Junior School Curriculum
Our recent HMIe report praised the school for “encouraging pupils to engage enthusiastically in their learning” and went on to say that our children and young people are “keen to do well”. From the youngest children in our Nursery to the young adults in the Upper School, each individual’s future, whatever they choose that to be, is absolutely their choice.
Recognition of each child or young person as an individual with unique talents begins in our Nursery with a Froebel learning approach. This recognition continues as young people transition into Junior then Senior School on their own personalised educational journey.
We follow Curriculum for Excellence throughout our Junior School and this continues into Senior School.
Pupils at J1-4 are given opportunities to experience active learning and up-to-date teaching methods combined with traditional values. In doing so, we aim to develop confident, successful and responsible children who are able to reflect on their learning experience.
Our curriculum is based on the outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence at the Early and First Levels. We have developed a progressive and comprehensive scheme of work which places importance on the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy skills. Phonics, Reading, Writing, Numeracy and Mathematics are the core priorities for our Department.
The pupils have opportunities to develop these skills through specific and focussed lessons as well as a range of cross curricular topics, including Weather, The Romans, Scotland, Percy the Park Keeper, Fairyland and Hamilton’s Community. ICT skills are taught explicitly and are used to support learning in other areas of the curriculum. From J4, our children enjoy weekly visits to senior school where they are taught French by subject specialists.
Parents have the opportunity to be involved in their child’s learning experience through volunteering to help at our Active Start and Action Stations session in J1 and J2.
Our transition programme enables children in their pre-school year at our Nursery, and children from other nurseries to become familiar with the school, the staff and our routines prior to beginning school. This has proved successful and popular with our parents over a number of years and we are confident that the children are prepared and relaxed when they come to school in J1.
At the upper end of the Junior School we continue to build on the skills learned within J1-4. From J5 we set our children according to their ability for Spelling and for Numeracy/Mathematics. This enables children to be taught at a pace that best matches their level of progress. Children move between sets as they make progress or require support.
A range of literacy skills are developed with children being taught to develop their higher order reading skills and how to write for a variety of purpose and audience. The life-skills of talking and listening are put into practice in a wide range of learning opportunities.
Teachers at J6 and J7 work cooperatively with senior school specialists in Mathematics and English to give children a range of transition experiences which will aid integration to senior school and ensure continuity and progression across the curriculum.
Our children enjoy weekly visits to senior school where they are taught French by subject specialists. Music and Physical Education continues throughout, again taught by subject specialists.
Curriculum for Excellence outcomes in Social Studies are taught through a wide variety of ‘Topic’ studies across the year in J5-7 including:
J5: Scottish Wars of Independence/Knights and Castles, Working Children and ‘Europe’
J6: Eco Matters, the Rainforest and the Victorians
J7: World War Two, Scottish Studies, Keeping Myself Safe