Key Stage One and Key Stage Two (Years 1 to 6)
In September 2017 Guernsey introduced The Bigger Picture Bailiwick Curriculum to all island state school. This is a curriculum for the whole child focusing equally on wellbeing as it does on academic development. It is innovative, exciting and highly fit for the 21st century.
Promoting joyous and purposeful learning:
The main focus for teaching and learning point of on the middle section 2 of the above diagram. Please see below sections for a description on the main areas of learning.
Rights Respecting School – Silver
In May 2020, we were extremely pleased to be the first school in the island to achieve the Rights Respecting Silver Award (Rights Aware). We are now undertaking our journey towards becoming a Gold Rights Respecting school. The award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s practice to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. It embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
We have always been an inclusive and caring school but this award has helped to frame a lot of the great work that we do, along with enhancing some of our practice.
We ensure that children (rights holders) at St Martin’s Primary School know their rights and as adults (duty-bearers), we make decisions with the best interests of the child in the forefront of our minds. We teach children about the importance of becoming Global Citizens and ensure that they learn about world events. Moreover, we take time to teach our children about developing their full potential and actively using their voices to make positive changes; we also ensure that they learn about children who don’t access their rights both locally and globally, and how they could help them.
6 Elements of learning
We use the curriculum to develop our children ability to learn how to learn. This will help ensure that throughout their life as learners, they can make the best of every opportunity and reach their full potential. We call these our learning powers.
Using curiosity to ask well-structured questions and challenge that they observe and already believe about the world to generate deeper thinking and learning through disciplined reasoning and ethical enquiry.
Learning from and with others by listening, encouraging, communicating and adopting different roles to work towards a group goal that is greater than the individual achievements of its members.
Using imagination and inventiveness to create something original (to the learner) by combining and linking existing knowledge and ideas in a novel and beneficial way to turn them into reality.
Consciously and actively examining and thinking about our experiences, behaviours, feelings, beliefs and attitudes in order to learn from them and take responsibility for our personal growth.
Autonomously taking charge of their own learning by planning what to do, when to do it and what support or resources will be needed to succeed, resulting in high levels of self-motivation and self-regulation.
Keeping going when things get hard as they believe errors and challenge show they are at the edge of their comfort zone which leads to more progress and depth in learning.
Positive mental health and wellbeing
Positive mental health and wellbeing are important for our learners now and the adults they will become.
Mental health and well-being come from a balance of mental (thinking and feeling), physical, spiritual and social factors. For each person, their mental well-being at any given time is a result of a combination of their own biology and life experiences.
It is widely recognised that a child’s mental health and well-being impacts on:
- Experience of childhood: personal contentment, social interaction
- Pattern of development: brain development and physical development
- Effective learning of knowledge and skills
- Mental wellbeing in adulthood
We promote well-being through our approaches to teaching and learning in all aspects of school life. We also teach specific lessons focusing on skills and knowledge such as The Decider Skills and mindfulness.
Mrs Kym Lovell is our wellbeing lead teacher in the school. Parents and carers are welcome to contact Kym or our school nurse if you would like help or advice on your child’s wellbeing. Kym promotes mental health across the school and also offers one to one lessons for children who need additional support. Our reading dog ‘Guilbert ‘is a popular figure in the school and he adds a wonderful dimension to promoting good mental health as well as our reading levels.
At St Martin’s we believe that growth mindset is fundamental to learners being resilient and achieving their personal best in any aspect of their life, at any time in their life. Growth mindset in the Curriculum helps to create environments that promote the belief that everyone can learn and improve.
In a ‘growth’ mindset people believe that, with practice, dedication and hard work, abilities, personal qualities, intelligence and talents can be developed. This view creates a love of learning, enables challenges to be embraced, failures and mistakes to be learnt from and feedback to be sought.
In a ‘fixed’ mindset people believe that abilities, personal qualities, intelligence and talents are fixed traits – in other words, that you have a certain amount of ability and that you can’t do much to change or improve upon that.
We believe that focusing on growth and the capacity for change not only increases academic achievement but can also impact positively on relationships, motivation, and mental health and well-being.
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.
Creativity is intrinsic to all our learning and Art has an important role to play in helping children to develop greater awareness and understanding when observing and interpreting their environment. We explore a variety of media, working on both two and three dimensional projects, developing skills as the children progress through the school. Opportunities to become familiar with the Art of different cultures, artists and historical periods lead to lively discussions along with a growing willingness to evaluate and develop their own work.
All children at St Martin’s experience a range of opportunities that encourage active participation, develop their confidence and foster an enjoyment and appreciation of all cultures. Children learn musical skills in which are then linked to a range of cross curricular topics.
All children are welcome to join the choir, and there are many performances throughout the year where they have the chance to perform for audiences both in school and in the wider community.
Drama gives children the opportunity to explore the world around them through imagination and interaction with each other. Learners of all ages have the opportunity to take part in a range of drama activities, from devising and writing their own plays, using drama as a tool for exploring a range of curriculum areas and watching professional visiting theatre companies. Our year group and class productions give children the chance to practise their skills in front of an audience and evaluate their performances. Drama also promotes positive well-being and a deeper understanding of emotions and those of others.
Dance allows children to physically express their thoughts and emotions, use their imaginations, experiment and develop their creativity. Children will get the opportunity to explore and develop their dance skills through PE lessons and a range of cross-curricular activities and topics. They will be able to explore different cultures and values and develop their own voice and style through evaluation of their own and others’ performances. Children will become more self-aware, confident and can allow the opportunity for children to really excel.
English, communication and language is vitally important. Reading, writing, speaking and listening are essential skills in enabling children to achieve across the whole curriculum. They lay the foundations for active involvement in society, work and lifelong learning. English helps children to develop their imagination, see the world through the eyes of others and read and write for pleasure. Children learn to communicate effectively in range of media and become increasingly fluent and accurate in expressing their thoughts and emotions. They also become more skilled in generating ideas, solving problems and thinking critically and creatively. Language and communication opens up many possibilities enabling children to engage with different cultures and societies.
Modern Foreign Languages
We believe in the importance of children being able to experience and explore a range of languages. Using foreign languages enables learners to engage and identify with different cultures and helps children’s understanding of how language works. Currently, year 5 and 6 learn French as part of the timetabled curriculum, in addition, there are other extra curricular opportunities for children to learn Mandarin, Spanish and French. As the school introduces ‘The Bailiwick of Guernsey Curriculum’, we will develop opportunities for all children to learn about different foreign languages and local Patois.
Historical, Geographical and Social understanding
St. Martin’s aims to fire learners’ curiosity and imagination about who we are, where we have come from, where we live and where we might be going next.
History and Geography: History allows learners to connect the past with the present and the future. Within Geography, learners make sense of their place in the world through investigating the world around them, from Bailiwick to global issues. They learn about the impact of their actions on the planet and the importance of developing a sustainable future. Learners at St. Martin’s have opportunities to choose key areas of their learning within historical periods and geographical contexts (enquiry-based learning), to visit historical/geographical sites, to listen to experts and to take part in celebration days where their learning is shared with the wider community.
Citizenship: Citizenship education develops knowledge, skills and understanding that learners need to play a full part in society as active and responsible citizens. Political and social issues are explored, debated and learners make reasoned arguments. At St. Martin’s this may be delivered through topic, PSHE and Philosophy for Children lessons.
St Martins believes that mathematics introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and for the future. It helps learners makes sense of the numbers, patterns, shapes and measures they see in the world around them and offers ways of handling data in a digital world. Children at St Martins use mathematics to solve problems and enjoy the wonder of unexpected discoveries and new connections. We aim to grow confidence so children feel empowered to look for patterns, use reasoning, suggest solutions and try out different approaches to problems.
Mathematics offers children a powerful way of communicating and through our cooperative learning approaches they learn to explain their ideas.
St Martins recognises that it essential for children to make informed judgments regarding the use and management of money. Through good understanding of basic financial concepts the children will develop the ability to make carefully thought out choices regarding spending, budgeting, saving, investing and borrowing.
Physical Health and Well-being
Our PE curriculum includes gymnastics, dance, games, swimming, athletics and outdoor adventurous activities. A balance of these activities promotes strength, balance, speed coordination, agility, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, power and flexibility. We offer a range of extracurricular activities such as, yoga club, cycling proficiency awards and infant, lower junior and upper junior sports afternoons.
As well as acquiring a wider range of physical skills and abilities, children at St Martin’s school learn the social and emotional skills which can help them to embrace change and challenge both individually and in groups. Developing young people’s awareness of healthy diet, activity, positive relationships and risks to health lays important foundations for their future lives. Children can develop an understanding of how their actions can have a positive effect on other people and the environment.
We 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 experience economic well-being and to become active responsible citizens who are able to form positive relationships throughout their lives.
Learners will build secure knowledge of the following; health and emotional well-being, relationships, and living in the wider word.
Our children are given many opportunities through assemblies, school and class councils, school residential trips and focussed lessons to acquire and develop these skills. We have an excellent buddy system operating in the school that helps our younger children whilst teaching responsibility and relationship skills to our older pupils. Kagan cooperative learning is embedded throughout all teaching and learning throughout the school.
We live in an age of fast-moving science, computing and technology which is becoming fundamental to exploring, understanding and influencing the natural and man-made worlds in which we live. Our curriculum offers children a wealth of experiences and ideas that will encourage their natural curiosity and creativity, inspiring awe and wonder. Children will learn to value ideas and to see talking, thinking and hypothesising as essential elements in developing an understanding of new processes. Children will tackle problems, form questions, generate and test ideas and designs and decide how to seek solutions. They will gather and make sense of evidence, test out hypothesis and evaluate processes and outcomes. They will learn the possibilities of science, computing and technology, inspiring them to become the scientists, engineers, designers and innovators of the future.
Science at St Martins involves children developing their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. Through first hand observations, practical activities, open ended challenges and investigations, and discussion and debate, children learn to develop and apply their scientific knowledge and skills. Children learn about science in relevant, real life contexts and acquire the confidence to use scientific terms and ideas. They come to appreciate that science is a dynamic and creative process and that the rapid rate of development in science will impact the future of our society.
Design and Technology
Children learn how to design, create and evaluate a product. They can experience a sense of achievement when their products and solutions work well, and they can develop their capacity to deal with change, risk and uncertainty. Lessons promote creative thinking and encourage children to make connections across different kinds of learning which allows them to become innovative, critical designers.
Children will learn to become skilled users of a wide range of technologies. Computing will be taught discreetly as well as being woven throughout all other areas of the curriculum. Computing will allow the children to gain practical skills and to think creatively about how to solve practical problems with scope to learn how to work effectively in teams. This way of learning will prepare children for their future lives and careers, making them skilled, thoughtful, adaptable and resourceful citizens.
We use the Guernsey Agreed syllabus for Religious Education alongside the Bailiwick of Guernsey Curriculum to deliver this core subject. These are designed to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in preparation for the opportunities, responsibilities and the experiences of life.
Through a variety of cross curricular topics, we encourage the children to discuss, argue and debate, with an openness to new thinking and ideas. This is taught through individual lessons and topic based learning and assemblies. This in turn will help develop skills of reflection, critical thinking and how to act when making moral decisions.
Religious, philosophical and ethical education enables children to explore the traditions and beliefs of Christianity and other world religions. It supports our children in developing empathy towards others, their values and their capacity for moral and ethical judgement. It enables our children to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
World of Work
We teach our children about the work place to help them understand the world of education, employment and training. Developing a child’s view of work place is essential preparation for a changeable future.
“Good career guidance helps inspire pupils towards further study and enables them to make informed decisions whenever choices are open to them. It helps them to understand enough about the world of work to know what skills they need to succeed. It is important for social mobility because it helps open pupils’ eyes to careers they may not have considered.”(My Future, My Choice, My Island and Beyond 2015, CEIAG SoG Strategy 2015)
Assemblies are held at the end of the school day 3 days a week. The children come together, either in departments or as a whole school to enjoy a story, celebrate achievements and birthdays and to learn the St Martin’s Mindset values.
Assemblies are led by the Headteacher and different members of staff as well as visiting speakers such as the PACE group.
Each KS2 class leads an assembly once a year and the children produce special services throughout the year such as Leavers’ evening, Christmas and Easter.
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.
We are very proud of our Library at St Martin’s. 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 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 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 for more information.
Your assistance will ensure that optimum use is made of our library facilities.
All children are encouraged to develop their cycling skills and this is taught as part of the PE curriculum in Year 5.
The school welcomes and encourages all parents who wish to participate in school and extra-curricular activities. It is hoped that they would wish to be involved either in responding to requests for help in school or in fundraising or social activities.
Additional Educational Needs
We 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), Miss Jo Horsepool.
All pupils from Reception to Year 6 are encouraged to continue learning at home. In the Early Years the work is predominantly pre-reading activities and the enjoyment of listening to good stories.
As pupils progress they are encouraged to read with an adult and then read independently. Other activities involve the learning of spellings, mathematical tables, finding out and investigating topic related information.
Each year group team will inform parents/carers of planned areas of study or challenges families can get involved with through regular posts on the Classdojo.