Parent Teacher Drop In
Every Tuesday at 3.30pm - 4.30pm, parents are welcome to drop in to see their class teacher for an informal chat about anything including subjects and topic being taught in class. There's no need to book. You can also find out more information on your child's half term topic and how it relates to the curriculum under their Class page which you can access here
At St James Primary, our children follow a broad curriculum based on the revised National Curriculum (2014) enriched by additional learning experiences, which aim to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the world and which is a foundation for lifelong learning. We believe all children are entitled to access this curriculum and to learn and develop at an appropriate pace. We seek to educate the whole child in our Christian environment. We encourage our children's physical, oral and social development and want them to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens both now and in the future.
We expect very high standards of teaching and learning and we can demonstrate a consistent record of achievement, backed by Ofsted and performance data. Our Governors have a key role in monitoring teaching, learning and our children's rates of progress and attainment. The Curriculum Committee meets twice termly and undertakes regular learning walks of the school. The committee follows a monitoring programme of the educational provision with an emphasis on maintaining and improving standards for all children.
We encourage parents to engage in their children’s education by following our class pages, offering to help on class trips and encouraging home learning. You can find out more about our each class' curriculum plan for the year by looking at your child's class page. You can follow this link here.
The National Curriculum seeks to provide continuity as children progress through a series of stages
- Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Reception (4-5 year olds)
- Key Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2 (5-7 year olds); and
- Key Stage 2 - Years 3-6 (7-11 year olds).
Teachers assess, track and monitor children's progress against the National Curriculum year objectives, which is in turn shared with the children and their parents. At the end of each year, parents receive a copy of our tracking system as well.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Our Reception class follows the framework laid down in the EYFS statutory framework which aims to support children's development in seven areas of learning and development.
The three prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
There are also four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The EYFS is underpinned by four overarching principles which acknowledge that each child is a unique and constant learner and needs to grow and develop through forming positive relationships in an enabling environment. In addition, children develop and learn at different rates and thus the framework supports the learning of all children including those with special needs and disabilities. You can find out more information on the EYFS curriculum here.
You can also find out about our EYFS policy here
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
As the children move further up the school, the subject areas of the National Curriculum become more distinct. Religious education and worship in assemblies are an integral part of the children’s experience.
These are the subjects that your child will be taught:
- Phonics Scheme (EYFS and Key Stage 1) (Ruth Miskin’s ‘Read Write Inc.‘)
- Physical Education
- Design and Technology
- Religious Education
- Modern Foreign Languages (MFL from year 3)
- Art and Design
- PHSE and SMSC
(please click on the links above to find out more information from the DofE)
At the beginning of each term, we share our plans with parents through a topic web which can be found on your child’s class page. It contains key information about the knowledge, skills and experiences your child will learn over the term. Each week further information about the week ahead can be found on our website for each year group as well as the class' long term curriculum planner for the year.
We have a systematic and dynamic whole school approach to developing reading and writing skills. The cornerstone of our literacy strategy is phonics, taught through the programme developed by Read Write Inc. This intensive, progressive programme is recognised as having a huge impact on standards and achievement.
Across Foundation stage and Key stage 1, the children learn phonics, reading, writing, grammar and spelling simultaneously in small groups taken by teachers and teaching assistants who have received special training. Children learn at their own pace and are regularly assessed to enable them to move forward appropriately.
The introduction of RML (Ruth Miskin Learning) has had a demonstrable effect on standards of reading and writing throughout the school and is strongly backed by staff, governors and parents. In addition to core literacy work with a daily focus on writing, handwriting and spelling, we encourage high standards of written work across all subject areas.
To ensure we raise literacy achievement for all pupils, we put high quality and diverse children’s literature at the heart of our learning. These resources are based on materials developed by the Centre for Primary Literacy in Education which uses the best knowledge and research into quality children’s literature. This programme meets the requirements of the National Programme of Study while also supporting children to becoming happy, enthusiastic, confident readers and writers with all the benefits this brings.
At Foundation Stage, we aim to support children in establishing the initial building blocks for mathematical thinking, reasoning and problem solving. The activities planned are through play and some more structured activities and involve the use of practical, concrete resources before moving onto our scheme of work INSPIRE.
The INSPIRE scheme supports the teaching for mastery and follows a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach across all areas of mathematics. Our ‘DRAW, PROVE, EXPLAIN’ approach runs throughout our school with enrichment materials from other sources such as the NRICH website to support mastery.
Our children are natural scientists and are keen to explore, inquire and understand the world around them. Within the National Curriculum framework we investigate life processes, materials, physical processes and concentrate on developing children's scientific skills, encouraging them to question, investigate and test appropriately. We focus on group work and collaboration, with lots of practical work and experimentation. We want our children to enjoy science, and we support their learning in a variety of ways including 'Inspire' days, school trips and fieldwork. For more information on what we get up to in our Science weeks, please click here
In recent years we have seen significant investment in technology in our school and this will continue to be a priority.
Our children are familiar with technology resources and we use ICT across the curriculum to support children's learning. We have excellent facilities, integrated into all the classrooms, with interactive whiteboards and computers, laptops and iPads and an exclusive learning zone with a range of technology.
We also teach ICT to enable our children to develop skills in using the Internet, utilising different software and programming and to increase their awareness of Internet safety. Children in KS2 are encouraged to use ICT in their classwork and projects. ICT is also used as a resource to support the learning of children with special needs.
We want our children to develop physically and to be healthy and active. We have plenty of outside space and equipment, including a dedicated football area and teach our children a variety of indoor and outdoor sports. We also encourage social skills and collaboration through team games and shared activities. We have extra-curricular netball, gymnastics and football and our older children have the opportunity to undertake cycle and scooter training, squash, swimming, multi sports, fencing and basketball.
Art, DT and Music
We aim high and we are proud of the quality and progression that our children show across the school.
All our teachers are responsible for teaching Art alongside a specialist Art teacher who supports and teaches in every class across the school. Children’s work is celebrated through displays and exhibitions over the course of the year. The children build and extend their appreciation of Art through topics, lessons and visits. These provide the opportunity to explore a range of forms and styles as well as accessing art from a variety of cultures.
Music is a special part of our day, week and year. We pride ourselves on offering a rich, inclusive musical experience from performance to learning to play an instrument to developing an appreciation of music.
In the Early Years, our music provision includes a specialist teacher to teach singing and playing simple percussion. In older Year groups, we teach the recorder alongside our community choir and senior choir.
Religious Education and Worship
Our school has a strong Christian ethos and close links to St James Church in Muswell Hill. We actively support those children who are Christians to grow in faith and develop their knowledge of the Bible and Christian teaching. We follow the Discovery RE scheme of work and some aspects of the LDBS scheme of work, exploring the stories and themes of the Old and New Testaments and core Christian values such as justice and forgiveness. As part of the National Curriculum we also teach children about world faiths and perspectives.
Worship is part of our school life. We have daily assemblies and children are encouraged to participate. Once a week, staff from St, James Church come into school to teach the children in assembly. The whole school also attends church once or twice a term for special services such as Harvest Festival and Easter. At Christmas the KS1 children perform a nativity play.
Our themes for morning assemblies are on a two year rolling programme and you can find out more about them here
In Geography we want our children to develop a fascination of the world around us. From Reception to Year 6, children will build up knowledge about our locality, the UK and the wider world. We will build and understanding of human and physical Geography, geographical skills and an essential vocabulary.
In History we want our children to be motivated to learn about and from, the past. Within our History topics, our children will learn to be critical thinkers, use evidence and sources to support the knowledge. They will gain essential vocabulary alongside a secure knowledge of chronology across time.
We are offer both Mandarin and French
We support a wide a range of activities outside of the daily curriculum as space and time permits. Music teachers from Haringey provide private instrumental lessons and we have a fantastic choir. Pupils are also offered opportunities to participate in drama, French, Mandarin, ukulele, gymnastics, football, netball, art, fencing and chess club.
Our children take part in a wide variety of school trips, usually once or twice termly to support their learning. Recent trips have included the British Museum, Kew Gardens, Science Museum, Hackney Empire, Natural History Museum, The Tate gallery, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Albert Hall, the Arts Depot and the Butterfly House in Golders Hill Park.
We also have outside agencies come into the school to run workshops for children in drama, art, music and science and we undertake local fieldwork in Highgate Woods and Muswell Hill.
Older children have the opportunity to undertake a school journey for a few nights away from home at specialist activity centres.
Finally, here is a fast link to our School Improvement Plan which gives an overviews of our aims and goals for this academic year.