The curriculum is designed to give a balanced education of the highest quality with both breadth and depth of experience. We acknowledge as our baseline the provision of the National Curriculum and then seek, through a variety of teaching strategies, to maximize the academic, emotional, social, cultural, spiritual and physical development of each child. Generous staffing ratios permit the flexibility to teach children either in whole classes or, often, in half groups.
Our curriculum consists of the core curriculum subjects English, mathematics and science and the foundation subjects of art, design and technology, information and communication technology (ICT), French, Spanish, religious education, music, drama, personal social health and economic education (PSHE), the humanities and physical education.
At St Swithun’s we firmly believe in making our curriculum as fun and as exciting as possible, as this is the greatest way to help the children achieve their best possible results. By giving the children hands-on experiences wherever possible, we enable them to become engaged and inspired by the topics that they are studying as well as empowered to establish a real love for learning and an inquisitive mind. To do this, we arrange frequent educational and cultural visits as well as welcome a range of inspiring and motivational speakers into school.
Residential trips form an important part of our pupils’ experience at St Swithun’s: children in year 4 take part in an outdoor activity residential focusing on team building, year 5 girls take part in a field studies trip and year 6 finish their time with us by spending the week in France taking part in a variety of outdoor activities and cultural experiences whilst being totally immersed in the French language..
Children, for any number of reasons, may have need of extra support in the short or long term and therefore we have a specialist learning support teacher who is also the special educational needs coordinator. She gives additional help, on an individual basis and in groups, to those children who benefit from it. Where necessary individual education plans are drawn up and carefully tailored to individual needs.
We feel that children are able to accept a degree of responsibility for their own learning, and the discipline of simple time management. They are encouraged to read regularly and widely in their free time. In the pre-prep department pupils have reading books to share at home. They may also take home mathematics activities.
Homework is set on a regualr basis for children in the preparatory department. The amount set increases gradually as the children mature but it is not intended that homework should prevent them from pursuing other interests outside school or, indeed, enjoying family life.