Our Early Years Department is a safe and happy environment that engages and excites children. We want every child to develop a love for learning and respect for others, as we believe these two things are the foundations of a successful future. We place a large emphasis on manners and kindness, which are supported by our Christian faith. It is important that children have a solid foundation of knowledge, which means we allow children to move at their own pace, rather than rushing them through the curriculum.
We follow the EYFS Statutory Framework which divides children's learning into Prime areas of learning and Specific areas of learning. These are:
We teach reading through a bespoke phonics curriculum that has a wide focus on phonological awareness. Our maths lessons are designed in a way to support the introduction of Singapore Maths in Year One, which means plenty of hands on, practical application work. We teach Science, Art, and Technology through practical learning, such as building with loose parts in the playground, making our own toothpaste, or slinging paint in the style of Jackson Pollock!
Specialist teachers teach PE, Music, Dance, and French on a weekly basis. Weekly assemblies include bible stories and songs of praise which are reflected in daily lessons. Children learn about the vast variety of cultures and backgrounds in our school through our celebration of world festivals including Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Thanksgiving.
All terms are guided by a central topic. Past topics include: All About Me, Around the World, Once Upon a Time, and All Creatures Great and Small. Trips are taken throughout the year to support our learning. These have included local theatres, The Discover Centre, local fire stations, and Battersea Park Zoo.
In Key Stage One (KS1), our staff create a caring, supportive learning environment where children have the opportunity to flourish and develop in all areas of their development and learning. Play-based and explorative learning still feature in some lessons throughout KS1 but it is also a stage of transition to more formal learning.
Our KS1 follows a topic-based curriculum that enables pupils to effectively develop their knowledge, understanding and skills across different areas of learning. It allows children to achieve all objectives outlined in the KS1 National Curriculum. It has been adapted and enhanced to provide fun and personalised lessons.
In KS1, we begin our topics with a provocation activity that will spark the children's imagination and create a buzz for the topic to come. For example, children in Year 2 begin the 'London Calling' topic with an imaginary double decker bus ride around London, complete with oyster cards! Throughout the topic we create hands-on experiences that allow children to develop their knowledge whilst being able to physically touch and see the learning. For example, children in Year 1 learn about the Earth's layers during the 'Space' topic by creating their own Earth, cutting it open to physically see the layers inside. We then end each topic with an enrichment activity. For example, children in Year 2 create and sell their own chocolate bar to raise money for Fairtrade as the culmination of our 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' topic. Each topic also includes an exciting workshop or an educational visit. For example, Year 1 visit Leeds Castle as part of the 'Castles and Crossings' topic. The topic-based learning allows the children to become engrossed in their learning and enables them to apply the facts, knowledge and skills they acquire across the curriculum.
Where possible, English lessons will be aligned with our half-termly topic. However, we teach Maths as a discrete subject following the Singapore Maths scheme. The Singapore method of teaching Maths develops pupils' mathematical ability and confidence without having to resort to memorising procedures to pass tests - making Maths more engaging and interesting.
Children also benefit from being taught PE, Chess, French and Music weekly by a specialist subject teacher.
Key Stage Two is the final phase of a child’s education at Pointers and is where children discover their individual strengths and are helped to achieve all-round excellence. The focus is to increase children’s independence, responsibility and self-confidence through a creative, stimulating and safe learning environment. We have high aspirations for all Pointers pupils and want them to leave Key Stage Two as independent, courteous and resilient individuals, who have acquired a life-long love of learning and will be very successful at secondary school and beyond.
The pupils are still taught in their form classes for most lessons, however the school day is slightly longer. Homework is set daily and is expected to be completed and returned to a high standard. Our children go on to a variety of secondary schools and we work in partnership with parents to ensure that those who wish to take the 11+ tests for Grammar schools and/or entrance exams for independent secondary schools are well prepared. Over the years we have had great success in getting pupils into some of the top schools in the country, including with academic, drama, music, and sport scholarships. The preparation for these exams begins in Year 3 but the main preparation is carried out during Year 5. Pupils in the upper school (Y5/6) also benefit from specialised teaching across the yeargroup for certain subjects as a way of preparing them for the transition to secondary school.
The Key Stage Two Curriculum at Pointers is broad, and includes unique out-of-school learning experiences. In Years 3 and 4 the pupils have weekly swimming lessons and there is also the opportunity to try out for sports teams and represent the school against other schools in matches and tournaments for the first time. Something that the pupils look forward to the most is going on a residential trip, ranging from two nights in Surrey for Year 3 to four nights on the Isle of Wight in Year 6. Each residential is always a time of great adventure with activities designed to boost teamwork and communication skills, including raft building, abseiling, bouldering, rock climbing and zip lining! Each trip has a slightly different focus, for example, the Year 5 trip to the Norfolk Coast explores the beaches so pupils get to study rock pools as well as sea barriers.
Other highlights of the year in KS2 include the annual public speaking competition where the pupils express themselves imaginatively and with conviction. There is also the drama production, which takes place in the summer term and is a huge success. In the past we have had stunning performances of Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Annie, and The Wizard of Oz. There are also several drama and music showcases throughout the year, giving the pupils the opportunity to exhibit their talents to family and friends.
In Year 6 the pupils are given positions of responsibility and they help the staff with various aspects of the school. Two pupils are School Captains and have an active role on many public occasions, while four others are Heads of House and lead a range of events throughout the year including bake sales. There is also a Sports Captain, Eco Captain, several Reading Captains and Assembly Captains, who all contribute regularly to school activities and initiatives.