We aim that art and design at Oratory engages and challenges our pupils. We ensure that our children come to know a range of artists through and use this work to inspire them to develop a range of knowledge and skills in order to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Through step by step tuition, our children create a broad variety of pieces, including assemblage, installations, sculptures, models, and drawings and paintings through working with a range of mediums. We teach children art history, and how to analyse paintings that they see. Through our biennial art week, the children take part in a range of group work across the school, leading to displays of their work, and the processes taken to achieve the end point.
Computing at the Oratory
Computer science teaches the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Pupils will use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content, ensuring that pupils become digitally literate at a level suitable for the future workplace. As active participants in an increasingly digital world, we teach children to use technology responsibly and safely.
Design and Technology
Oratorian Designers and Technicians
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which allows children to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
Children at Oratory Primary complete one DT project each half term. Across the academic year, they build skills in mechanical and technical DT, textiles, and food technology. The school works in partnership with Ivydale Technology College for its mechanical and technical projects, which are either linked to the science, history or geography, so that children’s learning is synchronised. The projects include the history of their chosen product, planning and evaluation. In addition to this, STEM week has heightened the children’s awareness of technology’s impact on society and employment options.
Oratorian Readers & Writers
Access to language and developing the means to communicate are the keys to expression and creativity.
Geography is a subject packed with excitement and dynamism that synthesises aspects of the world and helps us to better understand its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Geography also helps us understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards, likely and preferred futures. Underpinning all of this is a strong spatial component that deepens our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.
Year 1 Weather Watch Weeks:
Four times a year, the class will learn about the seasons in context and add to a ‘weather watch diary’ throughout the course of the academic year. They will visit Holland Park Ecology Centre to take part in interactive talks where they will learn about the reasons for the seasons, differences in weather and the changes that occur in nature with the progression of the seasons. They explore the Wildlife Area they use a spotter sheet to explore the woodland while searching for seasonal objects to add to their diaries. Each season, they will take part in a different follow up activities:
Oratory Primary Map Quest:
Map Quest is a whole school-home learning project which will take place each year in the summer term and last for two weeks. Each year group will encounter a different region of the world. So, by the time the children leave the Oratory, they will have an impressive locational knowledge of the UK, Europe and beyond.
Every day the children will be involved in a range of short activities – interactive map games, Power Point slides, puzzles etc. that can be woven into the school day. Homework during these two weeks will have a Map Quest focus. The children will bring home activities or tasks to complete with a parent to reinforce these map skills and to help build their locational knowledge of their chosen region. On the final day each child will complete a quiz and receive a certificate.
History plays an important part in our curriculum. Children enjoy learning about times gone by, and comparing lives of people in their past to their own. History enables children to learn about how the world has been shaped politically and socially, and how and why society has evolved in the way that it has.
We use a variety of strategies to support the teaching of history, and place particular importance on well chosen sources of information such as artefacts, stories, documents and photographs to support children’s acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. A rich programme of trips, visits and visitors supports our teaching, and we are particularly proud of our relationship with Westminster Archives, which enables our children to benefit from the wide variety of local resources and original documents that our local area has to draw on.
Studying a language in primary school provides children with skills that are essential for the twenty-first century. As well as giving them the opportunity to learn a second language, an increasing important skill in our globalised society, it helps to promote and develop a broader intercultural understanding. The study of a second language also helps support children’s literacy and oracy in school, raising awareness of aspects of their own language(s), thereby enriching their understanding of both. Our aim, which is at the heart of the programme of study for KS2, is to develop an enthusiastic and positive attitude to other languages and language learning. We hope to encourage a life-long learning of languages among our pupils in order to enhance their understanding of the world and their future economic well-being.
The KS2 languages programme states that teaching may be of any modern or ancient language. At Oratory we want to develop children’s experience of language acquisition and encourage curiosity about languages by focusing on a modern and an ancient language. In Years 3, 4 and 5 children study French. In Year 6 children are introduced to Latin. We hope that studying Latin will help provide the foundations for learning other foreign languages.
French vocabulary mats can be used by parents at home to support and reinforce the work done at school. Mats for term three are currently being created and will be uploaded after Easter:
The Latin grammar aid can be used at home to support children’s learning in Year 6:
Maths is essential to everyday life, necessary for future financial management and employment. It is critical to the understanding of other areas of learning, scientific and technological. A high-quality mathematical education, as well as providing a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject, provides a foundation for understanding the world.
Music is an integral part of our school’s life and it has been a vehicle for helping rebuild the wider school community following the pandemic. We are very proud of our music provision, and our relationship with the Tri Borough Music Hub, and as testament to that, we were invited to host a visit from the United States’ Secretary of State for Education, in order to share our good practice. The Music Hub are a service with a team a of qualified teachers and music professionals who are committed to supporting schools in delivering a rounded curriculum, and in supporting the music education development for all pupils. The Music Hub deliver an excellent programme of study to our pupils throughout the year, developing the children’s understanding in music appreciation, notation, and instrumental skills.
In addition to weekly music classes, our school has an active, inclusive choir, for children of all singing ability. We also offer piano, woodwind, guitar and violin lessons to our pupils.
Phonics at the Oratory
At the Oratory, children start to learn the phonics code as soon as they join our Reception class. Using the DFE approved Jolly Phonics Systematic, Synthetic Programme, children learn through actions, songs, and visual resources to support their recognition. All of the teaching and support staff at the Oratory undertake regular phonics training so they can be equipped with the skills to support early readers from Reception to Year 6.
Teachers follow our bespoke progression maps and long-term plans to ensure children make rapid progress and have the opportunity to apply their decoding skills. Learning in phonics lessons is further supported by daily interventions as well as individual reading with an adult in class and group reading once a week with the class teacher. For both group and individual reading, we use Jolly Phonics decodable reading books, which are carefully aligned with the Phonics learning in lessons. This guarantees that children are only asked to read graphemes that they have already been exposed to, and therefore are using Phonics as their primary skill for decoding. This further supports their word reading and, in turn, ensures that they are able to securely understand what is read.
As a school, we are passionate about fostering a love of reading, as well as ensuring that children’s acquisition of word reading skills is quick and secure. Therefore, every child chooses a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ picture book to take home alongside their Jolly Phonics book. This is a book to share with an adult at home and reenforces to the children the reason they are leaning to use phonics, in order to open up the world of books to them as independent readers.
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport, and embeds values such as fairness and respect. In addition, it provides opportunities for pupils to lead healthy lifestyles.
At the Oratory, we understand that reading is not only essential for independent learning, but also in developing creativity and curiosity. We aim for every child to have mastered phonics by the end of Year 1 and to become readers who search for books they are passionate about and talk enthusiastically about what they have read.
As soon as the children join us in Reception they start to learn to read using the Jolly Phonics Programme. Its songs, actions and reading books all ensure quick progress in their phonological understanding. In Reception and Year 1, the children apply phonics to their independent reading in school and at home, and their group reading with their teacher. Alongside their Jolly Phonics reading books, children choose books to read for pleasure and take them away to share with an adult at home. Therefore, by the end of Year 1, the children have mastered the Phonics code and understand that reading is both for purpose and for pleasure.
As the children move into Year 2 and then into Key Stage 2, they start to take part in Whole Class Reading sessions using the Destination Reader learning behaviours and Reading Strategies. These enable the children to become critical readers and to partake in discussions and comprehension tasks centred around a breadth of quality texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and myths and legends.
We believe in fostering a love of reading by sharing books daily, not only in reading and writing lessons, but across the school day. Children partake in daily story times form Reception to Year 6, Reading Review logs in the Juniors and Book Clubs from Year 1 to Year 6. Every year we celebrate reading during our Poetry week in the Autumn term and Book week in the Spring term.
More than anything, pupils enjoy reading and see the purpose of learning to read. Through sharing texts with adults, performing poetry and having space to read independently and with friends, children develop a love for books and an appreciation of the art.
Religious Education is a fundamental part of our school’s curriculum. We use a comprehensive and well structured R.E. programme of study which ensures that as well as a strong understanding of scripture and tradition, pupils learn how to apply the teaching of Jesus into their daily lives.
Science provides the foundations for understanding the world through biology, chemistry and physics. All pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through practical activity, they will develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.