Academic Program / Teaching Strategies

Junior Primary

The Junior Primary (Reception – Standard 3) Department of Broadhurst Primary School consists of highly qualified and experienced Foundation Phase Teachers, who aim to ensure that the pupils are prepared for the transition to Senior Primary, and, also become responsible members of the school.  The Junior Primary Department adopts a holistic approach which emphasizes the balanced development of the intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth of the child, thus aiming to build a solid foundation.  The pupils experience whole class teaching which encompasses Literacy and Numeracy.  In addition to developing Literacy and Numeracy skills, the pupils enjoy the benefits of specialist subjects, such as Music, Physical Education, Science (Topic), Computers, French, Setswana, Conversational Setswana, Active (Remedial) English and Occupational Therapy.  Junior Primary is also privileged to have a playground that is situated next to the Junior classes.  This is one of the pupils’ favourite venues, as it is where they experience excitement, fun and also develop their social skills.

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Senior Primary (Standard 4 – 7)

This section of the school caters for children in Standards 4 up to Standard 7.  At this stage, pupils are introduced to more specialist subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences and Design & Technology, in addition to Music, Physical Education and Languages (French, Setswana and Conversational Setswana) most of which they have previously encountered in Junior Primary.  The cognitive skills of problem solving and independent thinking are further strengthened across the curriculum within each subject.  Pupils also get used to moving between classrooms and laboratories and meeting different specialist teachers during the course of the day by following a timetable, similar to what they will find at Secondary School.  This involves the development of personal organizational skills and self-discipline which will assist in the transition to secondary school.  Meanwhile, the class teacher still maintains a key pastoral role in the development of the pupil.  There are also opportunities in the upper school for individuals to demonstrate and further develop leadership skills through the selection of Prefects, House Captains and Vice Captains and Library Monitors.

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English

English is a notoriously difficult language to master by most standards;   and with this in mind, our aim at Broadhurst Primary School is to equip our pupils with the skills necessary to be independent, competent and confident users of the language in a constantly evolving world.  Our curriculum is rigorous and challenging, but pupils have an amazing capacity and are generally eager to learn when the methods used facilitate an environment that accommodates the different learning styles and needs.

The Spelling and Vocabulary programmes blend among other methods, Letters and Sounds and THRASS and they expand the pupils’ word base and increase their understanding of the origin of, and varied use of words.  Reading is key to our strategy of language development and we focus on developing the different reading skills as these are essential to learning across the different disciplines covered in our school.  Literature studies develop an appreciation of the writing genres and an understanding of how language words and how grammatical concepts that are taught are applied, as they get to see and study how they are used for maximum impact and apply these skills to their own writing, as well as in their oral and dramatic expression and listening skills.  The Broadhurst English Language curriculum prepares our pupils for a life time of learning.  English is not only an exciting and dynamic subject, but also a necessary tool for success across most spheres and areas of learning.  If pupils are skilful readers, writers and speakers, they can access information and communicate efficiently and effectively to achieve whatever outcomes are set before them.

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Mathematics

Our aim is to develop pupils to think quickly and calculate with accuracy using various methods and techniques.  Pupils must be able to use skills such as analyzing, comparing, decomposing and other associated skills to solve Mental, Mechanical and Word Problem questions.  Traditional and modern methods are used to equip pupils with the tools and skills required for finding a solution.  All this takes place in a friendly, caring and fun-filled environment with the objective of creating a passion for Mathematics.

Broadhurst Primary School’s philosophy is to teach Mathematics with understanding and not to merely give pupils recipes (standard algorithms) to follow in order to obtain a solution.  We believe that understanding the concepts presented and methods used to solve a problem are far more important than the correct solution to that problem.

As Andrew Wiles once said, “I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make young mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in Mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future.”

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Science

Science offers pupils the opportunity to learn by doing.  Science investigations are performed using different approaches, such as, classifying and identifying, exploring, pattern seeking, problem solving models and undertaking Science projects.

Pupils learn about Science as a knowledge system:  the features of scientific knowledge and the processes by which it is developed; and learn to appreciate the contributions of various scientists.

We would like to see pupils developing an interest in and an aptitude for Science, so that it can be pursued at higher levels of study that lead to Science based professions, such as medicine and technology.

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Social Sciences

The saying “It’s a small world!” suggests that though we live on a big planet, we are all interconnected in many ways.  Social Sciences give key insights into issues of globalization.  Pupils develop an appreciation of the different peoples and cultures that contribute to the diversity of humanity.  Before making sense of the world, pupils have to understand their home, its history and geography.  The Social Sciences syllabus has been designed to provide objectives, activity skills and questions that assist pupils in acquiring the background information, skills and knowledge necessary for everyday life.  This leads to a better understanding of the world in which they live.

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Setswana

Setswana as the First Language:

Language is taught in four components:  Grammar, Comprehension, Spelling, Composition and letter.  Innovative teaching methodologies, such as Mind Maps (Tree Maps, Circle Maps, Double Bubble Maps, etc.), Rubrics and Thinking Hats are incorporated.  Setswana games are used to reinforce and motivate pupils.

Conversational Setswana

Conversational Setswana is taught through fun and enjoyment, games, songs, role-play and group work.  Pupils also write simple sentences and learn how to spell frequently used Setswana words.  Teaching methodologies, such as Mind Maps, Rubrics and Thinking hats are incorporated.

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French

Aims:

  • To foster an interest in learning other languages in a way that is fun.
  • To extend each child to his /her full potential in the language and to give him/her the foundations and desire for future study.
  • To help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries.

Conversational French

In 2016, we introduced Conversational French for the Standard 2’s and 3’s.  The main aim of the conversational classes is to encourage students to engage actively; and in a fun manner in the French language using games, role-play, paired work and songs.  During these lessons, children are encouraged to respond to and show an understanding of simple classroom instructions, numbers, colours, days of the week, shapes, etc.

French Language

From Standard 4 to 7, we develop and nurture competence in the four skills (Language Attainment Targets) of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Children also do displays and presentations about the French culture and civilization.  The use of songs, games and role playing is critical in building the confidence and promoting enjoyment and proficiency in the French language.  Students are regularly assessed in all competences and, as of October 2017, all Standard 7’s will sit the DELF Junior/Scolaire Examination, The Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF or Diploma of French Language Studies) is an internationally recognized French Language Proficiency Certificate awarded by France’s national Ministry of Education.  It consists of a series of independent assessments based on a scale of language proficiency defined in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a framework used in second language learning around the world.

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Design and Technology

Design and Technology (D&T) is a fantastic subject!

At Broadhurst Primary School, the D&T department look forward to engaging the pupils in exciting new projects that challenge and inspire them to think about the world they live in.

From Standard 3 onwards, Broadhurst pupils get dedicated time slots for D&T.  It is at this point that they start to focus and build upon their existing skills.  The process of design is taken from the planning stages, where they research, discuss and draw out ideas, through to making their finished piece of work.  We aim for the pupils to learn the importance of problem solving and evaluating.  Design and Technology incorporates many areas of the curriculum and can be used to consolidate work completed in Science, Mathematics and English in a practical manner.

Every pupil gets an opportunity to show off their skills in this subject and they enjoy the process in achieving practical work that they can be proud of.

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Computing

Computing at Broadhurst Primary School aims to assist pupils to reach high levels of computer literacy, as well as competency in the use of different software packages and media.  Software they come into contact with includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Paint, Publisher, PowerPoint, Access and Logo.  Other skills include Network Navigation, Research on the Internet, Data handling and effective folder management.  Each pupil works on his or her own computer, yet cooperative learning is encouraged so that more accomplished pupils can freely share their abilities with their peers.

All skills are taught in a purposeful environment that allows the pupil to develop at his or her own pace.  It is essential that children embrace the ever-changing world of technology and with the correct knowledge, attitude and skills they will be able to recognize computers and other media as an incredible aid to modern life, as it is.

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Library

All pupils go to the Library once a week.  They are taught basic skills which enable them to use Library resources effectively.   As a result, pupils will be able to use Libraries elsewhere, whether public Libraries or other Libraries.

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Music

Music forms an integral part of the whole learning process.  Focus is firmly placed on the development of the child through a wide spectrum of musical activities and performances.  Throughout this course, music lessons are designed to ensure that each pupil is given diverse but equal opportunities to explore various aspects of music in order to help them discover who they are or who they will be at a particular time and place.  Each child is accorded a chance to explore a variety of music concepts by engaging in various individual, group or class activities which may include singing, playing instruments and dramatization of a wide range of stories.

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Physical Education

Physical Education can be defined as psychomotor learning that focuses on bodily exercise and movement.  This area has become a major academic field in Primary and Secondary education levels.  Physical Education incorporates various physical activities such as walking, jogging, volleyball, basketball, football, cricket and more.  With more development in this field, certain non-traditional sports are also becoming a major part of the curriculum.  Private Schools across the nation have made Physical Education a mandatory subject for pupils.

Why children need Physical Education

Physical Education is an integral part of the total education of every child in Nursery School through Secondary School.  Quality Physical Education programmes are needed to increase the physical competence, health-related fitness, self-responsibility and enjoyment of the physical activity for all students so that they can be physically active for a lifetime.  Physical Education programmes can only provide these benefits if they are well-planned and well-implemented.  Here’s what quality Physical Education programmes can do for pupils>

Improve physical fitness; develop skills; provide regular, healthful physical activity; support other subject areas; teach self-discipline; improve judgement; reduce stress; strengthen peer relationships; improve self-confidence and self-esteem and allow for setting of personal goals.

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Support for learning

The Active English Teacher, Special Needs Therapist and Occupational Therapist are an integral part of the learning support provided for the pupils of Broadhurst Primary School.  This multi-disciplinary approach forms a part of the whole, the quest of which is to identify, assess and develop programmes in their appropriate areas, to strengthen the individual needs of the pupils.

The Support for Learning Department has been in existence for over twenty years and we build on and maintain some of the solid practices and principles that have been put into place.  The role of the Department is to provide the best support to pupils with specific educational needs, who can be accommodated in mainstream education.

Therapy consists of individual or group counselling, Academic Remediation, Occupational Therapy and Active English.  It is available to all the pupils.  Pupils coming into the department are referred by their teacher after notifying the parents.  A case study is held to discuss concerns and a written letter is sent to the parents for their consent to administer relevant diagnostic tests.  Broadhurst Primary School is fortunate to have two full-time therapists in the Department, who are trained to use Mind Dynamix Profiling, to ascertain the Brain Dominance and the unique learning style of those referred.

A multi-sensory approach is used in all lessons and assorted therapy activities are made exciting.  Play is an important component as this allows the pupils to learn in a fun-filled manner, whilst reinforcement and consolidation concepts are being unconsciously developed.  At the end of therapy, it is hoped that pupils have also learnt coping strategies, and developed thinking and problem solving skills.  Greater independence, motivation and responsibility for their learning are also expected outcomes.  Most importantly, they are made to feel secure and confident in a nurturing environment.

Occupational Therapy

There has been a qualified Occupational Therapist at Broadhurst Primary School for over twenty five years as part of the multi-disciplinary approach to learning that is at the heart of our school’s Vision Statement.

The role of the Occupational Therapist is wide and varied within a mainstream school.  It helps establish basic developmental skills in our very young pupils.

At Broadhurst, ALL children in the Reception and Standard One classes take part in a two-year Sensory-Motor programme designed to improve their basic body awareness, gross-motor coordination, bilateral integration, static and dynamic balance, motor planning, laterality, directionality skills and sitting balance.

The pupils are seen twice a week and they take part in graded activities, which help them develop their skills in the above-mentioned areas.  The sessions are fun and challenging and the children are encouraged to work within their own comfort level and develop at their own rate to achieve their full potential.

Occupational Therapy has an important role to play in developing our young pupils in today’s environment.  It can compliment the work done in the classroom, on the sports field, and, in all aspects of the child’s emotional, physical and educational life.

Active English (Remedial English)

The Active English Department is a long standing one at Broadhurst Primary School.  It provides a service to English Second Language pupils who need to develop their receptive and expressive English Language abilities.  The programme focuses on the different skills of communication, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

The communicative approach to Language teaching is applied in the English lessons to replicate authentic communication.  A variety of aids are utilized in the Language activities, such as pictures, flashcards, music/songs, stories, games and hands on activities, to assist with setting the context for communication to take place.  Pupils are seen in pairs and in small groups.

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De Bono Thinking Hats and Thinking Maps

The Vision of Broadhurst Primary School is: “To create, together with the family, a caring environment of learning and experience, in which children may develop their potential to the full, may acquire the knowledge and the skills to equip them for living, may experience the best that the human spirit has achieved, may develop respect for themselves, for other people and the world around them and have the courage to make a difference to the future.”

At Broadhurst, we implement this Vision by focusing on teaching tools that drive a thinking skills curriculum.  Children are capable of thinking and our focus is to impart life-long tools so that pupils become skilful, critical and creative thinkers.  These implemented tools, encourage the pupils to think more deeply and creatively about relevant subjects.  Skilful thinking is challenging and requires continuous practice and reflection.

We value thinking at Broadhurst and in our methodology we make thinking skills explicit.  We use cognitive terminology and label and identify cognitive processes.  We employ the Mind Mapping technique, Dr. De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, CoRT 1 Thinking Tools and Dr. Hyerle’s Thinking Maps and Visual Tools.  Skilful, critical and creative thinking can be achieved by implementing Dr. De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.

For more information, please click on the following link :Six Thinking hats