Primary 3 is a good entry point into St George’s as the pupils move from the downstairs classrooms upstairs to the Middle Primary. With this move, we encourage pupils to take on more responsibility for their own learning and to become more independent through setting targets and self-evaluating these.
Teaching and Learning
The Primary 3 curriculum marks the year when the children’s knowledge of number bonds and phonics becomes crucial to the development of their mental agility, numeracy and literacy skills. This builds on the foundations of the Lower Primary.
In Primary 3, reading continues to become more fluent for most children as they learn to use their decoding skills to attack less-familiar words. Pupils learn to read for information as well as enjoyment. Comprehension skills are developed.
Writing in a linked script is introduced and emphasis is put on developing a legible, neat, joined script. Pupils learn to write for a variety of purposes.
Numeracy and Mathematics
The year begins with planned repetition and thorough revision of number bonds and early multiplication skills to ensure that everyone has a secure knowledge of these vital concepts and skills. Children begin to see the relevance of the previous years’ work when they start to write out sums in jotters and learn to perform vertical addition and subtraction, using tens and units.
Primary 4 and Primary 5
Teaching and Learning
The curriculum builds further on the pupils’ learning with an even more focused approach. The children are expected to be organised, show greater independence and take further responsibility for their learning. Much of this learning continues to be active through Outdoor Learning and hands-on maths lessons and active topic work with trips and drama activities relevant to each topic.
Reading continues to be taught, with emphasis on reading aloud to entertain an audience, asking and answering open-ended questions and the development of comprehension skills. A legible, neat and linked script is expected in all writing tasks and pupils write for a variety of purposes: poems, functional (such as reports, leaflets & newspaper articles) and imaginative writing activities.
Grammar is taught throughout the Junior School through the Big Writing approach to writing where importance is put on using 'VCOP' in all writing activities. The pupils are encouraged to focus on these four core targets in their writing and it is through these targets that success criteria are set when formatively assessing the childnrens' writing.
VCOP is the term used by the Big Writing approach to writing (developed by Ros Wilson) that we use at St George's. V stands for Vocabulary - ambitious words or 'wow' words, C stands for Connectives (or conjunctions)- words that join sentences together, O stands for Openers - words that introduce a sentence and P stands for Punctuation.
Numeracy and Mathematics
After completing thorough class assessments at the beginning of the school year and in collaboration with the previous staff, the Primary 4 and 5 girls are grouped across the year group for Numeracy and Mathematics. As the same topics are covered, these groups may be flexible throughout the year with movement between the groups as necessary.
Being part of an all-through school, we are able to take advantage of our Upper School specialist teachers for Sport and PE lessons three times a week.
In P3 and P4 the children continue to learn Modern languages through a carousel of languages and cultures, delivered by specialist modern language staff. In P5, girls receive two lessons a week focusing on either French or Spanish in alternate years. and the learning of modern languages and cultures.
Music is taught to all our children twice a week by our own dedicated Junior School Music teacher and pupils begin to learn to play the recorder in Primary 3. In addition to all pupils taking part in our annual Christmas Concert, each year group works with our specialist music teacher and their class teachers to produce a musical production, which takes place in The Robertson Music Centre.
Individual Music Lessons
From Primary 3, pupils are given the opportunity of learning a musical instrument in individual music lessons, where the choice of instruments is extensive. These individual lessons take place before or after the school day or at lunchtime.
All children throughout the Middle Primary years are taught IT skills, including word processing, programming, spreadsheets and computing science in our Junior School ICT suite. In Primary 5, our specialist IT staff take the girls for one lesson a week in addition to lessons from their class teachers.
Specialist drama lessons are provided in blocks throughout the year. In addition, Our drama teachers run workshops to help bring topic work to life.
Through our extensive Outdoor Learning programme, our Primary 3-5 pupils continue to take advantage of our substantial outdoor classrooms and spaces around the school campus, such as our Fantastical Forest.
Much of the topic work in P3-5 takes place through Outdoor Learning such as the Primary 3’s minibeast topic and P5’s science topic on Solids, Liquids and Gases.
Each year, early in September, the Primary 5 girls walk up Scald Law as part of their Outdoor Learning programme. As well as providing wonderful exercise, this proves to be a good bonding experience for the pupils as new pupils integrate quickly into the year group. Primary 3 and 4 recently added a walk from school up Corstorphine Hill to their Outdoor Learning programmes, which has proved to be a valuable and memorable experience.
P5 Enterprise Project
An exciting part of the P5 curriculum is their enterprise project, where the girls work in teams to produce documentaries about endangered Scottish animals. Most of this filming takes part around our school campus and the local environment. The girls all take on roles of responsibility within their group: researchers, camera ‘men’, sound editors or directors and work together to produce a short documentary which they share digitally, as part of our programme of International Education with a school in Texas.
Our Junior School leadership roles provide an opportunity for children in Primary 3 to 5 to share ideas and opinions and are excellent platforms to build confidence.
- Captains or vice-captains of their House (P5)
- P5-led Pupil Council meeting attended by P1 - P4 representatives.
- P1 - P5 Eco committee representatives
- P1 - P5 Charities committee representatives
After School Clubs and Activities
From Primary 3 onwards, more opportunities open for the children to try activity clubs after school. These range from language and art clubs to science and outdoor learning clubs. As the girls move into Primary 4 and Primary 5, additional clubs are available, ranging from sports clubs (hockey/tennis, football, dance, judo) to art and science clubs. Chess club is also a great favourite.