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Curriculum

At Southwark Park we aim to provide a rich, engaging curriculum for all children.  We will continue to embed the new curriculum and strengthen the quality of provision this year, particularly around promoting British Values.

We believe that learning is a lifelong process and should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. 

We aim to engage children in a stimulating, rewarding and challenging environment with high quality teaching through which to foster:

 Children who have a keen sense of their own progress, take pride in achievement and have a desire to succeed, seeing themselves as having limitless possibilities in their learning;
• Children who are literate and numerate;
• Enquiring, active minds that are excited by learning and want to learn more each day;
• Attitudes to learning so that children enjoy challenge, cope confidently with risk and failure, have the stamina and resilience to keep going, and see mistakes as something to learn from;
• Children who are independent and confident in their approach to learning, who persevere in their determination to be successful and make learning their own;
• Children’s ability to consider options, make informed choices and solve problems;
• Children who are flexible and able to support and cooperate with others, and understand the importance of nurturing good relationships;
• Imagination and creative expression through a wide range of media;
• Conscientious and responsible young citizens of our diverse society who are tolerant and respect others’ values;
• Effective links between the school, the child’s home and the community which encourage aspiration and high expectations;
• Equality of opportunity for all;

To find out more about the curriculum taught in each year group, contact the school office, who will ensure that you are directed to the person most able to respond to your query.

Reading

Intent  

At Southwark Park, we passionately believe that literacy skills provide the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives in the future. With this in mind, we are dedicated to creating children who are motivated and passionate about reading and therefore develop as life-long readers.

Reading develops children’s language and communication skills, enriches relationships and develops creativity and imagination which supports their progress across all areas of their learning. Through study of different texts, they can explore ideas, question and develop their curiosity, predict and make links to become critical and analytical thinkers.

Implementation 

During their time at Southwark Park, children are exposed to a wide variety of genres and text types within each year group in order to develop their language skills and vocabulary, breadth of knowledge and allow exposure to a wide range of literature. Within guided reading lessons, teachers plan activities for individual groups based around the learning objectives and skills for their year group. This includes three independent activities as well as two days with adult led small group support based around their current text. Whole class reading sessions are also used alongside this to introduce news skills and topics before the children are expected to secure these independently in subsequent sessions. In addition to this, teachers share whole texts with their classes as part of their English teaching or their day to day timetable which allows children to access texts that may be beyond their current reading capabilities and encourages struggling or resistant readers to take part in conversations around different stories and characters. These texts are selected based on the children’s interests or to link with other areas of the curriculum. 

The focus of each key stage varies as the children develop as readers. During the early years, the aim is to develop early reading skills focusing on language and communication. The main emphasis is on the importance of high quality interactions between adults and children to develop their communication and language skills using a range of different activities – singing, storytelling and nursery rhymes – to develop children’s early reading and ability to hear and manipulate sounds.

KS1 marks a crucial stage in children’s literacy development as they transition from effortful decoders, breaking down words into individual sounds, into emerging readers who are able to recognise words on sight and simultaneously comprehend them. This is when pupils begin to grasp the joy of independent reading.

KS2 then builds on the above allowing pupils to consolidate their literacy skills, building their vocabulary and developing their fluency and confidence as speakers and readers of language. They are continuing to develop their vocabulary and knowledge of language and language features alongside their overall understanding of a range of increasingly high level texts. Pupils will be using strategies with increasing independence and sophistication, and will increasingly be able to combine them to look at texts critically and analytically.

Impact

During the Early years and KS1, children are taught using a systematic and progressive phonics approach to support their developing reading skills. Reading books used in class and those sent home are colour banded as their phonic knowledge progresses and their independence when reading and phonetically sounding out their words improves. Running records, comprehension questions, teacher assessment during guided reading sessions and phonics testing/tracking is used to assess when a child is ready to progress to a new colour band. 

From Year 2 to Year 6, we use the accelerated reader programme to support children in selecting appropriate texts for their current reading level. Every term, a ZPD (zone of proximal development) assessment is completed online where the children are given a ZPD range e.g. 4.1- 6.1. The books at the lower end of their range are books that they can phonetically decode and comprehend easily. As they move towards the higher end of their ZPD, they will be able to still decode these books but the comprehension may be more challenging. Children are generally encouraged to read towards the higher end of their ZPD as this is where the challenge will enable them to make the most progress towards their overall reading level.

In addition to the assessment above, children are monitored throughout adult led guided reading sessions, independent activities and reading interventions to allow well-rounded assessment of their reading levels and to identify gaps that need to be targeted in future lessons. We also undertake written comprehension tests every term to inform next steps for whole class and individual readers. By the time they leave Southwark Park, and in the following years, we aim to have all of our children in a position where they are motivated readers who have a positive attitude toward reading and a positive self-image as a reader. Alongside reading skills and decoding techniques, our focus is on helping our children to discover the intrinsic value in reading itself allowing them to grow up to derive great pleasure from it. 

Phonics

Phonics and Southwark Park

We use the “Letters and Sounds” phonics programme to deliver systematic phonics lessons with the aim that the children become fluent readers by age seven. The children are taught how to decode text by segmenting words into phonemes (the smallest units of sound) and then to blend them into words. Children then use this knowledge to segment words when spelling. At Southwark Park we embed a consistent whole school approach which is supported by scheduled assessment, targeted interventions and commitment to pace and rigour. We continue to ensure children use strategies and strengthen their spelling capability as they progress into KS2.

Expectations

Phonics is taught every day in Early Years and Key Stage 1 using the “Letters and Sounds” teaching programme.

The teaching and learning of high frequency words is included in the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. The 2014 curriculum set out common exception words and these are also taught.

Screening Check

In 2016 the children in Year 1 took part in the national Phonics Screening Check. 83% of the children achieved the expected standard.  Some of the children in Year 2 re-took the assessment and 80% of those children achieved the expected standard. 

The teaching sessions follow the “letters and Sounds” teaching sequence, below:  

Writing

 

Intent

At Southwark Park, we aim to provide a wide and varied writing curriculum including a range of fiction, non-fiction and cross-curricular texts. Writing is a fundamental skill that enables children to succeed in all areas of the curriculum and encompasses speaking and listening skills such as drama and debating, as well as handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation proficiency.

Children at Southwark Park are given opportunities to write across a wide variety of genres including narrative writing, poetry, playscripts, classic texts and cross-curricular pieces such as scientific writing, historical recounts and non-chronological reports. The breadth of our curriculum aims to ensure that children across all key stages can adapt their writing skills between different subjects across a range of topics helping them to develop crucial and transferable skills. This allows children to express their creativity, organise and communicate their ideas and improve their language and vocabulary skills to develop as confident and articulate communicators. 

Implementation 

Over the last few years, we have worked with a range of consultants and specialists to develop our writing curriculum with a focus on engagement and motivation for all children as well as challenge and curriculum skill coverage. This has enabled us to secure a very clear progression of skills and knowledge from Year 1 to Year 6 ensuring that learning is built on year upon year and therefore children are leaving at the end of KS2 as confident, resilient, independent and highly-skilled writers. Learning objectives and success criteria are shared at the beginning of writing lessons to allow the children to become autonomous learners with ownership of their progress towards the expected standards. In addition to this, our marking policy has been adapted to build in time for the children to edit and refine their own work alongside meaningful feedback from their teachers so that the whole process focuses on individualised and targeted teaching for the individual.

Impact

Our writing curriculum is designed and regularly updated to ensure that the children feel engaged, motivated and able to express their creativity in a range of ways. As they progress through the year groups, their knowledge and confidence when applying spelling, punctuation and grammar rules increases with teachers using marking and continuous assessment to target any misconceptions. The overriding goal of our curriculum is to ensure that every child leaves Southwark Park not only as a confident writer that can communicate effectively, but also with a love of writing as an outlet for imagination, creativity and self-expression. To measure the impact of our curriculum, we use pupil voice alongside marking and assessment against the STAR (Southwark tracking and assessment record) for each year group. The STAR contains a list of writing and composition skills for each year group created by the borough of Southwark in line with National Curriculum targets. These include drafting, editing, composition, layout, writing for specific audiences, spelling, handwriting and punctuation. Lessons and units of work are designed around these allowing the progress from emerging, developing and then securing of the year group expectations. Bringing all of these elements together creates a clear picture of measurable success and progression for our children. Children’s writing is regularly celebrated, with a variety of displays across the school and classrooms as well as fortnightly Star Writer assemblies where the selected children’s work is shared with others across the school and certificates sent home to parents.

Maths

Intent

At Southwark Park Primary School, we believe that strong mathematical skills form a solid basis for developing children’s critical thinking. Alongside a strong practice of daily arithmetic and basic math skills, we encourage children to use reasoning and logic to systematically and accurately solve problems.  We employ a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to deepen their understanding of maths, and create pathways into other topics. By adopting a hands-on approach to learning and discovery, every child is challenged, and motivated to excel.

Implementation

A diet of basic maths skills at Southwark Park includes a focus on place value, the four operations and fractions. Children are given the opportunity to choose from a variety of concrete manipulatives, in order to solve problems through a variety of approaches. By pushing a growth mindset in our maths lessons, mistakes are welcomed and in fact encouraged as a natural and necessary part of the learning process. Key mathematical terminology is embedded, giving children the confidence to justify their work and express their understanding. At Southwark Park, no child is left behind which is why a strong focus on assessment identifies and closes gaps in learning. Consolidation lessons ensure that children remain on track to maximising their potential.

Impact

All lessons in Key Stage 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum objectives for mathematics. In Early Years, children work towards the mathematics objectives outlined in the Development Matters Framework. Teachers use this as the basis for their lessons, aiming to build confidence and mastery. All lessons are taught using a variety of resources to support learning and mathematical concepts are represented in different ways, to ensure secure understanding. Through daily maths lessons children become confident mathematicians that are able to explain their learning and make links between mathematical topics. Regular formative and summative assessment takes place to ensure all children make good progress.‚Äč Our ultimate aims are to create a constantly engaging environment, where children are engaged and enjoying their maths journey and to develop their mathematical thinking to prepare them for the wider world and future careers.

Addition Written calculation policy 

Division Written calculation policy

Multiplication written calculation policy 

Subtraction written calculation policy 

Science

Intent

Here at Southwark Park, we strive to develop children’s natural curiosity about the world and encourage them to develop their understanding through inquisitive questioning. We equip children with an extensive range of problem solving skills such as observing, recording, predicting and evaluating. Through practical experiments children are able to nurture their passion for science as part of a team whilst also developing their independent reasoning skills. We provide opportunities for all children to enhance their knowledge.

 Implementation

While at Southwark Park, children are exposed to a variety of scientific experiences, the national curriculum is followed, and where possible topics are embedded into the term’s themes. Children are taught the foundations of physics, biology and chemistry and are also taught to think and work scientifically. Class activities are designed to promote practical science and investigative skills within a framework of what is expected in each year group.

They learn how to conduct different types of scientific enquiry and understand how to apply these effectively to different scientific questions. Pupils use and apply the skills that they have learnt, refine methods of research and make suitable conclusions from the results they have recorded. Regular formative and summative assessment takes place to ensure all children make strong progress. As well as rich classroom-based learning, in order to develop their scientific skills and knowledge further, we facilitate a range of workshops and school visits. An annual Southwark Park ‘Science Week’ and termly ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) weekly themes provide additional opportunities to foster a love and understanding of science and raise its profile throughout the school.

 Impact

At Southwark Park, children develop a love of science that promotes children’s ability to continually explore the world around them. Through eager observation and questioning, children develop a curiosity about the world and its processes. A robust, fun, differentiated curriculum sparks students’ imagination in lessons and during whole school S.T.E.M. focus weeks. Learning about the plethora of career options linked to science, for girls and boys, allows children to dream big and reach their potentials. Using scientific language, they discuss topics and explain how to use the scientific method to investigate. Drawing conclusions from data (graphs and tables which students sometimes construct), allows for opportunities to notice patterns and design further investigations based on results. Teamwork is fostered during group work challenges and communication skills also developed during these rich tasks. Students’ engagement and dedication to science ensures they will be lifelong learners, who have an understanding of the world around them and allow them to make positive contributions to the planet.

Computing

Intent

At Southwark Park Primary School, we recognise how important a well-rounded Computing education is to the lives of our children. We expect our children to be able to access ever-changing technology efficiently, safely, responsibly and respectfully. Teaching children to engage in the digital world whilst knowing how to keep themselves safe is the number one priority in our Computing teaching. To ensure our Computing curriculum is broad, exciting and relevant to the modern world, we have identified the strong links computing has to mathematics, science, design technology, art and other areas of learning. We encourage the use of technology throughout the curriculum to create independent digitally literate learners who are able to solve problems, develop their ideas, and express themselves in a variety of ways.

Implementation

Each class at Southwark Park Primary School is taught a combination of discrete computing lessons and computing skills integrated within other subjects. We combine units from Rising Stars’ ‘Switched On Computing’ with a bespoke, self-designed program of study, which was created in collaboration with an external consultant and tailors the national curriculum to the needs of our children.  

Online safety forms a large part of our computing curriculum, and features in our lessons whenever it is relevant. Children learn the impact of their own actions on and offline, as well as how to keep themselves protected from the actions of others. There is a strong focus on developing awareness and responsibility in our learners, and these themes are prevalent through the three strands of the computing curriculum: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy.

Impact

Pupils start learning about computing in Nursery, and continuously build on their skills up to Year 6. They leave Southwark Park School computer literate and confident, able to use a range of technology innovatively and responsibly. They are prepared to apply their learned skills - such as presenting their work from across the whole curriculum in a variety of ways and applying their coding skills to create and debug a range of increasingly complex programs – to their Secondary School education. Throughout the school, children are aware that they have to take responsibility for themselves online as well as offline, and know how to behave responsibly and respectfully in the digital world as well as the real world. This provides them with the skills they need to keep themselves safe when using technology and to help them feel secure and adventurous about their new learning.

History

Intent

Southwark Park believes that all children deserve a high-quality history curriculum to achieve a wide range of historical skills that develops their knowledge and understanding of the past, and its influence on the modern world. With an enriching curriculum, we aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to want to know more about the past, and encourage them through giving regular opportunities to ask insightful questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop sound judgements and perspectives to help them make sense of the world we live in today. We deliver a board, inclusive and accurate history curriculum, celebrating diversity through time, and studying historical figures who are particularly important to our local area and the children in our school.

Implementation

The children are given regular opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of historical events with a focus on both local and global history. These concepts underpin the children’s understanding of how the modern world was shaped as it is today. Across the whole school, lessons planned are engaging and thought provoking, to ensure the children develop their knowledge and understanding progressively. This enables the children to make connections as they move up the school. Deepening their understanding, regular cross-curricular links are made and children are able to evidence their knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through use of historical vocabulary in extended writing opportunities. A wide and diverse range of historical sources are used to encourage children to analyse, compare and contrast how a variety of interpretation of the past have been made and their impact on the validity of those sources to assist them in their critical thinking.

Impact

From as early as Year 1, children are given opportunities to develop their understanding of the world, comparing the past and present through discussing events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. The key skills in comparing are developed and progressed throughout the school, building on the skills necessary for secondary school. For example, in Year 2, children study historical events such as the voyage of the Mayflower and its impact and importance in understanding today’s world. Topics are mapped out carefully to ensure that the children develop their knowledge and understanding progressively as they move through the school. At Southwark Park, a range of historical time periods are studied, including Stone Age, Iron Age, Romans, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, World War 2 and The Benin Kingdom. These topics give children the regular opportunity to make connections between civilisations and have an understanding that civilisations occurred at varying intervals and often overlapped with others.  Formative and summative assessment ensure all children make strong progress across the school, are challenged appropriately and leave Southwark Park with the skills needed for secondary school, as well as a broad and balanced understanding of many time periods throughout history from all around the world. They will have the skills required to analyse historical evidence, understand bias and draw conclusions from the evidence as budding historians. 

Geography

Intent

At Southwark Park Primary School, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the world around them. Our geography curriculum aims to prepare students to be responsible citizens and to respect the diversity and interconnectedness of our world, as well as recognise the impact they can have on the world around them. By studying inspiring places and people, as well as conducting practical geographical investigations, pupils will be equipped with the knowledge and skills both to ask questions about their environment, as well as be able to research and analyse information which may help them answer these questions. We want all children to leave year 6 with an appreciation for the natural world and considering themselves as global citizens. 

Implementation

Our curriculum is focussed on the skills outlined in the national curriculum, ensuring that children make good progress both in their knowledge and in their application of these skills as they move through the school. Each year group in Key Stage 1 and 2 has a particular geographical focus, which ensures that these areas are covered in depth and fully understood. These focus areas start with physical features and provide the children with a solid foundation to tackle more complex issues such as trade and the climate by the time they reach upper Key Stage 2. Children are taught to use a range of paper and digital resources to investigate and record relevant data, and are encouraged to apply these skills to answer their own questions. Field work and trips are carefully planned and incorporated into teach to provide opportunities to apply these skills in practical contexts.

Impact

Through ongoing formative assessment and questioning, teachers assess children’s understanding of key concepts, ensuring before each unit that previous learning is secure and by providing a high quality outcome for each unit of study which provides the children with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning. By the end of Year 6, children will have a firm understanding of the key geographical concepts outlined in the national curriculum, and will be able to demonstrate this by making cross curricular links and applying their skills in a variety of contexts. They will be prepared to continue their learning journey into secondary school. 

Physical Education

 

Art & Design

Intent

Southwark Park Primary School’s Art and Design curriculum provides every child with the skills and opportunities they need to fully explore their creativity. By diligently teaching the required skills and exposing the children to a wide range of inspiring artists from many different cultures, we aim to equip the children with the ability to develop their imaginations and express their ideas in a focused and informed way.

We encourage the children to spot the similarities and differences in the techniques of artists from different cultures and times, and provide opportunities for them to practise the modelled skills. The children eventually grow skilled enough to use and apply their preferred techniques to their own work. When they start at school, they are carefully guided, and taught how to use a range of artistic skills. By Year 6, children are able to plan and design completely independent work, and choose for themselves the media they will use to produce it. They will leave our school knowledgeable about artists and enthusiastic about art, as well as being capable of planning their own work using a variety of different skills.

Implementation

Art lessons are carefully planned, informed by the national curriculum, to include artists from a wide and diverse range of styles, times and cultures. We use these artists to guide the children, who are explicitly taught specific skills and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, printing and more. The children are given the time and support to practise and develop these skills, and guided to apply them to their artwork. As the children travel up the school, they are given the opportunity to apply all their learned skills to their own projects, with increasing independence and self-direction.

In Year 1, Children are provided with a sketchbook that they carry with them up the school. This enables children to build on their prior learning and hone skills from previous years, so that they might review and revisit their ideas to create art that truly represents themselves or that is inspired by their favourite artists.

Impact

The sketchbook that accompanies the children from Year 1 to Year 6 allows children, and adults, to monitor the progress made in each artistic skill, while providing a record of the many artists that inspired the children on their artistic journeys. By flicking back through the pages, it will be immediately apparent how each child has developed their skill in each specific skill, for example, pencil drawing. It will record where they have learnt each technique, and show where they have applied it to their independent work, in line with national curriculum objectives. By the time the children leave Southwark Park, they will have this sketch book as a detailed collection of evidence of their achievements. They will have practised and refined their skills in painting, drawing, printing, sculpting and more, and importantly they will be able to choose for themselves when and how it is best to use them, ready to face the artistic challenges of secondary school. 

Design Technology

Intent

At Southwark Park Primary School, we intend for our children to be creative, inventive, knowledgeable and skilled at designing, creating and evaluating products, following a design criteria. Our Design Technology curriculum uses the National Curriculum statements to equip children with a broad range of skills that will set them up to continue their learning journeys in secondary school. We aim to inspire children to enjoy designing and creating functional, purposeful and appealing products with confidence, and evaluate them regardless of how successful they were. Children will be taught the relevant vocabulary they need to purposefully discuss and evaluate their learning, making it meaningful and relevant links to school and life outside of school.

Implementation

At Southwark Park School we teach project-based Design Technology lessons in the consistent pattern of design, make, evaluate to ensure our children learn how the design process works, and are able to suggest improvements to their designs. As they travel up the school they become increasingly familiar with this process, enabling them to apply their previous learning to their new designs.

In line with the national curriculum, children begin the Design Technology sequence by exploring and analysing a range of existing products to inform and inspire their ideas. Following this, they get the opportunity to design, model and discuss ideas for their products, using ICT where appropriate. They are able to select from a range of tools, equipment, materials, textiles and ingredients to perform practical tasks, including cutting, joining, finishing and strengthening. Children can experiment with using the tools and materials, and are encouraged to make any changes to their designs based on this exploration. After they have created their project piece, they are encouraged to assess and make any improvements to their designs, including making parts stiffer, stronger or more stable.

Children complete 2 to 3 Design Technology units each year, ranging from bridge building to cooking to lever-operated toys.

Impact

On completion of each design technology unit, children are able to show progression in their skills, knowledge and understanding through the product they have designed, made and evaluated. They are able to discuss their learning and compare it to previous projects, as well as to existing products with similar design criteria. Teachers assess learning using a skills progression and are able to give informative and useful feedback to support future designs. When they leave school, the children will have experienced designing and creating many products for many different purposes. They will have tested, analysed and redesigned these products, which will have provided them with the skills and confidence to continue their design and technology learning journey in secondary school!

Religious Education

Intent

Religious Education (RE) makes an important contribution to the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of our pupils. This helps children to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their rights to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a diverse community of many religions and beliefs. During Religious Education lessons, our children enquire and explore questions arising from the exploration of different religions. Using a variety of techniques, such as art, poetry, and artefacts, children can apply their creativity to develop their knowledge of world religions.

Implementation

At Southwark Park School RE is planned and taught with regard to the agreed syllabus for all schools in the borough of Southwark. We offer weekly RE lessons to all pupils guided by specific half termly units. In KS2 these lessons are often taught through philosophy to encourage deeper thinking through discussion and debate.

Across the school we provide further opportunities to learn from religious beliefs and practice including PSHE and circle time. Children frequently draw from their religious and cultural knowledge and experiences linking this to other topics explored throughout the year.

In addition to this, RE is taught and promoted through whole school assemblies, celebrations and events. We aim to make wider links throughout the community by visiting local places of religious interest and worship, as well as inviting religious and cultural leaders to speak to us.

Impact

Each half term children focus on a specific unit which hone in on a question and allows them to explore the six main religions; Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, simultaneously. These specific units allow opportunities for further exploration through visitors, trips, and events as well as allowing progression of knowledge and skills across the year. Through the teaching of the six major religions, children leave Southwark Park with the necessary understanding of the different belief structures which enables them to be respectful, more tolerant citizens in the wider community.

Health and Wellbeing 

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)

Intent

At Southwark Park School we support all our children to develop socially and emotionally by teaching them the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, both mentally and physically. Our goal is to develop qualities such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management and teamwork through a variety of high quality PSHE programmes. The mental well-being of our children is a priority, as is the aim to enable them to understand and reflect on their feelings and those of others, ultimately developing a deep sense of empathy. It’s this ethos that forms the basis for the excellent relationships and behaviour for learning at our school. At Southwark Park School, we understand how teaching Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Relationship, Sex and Health Education can prepare our children for the wider world, through instilling the values, knowledge and mindset needed to navigate a variety of challenges they are likely to face. Our curriculum has been adapted to ensure opportunities for all learning are equal, irrespective of SEN, gender, ethnicity, background or beliefs.

Implementation

At Southwark Park we use the Southwark scheme of work for PSHE, alongside the Christopher Winter project for Sex Education and Drugs and Alcohol to guide our teaching. These programmes have been combined together and adapted to meet the specific needs of our children. Weaved throughout the entire curriculum is the knowledge of their rights and the work of the global charity UNICEF.

In the first week of the school year, children work together in their classes to produce a Class Charter linked to the Rights of the Child. Children take ownership of this by discussing and deciding on the expectations in their learning environment and the school as a whole. Every child in the class signs up to this agreement and as it is prominently displayed in each classroom, it can be referred back to as and when necessary. During the year, all classes have two half-hour sessions of PSHE following a programme called PATHS Plus (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies). It develops children’s social and emotional learning, resilience and skills development. Children’s charity Barnardo’s supports our staff with a wealth of valuable resources and training, enabling the delivery of carefully tailored lessons that cover five key areas:

  • self-control
  • emotional understanding
  • positive self-esteem
  • relationships
  • inter-personal problem-solving skills.

Children learn to recognise and understand a range of feelings (and their potential causes) and emotions in both themselves and others. Empathy and understanding being vital tools for conflict resolution, communication and managing their own behaviour. This is conducted in a space where children feel accepted and safe to share not only their worries and concerns, but also their triumphs, and crucially, be celebrated and valued.  (For more information see the PATHS parents’ handout - click HERE). This is enhanced further by the Roots of Empathy programme in KS2, which is an evidence-based program that teaches children about their own feelings and the feelings of others. In Sex and Relationships Education, certain themes are taught which aim to build upon previous knowledge, always ensuring it is age appropriate and relevant.

Throughout the year, we actively seek opportunities to enrich our curriculum. Year groups have had visits from the Fire Service, the opportunity to complete cycle training and road safety, internet safety workshops, and have heard guest speakers from UNICEF and the inspirational stories of Paralympians. We also come together as a whole school community in Anti – Bullying Week.

Our varied and well-developed curriculum is delivered through whole class, small groups (e.g. Friendship groups where children have been identified to need support) and 1:1 learning and support. Whilst many themes are covered explicitly in PSHE and SRE lessons, these are always reinforced where possible throughout the wider curriculum with links made to Science, History, Geography and English. This means children view PSHE and SRE less in isolation and more as a part of a wider scheme of learning, encouraging a deepening understanding through context.

Impact

PSHE at Southwark Park enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society, with the awareness that they are also global citizens who have an important role to play. Children are supported in tackling the moral, social and cultural issues that define the world they live in, enabling them to be more than silent spectators, but to actually drive these conversations and ultimately shape their world.

In delivering a variety of well-developed PSHE programmes, our children cultivate a deep understanding of the rights of a child, of British values such as tolerance and respect, and of healthy lifestyles and relationships. Relationship in particular underpin our approach to creating a nurturing environment and is key to the success of restorative approaches that we use wherever possible to resolve conflict.

Within this nurturing environment, our children acquire the knowledge to be able to make good decisions that will have a positive impact on both themselves and others. Resilience and a strong sense of self in an ever-changing world are key attributes that we at Southwark Park School work tirelessly to instil. We understand that if the well-being of children is supported, they are able to achieve their full potential, as issues that might affect their ability to learn are identified and addressed. Themes and topics covered in PSHE will inevitably have a positive impact on children’s academic and non-academic output alike. Personal and social development is at the core of our curriculum, as are our school values. Children are supported and equipped with the skills required to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school, and adult life as a whole. Ultimately, the principles we hold are simple. Having respect for themselves and others, responsibility for their choices and actions, and constantly striving for excellence, regardless of the circumstances.