Curriculum Outline of the 8 key learning areas
The visual arts are woven into our curriculum on a daily basis. Through the different stages of development children progress from rich experiences of colour, texture, pattern, shape and form to more structured and planned works. Their experiences are crafted to bring awareness and first-hand experience of the visual world around them and its expressive possibilities. Particular attention is paid to each child’s potential for interpretive insight into the creative process. This is supported y their daily experience with the Awareness Programme activities which cultivates their self-awareness and connection to the natural world as a source of creative inspiration and impetus.
Drawing, painting, collage and photography are integrated into the children’s learning journals to articulate the learning experiences of mathematics, science and social studies.
Music and singing is seen as an integral part of academic development. Daily musical activities include group singing and percussion rhythms and progress to singing in complex rounds and harmonies. Music as a backdrop for learning may be used in the classroom to alter mood and refocus attention while extending children’s appreciation of world and traditional music forms. Opportunities are provided for children to learn a musical instrument with specialist teachers.
Drama activities and performing arts are integrated into the Awareness Programme as opportunities for self exploration, emotional learning and role playing. The use of plays and puppet shows is encouraged to further develop children’s self confidence and English language arts skills.
At different times craft projects are introduced to bring form to learning areas. Knitting, felting, papier-mache, traditional building skills, ceramics, leggo building projects…are all seen as mediums to be revisited throughout the learning journey.
Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are developed through direct focus as well as in the context of our integrated learning themes: English provides a focus for exploring the storytelling, poetry, art and drama of different cultures within the learning theme of Cultural Diversity; how language has evolved over the different periods of time may be explored through the learning theme of Heritage; self awareness of how speech affects our relationships with others is explored via role playing, story telling and writing through the learning theme of Social Harmony. This integrated approach encourages an engaged, creative and poetic experience of the English language while children are building their foundation English skills.
Health and Physical Education:
The integrated learning theme of Well Being provides direct opportunity to explore topics relating to health and physical education.
Physical education is supported by developing co-ordination, rhythm, balance, spatial awareness and stamina. Exercises, games, sports, creative movement, and dance all provide opportunities to further enhance artistic, academic and social learning.
Daily yoga exercises provide a deeper body and body function awareness and lead to a direct understanding of the body systems and how they support good health. Outdoor play is emphasised to encourage expansive movement and provide an opportunity for the teaching staff to observe the dynamics of how children are relating and moving in and out of interaction with one another. There is an emphasis on supporting a school culture of co-operative game playing where skills of fair play, inclusiveness, team building and encouragement are the focus.
The joy and value of playing games is encouraged as we instill the philosophy to understand that in competition we all have the right to win. The important feature is that we play with respect and appreciation for our opponent and to play the game in the right spirit with an expansive view that to win is great and to lose is no drama.
Languages Other Than English:
We encourage a living experience of language in the classroom to support the timetabled lessons. LOTE is woven into the daily classroom rhythm through greetings, instructions, songs and poetry. The children progress their language over the years to develop proficiency in reading, writing, games and conversation.
Mathematics skills are introduced, practiced and refined in set lessons that utilise skill-building projects, exercises and recitation. Maths processes are combined with teaching mathematical thinking so that students begin to recognise the relationships in the world around them. Students may work with movement and rhythm, draw forms and patterns and explore concrete objects to encourage a deep-seated understanding of mathematical concepts. These concepts are then applied and extended into other learning areas.
The science programme supports a direct experience and investigation into the surrounding natural world. Children are exposed to the wonders and beauty of natural processes, seasonal change and adaptation and environmental balance. Through forest projects, nature walks, and environmental studies, children gain a direct experience of the different natural science theories to bring back to their classroom studies.
Science topics are examined through organic gardening and farming, cooking, traditional building techniques, botanical drawing and creative arts projects. The child’s innate inquisitiveness is used to support the foundation for the observation and analysis skills that form the core of science studies in secondary school.
Studies of Society and Environment:
Our integrated learning themes provide avenues for rich investigation into society and environmental studies. Topics for inquiry arise from the themes of Cultural Diversity, Social Harmony, Environmental Balance and Heritage. This provides a cross-discipline approach to whole school learning around topics that are current and relevant to the children’s experience of our society and environmental challenges.
Children are supported to form a balanced approach to applications of technology. Proficiency in the use of different technology is underpinned by understanding the benefits, limitations and best applications. Particular emphasis is placed on how technology can support communication, creativity and learning.