Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation

Grammar and Punctuation

A clear progression of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar skills/objectives is outlined in each year group’s English Medium Term Plan. Aspects of grammar and punctuation will be taught in weekly skills lessons. However, at St Teresa’s we recognise that grammar is best taught in the context of real reading and writing activities, rather than through isolated exercises; therefore, some units of work from the Literacy Tree Scheme will incorporate elements of grammar through the study of a key text. 

Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary Overview

 

 

Phonics

Phonics

Our ultimate aim in the teaching of early reading is for children to leave Year 2 fluent, confident and independent readers being able to apply their knowledge and skills across the curriculum. We place a great deal of importance and emphasis on the teaching of early reading. This is reflected in the amount of time dedicated to the teaching of knowledge and skills; we teach phonics daily in Early Years. With these key skills, children are in an excellent position to access the wider curriculum.  The love and enjoyment for reading is reinforced in the rich, broad diet of texts to excite and challenge.

Phonics Programme – Nursery to Year 2

Phonics is an integral part of early reading and writing. Phonics is developed for early readers to enable them to become skilled at thinking about and manipulating sounds in words; over time this enables them to become skilled at decoding unfamiliar words to read and encoding words in order to write. Teachers give children sufficient opportunity in reading books that  are closely matched to the phonics programme, both at school and at home. 

‘Jolly Phonics’ is the systematic synthetic phonics program that St Teresa’s has adopted to support our teaching of phonics across the school.  All pupils in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One participate in daily phonics lessons which are led by trained members of staff. The ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately. Children in KS2 who have not achieved the required standard in phonics also receive daily interventions. 

Parental Support 

Click on the link to watch a video supporting the teaching of phonics sounds 

Jolly Phonics song and actions 

Writing

Writing

How we teach writing at St Teresa’s 

At St Teresa’s RC Primary we view the acquisition of language skills to be of the utmost importance and so the teaching of all aspects of English is given high priority. Writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience; it is a crucial part of thinking and learning. We aim to teach different genres of writing by using a wide range of high quality text (selected from the Power of Reading and Literacy Tree Schemes). Children will engage with quality authors to motivate their learning and deepen their knowledge of texts. This will, in turn, provide a meaningful context for writing.

In our teaching of writing, we aim for all children to:

  • Appreciate that writing is a universal method of communication
  • View writing as a process over which they have control
  • Enjoy playing with language and write for pleasure
  • Write appropriately for specific real or imaginary audiences
  • Write for a variety of purposes
  • Make judgements about the tone, style, format and vocabulary appropriate to the writing’s purpose, audience and genre
  • Write clearly legibly and accurately with attention to punctuation, spelling and grammar
  • Recognise that drafting, incorporating significant revision into their writing and proof-reading are integral parts of the writing process
  • Achieve independent writing of high quality

The Writing Process and Purpose

Children will be taught strategies and tools for the various components of the Writing Process such as planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating, revising and editing, summarising and sentence combining.

The Writing Process will consist of four key areas:

SECURING SUBJECT MATTER – children will become experts in the field so they are confident about what to write. Teachers will engage children in pre-writing activities where they can assess what they already know, research and unfamiliar topic or arrange their ideas visually. They will use a combination of techniques to develop expertise. This will help unlock creativity and bring learning alive.

IMITATION & Immersion – Teachers will use a strong, quality shared text (selected from the Power of Reading and Literacy Tree Scheme) as a model from which children internalise the key language features.

INNOVATION – Use the structure and language patterns of the model text for shared planning and writing in a new, but closely related, context

INDEPENDENT APPLICATION – children will be guided to choose and use suitable writing strategies as well as encouraged to be flexible when using the different writing components. 

Children will also be taught to adopt VCOP when editing and improving their writing.

V – Vocabulary      C – Conjunctions       O – Openers       P – Punctuation

Children will be taught to write for different purposes e.g. ‘describe’; ‘narrate’; ‘inform’; ‘persuade’; ‘analyse’. Their conception of what is ‘audience’ will be developed with models of good writing.

 

Handwriting

As a school our aims in teaching handwriting are that the pupils will:

  • Experience coherence and continuity throughout our School to write legibly in a joined style with increasing fluency as soon as they are able.
  • Understand the importance of clear and neat presentation in order to communicate meaning clearly
  • Take pride in the presentation of their work 
  • Development of handwriting to be linked to grapheme-phoneme correspondence
  • Be able to write quickly to aid expressing themselves creatively and imaginatively across the curriculum and for a range of purposes.

In order to achieve the above aims children must develop:

  • A correct pencil grip
  • The ability to form all letters and joins correctly
  • Knowledge in regard to the relationship between size and orientation of letter

Handwriting will change over time and children will develop a personal style. From an early stage, pupils will understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly

Correct posture and pencil for handwriting

Handwriting letter formation display

Number formation display

 

Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

At St Teresa’s we provide opportunities for children to explore a diverse range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. These books are carefully chosen to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language, comprehension and love of reading. We develop word reading  and comprehension through the use of cross curricular themes, story-times, whole class, guided or independent reading. We believe children’s love of literature comes from taking every opportunity to expose them to high quality texts for both the purposes of fact finding and enjoyment. 

By the time pupils leave the school, they are competent readers, who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres and text types, including poetry and participate in discussions about books.

Recommended reading list

Year 1 reading list

Year 2 reading list

Year 3 reading list

Year 4 reading list

Year 5 reading list

Year 6 reading list

Developing reading skills

To be skilled as a reader, it is more than just accurate reading. What is meant and understood can be developed by focussing on these 7 areas. These skills can be shown through the texts, which children read independently but also shown in texts that they have listened to in class:

1. DECODE ACCURATELY  Getting the words off the page 

Use of phonics, sight recognition, context, picture clues

2.RETRIEVAL  Seek, find, understand 

Literal responses to text 

Finding the right parts of the text to answer questions

3.INFERENCE AND DEDUCTION Reading between the lines 

What is meant but not said 

Interpret meaning from what is in the text 

Put yourself in their shoes

4.UNDERSTANDING STRUCTURE Organisation 

Commenting on presentational features 

Why is the text presented and organised as it is

5.USE OF LANGUAGE Use of Language 

Why the writer selects a word / phrase / image / sentence 

Effect of different techniques 

Impact on reader

6.AUTHOR’S INTENT Writer’s purpose 

How did the author want you to think/feel/respond 

Writer’s attitudes and values 

Impact on reader

7.TEXTS AND THE WORLD How the text fits into its context 

Understanding the social, historical, cultural, literary heritage Links with other texts

Celebrating Books

WORLD BOOK DAY 2021

The theme for World Book Day 2021 was Masked Reader. Children chose a character from their favourite book and created a mask. We launched the week with a series of masked readers and children had to guess the staff and their favourite book. This was a huge success and engaged children in conversations about a range of books. 

Can you guess our masked reader? 

Masked reader 1 The Tiger

Masked reader 2 The Dragon

Masked reader 3 DJ Marshmello

Masked reader 4 The First Fox 

Masked reader 5 The Second Fox

The Reveal 

St Teresa’s Best Mask Winners

 

Design Technology

Our Intent

Design and Technology is, quite simply, at the foundation of how we have been able to develop as a species. However, with our world changing ever more rapidly, the act of creating and the methods by which our technology works have often become a mystery to most of us. The skills we relied on in the past are being lost and, with the rapid rate of technological advancement, it is increasingly difficult to prepare our children for a future that none of us can predict.

Luckily, some skills pertinent to D&T are timeless. Through the subject, children will learn the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. Each year and by the end of Year 6, they will work in a range of relevant contexts (for example, the home, school, leisure, culture, enterprise, industry and the wider environment) and cover five broad areas which are summarised below:

Design

Our pupils will:

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design

Make

Our pupils will:

  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities

Evaluate

Our pupils will:

  • investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world

Technical knowledge

Our pupils will:

  • apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]
  • understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors]
  • apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Cooking and nutrition

Our pupils will:

  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
  • understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.

Our approach

It is our view that engaging in this process allows our pupils to see that they can have an impact on the world themselves: they can create something where before there was nothing. Creativity and out-of-the-box, novel thinking are already extremely desirable to employers and to the country, and these should be taught systematically in order for our children to reach for them like reaching for a tool. 

At the core of our aims for Design and Technology are three key principles:

  • To unmask the design and making process in order to reveal that everything man-made has been created with intent and skills that are available to our pupils.
  • To develop our pupils’ vital metacognitive skills such as planning, evaluating and resilience.
  • To equip our pupils with an understanding of the world and fundamental life skills such as building and mending, and cooking nutritionally balanced food.

This final point also serves our school intent to be better caretakers of The Earth by promoting mending, reusing and recycling instead of buying, consuming and making waste.

Each year, our pupils will take part in three design and technology projects. Pupils will have the opportunity to design and make ‘things’. These may be models, prototypes, physical items, graphical items, moving things, static things, etc, using a range of skills, processes, tools, equipment and materials. This will be as hands-on as possible, and will value independence, self-made decisions and variety in their final finished products. 

Through research, Pupils will be taught to identify what people need and want and be able to produce solutions, objects and ‘things’ for individuals and groups. These may be people they know, people they don’t, people real or imaginary (through links with literature focussed on in class). Sometimes they will choose who they need to design for and sometimes they will be told. 

Everything pupils design and make will have a purpose. They will be taught to identify the purpose of their outcomes and those that other people have designed and made, experiencing a range of different products in different situations. They will be able to identify where things work well and times when they don’t. Pupils should be able to understand that often products need to have many different purposes and functions to make them work effectively. Pupils should experience a range of products in a range of different situations.

As a school with our community at its heart, we aim to take advantage of the myriad skills and experiences of its members related to the field of Design and Technology. This will include inviting in people with relevant practical skills to show our pupils that the learning has real-world applications, as well as trips to local businesses to make links between the design process taught in school and how that same process is applied in business. 

At the end of each unit teachers use their assessment judgements to consolidate understanding. The pupils keep a design journal that follows them up through the school, amalgamating and displaying how their skills and individual style have developed.  In the Summer term, we celebrate our incredibly popular STEM week and children participate in fantastic learning opportunities such as inspirational talks from people in STEM careers, programming competitions, as well as open ended design challenges that give our pupils the freedom to follow their own process and find their own solutions.  

 

RSHE

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

Here at St Teresa’s we use the ‘Journey in Love’  scheme to deliver the Sex and Relationships element of our RSHE programme. This is a Southwark Diocesan recommended programme of study for Catholic schools for Relationship and Sex Education.  It has been written as a progressive scheme of work that supports the Religious Education, PSHE, PE, Computing and Science Curriculum taught at St. Teresa’s.  The programme aims is to support children and parents in Catholic schools to enable the holistic growth of children.

Areas of Study

Early Years-  Explore the wonder of God’s Love  and how God loves each of us in our uniqueness

Year One –    We meet God’s love in our family- a focus on families and specially growing up in a loving, secure and stable home.

Year Two-     We meet God’s love in the community- a focus on how we are growing and developing in diverse communities that are God-given.

Year Three-  How we live in love- a focus on describing and giving reasons how we grow in love, in caring and happy friendships where we are secure and safe.

Year Four-    God loves us in our differences- a focus on making links and connections to show that we are all different as well as to celebrate these differences as we appreciate that God’s love accepts us as we are now and as we change.

Year Five       Gods loves me in my changing and development- a focus on a knowledge and understanding of how we grow in awareness of the physical and emotional changes that accompany puberty, sensitivity, mood swings, anger, boredom etc., and grow further in recognising God’s presence in our daily lives.

Year Six-        The wonder of God’s love in creating new life- a focus on a secure understanding of what stable, caring relationships are and the different kinds there may be. Focusing on Catholic teaching, children will also know and understand about the conception of a child within marriage.

In the Summer Term, meetings are held with parents to view the materials, resources  and teaching content covered as well as discuss any concerns or questions that they may have.

Relationships presentation for Parents 2020/21

Relationships, Sex and Health Education Policy (new and updated).

 

PSHE

Our Intent

The intent of our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum is to deliver an education which draws on excellent practice, rooting in the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, helping them to understand more about how to play a successful positive and active role within our society. 

The objectives of our overall curriculum are set out to empower and support our pupil’s pastoral education through Jigsaw, a scheme of work aimed at preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. The scheme of work makes excellent links between our academic aims and the modern world in which children live in today. St Teresa’s pupils will access a bank of resources through Jigsaw, accessible to all abilities, facilitating good quality teaching and learning.

At St Teresas, we reinforce the importance of positive mental health and promote a pupil’s sense of self worth by creating opportunities for them to contribute to school life and the wider community. We challenge them to continuously live out our school core values of Love, Teamwork, Ambition and Trust. In addition, our PSHE curriculum aims to equip all our pupils with a firm understanding of what it means to live by British values, individual rights and responsibilities as well as quipping children with a sound understanding of risk, with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions in life. 

 

Our approach

St. Teresa’s curriculum focuses on embedding good lifelong learning behaviour through the NED mantra (Never giving up, Encouraging others, Doing your best). In our school, PSHE can encompass many areas of study including but not limited to: 

  • drug, alcohol, and tobacco education
  • financial education
  • sex and relationship education (SRE)
  • the importance of physical activity
  • diet for a healthy lifestyle
  • bullying
  • personal health
  • family and relationships
  • citizenship and the world of work

All year groups participate in discrete PSHE lessons on a weekly basis, where they will develop the key skills to recognise emotions, manage and maintain friendships and keep abreast with current affairs which affect the world around them locally, nationally and globally. Supported by the PE and Science curriculum, children will also be taught to keep their minds and bodies healthy, the importance of balanced nutrition and the impact of exercise on their mental well-being. 

In addition to Jigsaw, St Teresa’s aims to put the ‘how’ and meta-cognition of learning at the heart of education through Building Learning Power Week (BLPW) once every half term. This approach assigns PiXL’s LORIC characters (Laura Leadership, Olly Organisation, Raj Resilience, Izzy Initiative and Charlie Communication) to a key focus each half term. Examples of other themes explored within PSHE teaching and learning are Mindfulness, Children’s Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day. 

The breadth of our PSHE provision extends to:

  • Nick Carter’s – ‘Deep Fear’ workshop, aimed at helping children manage fear and anxiety, 
  •  Key texts for each year group
  • Worry Ninja Workshops
  • High school transition sessions with SATs/ Educational Well-being Practitioners.
  • Moving up- Parents workshops for Year 6
  • Parent Gym- Workshop for parents for early years comprising of 6 workshops in the autumn term around key themes, e.g. communication, setting boundaries, effective communication. 

Relationship Education is taught in the summer term following guidance from the Catholic Southwark Diocese, covering many aspects of the Science curriculum and teaching pupils about safe and positive relationships whilst managing changes in their bodies as they grow. Please see our SRE section of the website for more information on this.

Whilst all PSHE learning is documented in a class scrapbook, pupil voice at St Teresa’s remains paramount to the success and delivery of our PSHE curriculum. Our children are encouraged to form sensible and fair views, opinions and  perspectives based on passions, interest and ambitions. 

Computing

Our Intent

At St. Teresa’s we are aware that children need to be able to participate effectively and safely in an expanding and constantly developing technologically rich world. Our aim is to develop the digital literacy of our children so they can engage safely and ethically with digital media and future, key technologies. We aim to teach the knowledge and skills that will enable children to make sense of, and contribute to, the digital world both in school and outside.

 

By the end of Key Stage 2, our objective is for pupils to:

  • have a secure understanding of, and be able to apply, fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation; 
  • be able to analyse problems in computational terms, and have had repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems; 
  • be able to evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems; and 
  • be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

 

Our Approach

At the start of each academic year, all pupils are taught a series of discrete online safety and digital citizenship sessions utilising the comprehensive resources put together by Common Sense.  Through the Rising Stars Switched on Computing scheme of work, we provide an inventive and inspiring, project-centred computing curriculum designed for Early Years up to Year 6. The curriculum comprises six units covering programming, computational thinking, creativity, computer networks, communication and productivity and weaves in online safety throughout. Weekly slots are allocated to each year group for Computing as well as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) week in the Summer term for cross-curricular activities to further enhance the curriculum. We are very well resourced with a large suite of  (over 150 new) Chromebooks operating G Suite for use across the school.

 

First Lego League

Children in Year 1 are able to attend our First Lego League after-school club. First Lego League is a global STEM program that has been inspiring children of all ages for 30 years. It encourages children to investigate a real-world theme, develop teamwork, design and programming skills – and have fun, using Lego. 

History

“The time is always right to do what is right”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our Intent

We believe history should be thought provoking, fun and memorable so that children can take their learning forward into their futures and use it to help them build their own history.  St Teresa’s aims to provide a stimulating and exciting, enquiry based conceptual history curriculum that kindles curiosity and enables pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

Our curriculum is driven by a progression of skills, concepts and key questions that ensure:

  • a broader, more detailed, conceptual and chronologically secure knowledge 
  • a variety of methods of enquiry and communication 
  • a deeper understanding of concepts, issues and of abstract ideas
  • to understand history’s second order concepts:  Continuity and change in and between periods; Cause and consequence ( to question, identify and give reasons for historical events, situations, changes); similarities and differences (children are able to make observations and describe social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity in Britain & the wider world) and to be able to recognise, describe and Identify historically significant people and events  
  • a greater independence in applying knowledge, concepts and skills which enables pupils to analyse, make links, frame historically-valid questions, enquire and create their own structured accounts

Our Approach

Starting and ending topics with KWL grids (what I know, would like to know and have learnt) and teaching and learning using DEAL (describe, explain, analyse and make links), equips pupils to ask insightful questions, think critically, weigh evidence, challenge arguments and develop their own perspective and judgement of people, places, concepts, civilisations and events, whether they are from time periods within or beyond living memory.  History is taught through a topic led curriculum whereby learning is not only accessed through a dedicated, weekly history hour but also cross curricular through subjects such as; literacy, maths, art, DT, RE, geography, music, science and PSHE, as well as via external trips, visitors and theme days, providing rich and memorable learning for all pupils. 

 

Religious Education

“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? – St. Therese of Liseux

Our Intent

At St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, we put Jesus at the centre of all that we do.  God’s love is the foundation of our school, we aim to support the children within our community with the necessary tools to live out the values directed by God.  We aim to guide children through Christ, to respect others and become moral citizens of our community.  This is embodied within our school core values (Love, Trust, Teamwork and Ambition), Gospel values and teachings of Jesus Christ. We aim to provide a loving environment in which children can grow in the knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, but more importantly, to develop their own personal relationship with God.

Our Approach

The Diocese approved scheme ‘Come and See’ scheme is used throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6.  The programme is made up of a unit on a particular theme, taught across the school, each half term.  Each topic follows the same steps of: Explore, Reveal and Respond

Explore- An introduction to the topic, where children’s life experiences are explored, the question(s) it raises are wondered at, shared and their significance is reflected upon.

Reveal- An opportunity for children to gain knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith. This is revealed using different mediums including: Scripture, Traditions, Prayers, Rites and Christian living

Respond- Learning is fully understood assimilated, celebrated and responded to in daily life

At St. Teresa’s, we ensure that we study other world faiths, while encouraging the development of learning about other cultures, beliefs and traditions. We celebrate and embrace differences and have an understanding and mutual respect for other religions, showing our love for our neighbours within our society.

 

 

 

Science

“Science is the language of curiosity”- Professor Brian Cox

Our Intent

Science is an incredibly important part of our curriculum at St Teresa’s. In  an ever-changing world, we are constantly faced with huge social, technological and environmental issues that need to be resolved. Our children will be the solution. Therefore we are keen to champion Science and all Science, Technological, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) related subjects at our school and ensure our children value these. Our children’s natural curiosity about the world around them is strengthened as a result of this approach.  As well as this, our children become more actively involved in their own learning, become more reflective learners and gain a strong scientific knowledge and understanding.

 

Our approach

We firmly believe in a hands-on approach to the teaching of Science that provides our children with an excellent opportunity to solve scientific enquiry in an engaging and memorable way.  The problem-solving and investigative approach to science is not only more enjoyable for our children but also enables them to build upon ‘working scientifically’ skills which develop and build a solid foundation for learning about the nature and processes of science.  Where possible, our science objectives are also linked to other aspects of our curriculum at school, such as the core texts children read in English, the skills that may apply in Maths and at times a period of history that is science related.

Science is taught through the Knowledge and Understanding of World strand within the Early Years curriculum. Across the school in Year 1 to Year 6, depending on the year group, four to five units are taught covering all aspects of the scientific processes.  All children are taught from an early age to identify the types of enquiry skills needed to solve scientific investigations. These are made clear to the children in each lesson and theworking scientifically skills they will be using: These are:

  • Observations over time
  • Secondary source research
  • Comparative and fair testing
  • Pattern seeking
  • Identifying and classifying.

The teaching of science is enriched by numerous science trips taken across each year group which includes trips to the RHS Wisely Gardens, the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and Kew Gardens, as well as local trips e.g. Morden Hall Park where studies are made into river pollution and classifications of animals within their habitats. 

At the end of each unit, teachers use their assessment judgement to consolidate understanding.  In the Summer term, we celebrate our incredibly popular STEM week and children participate in fantastic learning opportunities such as inspirational talks from people in STEM careers, programming competitions, science fairs and science workshops.

Science at St Teresa’s is our new special web page celebrating all of the fantastic science achievements at our school, and a great platform for children to share child-friendly science news.   You will also find links to helpful websites which could assist you with teaching science at home or making fun experiments.

 

Geography

“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” – Barack Obama

Our Intent

At St Teresa’s, we believe that Geography is a subject which helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. We seek to inspire in our children, a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to teach the knowledge and skills that will develop children’s understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, and of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.  

More specifically, by the time our children leave our school we aim for them to have a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • The processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

We aim for our children to be competent in the geographical skills needed to:

  • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Our Approach

Geography is a subject that is promoted and celebrated within our school through classroom maps and corridor displays. At St Teresas, Geography is mainly taught as a discrete subject, whilst making cross curricular links when possible. To ensure we provide sufficient coverage of national curriculum requirements for Geography, we follow the Twinkl Planit Scheme of Work for our delivery of this subject. Through this scheme, we provide an inspiring, enjoyable and stimulating Geography curriculum which allows children to achieve depth in their learning. Throughout each of the units that we teach, we provide ample opportunities for regular opportunities to develop their skills within the key Geography subject areas, locational and place knowledge, human and physical Geography and mapping and fieldwork skills. Careful consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At St Teresas, we recognise the importance of allowing children an opportunity to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to the real world, as a result, we ensure that all year groups go on a field trip each year. Each year group is designated a different area in our local area of Merton to explore and carry out specific field work tasks. To further support the children in the development of their mapping skills, we use an online mapping programme, Digi-maps in mapping based lessons. Digi-maps allows children to access historical maps, view maps at different scales as well as create their own maps in which they can annotate and customise.

 

Our Environmental Focus

At St Teresa’s, we believe that it is part of our moral duty as Catholics to develop children’s awareness of the environmental issues that are affecting the world right now. Pope Francis highlights the damage currently being inflicted on the Earth by humans in his book titled Laudato si. and calls on ‘every living person on this planet’ to make urgent changes to our lifestyles. Pope Francis implores us to work together to look after our ‘common home’, creating a better future together.

In alignment with Pope Francis’ message, we are working hard to ensure our school is as kind to our environment as possible. Our Eco Warrior Committee, (a group of selected pupils from across school, led by our Geography subject leader), have set up various initiatives within the school which aim to inspire, remind and encourage pupils to follow the Three Rs (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse) in all aspects of the school day and at home. Through organised ECO days, children are given an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a specific environmental topic and a chance to reflect upon how they can make their own positive contribution towards the environment.

Within our most recent ECO day, we focused on the issue of plastic pollution; each year group explored the extremely damaging effects plastic is having on our environment through a range of interesting and stimulating cross curricular activities. We aim to explore other key ecological themes such as Deforestation and climate change within future ECO days. Ultimately, we aim to teach children that although our world is facing some major environmental problems, each and every one of them has the power to make a positive difference. We hope our pupils leave our school as environmentally conscious individuals who have a deep appreciation, love and respect for which Pope Francis calls our ‘common home.

French

 

Our Intent

With a diverse range of languages spoken at St Teresa’s, we aim to proudly celebrate and enjoy the nuances of language learning, whilst nurturing a love for communicating through new sounds and words.  By fostering an understanding of cultural traditions and interesting facts related to the target language, children will develop a wider global understanding giving them a sense of ‘cultural currency’ if not access to a completely new world.

Accessing new linguistic terrain will enhance children’s knowledge of their own language, as well as help them to make connections with other languages and phonetic patterns or sounds that are novel and unfamiliar.  Most importantly, communicating with others takes on a whole different form, delivering a feeling of liberty and success.

Research has proven that learning another language means the brain has to cope with complexity as it deciphers and absorbs new patterns.  As a result, problem-solving and cognitive processes are improved, including memory, the ability to multi-task and an improved awareness of the structure of a child’s first language.

Studies show that as a result of these “higher cognitive” skills, that the benefits of learning a new language include higher scores in Maths, reading comprehension and vocabulary, by multilingual students, as compared to monolingual students.  Therefore, the benefits of accessing language learning impact all academic areas of a pupil’s learning.

Continue reading “French”

Music

Our Intent

At St Teresa’s, Music is central to the creative life of the school. As a school we believe that taking part in musical activity – and singing in particular – brings about positive benefits for all involved in our school community. Singing supports learning, personal and social development, promotes health and well-being and bonds communities of people like no other activity. Our intention is that we provide a high quality music education which enables children to develop a love of music whilst increasing self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement. We believe that this will engage, inspire as well as nurture their many talents as musicians.

Our Approach

We develop and improve pupils’ singing, composing and performance with a progressive programme from EYFS to year 6.  Through our chosen schemes (Charanga Musical School; Sing Up and BBC Ten pieces), pupils have the opportunity to participate in weekly lessons where they perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. They learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others and also have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument in LKS2.  The children are supported in their learning about musical notation by moving from mark making in early years, to exploring graphic notation, stick notation and moving to understanding stave notation by year 6. 

In KS1, the children enjoy singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes sometimes through a cross curricular approach e.g. using counting songs to explore digital safety or reinforce our school core values.. They have the opportunity to play both tuned and percussion instruments which they use to create, select and combine sounds. They also listen and move to a wide range of music.

Children in KS2 build on the skills acquired in KS1 so that, by the end of year 6, they sing and play with increasing control and self-confidence. Like KS1, they also sing songs in other subjects e.g. French, or to celebrate achievement in assemblies and in our school collective worship. In KS2,  children deepen their understanding of music in the world and the significance of music through history. Children are encouraged to explore their own musical preferences and discuss these with confidence

We create opportunities for children to listen to live music in each year group and provide a platform for children to perform for each other, to other classes, to parents and to an online audience. We are so proud to see our school values of “love, trust, teamwork and ambition” within all our music endeavours. Click below to see our two School lockdown concerts. 

St Teresa’s School Lockdown Concert 1

St Teresa’s School Lockdown Concert 2 

We have a strong, long-standing relationship with our music hub, Merton Music Foundation and make use of their expertise both with staff training and also participating in several of their community music making projects locally and at the Royal Albert Hall annually.  We provide small group instrumental tuition in year 4 through the In 2 Music project delivered through Merton Music Foundation

By listening to a wide range of interesting, thought-provoking, good quality music from all around the world we ensure that we are  inclusive. We are mindful of adaptations that we need to make for children with special needs, such as pre-teaching instrumental techniques, noise cancelling headphones, etc.

We ensure that EVERY child makes progress. We keep a record of children who are involved in extracurricular musical learning so we can help support them and give them a platform to perform. See our Music Matters website. 

Extra curricular activities- Choir

The School Choir of boys and girls aged 8-11 perform to an extremely high standard and draws members from years 4-6. The choir rehearses during term-time with our Associate Headteacher, Mrs Aransiola. Singers enjoy a very broad repertoire of sacred and secular songs and have performed in concerts at school and across London.

Art

“The artist is not a special kind of person; rather each person is a special kind of artist’”                     – Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Our Intent

Excellence and enjoyment are at the heart of our Art and Design curriculum at St Teresa’s.  We value the importance of the arts provision to nurture the whole child. We believe it allows each individual to use their imagination to inspire their creativity, take risks and extend their cultural understanding. This will promote enjoyable, memorable learning experiences and develop an individual’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of the world in which they live.

In line with the requirements of the National Curriculum pupils will be taught to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge which will include:

  • Exploring visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes.
  • Developing observational skills with attention to detail.
  • Understanding colour, shape and space and pattern and texture and use these to represent their ideas and feelings.
  • Using a wide variety of media in appropriate ways.
  • Evaluating a piece of work and be able to go on and modify/change it.
  • Reflection on how to develop their skills further.
  • Developing the skills of appreciation of other people’s work.
  • Designing and making a variety of images and artefacts.

Our Approach

Weekly curriculum time is allocated in Key Stage 1 and 2 to the teaching of Art. The use of long term planning facilitates the organisation of a broad, balanced, coherent and differentiated curriculum.  Knowledge, skills and understanding are progressively built upon through each of the areas of experience of Drawing, Painting, Print-making, Collage, and 3D. The 3D element of our art curriculum is taught in each year group by the Art subject leader as part of our local curriculum offer.  There are guidelines on appropriate activities for each year group, with areas of overlap according to the children’s needs and abilities. Art activities are not limited to the medium-term plan provided. Teachers can explore the opportunity to focus on linking art to topics and other areas of the curriculum, especially linking to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural well-being of the individual. Through a progression of activities, we will build on, and develop children’s artistic skills and achievements.   A key component of our art curriculum is the exploration of both contemporary and historic artworks from a range of artists, designers and cultures.

Our Art at St Teresa’s website showcases the work happening across the school and is regularly updated.  Our site also includes links for families and other visitors to art galleries and events in London which are suitable for families.

English

“If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book.”- JK Rowling

Our Intent

At St Teresa’s we aim to create a positive reading and writing culture in our school where both are promoted, enjoyed and considered ‘a pleasure’ for all pupils. As a school, we are aware that some of our pupil’s early language acquisition is limited and this is why we believe that providing a language rich environment, with a strong emphasis on speaking and listening is essential to the success across the curriculum. 

When our children leave our school, we intend for them to be avid readers, children who read fluently and widely, and are able to express preference and opinions about the text that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites. We intend for our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of context purposes and audiences. We intend for our children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.

The English curriculum is broad and balanced providing a secure foundation for each individual child to develop and thrive. We believe that our curriculum will give our children the knowledge and skills that they need to be confident speakers, readers and writers by the time they complete their primary education. 

Our Approach

Our English curriculum aims to immerse our children in high-quality engaging texts which are at the heart of both reading and writing at St Teresa’s. Our thematic approach (Discover, Explore. Enquire) links our key texts to a range of subjects creating a cross-curricular learning journey. The key texts are carefully chosen, planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards it’s clearly defined end point. This is delivered through units from the CLPE Power of Reading (POR) and The Literacy Tree (LT) schemes. Through choosing diverse high quality text, we want pupils to develop a love of reading and gain knowledge of a range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they’ve gained from the texts. 

Our English planning always starts with a creative hook to create an immersive environment engages and excites the class about the text.  This enables children to have discussions and explore questions or thoughts they have with their peers. Our curriculum seeks to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping all pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop pupil’s love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contents, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn;they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Maths

“Maths is the music of reason”- James Joseph Sylvester

Our Intent

Through our teaching of mathematics here at St Teresa’s, we intend to provide our children the opportunity to develop their mathematical fluency, while also providing the opportunity to develop critical and analytical thinkers within our school. We intend for our pupils to become better, more able problem solvers, who can remain resilient when challenged and who can think systematically and efficiently, across a wide variety of contexts across the curriculum, by the time they complete their primary education.

Our mathematical teaching and learning is based on a ‘mastery of maths‘ approach; mastering maths means pupils develop a deeper and longer-term understanding of the subject. Teaching for mastery enables a more developed  understanding to take place, that is more secure and can be readily applied and adapted at a later stage, allowing pupils to move on to more advanced material.

We aim to ensure that all pupils can: – 

– become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately

reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevere in seeking solutions.

Our approach 

In order to enable our children to meet these aims, the teaching and learning of mathematics within our school is supported by a DfE, NCETM and OFSTED approved, well-thought out scheme of work produced by White Rose Maths. The scheme is designed to explore mathematical teaching and learning at a slower pace, allowing for greater exploration, discussion, understanding and therefore progress to be achieved. White Rose aims to develop children’s mathematical understanding using a CPA approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract), allowing children to make use of concrete apparatus to explore their learning, demonstrate what they understand pictorially and relate their learning to more difficult, abstract concepts. 

Early Years Curriculum overview

White Rose Maths Curriculum Overview Y1-Y6

Although lessons within the scheme are carefully and thoughtfully designed, as teachers we aim to ensure that we are delivering an inclusive provision for all of our pupils. This is achieved by incorporating further challenge and extension tasks (Let’s Get Deep!) for increased variation and a deeper understanding, while those pupils who need greater support can be exposed to PiXL targeted support interventions, pre-teaching and access videos of the learning before entering into the lesson, while being supported and scaffolded in class. 

At St Teresa’s we believe in working with parents in order to support pupils in their learning of mathematics and therefore we run Maths focused workshops throughout the year as a way of bridging the gap between home and school, so that we support our parents in supporting our pupils. Home learning is a blended approach of paper based and online learning activities using the tool My Maths.

For children in Year 2 to Year 6, we subscribe to an online multiplication programme called Times Tables Rock Stars that promotes a healthy level of competition amongst our pupils in learning their multiplication facts and as a way of ensuring they develop accurate rapid mental recall of their multiplication facts while having fun doing so. Additionally, we place a great emphasis on knowing and understanding multiplication facts, because they unlock the understanding of and ability to access many other key areas of mathematical learning such as division, fractions and area, to name but a few. 

 

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