress from using stories and their own history to make links with the past to using of a range of sources. 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.
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.
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 in order to learn and improve. All children take part in whole school national events such as The campaign for Drawing’s ‘Big Draw’ and The National Gallery’s ‘Take One Picture’. Children often have to opportunity to exhibit their work in the local community as well as at school showcase events.
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 Woodman Sterne 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 prepare and cook and learn about nutrition. Our garden areas, Forest Schools sessions 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 talents in all aspects of music including singing, composition and performance. Specialist peripatetic teachers from Musitrax teach whole class and specialist lessons. Every child is taught an orchestral instrument in Year 4 and 5. We have an exceptional choir who take part in singing festivals and perform at the annual O2 Young Voices concert.
Physical Education here promotes an understanding of the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children take part in a range of sports and physical activities, including team 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. We are fortunate to have a specialist PE teacher, who leads the curriculum, organisers sporting fixtures and teaches sessions throughout the school. Children also receive teaching from class teachers and coaches, and have swimming lessons at Streatham Leisure centre in Year 3. They learn to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators.
Children are taught how computers and computer systems work, design and build programs, and develop their ideas using technology. Children have sessions in the Computing suite, where teachers can model specific techniques and steps on PCs. They are taught strategies and introduced to programmes and apps that inform their topic work on iPads in the classroom. We work in partnership with the London Connected Learning Centre. Each Year group visits this excellent resource which teaches children about innovations and developments in digital technologies. Children develop an understanding of animation, how to use programmable robots from EYFS onwards and strategies for logical reasoning. Through sessions on internet safety and appropriate use of technology, children learn about the benefits, possible dangers and how to enjoy technology safely. There are also sessions for parents covering these areas.
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.