St. Christopher’s Catholic Primary School
At St. Christopher's Catholic Primary School, our aim is to ensure our children receive a broad and balanced curriculum which is creative, engaging and fun. Our school Mission Statement is ‘Caring, Learning, Inspiring.’ And we try to live this out in all that we do. We aim to develop the whole child - academically, artistically, physically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Our curriculum therefore gives pupils an excellent mix of academic and personal development; it gives equal importance to core and foundation subjects; physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing are both; valued, understood and prioritised by our careful consideration of curriculum design. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, along with a well planned and structured programme of personal development, underpins all of our work. British Values are strongly promoted through our SMSC provision, making sure that the fundamentals are taught: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
Language acquisition and vocabulary development are key priorities across our curriculum – we want to give our children the capability to communicate with confidence in school and beyond the school gates. We work to develop a love of learning in our children and to prepare them for their futures as independent, skilled and caring individuals. We believe that the acquisition of knowledge and skill are of equal importance and across our curriculum, we aim to value and develop both and we strongly believe that education is the key to social mobility; providing limitless opportunities for children to shape their futures.
Our pupils’ backgrounds, our culture and our climate for learning provide the following drivers that underpin all areas of our curriculum:
• Possibilities - which helps pupils to build aspirations and know the many available possibilities for their future lives. We want our children to find their passions.
• Growth - which helps to instil in our pupils a mindset that they can continue to learn and grow and what they need to do to enable this to happen.
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; that learning is most effective with spaced repetition and that regular retrieval of previously learned content should be frequent and regular in order to increase both storage and retrieval strength. We also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our academic curriculum sets out:
a) a clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered
b) progression grids/End of Year Milestones for each subject area.
For 2019/20 we will be working on creating our Key Concepts. These are the key knowledge and skills which are revisited every year to secure understanding. They are our ‘Thinking like a Scientist’, ‘Thinking like a Historian’, ‘Thinking like an Author’ statements etc. Our next step will be to develop criteria for depth of understanding in each subject area based on Blooms Taxonomy.
For KS1 and KS2 our curriculum for the foundation subjects is covered as half termly topics which are outlined below (However, we do not restrict a unit to a half term). Subjects are generally taught discretely within the topic however links are made when appropriate.
Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content.
- Has links with the children's work in English and maths.
- Begins with an exciting Entry Point. This is an activity which will engage and motivate the children and spark their curiosity for the lessons ahead. It is also an opportunity to assess pupils’ prior knowledge and use this to inform planning.
- Includes many opportunities for ‘Connect’ activities, especially at the start and end of each lesson. These give pupils an opportunity to retrieve prior learning and connect it to new learning.
- Subject specific vocabulary is attached to each unit of work. This will include words which are being introduced for the first time and words which will need to be revisited.
- Ends with an Exit point which provides an opportunity for all children to 'show what they know'. This may take the form of a presentation to parents, a piece of writing, a showcase of work to another class or perhaps an ICT presentation. Many of the children’s Exit point tasks will then be collated into their individual celebration books.
We have ordered our topics in their current order for a number of different reasons including:
- They enable the children to follow a particular journey within a subject for example in Geography – local then national, then international or sketching as the first unit in Art, as this is then built on in each subsequent unit or poetry before narrative in English to generate vocabulary and imagery.
- They are linked with particular seasons/times of the year/trips/events.
- They are linked with our design technology units, which all occur in the second half of each term.
We offer a thoughtful range of experiences that support our culture. Our curriculum includes exciting subject and theme immersion days and weeks which allow a more in depth focus on individual subjects and a variety of enrichment opportunities including visits out and visitors into school. These opportunities are being carefully planned for as part of our Artsmark journey, which is based around the development of a St Christopher’s Culture Map. (See separate tab on the Curriculum page for more detail).
The impact of our curriculum will hopefully be that pupils will leave us, prepared for the next stage in their lives. That they will be confident, articulate, independent and resilient and able to work towards a positive future and a happy life.
Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment, therefore answers two main questions: ‘How well are pupils coping with curriculum content? and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it and are fluent in it; Some pupils have a greater depth of understanding. We monitor children’s work and pupil voice carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.
Core Subjects including RE and Science are assessed using Pupil Progress Grids and termly tracking systems are updated. The Assessment team subsequently produces termly reports showing attainment and progress of individuals and groups and this is shared with subject leaders, classteachers and other relevant stakeholders eg Governors. Foundation subjects are formatively assessed against the key concepts and progression grids and against how likely pupils are to reach age related expectations by the end of each key stage. This information is used by classteachers to adapt their planning and is collated at the end of the academic year and reported to parents each July.
Assessment data is used to identify gaps in pupil’s knowledge, skills and understanding and to inform curriculum evaluations and design.
Curriculum review is an on-going process at St. Christopher’s, with evidence gathered from monitoring constantly informing its design and development. In addition, we undertake a more formal curriculum review at the end of each academic year, taking into account the views of pupils, staff, parents and governors and making changes accordingly. Our curriculum is constantly being refined and renewed in order to provide our pupils with the best possible provision and outcomes.
You can find more detailed overviews of how each subject is taught by clicking on each of the subject links.
You can find more detailed information about the National Curriculum, including detailed information about English, Maths and Science for each year group by clicking on the link below;