At Vita et Pax, the children explore a range of literary techniques through the use of a core text approach. Skills such as comprehension, grammar and punctuation are linked to the text to ensure that all aspects of the National Curriculum are covered effectively. Different stories, poems and non-fiction books allow the children to identify patterns and themes, building upon these to create their own imaginative writing pieces.
A diverse selection of texts is carefully chosen to ensure that these not only reflect the experiences of our pupils, but open them up to new worlds and offer an age-appropriate level of challenge; encouraging accelerated progress within their English learning. From role-play and storytelling to poetry recital and debating, the children develop in confidence to share and celebrate their work with their peers.
We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to enhance pupil fluency, comprehension and decoding skills within their reading; enabling children to access a variety of literature that provides access to a plethora of genres as well as promoting a love of reading.
Phonics is incorporated throughout our English teaching, encompassing the Ruth Miskin scheme to ensure that all children become confident and familiar with letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes). This is embedded within reading as well as stand-alone lessons that develop the children’s decoding, segmenting and blending skills.
Our students mathematical journey starts with the introduction of numbers and their corresponding value. Through the use of Numicon, pupils are able to perform simple addition and subtraction. Our EYFS students also have the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of mathematics such as measuring or weighing objects and identifying a range of shapes in their stimulating environment.
At Vita et Pax, we have also introduced an accelerated learning approach which enables our Reception students to build on their strong mathematical foundation from Nursery and make an earlier start on our Inspire Maths scheme.
From Reception to Year 2, our pupils consolidate their core mathematical skills using the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach. By the end of Year 2, pupils have developed their arithmetic skills and mathematical fluency.
At Vita et Pax, STEM includes the exploration of a variety of concepts within science, technology, engineering and maths. Children are taught to be inquisitive and think critically; using their investigative skills to question what they observe and build upon their scientific understanding to challenge their ideas. A hands-on approach is applied to allow pupils to apply their learning to real life contexts. STEM lessons encourage teamwork, decision making and problem solving to enable children to develop their knowledge in a variety of areas including human interactions with animal habitats and natural phenomenon such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
Humanities lessons at Vita et Pax encompass learning across both Geography and History. Pupils explore a variety of historical developments and eras to enable them to identify similarities and differences between the past and the present, as well as looking ahead to the future. Children develop a range of skills such as map reading, understanding key physical features and exploring their local area in comparison with other locations. Humanities provides opportunities for pupils to question the world around them, expanding their knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments.
At Vita et Pax, our Art lessons explore a range of mediums and artistic styles. The children are exposed to the artwork of a plethora of different artists, learning about their influences and using this to produce their own interpretation of these pieces. Children experiment with colour, texture and design to allow their creative skills to flourish. Individuality is encouraged and celebrated through the artwork that is produced, with pupils building upon previous pieces to develop and expand upon their artistic knowledge, skills and understanding.
At Vita Et Pax, the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing and evaluating across a wide variety of styles, traditions, and musical genres.
Our music lessons allow the children to develop fundamental abilities such as: self-expression, self-reflection, self-confidence, recognising and celebrating as well as allowing interaction and performance with and awareness of others.
During their weekly music lessons at Vita Et Pax, our children enjoy access to a diverse and progressive curriculum that builds upon all inter-related dimensions of music including pulse, rhythm, pitch, and timbre.
In the Pre-Prep, we all have the opportunity to learn the recorder and piano, reading and learning simple notation and developing a sense of rhythm and playing as an ensemble. We also explore pitch, rhythm, timbre and various genres of music through differing topics and body percussion.
Spanish in the Pre-Prep focuses on building children’s innate curiosity about the world around them. There is a clear emphasis on enjoyment and participation for the children to develop a taste for the language and the Spanish culture.
In Reception, children develop the skills of speaking and listening through the use of traditional songs and tales, props, games, role-plays and interactive websites. Children start to play with the basics of communication learning how to say the basic communicational phrases of ‘What is your name?’ and ‘How are you?’.
In Years 1 and 2, apart from the speaking and listening skills, children also start to develop the skills of reading and writing through interactive websites, traditional tales and quizzes. Children begin to make sound-spelling links and start to acquire vocabulary that allows them to communicate in everyday life situations. The children revel in learning how to order their favourite ice cream from an ice cream shop.
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 Pre-Prep, children have the opportunity to build upon their existing skills to allow them to develop an understanding of a range of sport disciplines. This includes gymnastics, athletics and ball games such as football.
In Reception, the children build upon their foundational knowledge of Bible stories. Pupils begin to identify symbols and items that are used in the Church, as well as discussing their own ideas around their actions in relation to God’s teaching.
Year 1 introduces the Sacrament of Baptism, as well as the roles and responsibilities that exist within our Parish. The children also learn about key stories such as the Last Supper and the symbols that are associated with Pentecost.
In Year 2, the children build upon their developing understanding of Baptism, in addition to the parts of the Mass, including many of the items found in the Church. Key stories such as the events of Palm Sunday and the Ascension into Heaven are also explored.
At Vita et Pax, our aim is that every child will leave our school as a digitally literate and SMART user of technology. Vita et Pax pupils will end their time with us being confident coders with the ability to program and control using a variety of different software. They will also be able to communicate their ideas effectively through a range of multimedia tools.
The children in our Pre-prep have the opportunity to discover how different types of media are created on a computer as they come across our topics of digital writing, painting, photography and music making. The children begin their journey of being confident coders in Year one, when they begin to learn the coding language of Scratch. Using this coding language, the children are taught how to create animations and design interactive quizzes.
Finally, the safety of our children is paramount both offline and online. During computing sessions, the children are made aware of the dangers they may face in the online world. The children are taught to be safe by following the SMART online rules.
In EYFS, PSHE is taught as an integral part of the curriculum which is covered during the year. Lessons are based around mastering some of the Early Learning goals. A further understanding is supported throughout EYFS through ‘how to develop a child’s knowledge’ and ‘understanding of the world’.
Building on the solid foundation achieved in Reception, our students experience a variety of trips, assemblies, visiting speakers, circle time, charity days and an active School Council. This raises the pupils’ awareness of the environment, religious practices, racism, bullying, online safety, world poverty, healthy lifestyles and helps our pupils achieve personal goals.
Our pupils are taught about rights and responsibilities and learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse, multicultural society through demonstrating British Values.