At St Joseph’s we believe that learning should not be limited to the teaching of academic subjects.
Beyond the KS2 National Curriculum we offer pupils a programme of enrichment activities which we hope will support them to be successful in life.
Communication: Spoken language – such a key part of the Early Years - is often overlooked at KS2 so we encourage the children to relearn the art of conversation and discussion in small groups.
Current affairs: Nurturing a child’s interest in local and world events encourages them to broaden their outlook and be better informed.
Public Speaking: Giving children the opportunity to deliver a speech can develop self-confidence, social interaction and leadership skills.
Debating: Allowing children to devise a well-informed argument helps them to analyse information and defend their viewpoint whilst learning, sometimes to appreciate an opposing viewpoint.
Poetry: Reading and performing poetry out loud enables the children to explore language, develop their vocabulary and increase their literary repertoire from William Wordsworth to Carol Ann Duffy.
Courtesy: The expectation of civility and good manners towards everyone, allows pupils to flourish in an atmosphere of mutual respect. ‘It is as important to be a good listener as it is to be a good speaker.’
The encouragement of pleasantries such as handshaking, making eye contact and smiling enable children to prepare not only for interviews but to be personable ambassadors for the school.
Well Being: We believe that our enrichment programme enhances well-being by enabling children to broaden their intellectual and social horizons. Engaging in positive, enjoyable, enrichment activities can develop children’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Mindfulness: Including introductory Mindfulness techniques into our enrichment programme thereby helping pupils to improve their ability to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions. All of this aids emotional regulation and cognitive focus so that children can become happier and more responsible learners.
Pupils will be taken out of school to visit places which will enhance and support their curriculum studies. These visits usually take place during the school day but in Year 5 and in Year 6 there is the opportunity to take part in residential visits. This is an excellent time for social development, as well as extending their learning in several curriculum subjects.
All classes have the chance at least once during the year to visit places of interest connected with their work. Places visited include Whipsnade Zoo, the Science and Natural History Museums and the Kent coastline. Parents are asked for a voluntary contribution towards the costs of these visits.
Our children also benefit from visits to Maida Vale library and to local businesses and attractions to enrich their learning. Our Year 4 pupils also have the opportunity to sing at local events such as the Tri-Borough carol concert and the Seven Seeds performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
We encourage visits to school from live performers and invite several different companies to perform for us during the school year. We also benefit from outside organisations like the police force and the fire service who give safety advice and support to the school.
At St Joseph’s, the school day does not end when the bell goes at 3.30pm. Instead we provide a range of activities as part of the Extended School Day which both promotes wellbeing and healthy lifestyles among the children in our care, and reach out to the wider community around us. We have been praised by Westminster City Council for the ambition of our after school provision. As part of this commitment, we are in close contact with other agencies that support children with particular needs and we work with parents in a range of ways. We also have links with local community groups.
Many activities will continue from year to year, returning by popular demand. For children whose parents need to use it, there is an after school club at St. Augustine’s five nights a week until 5:30pm. A group of children from St Joseph’s are escorted there at the end of the school day.