History is a subject that naturally captures the interest and imagination of children at St Anselm’s School. We believe that History should be taught both discreetly, so as to give it importance in its own right, and in a cross curricular manner, linking it to creative writing, art, drama and more. Children are encouraged to question everything and be historians, exploring sources and questioning their reliability, backing up their thoughts with evidence where appropriate. We study History at both a local and global level, giving children a sense of identity and an understanding of where they stand within the world. Children begin their education in History by developing an awareness of the past, including ways in which we find out about it. As they travel up through the school, they are taught skills in developing chronology, studying ancient civilizations, such as the Mayans and the Egyptians, and changes to Britain from the Stone Age onwards, as well as events in living memory, such as World War II. We investigate key figures and their impact on society, as well as inventions and how they have changed the world that we live in. As well as chronology, children are taught skills such as research, communication, questioning and noticing patterns.
Geography involves learning about the ways in which our world helps us, and our responsibility to care for and protect it. Children investigate changes and dangers to our planet and ways that we can help, both on an individual and global level. Over the course of their time at school, children will develop their core knowledge, learning and locating various global regions, countries, continents and seas, as well as their characteristics. They develop their geographical understanding, including learning key vocabulary (including directional language), identifying patterns, drawing comparisons and making contrasts, recognising changes over time and evaluating both human and physical processes and the changes that they cause. They develop their enquiry skills by asking and answering questions, creating and using maps, making observational notes and sketches, and recording and presenting data in a variety of ways. These skills are developed by use of ICT and engagement in outings and field work.
We have a dedicated music teacher who teaches music lessons, and also leads a singing assembly each week.
Children in Years 3 learn to play the recorder, giving them a basic introduction to reading music, playing an instrument and performing. In years 4 and 5 specialist teachers from the Wandsworth Music Service teach the children how to play the saxophone. We have regular saxophone concerts, and our Year 4 children also have the opportunity to perform in a concert at The Royal Festival Hall. Children in Year 6 learn the ukulele.
We also take part in singing projects led by The Wandsworth Music Service. Singing is taught by vocal coaches and the projects culminate with a concert either in school or a performance venue.
We believe that Physical Education develops pupils’ physical competence and confidence. We currently have two specialist PE teachers, enabling each class to have two, one hour PE lessons a week. One of these lessons focusses on the teaching of netball, from Year 1 up. The children acquire and develop skills in a wide range of sports including football, netball, cricket, tennis, tag rugby, hockey, rounders and athletics, . In addition, Years 4, 5 and 6 have swimming lessons for one term per year at a local secondary school.
We take part in matches with other schools and also partake in competitive sports events organised by the local authority. The school promotes a healthy lifestyle to all pupils and encourages children to eat healthily. Dance is central to our Theme Week learning, and all classes are taught dances by one of our teachers who is proficient at dance. Dance is also integrated into performances.
Our whole school sports day is also held at the Tooting Sports track in the summer term.
PSHE and RSE
We have strong and positive values, based on Gospel teachings, which underpin the personal development of our pupils, and provides them with a framework for moral and social responsibility. Our wider curriculum provides opportunities for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We use a Catholic scheme, Life to the Full (Ten Ten) for our RSE teaching, from Year 1 up, and a consultation with parents was undertaken when the scheme was introduced. Please see our RSE policy for further information.
Our PSHE development is supported by Place2Be who work in our school. They offer a space for children to talk about their concerns, as well as one to one therapy if needed. Place2Be also run class sessions focussing on the PSHE curriculum, and matched to need.
Art and DT
Art and DT are taught in different forms to encourage creative development and develop skills using a range of different media. Our curriculum is creative and allows for the development of art and DT skills, in an integrated approach.
In addition, we teach discrete art and DT lessons which focus on teaching particular skills, linked to the National Curriculum.
Modern Foreign Language
We have a dedicated MFL teacher who teaches French each week to all children from Year 1 to Year 6. Our curriculum is progressive, building on learning from year to year.