Summary of the curriculum changes from September 2019
Statement of intent
At St Chad’s, we understand that in order for our pupils to live out our mission statement, our curriculum needed to change. We need to equip our pupils with the knowledge that they can change our world for the better and that positive action is needed to address some of the global issues that we face. In order for them to do that, our curriculum must teach them about the issues that affect them through our foundation subjects. Our curriculum must be one that gives children the knowledge and skills to equip them to make a difference; and a desire to know more. Alongside the other schools in our cluster we will be basing our school curriculum on the Pope’s vision of ‘Caritas in Action’ through the ‘Building the Kingdom’ document.
This document describes how we deliver our curriculum at each phase and each subject, including personal, social, health and economic education.
· “At St Chad’s we grow in the light of Christ, to share his love and reflect the Gospel values”
1. Promoting fundamental British values
1.1. Citizens of the UK should:
· Respect and obey the law.
· Respect the rights of others, including their right to their own opinions.
· Treat others with fairness.
· Look after themselves and their family.
· Look after the area in which they live and the environment.
1.2. We believe that our behaviour policy underpins the fundamental British values to:
· Always try our best at everything we do.
· Listen to each other.
· Treat each other with respect and value our differences.
· Be Compassionate, Truthful and Active in all we do.
1.3. We promote fundamental British values throughout our curriculum
2. Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)
2.1. In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
· Throughout the curriculum, children are taught how to make relationships and understand how to communicate their feelings. Their self-confidence and awareness develop through the planned activities throughout the year. Through class, group and individual sessions with staff. Pupils learn to manage their feelings and what are the appropriate behaviours for the varied areas of school life. This supported by the nursing team who provide sessions that enhance the PSHE curriculum.
2.2. In key stage 1
· PSHE in KS1 permeates all aspects of the curriculum. Children build on what they have learned and experienced in EY. They continue to be supported in dealing with their feelings and emotions and are taught about the importance of healthy relationships and lifestyles. Through the computing curriculum, they learn to keep safe online. Through collective worship, RE and other subjects, we learn to value differences and that God loves us all equally, whatever our language, gender, culture or beliefs. Again, this is supported by the school nurse and learning and behaviour mentor.
2.3. In Years KS2
· Our “Building the kingdom” and Caritas in action schemes are central to how we will be teaching PSHE in KS2. Children will learn about taking care of the environment and the challenges in our local community. They will know about the wider community and that they have the power to change things. We build on their knowledge of relationships through our “good to be me” programme. We continue to look at strategies to build self-confidence and being aware of the dangers around us. E-safety is taught through the computing curriculum. For pupils who need further support in managing their feelings and behaviour, we have an intervention programme; “friends for life” run by our mentors. This is underpinned by our “dot.com” scheme which is each week.
The phonics programme used is ‘Letters and sounds’ and the spelling programme we use is RWInc. It is an interactive programme which teaches spellings in a fun and engaging way. Each unit is introduced with a short video. It helps children to learn spellings with common patterns and uses rules in order to help them recall spellings as well as teaching exceptions to these rules.
The National curriculum spellings have been divided into year groups and children are tested termly;
At St Chad’s , we follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2. Our new parents to EYFS are introduced to phonics and are taught how to sound the letters correctly. As children work through the stages of the scheme, they will be heard reading on a regular basis in school.
Children are also able to choose their own books from a wide range in our class libraries and our school library. As soon as children are assessed as competent readers and that they have a secure understanding of what they have read, they will have more freedom to choose their own titles from the books we have in school.
Reading is taught in many different ways at St Chad’s and runs through all lessons. Teachers and teaching assistants listen to children read individually on a one to one basis regularly. This provides children with valuable one to one time, support and guidance. There are whole class reading sessions where children share the reading of a piece of text whilst the teacher models the skills of good readers, including reading with fluency and expression.
Guided Reading is taught in small groups in EYFS and Y1 once a week where teaching assistants and the class teacher work in small groups of similar reading abilities supported and planned by the teacher. During these sessions, they will look at a text in detail, discussing the meaning of what we have read and they will practice specific skills for comprehension such as decoding, inference and deduction.
Reading for Pleasure has been launched across the school this academic year. The strategies that we are employing are based on the Open University – Teacher’s as Readers project. Social reading environments are being developed across the school as successful environments tempt children into texts and offer spaces to relax, browse, and read for pleasure. All classrooms have a reading area.
This year we have launched a ‘Top 100’ Books to read by the time the children leave primary school. Each year group has been allocated books to ensure breadth of reading.
The library is being opened to parents again this year, once a week, to further encourage reading for pleasure and more importantly reading at home.
We deliver whole class reading sessions 4 times a week and have recently started using the Power of Reading. The Power of Reading uses high quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to engage teachers and children in the English curriculum. Children read independently once a week for up to 40 minutes.
During the year, we celebrated World Book day ‘bedtime Stories’. Children came to school in their pyjamas. Throughout the day we had ‘drop everything and read’, a book swop, and various activities around books. We were also one of five schools chosen, from across the country, for every child in the school to receive a free book through Scholastic. We will be having our first Scholastic book fayre after Christmas.
The reading intervention programme we use is Project Code X. It combines phonics and comprehension development.
In EYFS, we help with the development of gross motor skills predominantly through the outdoor area - climbing frame, bikes, hula hoops, balls, basket ball nets, balance bars. We encourage children to explore different ways of moving and controlling their bodies. This is also addressed in the PE lessons.
We encourage the development of fine motor skills through lots of activities in continuous provision: play-dough, clay, salt dough, threading activities (beads, pasta, cheerios etc.), pipette activities (e.g. colour mixing using pipettes), tweezer activities (e.g. sorting pom poms using tweezers), following patterns with different writing tools, practicing letter formation, colouring in opportunities. We encourage mark making by covering different areas in the environment with backing paper and giving the children a range of writing tools to experiment with on the paper. Sometimes we also use a programme called 'dough disco' whereby the children follow instructions of what to do with their play-dough, with music.
We follow Pie Corbett’s writing progression for skills and sentence construction. We also use Alan Peats sentences constructions.
Children are responsible for correcting and improving their writing as this is a more effective way of feedback.
We follow EYFS curriculum guidance for Mathematics and employ a mastery approach. However, we are committed to ensuring the confident development of number sense and put emphasis on mastery of key early concepts. Pupils develop models and images for numbers as a solid foundation for further progress.
The school uses a mastery approach to teaching Mathematics so pupils develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics at each stage of learning. In Years 1 – 5 the whole class is taught mathematics together, with no differentiation by acceleration to new content. In Year 6 children are taught in smaller teaching groups to focus learning in order to accelerate progress. The learning needs of individual pupils are addressed through careful scaffolding, skilful questioning and appropriate rapid intervention, in order to provide the necessary support and challenge. The aim of our curriculum is to explore the big ideas in mathematics, encourage deeper thinking and independence as well as a secure understanding of key mathematical structures.
Mathematics is a core subject in the National Curriculum and we use the objectives from this, resources from Maths No Problem (Y1-5) and the National Council for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) to support planning and to assess children’s progress. Objectives are taken from the relevant year band overview and medium term plans. These objectives enable progression in learning towards National Curriculum level descriptors. Class teachers write weekly plans for the teaching of Mathematics. These weekly plans list the specific learning objectives for each lesson and give details of how the lessons are to be taught.
Lessons are structured around the concrete – pictorial –abstract approach, providing opportunities throughout for discussion, using mathematical vocabulary, developing mathematical thinking, reasoning, problem solving and using multiple representations. Fact fluency is built into every lesson with a fluency focus session to develop fluency with basic number facts. The teaching is episodic and whole-class based (in Y1-5) with everyone covering the same content. This year we are introducing the ‘Times Tables Rock stars’ programme to develop pupils recall of number facts.
Maths is taught daily and discretely. Although maths is taught as a discrete subject, staff are encouraged to exploit any cross-curricular links and provide opportunities for children to demonstrate their mastery of concepts or skills in other subjects and the Building the Kingdom curriculum, such as number and measurement foci in seasons, growing plants, cooking and nutrition topics.
3.3 Physical Education (PE)
The PE Programme is planned with the support of the sports premium governor to ensure that we are ensuring our sports Premium is being spent to ensure the greatest impact. We have employed a PE specialist to work alongside our teachers to support them in giving high-quality provision. Our after-school sports club are supported with specialist coaches. We are a member of the King Edward’s Sports Partnership and this affords us training opportunities and level 2 and 3 competitions in a range of sports.
The computing curriculum is planned to ensure that the children become digitally literate. They will be able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology, enabling them to reach the required level by the end of Key Stage 2 and be active participants in a digital world.
Online safety is a key feature that runs through all lessons, the document Education for a Connected World is used to ensure there is progression across all Year groups. Children are taught about the underpinning knowledge and behaviours that can help them to navigate the online world safely and confidently regardless of the device, platform or app.
Code.org is used to teach the children computer science, this platform provides them with the key skills they need to achieve in each year group.
Cross Curricular Links
• Mathematics – pattern recognition, problem solving and data handling.
• English - Instructional writing links with the teaching of algorithms. Working out how to break something down into steps, gives children the skills they need to write a successful algorithm.
• Art - Computing skills can be used to create digital art, explore the idea of abstraction, the removal of unnecessary detail, to view things in their simplest form.
• Science - The collection and organisation of data links Science and Computing. The process of predicting, testing and reviewing appear in both subjects
3.5 Modern foreign languages (MFL)
As part of the curriculum at St Chads, we offer Spanish as a modern foreign language. In KS1 all children have access to one 45 minutes lesson per week, except Reception who have 30 minutes per week, in which all cover the basics of the language, for example; greetings, numbers, colours, and pets. We then move on to slightly more complex language in KS2 such as verbs, grammar, and opinions. The content of the curriculum is delivered within the 4 main skill areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.
We believe the specialist teaching that our students receive will stand them in excellent stead when progressing on to secondary school as well as providing them with a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around them. We hope that each child acquires an open-mindedness and desire that will encourage them to discover more as they grow up, allowing them to be tolerant and accepting of other cultures, religions, and people.
Our specialist Spanish teacher, Mrs. Holley is English, however, has lived in Spain and 20 years experience teaching Spanish at both primary and secondary level. She has a passion for the language and aims to encourage all her students to develop the same love for the language through fun, relevant, engaging lessons.