Our Learning Challenge Curriculum
Our exciting ‘Learning Challenge’ curriculum launched in 2014 brings a lively and engaging approach to teaching in the Infants & Juniors.
It allows more teaching time for English and Maths, which underpins everything the children do, whilst leaving ample time to explore enquiry questions to broaden the children’s experiences to acquire historical and geographical skills, alongside activities to give them life skills and resilience.
This bold new approach aims to make the learning more engaging with plenty of opportunities for enrichment and independent enquiry. The approach requires deep thinking and has been described as the curriculum for ‘intelligent schools’. Each half term we decide with the children the enquiry questions that they will study.
Recent questions have included:
- How Did the First World War Change People’s Lives?
- Would you rather live in England or in Kenya?
- What do you have to do to get your picture on a banknote?
- What was life like in Ancient Egypt?
- Weather: Friend or Foe?
- Do Mountains move?
- Should humans intervene in natural processes?
This cross-curricular learning approach leads to greater learner engagement, as well as a deeper understanding of the topic, its context and relevance. The pupils look forward to embracing new and exciting enquiry questions each half term and to continuing to set the direction of exploration within each topic.
Our aim is to create a stimulating and exciting environment where learning takes place through enjoyment. Children in Pre-School and Reception classes have their own indoor and outdoor classrooms and follow the statutory Foundation Stage Curriculum, which sets out the following early learning goals:
Prime: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language.
Specific: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design.
Communication and Language, Literacy and Mathematics are taught on a daily basis. Weekly French and Music lessons are taught by specialist teachers, whilst PE and Games lessons plus plenty of trips ensure pupils explore beyond their classroom.
From Key Stage 1 onwards, we offer a curriculum based on, but going beyond, the National Curriculum. Great care is taken to provide differentiated experiences, according to the needs of individuals.
Progress and Transfer to Juniors
Year 2 pupils are expected to satisfy the entrance requirements of King’s Juniors and, happily, the overwhelming majority of children transfer seamlessly for Year 3. A series of transition events are planned for both pupils and parents.
Throughout the Juniors, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum to stimulate interest in all areas whilst fostering good work and study habits. We put an emphasis on reasoning and problem-solving to encourage children to think for themselves and develop critical reasoning.
As an independent school, our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, but is broader than and goes well beyond statutory requirements. Our pupils are encouraged to take an active part in their lessons, express opinions, ask questions and develop a positive attitude towards learning. Subjects are taught by the Form Teacher who sets expectations and establishes good working habits, with particular emphasis on laying sound foundations in English and Mathematics.
Specialist teachers deliver lessons in Music, French, PE, Games and Swimming. The children are placed in sets for Mathematics to enable each child to be taught at a level appropriate to his or her ability in this vital area of the curriculum. A variety of learning experiences are used to enrich the curriculum, including trips and visiting speakers which are arranged each half term.
Progress and Transfer to Seniors
Each child’s academic progress is assessed on a regular basis and reported to parents at Parents’ Evenings (in the Autumn and Spring) and in an End of Year Report. King’s Year 6 pupils are offered assessed places for Year 7 based on their performance in internal assessments during Year 5 and the first term of Year 6.
Only rarely do pupils not transfer to our Senior Divisions. Both Academic and Music Scholarships for the Senior School are available and are often won by King’s Juniors after excellent performances in examinations and music auditions. External candidates applying for Year 7 entry must satisfy the requirements of the 11+ Entrance Examination.