In the Junior Department, there are high expectations of the children along with an emphasis on fun and experiential learning. Each child is valued for their individual skills and contributions and they are both supported and challenged to enable them to be the best they can be.
Our classes are named after birds and animals found in our parkland home and are as follows:
Once in the Juniors, the children go on an annual residential visit where they participate in a programme of outdoor and adventurous activities. Typically year 3 and 4 spend 2 nights away at Grafham Water Centre, the Cambridgeshire County Council Outdoor Education Centre whilst in Year 5 and 6 the children usually visit a PGL activity centre.
During the week children have daily Mathematics lessons where they revisit the key areas of Number, Measurement and Geometry. English lessons incorporate reading, writing, and spelling, punctuation and grammar. Both English and Mathematics follow UK National Curriculum learning objectives and are tailored closely to the needs of the children. For both of these, we use a range of teaching methods and resources to cater for different learning styles.
Science, History, Geography, Art, and Design and Technology are taught through a topic approach. We use the International Primary Curriculum as a basis for this and themes are taught on a two year rolling programme to ensure coverage. Examples of topics taught across the juniors include ‘Treasure’ with a history/ archaeology focus, ‘Active Planet’ which explores volcanoes and earthquakes, and ‘Paintings, Pictures, Photographs’ which involves a study of a range of visual images. There is also a link to the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) where we have a termly focus on one of the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
To support our topic learning we take the children on a variety of trips as well as invite visiting speakers in to share their knowledge and expertise. Examples of visits include Sutton Hoo, Wicken Fen, London Zoo and Parliament. We also take advantage of all our local area has to offer by regularly visiting the University museums, the Fitzwilliam Museum and local places of interest such as Wicken Fen, the Botanic Gardens and Wimpole Farm. Visitors to school have included a local artist, a keeper of rainforest animals and a representative of the local recycling centre.
Alongside English, Maths and Topic lessons, the children also receive Spanish, Sport and Music lessons from specialist teachers. They also receive lessons in their mother tongue, a special feature of our programme of learning at OIS. Children whose Mother Tongue is English learn about themes related to life in Britain for example a study of British painters or authors. Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) are also entitled to individual EAL lessons with a specialist teacher..
All children receive a weekly lesson in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) as well as termly Religious Education topic. For PSHE we use the Cambridgeshire County Council learning materials whilst in RE we learn about the main world faiths and look at issues such as diversity and tolerance.
As well as the children’s regular PE lessons, the children in the juniors have the opportunity to participate in a range of sports fixtures against other schools. These are typically football, tag rugby and hockey. In addition, OIS subscribes to the Cambridge School Sports Partnership which gives the children the chance to take part in sporting competitions and tournaments with local primary schools as well as the annual Cambridge Youth Games for children in Years 3 and 4.
On Friday afternoons the children have Golden Time from 2.45 – 3.30pm. Here the children can choose from a selection of activities offered by the teachers including lego, crafts, and computing. This allows them some ‘chill out time’ with their friends and a reward for their hard work throughout the week.