In the infants the curriculum is wide and balanced to stimulate and encourage learning and great emphasis is placed on achieving a sound understanding of reading, writing and number work.
To have a look at individual departments please click on the departmental links below.
At Stanfield we pride ourselves in the quality of artwork that our children produce. We foster an appreciation of the subject by introducing pupils to creative and stimulating experiences which develop their aesthetic awareness and enquiring minds.
By developing children’s understanding of colour, form, texture, pattern and their ability to use materials and processes to communicate ideas, feelings and meanings, they can better explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craft people and designers. We help them learn about different roles and about the function of art, craft and design in their own lives and in different times and cultures and encourage them to learn how to make thoughtful judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions concerning their work.
At Key stage 1, the children are encouraged to explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes and will begin to understand and use colour, shape, pattern and texture to represent their own ideas and feelings.
They will also focus on the work of artists, crafts people and designers and will learn by asking and answering questions like; ‘What is it like?’ ‘What is it made from?’ ‘What do I think and feel about it?’
Art & design also allows children to increase their critical awareness of the roles and purpose of art in different times and cultures and at all levels, links are made across the curriculum, especially, English, Mathematics, ICT, History, Geography and Design and Technology
Design & Technology
This is an exciting and vital area of the school curriculum. The key aim of Design Technology is to “learn how to contribute toward and intervene creatively and constructively to improve the made world in a rapidly changing technological society”. (DATA)
Design Technology fosters learning through doing and provides an excellent basis for enhancing and consolidating work in other areas of the curriculum. Design Technology draws on skills from the Art, Science and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Curriculum. Our children are involved in a variety of different projects, often linked to topic work. Presently Art is used as a vehicle for the teaching of Design Technology. We are currently reviewing, re-designing and extending our DT curriculum as part of the school’s on-going evaluation and forward development.
Group work is a feature of our Design Technology lessons. Children are encouraged to work collaboratively on projects. This fosters personal, social and emotional life skills, giving the opportunity to listen to, appreciate and support peers. As well as experiencing DT within the taught curriculum, children in Year Two have the opportunity to plan, design, test and evaluate products during Construction Club; a weekly extra- curriculum activity.
English is the foundation for almost all learning which takes place in our school. Its mastery empowers the learner and is essential for independent learning, the world of work and most aspects of everyday life. In addition to approximately 5 hours of English lessons a week, children enjoy reading time and drama. Topics covered in school are reinforced for homework. Children develop their reading skills by working through the reading scheme (Ginn, All Aboard, Soundstart and ORT) at their own pace. Children are also encouraged to use the class libraries and to enjoy reading a variety of text.
Reception – Phonics work is based on Jolly Phonics. The reading scheme is supported with comprehension cards and workbooks. These start orally. Children begin emergent writing with an emphasis on correct letter formation. Copywriting and free writing of news also forms part of the early writing experience. Spelling comprises of simplified lists from the summer term. This has aided transition to Y1.
Year 1 – Focus on Literacy forms the core of the syllabus. The children complete workbooks and much of their creative writing is inspired by topics covered in Focus on Literacy. Children write weekly news including writing about trips, visitors and events. High frequency spellings are learnt and Just Spelling is introduced.
Year 2– Letts Literacy is used as a basis for grammar and comprehension. Focus English is the basis for much creative writing. Just Spelling continues as the focus for spelling.
Geography at Stanfield plays a very important part of the curriculum from Reception through to year 6.
We aim to give the pupils as many hands on experiences of the world around them as possible, as this is the most effective and memorable way of learning. Just some of the field trips the children experience include: An Environmental Trail at the Catalyst Museum in Widnes; Southport Eco-Centre, a guided tour of Roman Chester city centre; Formby Point and Pine Woods, Crosby waterfront with Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’, Liverpool’s Albert Dock and a local supermarket visit to find out about foods from around the world!
At Key Stage One, Geography focuses primarily on developping the pupils knowledge of local area, as well as the United Kingdom. However, having created an excellent overseas link with Hope Preparatory School in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, all pupils learn in depth about this developing country too. Through this, the children are able to see how they can help change the lives of others in one of the poorest countries in the world, through their own charitable events, in addition to learning about the lifestyles of the pupils through the letters that the school pupils exchange. In 2017, we were able to completely fund the construction of a brand new school building for the pupils and teachers of Hope Preparatory, of which they (and we) are very proud.
In addition, the pupils learn about looking after our local environment through the Eco-Council, which is led by the pupils themselves. We have recently achieved the prestigious ‘Green Flag Status’ for all our hard work over the years. Within lessons, infant pupils learn about the importance of reducing, re-using and recycling, as well as how to take care of our school environment.
Teaching geography today is so much more visual and awe-inspiring with the use of the Internet, amazing video images and the interactive whiteboards. We aim for the children to enjoy Geography and want to become independent in their own learning to find out more about their world!
In teaching history at Stanfield we aim to:
- provide children with a stimulating experience of history, which may form the basis of a life long interest.
- Enable children to gain an understanding of the past in relation to themselves, their families, their community and the wider world.
- Encourage awareness that the evidence of history is all around us and has shaped the world as it is today.
- Develop a questioning approach to history and an awareness that a variety of evidence and sources may be used to interpret the past.
- Encourage an awareness of the influence of historical context on other subjects such as art, music, literature and science
The programme of study begins in the Foundation Stage, where children begin to learn the concept of chronology by finding out about past and present events relevant to themselves and their families.
At Key Stage One children learn about various aspects of social history, including toys in the past, homes and domestic life in the past, and seaside holidays. They look at the lives of some famous people from history such as Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and George Stephenson, and some significant events such as The Great Fire of London. At this stage the children are learning how to use historical evidence. They are beginning to identify differences and similarities between past and present, and learning to distinguish fact from fiction. The subject is brought to life through a wide variety of books, pictures, videos and artefacts.
During history lessons, children have an opportunity to learn through a variety of methods. They listen, question and discuss. They research information from artefacts and use written, video and internet sources. They also take part in stimulating visits such as those to Chester and Rufford Old Hall. Cross curricular links into English, Art and other subjects are developed where appropriate.
In teaching RE at Stanfield we aim to develop in the children:
- A sense of wonder and respect for the world.
- Confidence in their own sense of identity.
- A willingness to recognise a variety of religious responses, including a respect for the practice and non practice of religion.
- An ability to acknowledge ambiguity and controversy.
- A willingness to discuss religious issues openly and to accept a diversity of practice.
- An understanding of the implications of commitment.
The programme of study begins at the Foundation Stage where children are encouraged to respect the views of others. They also listen to stories from a variety of religions, and take part in multi faith celebrations such as Christmas and Diwali.
At Key Stage 1 the children look at a number of themes across a variety of faiths. These include families and relationships, sacred books, the idea of new life, and customs and celebrations.
During RE lessons children have an opportunity to discuss and debate, to handle artefacts, and to learn from written, video and ICT resources. Cross curricular links are sometimes developed with other subjects such as art, English, drama and PSHE
We are fortunate to have an extremely well equipped ICT Suite, it encompasses PC’s, laptops, surface pros and iPads. Each class has a weekly lesson with a computer teacher and the junior girls are able to make use of the facilities at lunchtime in computer club.
The ICT\Computing Curriculum is organised into three distinct areas:
- · Digital Literacy
- · Information Technology
- · Computer Science
We aim to:
- · Equip pupils with the technological skill to become independent learners
- · Provide a relevant, challenging and enjoyable curriculum for all pupils
- · Enable them to work collaboratively on a project or other activity
- · Experience IT and computing in a stimulating and creative way
- · Teach pupils how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and how to report concerns in a range of ways
- · Equip pupils with the understanding that information placed online leaves a trail or digital footprint
- · To enhance learning in other areas of the curriculum using ICT and Computing
- · To respond to new developments in technology
When communicating online and in line with Fundamental British Values, pupils are encouraged to
- Respect others and to show appreciation and respect of other peoples religion and culture
- Develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- To accept responsibility for their behaviour and know how to contribute positively to other people’s lives
- To distinguish right from wrong
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way” – Frank Smith
Modern foreign language classes with a language specialist are an essential part of our pupils’ education here at Merchant Taylors’ Primary School. Learning a language other than English not only provides our children with a means of communicating with people from all over the world, but also allows them to expand their own cultural horizons and explore the world around them.
Our school is unique in that all infant pupils now receive tuition in Spanish. Reception pupils have two blocks of lessons throughout the year to introduce them to the concept of the language, whilst Year 1 and 2 boys and girls have a weekly formal Spanish class. These interactive and fun lessons, focussing primarily on speaking and listening skills, enable the children to develop their confidence with the target language from early on. These lessons also provide the building blocks of language learning that pupils can use regardless of which languages they move on to learn in the future.
All junior girls have weekly lessons in French. Building on their skills developed as linguists from the infants, junior French lessons focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in the target language. Alongside language knowledge and ability, a strong emphasis is placed on cultural learning as we explore the French-speaking world together. New pupils to the juniors do not need to worry if they have not previously studied French. New and exciting topics are covered each term, with the fundamentals being constantly revisited to meet all levels of language ability in the class. These lessons remain fun, interactive and topical by covering subjects relevant to the girls’ daily lives, however junior pupils are also continually assessed in their proficiency. This guarantees that when they leave us at the end of Year 6, our pupils have had the best possible start to their language learning journey and have developed a love of languages that will stay with them for life.
To maximise their exposure to other foreign languages, Year 6 pupils also have the opportunity to join Mandarin and Spanish lunch time clubs, whilst Year 3 boys and girls from both schools can now further their Spanish learning from the infants with a dedicated collaborative lunch time club. Outside of lessons and clubs, languages are regularly celebrated in our school. Events such as ‘European Day of Languages’ allow all pupils, particularly our EAL (English as an Additional Language) students, to celebrate the other languages that they may speak in or outside of school.
The mathematics curriculum in MTPS Junior Department is taught on a subject basis and pupils are set by ability from Year 3. Mathematics is taught for a minimum of 5 hours per week. A scheme of work based on the National Curriculum is used to provide a framework for teachers at MTPS, but this is extended and supported by a range of other materials, which are taken from different schemes. Wherever possible, practical application of mathematical principles is encouraged.
Mathematics lessons provide opportunities for the girls to:
- Implement their growing range of mathematical skills
- Use appropriate language to express mathematical ideas and relationships
- Develop the mathematical understanding to apply known skills in new contexts
- Acquire the flexibility, independence and powers of reasoning to enable them to think abstractly and to select and use their skills effectively
- Apply mathematics to support their understanding of the transactions and decisions of everyday life.
- Employ ICT skills by using spreadsheets to organise, manipulate and display numerical data
Homework is used to support the mathematics taught in lessons through specific tasks set by the teacher as reinforcement or development of work undertaken in lessons.
Assessment takes place at three connecting levels:
- Short term Informal part of every lesson to ensure children have grasped the main teaching points through: Questioning Observation Oral work Written work
- Medium term Recorded progress based on:
- Weekly skills tests
- Long term Pupils assessed through: End of term/year examinations
Mathematical progression for each child will be reported to parents via: Parent/teacher interviews to be held in the Autumn and Spring Terms. An annual written report to parents in the Summer Term.
Extra-curricular Maths Mathematics Clubs are held for Junior pupils where they can reinforce skills, play mathematical games and have the opportunity to extend previously learned principles and tackle more challenging topics and investigations. Each year the more able Year 5 and Year 6 pupils are given the opportunity to take part in the National Primary Maths Challenge (aimed at Years 5 and 6) and the National Junior Maths Challenge (aimed at Years 7 and 8).
Our aim is for all children to enjoy music making and to experience as wide a range of musical activities as possible. Music is an important part of life at Stanfield, with even the youngest children in Early Years, having a weekly lesson from a music specialist.
All the children perform in the schools’ Christmas productions. Each of the Infant year groups performs a musical play to their parents. A lovely tradition has developed whereby the Reception children also perform theirs in a Girls’ Senior School assembly. The girls in the Junior department come together to perform either a Christmas concert or a Christmas musical. Some of the works they have done include A Little Match Girl, Hosanna Rock, A Caribbean Christmas and Journey to Bethlehem.
Extra Curricular Music
Extra Curricular Music includes:
The school orchestra comprises children from Years 2 to Year 6 with pupils from both here at Stanfield and also the Boys’ Junior School.
The Recorder club is open to girls in Year 3
The Handbell group and Percussion club are open to girls in Years 5 & 6
Little Choir for Year 1 & 2
Junior Choir for Years 3 & 4
Senior Choir for Years 5 & 6
The students sing a varied repertoire ranging from sacred songs through to folk songs and songs from shows and musicals, and the girls in Year 6 have performed for local groups including The Crosby Stroke Association and Jopsice.
For the past two years the Senior Choir has sung at St Faith’s Church Christmas Tree Festival and also as part of their summer series of recitals. In the past, both the Junior and Senior choirs have competed – and won – the classes they have entered in The Crosby Festival of Music and Dance. The Senior choir has also appeared on Granada Today and undertaken two foreign musical tours to Paris and The Netherlands respectively.
On two occasions the Senior has been invited, as the only school choir present, to take part in the Clatterbridge Cancer Research Charity Christmas Carol concerts. The pupils have really enjoyed the experience of singing to very large audiences in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.
The Senior choir have also performed with The Halton Orpheus Choir, The Warrington Musical Society, soloists from The Royal Northern College of Music and orchestral ensemble in two performances of John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.
The school offers peripatetic music lessons in
- Violin, Cello, Double Bass
- Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe
- Trumpet, Tenor Horn
These lessons are with a fully qualified peripatetic team of staff and are an optional extra to the music taught as part of the school curriculum. Lessons are arranged in consultation with the class teachers and given either in break times, where possible, or on a rota basis so that the same children do not miss the same lesson each week. The children are entered for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams (and London College of Music for singing) when they are deemed ready by the staff.
We hold an annual music competition in school judged by an outside adjudicator. As many children as possible are encouraged to enter (there were over 150 entries for last year’s competition) as we believe that it is important to give children the opportunity to have a platform to perform alone or as part of a small group. Winners, and other good performers, of the different classes are then able to perform to parents and guests of the school in a concert. The pupils are also encouraged to compose their own music for the competition which they can do either individually or as part of a small ensemble.
Here at Stanfield we keep our infants extremely busy! We take the general fitness of the children seriously and throughout the year a proportion of every lesson is devoted to general fitness -well disguised in the form of vigorous running and chasing games.
During the winter months all the children (even the 4 year olds!) learn Hockey and Netball as well as doing gym and apparatus. In Spring this changes to Tennis and Athletics.
Throughout the year the children take part in games to promote hand/eye coordination using a variety of specialised equipment. This gives the children the foundation they need for games they will take up in the junior and senior schools.
Infant sports day is always eagerly awaited, and provides competitive races, both team and individual. It also gives the opportunity for every child to take part in demonstrations of hockey; tennis and netball giving parents an insight into the activities the children have taken part in over the school year and a chance for their children to show their individual achievements.
PSHE and Citizenship contributes to all aspects of the school curriculum, by helping give pupils the skills, knowledge and understanding to lead confident, healthy independent lives and to be informed, active and responsible citizens.
- A minimum of thirty minutes a week is allocated in the timetable to the specific teaching of PSHE and Citizenship. However, in addition, opportunities to teach PSHE and Citizenship are taken throughout the school day, in areas such as:
- Other subjects in the curriculum,
- Whole school and department assemblies,
- Conduct and interaction on the playground
- The role of the school council [e.g fundraising for local, national and international charities.
In close liaison with Parents and Governors, the School Nurse is closely involved in teaching the older students about puberty as part of the Sex and Relationships Policy in PSHE lessons
At Stanfield, we believe that Science should be an exciting, practical and ‘hands-on’ subject and we endeavour to foster an air of exciting discovery where children are well motivated and enthusiastic about science within school and its application in the wider world. We aim to capture the natural curiosity of children as they find out about the world they live in through first hand experience in a climate which encourages curiosity, perseverance, open-mindedness, critical reflection and co-operation. We believe that all pupils of this school must have regular access to Science appropriate to their age and stage of development and that emphasis should be given to this subject as a ‘core’ subject.
Science is not always taught in isolation and will naturally draw from and contribute towards other areas of the curriculum. Science within the timetable is taught for 1 hour 30 minutes per week from Years 1 to 6 and is an on-going integral part of the Knowledge and Understanding element in the Foundation Stage. Science is appropriately taught for pupils of all abilities, enabling each individual pupil the chance to succeed to his/her maximum potential. We will employ a range of teaching methods, problem solving and open-ended investigation.
Many educational visits have science-based objectives. For example, Year 1 visit Techniquest Science Discover Centre and Norton Priory, Year 2 visit The Hat Museum and The World of Glass Museum, Year 4 and 5 visit The Catalyst Museum and Freshfield Nature Reserve. Visits from outside companies also deliver science topics through drama and music, such as Quantum Theatre for Science.
Children undergo formative assessment through pupil observation, questioning, discussion and oral presentations, and summative assessment through structured worksheets, written or verbal feedback on work and through results of computerised LCP tests taken at the end of each unit.