Curriculum

MATHS

Mathematics is truly cross-curricular; it is simultaneously an art, a science and a universal language. It is a vital part of any curriculum, teaching problem-solving skills applicable both beyond the subject and the classroom. Our rigorous approach emphasises fluency in fundamental skills but strives to be inspiring, engaging and challenging. We aim to strike a productive balance between developing sound methodology in individual work with rich learning experiences in paired and group work applying information technology, puzzles, games and manipulatives to stimulate learners.

We encourage boys to experiment, take calculated risks, and understand why techniques work to apply their skills and understanding in different contexts. We use a plethora of resources that allow them to be challenged, including NRICH and UKMT materials. We want our pupils enthused, intrigued and inspired by this fascinating subject.

Boys are prepared for the 11+ Pre-tests and 11+ entrance examinations, the 13+ Common Entrance and Scholarship examinations. Our pupils have enjoyed much success in national maths challenges at the Primary and Junior level. Several pupils qualify each year for follow up rounds, Bonus, Kangaroo and Olympiad, receiving merits and prizes. Our latest achievement is 1st place in the Brighton College Maths Competition.

Progress is measured against national standards and internal benchmarks for necessary development in each year of study. Boys are guided to set their own targets based on their regular summative assessments. Also, they identify areas for improvement regularly after each unit test. These are administered regularly, which, together with externally written papers, enable us to track pupil progress in detail. Online work also informs teachers of pupils’ progress, topic by topic, Mathletics forms the basis for this in Junior House, but MyMaths takes on that task in Senior House.

The curriculum is structured so that topics are revisited and developed each year. Algebra is introduced early, and pupils are encouraged to learn to generalise and develop abstract problem- solving skills. Boys are prompted to discuss their findings and understand the processes involved. They are expected to think critically about what they do and say, explain what helped them overcome difficulty, and understand how they learn most effectively.

In Key-Stages 1 and 2, we follow a curriculum based on the National Curriculum, encouraging depth of understanding rather than vertical acceleration. However, through Years 4 and 5, we do accelerate vertically to ensure that the entirety of the Year 6 curriculum is covered by the end of Year 5. This acceleration allows time for revision in Year 6 before the pre-tests and 11+ examinations. In Key-stage 3, we follow the ISEB curriculum, use challenging problems to extend thinking and provide tailored scholarship tuition.

Where required, the department works closely with the school’s Special Educational Needs Co- ordinator and Learning Support Unit to boost confidence for pupils who find this subject more challenging. It also runs Maths Clinic in the morning and afternoon to allow boys to address any shortcomings providing individual help where needed.

ENGLISH

The English Department at St. Anthony’s strives to ensure that our pupils develop as critical and enquiring readers, as well as keen, enthusiastic and sophisticated writers. The subject of English is also critical in introducing our boys to different perspectives, cultures and world-views through exposing them to a range of text-types and genres. We are steadfast in our commitment to ensure that boys develop a critical appreciation of the written word, and feel empowered to express themselves articulately as they progress through the school curriculum.

Reception is focused on the practical mastery of the written word, and basic comprehension, through a comprehensive phonics program. Our young men are given the confidence and expert support to enable them to begin mastering the basics of the English language. The supportive environment fostered ensures that our pupils, from an early age, build confidence in themselves and ‘reading resilience’. Boys, in these formative years, develop at different rates and paces. We aim to instil a love and enjoyment of reading from a very early age, empowering pupils to grapple with aspects of language and punctuation with determination.

As boys progress through their educational journey with us, they are exposed to a wide variety of texts and encouraged to develop and demonstrate skills such as empathy, in addition to the key skills of ‘information retrieval’, inference and evaluation and analysis. Higher-level thinking skills are promoted through the teaching of reading, and boys are also encouraged and taught to formulate and articulate their own opinions, thoughts and feelings in response to a range of texts.

Equally, writing skills are developed through a carefully considered curriculum. As well as being taught the nuances of punctuation and grammar- from the basic to the ‘ambitious’, our pupils are provided with opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes, from Non-Fiction Blogs about ‘real world issues’, to creative compositions inspired by famous paintings, historical figures and other exciting and engaging writing stimuli. As with reading, we wasnt boys to develop a love of writing in order to express themselves with accuracy and confidence.

English at St. Anthony’s is about ensuring that our boys are able to express themselves, their experiences and their feelings through the power of the written world. It is our goal that our boys leave us as confident and highly articulate writers as well as avid and critical readers. 

SCIENCE

Here at St Anthony’s, we recognise the value of a dynamic Science curriculum that fosters interest in and understanding of the natural world. At St Anthony’s boys study Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Beginning with a variety of practical activities and investigations in Key Stage 1, we enable the boys to think and work as scientists. Their natural curiosity is encouraged and developed through the National Curriculum’s ‘Working Scientifically’ learning objectives and success criteria.  This is further developed by their talented class teachers who give pupils first-hand experiences of the scientific phenomena they are studying in each year group. 

When boys reach lower Key Stage 2, they are introduced to the Science Laboratory in the Senior House. The facilities available to them in the Lab provide a truly unique opportunity to become equipped for the next stage of their Science education. Whether it be navigating a Bunsen burner; learning more about the origins of species from fossils; or diving into the cellular structure of skin cells using electron microscopes (to name but a few), the boys will be able to form an increasingly matured and scientific picture of the world around them. 

At St Anthony’s we uphold the tradition of rigorous Science assessment as a means of consolidating knowledge and tracking progress. By the end of their time with us, the boys will have received a Science education which champions the utility of curiosity, a love for learning and quality subject knowledge that prepares them for GCSE and beyond.

Humanities

“The Humanities prepare students to be good citizens and help them understand a complicated, interlocking world. The Humanities teach us critical thinking, how to analyse arguments, and how to imagine life from the point of view of someone unlike yourself.”
Martha Nussbaum

Boys at St. Anthony’s, from Reception to Year 8, follow a broad, challenging and highly interesting Humanities curriculum, allowing them to develop an understanding of the world around them through Religious Education, Geography and History. Study of the Humanities encourages pupils to reflect upon their own self-knowledge and to further consider – what does it mean to be human? Who are we in relation to our environment, our history, our future and our beliefs? St. Anthony’s Catholic foundation is a central part of the Humanities department, framing both the religious life of the school as well as teaching and learning. We work closely with the Diocese of Westminster, balancing the spiritual aims embodied within the Gospel of Christ with the academic aims of intellectual questioning and an appreciation of other faiths. 

Humanities also empowers pupils to see themselves in the wider context of their school community and beyond. This is linked to the important values instilled in boys at St. Anthony’s such as respect for others, responsibility, empathy, self-reflection as well as a clear perception of human experience through environment, religion and faith and historical events. We believe that it is important to maintain and teach each subject as separate academic disciplines, with key cross-curricular links being made through S.T.A.T.S. (St. Anthony’s Think Tanks). This enables our pupils to engage in exploratory learning and inquiry, working together to answer ‘Big Questions’, establishing pertinent ties with collaborative learning, critical and creative thinking. An atmosphere of intelligent discussion and appreciation for subject-specific skills and knowledge is present throughout every lesson.

Humanities lessons also make full use of digital learning strategies and enrichment, bringing the outside world into the classroom. We are currently planning to make links with other schools, ‘virtually’ meeting teachers and pupils in other countries to create a mutual understanding and respect of faith, religious, geographical and historical contexts. 

Digital literacy is an integral part of the Humanities curriculum, a set of inter-related subjects uniquely placed to not only challenge the boys academically, but to also create compassionate and intellectually curious pupils, building a strong foundation for the positive contributions and changes they will make to society. 

Languages

At St Anthony’s, our boys experience languages to enhance their core learning skills, to gain a level of confidence to continue their studies in languages and to expand their horizons of modern and ancient cultures.

As they move from the first steps in language learning, the St Anthony’s boys are always on a challenging yet manageable path towards having a deeper knowledge of languages. Specialist teachers in each language will deliver fun and creative ways to help the boys continue on their trajectory each year.

In the Junior House, the boys start their languages journey through immersion, storytelling, songs and games. The focus on oral and aural skills provides the boys with a confident base to move on towards a more skills-focussed knowledge acquisition in the Senior House. Throughout their journey, boys of all abilities will feel supported to fulfil their potential and will have the chance to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as they progress.

By the end of his languages journey, a St Anthony’s pupil will feel confident communicating and understanding languages at his own level. Engaging and tangible strategies support our boys to strengthen their knowledge of grammar, which allows them to feel well-prepared as they move on to the next step in language learning. 

As the boys acquire new skills and experience in using the languages, they will be challenged to apply their learning in exciting ways to allow them to solve problems, work collaboratively and independently. Ultimately, they will feel a true sense of achievement as they reflect on the progress that they have made.

Creative Arts

Music, Art and Design, and Drama are taught as separate disciplines throughout the school.  The integration of these subjects into the Creative Arts Faculty allows greater scope for pupils to explore their imaginations, creative skills and confidence in the areas of performance. The Creative Arts Faculty develops the self-esteem and self-confidence of pupils from Reception through to Year 8; pupils take with them a Creative Arts portfolio as they journey through the school, reflecting upon their musical performances, art appreciation and stage shows.

Our purpose is to develop the creative instincts of all pupils, allowing those who are gifted to flourish, whilst providing a platform for pupils of all abilities to gain enjoyment and fulfilment through the Creative Arts.  Emphasis is placed on the Musical, a genre that cleverly combines all three Creative Art subjects, whilst those who have a specific talent have the opportunity to take part in instrumental concerts, drama productions and art and design workshops throughout the academic year.

Music

Boys learn about different genres of music from  European and global traditions, classical as well as modern.

Singing is very popular and the school boasts a number of choirs including a mixed one with St Anthony’s Girls’. Boys accompany the celebration of Holy Mass drawing on a range of choral and polyphonic settings.

Individual instrumental tuition is offered throughout the school and boys are regularly prepared for ABRSM practical and theory exams. Older children are introduced to composition which incorporates Music Technology programs such as Sibelius.

Musical aptitude is very strong and each year a number of pupils secure Grade 5 theory before proceeding to take practical exams in Grades 6, 7 and 8. Boys regularly perform at concerts and at assemblies.

Most importantly, we encourage all the children to participate and enjoy.

Art (including Technology)

Art is timetabled for boys in all year groups. In addition, there are regular Art and Design workshops and after-school clubs that help to develop appreciation and creative thinking of the world we inhabit. Traditional drawing is taught as a foundational skill and are encouraged to express their ideas using a range of genres. The History of Art is incorporated into lessons so that pupils’ understand painting and sculpture in their context.

The school exhibits pupils’ works and St Anthony’s regularly prepares for Art scholarships at senior schools.

Trips to museums and galleries are regular features in the artistic curriculum.

Drama

Drawing on Shakespeare’s words that All the world’s a stage boys are encouraged to develop their skills at public speaking and in group performance. Drama is taught formally within the context of English lessons through plays and the spoken monologue. We want boys to appreciate a range of texts whilst developing their ability to communicate effectively as individuals and as part of a group.

There is plenty of scope for boys to perform formal and informal works and the after-school Drama club is very popular. Older boys have the opportunity to write, direct and film their own pieces. Boys will also be working on performances with pupils from St Anthony’s Girls’. LAMDA is taught by an external specialist.

Sport

At St Anthony’s we strive to ensure that Physical Education and Games facilitate the holistic development of each child.

We have a ‘Sport for All’ ethos, whereby every boy from Years 4 to 8 participates in competitive sport against other schools.

We encourage and nurture the importance of participating in physical activity as part of leading an active and healthy lifestyle. To this end we strive to forge a life-long trend for participation in sport.

FACILITIES

St. Anthony’s has the use of Brondesbury Cricket Club as our main sports ground. The club is a ten minute bus journey from School and has the following facilities;

  • 6 x U11 Football/Rugby Pitches
  • 2 x U13 Football/Rugby Pitches
  • 2 x Cricket Pitches
  • 3 x Artificial Cricket Nets
  • 7 x Tennis Courts
  • 2 x Squash Courts

Athletics equipment includes High Jump, Long Jump, Javelin and a 400 meter track.

At school there is a refurbished 12 x 6 meter swimming pool and two playgrounds with markings for football, cricket and basketball. PE lessons take part in the indoor hall which has space for gymnastics, fitness and dance.

Boys travel to various facilities to supplement the curriculum including Lords’ Cricket Ground, for pre-season cricket training, Powerleague Mill Hill and Willsesden Athletics Stadium.

CURRICULUM

All boys at St. Anthony’s take part in Swimming, PE and Games each week. In addition, co-curricular activities provide the boys with the opportunity to take part in sport every day of the week.

RECEPTION TO YEAR 3

From Reception to Year 3, the boys take part in one swimming lesson a week in which they refine key skills and become more confident in deeper water. They also work through the ASA Swimming Awards to monitor progress.

The boys take part in a PE lesson each week where they refine their gross and fine motor skills and coordination. Topics in PE include gymnastics, dance, hand-eye coordination, tennis and cricket.

Years 2 and 3 travel to Brondesbury each week rotating between football and rugby in the Christmas and Easter Terms before moving onto cricket, athletics and tennis in the summer.

YEAR 4

Boys in Year 4 take part in one swimming lesson each week where they continue to work through the ASA Awards, but also prepare for competitive swimming galas with other schools.

Year 4 also travel to Brondesbury twice a week for Games where they rotate between Football, Rugby and Hockey for the Christmas and Easter Term, before moving onto Cricket, Tennis and Athletics in the summer. They also begin to take part in competitive fixtures with other schools in football, rugby, swimming, cross-country and cricket.

YEARS 5 AND 6

All boys in Years 5 and 6 take part in competitive fixtures one afternoon per week. They also have an additional Games session and take part in football, rugby, cricket, hockey, athletics, swimming, tennis, table-tennis and duathlon.

Years 5 and 6 have one swimming lesson a week, where they begin to look at water-polo, life-saving and preparation for local and national swimming galas.

YEARS 7 AND 8

Years 7 and 8 have one PE/swimming lesson a week and two Games sessions a week. Their fixtures take place on a Wednesday afternoon, with their training session taking place on a Tuesday afternoon. We compete in block fixtures and national competition in the St Anthony’s major Sports of football, rugby, hockey and cricket. We also take part in cross-country, basketball, squash, swimming, table-tennis, tennis and duathlon fixtures with other schools.

The first half of each term is spent in PE. Their PE curriculum includes basketball, health- related fitness and International sports. The second half of each term is spent in the Swimming Pool where they take part in stroke-technique, water-polo and life-saving.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR CLUBS

We facilitate an extensive extra-curricular programme which includes football, rugby, cricket, table-tennis, basketball, swimming and dance. These clubs take place at the main school site before and after lessons throughout the year.

SUCCESS

We won a high percentage of block fixtures in football and rugby across the school and boasted various other achievements from individual teams and boys. The highlights include:

  • National Sailing Champion
  • Bedford School Cricket Sixes Bowl Winners
  • St. Martin’s Futsal Finalists
  • IAPS National Table Tennis Finalist
  • Multiple U11 Cross-Country wins
  • U11 Regional ISFA Football Finalists
  • Multiple Gold Medals at both the IAPS and Catholic Schools Athletics
  • Two Sport Scholarships at Mill Hill and London day schools

Learning Support

St Anthony’s is proud to offer carefully chosen and effective programmes of support for our boys, who may need a little extra help in reaching their potential. We have earned an enviable reputation for assisting students with a range of learning needs.

The support given in our school is always implemented in a positive and engaging way, to ensure that great progress is made.

Our support programmes range widely and can include:

  • developing phonic awareness in spelling and reading;
  • aiding reading fluency and expression;
  • boosting a range of comprehension skills;
  • enhancing written organisation and creative writing skills;
  • developing better receptive and expressive language skills;
  • gaining a better sense and application of the number system;
  • aiding social and communication skills;
  • improving fine motor skills and handwriting;
  • helping the development of English as an additional language.

For these programmes, boys may be withdrawn from class for one-to-one or small group work with specialist support teachers. Our relatively small class sizes enable teachers to actively differentiate and support those boys needing consolidation. In addition, support staff can work in the classroom to assist boys requiring help. We share strategies regularly that can be used in the range of learning environments to support children’s learning, such as visual timetables, use of agreed non-verbal cues for focus, seating aids and arrangements and movement break activities.

The Learning Support Department works closely with the assessment schedule and class teachers to identify areas of need accurately, review progress and set meaningful targets. Our boys’ learning profiles are discussed with them, at an age-appropriate level, to bolster ownership of their educational journey. We work very closely with parents and encourage them to collaborate with us in their sons’ education.

The school has well established links with external professionals, such as educational psychologists, with whom we consult as and when it is required. We have speech-language therapists and occupational therapists visit the school weekly, to undertake one-to-one sessions with boys as well as provide advice to teaching staff. Furthermore, staff are regularly involved in professional development opportunities to update our awareness of special educational needs and best practice.

Stretch and Challenge

We have high academic expectations of all of our boys here at St. Anthony’s. Naturally, one of our key goals is for all pupils to reach their full academic potential in all areas of the curriculum.

Where boys find a unique area of the curriculum in which they flourish and exhibit excellent potential and curiosity, we will do all that we can to ensure that they excel at a high level. Our staff are highly trained to discover the passions of all of our pupils. We firmly believe that all of our young men are uniquely gifted and that it is our role as a school to unearth this in each and every one of our boys.

Within lessons boys can expect stretch and challenge through carefully planned lessons and challenging questioning as a matter of course. Learning is highly differentiated, meaning that students exhibiting mastery level performance continue to be stretched in all areas of the curriculum.

In addition, enrichment sessions are provided for boys to support with scholarship assessments which they may face. Our scholarship candidates are fully prepared by specialist teaching staff, with learning carefully tailored to the demands of specific assessments as appropriate.

Furthermore, our rich co-curricular program provides further academic nourishment, with opportunities such as debating society and current affairs club available to enhance our boys’ knowledge of the world and the society which they inhabit.

At St. Anthony’s our young men are provided with a rich curriculum which emphasizes the interconnectedness of disciplines, meaning that both depth of understanding and breadth of learning are emphasized in equal measure. This, we hold firm, ensures that our pupils receive a top class education through the delivery of a curriculum fit for modern times.

Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning

Nearly all Senior Schools now require pupils to sit Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning assessments as part of their application process. It is therefore important that our boys are well prepared for these assessments. To that end a range of interventions are put into place, beginning in Year 3, to ensure our boys are in the best possible position for success. 

In year 3, boys and families are introduced to our chosen platform, ‘Atom Prime’. We consider this to be the most effective platform, amongst a crowded market, in building boys’ skills in Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning. Boys continue to utilise ATOM throughout Years 4 and 5, and the Autumn Term of Year 6 when the assessments are sat. Teachers are responsible for setting VR and NVR homework on a weekly basis through ATOM, and it is the expectation that this is completed.

In addition, boys are taught elements of VR and NVR through the English and Maths curriculum, as well as invitation to bespoke clinics in the Autumn Term of Year 6.

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