English / Literacy
At Latchmere, the children are given opportunities to talk and listen in a wide variety of creative learning activities. They are encouraged to explore, develop and explain ideas; to discuss and plan stories, poems and reports; to share their observations and opinions and to report and present their work in front of their class and in assemblies. Children are encouraged to listen to each other as well as other adults and to respect, value and learn from opinions which are different from their own. The children have access to a very wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry all around the school and we help them to become confident readers, using methods which match the material and the purposes for which they are reading. Where relevant, we present them with challenging texts which broaden their perspectives and extend their thinking; becoming confident eager and enthusiastic readers who are engaged in their own learning journey through reading. As writers we help them to write for a variety of purposes and different audiences. They write in response to a wide range of stimuli, including stories, plays and poems, their interests and experiences and the activities in the classroom. We help them to keep extending their drafting skills, their use of English and their spelling. We also give them practice in developing a good cursive style of handwriting and encourage them to present their work neatly and carefully, using technology when appropriate.
We continue to use the National Literacy Strategy as well as developing the Latchmere Creative Curriculum in which the strategy belongs and which works alongside all of the other subject areas.
Mathematics / Numeracy
Our teaching helps the children grow into confident and competent mathematicians with a positive attitude. They have regular opportunities to learn collaboratively, discussing and evaluating approaches as they go along, which contributes to developing reasoning skills. We make use of a variety of resources, including practical and IT-based materials, so that children can access mathematical concepts in ways that are both appropriate and exciting. We follow the National Curriculum to inform our mathematics teaching, developing and extending this creatively to enrich children’s learning. Children progressively build upon their knowledge and understanding of number as they are taught how to perform calculations with efficiency by using both mental and written methods. Please see our calculation policy to find out more about this. From Year 1 and upwards, children participate in the Good Times Challenge which helps to increase their quick recall of key number facts. The children are routinely engaged in activities that encourage them to use and apply their mathematical knowledge in problem-solving. These allow them to make connections between different topics and consolidate their understanding.
We aim to provide Latchmere children with a thorough understanding of the world around them and how it works through creative and stimulating themes. The science curriculum is taught in a variety of ways, with the emphasis on first-hand experiences where the children can actively participate in their own learning. We teach the children to observe, predict, record and interpret, and then encourage them to use these skills to hypothesise upon and test new concepts or ideas. Through their own investigations, children gather together important scientific knowledge and skills which they can use to make sense of the world in which they live and to help conserve it for the future.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
We are committed to preparing the children for the twenty first century, which is an increasingly technological world in which they live. In order to do this we are continually extending our expertise and our stock of hardware and software. Our ICT equipment comprises of portable laptop trolleys; visualisers; video recorders; CD recorders; apple macs; and class networked computers with access to both the internet and the Kingston Intranet. The children use computers for word processing, spreadsheets and databases, simulations, controlling and monitoring devices and for accessing information on CD roms. There is a wide range of exciting educational software to support these activities. All staff and children can use e-mail to maintain our links with schools abroad.
As the school is a community school, it has no affiliation with a particular religious denomination. Religious Education is taught throughout the school and follows government guidelines and the recommendations of our local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE). The focus is mainly Christian; however, we also include material from the other major world religions. We seek to give the children a knowledge of and respect for both their own traditions and culture and those of others, through learning about and from religions. We have a short act of collective worship and assembly each day, in various groupings. Children often take an active role in collective worship and parents are invited to special assemblies.
We hope that our assemblies are broad and meaningful enough for everybody to be included. However, pupils may be released from attending Religious Education and assemblies if parents make a specific request to the Head Teacher.