Curriculum Overviews 2023-2024
Improvements to our Curriculum Offer
Curriculum Lead - Miss L. Nottage
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels we believe in offering our students a broad and balanced curriculum which is relevant to our pupils’ interests and needs including their emotional, socio-economical and spiritual needs. We are committed to providing opportunities for our students to flourish in a changing and increasingly complex world.
Our mission statement is, 'Excellence together with Christ at the Centre’ and our faith is at the heart of everything that we do. At the centre of education in St Anne’s & Guardian Angels lies the Christian vision of the human person: the uniqueness of the individual made in God’s image and loved by Him. Our curriculum has been designed to promote the education of the whole person, based on the belief that the human and the divine are inseparable; the education of all, especially anyone who particularly needs our help and the importance of The Common Good and moral principles, put into practice within a Christian community.
Religious education is never simply one subject among many, but the foundation of our entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of our school. By developing not only academic skills but their resilience, independence, creativity of thought, compassion and commitment to The Common Good we are preparing our students to succeed as local, national and global citizens.
Our curriculum meets national requirements and has been designed in consultation with staff and students. It has been written with close regard to the St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels Special Educational Needs Policy: Promoting Inclusion and the Updated SEND Code of Practice, 2015. At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels we work hard to ensure that all children achieve well in school and our curriculum is designed to provide access and opportunity for all who attend the school.
The social, emotional and spiritual development of pupils underpins all that we do and is developed through our teaching of P4C (Philosophy for Children), our status as a Unicef Rights Respecting School and our Pupil Chaplaincy. We are committed to the development of the whole child and we offer opportunities to broaden our students’ horizons through a robust music and arts curriculum, debating, farming club and trips and workshops which make use of links within our local community and beyond.
As a result, our pupils are happy at school and make good progress from low starting points upon entry to school. Our students are proud to be part of the St Anne’s & Guardian Angels community and we are proud to have the responsibility of nurturing them on their journeys as life-long learners.
Subject Lead - Mrs T. Renton
Religious Education is central to the life of our school. On entry into Nursery the children are taught that they are unique and special, created in the image and likeness of God.
Across the curriculum we actively look for opportunities to allow all children to flourish, encouraging children to develop and enhance their gifts and talents. In this way every child is afforded the opportunity to shine.
At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels we follow the Religious Education Curriculum Directory set out by the Bishops of England and Wales. We provide the children with rich opportunities to learn about God and their faith through our Religious Education curriculum and through links across our creative curriculum.
We also spend time learning about other faiths each year, notably Islam and Judaism. In doing so not only do we embody the call to love one’s neighbour and show respect and courtesy to our students who are practising members of other faiths but we also prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain by giving them an understanding of the beliefs of others. This improves social cohesion and increases mutual respect between those of different religions which in turn contributes to the Common Good.
Our school provides the experience of a Christian community in which young children can learn about God, share their faith and worship God. Through our Religious Education we aim to ensure that all our pupils are theologically literate in their faith whilst providing opportunities for children to flourish spiritually.
Religious Education at St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels prepares for and leads the children to worship. A deepening understanding of the faith leads them to the desire to praise and thank God for his goodness. The excellent opportunities that we offer for worship through class-led collective acts of worship, and our liturgical programme of worship, provide all members of our school community the opportunity to experience the power of the spirit of Jesus who is present when two or three gather in his name.
Follow our RE curriculum on Twitter using #REStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs A. Howick
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels we aim to promote a love of reading, writing and grammar through good teaching and a shared ethos that has at its heart high expectations for all our students. We work hard and collaborate well to deliver an English curriculum which rests on quality texts and writing stimuli that the children can relate to, enjoy and which inspire them. We want our students to become confident speakers, motivated readers and creative writers each with their own voice and flair.
In the classroom our teachers expose our students to many different genres and styles suited to their age. The students are read to and listened to reading regularly. Grammar is taught, in most instances, within the English lesson, so that the students are able to see how the written language works in a context they can engage with. Our Library is at the heart of the school and our students make the best use of it, supported by our librarian who runs book groups for students in KS2. Parents are invited to visit the library when it is their child’s turn to use the library for DEAR (‘Drop Everything and Read’) when everyone stops what they are doing to read. St Anne’s & Guardian Angels is also proactive in terms of promoting teachers’ professional development through its partnership with THEP (Tower Hamlets Educational Partnership) and in engaging with external agencies, working closely with The National Literacy Trust to deliver reading events such as the Young Readers Programme. St Anne’s & Guardian Angels is also fortunate to have a dedicated team of business reading partners. Teachers recognise the value of showing our students the sights and learning opportunities on their doorstep: trips are organised that are linked to the broader curriculum but which are often opportunities to support extended writing. Our students are pre taught and tested regularly on spelling. St Anne’s & Guardian Angels hosts its own annual Spelling Bee Competition in which everyone takes part from Reception to year 6. We attach great importance to written presentation. The cursive style of handwriting is introduced in Reception and modelled throughout the school in discreet lessons and by example.
St Anne’s & Guardian Angels students produce writing that is of a high standard and all students are supported to do the best they can. Over the years some of our older students have had considerable success in the annual LBTH Writing Competition. St Anne’s & Guardian Angels students are not afraid to stand up and speak in front of an audience in ways that can be inspirational. They are spirited individuals who want to achieve and improve. For many reading is a particular strength when they leave the school.
Follow our English curriculum on Twitter using #EnglishStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs L. Daniels
We believe reading is one of the most important skills that you can give a child. At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels we are passionate about teaching phonics to give children the skills that enable them to read fluently, interpret texts and to develop a love of reading. We aim to give all children the skills to be able to blend and segment words and to recognise ‘tricky words’ (words that they cannot sound out phonetically) by the autumn term of Year 2.
Phonics teaching in St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels follows the Letters and Sounds scheme and consists of active and engaging lessons starting in Nursery and continuing to Year 2. Throughout this time children are exposed to all the phonemes they should know for their age through whole class teaching and those that need extra support are given interventions to help them catch up to where they need to be for their age.
Children at St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels have such passion for books and reading and we want to continue to inspire them by giving them skills to enjoy books and equipment them for later life.
Follow our Phonics curriculum on Twitter using #PhonicsStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs M. Nicolaou
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels, pupils, parents and staff all recognise that being proficient in maths is a key life skill. We aim to deliver a maths curriculum which not only gives children the academic skills needed for life but an enthusiasm for this important area of the curriculum. We want children to obtain a good level of fluency but also the ability to manipulate number, solve problems and think creatively about maths in order to apply their skills to new and challenging contexts.
We firmly believe in linking the maths curriculum to concrete experiences and therefore place importance on the use of apparatus and manipulatives in all year groups. We make links with other subjects and real life experiences wherever possible and we are aware that our students have varied learning styles so we place importance on outdoor learning and take our maths lessons outside of the classroom wherever possible. Our students enjoy participating in maths tournaments and competitions including the ‘Count on Us Primary Challenge’. We think that it is important that all children have the opportunity to challenge themselves in this subject and we provide open ended tasks and allow children to self-select their own level of challenge in lessons. Our staff are reflective practitioners and we are always looking to improve our pedagogy in this area.
It is clear that children at St Anne’s & Guardian Angels love maths! They want to achieve and improve in this subject and are keen to improve themselves by selecting challenging tasks to complete in lessons.
Follow our Maths curriculum on Twitter using #MathsStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs M. Finazzi
At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels, we aim to encourage and enable pupils to develop inquiring minds and curiosity about Science and the Natural World. We strongly believe that children develop skills of scientific enquiry through designing and carrying out scientific investigations. This is the reason why we plan very practical lessons with hands on activities. In addition to the core scientific knowledge outlined in the National Curriculum, we want our pupils to develop conceptual understanding and skills to solve problems and make decisions in scientific and other contexts.
Our Science curriculum has been carefully been designed to ensure progression across the school and repetition of topics in order to provide opportunities to master Science. Our intention is that Science is linked with other subjects such as DT, Art, P.E and Mathematics. In order to support children with their learning and nurture a love for learning, trips to Museums and home projects are carefully planned.
The love for Science is promoted and enhanced by other activities such as Science Club, one of our most popular after school clubs, and Gardening Club. We have a strong relationship with Spitalfields City Farm, our local farm. We believe that through working with the local community, excitement and a real sense of purpose is brought into our school.
Our pupils have a positive attitude towards Science, they love learning about the world and the environment that surrounds them. Children particularly enjoy researching and carrying out scientific investigations. Every year, children look forward to two big events; The British Science Week and the Outdoor Classroom Day! Parents, teachers and scientists work together to plan and deliver activities which are full of excitement and purpose.
Follow our Science Curriculum on Twitter using #ScienceStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mr J. Hamilton
Sports Coach - Mr R. Bailey
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels, we acknowledge that Physical Education (PE), sport and physical activity play a unique and crucial role in the physical development, health and well-being of our children. We encourage the children to lead full and active lives through participation in a wide variety of enjoyable and inspiring physical activities in a safe and supportive environment. This includes both competitive and non-competitive sports and games.
We aim to engage, inspire and nurture every child’s physical potential through our broad and balanced physical education curriculum, that has been designed in consultation with both staff and pupils and which meets individual needs, interests and aspirations. It is intended that our children, irrespective of their innate ability, will enjoy success and be motivated to further develop their individual sporting potential.
We are committed to the physical development of the whole child and we offer opportunities to broaden our students’ horizons through quality first taught sessions. In addition, we offer an engaging amount of sports based after school clubs including Karate, Zumba, Irish dancing and football all of which are run by professional coaches. We provide swimming lessons in Year 2 to ensure that the children can swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25m using a range of strokes including front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke. As a result, our pupils are happy to participate in their P.E lessons and our afterschool clubs are oversubscribed. The children make good progress and are proud to represent our school in all sporting tournaments and events that we participate in.
Follow our PE curriculum on Twitter using #PEStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mr J. Hamilton
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels we promote physical and emotional health by providing accessible and relevant up to date information and equipping our pupils with the skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their health. We understand the importance of investing in health to assist in the process of raising levels of pupil achievement and improving standards.
We are committed to developing the teaching of Food Technology, with regards to healthy eating and all the children participate in our ‘Let’s Get Cooking Programme’ and a variety of ‘Adopt a Chef’ sessions across the school. In addition, we develop the awareness of how food is grown, with strong links to the local farm, Spitalfields City Farm and all children participate in farm club throughout the year. We aim to provide high quality P.E and school sport, promoting physical activity as part of a lifelong healthy lifestyle. This is further embedded in our encouragement of active travel to school, promoting sustainable travel and enhancing a caring ethos towards the environment.
We work in partnership with a number of organizations, which support our healthy schools program including Healthy Schools London and Transport for London. We were awarded Gold TFL Stars Accredited Award and have currently achieved Bronze Healthy Schools Award. We are now working towards the Silver certification from the same governing body of Healthy Schools London. Our healthy school aims and objectives are embedded within all aspects of school life through direct lessons, assemblies and whole school events, such as our successful ‘Bike It’ events, our daily mile run and our commitment to healthy school lunches. Through this we are supporting our children to develop into healthy, happy adults who will understand how to have a healthy lifestyle.
Follow our Healthy Schools curriculum on Twitter using #HealthySchoolsStAnnesGAE1
Humanities: History & Geography
Subject Lead - Miss L. Nottage
Our humanities curriculum, which includes history and geography, is taught in themed units which are designed to excite and interest students whilst making use of our local community where possible. We aim to not only teach children about how people live around the world and have lived in the past, but to equip them with skills which allow them to develop as inquisitive historians and geographers.
All lessons are planned to address two distinct aspects of the curriculum: key knowledge of chosen periods of history or world geography as outlined in the National Curriculum and the skills that children need to acquire to be successful historians and geographers. We have worked to develop clear progression in these skills across the school so that children develop and progress year upon year. We make use of a variety of primary and secondary sources to learn about the world as it is now and was in the past and we try to link learning with other areas of the curriculum, such as science and art, wherever possible. All year groups make use of half-termly trips to support their humanities learning. They also complete home learning projects linked to their topics which gives them the opportunity to extend their in-school learning in collaboration with parents and carers at home.
Our students leave school with a good knowledge of different historical periods and significant events in Britain’s history and love learning about the world and the city in which they live. They are able to talk about what makes a good historian or geographer and are able to apply their skills to different contexts. They are proud of the learning that they produce in these lessons.
Follow our Humanities curriculum on Twitter using #HumanitiesStAnnesGAE1
Computing & ICT
Subject Lead - Ms N. Chapple
ICT at St Anne’s & Guardian Angels involves the acquisition of computer and digital media skills and the application of these skills across the curriculum. We aim to equip children at St Anne’s & Guardian Angels with the skills needed to efficiently use the elementary functions of information and communication technologies to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information. We also have an important focus on E-Safety to encourage and equip children to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the internet in a positive and safe way.
There are focuses on different ICT skills planned for each term from Foundation stage through to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Some of these key skills include how to use Microsoft office programs, basic skills in coding and learning skills for how to build a web page.
All classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard which are used daily to assist children with their learning. There are also laptops available for classes to use during ICT lessons and for learning across the curriculum, such as researching, blogging and creating presentations for their learning. We also have a set of iPads which further extend our ICT provision for classroom use and for support learning. Children have developed confidence in their skills when using ICT and it has helped to build more enthusiasm when it comes to their learning.
Follow our Computing curriculum on Twitter using #ComputingStAnnesGAE1
Phase Lead - Mrs J. Kinchlea
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels, pupils, parents and staff all recognise that the time spent in the Early Years forms the foundations for future learning and playing. It is often their first experience of separating from their parents, coming to school, playing with new children and meeting new adults. We value the children as individuals who bring their own needs, talents and histories to the environment. It is important that we provide an environment to nurture the characteristics of playing and exploring, creating and thinking critically and encouraging active learning. So that the children gain the academic, social skills and attitudes that will last a life time. We make sure the children have the time to have uninterrupted play where they can explore and learn.
We do this by making links with the child and the world around them in our topics or themes. The environment is set up to link to these themes or topics and to encourage free play and exploration both inside and outside alongside planned activities covering the 7 areas of learning. This means children are able to independently choose activities where they can engage with other children or adults or sometimes play alone, and during these activities and experiences they learn by first-hand experience. The children are encouraged to explore and play with open-ended, hands on experiences using all their senses which arise from their own curiosity and interests. These provide the basis on which the child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out how things work. They are also encouraged to use imaginative play to understand, explore and embed ideas and to recreate experiences by taking on roles, acting out experiences, and representing experiences in their play.
We also firmly believe in providing challenge, opportunities to try new experiences and to take risks. We aim to develop children to demonstrate a “can do” attitude and to learn by trial and error and to develop resilience.
Our children are happy independent learners who make excellent progress and love coming to school and exploring their environment with their friends and the adults in the early years.
Follow our EYFS curriculum on Twitter using #EYFSStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs C. Brampton
At St Anne’s & Guardian Angels, our aim is to make our music curriculum a social, joyful and spiritual experience for all children.
The music curriculum is taught to all age groups by specialist music teachers. Children are encouraged to understand, listen, compose, discuss and create music through singing and through playing a range of musical instruments.
In Key Stage 2 children learn Descant Recorder. In Year 3 all children are taught a stringed instrument: cello or violin. The uptake of clubs for these instruments in years 4, 5 and 6, highlights how much the lessons are enjoyed. Each year they play in an amazing concert with musicians from other schools within the borough. This is part of the Thames Music Project. The Junior Choir learn a wide repertoire of songs and perform regularly both in and out of school, giving pleasure to performers and audiences alike. Parents are invited to attend recitals and concerts to celebrate pupils’ talents and achievements. In addition, we have a close relationship with Tower Voices. This outside agency gives training to a range of year groups. The children thoroughly enjoy the songs they learn, and the resulting performances always sound incredible. They showcase their work alongside other schools in a range of venues. Both pupils and parents say how fantastic these concerts are.
We also work with other projects such as The City of London Sinfonia. This company inspire KS1 children’s interest in classical music by introducing them to orchestral instruments and classical repertoire through creative music making and performance. Plays and concerts are presented at Christmas, Easter and at the end of the summer term. The audiences are always packed and thoroughly enjoyed by all parents, pupils and staff.
Follow our Music curriculum on Twitter using #MusicStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Mrs C. Brampton
Here at St Anne’s & Guardian Angels, art is celebrated throughout the school and we are deeply committed to developing our pupils’ creativity and interest in the Arts. Through the teaching and learning of historical, cultural and modern art, design technology, food technology and drama we aim to provide children with the skills needed to be reflective and adept in the Arts and to ignite a passion in a specific form of art that can be further explored later on in their education.
The teaching and learning of the Arts is integrated into our creative curriculum, and are based on the topics each class is learning, so that pupils are able to clearly see how skills from the Arts are transferrable to other subject areas such as maths, science, computing, humanities and English. Pupils are taught a sequence of skills that would help them complete the final product, in which the product brief relates to real life situations, to a high standard. We also have a variety of dance, drama and cooking after school clubs to further support and develop our pupils’ interests and skills in the Arts.
Our pupils remain engaged, inspired and challenged in the Arts and are knowledgeable and confident enough to invent, experiment, take risks in their learning and persevere. They are also able to critically evaluate their work and the work of others by drawing on prior knowledge.
Follow our Arts curriculum on Twitter using #ArtsStAnnesGAE1
P4C: Philosophy for Children
Subject Lead - Mrs C Phelan
Philosophy for Children offers a way to open up children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration of ideas. Children learn that their ideas have value, and that the ideas of other children have value too. Through Philosophy for Children they realise that they don’t always have to be right, but they gain the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
The path of discussion is guided by the children’s thoughts and ideas, agreeing and disagreeing, but always giving a reason for their point of view. The children learn to think before they speak and give reasons for what they say. They learn to value their own views and the views of others and children learn the skill of negotiation. Philosophy for Children influences other areas of the curriculum, by providing ideas for creative writing, encouraging a ‘culture’ for enquiry in all areas of learning. It impacts positively on children’s personal skills, and behaviour in the playground and encourages independence.
Follow our P4C curriculum on Twitter using #P4CStAnnesGAE1
Equality and Inclusion
Subject Lead - Mrs P. Harrison
St Anne’s & Guardian Angels prides itself in offering PSHCE education that enables pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and qualities needed to understand the world around them and equip them to become responsible members of society. Here, pupils learn about matters surrounding their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development. They also learn about key themes such as personal wellbeing, safeguarding, the local community and strategies to empower them positively and effectively handle the experiences and responsibilities they may face later in life.
We have worked hard to ensure that our PSHCE curriculum is rich and varied. We have done this by ensuring PSHCE is incorporated into all areas of the curriculum and is taught as a standalone lesson and alongside other subject areas such as ICT and Science. To further enrich the teaching and learning of PSHCE, especially the learning of children’s rights, community cohesion and global learning, we have taken part in the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools initiative and have achieved the silver award as a result. For pupils who require further social and emotional support, we run Rainbows counselling sessions and nurture groups that offer pupils the opportunity to speak to trained adults about any concerns they have. Through P4C pupils are also taught the skills needed to debate about a topic of their choice learn to respect the views of others. P4C topics are specifically chosen to link with PSHCE topics so pupils can explore themes such as exploitation, drug use and protection from harm and neglect.
Our pupils really value their PSHCE learning and understand the effect their behaviour and attitude may have on those around them. Pupils at St Anne’s & Guardian Angels effectively build self-esteem, resilience and empathy and are able to identify potential barriers to their learning and use learnt strategies to overcome them.
Follow our PSHCE curriculum on Twitter using #PSHCEStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead -
At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels we value the different languages our wider, multicultural family hold. In KS2 we teach Spanish as our chosen Modern Foreign Language.
We listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding. The pupils are taught to engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others and seek clarification and help.
By reading carefully and showing understanding of words, phrases and simple writing children can further develop their skills. Our children broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.
Through writing, children learn to write phrases from memory and adapt these to create new sentences, expressing their ideas clearly. We further develop pupil’s skills by helping describe people, places, things and actions in speech and in writing.
Our skills are clearly taught so that our children are confident articulate and well equipped to further continue their language skills in Secondary school and beyond.
Follow our Spanish curriculum on Twitter using #SpanishStAnnesGAE1
Subject Lead - Ms V. Laxton
Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. We give learners regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is that they need to do better. This allows us to base lessons on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. We give parents regular written and verbal reports on their child’s progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working together to raise standards for all our children.
At St. Anne’s & Guardian Angels we will continue to use formative assessment practices as part of class teachers ongoing assessment practices; these are part of Assessment for Learning (AfL) which are part of teaching and learning within the classroom using a combination of questioning and feedback. Our aim is that assessment is effective, consistent and accurate in providing information about the progress of pupils to all of our stakeholders.