In the Junior Department at CIS, we currently have five classes named after seas - Arafura (Year 3), Aegean and Andaman (Y4), Adriatic (Y5) and Arabian (Y6). In the Juniors, we build on and extend the work and experiences that the children have in the Infant Department. There is an emphasis on fun and experiential learning where each child is valued for their individual skills and contributions.
In terms of Maths and English, we follow the UK National Curriculum where daily lessons are tailored closely to the needs of the children. In Maths, children continually revisit the key areas of Number, Measurement and Geometry. Teachers use a range of methods including tactile resources and ICT. In English, also taught daily, we use a range of resources and teaching methods with a particular focus on ‘Talk for Writing’ which encourages the children to deepen their understanding of a range of text types through orally rehearsing them and then using a structure to develop their own. The children also consolidate their knowledge of punctuation, grammar, phonics and spelling skills through lessons within and across their year group.
For our Topic work which covers the areas of Science, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology we follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Here we use a thematic approach having, for example, either a history focus, such as the topic ‘Treasure’, a Science focus with the topic ‘Feel the Force’ or an Art focus with ‘Paintings, Pictures, Photographs’. For IPC, classes work closely with Year 3 and 4 learning together as well as Year 5 and 6. Alongside IPC, the children also study Religious Education where they learn about the six main world religions, as well as Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) where we follow the Cambridgeshire PSHE programme. All of the above are organised on a two year rolling programme to ensure continuity and progression. In the Junior Department, the children continue to receive two lessons of Spanish and Sport weekly, both taught by specialist teachers. They also receive two music lessons, one of which includes choir, also taught by a specialist music teacher.
Mother Tongue lessons are a special feature of the children’s learning at CIS. Each child has the opportunity to have up to two lessons a week in their mother tongue language. Children whose Mother Tongue is English learn about themes related to life in Britain and also British values which is closely linked with the Rights Respecting School Award.
Within each year, the children participate in a range of trips and visits to enhance their learning. We try to draw on the fantastic local resources such as the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, the Sedgwick Museum and the Cambridge Science Centre. Further afield we have visited places such as London Zoo, the British Museum, Sutton Hoo and Wicken Fen.
Finally, once in the Juniors, the children go on an annual residential visit where they participate in a programme of outdoor and adventurous activities. In Years 3 and 4 the children spend 3 days at the Grafham Water Centre, the Cambridgeshire County Council outdoor education centre. In Years 5 and 6 the children’s residential visit is to a PGL activity centre at different locations within the UK.