The Newman Programme
Central to each child’s academic and personal development is the Newman Programme which spans the entire length of our provision from Early Years to Year 8. It is based on the premise that as a school we should reflect both the characteristics and life of our founder, St John Henry Newman, whilst also embedding his ideas about the nature and purpose of exceptional education.
St. John Henry Newman’s life was one of personal growth and transformation, as he developed from a scholar, fellow and vicar in Oxford to a Cardinal and eventually elevated to a saint. Newman was convinced that education should be formative in the fullest sense, both in terms of providing the skills and discipline to flourish as a thinker and in providing students with the moral framework and informed conscience with which to face challenges and obstacles in the world.
The Newman Programme is built around three key beliefs:
- That school should equip pupils with strong reasoning skills and an ability to think clearly for themselves so as to be ready for the world in which they will live.
- That school should allow pupils to grow and develop, build their range of experiences and provide them with the challenges and opportunities to prosper and flourish as individuals.
- That education has a moral purpose – school should foster virtue in the students, develop their conscience and inspire them to make a difference in the world.
JUNIOR PREP LEARNING AND CURRICULUM
We have built a Junior Curriculum that embodies these beliefs and which provides a truly cross-curricular approach to learning that is fun, engaging and dynamic.
We believe that the key to successful learning starts with developing strong oracy, comprehension and written expression from a very early age.
Our pupils are immersed in a curriculum that is literature rich and centred around building core transferable skills that equip them in developing key knowledge and an understanding of the world around them, whilst being meaningful and relevant to their everyday experiences.
Lessons are planned to provide a breadth and balance of learning through practical, investigative and written activities. By encouraging our children to apply their learning across different contexts we are able to extend their understanding and deepen core skills.
Our interconnected approach to the curriculum means that where subjects are naturally able to be linked by a common theme, we teach in a way that encourages pupils to explore and see the relevance between them. For example, within a theme called ‘Home Sweet Home’, History and Geography lessons enable pupils to compare their own community to life in Victorian times; in a much broader sense, making such connections helps the children gain an insight into what it means, for example, to be a scientist, geographer or historian.
We strive to inspire our children and get them excited about their learning. Each new theme is defined by our ‘Sparkling Start’ approach which aims to pique their curiosity and desire to learn more about it, and involves trips, workshops and other activities.
A ‘Phenomenal Finish’ marks the end of a particular theme or topic. It gives learning meaning for the children and naturally encourages them to work towards a purposeful ending, which is then communicated with parents in a variety of ways. For example, at the end of the ‘All About Me’ theme, the children are recorded performing their stories which are shared online with parents.
You can learn more about our exciting, creative approach to learning as well as our Junior Prep Curriculum by clicking on the link below:
Information Communication and Technology (ICT)
ICT is integrated into the curriculum from Year 1 and in every subject.
For example, our pupils are introduced to online maths games as well as MyMaths; Ebooks and online phonics in English; Pictograms Graphs in Science; Videos in History and Religious Education, Google Earth in Geography. In Art and Design and Technology (DT), children experiment with graphics to create a digital self-portrait, African patterns and do printmaking research. In Computing, Bet Bot is used for coding and programming.
From Year 3, children are required to own a Chromebook and bring it into school daily and ICT is incorporated into lessons in a growing range of ways.
For example, in Science, pupils use the Keeping safe with Electricity interactive site; they research habitats, access Google Classroom for Key Words and science-related vocabulary lists, video clips and interactive activities related to electricity, states of matter, habitats, sound and nutrition.
In Geography, Year 4 pupils engage in interactive games to develop their understanding of the features of rivers and a Water Cycle. They use Google Earth to follow rivers.
In Music, Year 4’s enter a Chrome music lab and experiment with Music through Songmaker/Kandinsky/Rhythm/Shared piano/Oscillators and Spectogram. To consolidate topics, they can access Kahoot and blooket quizzes for consolidation of topics. In Art, children research online Pablo Picasso and his life’s work before embarking on their own Picasso style portrait.