Rationale for our Curriculum Design

We recognise the importance of reading across the whole curriculum and its impact on the future success of pupils. Our children are taught to read confidently, fluently and with a good understanding. Pupils are encouraged to develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information through daily practise and whole school activities. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.

We have designed a curriculum that makes links between different subjects creating curriculum cohesion and enabling pupils to link their learning appropriately. There is a focus on high quality writing and pupils use mathematics and computing skills across different subject areas. Where practical, and possible, links are made across subjects.

As a Catholic school, we have designed a diverse curriculum that teaches pupils morality, respect and a sense of community.

Pupils learn best when they enjoy learning. We have planned and designed our curriculum so it is unique to our school and our setting.

We have planned a curriculum that is knowledge-rich. We teach the objectives in the National Curriculum concentrating on the key knowledge that we want children to remember. There is a frequent repetition of content to help pupils acquire this core knowledge. Our curriculum provides mastery of key knowledge. Our Maths curriculum, for example, provides opportunities for pupils to practise and consolidate their learning, master learning objectives by developing a deeper understanding and to apply their knowledge in greater depth. There are opportunities for pupils who do not master learning objectives to repeat work before moving on.

We want our pupils to become independent, resilient and divergent learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond).

Our aim is that all pupils make good progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability). There is a sequencing of subject-specific concepts based on what we expect pupils to know at each particular stage ensuring challenge. We are an inclusive school and we aim to ensure curriculum access for all, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Our curriculum has been developed to introduce/explore new vocabulary and activities have been planned to ensure that pupils get the opportunity to apply and revisit this new knowledge.

Our curriculum considers the local context and it is enriched with local trips, workshops and visits including visits across the UK and into Europe linked to curriculum areas.

For detailed information as to the curriculum, and its principles, please visit our curriculum policies page.

As a Catholic School our intent is:

To provide our pupils with a broad, balanced curriculum which is underpinned by our Mission Statement: To deliver an outstanding Catholic education with Christ as our light and our guide.

It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that we organise in order to enrich the experience of the children.

The core values of our Catholic education remain central to the life of our school and we want our children to have a sense of self-worth through their experience of belonging to a caring community and to giving in return to their community. We aim to develop the importance of values, whilst respecting the differences of others.

Social justice and equality for all is at the heart of our curriculum. As a Catholic school, the core values of our curriculum are built upon the principles Catholic Social Teaching which are based on the belief that God has a plan for creation. The curriculum promotes that God has a special place in His story for each of us, whoever we are. Our part in this plan isn’t just limited to things β€˜spiritual’, or things we might do on Sundays, but that it involves every aspect of our lives, from the things we reflect or pray about, to how we live as responsible global citizens. Our curriculum sets out an intention that everyone has a vocation for the common good, a call to treat everyone as brothers and sisters and is something that we all share.

Our curriculum is designed to develop independent, confident and successful learners with high aspirations and who are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

We aim to provide them with a clear understanding of the possibilities and opportunities that are there for them in life, and we believe that our pupils should leave us with a love of learning and an understanding of the world.

We want our pupils to be prepared and equipped with the necessary skills to be able to face the challenges ahead.

Our curriculum is designed and driven by a firm belief that we need to develop their inquisitiveness, determination, motivation, resourcefulness and resilience. The curriculum is purposefully designed to provide opportunities of first-hand experiences wherever possible.

Implementation

Our curriculum promotes children’s independence, resilience and confidence.

To do this our curriculum:

  • is inclusive, so that every child can achieve their potential. Not all children learn at the same rate or in the same way. We need to adapt to this. Teachers don’t all teach in the same way for every lesson. Teachers have the freedom to structure lessons with independence. As a learning community we are more concerned with the outcomes than the processes.
  • reflects children’s interests and their world, to make learning meaningful and purposeful. We provide curriculum opportunities that are meaningful and purposeful.
  • is interactive and engaging to children developing their interests and skills in an appropriate way.

To achieve this, we have adopted seven Key Principles.Β 

We will:

  • use creative stimulus e.g. artefacts, texts, images, activities, visits and the arts to bring topics alive. Teachers will engage pupils according to the topic, their own interests and the interests of the children. We aim to inspire children – this means we have to be creative and teachers need the freedom to do so.
  • provide as many memorable first-hand experiences as possible.
  • develop local, national and global multi-cultural awareness, across the school.
  • teach the children to be better at things, not just learn about things. For example, we want the children to develop their historical skills through learning about the Romans – not just learn facts about the Romans.
  • make the outdoor environment an integral part of provision wherever possible.
  • take the school into the community and bring the community into the school. We never want to learn in isolation. Our school is part of a community and we have a responsibility to be a positive part of that community.
  • promote health and safety including e-safety, in all areas of the curriculum so that the children learn how to keep themselves safe and so that they feel safe.

Skills, knowledge and understanding are taught in the context of termly or half termly overarching themes, or topics.Β  Occasionally, teachers may introduce topical areas in response to what is happening in the world or in their community. These are used to inject variety and also ensure the fulfilment of all statutory requirements.

We always give Literacy a main focus, either where the topic is led by a quality text or digital imagery. We also ensure that there are plenty of opportunities to write in specific genres using knowledge learnt in other subjects.