The Music curriculum at St Christopher's is varied and takes advantage of the excellent resources available in the Music Room. Every class in the school has a weekly music lesson with Ms Huber, the Director of Music. Work covered changes every half term and ranges from traditional classroom singing, percussion, listening, theory and musical terms, to Music Technology using software to create their compositions.
The younger ages learn about music through activity, be it singing, moving, listening or playing classroom instruments and recorders. As the children progress up the school, they learn about music in greater detail, with the relevant musical vocabulary and historical context. By Years 7 and 8 the pupils are composing their own music.
Children in the Pre Prep are introduced to the Classical world with ancient history and mythology. Study of Latin begins in Year 4. Latin studies reinforce the children's understanding of the structure of the English language, as well as complementing their studies of French. Latin is used as a living language for performing short plays or scenes. Year 4 visit Fishbourne Roman Palace to help place their studies in context.
Year 5 start with a more structured approach using a textbook and learning some vocabulary and Year 6 continue to build up on the grammar and translation skills. Year 7 use "Level 1 or 2 Latin Practice Exercises" textbook and Year 8 prepare for Scholarship or Common Entrance examination.
Greek mythology and stories of Hercules, The Trojan War, Odysseus' travels, Jason and The Argonauts are some of the stories studied in Latin.
Click here for the ISEB Classics Syllabus:
St Christopher's excellent staff pupil ratio means that all pupils are fully supported in their learning.
If specific needs arise our Learning Support Coodinator liaises with staff and parents to help diagnose and support these individuals. She writes Individual Education Plans for all pupils about whom there are concerns and, where necessary, gives further help in 1:1 tuition. She has expertise from a wide variety of contexts in supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, English as an Additional Language and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Equally important is the school's stretching of the most able pupils where additional teacher support sessions are run after school in some subjects, Art masterclasses are often offered over holiday periods and the older pupils manage their own system of peer support, guiding younger pupils through some of their more complicated curriculum and putting these older pupils in role as teachers as well as learners.
The Middle and Upper Schools are following a brand new curriculum this year. At St Christopher's, we aim for each child to become a:
- Digital Communicator: They can use a variety of tools and programs to express themselves and develop ideas.
- Digital Creator: They can use their logic to solve problems and their creativity to ask 'why not?'
- Digital Citizen: They use all aspects of ICT safely and responsibly and understand the effects of their own, and other people's, actions.
In order to do this, we continue with the five areas of study covered in the Pre-Prep: E-safety, Multimedia, Technology, Programming, and Data Handling.
Computational thinking, taught mostly through programming units, enables children not only to use ICT, but to begin to evaluate, question and make changes in the world. With a background knowledge of the way that computer programs, systems and hardware work, they are better equipped to create their own products and solutions. These aims fall in line with the government's wish for today's pupils to become 'active participants in a digital world'.
All pupils will begin this year with a unit on E-safety, where we will be using a variety of tools to springboard discussion on issues such as: secure passwords, viruses, email spam, cyberbullying, copyright and using time responsibly. Feel free to discuss stories like these with your children:
Throughout the year, various year groups will also be learning about: how computers work; stop motion video; movie making and editing; being a database detective; presentation and publishing software; spreadsheets and graphing; research skills; coding, using Scratch, Kodu and at least one text-based programming language; online collaboration; touch typing; photo editing.
Children could also practise their touch typing at home:
We endeavour in the Pre-Prep to provide children with a broad range of computing experiences to enable them to be safe and responsible online users to include awareness of social media. In addition, we aim to develop and grow their creativity using digital technology, helping them discover how to make logical and efficient decisions in programming. This enables them to become literate creators using digital ways of communicating. To provide this learning environment we focus on the following areas to include:- E-safety, Multimedia, Technology, Programming, and Data Handling.
The children use a range of hardware to include:- PC laptops, Chrome books, iPads, Beebot and Roamer programmable robots, digital cameras, sound recording equipment, data loggers and interactive whiteboards. The software range is vast but in addition to becoming competent users of Microsoft the children will also be creators using online software designed by educators to code and program to include Purple Mash, Mediator and Scratch.
Children's skills begin with learning how to operate devices using password logons, then to control and type using a QWERTY keyboard with touch pads and mouse operations. They have designated Computing lessons of 40 minutes per week and additional times with their form teachers embedding ICT into their class work for research, mental maths rehearsal, presentations and assessments. During their programming modules they will become familiar with terms such as algorithms and debugging. In addition, they learn about the World Wide Web, search engines, scan reading, email, manipulation of pictures and sound and to measure, record and organise data.
History is an extremely interesting and popular subject at St. Christopher's and is studied from Reception to Common Entrance and Scholarship. We cover a wide range of topics from Ancient Greece to Victorian Britain, including World Exploration and Discovery. The subject is brought to life through historical trips, ICT, drama, debates and projects.
The History Department challenges the children to develop their historical skills and empathise with various periods in history through inspired and enthusiastic teaching. We also encourage them to independently research the topics to further improve their depth of understanding.