At Vita et Pax we aim to immerse the children in the written and spoken language through a core text approach. Creating authentic learning opportunities where pupils are inspired by a wide variety of authors, genres and themes. Through offering these opportunities to explore a text and become fully engaged in the language, the pupils can develop their creativity and confidence in the subject. Our supportive, child-focused approach to English learning, where the curriculum is flexible and tailored to the individual needs of our pupils, means the children can take real ownership of their learning and consistently challenge themselves. Our approach to English teaching results in confident communicators, who have a wonderful thirst for excellence and desire to show their full potential in the way they communicate and express themselves with the language.
Building on the strong mathematical foundation which has been established in our Pre-Prep, our Prep pupils develop their reasoning and problem-solving ability by working through challenging worded problems. Using the Singapore approach of bar modelling, our students have the tools to visually represent multi-step problems and use them to find the solution.
Pupils are able to confidently recall multiplication facts up to the twelve times tables and establish the corresponding division sums through the use of inverse operations.
To ensure that the students are fully prepared for their 11+ examinations, our maths curriculum is covered by the end of Year 5, with the first half of Year 6 being used to revise the key mathematical topics. In order to allow our students a confident start to secondary school, they are taught a secondary transition curriculum during the second half of Year 6.
At Vita et Pax we encourage our pupils to be inquisitive in their nature, become problem solvers in the ways they see tasks and develop a thirst for knowledge. Our units in STEM allow the children to not only learn about scientific concepts, but to use them in hands-on learning with real-world applications. Linking the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths creates wonderful teaching opportunities where pupils are challenged to think critically and challenge their own ideas. Through carefully structured units that promote curiosity, leadership, problem solving, decision making and other vital attributes, the pupils are equipped with the kind of skill sets needed to succeed in their future careers.
Our aim in humanities is to provide the children with a rich palette of varied units that not only develop their understanding of the world around them, but excite and engage the pupils to have a desire to find out more about the area they are focusing on. Pupils delve deeply into units such as The Vikings, World War 2, The Normans, The Amazon Rainforest and The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Approaching learning in the subject critically and promoting deeper thinking around key areas, where pupils are challenged in their understanding and encouraged to inquire and further their knowledge. We endeavour to excite the children about a topic through a wide variety of learning opportunities in the classroom and beyond.
At Vita et Pax we foster a real passion for creativity and individuality. In art the children are encouraged to express themselves with confidence and not be afraid to take risks in both the process and outcome of their work. We learn about art from around the world; finding out about art from a wide variety of cultures, time periods and a wonderfully broad range of styles. We share the idea that art expresses ideas, emotions, views and can reflect culture and society. Children are inspired to study a range of different artists and styles, looking critically at each and not simply recreating the work but using their own individuality to come up with a piece that reflects themselves as artists.
At Vita Et Pax, the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical and current periods, 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, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and musical notation.
The children in the Prep start to learn basic music theory following the books from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. All children have the opportunity to learn the glockenspiel, learning advanced rhythms and rests in music and reading more musical notation to encompass a class musical ensemble performance at the end of the year. During the year we compose, design graphic score notations, perform to our peers and create lyrics on different themes.
As well as this, the children learn songs and hymns in our weekly hymn assembly polishing songs ready to perform in a termly Mass at the local church.
Spanish in the Prep focuses on equipping children with the skills to communicate with confidence in a foreign language.
In Years 3 and 4, children strengthen the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The children learn through the use of songs, role-play, games, interactive websites and written work. Children start to write sentences in Spanish and translate work from Spanish to English. The children also begin to take on the challenge of completing comprehensions tailored to deepen the practical use of the language taught.
From Year 5 the focus changes to preparing the children for secondary school languages. In Years 5 and 6, the children perfect the four skills through written work and high-level comprehensions. Children start to build complex sentences and complete translations from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. An emphasis is also placed on conversation to achieve fluency. Children are encouraged to communicate in Spanish at all times. To enhance the learning of the language and create inter-cultural awareness, Years 5 and 6 have lessons designed to fully immerse the children in the history, culture and traditions of Spain. Spanish films are shown and cultural traditions are explored.
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. 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 Prep, children develop skills in a vast range of areas and disciplines, including basketball, hockey, cross country and tennis. Children also are provided with the opportunity to develop their swimming skills in weekly sessions that are rotated across the year. Our pupils develop their confidence both individually and as part of a team, understanding the importance of collaboration and resilience in sporting activity.
Year 3 focuses on the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, as well as key parts of the Mass including the Offertory and the Eucharistic Prayer. Children develop
their knowledge and understanding of stories such as the Creation story and the stories
leading up to the birth of Jesus.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is explored in Year 4,
alongside the importance and role of the community in the development and celebration of our faith. Children also gain an understanding of Jesus’ ancestors, in comparison with modern role models such as Martin Luther King.
In Year 5, the children develop their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage. Stories such as the Transformation of Saul to Paul and the Ten Commandments help the children to enhance their moral compass and how to live their lives in accordance with God’s teaching.
Year 6 encompasses a range of stories that allow the children to explore their understanding of love, bearing witness to God’s testimonies and how we look to New Life. The children are introduced to the Sacrament of Ordination and the role of the Priest in our Parish community.
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 Prep continue to develop their digital literacy skills as they further explore the Microsoft applications of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Their exploration of these applications prepares the children for secondary school as well as allowing them to undertake blended learning.
Our children explore media creation when they complete our computing projects on stop-frame animation, webpage creation and 3D computer modelling. The children continue to improve on their coding skills when they begin to explore using loops and variables in their code.
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.
Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) at Vita et Pax enables our students to become healthy, independent, and responsible members of society. Within our school, the students are encouraged to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. Through this role, children develop their sense of self‐worth.
At Vita et Pax, we encourage our students to take part in a range of practical activities that promote active citizenship, e.g. charity fundraising, the planning of school events or involvement in an activity to help other individuals or groups less fortunate than themselves. Teachers organise classes in such a way that pupils can participate in discussion to resolve conflicts or set agreed classroom rules of behaviour. The school offers children the opportunity to hear visiting speakers, such as health workers, police, and representatives from the local church, who are invited into the school to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community.
In preparation for secondary school, pupils in Year 6 are given a series of Leadership roles to encourage responsibility and independence. The position of Head Boy and Head Girl play a vital role in leading their peers and working alongside the Headteacher to develop their teamworking skills. These roles enhance the pupils’ sense of belonging and self-esteem.