Pupils in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) continue to build on the excellent foundations laid in the Prep Department. Subject specialist teaching is provided for Art, Design & Technology, Drama, French, Music, PE and Spanish and many of the practical subjects are taught in half class groups to enable a higher staff: pupil ratio. We do not use commercial schemes of work, preferring to draw on a multitude of resources, textbooks and online activities to create our own bespoke schemes. This allows us to broaden and extend the learning for each pupil more effectively.
Pupils have weekly Art lessons from one of our two specialist Art teachers in the dedicated Art studio. They also begin to build a personal portfolio in their sketch books. Pupils develop their skills by creating work in two and three dimensions using wire sculpture, mono printing, malleable materials and photographs alongside the more traditional tools of paints, pastels and pencils. Topics covered include Rhythm and Line, Landscapes, Weather Patterns and Seasons, Colour Theory, Fauvism and Personal Culture. Pupils also look at the work of famous artists such as Joseph Turner, Gunta Stolz, Sonia Delaunay and Steve McQueen.
Every year pupils begin with an update on the importance of digital safety and experts are brought in on a biennial basis to support this. Pupils use the dedicated Computer Suite alongside our banks of laptops and iPads to develop their skills using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher) and in touch typing. Other topics include online research skills, coding, programming, LOGO, spreadsheets and databases and game design. All pupils have access to Office 365 and our Purple Mash subscription from home using their School logins.
Pupils have weekly lessons in the dedicated D&T workshop with a subject specialist teacher, where they are able to develop their skills using a variety of tools and materials. The workshop is well-equipped and pupils have the opportunity to use a 3D printer, pewter casting, electronics and soldering and vacuum forming alongside more conventional tools used with resistant materials such as wood and plastic. They develop their research and design skills through topics including electronics and circuitry, the mechanisms of moving toys, bridges and structures, jewellery and packaging.
Through their Drama lessons, pupils learn about how working in role can explore complex personal and social issues. Topics covered include character and scene development using books as stimuli, developing scripts, evaluation and critical commentary, dramatic conventions, development of mood and atmosphere and the dramatization of poetry. At the end of the year pupils in Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) present a series of short pieces as part of their Prize Giving Event and those in Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6) perform in a specially written musical.
Pupils continue to develop their reading; writing; grammar, punctuation and spelling; and speaking and listening skills through a number of genres. They explore poetry, prose and non-fiction from different cultures and explore fables, myths and legends, playscripts and fantasy settings amongst others. They have opportunities to develop their research, presentation and drafting and editing skills and to share popular and thought-provoking texts.
Pupils develop their understanding of the world and geographical skills such as map and atlas work and six-figure grid references through topics including Our Local Area, Where does Food Come From, A Contrasting Locality, the Environment and What is a City? In Year 5, pupils undertake a three-day residential trip to Flatford Mill, where they are able to participate in a range of fieldwork activities including orientation. History topics such as Slavery, Anglo Saxons and Romans, Invasion and Settlement, Ancient Egypt, The Tudors, Ancient Greece and Victorians provide opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, compare how life has changes and evaluate sources of information.
Pupils continue to study both French and Spanish, developing their vocabulary and communication skills through a highly interactive curriculum. In addition to developing their knowledge of the languages, they also explore different traditions, customs and culture of French and Spanish speaking countries.
Using a range of resources and activities, pupils continue to develop their skills in line with the National Curriculum objectives. Using our own schemes of work allows all pupils to be stretched and challenged and their reasoning and problem-solving skills are developed alongside their conceptual understanding. Pupils cover the areas of: Number (Place Value, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions, Decimals and Percentages), Measurement, Geometry (Properties of Shapes and Position and Direction, Statistics, Ratio and Proportion, and Algebra).
Pupils are taught Music by one of our two Subject Specialist teachers. They explore music styles from around the world, including Blues, Calypso, Heavy Metal, Traditional Jazz and Reggae. In addition, they learn to play ukuleles, keyboards and percussion amongst other instruments and study topics such as Feeling the Beat, Composition and Arrangement, Mood, Tempo, Dynamics and Timbre, Graphical Notation and Graphic Scores. Pupils are also exposed to the music of traditional and modern composers. From Year 3, pupils are encouraged to join the Junior Choir and Whole School Orchestra and may take private instrumental tuition from one of our specialist peripatetic teachers.
Our Personal, Social, Health and Economics Education Scheme of Work was specifically created for PGHS and encompasses all the statutory objectives. Lessons provide opportunities for pupils to build an emotional vocabulary while learning about positive and healthy relationships, mental wellbeing, discrimination and societal influence, personal safety, body changes (Year 5 upwards), healthy lifestyles, conflict resolution and an introduction to economics.
Pupils in Year 3 upwards make full use of our onsite facilities for dance and gymnastics and our offsite facilities at the Walker Ground and Southgate Leisure Centre for netball, tennis, athletics, unihoc, swimming and more. All lessons are taught by our team of specialist PE teachers. Parents are invited to attend the highly enjoyable Junior House Swimming Gala in the Spring Term and the Junior House Sports Day in the Summer Term. Pupils in Year 5 upwards have opportunities to compete against local schools in athletics, netball and gymnastics. There are a range of extra-curricular sports clubs held before and after school as well as at lunch time.
Pupils in Year 6 have a lesson of philosophy each week, where they explore philosophers and their ‘big questions’. These lessons develop critical thinking skills.
Pupils study the four main religions of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism as well as the concept of religion in general. Girls are encouraged to share their own beliefs and customs with their peers and festivals are celebrated.
Science is taught weekly, with a strong emphasis on practical experiments. Topics cover all three sciences (biology, chemistry and physics). From Year 5 upwards, Science is taught in the dedicated Laboratories by a subject specialist teacher.