Foundation Stage

‘Humanities’ is taught under the heading of ‘Understanding the World’ in the Early Years.

Children’s skills are developed to:

  • talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members
  • know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions
  • know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things
  • talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one to another 

Key Stage One and Two

Throughout Key Stage One and Two ‘History’ and ‘Geography’ are taught as ‘Humanities’ through a range of creative and inspiring half-termly topics. Each topic may incorporate both History and Geography or focus on a particular one.


History is more than just learning about important facts and dates. We actively encourage pupils to become detectives who explore events from the recent and more distant past in exciting and creative ways.

History allows pupils to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to develop their research skills by learning about significant men, women, children and events. We teach children to be open minded and inquisitive thinkers who begin to show an understanding of cause and effect.  We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life.  We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts, organising exciting school trip such as the Natural History Museum.


In Geography we aim to inspire children to explore their local area of Balham and further afield including the UK and the world. Pupils will have the opportunity to study local areas and issues through first-hand observation. The children learn to use maps to locate cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, seas and oceans.  They use atlases, photographs and the Internet to explore the environment and cultures of those countries which they study.  They then use the skills they have developed in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT to report and record their findings. Children will also develop their understanding about the weather and different seasons as well as hot and cold places around the world in relation to the equator and North and South Pole.

Information Computer Technology (ICT)

ICT is incorporated throughout our curriculum. We use it to support teaching and learning in Englosh, Topic and Maths where children develop skills such as presenting information and researching information. The effective use of technology is at central to how and what we teach.

We ensure our pupils leave RHS equipped with the skills and motivation to become effective, productive, creative and safe users of technology.

Effective and innovative use of technology leads to improved outcomes for writing, motivated and engaged pupils, broader access to digital resources and increased opportunities for creativity coupled with the development of the life skills needed to achieve this.

Pupils are involved in blogging, film-making, website development, coding and many other technology related activities. We are using Video Conferencing to provide our pupils with unforgettable learning opportunities and experiences which make links outside of the classroom. Initially pupils will be taught that an algorithm is a set of instructions. This is learnt through a variety of ways including bee bots, remote control cars, and online games and apps which involve giving a clear set of instructions.

Rutherford House School has its own computer room, mobile laptops, Classroom IPADs and two weekly computer clubs: ICT Coding club and ICT Film club. 


To view a copy our E-safety policy which our school follows please follow the link below.

If you are worried about Online Safety or would just like to know more about how your child can use technology at school and at home then have a look at these useful websites.

Vodafone - digiatal parenting  (highly recommend)


Safer Internet Centre - resources for parents and Safer Internet Day 2015.


NSPCC - Share Aware 


A parents guide to Facebook 


Childnet Guide for Parents on Social Networking 


How to manage privacy settings on Facebook 



All Rutherford pupils from reception onwards receive specialist music tuition every week in which they:

  • learn to play instruments,
  • develop their voice,
  • compose their own music,
  • become familiar with a range of different styles of music,
  • develop their understanding of how music works,
  • use traditional and other notations to communicate and discover musical ideas.

Singing assembly each week helps all children to develop their voice in a large ensemble.

Clubs such as choir and drumming club provide opportunities to develop further.

Instrumental tuition on a one-to-one basis and in groups is available in guitar/ukulele, piano and keyboard, drum kit, saxophone, flute and clarinet, and the range of instruments offered will continue to expand – watch this space!

Physical Education

The P.E. and Games provides a wide range of sporting opportunities to all children in the school through the curriculum and the extra-curricular clubs available. From Reception through to Year 6, the sporting programme improves levels of confidence and skill.  Children develop at their own pace and within an environment that engenders confidence and enjoyment.  The children have the chance to participate in gymnastics, dance, swimming, cross-country, fitness lessons, athletics and traditional team-sports where the children benefit from specialist coaching. All older children will be encouraged to take part in competitive fixtures within school and between other schools.

Physical Education consists of at least two hours per week curriculum time covering gymnastics, dance and an increasing variety of sports.

The government is providing additional funding to schools to improve provision of PE and sport. The funding for 2013 - 2014 was spent on gymnastic equipment this will include balancing benches, nesting tables, agility stools and mats and specialist multi sports coach, with learning support assistants learning the skills required to teach sports to Reception and Year One children.

Art and Design

At Rutherford House the children are exposed to a wide range of media, drawing, painting and creative experiences.  Children of all year groups have weekly Art lessons in a specialist classroom and undertake a variety of projects ranging from making papier mache Christmas bowls to creating clay self-portraits.  We encourage every child to develop their own unique and original way  and children take full ownership of their projects, often working in an independent and individual style.


At Rutherford House we believe that the study of Spanish is valuable in developing the fundamental skills needed for communication and self-expression. Spanish lessons are taught to children from Reception up to Year Six. As well as learning a foreign language our pupils develop their interest in the cultures of other nations. Learning a language at an early age reinforces literacy skills and nurtures enthusiasm that is carried on into senior school. 

Spanish is taught as a topic based and cross-curricular subject, where all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing are covered. Children are encouraged to explore the new language collaboratively through games, songs and rhymes and to show what they have learned through simple conversation, role-plays and short performances.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

At Rutherford House, there is a strong ethos that promotes and raises children’s self-esteem, self-awareness and decision making skills, whilst building and encouraging individuals to take on more active roles and responsibilities within the community of the school, the local area and the wider  world.

PSHCE takes on a variety of forms including circle time, discrete PSCHE lessons and assemblies.  These enable the children to identify and share their opinions on a wide range of matters including current affairs, charity work and personal reflection. We have a respectful forum in all lessons where the children feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings on issues discussed honestly and without judgement. As a school community we work together, children and adults, to broaden our opinions and to be accepting of everyone.

Religious Education

Rutherford House is a non-denominational school with a caring ethos which embraces the multi-cultural community in which we live.  Tolerance, courtesy and mutual respect are at the forefront of all we do.  We provide the children with an opportunity to share and respect their beliefs and practices.

As a part of our cross curricular education, we cover all of the six main world religions  and take part in celebrating festivals such as Diwali, Christmas and Chinese New Year incorporating them into all subjects. 

Forest School 

At RHS children in Reception and Year 1 go to Forest School every week at Tooting Common. Children in Year 2 participating in Forest school every other week and children from Year 3 up attend Forest School a few times a term when it links to their topic and learning obectives.

Children gain a variety of skills from the Forest School Programme including confidence, social skills, language, motivation, knowledge, physical skills and concentration.

Forest School takes a holistic approach. It nurtures the whole child by incorporating the following areas of development simultaneously;  

Physical development; the ability to complete day to day tasks using fine and gross motor skills and hand and eye coordination. For example through the use of tools.

Intellectual development such as understanding information, reasoning, logical thinking and concentration.

Language development by understanding others and acquiring new vocabulary.

Emotional development refers to control and understanding of feelings and emotions. It also involves how a child perceives themselves, their identity and self-esteem.Forest School provides opportunities for success and risk taking.

Social development includes learning how to work and play together, relating to one another and cooperating. As well as an understanding of social issues, hazards and their effect on environments.

RHS recognises that good Forest School practice can also foster ownership, autonomy, independence and responsibility. In Forest School children also develop curiosity and understanding about the world they live and become excited and inspired by the deep dark woods that surround our local area. At Forest School children get to take part in activities that encourage creativity and exploration. All of activities are designed to be fun and interesting, and importantly something they would probably never otherwise experience.

Forest School programmes run over a minimum of 6 sessions the lessons are designed to offer a continuum of learning, over which children will gradually build up their skills and confidence of working and playing in the natural environment. They progress towards activities involving tool use and fire at a rate suitable to the individual group. All of the activities we do during Forest School are designed to challenge children - but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.

Example activities for Early Years and Key Stage 1:

  • Woodland walks and nature trails
  • Nature crowns
  • Minibeasting
  • Shelter building
  • Making teddy homes
  • Forest School stories
  • Basic tool use to make minibeast hotels, wooden snakes, tree cookies, leaf presses etc.
  • Building and lighting fires
  • Puddle splashing, mud painting, mud sliding
  • Exploring and collecting woodland materials to make natural art
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Clay creatures
  • Natural music

Example activities for Key Stage 2:

  • Nature detectives
  • Constructing ovens and cooking food on fire
  • Building wooden and rope bridges
  • Blindfold / trust games
  • Using tools to create woodland crafts e.g. whistles, charcoal pencils, mallets etc.
  • Willow weaving
  • Exploring habitats

Some of the activities mentioned above involve tool use and fire building. As an unfamiliar activity this can sometimes cause a safety concern to parents.  Children's safety is absolutely paramount to us - activities are always fully risk assessed and we always ensure children are prepared and capable before beginning any task involving tools or fire.

All children are requested to bring to school navy raincoat and leggings to protect their clothing and to keep them warm and dry in all weathers.