Westward School

Curriculum Policy

From Little Acorns grow precious shoots. See your child’s development grow year after year.

INTRODUCTION

Our aim is to fulfil the potential of each child in our care.

A BROAD CURRICULUM

  • In its most narrow definition our remit is to prepare our pupils thoroughly for the entrance examinations of their chosen senior schools.
  • However we believe that we are preparing children not only for their senior schools, but also for the life that lies beyond them.
  • We regard these school years (from the ages of 3 to 11) as forming the base on which our pupils will build their future education.
  • We therefore aim to give our pupils as broad an education as possible.
  • To this end, we place strong emphasis on a wide curriculum, with  Music, PE, Drama and French all taught by specialist teachers.
  • The pupils’ spiritual, moral social and cultural development is also given strong emphasis and the Schools’ behaviour code underpins the aims and the delivery of the curriculum.
  • The Young Leader, prefect and monitor systems allow older children in the School to care for the younger ones.
  • The School Council provides every pupil with a voice and a sense of ownership over policy and practice. Everyone has an opportunity to make Westward a better place.

AIMS OF THE CURRICULUM

At Westward we undertake to:

  • Have high expectations of the children and ourselves
  • Raise levels of attainment for all pupils, enabling them to achieve their personal best
  • Develop their skills of reading, writing and mathematics
  • Prepare pupils for the entrance examinations to senior schools suited to their abilities and temperament
  • Develop confident, disciplined and enquiring learners who are able to make informed choices
  • Foster a love of learning
  • Foster self-esteem and personal responsibility, linked to respect for the needs and feelings of others
  • Facilitate considerate and positive relationships between all members of the school community
  • Ensure equal opportunities encouraging respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act (2010)
  • Actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs in order to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British Society
  • Provide a safe, happy work place
  • Promote a thoughtful attitude towards the immediate and wider environment

EARLY YEARS

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which underpins the curriculum in the Nursery and Reception classes is distinct in its identity. The curriculum, by which we mean everything that the children do within School, is planned in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. (April 2017)

Setting the standard for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five.

Meeting the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of the EYFS.

We provide well planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play both indoors and outdoors in the seven areas of learning.

THE THREE PRIME AREAS

Personal, social and emotional development

  • making relationships
  • self-confidence and self-awareness
  • managing feelings and behaviour

Physical development

  • moving and handling
  • health and self-care

Communication and language

  • listening and attention
  • understanding
  • speaking

These three prime areas help children to develop and learn, and become ready for school. As well as the three prime areas activities are also planned in the specific areas.

THE FOUR SPECIFIC AREAS

Literacy

  • reading
  • writing

Mathematics

  • numbers
  • shape, space and measure

Understanding the world

  • people and communities
  • the world
  • technology

Expressive arts and design

  • exploring and using media and material
  • being imaginative

Play underpins all development and learning for young children. It is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

In the Early Years at Westward we provide children with experiences that challenge them on a daily basis. Children engage in both adult directed and child initiated tasks with the expectation that by the end of the Reception year the majority of children will have met the 17 Early Learning Goals and where appropriate exceeded them.

The EYFS profile is completed at the end of the Summer Term in Reception and will include;

  • A written summary of each child's attainment against the 17 Early Learning Goals
  • A short commentary on how each child demonstrates the three characteristics of effective learning

A copy of the completed Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will be sent to parents before the end of the Summer Term and they will have an opportunity to discuss the results with the class teacher in preparation for their move to Year 1. 

EYFS profile data will also be sent to the Local Authority upon request.

For more information on the Early Years Curriculum see Early Years Foundation Stage Policy.

Lower School and Upper School Curriculums

Lower School– Year 1 & 2

Upper School  -  Year 3, 4, 5 & 6

The curriculum is traditional with emphasis on written and spoken English and Mathematics. A variety of subjects are covered using language in writing and recording. The syllabus content and skills are broadly in line with the National Curriculum.

Please refer to the Westward School Curriculum folder or School website for syllabus content and skills taught in the subjects listed below;

PARENTAL COMMUNICATION

Parental meetings are held regularly throughout the year for all age groups plus the parents receive a written report at least twice a year in the Lower and Upper School.

Once a pupil reaches Year 5 individual meetings between the Senior Management Team and parents will be held on a termly basis to discuss senior school transfer. 

We have adopted an “open door” policy and so parents are encouraged to firstly approach the class teacher regarding any concerns they may have.

A BROAD CURRICULUM AT WESTWARD

Pupils from Year 1 - 3 participate in the introductory and preparatory examinations from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). These examinations form a strong base where children can confidently learn about all aspects of performance skills which are taught throughout their time at Westward.

Pupils in Year 4 & 6 take part in the English Speaking Board examinations (ESB) senior level.

Pupils in Year 5 work towards an Interview Technique examination in preparation for the senior school exams in the Summer Term.

Developing children’s confidence and self esteem is very important to us at Westward and we encourage our pupils to become involved in many aspects of school life.

Concerts are held on an annual basis with all forms participating.

Our local United Reform Church hosts our Carol Service and Easter Service in which the choir and orchestra perform.

We frequently take part in senior school concerts and Gala performances. The choir sing annually at a local senior residential home, the Walton “Festival of Light” event and the Surrey Schools' Concert.

We hold end of term award ceremonies and an annual Year 6 Speech Evening where pupil success is celebrated.

Pupils in the Upper School work towards being selected to play in the School netball, tag rugby, rounders, hockey, cricket and football teams.

Matches are played against other local independent schools.

We participate in the ISA Swimming Gala, Athletics, Netball, Triathlon, Cross Country, Tag Rugby, Hockey, Rounders and Football Tournaments and also run our own Westward Netball Tournament.

We have been running an Art Scholarship Group since September 2011 which comprises of pupils from Year 6 who have been identified as having potential artistic talent. The group size is no larger than six and they meet weekly to produce works of art in a variety of mediums and to learn basic drawing skills. The senior schools require a portfolio of work and a sketch book from applicants. Plus each child is required to 'sit' a drawing exam and to show passion for the subject at interview.

In the last six years that the Art Scholarship Group has been running, Westward are very proud to have been awarded ten art scholarships from leading independent schools.

After the exams Year 6 pupils are prepared for life beyond Westward. In partnership with the HSBC, a Westward bank has been set up in the School. The aim is to give the children an insight into working in a bank, handling money, becoming a regular saver and hopefully developing a better understanding of the value of money. Within the class, managers, assistant managers and cashiers are elected, following the completion of a CV. One of the class visits is to the Walton branch of the HSBC.

Also Year 6 are responsible for running Charity Stalls in the Summer Term. They have to work out a simple business plan, design stalls, sort out costs and then market their ideas.

Life skills are taught in Year 6 through participation in the Young Leaders scheme, Bikeability, First Aid, a trip to the Sutton Life Centre and the HSBC Bank Project.

We are always keen to involve the children in all sorts of different external projects and competitions.

Years 1, 2, 5 and 6 participate in road safety schemes.

Year 1 & 2 Pedals, Year 5 Level 1 National Standard Cycle Training and Year 6 Level 2 National Standard Cycle Training.

Pupils across all year groups enjoy regular visits by Chertsey Museum to help bring History to life.

Year 6 experience the climbing wall at Excel.

Each term Westward takes part in many charitable events involving all the children in the School.

Extra Curricular Activities

There are a wide variety of extra curricular activities on offer for children at Westward which enrich the curriculum;

Sports Clubs; Judo, Hockey, Football, Cricket, Netball, Multi-Sports, Dance and Ballet

Robotics Club

Dance Club

Drama Club

Computer Club

Art Club

Stitch and Sew

Science Club

Art Scholarship Club

Homework Club

Choir and Orchestra

Musical Tuition Offered; Voice, piano, violin, flute, guitar and keyboard.

TRIPS, OUTINGS & VISITORS

Part of the curriculum is delivered through the annual school journey trip to Dorset in Years 3 and 4 and journeys to PGL centres in Years 5 & 6. Pupils experience being with a group of teachers and fellow pupils away from home for a few days.

All classes are expected to go on at least one outing each term to complement an area of the curriculum and full use is made of the local facilities of museums, art galleries, theatres, historical sites and sites of scientific interest 

We also invite visitors into the School such as theatre groups, the cycling proficiency team, parents to talk about their interests and hobbies, police liaison officers and the local clergy.

All visiting speakers are checked for their suitability and are well supervised at all times by the trips/events manager Mrs J. Williams. 

We also arrange our own special events such as curricular weeks. Those already enjoyed are Maths, Science, History, Art and Literacy weeks.

HOMEWORK

A homework policy is generally issued to all parents at the beginning of each academic year and a homework timetable is published for each year group.

See Homework Policy

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Westward has a trained SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). Their role is to support staff in identifying pupils’ difficulties and planning teaching strategies, to liaise with parents and outside agencies, to coordinate any extra help that may be required and to offer support to small groups in a class.

See Learning Support Policy

We work closely with specialists and professional agencies to ensure that children’s needs are met.

See Able, Gifted & Talented Policy 

ASSESSMENT & REPORTING

Assessment is an essential part of the teaching process. Regular assessments are made of pupils work to establish a level of attainment and to help with future planning. Teachers use assessment information to track the progress of individual pupils and the Head uses it to monitor the effectiveness of the teaching and curriculum.

See Assessment Policy

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

We believe all pupils in the School should have equal opportunities and equal access to the curriculum.

See Equal Opportunities Policy

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Training opportunities are provided in order to update and improve standards of teaching and learning. Training needs are regularly assessed. Initiatives in curriculum development teaching and learning styles are monitored to ensure teachers are well equipped to deliver the curriculum effectively.

See Staff Development Policy

 

 

Policy last reviewed: April 2017