Curriculum

 

St Edward’s Prep School meets and goes beyond the requirements of the English National Curriculum and covers the following subject areas.

Our curriculum and co-curriculum are designed to inspire, engage, challenge, develop passions and interests and provide opportunities to work collaboratively or independently towards meaningful actions that help make the world a better and more peaceful place.

 

A relevant and inspiring framework for the 21st century

The Curriculum Framework

Success in this challenging and fast-moving century requires pupils to know how to keep well and safe as well as understand how to learn and access learning independently. Pupils must develop strong critical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills in order to develop the capacity to master knowledge and skills, whilst understanding by analysing, synthesising and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources. If they can recall, reflect, be resilient, resourceful and reciprocal, they will, according to Professor Guy Claxton, succeed in an increasingly fluid, interconnected and complex world.

The Inquiry Process and Themes of Investigation

Pupils build their learning power, the language to express themselves and the ability to take action through the inquiry process and relevant and inspiring pupil-led ‘Themes of Investigation’.

Skills

Pupils use transdisciplinary skills. These are a set of skills that are valuable for all their learning within the classroom and in life outside of school. They are called transdisciplinary because they are tools that can be used by students across all subject areas to become successful learners. Opportunities are provided for students to practice using these skills and reflect on how they are applying them to their learning.

Skills St Edward’s pupils need to learn:

  • research
  • self-management
  • communication
  • social
  • critical thinking skills

Core subjects

English: Our high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Pupils develop competence in communication (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and learn to apply these skills to other areas of learning. English is taught as a discrete subject but is also promoted through the curriculum framework which promotes speaking and listening skills by encouraging discussion, questioning and critical thinking and allowing more opportunity and time for pupils to present their ideas and understanding through drama, class presentations, written work, video and other exciting mediums.

Mathematics: Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. Our high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Pupils develop competence in Mathematics through discrete lessons and learn to apply these skills through the inquiry based Curriculum Framework. Pupils use their number, space, shape and data handling skills alongside English, Science and all other subjects in a number of different ways to increase conceptual understanding and take action on global and local issues.

Science: Science is vital to the world’s future prosperity and continues to change lives. All pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through Themes of Investigation, pupils build up a body of key foundational knowledge, concepts and skills. Pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation, to think critically and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, investigate, predict how things will behave and analyse causes. They are invited to see themselves as game changers and encouraged to have the confidence and courage to make a difference and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges by using their knowledge, creativity and thinking skills to think outside the box.

The Technologies

Computer Science, Design and Technology, Engineering and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) are embedded in each Theme of Investigation.  STEAM is a vehicle for action and pupils define problems, research and plan solutions, build prototypes, test analyse and refine their ideas on how to make the world a better place and meet the sustainable development goals with technological solutions.

Computer Science is taught as a discrete subject but carefully linked to each Theme and often to STEAM. Our high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, how to program and how to put this knowledge and skill to use through their Theme of investigation. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – preparing them for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. Pupils develop competence in Information and Communication Technology and experience in other areas and learn to apply these skills to other areas of learning. Pupils become digital citizens able to work safely online and ensure the safety of others.

Our use of electronic resources, including hand-held devices, interactive whiteboards, tablets and personal computers allows us to develop the technologically literate generation of both pupils and staff. An e blended learning environment combining e-learning and traditional methods leads to more self-paced and differentiated learning. Pupils and teachers can engage in audio and video conferencing with children in other classrooms and around the world. The use of paper is minimised and multi-sensory learning and differentiation are maximised.

The Humanities

Understanding how people, their actions and the environment have influenced and continue to influence society is the basis of the Humanities subjects and taught through a transdisciplinary approach to learning in the form of the Themes of Investigation.

History

Gaining a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, history should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Through the Themes of investigation, pupils should learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement about the past and the Historical skills and content of the National Curriculum. 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. The inquiry process allows the pupils to apply that knowledge to help solve local, national and global issues.

Geography

The study of Geography will also be covered through our meaningful transdisciplinary themes that equip pupils with a fascination for and knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding 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. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies, covered within each Theme of Investigation, teaches different religions, traditions and cultures and promotes respect, sensitivity and tolerance for them, but every relevant opportunity to discuss and understand the implications of what living alongside different religions and cultures is promoted through having relevant and topical discussions in any discipline.

Performing and Creative Arts

The Performing and Creative Arts are central to our curriculum. By engaging in experiences within the arts, pupils learn to recognise and show feelings and emotions, both their own and those of others. By providing aesthetic and creative education, pupils can develop creativity and empathy through a huge range of experiences in any discipline. They have many opportunities for performance on stage, in choirs, in ensemble and in dance to practise and perform.  Performing and expressive arts help develop their sense of identity at all levels, personal, social and cultural. Pupils experience and learn to value local, national and global culture.

Physical Education and Sport

Physical education and sport form an important part of our curriculum. Our Physical education curriculum links directly to curriculum framework and allow pupils to develop skills, attitudes to learning applicable to each child’s physical and personal development. Pupils go far beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum and learn how to play fairly and collaboratively as a team. Through the sports programme our pupils have the opportunity to take part in regular fixtures against other schools in which they learn how to win and lose with appreciation and respect for their opponents.

Global Citizenship

As global citizens, our pupils will develop a sense of their place in the world through a globally minded and relevant curriculum framework and Themes of Investigation.

Modern Foreign Languages

In conjunction with this, pupils will have Global Citizenship lessons dedicated to teaching the Modern Foreign Languages and cultural and democratic understanding that contributes to building a better world. We want them to think globally and act locally, embracing, valuing, respecting and celebrating difference.

Community, Democracy and Inclusion: Our school is at the very centre of our community and plays and important part in fostering a stronger community spirit in the locality. Our pupils are encouraged to have a say in the life of the school and to contribute to wider society, developing a sense of agency and of their own rights and responsibilities.

Entrepreneurial and economic literacy: Through the Curriculum Framework, pupils will be given an opportunity to understand economic difference in the world. Research, debate and discussion of world events allow pupils to reason, hypothesise and synthesise information, thinking about such issues as sustainability, poverty, hunger and more. Their charity work allows them to make links and seek opportunity for enterprise, seeing this as a chance to work together and make money, consider who to give it to, explore difference and prepare for the world of work.

Leadership

All pupils are taught to take responsibility for themselves, their belongings and care about others. They are encouraged to do their best, understand that everyone is different and appreciate that difference, and learn that they will keep growing and changing. As they master this responsibility and gather this increasing self-knowledge, they will have opportunities to lead others and make a difference in the wider world through service opportunities, social action and enterprise.

The Curriculum and Inclusion

The curriculum in our school is designed to be accessed by all children who attend the school. It is important to offer appropriate challenge commensurate with a child’s capacity as they grow and develop.  If we think it necessary to modify some children’s access to the curriculum, to meet their needs, then we do this only after their parents have been consulted.

If children have special needs, our school does all it can to meet the individual needs, and we comply with the requirements set out in the SEND Code of Practice. If a child displays signs of having special needs, then his/her assesses their need and reports it to the SENDCo. In most instances the teacher can provide the resources and educational opportunities that meet the child’s needs, within normal class organisation. If a child’s need is more severe, we consider the child for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), and we involve the appropriate external agencies in making an assessment. We always provide additional resources and support for children with special needs.

The school offers advice and support to teachers for children with needs to deliver the curriculum to them most effectively. It also provides an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) for each of the children who are on the special needs register. This sets out the nature of the special need, and outlines how the school will aim to address it. The IEP also sets out targets for improvement, so that we can review and monitor the progress of each child at regular intervals.

Some children in our school have English as an Additional Language. We are committed to meeting the needs and celebrating the skills of EAL pupils and helping them to achieve the highest possible standards. It is the belief that all teachers are responsible for assisting EAL pupils in their language development. Teaching and learning is appropriately modified to meet the full range of needs of those children who are learning English as an additional language.

Some children are very able and need to be stretched with challenges that require them to research and question independently for example. Grouping by ability and ‘could’ challenges offer relevant provision. Unique feedback and follow-up tasks also stretches and challenges these children.