South Lee School
01284 754 654

Curriculum

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91Our aim is to provide a challenging, inspiring and individualised learning journey for all pupils that fosters a love of learning and a desire to work hard, even when confronted with obstacles.

We offer a broad and relevant curriculum for our pupils which encourages an interest in life beyond the classroom. We support a wide range of ability, stretching the most able and supporting those who may struggle both in the classroom and within the ID department.

We help pupils learn how to take responsibility for their learning and encourage them to embrace new challenges, persevere and look at mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Pupils are reminded of these expectations in assemblies and lessons.

See below for a brief summary of what each department offers at South Lee.


Subjects

English

From Year 4, pupils are introduced to a wide range of literature, compositions styles and technical knowledge to prepare them for their future education.  Topics include: reading comprehension, private reading, punctuation and grammar exercises, drafting and spelling strategies, recount and persuasive writing, creative and descriptive writing and poetry.

English should be an exciting and creative learning experience and one of our main aims is to nurture a love of literature through exposure to a wide variety of genres and authors. To encourage this we organise theatre trips, visiting speakers and regular visits to our library and visiting book shops. We also hold an annual verse speaking competition and regularly enter short -story and poetry competitions.

We recognise the importance of English across the curriculum in terms of supporting the children to express themselves clearly and confidently. Children of all abilities are helped to fulfil their potential within the subject. For information regarding English, please contact the Head of English: Mrs Watch. (r.watch@southlee.co.uk)

Mathematics

Richard Feynman, the pre-eminent twentieth century physicist, said that learning was fundamentally about noticing things. From this point of view, learning mathematics – and indeed doing mathematics – is primarily about noticing and explaining patterns.  What we want is for children who know that 8 + 7 = 15 to notice that if they know this simple addition fact they also know the answer to 15 – 8  and 68 + 7 and 80 + 70 and 1500 – 700 and a whole host of related sums.

At the same time, we also want the children to notice patterns as part of the process of solving problems. Ask yourself, how you would approach the following problem: ‘If there are twenty people at a party and everyone shakes hands with everyone else, how many handshakes are exchanged?’ At South Lee, we want pupils to simplify the problem (how many handshakes if there are two people or three people or four people?) and hope they notice a pattern in their results!

At South Lee, first and foremost it is our intention to ensure that all children become proficient with the fundamentals of mathematics, preparing them for their future schooling as well as the world beyond. Alongside this aim, it is also hoped that the children will derive pleasure from mathematics and will learn, as George Polya remarked, to ‘experience the tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery’ that solving problems entails.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, throughout the school the prevailing philosophy is that children learn maths by doing maths. For information regarding Maths, please contact the Head of Maths: Mr Borrows. (p.borrows@southlee.co.uk)

Science

We aim to offer an exciting Science course learning to discover, investigate, predict, conclude and evaluate. Emphasis is placed on practical skills, allowing pupils to develop confidence in using materials and following processes. Pupils are thoroughly prepared for Scholarship and Common Entrance exams at the end of Year 8. For information regarding Science, please contact the Head of Science: Mrs de Jongh. (l.dejongh@southlee.co.uk)

French

Learning French in the Prep school is about the three Cs: communication, culture and Common Entrance. Pupils learn to hold short conversations in French, read ever-more challenging texts and express themselves in writing. They learn about aspects of French life through film and are encouraged to think positively about cultural differences. By the end of Year 8 they are ready for the rigours of Common Entrance French exams, which set them up for the transition to their senior school. For information regarding French, please contact the Deputy Head: Miss Coventry. (j.coventry@southlee.co.uk)

IT

In Computing, we focus on 3 key curriculum themes: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science. Pupils learn the opportunities and risks involved with using the Internet. Pupils carry out effective searches, complete educational challenges on a variety of websites, (and also programs), and learn the main ways to keep safe online (we follow the annual UK Safer Internet Day event, and we get involved using some of their resources). In Information Technology, pupils develop their skills and confidence in word processing, and also when completing challenges using spreadsheets, databases, graphics, photo-editing and presentation programs. Pupils have many opportunities to improve their touch typing and file and folder management. In computer science, the pupils will discover the key concepts and principles of programming. They will be tasked with writing programs using different languages, (such as Scratch, Logo, Kodu and Python), to achieve specific objectives. The senior students design and create their own websites and have opportunities to develop multi-media video clips or presentations. For information regarding IT, please contact the Head of IT: Mr Decent. (t.decent@southlee.co.uk)

History

The study of history encourages pupils to develop a wide variety of skills including literacy, deduction, reference, recording, empathy, understanding chronology, consequence and how to use evidence. Pupils learn using discussion, roleplay, source-based work and project work as well as discovering history through various written sources and artefacts. Whilst aiming to develop in pupils a love of history, pupils are thoroughly also prepared for Scholarship or Common Entrance exams at the end of Year 8. For information regarding Humanities, please contact the Head of Humanities: Mr Hoare. (t.hoare@southlee.co.uk)

Geography

A child comes to terms with the world in which they live through exploration, play and discovery. Geography is developed through the human experience of exploration and this highlights its importance as a subject to be studied during early childhood.

As our pupils develop, the information they gather comes increasingly from the media, from the internet, from friends, through reading & by reflecting on their own experiences.

These sources and experiences enable the pupils to make sense of their location within the community in the early years. Progressing further up the school, the pupils are made aware of a variety of wider issues relating to their country, landscapes, environment and their responsibilities as global citizens.

From Year 6 the curriculum is guided by the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus. Pupils complete work on Global Location and OS Mapwork, this is complemented by thematic studies where the pupils cover work on Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Weather and Climate, Rivers and Coasts, Population and Settlement, and Transport and Industry. Fieldwork is also introduced as part of the themes to further enhance their understanding. For information regarding Humanities, please contact the Head of Humanities: Mr Hoare. (t.hoare@southlee.co.uk)

RS

At South Lee, we refer to this subject as R.S. rather than R.E. because we feel we are studying religion rather than educating our pupils in any one belief. We study six religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, in order to be fully prepared for Common Entrance at the end of Year 8. We also look at contemporary issues and how the behaviour and moral code adopted by individuals impacts on society and moulds our future.

Pupils are taught in a completely unbiased style which presents the facts and different customs. Discussion is encouraged and all pupils are invited to share their views and offer their opinions at all times. We aim to foster understanding and appreciation of other cultures and endeavour that our pupils develop empathy and tolerance that will help them to approach their futures with confidence. For information regarding Humanities, please contact the Head of Humanities: Mr Hoare. (t.hoare@southlee.co.uk)

PSHCE

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education is a hugely important subject. In PSHE we cover topics such as rights and responsibilities, prejudice and racism, staying health and coping with peer pressure. We also spend time learning strategies to become resilient, happy and mindful youngsters. In Citizenship, we find out more about the local, national and global community, the media and learn the laws that are relevant to young people.  For information regarding PSHCE, please contact the Deputy Head: Miss Coventry. (j.coventry@southlee.co.uk)

Spanish

Pupils study Spanish in years 7 and 8 as a third language, supporting their French learning and developing their language skills. They cover a variety of topics, learning to speak with confidence and listen and respond. Written work also forms part of the syllabus and pupils are encouraged to express themselves accurately learning from texts that they study too. For information regarding Spanish, please contact the Spanish teacher: Mrs Wintersteller. (j.wintersteller@southlee.co.uk)

Art & DT

The children study the work of famous artists. They learn to use a variety of media, from drawing and painting to textiles, wood and plastics, in creative ways. Our well designed and purpose built facilities allow the children to develop their design and technology skills. For information regarding Art and DT, please contact the Head of Art: Miss Wright. (v.wright@southlee.co.uk)

Drama

Role play and enacting small scenes in the classroom are combined with performance opportunities provided by the annual school productions. For information regarding Drama, please contact the Drama Teacher: Mrs Bull. (m.bull@southlee.co.uk)

Latin

Latin starts in Year 6, with an emphasis on vocabulary and verb formation. The study of this subject also supports the development of grammatical awareness in English, French and Spanish. For information regarding Latin, please contact the Latin Teacher: Mrs Hoyle. (j.hoyle@southlee.co.uk)

Music

Music is taught to all pupils by our Director of Music. Extra-curricular opportunities exist to perform in choirs, the orchestra and even in the school ‘pop/rock’ band! Individual instrumental and vocal tuition, as an optional extra, is encouraged and arranged with independent teachers. For information regarding Music, please contact the Director of Music: Mrs Cotton. (m.cotton@southlee.co.uk)

PE & Sport

Sport is given high priority at South Lee. We encourage pupils to be active, enjoy taking part and learn new skills. Pupils have PE lessons on a weekly basis and three games sessions each week where they play the sport of the term. The main team sports for each term are: rugby, hockey and cricket (boys) and hockey, netball and rounders (girls). Pupils have many opportunities to take part in several other sports including tennis, football and athletics. For information regarding Sport, please contact the Director of Sport: Mr Loveday (r.loveday@southlee.co.uk)