Westward School

Curriculum POLICY

 

“From Little Acorns grow precious shoots. See your child’s development grow year after year.”

 

INTRODUCTION

Our aim is to nurture each child in our care so that they can fulfil their potential.

 

  • In its most narrow definition our remit is to prepare our pupils for the entrance examinations to their chosen senior schools.
  • However we believe that we are preparing children not only for their senior schools, but also for life after school.
  • We place strong emphasis on a wide curriculum, with music, sport, PE, drama and French all taught by specialist teachers.
  • The pupils’ spiritual, moral social and cultural development as well as promoting British Values is also given strong emphasis.
  • The Young Leaders, prefect and monitor systems allow the older children in the school, to care for the younger ones.
  • The School Council provides every pupil with a voice and a sense of ownership over policy and practice. Everyone has an opportunity to make Westward a better place.

 

AIMS OF THE CURRICULUM

At Westward we undertake to:

  • Have high expectations of all children
  • Raise levels of attainment for all pupils, enabling them to fulfil their potential
  • Develop the skills of reading, writing and mathematics
  • Prepare pupils for the senior schools which are best suited to their abilities and temperament
  • Develop confident, disciplined and enquiring learners who are able to make informed choices
  • Foster a love of learning
  • Foster self-esteem and personal responsibility, linked to respect for the needs and feelings of others
  • Facilitate considerate and positive relationships between all members of the school community
  • Ensure equal opportunities encouraging respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act (2010)
  • Actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those from other faiths and beliefs in order to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British Society
  • Provide a safe, happy work place
  • Promote a positive attitude towards the immediate and wider environment

 

EARLY YEARS

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which underpins the curriculum in the Nursery and Reception classes is distinct in its identity. The curriculum, by which we mean everything that the children do within school, is planned in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. (April 2017)

“Setting the standard for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five.”

 

Meeting the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of the EYFS.

We provide well planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play both indoors and outdoors in the seven areas of learning.

 

THE THREE PRIME AREAS

Personal, social and emotional development

* making relationships

* self-confidence and self-awareness

* managing feelings and behaviour

 

Physical development

* moving and handling

* health and self-care

 

Communication and language

* listening and attention

* understanding

* speaking

 

These three prime areas help children to develop and learn, and become ready for school. As well as the three prime areas activities are also planned in the specific areas.

 

THE FOUR SPECIFIC AREAS

Literacy

* reading

* writing

 

Mathematics

* numbers

* shape, space and measure

 

Understanding the world

* people and communities

* the world

* technology

 

Expressive arts and design

* exploring and using media and material

* being imaginative

 

Play underpins all development and learning for young children. It is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

 

In the Early Years at Westward we provide children with experiences that challenge them on a daily basis. Children engage in both adult directed and child initiated tasks with the expectation that by the end of the Reception year the majority of children will have met the 17 Early Learning Goals and where appropriate exceeded them.

 

The EYFS profile is completed at the end of the Summer Term in Reception and will include;

* A  summary of each child's attainment against the 17 Early Learning Goals

* A short commentary on how each child demonstrates the three characteristics of effective learning

 

A copy of the completed Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will be sent to parents before the end of the Summer Term and they will have an opportunity to discuss the results with the class teacher in preparation for their move to Year 1.

 

EYFS profile data will also be sent to the Local Authority upon request.

 

For more information on the Early Years Curriculum refer to the Early Years section of the website.

 

LOWER SCHOOLS AND UPPER SCHOOL CURRICULUMS

 

Lower School– Year 1 & 2

 

Upper School  -  Year 3, 4, 5 & 6

 

The curriculum is traditional with emphasis on written and spoken English and Mathematics. Subjects are covered using language in the form of writing and recording. The syllabus content and skills are broadly in line with the National Curriculum.

 

Please refer to the Westward School Curriculum folder or School website for syllabus content and skills taught in the subjects listed below;

  • English
  • Speaking & Listening - LAMDA and ESB
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PSHE (Refer to PSHE Scheme of Work)
  • Non-Verbal, Verbal Reasoning – Year 2 upwards
  • History & Geography
  • German - Year 1 and Year 2
  • French - Year 3 upwards
  • Drama
  • ICT - Computing
  • PE
  • Art/Design Technology
  • Music

 

 

PARENTAL COMMUNICATION

Parental meetings are held regularly throughout the year for all age groups plus parents receive a written report at least twice a year.

 

Once a pupil reaches Year 5 individual meetings between the Senior Management Team and parents are held on a termly basis to discuss senior school transfer.

 

We have adopted an “open door” policy. Parents are encouraged in the first instance to approach the class teacher regarding any concerns they may have.

 

A BROAD CURRICULUM AT WESTWARD

Pupils from Year 1 - 2 participate in the introductory and preparatory examinations from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). These examinations form a strong base where children can confidently learn about all aspects of performance skills which are taught throughout their time at Westward.

 

Pupils in Year 3,4 & 6 take part in the English Speaking Board examinations (ESB) senior level.

 

Pupils in Year 5 work towards an Interview Technique examination in preparation for the senior school exams in the Summer Term.

 

Developing children’s confidence and self esteem is very important to us at Westward and we encourage our pupils to become involved in many aspects of school life.

 

Concerts are held on an annual basis with all forms participating.

 

Our local United Reform Church hosts our annual Carol Service and Easter Service. The choir and orchestra perform.

 

We take part in senior school concerts and Gala performances. The choir sing annually at a local senior residential home, the Walton “Festival of Light” event and the Surrey Schools' Concert.

 

We hold end of term award ceremonies and an annual Year 6 Speech Evening where pupil success is celebrated.

 

Pupils in the Upper School work towards being selected to play in the school netball, tag rugby, rounders, hockey, cricket and football teams.

Matches are played against other local independent schools.

We participate in the ISA Swimming Gala, Athletics, Netball, Triathlon, Cross Country, Tag Rugby, Hockey, Rounders and Football Tournaments and also run our own Westward Netball Tournament.

 

We have been running an Art Scholarship Group since September 2011 which comprises of pupils from Year 6 who have been identified as having potential artistic talent. The group size is no larger than eight and they meet weekly to produce works of art in a variety of mediums and to learn basic drawing skills. The senior schools require a portfolio of work and a sketch book from applicants. Plus each child is required to 'sit' a drawing exam and to show passion for the subject at interview.

In the last six years Westward are very proud to have been awarded ten art scholarships to leading independent schools.

 

After the exams Year 6 pupils are prepared for life beyond Westward. In partnership with the HSBC, a Westward bank has been set up in the school. The aim is to give the children an insight into working in a bank, handling money, becoming a regular saver and hopefully developing a better understanding of the value of money. Within the class, managers, assistant managers and cashiers are elected, following the completion of a CV. One of the class visits is to the Walton branch of the HSBC.

 

Also Year 6 are responsible for running Charity Stalls in the Summer Term. They have to design stalls, sort out costs and then market their ideas. This is supported by the Year 6 parents.

 

Life skills are taught in Year 6 through participation in the Young Leaders scheme, Bikeability, First Aid, a trip to the Sutton Life Centre and the HSBC Bank Project.

 

We are always keen to involve the children in all sorts of different external projects and competitions.

 

Years 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 participate in Road Safety schemes.

Year 1 & 2 Pedals, Year 4 & 5 Level 1 National Standard Cycle Training and Year 6 Level 2 National Standard Cycle Training.

 

Pupils across all year groups enjoy regular visits by Chertsey Museum to help bring History to life.

 

Each term Westward takes part in charitable events which involve all the children in the school. Some charities supported in recent years are: Water Aid, Christmas Shoe Box Project, Diabetes and Macmillan.

 

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

There are a wide variety of extra curricular activities on offer for children at Westward which enrich the curriculum;

 

Art Club


Art Scholarship Group

(Selected Year 6 pupils)


Choir


Computer Club


Dance Club


Drama Club


Homework Club


Musical Tuition

(Voice, piano, violin and flute)


Orchestra


Robotics Club


Science Club


Sports Clubs

(Judo, Hockey, Football, Cricket, Netball, Multi-Sports, Dance, Wake & Shake and Ballet)

 

Textiles Club


TRIPS, OUTINGS & VISITORS

Part of the curriculum is delivered through the annual school journey trip to Dorset in Years 3 and 4 and journeys to PGL centres in Years 5 & 6. Pupils experience being away from home with their peers.

 

All classes are expected to go on at least one outing each term to complement an area of the curriculum. Full use is made of the local facilities including museums, art galleries, theatres, historical sites and sites of scientific interest.

 

We also invite visitors into school such as theatre groups, authors, the cycling proficiency team, museum teachers and parents to talk about their interests and hobbies. (Refer to Visiting Speakers policy)

 

We also arrange our own special events through curricular weeks.

 

HOMEWORK

Refer to Homework Policy

 

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Westward has a trained SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). Their role is to support staff in identifying pupils’ difficulties and planning teaching strategies, to liaise with parents and outside agencies, to coordinate any extra help that may be required and to offer support to small groups in a class.

Refer to Learning Support Policy


We work closely with specialists and professional agencies to ensure that children’s needs are met.

Refer also to the Able, Gifted and Talented Policy

 

ASSESSMENT & REPORTING

Assessment is an essential part of the teaching process. Regular assessments are made of pupils work to establish a level of attainment and to help with future planning. Teachers use assessment information to track the progress of individual pupils and the Headteacher uses it to monitor the effectiveness of the teaching and curriculum.

Refer to Assessment Policy

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

We believe all pupils in the school should have equal opportunities and equal access to the curriculum.

Refer to Equal Opportunities Policy

 

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Training opportunities are provided in order to update and improve standards of teaching and learning. Training needs are regularly assessed. Initiatives in curriculum development teaching and learning styles are monitored to ensure teachers are well equipped to deliver the curriculum effectively.

Refer to Staff Development Policy

 

Last updated - Nov 17