Understanding Our World

Our planned Learning Journeys include different areas of the curriculum which enable children to have a growing understanding of our world. They are rich and stimulating and use lots of enquiry and first-hand experience to foster a sense of curiosity. Learning Journeys are never limited by tunnel-vision towards any one given subject but are enhanced by blurring the boundaries and inviting other disciplines in.
In order to have the greatest quality of experience, we look at each area of the curriculum subjects to ensure progress in learning and building on prior understanding.

Science

Science is highly valued at Saint Lawrence School.  We love to provide children with investigative opportunities and WOW moments.  Hearing children shout ‘Woah!’ or scream with excitement when a rocket (plastic bottle) is launched in the playground or when they see a mod-roc volcano erupt is only part of what the school has to offer.

Children are supported and encouraged to take an independent and investigative approach to their science learning as part of the ‘Cornerstones’ Curriculum.  In addition to science as part of a Learning Journey, sometimes the whole school will take part in special science days.

History

History enables us to understand about what it was like in the past as well as understanding about things that are happening in the world today. Using the ‘Cornerstones’ framework, Learning Journeys with a strong history focus use the process of historical enquiry. We start by looking at a topic from the past and asking questions about it. We use a wide range of evidence to help us answer our questions then dig a little deeper to understand what the sources are telling us. We can then share what we have found out in a range of ways. Taking part in an experience day dressed up as a knight or princess; investigating a relic from long ago as well as asking questions of other generations are all ways of helping us to understand our world in the past and brings history to life.

Geography

Geography helps young people to become more aware of their planet and develop into informed individuals in an increasingly challenging and unpredictable world.  Geography is embedded into the curriculum through our half-termly Cornerstones topics. Understanding the world around us, making sense of the way it is interrelated and considering how it might change in the future stands at the heart of geography.  To make sense of the features and layout of our immediate and wider world, we map it, both to see where things are and to help us understand how it is organised. In good and outstanding geography, pupils find the learning stimulating and engaging. They can relate it to their own experience and their learning. Children might be seen looking at a variety of maps and photos of the village; collecting data about traffic or shops as well as comparing our own setting with other places in the world. Our links with Chiphazi School in Malawi serve to help children bridge the divide in both directions.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology education involves two important elements:

  • Learning about the designed and made world and how things work, and
  • Learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users.

In Design and Technology, children acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety. We follow the guidance set out in the Cornerstones units of work.  Children are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise. Children also understand and apply the principles of nutrition and how to cook.

French

At Saint Lawrence School all children study French. Learning a foreign language provides another opening to other cultures. It also fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. Pupils are able to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and, later, in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read in the original language. French teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study at a deeper level at the next stage of their education. A fun French theme day is incorporated each year in Learning Zone 2.

Computing

Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils are able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Children value the use of new technology in enhancing learning, but also need to learn about responsible use of ICT. Children learn about the potential e-safety risks associated with the use of ICT and mobile technologies and know how to stay safe and report incidents.