Click here to open up the Award Scheme Booklet for Year 6 pupils
King Edward's Junior School is a selective school catering for approximately the top 25% of the ability range.
We have high expectations of the children and ourselves in all aspects of school life, but with the needs and capabilities of the individual in mind. We recognize that we all learn in different ways and that children benefit from a variety of approaches as regards teaching style, classroom organization, activity and interaction. It is our belief that we learn most effectively when we are engaged with and inspired by our learning opportunities.
We see it as our task to inspire children towards a lifelong love of learning and to that end we recognize that we, as much as the children, are learners.
We are also aware that for children to become well-rounded, happy, caring and active participants in society in later life, they must be able to think, communicate, cooperate, take responsibility, and make decisions. We organize our lessons in such a way that children will be able to develop these key skills.
It is central to the whole being of the school that it is an inclusive environment. All pupils have entitlement to all aspects of the curriculum, appropriate to their needs, and it is our intention that the curriculum will be broad, balanced, differentiated and rigorous, relevant to pupil needs and catering for their personal, moral, cultural, social and spiritual development.
The curriculum is broad and structured within a 40 period a week timetable. Morning lessons last 35 minutes and afternoon lessons, 30 minutes. More than half of those lessons in Years 5 and 6 are double periods. Subjects taught are as follows:
English, Maths, Science, Art, DT, French, Geography, History, Information Technology, Learning Skills, Music, Physical Education, PSD, Religious Education.
All pupils cover the same basic syllabus but there is differentiation to ensure the needs and abilities of the individual are catered for. Differentiation may take the form of each of or a combination of: outcome, task, grouping, resource or support. In Years 5 and 6 children are set for English and Maths.
Years 3 and 4 are largely taught by class teachers with some subjects (Physical Education, Music, Information Technology and French) in which the children are taught by specialists.
Years 5 and 6 follow the secondary model where the children have the same form teacher for two years for pastoral care and administrative purposes. As regards the curriculum, the children move around the school and have a variety of specialist teachers and classroom bases. This includes specialist teachers from the Senior School.
In the Junior School we aim to provide a stimulating approach, one that gives expression to a child’s voice whilst simultaneously challenging them by exposing them to new artists, techniques and ways of seeing. We avoid the obvious – the Monets – and look for something more interesting. Over the last year Year 5 have looked at work by Bernard Meadows, an important post-war British sculptor and one-time assistant to Henry Moore. Year 3 have drawn inspiration from the Austrian artist and architect Hundertwasser. Year 6 have studied Japanese art, as well as Street art. All the children in Years 4 and 5 visited the Kurt Jackson exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery. Year 4 worked with Dan Parry-Jones, a Bristol-based artist whose work is increasingly sought-after.
In February, every child in the Junior School helped produce one of four giant batik House banners in workshops with ‘eekbatik’. We have further developed work in textiles by making three dimensional felt forms for the first time, like the felt pots made by Year 5 in as part of a project on ‘organic forms’. The whole school also contributed to painting one of the twelve ‘Parallelephants’, exhibited around Bath and subsequently auctioned. Our elephant, whose decoration was inspired by Ethiopian body art, sold for most!
Underlying it all is the belief that drama can engage children in new ways and foster their natural enthusiasm and creativity. Drama develops self-confidence and speaking skills, and teaches children to empathise with others through role-play. Pupils work together as a group towards a common goal.
Talk – we begin here, quite deliberately, with the most commonplace but least taught element of our rich language: we want it listened to, shared, celebrated, respected.
Read – we aim high here: nothing less than a lifestyle habit, giving pleasure and discover in equal measure.
Write – the circle is complete: if speech develops naturally and reading becomes habitual, then our pupils’ writing should follow spontaneously.
History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Across the year groups we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognize and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘How do we know?’ about information they are given.
Although lessons are taught in mixed ability groups, we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses. We set tasks of increasing difficulty so that not all children complete all tasks, but all children are challenged; In class we provide resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child and use classroom assistants, where appropriate, to support children individually or in groups. Activities are practical and ‘hands-on’ wherever appropriate, and this along with trips and outside visitors encourages all children to become engaged in their own learning. We strive to make our teaching even more relevant by making links across subjects.
In ICT we aim to use children’s enthusiasm for modern technology to build their confidence while promoting online safety. The curriculum is carefully balanced, taking full account of the latest government guidelines matched to the cross-curricular needs of the school. To enable all Junior School teachers to participate in this process, we have a large number of computers, interactive whiteboards and other technology throughout the school. Children are encouraged to continue their ICT education at home using USB pens to transfer data between home and school. A Virtual Learning Environment is being developed which will allow families to log onto the school’s servers from home opening a wealth of new opportunities for learning. Our most recent inspection noted the success of specialist teaching of ICT to all year groups and ICT continues to develop at a pace. Since the new ICT suite opened in September 2011 we have been able to add animation and film making to the curriculum, taking advantage of the new space, and an enhanced computer programming curriculum will start in the coming months.
It is open daily for everyone to use and to enjoy, manned by a team of Y5 students and loyal parent volunteers. Benefitting from comfortable sofas and floor cushions, it is a very popular place for pupils to be, whether they are reading in a Library lesson, using the computers or simply chilling out.
The Librarian makes every effort to keep up with new trends and Library stock, although many books are donated by pupils past and present who have enjoyed this sparkling facility.
The highlight of the Library Year is Book Week, held in March and featuring author visits, competitions and special activities to further encourage a love of books and reading within the school. Visitors have included Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Gillian Cross, Grace Nichols, Anna Wilson, Jacqueline Wilson, Paul Cookson, Philip Ardagh, Steve Voake, Geraldine McCaughrean, Jonathan Green, Kim Donovan, Anthony McGowan, Chris d’Lacey and Catherine Bruton.