In Groups 1–3 (Years 4–6) the children are taught English, Personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) and Humanities by their class teacher and much is explored through an integrated curriculum, which makes it more interesting and relevant by linking to other subject areas. There is specialist teaching in Maths, Science, Art, Design, Music, Sport, Drama, French, Dance and Information Technology (IT). We encourage children to be aware of and care for their environment. Pupils have double weekly Outdoor Work lessons that build on a range of forest skills and outdoor learning.
Each year the school has a theme that encourages cross-curricular working and fresh ideas, with curriculum areas coming together to work towards a single goal, such as Peace One Day, Thinking Outside the Box, and Inspire, Create, Perform. During Mary Rose Day, the school celebrated the 500th anniversary of the ship’s launch in Henry VIII’s reign. Having studied the different elements of the Mary Rose in Science, History and Art, the whole school community enjoyed activities such as sailor training, cannon firing, challenging strategy games, making ship’s biscuits, composing battle songs, and making goblets and tankards. Pupils and teachers then embarked on the ambitious challenge to build a 40 foot replica of the Mary Rose in the school’s Outdoor Work area, complete with mast and flags; when it was finished, the children boarded to sing sea shanties.
Pupils are introduced to independent study through Green periods, when they can complete prep in the library, or pursue other activities such as further academic studies, the arts or sport.
Each summer term all year groups go away on residential camps, staying under canvas, in youth hostels or study centres. All trips complement the curriculum and introduce children to new situations and challenges.
Much learning takes place through doing and making, especially through our extra-curricular activities programme. Surprising talents are often unearthed by the children themselves and by our supervising staff. Trips, visits, workshops and speakers are important stimuli and are encouraged.
During a visit to the Gilbert White Field Studies Centre, pupils studied water flow and velocity by watching the movement of dye through the water, taking measurements to understand the river profile and using nets to see what was living in the water.