The school has designed its own curriculum to meet current government requirements with English, Maths, Science and ICT as the core subjects and History, Geography, PE, Art & Design, Music and Design & Technology as the foundation subjects. In addition, provision is made for Religious Education for all pupils at this school in accordance with its fundamental Catholic ethos, legal foundation and mission statement.
Curriculum subjects are taught largely within class groups with support and extension for pupils identified through target setting and teacher assessment. The school's governing body annually agree the level of staff required to deliver the curriculum and to match financial resources. This is based on the needs of pupils within each year group and also the short and long term targets set in the annual School Development Plan.
English is taught both as a separate and a cross-curricular subject. Pupils in both key stages have time-tabled English lessons.
A structured reading scheme (the Oxford Reading Tree) is used in Key stage 1. Pupils are also given, and encouraged to share, a wide variety of supplementary reading material. The school has a home-school reading record for pupils from Reception to Year 2 which is monitored regularly and summarised each half-term. In Key stage 2 pupils follow individual programmes and keep reviews which are monitored and assessed by their class teacher. Every pupil in Key stage 2 is assessed annually for reading comprehension and fluency and parents are informed of their progress via pupils’ annual reports.
Speaking & Listening
Developing pupil’s confidence in speaking & listening through planned independent, group, class and whole school activities is fundamental to pupils making good progress in academic, personal and social skills. Teachers assess pupil’s levels of fluency and external support or further group work is provided for pupils who need to develop their concentration, comprehension or speech and language skills.
Handwriting & Presentation
Pupils are taught the Basic Modern Hand (Jarman) and high standards of presentation are positively encouraged from all pupils. Pupils in Key stage 2 are encouraged to write in ink and those pupils who experience difficulties with letter formation are set specific practical exercises.
Pupils are taught phonic blends in the Early Years Foundation Stage matched systematically with the school's reading programme. Pupils in Years 1 and 2 are taught a programme of sound and letter blends and spelling patterns and are encouraged to use the 'look, cover, write, check and remember' method. Pupils in Key Stage 2 follow a scheme of work based on the National Strategy targets for developing spelling, grammar and punctuation.
At the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1, teaching is planned to encourage pupils to express their thoughts. Support is organised in a range of ways to help pupils to record their views and observations. As pupils progress, they are encouraged to make use of simple word banks and dictionaries to promote and develop free-writing skills. Punctuation and rules for spelling and grammar are introduced as soon as pupils are ready. At Key stage 2, pupils are taught to write for a variety of purposes and develop their skills in organising work through planning, revising, and extending their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Each pupil is assessed annually in line with Primary English level criteria.
At St Anselm’s we follow the Primary Framework for Maths. Pupils develop their understanding of number, shape, measure and data handling. Emphasis is placed on mental maths skills and recall of number facts and patterns. Pupils are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to problem solving and investigation. We want to enable pupils to see that Mathematics can be a way of viewing and making sense of the world and to be able to think logically, use Mathematical language with confidence and to enjoy investigating, solving and developing their own methods for calculation.
Science is a core subject and is taught as an individual subject as well as being integrated into other areas of the curriculum. We believe that pupils have a natural curiosity about their world and an enthusiasm to want to make sense of it. We follow the National Strategy and pupils are involved in a wide range of practical activities and investigations. They develop skills in questioning and research and they are encouraged to work co-operatively to solve problems. Teachers assess pupils work in Science based on set criteria and our main objectives are for the pupils to enjoy and experience Science rather than write about it.
Our Religious Education programme is centred on the relationships we form with God and all people. We foster this through daily prayer, acts of worship and celebration of the Liturgy. The whole development of the child, together with the importance we place on the love of Christ and the living out of Christian principles, are essential parts of our message as a Catholic community. The priests of St Anselm’s visit the school, lead religious services and the school participates fully in the life of the parish. Pupils are prepared for the Sacraments through a programme that links home, school and parish. Religious Education lessons are timetabled in all classes and assemblies are focused on religious themes. In 2009 Ofsted noted that “there is a spirituality which permeates the day-to-day life of the school.”
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is delivered discretely as well as being integrated into subjects across the curriculum. ICT skills are taught in the school’s technology suite in specific lessons and pupils are encouraged to use ICT in other subjects as appropriate. Once a term, classes complete an ICT project which is designed to enable pupils to develop a range of concepts. Pupils have access to computers in class as well as in the suite. The provision for lunchtime and after school clubs allows pupils to work independently in a supervised setting. In addition, interactive whiteboards and projectors have been installed in all classrooms. Internet and computer safety are very important to us and pupils are taught about staying safe in both Key Stages.
Design & Technology
Design and technology is structured to develop pupil’s capability in design. The subject is taught independently but is closely linked to other areas of the curriculum particularly Maths, Art and Science. Pupils are encouraged to use a wide range of materials, components and tools including construction kits and the application of information technology where appropriate. Most activities are based in the classroom. Pupils undertake assignments in a variety of formats; as individuals, in groups and as a class. These are planned to match ability, taking into account both special needs and exceptional ability. Assignments are designed to give pupils opportunities to develop, practice and apply new skills. From the beginning pupils are encouraged to develop their knowledge of health and safety and follow rules to reduce risks to themselves or others. They are encouraged to discuss their work and that of others, considering strengths and weaknesses and to suggest improvements to their design ideas and construction.
Art & Design
The teaching of art is mainly topic-based with a defined focus.. Differentiation and progression are two vital elements considered in planning, both in class and throughout the key stages. This ensures that we meet the individual needs of all pupils. Art appreciation and its application is seen as adding to the overall development of pupils throughout their lives. Visits to art galleries are part of the curriculum for all pupils.
In the Foundation Stage and at Key Stage One, History is taught through themes linked to other curriculum areas. At Key Stage Two, teaching is mainly subject-based where pupils study the Roman civilisation, the Ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Tudors, the Victorians and Britain from 1960. Information technology and other source materials are used consistently to support learning. Pupils are taught to develop skills in understanding chronology, remembering and interpreting facts, research and communication. A wide range of outings are planned each year to develop historical knowledge and skills.
Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Across the school, geographical skills and knowledge are taught by studying continents. Our teaching enables the pupils to develop an understanding of different cultures and to learn about their local area and contrast it to other parts of the world. Pupils learn to draw and interpret maps and charts and develop research and investigative skills
All pupils have at least two hours of PE each week. The school has two specialist sports coaches who, together with class teachers work on developing pupil’s skills in all aspects of PE and Dance. In Key Stage 2, boys and girls have the opportunity to represent the school in a range of competitive sports and activities and all pupils in upper Key Stage 2 have single gender sports lessons. Lessons encourage pupils to become skilful in handling a range of equipment and to develop fitness and strength. We make pupils aware of the need for rules and give them opportunities to work effectively in teams. Creative and expressive movements, together with rhythmic patterns, are developed through dance and gymnastics.
Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)
Our work in PSHE is closely linked to the curriculum for Religious Education. Pupils learn how to develop relationships with others and how to deal effectively with changing emotions and difficult decisions. They learn the importance of respecting themselves and others.
At St Anselm’s, we believe that sexual relationship education (SRE) is a lifelong learning process of acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs and attitudes about relationships and beliefs. SRE is taught through different aspects of the curriculum. The human reproduction content is introduced at Year 5 and with the support of the School Nurse at Year 6.
Modern Foreign Languages
Pupils in Years 1 to 6 are taught French by specialist teachers. Additionally, pupils in Years 3 to 6 are taught Mandarin by a representative from The Confucius Institute.
All classes enjoy a course in singing, reading music, playing tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments and composing. Through the use of a wide variety of listening materials, the children are introduced to music of different styles and from different cultures.
Our Key Stage 2 Choir and Chamber Choir perform at assemblies, school masses and concerts. We also participate in the Wandsworth Wider Opportunities project where pupils in Year 4 learn to play an instrument (saxaphone in 2012) and continue learning that instrument for three years. In 2013, we began hosting Bandworx - a weekly after school programme for pupils from other local schools who join together to play their instruments as an ensemble.
Pupil Premium (PPG)
St Anselm's was allocated £3,139 in the academic year 2011 - 2012. This was used to contribute to the cost of a Teaching Assistant (7 hours) to support specific pupils in Key Stage 2. The School's Pupil Premum allocation for 2012 - 2013 was £2,800 and was used to contribute to the cost of quality first teaching for pupils in Key Stages 1 & 2. The allocation for 2013 - 2014 is £7,200 which is again being utilised to support and extend the learning opportunities for specific pupils in Key Stage 2.