As a school, we encourage our pupils to be enquiring and curious about the wonderful world in which they live.
Our work in Science gives pupils of all abilities the opportunity to investigate how and why things happen. From an early age, pupils are encouraged to make predictions and test their ideas using practical experiments. They consider how to make their tests fair and learn to make accurate measurements using a wide variety of tools and equipment, such as thermometers and Newton meters. They make simple electrical circuits and use microscopes to explore the world close up! As far as possible, lessons have a practical content to aid understanding, planned so that the children will have some fun, will be challenged and will learn to search for answers about the world in which they live.
As children progress through the school, they are expected to plan their own investigations to answer intriguing questions such as ‘Does the tallest person have the largest feet?’ Children learn how simple scientific concepts explain everyday phenomena and the importance of science in everyday life. Wherever possible, science is linked to work in other areas of the curriculum. As well as enjoying the resources of our school site – a magnificent wildlife area, pond and gardens - we are fortunate to be able to offer an exciting range of science-themed visits including the Fairfield High School science labs, the River Dore and a science day with other local primary schools! We hope that our pupils are enthused and excited by their work in science so that they continue to excel in this subject at secondary school and beyond.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
This area is expanding greatly each year with the development of more and more sophisticated technology and computer hardware.
Likewise, the curriculum is expanding apace, with computer technology used in almost every subject area. The school has three sets of ten iPads, which are used within the classroom for numerous varied tasks and which support many aspects of the curriculum. ICT skills can be delivered discretely or the skills learned used to aid research or learning. Parental consent is sought and given for children using the Internet; they are supervised and do so as part of a lesson with a focused task. Children learn to use computers to extend and enhance their knowledge and our equipment also includes digital cameras and floor turtles. We train pupils in Year 4, 5 and 6 to become ‘Digital Leaders’ taking responsibility for supporting with IT learning across the school.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology involves identifying the needs for an object and provides opportunities in designing, planning, making and testing.
Children are able to explore ideas to produce a design, to discover the difficulties of turning a design into an artefact, to select the appropriate materials for the task and to refine the skills and techniques needed to make the item. D&T has strong links with ICT, so we make use of ICT wherever possible.
The aesthetic sensibility of the child is seen as paramount, with our aim being the education of the whole child.
There is opportunity to experiment with 2D and 3D with a variety of media and materials. Where appropriate, cross curricular links are fostered with the creative curriculum. Pupils have the opportunity to work from observation, imagination or memory. In addition, we are working towards visual literacy, both talking about the work of other artists and working from the children’s own observations and practice. We aim to foster an enjoyment and respect for the incredible variety of colour, form and texture in the world around us.
History and Geography
History and Geography are favourite subjects for many children at our school.
They give the opportunity for outdoor work and visits, as well as providing links to many other subjects. History and Geography are planned and taught thematically so that children can acquire knowledge that is wide ranging. For example, a typical KS1 topic could be ‘Castles’ or ‘The Great Fire of London’ and in KS2 this could broaden to ‘The Victorians’ or ‘The Second World War’. History topics provide children with the opportunity to learn about different cultures from ‘The Ancient Greeks’ or the ‘Egyptians’ through to the history of our country in ‘Victorian Times’ to ‘Britain in the 20th Century’. Children of all ages are encourage not only to gain knowledge and understanding of the topic specifics, but also to develop their skills in research, map work, team work and writing for a variety of purposes. These skills can then be transferred to other areas of the curriculum in turn.
Music forms an important part of school life.
We aim to develop the children’s appreciation and understanding of music through composing, performing, listening and appraising in order to enrich their lives now and in the future. In KS1 Music is taught by Mrs Houlbrooke and in KS2 by Mrs Woods; both are specialist musicians. As the children progress through the school they have the opportunity to learn the recorder and in Year 6 pupils learn the trumpet. We have a number of children learning to play the ukulele in weekly small group lessons and we also offer paired or individual guitar lessons. Music plays an important role in our daily assemblies when the whole school sings together and mood music is used to create an atmosphere which is thoughtful and quiet. We have an excellent choir who practise and perform regularly. Last year the choir performed in two concerts with Fairfield High School and the local Community Choir. They also took part in the Herefordshire Performing Arts Festival at the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford, they took part in ‘Sing Spring 2017’ and they sang for members of the local community in the Village Centre.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Peterchurch Primary School we provide children with a good start in acquiring a modern foreign language.
Our main focus is on French and children will have lots of opportunities in class to develop their spoken, written and listening skills. In Year 4 to 6 the children have a dedicated weekly French lesson with a specialist French teacher and every other year the whole school enjoys a French themed day.
We aim to develop children’s enjoyment and skills in physical activity, motivating them to be “fit for life”.
We encourage all children to play, participate and perform regardless of age, gender or ability. Through PE we enable children to build physical fitness, co-ordination and stamina as well as skills such as timing, listening, patterning and co-operating, which enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum. All classes have two weekly PE lessons which include gymnastics, games, dance, athletics and swimming. Children always change for every lesson and we ask that their kit is in school at all times. For health and safety reasons no watches or jewellery may be worn during lessons and if your child is unable to take part in a lesson, please let the school know by writing a note to the class teacher.
We are fortunate to have our own learner’s swimming pool on-site. We employ our own fully qualified swimming instructor. All children have the opportunity to swim for the whole of the summer term and the first half of the autumn term. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have two half hour lessons each week and Year 3 to 6 have one half hour lesson each week. Having our own pool means that the children are taught in small groups and quickly become confident in the water. In Year 5 and 6 we also teach the children Life-Saving Skills.
In teaching RE we aim to provide the pupils with knowledge and understanding of Christianity as well as the traditions of four other major world religions, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.
We encourage all pupils to develop a positive attitude towards people who hold religious beliefs (or none) that are different from our own. We provide opportunities for children to reflect upon life issues, their moral stance, values and beliefs during lesson time. The Herefordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE forms the basis for the teaching of RE within the school. A variety of teaching approaches, including drama, cookery, story, poetry, class and group discussions and artwork, help to engage pupils interest and develop skills of enquiry, analysis, expression and reflection.
Our morning assemblies are central to the school’s daily routine.
Local clergy, visiting speakers, staff and children lead assembly in different ways to build a positive sense of community. Our assemblies form a vital part of our school life reflecting the rich traditions of British Life and British Values and involve the children through drama, dance, music and prayer. During the autumn term we celebrate Harvest Festival and at Christmas the whole school takes part in a Christmas Nativity. At the end of the spring term the whole school participates in a Spring Concert and then at the end of the summer term the whole school takes part in a Summer Show.
Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship
Personal, Social, Health Education & Citizenship (PSHE) plays an integral part in school life.
We aim to promote healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We encourage all our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community through class & school councils, fundraising events and involvement in community activities. We encourage ownership and responsibility by providing the children with purposeful roles within the school. Each class has a School Council Rep and an Eco Rep Pupils in Year 4, 5 and 6 are trained as Digital Leaders providing support with ICT in school. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 are trained as Peer Mediators to support younger pupils during break times. Our pupils are given opportunities in PSHE lessons and assemblies to develop confidence, self-motivation and an understanding of their rights and responsibilities within our diverse society.
PSHE is taught throughout the school in a range of contexts. Children learn through designated PSHE sessions, including circle time and assemblies when a variety of issues are explored and discussed. Across the school, positive attitudes and values are developed in day-to-day interactions and activities. PSHE teaching and activities are planned with due regard to children's age and stage of development. Planning ensures a progression of skills through the school following the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme of teaching. From their earliest days in school children are given opportunities to establish positive attitudes towards themselves and others and to participate as independent, active learners within their class or group. We expect our children to leave Peterchurch with positive and open minds to the world beyond the classroom.