At St Peter’s we offer a broad and inspiring curriculum. We encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, while enabling them to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge they need to become enquiring independent learners. The curriculum is underpinned by a strong social, moral, spiritual and cultural emphasis which enables children to learn about themselves and appreciate others as individuals.
We recognise the importance of building a strong home school link and together with parents; we aim to help children to:
- Become happy, confident individuals who can empathise with others and treat everyone with respect
- Develop a natural curiosity and interest in other people and the world around them
- Acquire a sound command of the National Curriculum subjects so that they become lifelong learners
- Develop spiritually and understand that they have a role to play in God’s world
- Understand our connections with the local and wider world community
- Develop respect for the diversity of life and God’s creation.
We aim to achieve this by:
- Providing a safe and happy environment where physical and mental talents can be challenged
- Establishing strong relationships based on mutual respect between adults and children in the school
- Developing staff both as a team and as individuals in order to achieve the highest possible standards in teaching and learning
- Creating an inclusive environment where every individual knows that they are valued
St Peter’s follows the national curriculum with its stipulated hours of teaching. However, we also endeavour to provide an extensive range of additional learning experiences which contribute to pupils’ education. There are many clubs on offer spanning a range of sports and arts related activities. We also have a number of school trips which take place locally and further afield to support the curriculum. We ensure that every child can access the opportunities on offer at St Peter’s. Wherever appropriate, external visitors are invited in to support the learning in specialist areas.
We aim to enhance our teaching and learning by making sure that staff are up date with recent developments in education. We also participate in learning experiences with other schools to ensure that our practice is current and challenged.
The National Curriculum provides a necessary framework for basic skills and knowledge and ensures continuity in a child’s education. At St Peter’s the school’s development plan will pick out areas to be developed within a specific time frame. In such a way, the quality of learning is constantly being challenged and improved. We have link subject governors who are trained to question and challenge subject leaders and ensure that high standards are maintained.
At St Peter’s we have high expectations of our children and teachers assess daily, using their observations to inform their lesson planning. This ensures that teaching is child-focused. We know that children learn best by experience and that success leads to enhanced learning. We aim to differentiate learning to suit individual children’s needs. Children are formally assessed each half term and pupil progress meetings are held with the head teacher and deputy head teacher to ensure that provision is made to keep children on track.
At St Peter’s we adopt whole class learning but within the class, the learning will be tailored to suit individuals’ needs, talents and abilities. We adopt a fluid approach allowing children to work at whatever level is appropriate for them in a particular subject or topic.
As a Diocesan School, St Peter’s follows the Diocesan RE syllabus. Christianity is at the heart of everything we teach at St Peter’s and in their weekly RE lessons, children are taught the teachings and messages of the Gospels. Children enjoy the opportunity to ask questions and explore the Christian faith more deeply. However, we are an inclusive school and we celebrate diversity. Children today grow up in a multi-faith society. As such, we believe that it is important to teach children to understand other religions and to explore the similarities and differences alongside Christianity. Our RE syllabus does include units of work on other religions.
We are aware that for some families, school may be their first experience with Christianity. We believe that a child should leave St Peter’s knowing the origins, teachings and principles of Christianity. As they grow older and form their own opinions, they will have the knowledge and understanding to make informed choices.
Parents are welcome to see the programme of study if they have any questions.
Foundation subjects - In addition to the above subjects, the following subjects are taught weekly: Geography; History; DT; Art; French; Music; PE; and PSHE.The emphasis is on developing knowledge and skills within a creative context, so that children can explore and open their minds to what the world has to offer:
Wherever possible, school trips and external visitors support the curriculum to make it as creative, challenging and hands-on as possible.
Learning for Life & Sex Education
St Peter’s follows the SEAL Sex Education programme. This programme requires close co-operation between home and school and parents are informed when sex education is being taught.
Children have the opportunity to enjoy musical experiences through listening, singing, movement and dance and by playing tuned and un-tuned percussion. We have a purpose built, brand new music room which is spacious and home to our extensive instrument resources.
Currently all our Year 4 pupils learn to play the clarinet or the trumpet using the ‘wider opportunity scheme’ taught by Surrey Arts. The children have the use of an instrument for the year and enjoy performing in assemblies and concerts.
In addition to this whole year group opportunity, children are able to book individual instrumental lessons which are held during or after the school day. At present we can offer: guitar, piano, violin and clarinet. Whether children learn an instrument inside or outside school they are encouraged to play in assembly and at special events.
There are many extra-curricular opportunities for children to take part in and these include: Young Voices (choir for KS1) and Junior Choir and Recorder Club. The children taking part in clubs are invited to join many events and these include: carol singing in Farnham town centre, carol singing at the local Residential Home for the elderly, Farnham music festival and also at Church. Most recently the choirs have sung during our All Family Service at church which is held in our school hall once a term.
Since early 2014, St Peter’s Forest Schools has developed a new dimension to outdoor learning. While it was initially intended as an intervention for children who would benefit from support for social, communication and teamwork skills, it is now being extended more widely. In Early Years, all children have the opportunity to experience learning in the environment which develops both practical and motor skills and adds to their knowledge and understanding of the world.
In higher year groups, children are encouraged to take risks outside their comfort zone. They usually do six sessions which end with a trip off-site enabling them to put their skills into practice in a real forest. Feedback from children and parents has been very positive so this is an area of learning which will continue to develop as we invest in specialist training for more staff.
Assessment and Reporting
Children’s progress is assessed continuously with formal assessments taking place each half term. This enables any concerns to be addressed and interventions to be put in place. Parents’ Contact Evenings are held in the Autumn and Easter terms and a full report on your child’s progress is sent home in the Summer term.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
St Peter’s welcomes children of all abilities and talents. While in most cases quality teaching will adapt to a child’s individual needs, there are times when an individual will need extra support either for a short time or for a sustained period of time. Children are supported in class in whichever way is most appropriate. We have trained staff who have specialisms in specific areas relating to learning and emotional needs. Additional support from the Local Authority will be sought in some cases and parents will be involved at all stages of their child’s journey through education. The overriding aim for any child with SEND is for them to become independent in their learning and their life skills.
At St Peter’s we believe that many children have the potential to excel in specific areas of the curriculum. We aim to uncover a child’s latent talents. Where a child is identified as having a special talent or ability, teaching will be differentiated to ensure that suitable challenges are available. This may be through enrichment activities such as specific problems or research based activities or problems requiring more advanced thinking skills. There are also occasions when children are challenged in small groups either by a member of school staff or an external visitor. There are opportunities to collaborate with children from other schools in many areas of the school curriculum and Weydon School also organises challenges for specific Year 5 and 6 children. Enrichment activities are also available through Confederation collaboration.
A new National School Curriculum was introduced in September 2014. At St Peter’s this has presented a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity and challenge. We are very excited about the new dimensions to learning that it presents.