We are passionate about art at Latchmere School. All children receive a degree of specialist art teaching and this has helped our pupils to achieve outstanding results which have been recognised through local and national awards. We have a dedicated and well-resourced art room and a kiln. We aim to develop a love of art through the main strands of the National Curriculum which are producing creative work, proficiency in techniques, evaluating and analysing creative works and knowing about great artists, designers and craft makers.
The children are encouraged to experiment and express their ideas using a range of materials, tools and techniques. They learn to express their thoughts and feelings and record what they see with increasing accuracy and attention to detail. They study works from a diverse range of artists such as Holbein, Cezanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, Miro, Hokusai, Bridget Riley which represent a variety of cultures and eras both traditional and contemporary. Many art lessons make meaningful links to other subjects such as English, history, science and geography.
The children record their learning in sketch books. This enables the children to reflect on their learning and the progress they make.
Latchmere School also offers an after-school Art Club for aspiring young artists which is led by one of the school’s enthusiastic, dedicated teachers who has previously worked as a professional designer.
French is the foreign language taught by a specialist teacher at Latchmere School. The children start learning French in year 1. French is taught with a practical and creative approach, focusing on oracy through songs, games and role-play.
By making links and drawing similarities between French and their native language, children learn a life long skill opening up avenues of communication and exploration to promote and encourage a broader cultural understanding.
By the end of KS1, the children will have a grasp of some core French vocabulary such as numbers, colours and how to talk about themselves. By the end of KS2, the children will have broadened their vocabulary and will be able to write simple sentences.
It is our intention that these early language experiences provide the foundation for their future studies at secondary school as well as helping the children to become global citizens.
Latchmere has a strong music tradition developed over many years. We have a dedicated, well-resourced music room where children from Year 1 to Year 6 are taught by our specialist teacher. The Early Years curriculum has numerous opportunities for music making within the school day and our specialist teacher also meets Reception classes weekly for singing sessions in the class. We aim for children to develop a love of music through the three main strands of the National Curriculum which are Listening, Composing and Performing. Within these strands, the children will explore and develop an understanding of the elements of music such as pitch, rhythm, tempo and dynamics. We have been awarded the Music Mark Schools’ Award as a recognition of the commitment to offering a broad and balanced music curriculum to all.
Cross-curricular links are a strong element of music making and within this, pupils have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the history of music and an appreciation of varying musical cultures around the world.
We are very much a singing school and hold regular singing assemblies for both Key Stages. A flourishing choir meets weekly and has the opportunity to perform at annual events with other school choirs and on occasion, established adult amateur choirs. We also have a school orchestra (our own LSO – Latchmere School Orchestra), where pupils can develop their musicianship skills.
Pupils have access to tuition delivered by tutors from Kingston Music Service and every pupil has the opportunity to learn an instrument as a whole class, currently djembe drumming.
Performance is a regular part of the musical life of Latchmere, either as part of the music lesson, or concerts for parents. Our Christmas concerts in Early Years and KS1 are a highlight of the year and the Year 6 production in the summer term is an opportunity for pupils to showcase their skills in a variety of ways-singing, dance, acting, along with stage hands and sound technicians.
Our children are naturally curious about the world around them and this spirit of enquiry is at the centre of our Geography studies at Latchmere. Every year group makes use of the local area to develop geographical skills and concepts. We are especially keen to develop fieldwork skills in the local area by utilising Richmond Park for the Year 6 traffic study and the River Thames for the Year 5 learning on rivers as well as on our day and residential visits. Other year groups use the local area in the immediate vicinity to work on map skills and to gain a thorough insight into our town, Kingston upon Thames.
In KS1, the children begin to develop their understanding and knowledge of The United Kingdom, the continents and the oceans of the world. This enables a solid geographical foundation for their learning in KS2.
We are also keen to develop global awareness by learning about volcanoes and fairtrade in Year 4 and the rainforest in Year 6 as well as amazing countries around the world.
Global Awareness Week is a highlight in our annual calendar. Every year, each class chooses a different country to learn about. Highlights include looking at the culture of the country, tasting their culinary delights and dressing up in National Costumes.
Now more than ever, we want our geographers to be thinking about our planet and sustainability. Therefore, environmental awareness is at the forefront of everything we do and this is a good foundation for their continuing learning at secondary school.
At Latchmere school, it is our aim to encourage children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products within a variety of contexts whilst considering their own and others needs, wants and values. We encourage the children to consider different approaches and ideas when planning their projects, using research to inform their decisions.
The children work both independently and as members of a team, sharing their ideas and creative skills to complete their planned product. On completing each project, the children evaluate their work, taking into consideration how well their product meets the design specification.
We focus on developing skills such as team work, taking risks and critical thinking, alongside the practical skills involved in each area of Design and Technology: design, make, evaluate and technical knowledge.
Cooking and nutrition is highly valued at Latchmere. We have our own pupil kitchen and the children enjoy a variety of cooking experiences. There is an after school cookery club too.
The History curriculum at Latchmere aims to ensure that all children develop a broad and balanced understanding of the History of Britain and that of the wider world. It is ambitious and motivating, inspiring pupil’s curiosity to know more about the past, make links with the present and consider change in the future. We aim to grow every child’s cultural capital and develop their understanding of both their own heritage and those of others. As well as this, we endeavour to help the children appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. In turn, this encourages children to consider their own identity and the challenges of our current time.
In History lessons, pupils are encouraged to ask questions, think critically, make use of a range of evidence and artefacts, and reflect and discuss with increasing depth. Pupils learn how events from the past impact on modern-day life, with British values threaded throughout our units of study. Cross curricular links with texts used in English and other subjects including Music, Art, DT and PE, help to enrich our children’s learning experiences and ensure that History is an engaging and accessible area of study for all our pupils. Alongside this, we celebrate and deepen our understanding of history through themed days and invite a range of visitors to the school, who further enrich our children’s learning through presentations, re-enactments, and first-hand reports about life in the past.
As pupils move through Latchmere school, they utilise timelines to position key events, individuals and periods, increasing and embedding their chronological awareness. At the start of each unit, Knowledge Organisers are shared and placed in books, enabling children to readily access the key dates, vocabulary and facts relating to that topic, and helping them to secure this knowledge. Abstract historical terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’ are interwoven into the curriculum at appropriate times, leading to a progressively deeper understanding of these concepts. Where terms may be too abstract – particularly for our younger learners – tangible and real-life contexts are sought to compound them. For example, class voting helps to provide a context from which to introduce and consolidate the concept of ‘democracy’.
What We Study:
In the Early Years, pupils are encouraged to observe changes in their own lives, talking about past and present events they have experienced whilst building up vocabulary related to the passing of time.
In Key Stage 1, children study changes within living memory, as well as learning about significant events and individuals in the past. They consider the contributions these individuals have made to national and international achievements, and make comparisons between them.
By the end of Year 6, our children will have developed a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history, noting connections, contrasts and trends over time. They will be able to address questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance through thoughtful selection of historical information. They will also understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources, and how to be discerning and analytical when interpreting these.
· The lives of people around them and their role in society.
· Similarities and differences between things in the past and now.
· Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books and stories.
· Toys: Similarities and Differences. Comparing toys and games in living memory
· The lives of significant individuals: Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria
· Changes in living memory: Holidays – Past and present
· Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally: The Great Fire of London
· The lives of significant individuals: The Space Race – Neil Armstrong
· Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration
· Famous people e.g., Neil Armstrong, Samuel Pepys, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole.
· Britain during the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age
The achievements of the earliest civilisations: Ancient Egypt
· British history: The Roman Empire
· The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England
· Local history study: The Tudors
· A world history study: The Maya and the Aztecs
· European history study: Ancient Greece
· The changing power of monarchs and changes in social history: Queen Victoria and Victorian Britain
· A significant turning point in British history: The Battle of Britain and Life in Kingston during World War Two
· Changes in social history: Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr
Our PSHE (Personal, social and Health Education) curriculum has been written by the PSHE Association and adapted for our school context. It is a spiral curriculum so the themes are repeated every year. The themes are: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These themes are timeless and are intended to support the children to navigate their way through times of rapid change, opportunities and challenges.
The curriculum provides the opportunity for pupils to explore their attitudes, values and beliefs about these themes and to develop the skills, language and strategies necessary to manage themselves in this ever-changing world.
The 6 Ls of Latchmere: learning, local community, laughter, loyalty, love and leadership also provide a foundation for our school identity and culture; not only for the children but for our staff too. We celebrate the 6Ls in assemblies, daily lessons, on the playground, in circle time and in many other aspects of school life.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) sits within our PSHE curriculum. These ideas are mainly covered in Years 5 and 6.