The Curriculum at a Glance
At Park, we believe that children are entitled to the highest quality education, which enables all children to achieve their full potential, and so prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of future life. The curriculum is the main vehicle by which children are provided with learning experiences.
The curriculum allows for pupils to learn about the achievements of other cultures, including those outside Europe. Teachers strive to enrich the curriculum with an appropriate balance of work by authors, speakers, artists, scientists etc. from other cultures.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum provides a broad guide for the curriculum of both the Preparatory Senior School. This is reflected in our schemes of work. However, as an Independent school, we are able to select aspects that we feel are best suited to the needs of our pupils and to supplement these with our own ideas largely determined by the expertise and interests of the staff.
We no longer offer SATS in the Preparatory School as we feel these are too prescriptive and stifle the creative nature of our curriculum. The students do however do CAT tests in Years 3 and 6 as way of tracking and monitoring pupil progress. In the Senior School, pupils in Years 7 and 9 also do CAT tests and pupils take public examinations at the appropriate times in Year 11.
The programme of study in the Early Years conforms to the national guidelines for the EYFS.
Clubs are valued at Park School as a way of providing the students with the opportunity to experience a variety of activities that help develop the heart, mind and soul.
- Board Games
- Speed Walking
- Touch Typing
- First Aid
- Board Games
- Table Tennis
ICT lessons begin from Reception and are compulsory until Year 9, reflecting our commitment to providing students with the tools to live in the 21st century.
The ability to celebrate and enjoy the diverse nature of music from different cultures forms a fundamental part of our ethos and students from Reception to Year 9 also have one period of music a week.
PSHEC plays an important part in the development of the pupils as well as providing a vehicle by which we help the pupils become well rounded and happy individuals. Although PSHEC lessons are allocated a specific time slot within the timetable throughout the school, we recognise that PSHEC is very much a cross-curricular subject, and is valued in all areas of school life it is therefore included, where appropriate, in other areas of the curriculum.
For the Preparatory School a programme called Jigsaw is followed which provides a whole school approach, beginning in Reception, it is a progressive and effective scheme of work aiming to prepare children for life, helping them to value and know who they truly are and understand how they relate to other people in the ever changing world.
In the Senior School the form tutors of Years 7 and 8 deliver the PSHEC programme to their forms, whilst the Head of PSHEC delivers the programme for Years 9 – 11.
PE is a key aspect of the curriculum and compulsory throughout the School.
Students from Reception to Year 8 have 3 periods of PE a week. Years 5 and 6 use two of these lessons to go swimming at Fulwell Cross.
Students in Years 7 and 8 go off site for two periods to the Frenford Sports Centre. Year 9 have a double period a week and also attend Frenford, activities include: netball, dance, basketball, badminton, rounders and fitness.
Students in Years 10 and 11 have a double lesson of sport a week and attend the Redbridge Sport Centre. Activities include use of the gym suite, trampoline, netball and badminton.
The Preparatory School
In our Reception class the children follow the revised Early Years Foundation Stage which has clear targets for the children to reach as they complete this phase of their learning journey and then enter Key Stage One. The curriculum focuses on early literacy and numeracy skills as well as investigative skills and learning through play; together with the development of personal, emotional and social skills and the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around us.
The curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2 at Park School for Girls, is designed to provide our students with new knowledge, in line with the National Curriculum, offering enriching experiences and varied opportunities that enable them to become confident, lifelong learners. A knowledge based approach allows students to apply and deepen their understanding of the wider world around them, enhanced through carefully planned trips and visitors to the school. Teaching tends to be class-based. This enables the pupils to have the continuity offered by their class teacher. Students are taught by subject specialists in P.E., French, and Music from Reception, from Year 3 they are also taught Spanish. In Years 5 and 6 students are taught one period a week by subject specialists in English, Maths and science from the Senior School. As well as the obvious academic benefits, this also prepares pupils for moving to the Senior School, where a greater degree of independence and personal organisation is required, this can be learned in the nurturing environment of our school.
The Senior School Curriculum
Students are taught a broad range of subjects, providing them with opportunities to develop their potential. Students are taught by subject specialists in every department; Art, English, Geography, History, ICT, MFL [French and Spanish] Maths, Music, Religious Studies, Science.
Students in Years 7 and 8 study general science, from Year 9 students are taught separate science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, in order to prepare them for the demands of GCSE.
The programme for Park School students entering Year 10 will comprise of three areas of study/activity:
- Examined subjects to be studied at GCSE
- English Language
- English Literature
- A modern language, French or Spanish
- Combined Science [double award]
Optional Subjects [choice of 3]
- Art & Design
- Business Studies
- Computer Science
- MFL – French
- MFL – Spanish
- Physical Education
- Separate Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Setting takes place in the Senior School in Mathematics from Year 7 to Year 11. Pupils are placed in two groups on entry using available data to assess their capabilities. We are always mindful, however, of pupils’ confidence and any decision to move a child is given careful consideration, and consultation with the pupil concerned.
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