national-curriculum

We follow the National Curriculum for Years 1 – 6 inclusive,
preceded by the Foundation Stage curriculum for Reception children.

Teaching and Learning

In order to become successful learners we believe our teaching needs to contain the following components:

• Active involvement of the children in their own learning
• Sharing learning goals with our pupils
• Giving our children rich verbal and written feedback
• Effective questioning
• Helping our children identify their next steps and how to take them
• Adjusting our teaching to take account of our assessments
• Confidence that every child can improve and achieve

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The Reception year is the last year of the Foundation Stage and the most important year of a child’s school life! It is the aim of the reception staff to make this year a happy, exciting and challenging experience for the reception children.

Our curriculum is broken down into 6 areas of learning:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

Because children learn best through play, we try to provide opportunities and space for children to be active learners both indoors and out. We aim to organise an environment that maximises opportunities for self motivated, creative learning because we want the children to be independent learners. !At the end of the reception year the children are well prepared for the challenges of Year 1.

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At St Martin’s Primary School we consider Literacy to be vitally important. We follow the National Literacy Strategy alongside the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonic programme.

We teach reading through a range of methods and encourage reading at home from a variety of texts to broaden literary experiences. A parents’ guide on the ‘Teaching of Reading at St. Martin’s School’ is available from the School Secretary. We like to give the children experience in both creative and factual writing, which is taught alongside spelling and handwriting. Handwriting sheets of letter formation, with associated language, are available for parents to assist their children at home. Joined handwriting is taught once the correct letter formation is established.

Children also have the opportunity to enter the Speech and Drama Section of the Eisteddfod and we are very proud of their achievements over the years.

Children also have the opportunity to enter the Speech and Drama Section of the Eisteddfod and we are very proud of their achievements over the years. Children from key stage 2 are entered into the English Speaking Board examinations in order to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills.

curriculum-mathMathematics is a vital aspect of teaching and learning at St Martin’s Primary School.
We see numeracy as an essential life skill, so teaching focuses on using and applying skills learnt in real life examples and problems. We follow the National Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy covering using and applying maths, number and algebra, shape, space and measure and handling data.

Ways you can help your child with maths at home:

  • Singing number songs with very young children
  • Playing card games/ board games
  • Noticing numbers in the world around us
  • Practising reading, writing and ordering numbers together
  • Shopping together, using money skills, working out change etc.
  • Discussing measurements: taller, heavier, longer etc.
  • Tell the time; analogue and digital
  • Practising number bonds and x tables together
  • Checking maths homework and providing support if possible
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Science at St Martin’s Primary involves pupils actively exploring, discovering and investigating their immediate environment through enquiry-based learning. Our pupils learn to develop and apply their scientific knowledge through rich topics that stimulate their curiosity and enjoyment.
curriculum-designThinking skills and problem solving challenges make D and T an enjoyable, stimulating experience for most children. Designing, making, assessing, discussing and refining their work becomes a familiar process as they move through the school. Activities range from making puppets, designing pop-up mechanisms, and constructing a smoothly running cog mechanism to developing the most delicious (and healthy!) energy bar. Group co-operation develops and the opportunity to learn new skills and pass them on to others builds confidence – and it’s always useful to know how to use a saw safely!
curriculum-ictWe have an extensive range of technology including data loggers, video cameras, voice recorders, floor and screen simulators; not to mention the vast quantity of laptops, notebooks and desktop computers. Consistent use of these prepares pupils to participate in the rapidly changing world they will experience when they leave St. Martin’s. All resources are used throughout the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning. This enables children to take the initiative and become more independent learners. Use of the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) facilitates communication and learning beyond the classroom.
curriculum-reThere is a Guernsey Agreed Syllabus which St Martin’s and all Guernsey schools consult when planning RE.

As well as learning about the traditions and beliefs of Christianity, the children enjoy learning about world faiths such as Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

We encourage the children to discuss, argue and debate in RE lessons which are becoming increasingly more practical and thought provoking. The teachers of RE provide a range of opportunities for pupils to explore feelings and to foster a sense of awe and wonder.

Our aim is to encourage children to develop their own opinions with a strong emphasis on understanding and respecting other people’s beliefs.

curriculum-cwAssemblies are held at the end of the school day. The children come together, either in departments or as a whole school to enjoy a story, celebrate achievements and birthdays and to learn the Golden Rules.

Assemblies are led by the Head teacher and different members of staff as well as visiting speakers such as Rev Keirle and the PACE group.

Each KS2 class lead an assembly once a year and the children produce special services throughout the year such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter which are held at St Martin’s Church.

As a school, it is one of our aims to encourage the children to become critical thinkers and at the end of each assembly they have the opportunity to sit quietly and reflect on the message or theme.

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French is taught in years 5 and 6 mainly through interactive speaking and listening activities, with some reading and written work. The children are given the opportunity to experience life in France and try out their language skills during an annual trip for Year 5 pupils to St Brieuc. There is an exciting range of activities including swimming, visiting a supermarket and sight seeing.

Those who stay in Guernsey have a local ‘French Experience’ and have the opportunity to immerse themselves in French customs and traditions as well as visiting places with a French influence in Guernsey.

A link with a school in Lingreville, Normandy has been made and Year 6 children correspond with a pen pal practising their French and learning about each other’s ways of life.

curriculum-smp2Through History we teach the children to compare past and present and develop a sense of chronology. They study some key periods in history and learn about significant people, (e.g. Samuel Pepys, The Tudors, World War 2 and Ancient Egypt). The children are encouraged to develop their research skills through investigation, questions and analysis. In Year 6 pupils study the Victorians using an enquiry based method of learning. This is where they learn independently with unlimited access to technology. The topic ends with a spectacular ‘Great Exhibition’ as a new way of sharing their historical learning with family and friends.
curriculum-smp6Our pupils learn a range of geographical skills including using maps, plans and photographs. They are also challenged with engaging questions to problem solve and investigate places and environments throughout the world. Topics include ‘improving the school grounds’ and ‘window on the world’.
curriculum-libraryWe believe that all our children should acquire the knowledge and skills they need to lead happy, healthy, confident and independent lives. We aim to help our children to become active responsible citizens who are able to form positive relationships throughout their lives.

Our children are given many opportunities through assemblies, school and class councils, school residential trips and focused lessons to acquire and develop these skills. We have an excellent buddy system operating within the school that helps our younger children whilst teaching responsibility and relationship skills to our older pupils.

We have close links with the Police, Fire Brigade, St John’s Ambulance and various health agencies (dental, drug, alcohol, tobacco) who support us in teaching PSHE.

We are a healthy school and are successful in promoting the health of our young people. This was acknowledged when we were awarded “Enhanced Healthy Schools Status” in 2008.

curriculum-smp3We have excellent sports facilities in the school including a swimming pool, gym, 2 playing fields and an all weather area. Our PE curriculum includes gymnastics, dance, games, swimming, athletics and outdoor/adventurous activities. Children usually have 3 formal PE sessions a week as well as numerous opportunities to be physically active during the school day. We have recently been awarded the ‘Advanced Healthy School’s Standard’
At St Martin’s, we believe physical education is:

  • Social – working together and making friends
  • Active – to increase those fitness levels
  • Inclusive for all – regardless of ability
  • Never giving up
  • Trying something new
  • Sense of achievement
Our extra-curricular opportunities include:

  • ‘Work-out-Week’ (year R – Yr 6)
  • Island Youth Games (Yr 5 and 6)
  • Fortis Guernsey Athletics Championships (Yr 3 – Yr 6)
  • School House football and netball matches (Yr 6)
  • Island netball, football and cricket tournaments (Yr 5 and Yr 6)
  • Island tag-rugby tournaments (Yr 4 – Yr 6)
  • School swimming sports (Yr 3 – Yr 6)
  • Infant, lower junior and upper junior sports afternoons
  • Smokebusters cross-country runs (Yr 3 – Yr 6)
  • Links with Sports Development Officers in hockey, cricket, football etc
  • ‘Stepping Out’ fitness training (Yr 5)
  • PTA sports morning of excellence (Yr 4 – Yr 6)
  • Cycling Proficiency awards (Yr 6)
curriculum-smp5We aim to encourage the children’s creativity with a range of art projects throughout the school. They will have opportunities to learn skills with which to progress in their drawing, painting, printing, textile and collage work, as well as experiencing three dimensional projects which the majority find particularly stimulating, exciting and satisfyingly messy! We work from a wide range of stimuli including direct observation and the historical and contemporary work of artists from around the world. The children are proud to see their work displayed around the school. Upper juniors are invited to join Art Club, which provides further opportunities to work in different media and “exhibit” their work in the main corridor. The enthusiasm and enjoyment with which the children (and staff!) approach their art projects is reflected in the finished products.
curriculum-smp4We are very proud of our Library at St Martins. With approximately 6000 books filling the shelves the children are spoilt for choice in their weekly visits. Whether they are looking for a good story to curl up with or some information to help them with a project there is something for everyone. The adjoining conservatory makes a light, airy and relaxed area for children to browse through the books.

The library is equipped with a computerised loan system. We wish to thank the team of parents who kindly donate their time to operating the loan system for books and cassettes and also attend to the daily upkeep of the library. Their help is invaluable. Any new parents who would be interested in helping please contact Mrs. Mason or Mrs Le Prevost for more information.

Your assistance will ensure that optimum use is made of our library facilities.

curriculum-smp7We operate the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (Guernsey 2004), and aim to provide a curriculum which meets the needs of all our children.

We try to ensure that children with SEN are identified as quickly as possible so that early intervention can be taken. We liaise and involve a range of Education Support Services to ensure that proper advice and support is given.

Close partnerships with parents and carers are developed so that children with SEN can benefit from co-ordinated provision.

If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher to discuss these. It may be that ideas to help your child could be shared at this meeting, or that additional information needs to be sought through consultation with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Mrs Clare Giles.