Our cross curricular themed approach
At St John’s we follow the National Curriculum throughout the school in EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Developing children’s literacy, numeracy and scientific skills is central to our planning and teaching. We then apply these skills across the curriculum finding cross- curricular links where possible.
We aim for children to learn in meaningful contexts, independently and collaboratively. We encourage creativity and support the children in expressing themselves, in all areas of the curriculum, to develop their confidence and foster cooperation. Our curriculum is designed in terms of experiences and activities that will promote the continued growth of each child through the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and key skills.
Each class studies a different topic each half term, often linked to a key text or based around Science or Humanities themes. These themes can be found on our Long Term Plans.
National Curriculum Subject Areas
Speaking and Listening: From EYFS throughout the school we encourage pupils to develop language skills through play, drama, role play, discussion and other learning activities. We place a strong emphasis on the acquisition of vocabulary and technical language, and endeavour to ensure that children learn to speak clearly and accurately, and to listen effectively.
Phonics: We teach phonics and word decoding skills to help children become fluent readers and successful writers. Discrete daily phonics sessions are taught throughout EYFS and KS1 using the Letters and Sounds scheme (also Jolly Phonics in EYFS), and this is reinforced using Phonics Play to consolidate learning.
Reading: In addition to phonics, KS1 pupils have the opportunity to read regularly to
an adult both individually and within group reading sessions where text is explored and
discussed. By KS2 guided reading lessons will also include both verbal and written
reading comprehension activities. In addition, we use a whole class text in English
lessons and encourage reading and research throughout the curriculum.
At St. John’s we use a range of materials to support reading including Reading Explorers to focus on specific skills, the Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds, Fireflies and other books relevant to the age and stage of learners. EYFS and KS1 pupils will have a home-school levelled reading book to read to parents and carers.
We also aim to encourage a love of books through use of our library and all pupils are encouraged to take a book home weekly.
Writing: At St. John’s we use Power of Reading resources to engage, inspire and allow pupils to develop an appreciation of quality children’s literature. We use these texts to teach different writing genre and skills, incorporating grammar and punctuation. We also use the Talk for Writing approach to enable children to become confident, independent writers and spelling is taught through the No-Nonsense Spelling programme at both KS1 and KS2.
We teach maths through number and counting, place value, calculations, fractions, geometry, measures and statistics. We have developed our own sequence of topics across the school to support deeper learning and understanding, and ensure pupils are secure in number and arithmetic. Every lesson should include opportunities to work mentally and orally, reason about maths, and apply skills in problem solving activities and challenges. Where possible we aim to find cross-curricular links to embed understanding.
This year we have introduced Abacus, a unique maths toolkit that is carefully crafted to help inspire a genuine love of maths and to help every child master the National Curriculum. We also use Rising Stars assessment resources to check progress both within and at the end of each half-term, and draw upon NRICH materials to provide extension and challenge, particularly for the more able.
We teach the Science curriculum through the Kent Science Scheme, aiming to make learning ‘hands on’ and investigative. Each unit contains engaging activities that enable pupils to work scientifically within the key topic areas of the national curriculum. There are also opportunities to learn about famous scientists.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
The Design Technology area of the curriculum gives the children the opportunity to design and make artefacts, systems and environments. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
Pupils acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. They learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
At St. John’s we link DT to our topic themes alternating with the Art curriculum.
Plans, maps, visits and various learning activities are used to enable children to acquire geographical skills. We believe the Geography curriculum should inspire pupils to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.
Throughout the school, pupils will develop knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with knowledge of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Children are also asked to consider ways in which we should look after the environment.
Geography is taught within our topic approach and alternates with the History curriculum.
Art & Design
Art & Design
At St. John’s Art and Design is taught within our topic-themed approach alternating with Design and Technology. The children experience a wide variety of art activities. They learn how to observe, draw, paint and model with increasing skill, knowledge and understanding.
The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
- produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
- become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
- evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
- know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Music plays a full part in the life of our school. Children are given opportunities to sing, listen to music and begin to learn how to make their own music. All classes have a weekly lesson with a specialist music teacher and some pupils take instrument lessons through the Bromley Music School’s Peripatetic staff team.
P.H.S.E (Personal Health and Social Education)
P.H.S.E (Personal Health and Social Education)
At St. John’s children are taught personal and social skills such as independence, confidence, how to keep themselves safe and healthy, and respect for themselves and others. We also teach SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) throughout the school.
Wherever possible we link PSHE to our Christian Values and the SMSC curriculum.
At St. John’s we are lucky to have such good links to central London and our pupils regularly visit museums, galleries, parks and places of Worship. Curriculum linked Educational visits are arranged throughout the year that build on the themes children are learning within school.
At St John’s we value the role of RE within the curriculum and it forms a central and integral part of the life of the school. We seek to plan lessons where pupils learn from religion, forming their own ideas and opinions, as well as about religion.
We follow the Rochester Diocese Curriculum covering the main world faiths of Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. We also try to involve our parish clergy in R.E teaching of Christianity wherever possible.
Extra Curricular Activities
Extra Curricular Activities
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
At St. John’s we use the Rising Stars ‘Switched on Computing’ scheme where pupils have the opportunity to become computer programmers in different real life contexts.
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
We alternate History with Geography within our topic themed approach.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
At St. John’s we are currently refreshing our provision for languages and are working with a specialist teacher throughout the year to develop a whole school approach.
For more specific information, please see our class newsletters to find out what the children are learning about this term, as well as general class information.
More information about the National Curriculum in England may be found on the Government website