Books and storytelling are deeply encouraged at Vita et Pax, where we believe that quality literature should be at the heart of all learning. We enjoy bringing literature to life through our creative teaching of texts through the use of story props and puppets. The children have full access to the school Library where they learn the skill of selecting their own books which are shared at home. Mark making is developed using a variety of materials such as chalks, crayons, pens and brushes of varying size. We always allow children to discuss what they have drawn or written to encourage a love for Literacy.
Early phonics is introduced to the children after their first half term at Vita et Pax. Phonemes (Sounds) and Graphemes (Letters) are taught through rhyme, tactile phonic pots and relevant stories. We encourage our children to bring in their own objects related to the sound being taught to develop their communication skills through show and tell.
The children at Vita et Pax are given every opportunity to develop their confidence and ability with number. They are taught to count and recognise numerals through song and rhyme. Physical resources like the Numicon shapes encourage children to see the value of a number and spot simple connections, such as which number has ‘one more’ or ‘one less’. The children at Vita et Pax enjoy using the Numicon with a multisensory approach where they are encouraged to look, feel and play with the shapes. The children enjoy creating number sequences, going on number hunts and creating pieces of artwork using the shapes. The children are also encouraged to use the shapes to support them with their early addition and subtraction skills.
The children are also encouraged to develop their understanding of shape, space and measure through a holistic approach to learning where the children follow their own interests. Maths activities are developed in the home corner, builders’ yard or through sand and water play through the guidance of our educators.
Mathematics is happening daily for our young children and we suggest exciting Maths activities to our parents that can be carried out at home. For example, counting items when shopping, helping with measuring when cooking or exploring shapes in their environment. Let’s make Maths fun!
At Vita we encourage our children to talk about themselves, their culture and own experiences. When our children join our school, we ask their families to create an ‘All About Me’ book for the children to explore in class with their new peers and teachers. These books provide the children with a stimulating tool that allows them to take part in a rich discussion about their families, past and present experiences. The children are able to explore the differences and similarities of their peers when exploring each other’s books. These books are excellent tools for the class to explore different cultures and religions, where they learn the importance of respect and empathy.
We encourage the children to explore all aspects of their environment by becoming nature detectives. Using bug finders, cultivating flowers and vegetables grown in the class garden or finding fossils in the forest area allows our children to understand the important processes and changes of our natural world. Exploring the local area by going on spring walks or sending letters home to our families allows our children to understand their immediate environment and compare their environment to others in different countries.
At Vita et Pax our children use their own imagination to create pictures, designs and models. They are provided with a wide range of resources to allow them to create without hindrance. Listening to a child explain to you what they have made is a unique moment and we take time to make these moments happen. We encourage children to use their senses and explore the materials they are using, as well as being imaginative and expressive. Role play is adapted to suit the children’s interests through our vast array of resources. The children are able to role play running a car wash, helping injured animals at the vets and many other careers. The teachers at Vita et Pax listen carefully to the wants and wishes of the children and tailor the learning environment to the child’s interests.
The children at Vita et Pax are taught the Spanish language and explore Spanish culture. The teaching focuses on promoting the children’s innate ability to acquire language. There is a clear emphasis on enjoyment and sensorial input as tools for acquiring language in a natural and organic way.
The children develop the skills of speaking and listening through the use of games, traditional songs and tales, props and role-plays. Children explore the sounds of the language through songs and learn how to link the sound and the meaning of the words by singing them. Children also listen attentively to spoken language and are encouraged to show understanding by repeating the words that are being learnt in the lesson. The children have an enjoyable start to the Spanish language when they learn about farm animals, fruits and colours. Beginning with these topics allows the children to use their Spanish skills in their everyday explorative play when linking their learning to their topics on Understanding of the World or when they are exploring their expressive side through Art & Design.
At Vita Et Pax, the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing and playing a wide variety of musical genre.
Our Music lessons allow the children to develop their imagination and expression through interactions and performances with instruments and their peers. During their weekly music lessons at Vita Et Pax, our children enjoy access to a diverse and progressive curriculum that builds upon the ideas of rhythm and pitch.
We nurture the children’s love of singing and moving to the beat. We explore musical stories, celebration music, and different sounds and we learn and listen to lots of western and diverse instruments from all over the world.
Physical Education is essential, not just for a child’s physical development, but also for their academic, social and emotional growth. At Vita et Pax we aim to give our children the tools they need to develop their resilience, confidence and independence from a young age. Our progressive, broad and balanced PE programme ensures that all our children have access to, and participate in, a wide variety of sports and activities.
In the Nursery, children begin to work on their fine and gross motor skills. Co-ordination and team building are at the core of PE; negotiating space and obstacles safely with consideration for themselves and others.
In the Vita et Pax Nursery, the children are first introduced to a variety of key Bible stories such as Noah’s Ark and the birth of Jesus. The children are involved in a range of activities that enable them to think about their families and how they play a meaningful part in God’s family.
Across the academic year, the children celebrate a range of different faiths and their key festivals, including Hanukkah, Diwali and Ramadan. The children explore many aspects of other religions, making links between these and Christianity. Children within our school community of other faiths are able to lead and share their authentic experiences with their peers through a range of mediums such as dance and storytelling.
Our close connection with our local Parish, Christ the King, allows us to celebrate Mass together and build relationships with our wider community. We have visits from our Parish Priests to spend time with the children and share opportunities to ask questions about our faith.
Our Religious Education programme makes a significant contribution to children’s human and social education and promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils.
For children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, develop social skills and build and create secure relationships. Become independent learners and understand the feelings of others at times. For children to grow in confidence and develop the skill of adapting their behaviour in different situations. For children to understand the need to stay healthy and manage their own personal hygiene needs. By achieving these skills the children will develop an understanding that they can go onto achieve within the school environment and continue as they grow.
Children will be given every opportunity to discover, explore and develop their language skills, in small or large groups and independently. Children will be read to frequently and develop this skill themselves through our reading scheme. Providing a language rich environment. Children will be asked open ended questioning that will elaborate and extend their language skills.
Physical Development. Children will develop the understanding of the importance of exercise and how by having a balanced diet it helps us. Oral Hygiene will be introduced as this is seen as a vital part of a child’s health. Children will be given a variety of activities and resources to develop Gross and fine motor movements. Children will be given plenty of time and opportunity to create games that develop their Gross motor skills and use their bodies to balance, climb and negotiate space and that of the need of others. Jigsaws, threading, pegs and malleable materials will be used to develop control when children start to use writing implements later on.