English and French
Young children pick up languages very quickly and naturally. Every day some lessons are taught in English and some are taught in French, by native speakers. The children learn songs and nursery rhymes in both languages.
Children are taught to trace over lines, shapes and then letters. They gradually learn to form letters in cursive mode, first in large size then smaller, but they are taught to keep the letters on a line and between lines from the very beginning.
We use various readers, but on the whole the teaching is phonetic. Children have one-to-one reading sessions of about 8 minutes three times a week with their teacher. We send readers home every day as, in order to make rapid progress, children should read aloud to their parents every day if possible.
Reading programme in detail.
Children begin with 3 letter words and when they are totally confident with these they are taught various spelling patterns e.g. words ending in “ck”, “ook”, “ill” and “ell”.
The children explore contexts in which numbers arise in their lives. They are taught to count to 20 in the Nursery, to 100 in Reception, to add and subtract using the language of mathematics. They are taught to count in twos both forwards and backwards, to count in tens, to recognize and write the numbers and do simple addition and subtraction.
Twice a week the children have an art lesson with a specialist art teacher. The children also do arts and crafts with their classroom teacher during afternoon activities.
The children have a formal music lesson once a week with a specialist music and singing teacher. They also sing in both English and French with both their English and French classroom teachers.
The children have two sports sessions each week with two professional sports teachers and go swimming once a week at Imber Court Leisure Centre.
Once a week the children have a ballet lesson with a Royal Academy of Dance registered instructor.
Children – sometimes, even very young children – are keen to ask big questions about why we are here and how we should conduct ourselves. As a culturally diverse school with a belief in humanity and kindness rather than an adherence to a particular creed or idea of orthodoxy, we are wonderfully placed to explore the world’s religions and philosophies in an objective, sensitive way.