Physical Education at The Pointer School allows pupils to develop their sporting ability. Teachers encourage pupils to explore and develop their agility, balance and coordination through the teaching of sports. Our pupils are allowed to explore a vast array of sports, develop key emotional and social skills, and work collaboratively.
In the Early Years, pupils are taught the fundamental skills that underpin all sports. They are taught basic movement skills through fun and engaging games that allow them to explore and work collaboratively.
Key Stage One is where we start to develop and push the pupils further. Our Year 1 programme looks at more sports-based skills. These include basic ball-handling skills, bat and ball skills, striking and fielding skills and athletics. In Year 2 we start to allow the children to explore more sport-specific skills through the playing of key sports. The pupils in Year 2 start making use of our 10 hectare sports ground to play tag rugby, football, netball, striking and fielding sports, and athletics.
In Key Stage Two, pupils are expected to use the skills they have learnt to develop a more in-depth understanding of sport. Our KS2 pupils are expected to have more ownership of their learning. They are asked to analyse fellow pupils' techniques and are required to give feedback. At this age we offer our pupils the chance to represent the school in friendly fixtures and inter-school matches and tournaments, and to take part in swimming lessons.
At The Pointer School we encourage children to take part in sporting co-curricular clubs, which allow children to have more focused coaching. The school offers a variety of clubs such as netball, football, athletics, rugby and tennis. Our dedicated P.E department also offers a variety of sports camps during the holidays where children can have specialist coaching in areas such as dodgeball, netball, athletics and tennis.
Music enriches our lives and brings us joy, both as participants and listeners. Through a wide range of activities, The Pointer School strives to foster a life-long love of music and to build confidence in all children.
Music plays a very important part in our school life and, as well as our weekly class music lessons, we work towards regular concerts and performances where all the children in the school have the chance to perform. We recognise how important music is for everyone and we offer an exciting and challenging musical education catering for all ranges of ability, from those taking music lessons for the very first time, to those who show exceptional talent. All children learn to sing, perform on a variety of tuned and un-tuned instruments, read and write notation, compose their own music and listen to a range of live performances and music from their own and other cultures. Recorder is taught to all children from Year 2 as part of the curriculum.
We put on annual musicals with KS2 (most recently The Wizard of Oz and Annie Jr), concerts at the end of every term, Nativities for the EYFS and KS1 and our annual ‘Teatime Concert’ and ‘Music and Drama Showcase’ at St John’s Church, where children who are studying privately can perform as soloists. We offer lessons on a wide range of instruments including piano, recorder, violin, harp, guitar, singing and percussion, taught by our team of peripatetic music teachers, all of whom are professional performers and teachers. We enter pupils for exams with The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and Trinity College London.
Chess is an intellectual sport at which Pointer pupils excel. In the last ‘offline’ National Primary Schools Championships, the school placed 3rd, ahead of many larger well-known schools, only being pipped by Westminster and King’s College schools. What is our secret? The children enjoy the game and have ample opportunity to practise, learn and compete.
But while chess can be a very competitive ’sport’ rewarding hard work and determination, it is also almost limitless in its possibilities and reflections of other disciplines and manifestations of life. Through chess children can start to appreciate geometrical and mathematical patterns in a natural and enjoyable way, complementing their syllabus learning in other topics.
Our chess coach can attest that active chess players almost always have an edge in exam situations over their non-playing peers (particularly in non-verbal reasoning tests) thanks to necessary pattern recognition skills involved in learning the game.
Pointers offers in-curriculum chess once a week for all pupils in Year 2 and above. In these lessons all children will learn the basics through problem-solving and interactive practical games (chess and mini-chess-based games). Where possible we provide the children with ‘level-neutral’ logical problems using the chessboard, which require only an understanding of basic piece movements to solve, and we offer a diversity of related competitive and non-competitive activities to suit the preferences of the pupil.
Children who wish to study chess more seriously can enrol in the Institute of Chess Exams (Level 1-6) which are run both at the school and externally. Those who enjoy the game are very welcome at Chess Club, which runs at least once a week for each year group. Children can aim for a place in one of the school teams or just play for fun.
At Pointers we have a multi-cultural staff and pupil body with over a third of our pupils being bi-lingual and many being tri-lingual. We promote modern foreign languages across the school. All children from Nursery through to Year 6 have weekly French lessons with our resident French teacher who grew up in France and had over a decade of experience teaching in Paris before moving to the UK.
We believe that learning a language should also involve learning about the culture of the country as well as the language. Pupils have culture days, projects and experiences related to France.
As part of our clubs programme, pupils also have the opportunity to learn Spanish and we are always looking to introduce new languages to our after school programme!
Pupils in Nursery - Year 1 have the opportunity to take part in dance lessons as part of the school day. Dance classes at The Pointer School are designed to help develop confidence, self esteem, individual creativity, self expression and teamwork within a fun, caring and rewarding environment. Exercises to promote this follow the modern theatre syllabus from the world-renowned Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. The syllabus focuses on creative movement, imagery and storytelling to encourage coordination, rhythm and basic technique tailored specifically for our younger pupils.
Dance routines are developed half termly to coordinate with the curriculum-based topics covered in class to create continuity with the children's learning. Assemblies and end of term recitals give our dance students the opportunity to perform and showcase their skills providing them with a sense of achievement.