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Curriculum Subjects - Key Stages 1 and 2

Religious Education

Ages 3 – 11 (Foundation to Key Stages 1-2)

In order to deliver the Religious Education Curriculum Directory our Religious Studies syllabus for Foundation to Key Stage 1 – 2 is based on the 'I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life' programme.


English

Key Stage 1: Ages 5-7

In Key Stage 1, the focus is on developing language and literature skills. Regular reading increases the girls’ confidence as they move towards more independent reading. We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme, which helps children with spelling and decoding new words. The Nelson handwriting scheme is used to develop fine motor skills and to introduce cursive script. Girls are given the opportunity to write for a range of purposes and in a variety of forms, such as recipes, invitations, reports and stories.

Key Stage 2: Ages 8 -11

Lower Key Stage 2 (Ages 8-9)

The girls are increasingly confident in their independent reading. There is a strong emphasis on developing handwriting skills, and the girls move to writing in pen at the end of Lower I.

Upper Key Stage 2 (Ages 9-11)

The girls are reading confidently and independently, choosing a wide range of genres and authors from the lists provided by their English teacher. Both comprehension and writing skills are developed by the study of a range of texts, including informative writing, reports, poetry, newspaper articles, and extracts from fiction and non-fiction. Spellings are learned and tested weekly, and grammar is taught in a variety of ways. Listening and speaking skills are developed in the classroom as part of every lesson. Drama skills are taught, and the girls have the opportunity to perform in an annual musical production for their year group.


Maths

Ages 3 – 11 (Foundation to Key Stages 1-2)

In the Prep and Junior Departments, the girls are taught Mathematics through the Abacus Evolve scheme. The scheme develops the children’s mental mathematics, problem solving and investigative skills. A range of resources is used to support the teaching and learning of Mathematics, including interactive programs, practical activities, and games and written work.


Classics

Key Stage 2: Ages 8 -11

Latin is offered to Upper II pupils once a week with the aim of familiarising students with basic vocabulary, grammar and word derivations. At this stage there is reinforcement of existing knowledge of concepts such as subject and objects, as well as an introduction to further grammatical concepts underlying an ancient example of an inflected language (such as person, number, gender and case).


For lessons in Upper II our specialist teachers use the Minimus language course which builds on pupils existing knowledge of Roman culture and Roman British history, as well as providing light-hearted versions of popular Greco-Roman myths. By the end of Upper II (Year 6), when pupils move into the Senior School, they are well prepared to move at a fairly rapid pace in the language learning.


History

EYFS: Ages 3-5

Children begin their understanding of History through the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Opportunities to develop Knowledge and Understanding of the World allow children to begin to explore and find out about past and present events relevant to their own lives or those of their families. They think and talk about how they have grown and changed. Theybegin to recognize differences between the present and the past by looking at events in their own life; in the lives of other family members and other people they know. They can talk about what they know and are beginning to use time-related vocabulary. They can retell a story about the past. Children in Prep I learn about toys in the past. They recognize differences between old and new toys, toys they play with, and toys which their parents and grandparents would have played with.

Key Stage 1: Ages 5-7

During Key Stage I, pupils learn about other people's lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men, women, children and events from the recent and more distant past, including those from both Britain and the wider world. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn about how the past is different from the present and begin to use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will visit museums and other places of interest and begin to appreciate the importance of artefacts as evidence about life in the past. Loan boxes of artefacts are brought into school from the local museum. A popular outing in Prep II is to ‘The Victorian Kitchen’ which allows the children to compare and contrast a modern kitchen with one from over a century ago. In Prep III, the children visit the Florence Nightingale Museum to aid their understanding of how the actions of an individual can have a significant effect on the lives of others in History.

Key Stage 2: Ages 8 -11

During Key Stage 2, pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. Typically the children study ‘The Invaders’, ‘Ancient Civilizations’, ‘The Tudor Period’ and ‘The Victorian Era’ and they experience at least one visit a year to a place of interest related to the topic they have studied. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at History in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and social perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.

Using their knowledge and understanding, pupils begin to evaluate sources of information and identify those that are useful for a particular task. They select and organize information to produce structured work, making appropriate use of dates and historical vocabulary. They describe and make links between events and changes and give reasons for, and results of, these events and changes. They know that some events, people and changes have been interpreted in different ways and suggest possible reasons for this. These skills of historical enquiry are invaluable across all curriculum subjects.


Geography

Key Stage 1: Ages 5-7

At Key Stage 1, Geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to children's own environment and the people who live there. Students at this level also begin to develop an awareness of the wider world .Geography at this level is taught within a cross-curricular framework and includes such topics as: investigating the sea side; the road where I live; and sunflowers in France.

Key Stage 2: Ages 8 -11

Building on the foundations of the previous Key Stage, pupils continue developing their knowledge, skills and understanding of people, places and environments at different scales, in the UK and overseas. They also begin to appreciate how places relate to each other. Throughout the Junior School Geography is taught as a separate subject but cross-curricular links are encouraged with Maths, ICT, History and English. The local environment is used widely and they embark on a field work investigations.


Modern Languages

Key Stage 2: Ages 8 -11

Unlike many schools we at St Augustine's believe that experienced specialist teachers are the key to success. From the word go all pupils are taught languages by a specialist teacher who is able to bring a depth and richness of experience to lessons, as well as a real love and enthusiasm for their subject.


Pupils begin learning French from Lower I (Year 3). From the outset we focus on practical communication reinforced with clear explanations and practice of the grammar of the language. The lessons are pacey and dynamic. Pupils are encouraged to see learning languages as an enjoyable activity and look forward to their French lessons. We aim to exceed substantially QCA guidelines for Key Stage 2. The course materials used have clear grammatical explanations and challenging exercises that provide a solid basis for further study.


By the end of Upper II (Year 6), as pupils move into the Senior School, they are normally working at an impressive level, beyond many Year 8 or 9 pupils (age 12 - 14) in other schools.


Science

Key Stage 1 & 2: Ages 5-11

Science in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is based on the National Curriculum. Much of the science is taught within a cross-curricular framework, using a range of strategies to support different learning styles. In this way we aim to make science relevant to the students and to encourage the development of critical thinking and enquiring minds.

Science Club, based on the 'Salters' Company Science Club', is now offered once a week from Upper II (age 10) upwards - offering a fun and interactive introduction to science practicals (such as the science of bath bombs, how to make ice cream and using liquid nitrogen).


ICT

Key Stage 1 & 2: Ages 5-11


ICT is introduced in the classroom from age 4, allowing the girls time to explore the basic functions of the subject and use the classroom interactive whiteboards. By age 8 the girls take lessons in the ICT Suite working on the School network, sending and receiving emails, using interactive educational CDs and starting to explore graphic design.


Art

Key Stage 1 & 2: Ages 5-11

During this time art is about developing children's creativity and imagination. Activities relate to their own identity and experiences. These activities include painting, clay, collage, design and sculpture. Children explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and equipment.

The formal elements of line, tone, texture, pattern and shape begin to be explored. As they progress girls learn about the work of artists and designers. They begin to make judgements, form opinions and make more complex practical decisions.


Music

Key Stage 1 & 2: Ages 5-11

Music is an important part of the curriculum. From Prep I the girls are taught singing by a Kodaly specialist and explore a wide variety of topics which investigate the elements of music, and musical forms and styles. Girls work on group arrangements and compositions using their voices, classroom percussion and frequently other instruments which they are learning individually.

There are a number of performance opportunities throughout the year. There are two Nativities for Prep pupils and a Prep Spring Concert in the Lent term, often showcasing the instruments which Prep III girls have begun to learn. In the Juniors there is an annual Upper II production and usually one or two other class or year productions. Music plays an important part in the religious life of the school: all Junior girls combine with the lower Seniors to form a choir for the Carol Service and music always features in school Masses. Lower I girls lead the singing in their First Holy Communion Mass in the summer term, and have premiered several new arrangements or specially composed anthems.

In the summer term all classes perform for their parents at Songs and Certificates.

Junior girls are enthusiastic participants in the annual Inter-House Music and Speech Festival.


Drama

EYFS: Ages 3-5

In the early years the emphasis is on the development of self, expression, creativity and confidence in presenting yourself. Freedom to express ideas, creating and playing with characters emerging from the costume box and physical play with props and prompts are vital tools. The girls are gradually introduced to script work and encouraged to bring the written word to life on stage. Ballet is taught as a curriculum subject in Prep I (Reception) to encourage the girls to move to music, and develop confidence and co-ordination skills.

Key Stage 1: Ages 5-7

In Prep II and III, Drama is taught as an integral part of the English curriculum, however it is also used to enhance other subjects such as Religious Studies and History.

A typical lesson may include warm-ups and character exploration activities such as hot seating and freeze-framing. Children also act out sections of stories to help with their understanding and to develop their speaking and listening.

Key Stage 2: Ages 8-11

The aim of drama at this stage is to develop the girls’ confidence and increase their ability to work as part of a team. They learn a variety of dramatic skills in a fun and supportive environment.

There are dedicated drama lessons in both Lower and Upper II, where skills such as improvisation and speaking in role are taught. See below for examples of annual productions put on by Lower and Upper II.


PE

Key Stage 1: Ages 5-7

Key Stage 1 pupils are involved in physical activities that are mentally challenging giving them the chance to think about the dynamics of a sport and how they can better themselves in teams and/or pairs. The fundamental skills are also developed at this stage with close monitoring of fine and gross motor skills.

Key Stage 2: Ages 8-11

Key Stage 2 pupils are involved in a wide range of physical activities which encourage them to game play and help them to develop their skills in many sports as well as encouraging a positive attitude towards health and fitness.