Academic

Longacre teaches a broad, dynamic curriculum where the emphasis is on skills as much as acquiring knowledge. The children are predominantly classroom based up to the end of Form III, and taught by specialist subject teachers thereafter. French and Computing are taught from Reception onwards and all Pre-Prep children are taught Forest School, Games and Music by specialist subject staff.  Children are extended wherever possible through ‘chilli challenges’ and often move beyond the National Curriculum guidelines. 

Children that would benefit from additional help may receive specialist one-to-one tuition, following a recommendation from teaching staff and/or an educational psychologist. This is provided by our Learning Support Department and peripatetic teachers where appropriate.  

CORE SUBJECTS

English

In English the children will learn to speak confidently and listen earnestly to others. They begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They are encouraged to use ambitious language and literary techniques to explore and express their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

They learn to speak clearly, thinking about the needs of their audiences. They work in small groups and as a class, joining in discussions and making relevant points. They also learn how to listen carefully to what other people are saying, so that they can remember and consider the main points. They learn to use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings when working in different mediums such as poetry, creative writing and in drama activities. They start to enjoy writing and see the value of it. They learn to communicate meaning in narrative and non-fiction texts and spell and punctuate correctly.

The children’s interest and pleasure in reading is developed as they learn to read confidently and independently. They focus on words and sentences and how they fit into whole texts. They comprehend through inference, deduction and retrieval. They decipher the meaning of a variety of texts and begin to think critically about what makes a successful piece of writing and their own preferences as readers. 

Maths

In maths the children will develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activity, exploration and discussion. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond. They develop a range of mental calculation skills and use these confidently in different settings. They learn about shape and space through practical activity which builds on their understanding of their immediate environment. They begin to grasp mathematical language, using it to talk about their methods and explain their reasoning particularly when solving problems. We use our extensive library of maths games to make sure the children are learning while they ‘play’.

Science

In science the children investigate, explore and question living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to work together to collect results from experiments to help them answer questions and understand scientific ideas. They evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. The children are encouraged to be curious about the world around them and they practise using secondary resources to find out more about scientific concepts. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.

Computing

Children will explore computing and learn to use ‘computational thinking’ confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes. They start to use computing software to develop their ideas and record their creative work and learn to programme and make full use of the Microsoft package, from manipulating spreadsheets to comparing PowerPoint presentations to other presentation software such as Prezi. They become familiar with hardware and software and have regular access to the latest tablets, iPads, Apple TV and Smooth boards to support their learning in their computing lessons as well as across the broader subject range.

Children are well educated in the safe use of email and the internet. Longacre has a responsibility to ensure that when using the internet, children understand the potential dangers and the etiquette to avoid risk, in addition to seeking support and guidance in the face of problems. Parents are also invited into school to gain a more realistic understanding of the internet, supervision of their children and the implications of social media for example.

For further information please visit our Digital Learning page.

HUMANITIES

History

In their history lessons the children learn about people’s lives and lifestyles and discover information about significant people and events from the recent and more distant past, including those from both Britain and the wider world. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions and learn how the past is different from the present. The curriculum is heavily complemented by numerous visits to give the children first-hand experience of life in the past; from a day in the trenches to experiencing the workhouse.

History provides the perfect vehicle for teaching children independent learning and Longacre enables children with skills for research and presentation of findings using both text and technology.

Geography

In geography children investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom, such as conducting a traffic survey in the local village. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps and photographs. 

Religious Studies (R.E.)

The overall aim for teaching R.E. at Longacre is to allow the children to acquire and develop their knowledge and understanding of the principal religions represented in Great Britain including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. It aims through project and independent learning to:

  • Develop an understanding of beliefs, values and traditions and how they influence individuals, communities, societies and cultures
  • Develop the skills necessary to discuss religious and moral issues
  • Enhance the spiritual, moral, cultural and social and physical development of the pupils
  • Encourage reflections on their own beliefs and values as well as those of others
  • Develop respect for other people’s beliefs
  • Develop a positive attitude towards living in a society of diverse religions

Education for Social Responsibility (ESR)

Throughout the humanities subjects, Education for Social Responsibility (ESR) underpins the curriculum and is embedded within lessons, focusing on the six key themes of: well-being, rights, responsibilities, intelligent behaviours, knowledge and opportunities. As a result, children will become more effective and compassionate individuals, prepared for the challenges of leadership and responsibility beyond their time at Longacre. The ESR framework underpins school development, leading towards more interdependent and sustainable communities.

Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for children (P4C) focuses on thinking skills and communal dialogue (‘philosophising’).  It aims to build a “community of enquiry” defined as: a group of people used to thinking together with a view to increasing their understanding and appreciation of the world around them and of each other. Within this community that is created, Longacre children develop four types of thinking:

  • Collaborative thinking: thinking with others
  • Caring: thinking of others
  • Critical: making reasoned judgements
  • Creative: creating new ideas

As well as promoting higher order thinking skills, P4C develops each child’s ability to articulate their thoughts using mature vocabulary in both speaking and writing. P4C is a powerful tool in developing Longacre children both academically and personally and enables the children to:

  • Listen to and value the opinion of their peers
  • Respond to, encourage and build on the ideas of other
  • Make connections between ideas and speculate on alternative explanations
  • Be independent and adaptable in their thinking
  • Ask philosophical questions
  • Seek clarifications, justification and supporting evidence
  • Evaluate the ideas and viewpoints of others

LANGUAGES

At Longacre we teach Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) to all children from the age of four as part of the normal school curriculum as we believe that the children really enjoy learning to speak another language. The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language the better, as young children tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.

The main objective of teaching a modern foreign language at Longacre is to promote the early development of a child’s linguistic competence.

French

French is taught from Reception to Form VI by a specialist language teacher. In Reception to Form II, Little Languages is taught as an introduction to modern foreign languages. From Form III upwards this is supported by La Jolie Ronde, which is a unique scheme of work for introducing young children to the everyday realities of the country and its culture.

The fundamental skills for French language learning are categorised into four attainment targets:

  • Listening and responding
  • Speaking
  • Reading and responding
  • Writing

Whilst all four skills are introduced from Reception onwards, greater emphasis is placed upon progression with listening and speaking. Reading skills need to be developed simultaneously with speaking skills; at a slower pace, and always after intensive listening and speaking practice.

Most forms of writing in French at Longacre will involve variations of copy writing. Children in Forms V and VI will be able to adapt and substitute words and phrases in a model text, in order to produce their own short pieces of writing. The French curriculum is organised into topics.

The emphasis in our teaching of French is, as far as possible, on first-hand experience. We encourage children increasingly to take control of their own learning. Therefore, pupils are encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge gained from holidays in French speaking countries. This culminates in the Form VI residential trip to France where the children all have the opportunity to put their skills to the test.