Search site

Quick Links

 

Curriculum

 

At Vita et Pax, we are free to set our own curriculum, but use the national Curriculum guidelines to inform our planning. Each area of study is regularly reviewed and enriched to ensure it meets the needs of all our pupils. Children’s different needs are catered for through extra adult support, focused group work and one to one tuition. It is an approach which enables us to put in place a programme of early intervention and enrichment to help nurture and develop individual needs.

 

Children learn in a variety of ways and we try to ensure that a visual, kinaesthetic and auditory approach is planned into our lessons. At Vita et Pax, we believe in the broad and balanced curriculum, to help produce broad and balanced thinkers who are equipped to take their place in the world. This is why Sport and all aspects of the Arts take a valued place in our school.

Specialist subject teaching takes place throughout the school in Spanish, Gymnastics and Music as well as in Maths, English and Science from Yr. 4 to 6.

Pupils further develop self-confidence and life skills through participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, many of which involve no extra cost to parents.

To help children develop study skills, homework begins in Reception class with reading and Years 1 and 2, with nightly reading, weekly spellings and a weekly Maths and English task. From time to time, children may be asked to carry out some simple research for a classroom topic. In Year 3 homework is set nightly. A homework timetable is sent out at the beginning of the year, setting out the evenings for each subject. Homework diaries are provided to remind children of the work to be carried out and to help parents monitor their children’s workload.

Homework should not be done when a child is exhausted and should not be done for extended periods of time. Less is often more. Its primary function is to develop good study practices and consolidate work done in class or perhaps research work for a forthcoming topic or task. We always expect the same standard of presentation in their homework as in their classwork.

R.E.

Our Religious Education curriculum is based on “The Way, The Truth and the Life” Programme. R.E at Vita et Pax seeks to help each child understand the Catholic faith as well as investigate other faiths to equip them to take their place in our multicultural world. We seek to enable each child to mature as an individual and to become comfortable with who they are, what they believe and what they value. As a Catholic school with an ecumenical outlook, we seek to continue the example of our founders, the Benedictine Olivetan sisters by valuing the contribution of all faiths in our school community. Therefore pupils of different faiths are encouraged to respect one another, contribute to discussions and share their cultural differences with each other.

English

At Vita et Pax children develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. English is the key to all learning and opens the door to a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the curriculum. It plays a vital role in our ability to communicate with others throughout our lives and enables pupils to develop the ability to use and understand our rich language. We have a well equipped library, which all pupils are encouraged to use for both pleasure and further study.

Maths

Developing good Maths skills is important to help all pupils make sense of the world around us. We aim to provide our pupils with the ability to apply their knowledge of Maths to solve real life problems. Pupils develop skills in manipulating numbers and practical investigative work to enable them to enjoy Maths.

Science

The scientific approach to learning in Vita et Pax is very much experiential, particularly in the Infant School. Children are encouraged to become science detectives to ask questions about the world we live in and how it makes sense. They learn to predict and hypothesize when faced with a new problem. They investigate the unknown by observing, recording and evaluating their work and use their acquired knowledge to apply to other situations. The older children carry out experiments and learn how to present the written conclusions.

Spanish

Spanish is taught from Nursery to Year 6. Emphasis is placed on spoken Spanish.  The learning style is interactive as the children learn through role play, games and song. In the Junior school, children start to learn to write the language.

Pupils in Year 3 also have the opportunity to experience a short course in Latin.  By the end of Year 6, pupils are more confident and equipped to engage in Modern Foreign Languages at the senior school of their choice.

Information and Communication Technology

I.C.T. forms an increasingly important place in our lives and therefore from Nursery onwards, pupils learn to develop their I.C.T. skills through a wide range of educational software. Infant children have computers in the classroom, while all pupils have access to the ipad trolley which is used on conjunction with interactive whiteboards.

Humanities

Through the Geography and History topics, children experience a wide mix of exciting studies. They explore a wide variety of sources, which include handling artifacts, inviting experts into the school, the internet and visits to places of interest to bring a sense of realism into their learning.

In Geography children learn to ask questions about nature and the environment, both local and further a-field and how it affects our own place in the world. It provides an opportunity to reflect on citizenship and our responsibilities towards others less fortunate than ourselves.

Through the study of historical topics pupils will develop a growing sense of chronology. They learn the skill of interpretation and historical enquiry and the ability to organise and communicate their finding in a variety of ways.

Art and Design

Art and Design enables all children to experience creativity and imagination using a range of techniques and media. Much of this work is linked to other curriculum areas, particularly in the Infant School. They explore the work of famous artists and designers to enable them to make constructive judgements and preferences.

Music

In the Early Years, music is integrated throughout the school day. Reception children learn to play the ocarina to help develop fine motor control and as an introduction to early musical notation skills.

General musicianship is established through a Kodaly approach to teaching music, which is based on teaching and learning through the experience of singing. It uses relative solfa, rhythm names and hand signs to develop the inner ear.

All pupils are encouraged to participate in the range of extra-curricular individual and small group instrumental lessons. The school has a vibrant Junior and Infant Choir, which are regularly involved in many local festivals and events as well as a Junior Orchestra. Every year, the school gives a number of end of term productions. These events not only provide opportunities for pupils to display their performance skills but are an important vehicle for raising children’s self-esteem and social skills.

Sport

Physical activity promotes a healthy mind and body and all children take part in a minimum of two lessons per week. We are lucky to enjoy a sizeable playground and have access to a large playing field within a two minute walk from school.

Year 3 take part in weekly swimming lessons at a local pool and are instructed by Local Authority qualified staff.

Younger children develop skills to improve coordination and fitness through games, gymnastics and dance activities. Junior children use these skills to develop participation in team games. They regularly participate in sports fixtures with other local schools. Specialist teaching ensures high standards in all aspects of sport, particularly in football, rugby, squash, cricket, netball and athletics. There is a wide choice of after-school activities, some of which incur a cost as they are arranged by an outside professional coach.

Ethos

The school strives to provide a warm and homely community, in which everyone is valued as an individual.
Pupils are encouraged to get into the habit of learning and to respect each other’s feelings and property.
It is our aim that all children should be hard working, well mannered, articulate, confident and ready to meet the challenge of being good citizens in the future.

“Relationships amongst pupils and between staff are warm, with a healthy balance between the formal and relaxed, leading to a degree of trust and mutual understanding” ISI June 2011

Pastoral Care

Aim

At Vita et Pax, we aim to provide a safe and caring environment in which children feel secure and valued. We provide children with the vital skills needed to enable them to realise their full potential, personally, socially and academically. Caring for pupils is the responsibility of all members of staff although the class teacher is the key figure and 'parent substitute'. Our Pastoral care policy underpins the wider framework that pupils and members of staff work within, and in order to be effective, procedures are followed by all staff consistently.


“Overall the pupils have an excellent work ethic and have access to a varied curriculum” ISI June 2011