St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
Our Whole School Curriculum
Our Curriculum Drivers
Curriculum drivers can be thought of as the foundations for the curriculum – they are key principles that anchor the school’s provision in all aspects of learning and wider school life. As a school our Curriculum Key Drivers are:
‘Learning through the love of Jesus Christ’
Our curriculum is underpinned by a Catholic education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the Gospel underpin all aspects of school life. It is important that our children leave us as loving and respectful individuals, who have the knowledge and skills they need to become part of their own and wider global community.
Healthy body and mind
It is important to us that our children are healthy- physically and mentally. Throughout their life, our children will face many difficult challenges and need to have the mental and physical strength to be successful and happy. Through our curriculum we will ensure that our children develop an awareness of how to keep themselves safe and healthy, in today’s society. By building strong relationships with our children and their families, as well as offering pastoral support, we are able to tailor our provision to meet the individual needs of our children, which allows our children to be happy and healthy.
Independence is the key to living life to the full, confidently and to be self-sufficient. We aim to ensure our children develop the life skills necessary to work and live with growing independence and perseverance, by becoming resourceful problem-solvers and nurturing challenge and aspiration. Through our curriculum, we will ensure our children develop a commitment to learning and self-improvement, both inside and outside of the school environment. As well as, giving them the opportunity to organise themselves, show personal responsibility and nurture an understanding that individuals must take ownership of their actions.
We are ambitious for our children to engage, challenge and express their ideas in a variety of creative forms. Our curriculum provides them with the opportunities to be imaginative, curious, adventurous and confident, by allowing them to use their critical thinking skills, take risks and explore through new and exciting experiences.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we are committed to providing an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of our learners. We provide our children with the opportunities to gain the essential skills, knowledge and understanding, to succeed and reach their full potential academically, socially and personally.
Our curriculum emcompasses the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, as well as providing our children with a range of learning experiences that inspire our children and support in shaping their futures, as responsible global citizens.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School our strong Cathloic ethos of faith, love, trust, resilience, respect and excellence, ensures our children have positive relationships and are guided by the teaching of the Gospel.
Our curriculum is implemented with our key drivers and curriculum intent at the heart of all that we do, at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.
Our curriculum subject whole school overviews are consistently used and adapted to meet the needs of the learners, each year, ensuring coverage, with a strong focus on the progression of knowledge, skills, the love of reading and cultural capital. Enrichment opportunities are carefully selected to provide all children with rich experiences to enhance their learning. Developing the teaching of the Gospel and an understanding of fundamental British Values is weaved into the curriculum and assembly themes.
The implementation of our curriculum is based on evidence from principles of learning, on-going assessment and cognitive research. These main principles underpin the teaching and learning in the school, to ensure our children are actively involved in the learning process:
Metacognition and Self Regulation Strategies:
- Explicitly teach, by focusing on activating prior knowledge, introducing new knowledge and skills, modelling the application of knowledge and skills, and providing ample opportunity for independent practice and reflection.
- Supporting children to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning
- Using questioning to engage, monitor their progress and stimulate thinking
- Modelling thinking, to allow children to hear the thought processes used to consider, analyse and solve problems. This may be as simple as 'thinking aloud'.
Cognitive Learning Strategies:
- Asking children to reflect and discuss their learning experiences.
- Helping children look for new solutions to a problem.
- Promoting class discussions about the subject material.
- Encouraging children to explore ideas and work out how they are connected.
- Getting children to openly explain their reasoning to the subject material.
- Providing visual learning techniques to help children to learn and recall.
The Core Curriculum
For our core subjects, we use a variety of planning resources as we believe that following one programme does not provide the bespoke teaching and learning experience that we want for our pupils. Using prior knowledge as a starting point for all future planning and teaching, we plan lessons which are required for all pupils to make progress.
We use ‘Pathways to Reading’ to teach reading across the school, with a focus on understanding and applying reading skills and fluency, using Reading texts that are enriching and vibrant. Early reading is developed through Little Wandle, where we teach a daily phonics lesson to develop segmenting and blending skills. Reading across the curriculum and reading for pleasure is an integral part of our curriculum.
Our teaching of writing is based on a 'Pathways to Writing’ which develops vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach. The writing units link to high quality texts, which engage the writer and are purposeful.
Maths is taught primarily through the White Rose Maths programme. Skills are taught in small steps and consolidated and applied throughout the lesson. Problem solving and reasoning are integral components of our Maths lessons.
At St Joseph’s we use the ‘The Way, The Truth & The Life’ Religious Education programme from EYFS to Year 6. It is based on the theological foundations of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Catechism and the revised RE Curriculum Directory. This programme gives children the opportunity to study a different aspect of the Catholic faith at an appropriate level for their age.
Relationship and Health Education
At St Joseph’s, we have chosen to use the programme: Life to the Full by Ten Ten Resources to support the teaching of Relationship Education within the school.
Life to the Full is a comprehensive and fully resourced programme which embraces and fulfils the new statutory curriculum within a Catholic Context. It is based on ‘A Model Catholic RSE [Relationships and Sex Education] Curriculum’ created by the Catholic Education Service and was highlighted as a work of good practice by the Department of Education.
The programme adopts a spiral curriculum approach so that as our children go through the programme year-after-year. Their learning will develop and grow at an age appropriate stage, with each stage building on from the last. The entire teaching is underpinned with a religious understanding that our deepest identity is as a child of God– created, chosen and loved by God. Life to the Full contains creative resources to engage, inform and inspire our children. This includes interactive video content, story-based activities, a range of teaching tools, original worship music and an accompanying programme of classroom prayers.
The Foundation Subjects Curriculum
Teachers organise each half term's learning under a ’topic’. Where possible teachers plan lessons to ensure the children make connections across a variety of subjects.
- The curriculum is planned thoroughly, starting with the children's current knowledge and skills, so that real progress can be made and measured.
- The topics are rich, inclusive, diverse and relevant texts to complement the learning and enrich the love of reading
- Each term there are a variety of visits and visitors planned in each year group to enrich the learning and create lasting memories via real experiences - Museum visit, workshops, Story-Telling workshops etc.
The curriculum is reinforced by the school’s ethos and values and these are taught on their own and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children and their understanding of British Values and the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.
Theme days e.g. Roman Day, Ancient Greek Day etc, whole school activities, including Science Week and opportunities within and outside school, all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further.
Our children leave St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School with a secure understanding of the academic content; with the understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally responsible and globally aware; how to make positive contributions to the local area and how to endeavour to be the best that they can be. We aim for all of our children to leave St Joseph’s loving, faithful, trustful, respectful, resilient, and ambitious, with the motivation and passion to continue to learn and with a thirst for life and all it has to offer.
We measure the impact of this through:
- Reflecting on the standards achieved against planned outcomes.
- Celebrating the learning, where children demonstrate the knowledge they have gained
- Sampling children's learning across the school, where they demonstrate learning
- Pupil discussions with teachers and Senior Leaders about their learning
- Annual tracking of standards across the curriculum
Please click here for details of the National Curriculum.
Click here for details and of Catholic Life at St Joseph's.