The St Peter’s Creative Curriculum
At St Peter’s lots of learning takes place in cross-curricular lessons based on a theme. Each term every class studies a different theme, some are science based, some are historical and others have a geographical bias. Over the course of a year pupils will experience one of each. The themes are exciting and involve pupils sharing their prior learning in order for teachers to plan activities which match children’s needs and interests.
Our literacy work is often based around ‘Dramatic Improvement in Writing’ themes which feed back into our creative curriculum topic. For example, our year one children read ‘Whatever Next!’ and write about baby Bear’s adventures as part of their ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’ space theme. Literacy learning focuses around children rehearsing their ideas orally through drama and speaking and listening activities in order to fully engage children in the writing process and develop their technical and creative writing skills.
In addition to the class themes, the St Peter’s curriculum includes themed weeks and days which are a focus for the whole school. These special themes reflect the context of the school and our local community and include: maths day, ‘my money week’, gardening day, black history month events, our own Olympic closing ceremony and anti-bullying week.
At St Peter’s we view ‘learning beyond the classroom’ as an essential part of our children’s learning and development. We realise the importance of our children making links between what they have learnt in school and their local community and beyond. As such, we actively build opportunities for regular trips and visits to museums, galleries, theatres and places of interest. We think carefully about providing our children with ‘tasters’ for a wide range of culturally enriching experiences which include: our year 6 children annually attending ballet/opera at the Royal Opera house, our KS2 children visiting a West End production each year and taking children to eat together at a restaurant.
Classes have regular opportunities to ‘assume the mantle of the expert’ by sharing what they have learnt by creating their own presentations, building towards final pieces of work and through their class assemblies.
Pupils take part in 2 hours of physical exercise each week and this includes gymnastics, dance and outdoor games. Our children often have the opportunity to take part in more unusual sports such Judo, fencing, volleyball and waterpolo and take part in competitive sports both within school and in leagues beyond. Children also learn to swim through weekly lessons in years 3 and 4. PE sessions are delivered either by PE specialists (such as those provided by the Secondary School Sports Partnership) or by our class teachers. Children also take part in a rotating lunchtime sports coaching programme. There are also plenty of opportunities for pupils to take part in sport during breakfast club and after school.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Our Key Stage Two classes each have a weekly French lesson. These sessions are interactive and focus on developing children’s spoken communication skills.
At St Peter’s we are a ‘Sing Up’ school as we value the shared experience that collective singing brings to our children and developing their sense of community. We seek out opportunities for our children, and our school choir, to perform to an audience as well as working in partnership with other local schools through projects such as ‘Tower Voices.’ Our Music coordinator teaches music sessions linked to classes’ creative curriculum themes. In addition, our lower Key stage two classes learn to play the guitar, whilst our upper key stage two classes develop their percussion skills through learning to play the Glockenspiel. The instrumental tuition is provided by high quality professionals from the Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES). This includes opportunities for pupils learn saxophone, keyboards, violins and guitars after school.
PSHE Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
As a school with ‘Advanced Healthy Schools’ status, we focus on children’s personal, health, social and emotional development. Our PSHE lessons are focused around key aspects of developing a “whole child”, British values and our school values. Every class takes part in regular circle time sessions and our values also feature regularly in whole school assemblies.
Each year the pupils in Y4-Y6 have the opportunity to take part in a residential trip with their class:
‘Kip on a Ship’ overnight stay on HMS Belfast, situated by Tower Bridge.
Day trip, by Eurostar, to Paris – funded in partnership by Societe Generale (one of our Business Partners).
Residential to Stubbers – a cultural and outdoor pursuits experience.
During these visits the children develop their independence and social skills and have the opportunity to deepen their learning in aspects of science, history, geography and PE. These visits are hugely popular with pupils. In addition, our annual ‘School Sleepover’ run by our PTA gives children from across the school the opportunity to take part in a range of fun activities as well as trying out being away from home for the evening.