Learning

We pride ourselves on offering experiences that lead to lifelong learning and a broad, stimulating curriculum. This allows children to really explore their interests and use these to enrich and enhance learning for all.

We have high expectations for our children and take individual children’s progress in learning in the broadest sense very seriously.
We believe that if children are to reach their full potential they must see themselves as learners and be confident in their own abilities and clear about where they need to go next in their own learning journey.

Each class is made up of 30 individuals who all see and experience the world around them in different ways. Our children vary enormously in their life experiences and aptitudes and this makes a Christ Church or Holy Trinity classroom a vibrant and stimulating place to be. We teach children in ways that build on previous learning and help them to make links with what they already know. We aim to make our classrooms very safe places where children can feel confident to make mistakes and understand making mistakes leads to real learning.

Through our teaching we aim to:

  • enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
  • we expect them to ask questions; be proactive and evaluate their own learning;
  • foster children’s self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people, both peers and adults;
  • take a pride in their work and the work of others;
  • develop children’s self-respect and encourage children to respect the ideas, attitudes values and feelings of others;
  • show respect for all cultures and in so doing, promote positive attitudes towards other people;
  • enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued as part of this community;
  • help children grow into conscientious, positive and free thinking citizens;

We believe that children learn best from real experiences and so wherever possible children’s written and mathematical work is based on practical experiences that they have had either at school or sometimes at home. We are situated in the heart of London, which affords us fantastic opportunities culturally, artistically and academically to learn. Teachers plan and use the resource of the city around us to maximum effect for the whole range of the curriculum areas. Children are regularly out exploring their environment in small groups and whole classes.

We see parents as the primary educators and therefore use their talents, interests, ideas and expertise to contribute to the children’s learning wherever possible. Working in partnership with parents is a key contributing factor in the achievement of our children.

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reception-image

At Christ Church and Holy Trinity Primary schools we recognise the importance of the early years of a child’s development and fully appreciate the vital role that you as parents play in your son’s or daughter's early education.

You are, and will continue to be, your child’s first and most important teacher, and we aim to continue your good work by providing a safe, secure and nurturing environment in our Reception Class.

The transition from home or nursery to a fulltime school is a massive step for both you and your child and we seek to ease this transition via the provision of a rich curriculum and a team of staff which are sympathetic the to the needs of pupils and of their parents. We take care to offer a gentle induction into school life and place a huge emphasis upon home school links and effective communication with parents. In practical terms this means you and your child will always be greeted with a friendly face and a listening ear, even in a busy Early Years classroom.

In the spirit of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum our approach is a holistic one, meaning that our first concern is the social and emotional well-being of the children in our care. As a Church School we place much value upon a school community that is harmonious and caring; from Reception Class to Year 6 all pupils and staff are expected to treat one another with kindness and respect.

At the beginning our children’s school life there is much to be learned and some social skills need to be taught explicitly-for example the need to share and respect school equipment, to listen carefully to friends and adults and to learn self care skills and independence when becoming familiar with daily routines.

The children are sensitively led through new experiences and given ample time to get to know the many new people in their lives – adults and children. Games and activities are planned to help encourage communication skills and to model appropriate behaviour; it is a testament to our talented team of Early Years Practitioners that the majority of children settle quickly and happily into school life.

The younger children are lucky enough to have their own dedicated out door space and much use is made of this; it is proven that children are happier, more creative and more open to learning experiences when outside. For this reason, the children in YR are given an opportunity to learn outside daily, come rain or shine! Our outside classroom is an important part of our school day and experiences there provide long lasting and happy memories for your child as he or she moves through the school.

As the children prepare to say goodbye to Reception Class, the class teacher ensures that they are prepared for the transition into Year One; again this is managed sensitively and gently, so ensuring that the children are happy to take their seats in a new classroom and embrace an equally exciting range of brand new experiences in Year One.

Welcome to Year 1

Year 1 is the introduction to the National Curriculum but also builds on the goals and ethos of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is a time when the children start to be aware and understand themselves as independent learners. They become more confident in all areas of school life and develop as individuals within a wider community. It is the first year that they wear full school uniform and take part as members of the School Parliament.

The children’s interest and pleasure in reading is developed as they begin learn to read confidently and independently. Pupils start to enjoy writing and see the value of it. They learn to communicate meaning in narrative and non-fiction texts and spell and punctuate correctly. In year 1 children learn to speak clearly, thinking about the needs of their listeners. They work in small groups and as a class, joining in discussions and making relevant points. This is particularly developed during their weekly Show and Tell sessions. They learn to use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings
when working in role, drama activities and assemblies.

The class develops their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activity, exploration and discussion. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers. They develop a range of mental calculation skills and use these confidently in different settings.

During this year the class enjoy a creative curriculum which includes, History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology, RE, ICT and Science. The year also includes several trips to link with many areas of the curriculum, workshops and other activities to enrich their enjoyment of wider learning.

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Welcome to Year 2

In Year 2 the children are beginning to be much more independent learners. They learn to discuss and evaluate their own work and become more responsible for their own learning through checking and editing.

In Numeracy they continue to learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond and round numbers to the nearest 10.  They develop their mental calculation skills to include knowing number bonds to 20, doubles to 10 + 10 and the corresponding halves.  Parents can also help so much with their first steps on the times table ladder by practising at home as well.  They learn to add and subtract two-digit numbers through various informal methods of calculation including partitioning and recombining tens and units.

In Writing the children learn to punctuate sentences with capital letters, full stops and question marks and begin to use commas in lists.  They write simple sentences using some prepositions and connectives that signal time and begin to use conjunctions to write compound sentences.  They start to make more interesting word choices and give detail to engage the reader’s interest. They learn to apply their knowledge of story elements such as setting, dialogue, characterisation, story language and structures, so that their own writing begins to ‘sound like a story’.  They practise handwriting in the cursive script and have weekly spelling tests.

Year 2 is a very exciting year for reading and the children make huge amounts of progress in their ability to read and understand longer and more complex texts.  Parents need to continue to read with their child every day but the focus begins to change to building reading comprehension.  Asking questions about what they have read, what has happened in the story, the characters, places and events and what they think will happen next, will all help the children to successfully complete written reading comprehensions at the end of Year 2.

Interesting history topics in Year 2 include learning about people who have blue plaques in the local area. In geography children learn about Sussex and visit Goodwood farm.  To tie in with our topic on ‘seaside holidays’ we all go on an end of year trip to the beach!

At the end of Year 2, the children will complete end of Key Stage 1 SATs assessments in Reading, Writing, Numeracy and Science.

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Welcome to Year 3

Year 3 is an exciting and demanding year, as the children enter into Key stage 2. By this stage the children really begin to develop their thinking skills. To complete a piece of learning they may initially only be given the goal and work to decipher how to achieve it; Through the sharing of independent ideas, partner chats or group work they learn to develop their own success criteria.

Developing valuable problem solving life skills. The children are also more able to self and peers assess learning and offer positive feedback. They also spend more time editing and improving on what they initially produced, giving them a better understanding of topics and how to be successful in them.

With letters and home activities they are also encouraged to be more independent through the use of individual in-trays, which they take charge of emptying each day. This independence continues with reading. Reading journals are still used but they are completed more by the children, to develop their understanding and ability to form and express opinions on the texts they are enjoying.

The learning highlights of the year are numerous including a study of Roman Britain culminating in a themed Roman Day of learning, a mystery and adventure story literacy unit where the children turn authors and create thrilling stories for Key Stage 1. Learning about the Stone Age normally involves a lesson dissecting Stone Age man and woman’s poo!

In art the children produce wonderful mosaics for the whole school to enjoy with our visiting artist Adan Stanley. The children also produce metal sculptures in art and make exciting installations with them.

The science topic teeth and eating tends to enthral Y3 children as they find out more about the teeth they are currently loosing and growing and they also learn about teeth and growing.

The ultimate highlight for most children is planning and putting on a “Pop up Restaurant” for all of the children’s parents. It is a really fun night organised totally from start to finish by the children.

All this excitement is coupled with a strong foundation in developing key literacy, numeracy and social skills throughout the year.

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Welcome to Year 4

Welcome to Year 4 at Christ Church and Holy Trinity Primary Schools!  This year is an important year for a child’s development, so we encourage children to become more independent both in terms of learning and thinking, and taking personal responsibility for their work, belongings, timetable, and behaviour. They will be consolidating and building up ideas introduced in Year 3 and will have to ready to take their learning into their own hands.

It is also the year when the children will go on their first exciting school trip staying away from home when we visit Hooke Court in Dorset for 3 days of Tudor fun including dance, music, costume, murder mystery, banquets and various Tudor pastimes. The children always get such a lot from it and it really brings to life all the learning they do about the Tudors prior to the trip. The trip is also an opportunity for children to really stretch their independence muscles.

In addition to learning all about the Tudors in Year 4, the children: immerse themselves in Egyptian history; become scientific investigators when they learn about electricity, habitats, and friction; and get their creative juices flowing in D&T by making money containers,  pop-up storybooks and other challenging projects. There is a particular emphasis on project work in Year 4 and every child will create their own Egyptian project.

The children have weekly Maths, English and creative homework. We also encourage the children to read as much as possible and record their reading in their reading records. We ask that children take real responsibility for their home learning. In Year 4 we would like to see children trying to be more independent with their home learning and to also have more discussion at home about their learning.

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Welcome to Year 5

During this academic year the children have a wide range of first hand experiences relating to key areas of the curriculum. We explore what it was like for children living in Victorian Britain, how attitudes towards children changed, and the people who are remembered for their part in these changes. This is brought to life with a fun packed Victorian Day in school, where the children experience just how strict the teachers were!

Another highlight in Year 5 is our trip to Osmington Bay. This is a physical geography visit looking at the amazing Jurassic Coast in Devon. While there the children experience a wide range of physical activities where they achieve more than they ever thought possible. They are encouraged to try new activities and really challenge themselves. The sense of pride at the end of each day is remarkable to observe and every child returns to school with a positive and determined attitude!

Year 5 is a year of independence. The children have greater responsibilities around the school and take a leading role in many aspects of school life. They are trusted to take their own initiative and solve problems as and when they occur. These may be in the classroom or when trying to support a younger member of the school. The children really live up to expectations and truly embrace this new level of trust and independence.

As a parent of a child in Year 5 it is important that you also promote independence at home. This may be with day to day chores, along with giving them more responsibility to remember homework tasks or to deliver key questions to the teacher without your support.

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Welcome to Year 6

Year 6 at Christ Church and Holy Trinity Schools is a serious, hardworking, yet fun year!

We invest heavily in this year group with our time and focus ensuring that the children have a wide and fulfilling curriculum.

Through the Lead Learners programme, we encourage the children to be part of a cohesive community where we cherish and reward empathy, politeness and leadership. The children are Shepherds for their Reception Class Sheep. They design and make slippers for their sheep and support the younger children on many occasions during the year.

Highlights of the year are drama with an immersive World War piece and a Shakespeare performance. We take the children out often and ensure that they learn creatively using the local area where possible. The children from both schools go on a residential trip but these trips will be different for this transitional year in the Federation.

This is the year that the classes do their Key Stage 2 SATS tests and 11+ entrance exams. The children work hard as well as play hard!

We plan carefully to prepare the children for their transition to secondary school.

During this transitional year, we ask the parents to be very supportive of their children’s needs- both academically and emotionally. We are very proud of our Christ Church and Holy Trinity children when they leave us as we know that they will be giving so much back to their new community.

Curriculum

Both of our schools use a carefully crafted curriculum that has been designed by our Senior Leadership Team. This takes account of what our children need to learn in order to be successful learners and tooled up for success in the next steps of their education and indeed for life.

It is vital to us that the children learn through topics and themes that are of interest to our children and that lead to a broad and balanced knowledge base.
The curriculum that our children experience and learn through is the result of extensive work done by the school’s teachers who have looked at how one piece of learning best builds on prior learning from another year group or from earlier in that academic year. This curriculum development work is ongoing to ensure that teachers are continually reviewing and reflecting on how best different aspects of learning fit together and support each other.

All subjects that are taught are planned for with the big picture in mind we often talk about what we want our children to achieve in the seven years they are with us. All classes have a curriculum map that is shared with all staff and indeed with parents so that they can support the teaching and learning experiences the children will have at home.

Long term curriculum maps are broken down into medium term plans by the class teachers and links between different areas of learning are further explored so that the learning experience for our children is as relevant and cohesive as possible.

Once medium term plans are made individual lessons are planned for. These lessons are taught and learning steps made by children are evaluated so that future lessons are as best matched to the children’s needs as possible. We aim to challenge children as much as possible in lessons and although there is a place for consolidation the focus in class lessons is on children building on prior knowledge and skills.

When teaching, teachers share long term learning goals with children and then short term learning objectives for that lesson are shared as steps towards the long term goals. Success criteria are key in this learning process so that children are really clear about what it is they need to do to be successful in that lesson.

Class timetables plan out the coverage of the curriculum and different amounts of time being dedicated to different curriculum areas. Literacy, Numeracy and RE, Music and PE are normally taught as distinct lessons but links with aspects of learning in these are made with other curriculum areas. Cross curricular links are regularly made between other subjects.

The creative curriculum as it appears on our timetables is blocked so that there will be a core theme for a week or more. We find that this is a very effective way of teaching as children (and adults) find it hard to digest small bite size bits of knowledge if they are taught eleven different subjects in a week.

Special Educational Needs

Using these we plan an exciting and stimulating curriculum. It is vital to us that the children learn through topics and themes that are of interest to our children and that lead to a broad and balanced knowledge base.

The curriculum that our children experience and learn through is the result of extensive work done by the school’s teachers who have looked at how one piece of learning best builds on prior learning from another year group or from earlier in that academic year. This curriculum development work is ongoing to ensure that teachers are continually reviewing and reflecting on how best different aspects of learning fit together and support each other.

All subjects that are taught are planned for with the big picture in mind we often talk about what we want our children to achieve in the seven years they are with us. All classes have a curriculum map that is shared with all staff and indeed with parents so that they can support the teaching and learning experiences the children will have at home.

Extension Homework

Christ Church Challenges Champions

Because we are aware of the fact that, sometimes, pupils want to go that ‘extra-mile’ with their learning and extend themselves beyond their year group’s learning objectives, our Challenge Champions’ Homework provision has now become a regular weekly feature at Christ Church.

The way it works is that the ‘challenge’ work is distributed on Fridays. Answers are provided with the work, so that pupils and/or parents may self-check their answers and work backwards to figure out where they went right and where they went wrong. Parents may decide how much or how little of the work that they want their child to complete (class assessment standing is in no way affected by the standard of the ‘challenge’ work returned), and the work is above and beyond whatever work your child’s teacher may assign.

Parental support with familiarising pupils with some new concepts will obviously extend your child’s learning, but we also have Challenge Champions’ ‘surgeries’ to help when parents or pupils want a hand. These Challenge booster groups are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:05—8:25 a.m. in the ICT Suite, by appointment only, however.

So, if you would like your child to take part of this extension provision, please email Mrs Thalassites.

EAL

English as an additional language (EAL)

Children at Christ Church speak a wide range of languages. We embrace the many languages spoken in our school and provide opportunities whenever possible for children to share aspects of their language and culture with other children in the school.

Parents and carers are encouraged to continue to speak and develop their first language skills at home, as research shows that bilingual pupils may perform better academically if they have strong skills in their home language.

At school, we monitor closely the progress of those children for whom English is not the first language and meet termly to set targets for them accordingly. At whatever stage of language competency they are, we make great efforts to ensure that any misunderstandings or difficulties arising from this do not
hold back the children’s learning while at Christ Church.

We provide extra support for our EAL pupils in a number of ways: we work alongside the children in class or withdraw them for one to one or small group sessions. In these sessions, we work on specific aspects of English language or introduce particular vocabulary and new concepts so that the children are familiar with these when they arise in class.

Pupil Parliament

This is an elected body consisting of a boy and a girl from year groups 1-6

The children serve on Parliament for one term asking their classmates for their opinions on current topics of interest in the school. Parliament members meet with Head Teacher Avis Hawkins every two weeks to discuss the work of the school. They often do extra research about current topics of interest and visit other schools to find out about good practice etc.

Outdoor Learning

At Christ Church and Holy Trinity we try hard to ensure children engage in outdoor learning as often as is possible.

What is Outdoor Learning?

Outdoor Learning is a broad term that includes: outdoor play in the early years, school grounds projects, environmental education, recreational and adventure activities, personal and social development programmes, expeditions, team building. Outdoor Learning does not have a clearly defined boundary but it does have a common core.

All forms of Outdoor Learning value direct experience

Outdoor Learning can provide a dramatic contrast to the indoor classroom. Direct experience outdoors is more motivating and has more impact and is highly effective in the way it is embedded in the children’s brains. Through skilled teaching, interpretation or facilitation, outdoor experiences readily become a stimulating source of fascination, personal growth and breakthroughs in learning.

Outdoor Learning is active learning in the outdoors

In Outdoor Learning children learn through what they do, through what they encounter and through what they discover. Children learn about the outdoors, themselves and each other, while also learning outdoor skills. Active learning readily develops the learning skills of enquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review and cooperative learning.

Outdoor Learning is real learning

Not only does Outdoor Learning happen in the natural environments where children can see, hear, touch and smell the real thing, it also happens in an arena where actions have real results and consequences. Outdoor Learning can help to bring many school subjects alive while also providing experiential opportunities for fulfilling the National Curriculum aim “to enable pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity.”

Outdoor Learning broadens horizons and stimulates new interests

There is no limit to the experiences and curiosities that outdoor environments and activities can arouse.

Children frequently discover potentialabilities and interests that surprise themselves and others. Safety codes provide clear boundaries and learning goals give clear direction, but Outdoor Learning draws in energy and inspiration from all around. ‘Broadening horizons’ is a common outcome.

Some examples of Outdoor Learning in our schools are:

  • Reception class’ regular learning through play in their outside play spaces
  • Forest School in Year 1
  • All the class’ park trips in relation to Geography map, orientation and seasons work
  • Our garden and growing work with Jo and Mr Golightly our regular gardeners
  • Regular design technology sessions (at Christ Church) with Andy and Jimbo our esteemed handymen who are teaching the children to saw, hammer, nail and screw wood and other materials
  • Our three residential trips for year 4, 5 and 6. Hooke Court, Osmington Bay and Alex Rider
  • In addition a whole plethora of trips involving the great outdoors in all classes

We are so excited that we are developing outdoor classrooms at both schools over the next two terms too!