Junior Section Curriculum
The School follows a curriculum that best suits the needs of the children. As a result, it continues carefully the strong foundations laid down in the Infant Department. Traditional methods of teaching supplemented by modern innovations are practised. The two styles combine to provide a rich, strong and diverse curriculum which enables pupils to move smoothly from the Junior to the Senior Section at the end of Key Stage 2. Whilst we follow aspects of the National Curriculum, we believe there is a need to provide a more broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum, which will enable us to ‘stretch' the pupils at every possible opportunity, whilst also catering for those who finds some aspects of learning difficult. Great emphasis is paid to teaching the core skills of reading, writing, spelling and knowledge of Tables and numbers, supplemented by regular homework.
Traditional Schemes such as the Oxford Reading Tree, Nelson Spelling and Handwriting are used but are supplemented carefully by other schemes such as Galens and Target Maths and resources under the watchful eye of experienced staff.
Schemes of Work are carefully monitored and updated to ensure that freshness abounds. A number of staff have the responsibility for a subject area and they ensure colleagues in the Infant and Junior Sections are aware of changes and updates made. They also liaise closely with colleagues in the Senior Section
Years 3 and 4 are taught by their Form Teacher for English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, RS, PSHE, Art, DT, PE and Games. They have the full support of classroom assistants both inside and outside the classroom. The pupils are also taught ICT, French, Music and Drama by Specialist teachers who have been appointed for their full understanding and empathy of this age range.
Years 5 and 6 also have Form Teachers but are more often taught by subject specialists. They are taught the same subjects as those pupils in Years 3 and 4 but Latin is introduced in Year 5. In Year 6, pupils are ‘set' into 3 groups in English and Mathematics and in Year 5 there are three sets for Maths. This enables the pupils to work more at their own relevant pace. The smaller groups enables the teaching staff to give more individual attention.
Great emphasis is paid to the effective delivery of the curriculum and whilst monitoring of standards is carefully organised and analysed, it does not become over-burdensome. As well as regular marking of homework and written/verbal/oral assessments, key assessments are made and children sit regular internal tests plus examinations at the end of the year. These enable the teachers to assess individual performances, strengths and weaknesses as well comparing their progress with their peers nationally. These tests are held each annually as well as other testing in Years 2, 4 and 6 so that staff can study the ‘value-added' to each pupil at each stage. All results are carefully monitored and assessed to ensure the curriculum is benefiting the children.
Government standards require that pupils at the end of the primary phase of education reach a certain level of attainment. The Cathedral School pupils continually surpasses these requirements.
The Cathedral School's results at the end of Year 6 (KS2) are very high indeed (see reference to these in the speech made by the Deputy Headmaster in July 2010). At the end of the Primary phase of Education in England, all pupils are expected to achieve at least Level 4 in the core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science). All our pupils attain these standards, whilst a massive percentage achieve Level 5, the highest possible. We are very proud of these results, whilst still remembering that the teaching of all subjects is of the fundamental importance so that an ‘all round' education is provided.
To supplement the curriculum, many trips and visits are organised. Throughout the year, pupils visit the High Street, the Cathedral, a number of museums, theatres, places of educational interest and sporting venues. These visits might be local or as far away as the Roald Dahl Centre in Buckinghamshire, a weekend trip to York, a 5 day trip to Paris or Normandy, visits to London or skiing abroad. Throughout their time in the Juniors, the pupils will have experienced a whole range of different languages, customs, places of historical interest and educational value. The School views these excursions as essential in the delivery and support of the curriculum.
Children experiencing some educational difficulty are treated sympathetically and monitored carefully. The SENCO is informed if it is deemed in the interests of the child. Discusion and close consultation takes place between pupils, parents and the School.