We are proud of the extensive curriculum on offer at Fairchildes. It is exciting and creative and prepares our pupils for the next key stage, for high school and for the world of work. We encourage our pupils to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, creative, scientific and healthy. Our children are aware of the world around them, the part they play in it and the opportunities available to them now and in the future. We believe that our pupils should be proud of their local environment, strive to be good citizens and appreciate that team work and participation makes for a better community. We want our children to have experiences beyond the school gates and the local borough, to take part in activities such as the London games and the Notting Hill Carnival. We provide an exciting broad and balanced curriculum from nursery to year 6 with full coverage of all primary school subjects, as well as many opportunities for enrichment and challenge.
Basic skills are taught every day in Literacy and Numeracy lessons in addition to discreet accuracy lessons, which are taught three times a week in Key Stage 1 and 2; focussing on grammar, spelling and punctuation. Reading and the love of books is given high priority. In September 2019, we launched our reading pioneers programme which focusses on children promoting books to their friends and classmates. In the early years and Key Stage 1 phonics is taught daily with children across both years working in appropriate phase groups. Phonics is also taught in Key stage 2 where needed. Our children love maths, not only because of the games used to improve the speed of mental recall, but because of the opportunity that maths gives children to learn new processes, to practise them and to use them creatively and critically.
Science and Design Technology are also an important part of our curriculum. We currently hold the Science Mark at gold standard and the Design kite mark! We have great links with local high schools, which allows our children the opportunity to work in science labs. There are science clubs and DT activities for everyone to take part in and each year our year 5 pupils build go-karts from scratch, with the help of an engineer, and race them against other schools on a fantastic race weekend in Rochester. Our DT curriculum also includes a great deal of cooking in our purpose-built children’s kitchen, here the children learn important skills for life.
We are fortunate to have extensive grounds at Fairchildes. We enjoy outdoor learning, have a forest area and an edible playground where we grow produce for our school kitchen.
Step into our school and you will see and hear just how creative we are. We don’t just sing, we play the recorder, the keyboards, the drums and the steel pans. Each year we produce an incredible steel band who perform at many local and regional events and shows. Many of our talented pupils are part of our tuned percussion orchestra. Our lower school and upper school choirs perform throughout the year each with more than 80 members. Even our staff have their own choir! We love performance and as well as our Christmas Show, Nativity, Talent Show and Year 6 performance, each class entertain staff, pupils and parents with a themed assembly. We have a creative arts foundation run by pupils and staff; part of their role is to highlight careers in the creative arts. Our children don’t only perform, they can work a lighting desk, can apply face paints and make up, and provide back stage support. We have an impressive art curriculum which ensures that children learn not only the skills necessary to paint, print, draw and use digital art, but also learn to appreciate the work of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and styles.
We are equally proud of our sporting achievements and believe that all children can succeed in this area. As well as twice weekly PE lessons, specialist teachers work with our pupils to improve their skills in swimming, gymnastics and dance. Children are encouraged to join one of our many school teams including; boys and girls football, netball, athletics, cross country and gymnastics. Our year 4 pupils learn to swim, many make it to our school swimming team and those who struggle are picked up again in year 6. Our triathlon team is in its second year and last year we took part in the London schools paralympics for the first time. Our children are taken to watch live sports at venues including: the velodrome, the O2 and The Oval.
Geography and history are the favourite lessons of many pupils. Alongside subject knowledge our pupils are taught the skills necessary to be successful in these areas including chronological understanding, historical enquiry, locational knowledge and map work. We have built up a great selection of books and artefacts to support learning and days such as Saxon day and Roman day give the children a taste of what life might have been like. Year 2 build Pudding Lane from boxes and then burn it down! There are regular trips to the National History Museum, Downe House, Brighton and London Zoo which further enthuse the children.
PHSE is another priority at Fairchildes. We follow the Dot Com programme, a unique syllabus that empowers children, builds their self-worth and offers a safe environment for them to have a voice. We want our pupils to grow into good citizens who can demonstrate British values. Our teachers, and knowledgeable pastoral team, have their “finger on the pulse“ when it comes to local and national issues and ensure that our pupils have the necessary knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe. In September 2020 we introduced Zones of Regulation to Fairchildes, teaching all ages of children self regulation and emotional control.
Our RE curriculum is written to fit the needs of our pupils. They learn about the main religions represented at our school through celebrations and festivals. Topics such as rules, symbols and community allow the children to build on their skills of enquiry, comparison and empathy. Lessons also ensure that our pupils have a knowledge of the cultures of the world and learn the importance of respecting others as well as themselves.
Computing is constantly changing and we ensure that our curriculum reflects these changes. We are well resourced in terms of hardware and believe that as no device does every job well, that our children should have the opportunity to work on a variety of devices, selecting the best for the job. Our curriculum ensures that our children can code, use digital literacy and make films. We also have an emphasis on keeping safe on line with regular lessons and reminders of e-safety.
French is the modern foreign language taught at Fairchildes, and whilst there is a specific curriculum for Key Stage 2, children are introduced to the language through songs and poems from the early years. We work closely with an MFL teacher from a local secondary school who is able to equip our children with the necessary skills and knowledge to help them succeed in French lessons into the next key stage.
Visits and visitors enhance our curriculum, and additional opportunities in the form of enrichment workshops and trips allow those children with a real interest and skill to develop their passion.
A wide range of after school clubs further enrich our curriculum. These change termly and include street dance, steel band, art, netball, games club, phonics and maths.
We want our pupils to love their learning, to be totally enthused, to be eager to expand their knowledge, to continually strive to improve their skills, and at all times to show tenacity!