From Year 4, pupils follow courses in the core curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics and Science.
English and Drama
In Year 4 children continue to be taught by their form teacher and Miss Atkinson teaches Years 5 and 6. The programme of study includes prose, Shakespeare, pre 20th-century literature, media, non-fiction and modern drama.
All pupils begin to acquire the skills of critical thinking, close reading and effective communication. They develop their creativity in a varied curriculum that balances a grounding in key works of English Literature with the study of how the English language operates. Independent reading outside the curriculum is encouraged.
In Year 4 children continue to be taught by their form teacher and Head of Mathematics teaches Maths to Years 5 and 6. The school follows the Abacus programme for Form 6 and below, which provides a more rigorous, stimulating course for pupils requiring extension whilst supporting those for whom Maths is more of a challenge. Those who show a greater mathematical understanding begin their Common Entrance level work from Year 6, which they will build upon as they progress to the upper part of the school.
The Galore Park Junior Science books are used in Years 4 and 5 and the ‘Science for Common Entrance’ books, also from Galore Park, for Year 6 to 8. Many of the topics in Year 6 are Common Entrance-level work, which will be built upon as pupils enter the senior part of the school. Pupils also learn the practical skills needed to carry out exciting investigations, both in the laboratory and throughout the school.
From Year 4, alongside the core curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, we teach pupils language and humanity subjects.
Pupils learn French in a fun and stimulating environment. They build on the beginnings made from Year 1 and from Year 4, they are taught by a specialist teacher, with support from a native-speaker French assistant. Pupils enjoy using the ICT suite in the French classroom to carry out a variety of projects including writing stories on-line, carrying out research projects, creating power-point presentations, making films and accessing a number of language and interactive websites.
In normal times, in the summer term of Year 6, pupils are given the opportunity to participate in a five-day trip to Normandy, France. This is an excellent opportunity for pupils to become totally immersed in the French language, taking part in a variety of activities and visiting places such as Mont St Michel, la Tapisserie de Bayeux, St Malo or the Normandy Landing beaches.
Latin is taught from Year 6, following the Cambridge First Latin Course, learning vocabulary and beginning to understand the basic structure of the language.
Pupils develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local, British and world history. They learn how to identify connections, contrasts and trends and begin to understand how the knowledge of the past is built up from a range of sources. The development of independent research skills is given a high priority as our pupils progress towards the senior part of the school. Cross-curricular links are exploited where possible, for example Year 4’s work on WWII is further explored during English lessons.
History is brought to life for our pupils by visits to local sites, including Newhaven Fort, Fishbourne Roman Palace and Hampton Court Palace. Their learning is further enriched by interactive, fun workshops, both at external venues and by external providers at the school.
The teaching of Geography seeks to engage our pupils with the world around them. Whether on a local, national or international scale, our pupils learn about various human, physical and environmental topics and these lay the basic groundwork for the syllabus they will follow in Years 7 and 8.
Year 4 start their learning with an introduction to the subject before moving to explore topics on landscapes, extreme environments, farming and food production and citizenship, whether British, European or international. Year 5 study Kenya, the rainforest, China, population and migration and coastlines. Year 6 topics cover energy, earthquakes, rivers and flooding, water issues around the world and revive the traditional art of map reading.
Religion, Ethics & Philosophy
Pupils study a broad range of topics that are not limited to ancient texts and encounter the major religions of the world, as well as philosophers from all ages and places. Each year group is introduced to new ideas and faces new challenges. A popular theme running through all years is the link between Religion and Art History and pupils examine how perceptions of religion through art have developed over the centuries.
In Year 4, pupils explore creation stories, Buddhism and the identity of Jesus and their study is supported by visits to places of worship from the various religions concerned. Year 5 study topics comprise Islam, Saints and Sinners, and Bible, Monsters & Art, enriched by a visit to the National Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museums to see for themselves the terrifying monsters of the Bible and how artists have interpreted them. Year 6 pupils examine Sikhism, and move on to broad topics of Christianity around the world and the philosophy of religion.
Please visit the Creative Arts pages to explore our pupils’ learning further.