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St Peter's Independent

Curriculum overview

Early Years Foundation Stage

Prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

The three prime areas are important as they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life.

Specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The four specific areas provide a rich context and range of experiences for children to broaden their personal development.

Children learn through:

  • Playing and Exploring,
  • Active Learning and
  • Creating and Thinking Critically.

These are the approaches and attitudes that children bring to their learning and at this age are as important as the knowledge and skills they acquire.

At. St. Peter’s small class sizes, excellent teacher: pupil ratios and a wonderfully safe environment allow a truly child centred and personalised learning provision.

Key Stages 1 and 2

At Key Stages 1 and 2 (Years 1-6) the school curriculum is closely linked to the National Curriculum. However the advantages provided by small class grouping and excellent behaviour allow us to extend our expectations for each individual child.
At Key Stages 1 and 2 the following subjects are taught;

  • English (National Literacy Strategy) +
  • Maths (National Numeracy Strategy) +
  • Science
  • ICT
  • Geography
  • History
  • Citizenship/PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
  • Art
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • PE/Games
  • Religious Education
  • Modern Foreign Languages

Extra time is provided for additional English language activities including formal handwriting lessons.
The Preparatory Department section of this prospectus indicates the opportunities provided by daily curriculum enrichment taught by subject specialist staff.  Lessons include;

  • French as a Modern Foreign Language for all classes from Reception upwards
  • an additional programme of Performing Arts in the drama studio
  • an additional music session with the Preparatory School Choir
  • specialist art provision
  • Cookery with the Senior School Food and Nutrition staff

These sessions allow all pupils to work with a range of specialist teaching staff in an atmosphere supported by individual Preparatory class teachers as preparation for entry to the Senior School at Key Stage 3.

Pupils have access to specialist teaching for:

  • A range of musical instruments
  • English Speaking Board examination preparation

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) schools have a statutory responsibility to deliver a common syllabus called the National Curriculum. The following subjects are taught;

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Art
  • Citizenship/PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer Science/ICT
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Technology
  • PE/Games
  • Religious Education
  • Careers

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) the National Curriculum still exists but schools are only obliged to deliver a ‘core’ of subjects;

  • English (compulsory examination - two GCSEs -Language and Literature)
  • Mathematics (compulsory examination)
  • Science (compulsory examination  double GCSE  with the option to do a triple  GCSE)
  • Citizenship (non-examination course)
  • Beliefs and Values (non-examination course)
  • PE (non-examination course)

St. Peter’s then offers a range of optional subjects for pupils to choose from in order to make a ‘broad and balanced' curriculum.  At St. Peter’s students are expected to undertake a minimum of 8 GCSEs Core courses listed above are enhanced by:

  • Drama (optional)
  • Geography (optional)
  • History (optional)
  • Computer Science (Optional)
  • Art (optional)
  • Music (optional)
  • Religious Education (optional)
  • French (optional)
  • Spanish (optional)
  • Food and Nutrition (optional)
  • Design (optional)

Unlike Key Stage 3, the QCA does not directly provide courses (Programmes of Study) at Key Stage 4. These are provided by Examination Boards. Examination Boards are independent companies which design courses, provide resources and set/mark exam papers.

Exam Boards recommend the number of hours necessary to deliver a course. This is known as the number of Guided Learning Hours (GLH). The GLH’s required for a typical GCSE is approximately 90-110 hours. Some courses need more time to complete and therefore have a greater number of GLH’s. This is why some subjects are called Double Awards as they need approximately 180 GLH’s to complete them. They are equivalent to 2 GCSE’s. Pupils have not achieved a higher standard of work than the single GCSE, just covered a greater volume of work.

The Examinations Officer will be happy to discuss examination options with individual pupils and families.