Our curriculum sets out what we want pupils to know and be able to do by the time they leave our school and reflects the expectations of the national curriculum. It stems from the needs and abilities of the children we teach and aims to promote a life-long love of learning.
It is driven by our school vision that we, as a Church of England school, want our pupils to believe in themselves, and God, so they have the confidence to overcome barriers in order to achieve to the best of their ability whatever they aspire to. It is based on our core values of compassion, forgiveness, respect, trust and justice.
Our motto is believe and achieve. We want our pupils to aim high and have confidence in their own abilities so they can reach their full potential. Our deep and rich curriculum is designed to give our children opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and experiences required to prepare them for their future life.
We are determined to ensure that despite being in an area of disadvantage, all of our pupils will access their fundamental right to be educated to their full potential and achieve as well as pupils from other areas. This means having access to a broad and balanced curriculum which includes access to visits and visitors that enhance learning as well as a range of extra -curricular activities available to pupils to develop the whole child. We believe that children will learn best when they are engaged and enjoying lessons. We aim to make lessons interesting and relevant by using practical activities and real life experiences wherever possible.
Our intent is that children will have a curriculum that is connected and that they are not taught knowledge and skills in isolation. Our curriculum has many opportunities to revisit prior learning to enable it to be transferred to the long term memory as we recognise that this is something that our children need.
We focus on what children have remembered from previous learning opportunities and revisit this to allow them to see the links between learning.
The way our curriculum is delivered ensures that previous knowledge and skills are built upon so that children make appropriate progress in all areas. Assessment of prior learning forms the basis of next steps. At St Paul’s we believe that children learn best when they have an experience or stimulus which enthuses them to learn, because of this, our curriculum is based on questions. Children are therefore encouraged to ask questions, research and develop their own thinking in order to make connections between different topics studied.
The impact of our curriculum is that the majority of children will retain information and can apply this. Some children will have achieved greater depth in certain areas. Pupils’ progress is tracked in a variety of ways to ensure that teaching is impacting positively on learning.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
In EYFS chosen topics are child led, this means that learning is planned in response to what children are interested in and to provide opportunities to develop a range of early skills. This is facilitated by a plan, do, review cycle where children are involved in the decision making. The curriculum in early years provides many opportunities for the development of talk as this allows children to access their learning at an appropriate level this is further enhanced by trained staff delivering Wellcomm and Elklan. Stories and rhymes are used to support the delivery of chosen subjects. Topics are further enhanced through play and access to activities both indoors and outdoors.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
English and Maths are taught daily through Read Write Inc Phonics, Literacy and Language and Power Maths. Other curriculum subjects are taught through topics which support acquisition of knowledge and the opportunity to apply this is different contexts. Personal, Social and Health Education is taught explicitly via the Scarf scheme but many further opportunities are woven into a range of topics and subjects.
St Paul’s recognises and values the importance of talk for our children and therefore all staff are trained to develop social skills such as turn taking, listening and speaking in full sentences in all subjects. This promotes inclusivity and respect amongst pupils which are valuable life skills. Parents and children have a weekly talk question to promote talking at home.
We aim to promote the development of children’s working memory so that knowledge taught is fully embedded into long term memory. Our approach allows the basics to be practiced and frequently revisited to ensure that learning can be easily recalled and applied to a range of subjects.
Reasoning and problem solving
Wherever possible, our curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to explain their thinking and to apply their skills and knowledge to solve problems. This could be in maths where children are asked to prove why they have come to get the answer; in Guided Reading where they are encouraged to explain their understanding of texts; in topic where they are encouraged to make links with learning in other subjects or in science when children have to suggest questions to investigate and make hypothesis based on their knowledge and understanding.
"The curriculum, which is taught in a series of topics, us enriched by a range of trips and activities. It captures pupils' interest and promotes their desire to learn." Ofsted 2019
Curriculum - Subject Overviews
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language,
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundation knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Art and Design
Through art and design we aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. The children will also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Pupils will be taught to:
- to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.
- to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas,
- experiences and imagination.
- to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
- about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.
- to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.
- to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials, for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay.
- about great artists, architects and designers in history.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Design and Technology
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. In our school we believe in developing an inclusive curriculum that gives every child the opportunity to develop their imagination and put their practical skills to good use.
Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Since the new curriculum for 2014 was introduced, FL (Foreign Language) has become a statutory subject to all classes in Key Stage 2 (years 3- 6). All our junior classes at St Paul’s are taught Spanish on a weekly basis for 30 minutes. In addition to this, we have a Spanish after school club that offers basic vocabulary skills, taught through games and songs, which is open to all pupils in Key Stage 1.
High quality teaching of foreign languages should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for future language teaching at KS3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary. The New National Curriculum for Foreign Languages aims to ensure that children are able to listen and engage, express opinions, speak in simple language and be understood, develop basic punctuation, present ideas and information orally, show understanding in simple reading, adapt known language to create new ideas, to describe people, places and things and to understand basic grammar such as gender.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
At St Paul’s, along with each class being taught the music curriculum for their year group, we also provide musical workshops and performances from outside agencies, guitar tuition to all Year 5 children and after school music clubs. The clubs we currently offer are guitar group, choir and recorder club. The school choir is very proactive in joining up with other community groups and local schools to take part in performances outside of our own school.
As a school we provide high quality Physical Education within the curriculum and sporting opportunities outside of it.
Physical literacy provides learners with the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to maintain physical activity throughout life. Through games, gymnastics and dance children are taught to:
- master basic movements such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities
- participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
- perform dances using simple movement patterns
Through games, gymnastics, dance and athletics children are taught to:
- use running, jumping, catching and throwing in isolation and in combination
- play competitive games, modified where appropriate, such as [football, netball, rounders, cricket, hockey, basketball, badminton and tennis,]and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
- develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance, [for example through gymnastics and athletics]
- perform dances using a range of movement patterns
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
- compare their performances with previous ones to achieve their personal best
R.E. and Worship
As an Aided church school we teach the Christian faith in accordance with the doctrine of the Church of England; R.E. is, therefore, a vital part of the curriculum. In our daily worship/ assemblies we celebrate and explore the Christian values upon which the ethos of our school is founded.
It is also our moral duty in a modern, diverse society to teach understanding and empathy with the other major world faiths – Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Humanism.
Parents have the legal right to withdraw their children from R.E. lessons and worship. If they wish to do this, alternative arrangements will be made for your child during these times. Parents should speak to the Headteacher about this, though as we are a church school we would not expect this to happen.