What is the body of knowledge and skills which form the extent of the curriculum?
Above all our curriculum is designed to promote and develop confidence, aspiration, ambition and tolerance for in the children in our setting. Our aim is to inspire our children to be hard working and successful in an ever changing world
Guided reading sessions are conducted daily using books from our whole school book banded system. Children work in small groups or who class situations led by an adult. The sessions are structured into three parts: follow-up and discussion of home-based task, guided reading sessions with questioning focused on end of year expectations, task to be shared and completed at home in turn increasing parental engagement.
To support the teaching of Cornerstones we have developed a whole text English scheme of work that we use to introduce whole class reading during English lessons. At the end of the school day, stories can be shared with the whole class. During this time, children are actively engaged in a comprehension / grammar task linked to the book being read.
There is a class have reading areas to facilitate and promote positive attitude to reading. Children can independently choose a book from a selection of age-appropriate texts to read in class or to supplement home reading. We now have a fully stocked school library partly funded by the Foyle Foundation where children can take books home.
Our writing scheme has been developed and tailored to the needs of our children. It offers structures and suggestions for a range of genres and focus texts to meet end of year expectations. This scheme also suggests spelling and grammar activities and rules that can be taught to support a specific genre. This is supported by Rising Stars Spelling
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Teachers model spelling skills and children have spelling activities to complete and words to learn at home each week. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught and applied in extended writing.
Children are taught daily phonics using the Floppy Phonic and Letters and Sounds scheme. Phonics is further reinforced during writing and reading sessions.
Maths is taught using the White Rose Maths Hub planning and resources; the units ensure full coverage of the curriculum, building in sufficient time for fluency, reasoning and problem solving before moving on. Lessons sequences follow a CPA approach (introducing concepts using concrete resources, followed by pictorial representations and then finally applied in an abstract manner) Where possible, Maths lessons are started with an anchor task which the children try to solve themselves, before sharing their ideas with each other and then the rest of the class. To support Maths teaching we have introduced Maths No Problem to ensure pitch is correct to challenge all children.
Foundation subjects are based around a topic from the Cornerstones Curriculum which ensures full National Curriculum coverage. Our sports coaches deliver quality PE lessons alongside our teaching staff drawing upon their strong subject knowledge to develop the children’s skills. KS2 have Spanish lessons, supported by the ‘Language Angels’ program, in which they practise the skills, concepts and vocabulary in order to meet the expectations of the Languages National Curriculum. All year groups complete Skills Builder activities to allow business and industry to support our wider curriculum.
How is the curriculum designed, organised and delivered?
Teachers within school are responsible for particular subject areas. It is their responsibility to ensure staff have the adequate resources and training to deliver the subject expertly and efficiently. Year 4 receive weekly whole class music sessions delivered by a professional from the local music service.
A themed curriculum is covered through the use of a programme called ‘Cornerstones’. This curriculum provides themes for each year group. It is to the teacher’s discretion which lessons the theme is applied to. Children are encouraged to present their work in their ‘scrapbooks’ independently and creatively.
National Curriculum Coverage
Core subjects are planned across a weekly timetable with reading, writing, mathematics, phonics and RE taking priority during morning sessions.
How do we ensure curriculum and skills progression?
Functional age-appropriate skills in English and Mathematics
Appropriate planning and differentiation across the curriculum ensures that all children are able to access and achieve within their year band expectations. Targeted interventions delivered by class teachers, Teaching Assistants and a 1:1 tutors help to bridge any gaps in knowledge. On-going and accurate assessments allow for class teachers to identify weaker areas which are reinforced and consolidated through repetition.
Personal Skills and expectations
Staff act as role models in relation to faith, morals and values. There is an expectation for children to practise personal skills such as resilience, perseverance, commitment, independence and collaboration throughout school life. Peer Mediators offer children the opportunity to resolve issues independent of adult intervention. Classrooms are organised to promote independent learning by allowing children to access resources themselves. Class jobs and other roles within school such as Rights Respecting School Ambassadors allow children to show commitment to the wider school community. Offering daily challenges and problem-solving opportunities as part of school life enables children of all ages to develop resilience and perseverance skills. Weekly virtue awards promote particular personal skills by awarding and making an example of children who are successfully demonstrating them. The teaching of Rights Respecting Schools enables children the opportunity to discuss worldwide issues/topics to enrich their empathetic attitude towards others as well as understanding their own rights as a human being.
How do we ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of all groups of pupils within the school?
Planning for differentiation ensures children are able to access age-related expectations from the National Curriculum at a level that suits their needs. Teachers facilitate lessons that inspire different learning styles. Work is tailored to deepen their understanding through mastery of greater depth tasks including reasoning and problem solving, allowing children to teach each-other and offering open-ended questions. Directed adult support, tailored interventions and concrete resources are used to narrow the gaps of our lower ability pupils, with careful consideration of our disadvantaged children.
Our Pastoral Lead works closely alongside families and vulnerable children offering therapy and guidance to ensure their challenging home-life doesn’t impact on their educational success. Attainment and progress of SEND children in the classroom is closely monitored by our SENCO and interventions are offered accordingly. The impact of each intervention is closely monitored and parents of identified pupils are made clearly aware of their child’s specific targets during each parents’ evening.
How do we monitor and know the quality of teaching and learning within the curriculum?
Monitoring of books and planning is conducted by SLT to assess consistency, coverage, differentiation and progress. Subject leaders are responsible for completing monitoring in their own subject area: work samples, planning, displays, classroom observations, learning walks, data analysis and pupil evaluations. Moderation allows for internal judgements to be ratified and external verification. Similarly, assessment weeks provide clarification of judgements made by teachers.
How do we assess the impact of the curriculum on our pupils?
End of key stage SATs tests in English and Maths offer a clear indication of the impact of differentiation and accessibility to the curriculum. Progress towards this is closely monitored throughout all other year groups using termly assessments which then inform our tracking system (FROG); this helps us to identify and monitor different groups looking for trends and specific children to target. At the end of each academic year, children are assessed against the end of year expectations and regular pupil progress meetings address those children who have not met age-related expectations.
We aim to offer enriching experiences that help the children to develop life skills including confidence, independence and resilience. The development of these skills is promoted through class assemblies, Masses, Skills Builder trips, performances for parents and the wider community and sporting events.
British Values and Catholic Virtues are embedded in our curriculum and are celebrated regularly. The impact of which has been noted by visitors and members of the school and wider community alike.
Who is responsible for the curriculum, its review and evaluation, and its impact?
Alongside the Head Teacher and Governors, Senior Leaders are responsible for designing a curriculum that is current and engaging for the children they serve, yet measurable. They must ensure that the curriculum is delivered as intended to be both visionary and inspirational, guaranteeing the best outcome for all.
Each teacher is responsible for leading one or more subjects of the curriculum and most have an additional member of staff to support this subject leadership. Subject Leaders identify key priorities for their curriculum area which feeds into the school improvement plan (SIP), in agreement with the Head Teacher.
Class teachers are responsible for the planning, organisation and delivery of the curriculum within their classroom; they take in to consideration the pace of learning, resources and desired pupil outcomes.
Children aid in the evaluation of the curriculum through questionnaires and school council meetings. Their input is also used to shape curriculum content at the beginning of each topic.
The curriculum is tailored to ensure that children leave our school independent, and with the skills, knowledge and attitude which prepares them well for their future lives