Our intent is to teach a broad and balanced curriculum meeting the demands and challenges of all areas of the National Curriculum – this means we do not narrow learning down into the study of just a few subjects.
Our curriculum planning ensures teachers can teach the knowledge that pupils need to learn to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum. For all subjects we have clearly mapped out learning so it is progressive and pupils acquire the necessary knowledge and vocabulary at each stage of their learning.
Rationale – Why we have designed the curriculum the way we have have
We are here to give our children every opportunity so they can succeed in life. Our children should not get better opportunities anywhere else; they should get them here, in our school.
Our curriculum is designed so that it is progressive and it builds upon prior learning so children are challenged.
We have designed our own curriculum, to consider our unique context and to structure it so that it is progressive, and prepares our children not only for secondary school, but to excel in the areas they are able to.
Above all else, our curriculum teaches our children to develop into the people we want them to be – to develop them as caring young people, sensitive to the needs of others and proud of the responsibilities they take.
As a Catholic school, we have designed a diverse curriculum that teaches pupils morality, respect and a sense of community.
We teach the full National Curriculum because our children deserve to experience all subjects so they can find something they can excel in, or love doing.
Every child in our school deserves the chance to experience an interesting, progressive curriculum – not restricted to a few core subjects.
We have designed our own curriculum, unique to our context where possible.
Our aim is to ensure that the children are taught all of the National Curriculum objectives in a meaningful way, so learning is built upon as the children develop through the school; ensuring each child is prepared for the next stage in their lives.
The core of all of our subjects is Religious Education. Please refer to the school website for information as to our Religious Education curriculum.
English, Maths and Science
The teaching of English is central to the success of our curriculum. We want our children to be able to read, write and engage in debates and discussion.
The teaching of English is planned so that learning is sequenced and progressive in the areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
There are four phases to each unit of English:
Phase 1 – At the beginning of a new genre, pupils take part in whole class guided reading. This involves looking at a text more closely, discussing vocabulary, answering a variety of questions and developing inference skills.
Phase 2 – Discovering features of writing and developing sentence work or focusing on a GPS objective.
Phase 3 – Modelling writing and extended writing.
Phase 4 – Editing before writing a final piece.
Teachers use carefully chosen quality texts that support the children’s learning in other subject areas. The texts act as the stimulus to teach pupils to speak and write fluently, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children of all abilities are immersed in high quality literature.
Our approach to reading follows these core principles:
- Specific and explicit teaching of reading and skills.
- Promotes rich and varied vocabulary and a deeper understanding of text.
- Engages, provokes and stimulates deep thinking.
- Provides clear insight into children’s progress in reading.
- Requires children and staff to deepen the quality of the level of questioning and discussion
Reading at home
Books throughout school are banded into colours. Early reading focuses on phonics and all books the children read are matched to their phonic ability. Children will work at their own pace through the bands only moving on when teachers feel they are ready to progress. Movement between bands is not only dependent on the ability to decode, but also on being able to show an appropriate comprehension of texts they meet.
As children move through EYFS and KS1, they develop their skills in decoding. By the time they reach KS2 most children have mastered their phonic skills and the balance moves towards making meaning from the text and developing fluency. The expectation is for every child to read to an adult at home every day for 10 to 20 minutes.
Every new writing genre begins with a whole class guided reading session. Children in Key Stage 1 will read their reading book to an adult in school twice a week and children in Key Stage 2 once a week.
Having engaging and challenging core texts allows pupils to develop a love of literature and read for enjoyment. Ensuring all pupils develop all the skills of language are essential not only in order to access the rest of the curriculum but also to participate fully as a member of society and ultimately positively impact on their future life chances.
We follow the maths mastery approach to the teaching of Maths, teaching all aspects of the Maths National Curriculum planning time to allow our children to revisit topics several times over the year allowing their knowledge to be embedded.
We support teaching and learning using the White Rose Scheme in order to ensure that our children have full coverage of the curriculum.
We ensure that maths is taught using a wide array of maths models and manipulatives to aid and support our children in their learning.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
We encourage the deepest of learning for our children so that their knowledge can be transferred.
We ensure that the three core areas of the national curriculum are covered:
- problem solving
We offer children the opportunity to have varied and frequent practice of their maths skills (Maths meetings, Flashback 4 and Times Tables Challenges, Key Instant Recall of Facts (KIRFS)) with the focus on their ability to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Mathematical thinking is a key area in all our lessons as our children need to be able to problem solve and reason. They are taught to describe, explain, convince, justify and prove to be successful in this subject.
Mathematical vocabulary is an essential part of each lesson, so the children can make connections across other areas within this subject. Maths lessons provide children with the opportunity to communicate their reasoning through the use of mathematical language to solve routine and non-routine problems.
We work closely with the Archimedes Maths Hub to develop and spread excellent teaching of a mastery approach to maths lessons.
The science curriculum has been designed to best reflect the skills and knowledge required from the national curriculum. The objectives from the national curriculum have been adapted into weekly lesson objectives; these objectives have been sequenced effectively in order to ensure coverage of the topic allows children to develop a deep understanding of the topic.
The lessons in our curriculum aim for children to understand the world around them by consistently delivering engaging and exciting lessons where children have the opportunity to learn from real life experiences as well as opportunities to write extended pieces which show their depth of understanding. High level vocabulary and questioning is used throughout to provide children with opportunities to develop scientific understanding whilst applying writing skills which reflect and build on English skills.
For all foundation subjects (History, Geography, PE, Art, DT, French and Music):
We have developed a progressive, sequential planning for all areas of the curriculum. This has been personalised to our children and school context.
All areas of the curriculum have clear sequential plans where knowledge is built over time for all pupils to help them learn more and remember more. Vocabulary and skills are clearly mapped out to support teachers and to help children learn better.
School leaders have used the statutory elements of the National Curriculum 2014 to plan progressive and sequential coverage for each stage of learning.
Leaders have also considered essential prior learning and key vocabulary for each year group. Research carried out by Hart and Risley (1995) shows that there is a vocabulary gap of approximately 30 million words between people from different social classes. We have designed our curriculum so our children develop a greater vocabulary to equip them for learning and for life. We focus on developing vocabulary across the curriculum by:
- explicit teaching of new vocabulary , which is mapped out across all subjects
- exposure our pupils to a rich language environment with opportunities to hear and confidently experiment with new words.
For all pupils to:
- Become fluent and confident readers and to develop an appreciation and love of reading whilst gaining knowledge across the curriculum.
- Apply excellent basic skills across the curriculum including reading, writing and mathematics.
- Develop a sense of morality, respect and community.
- Be excited by the curriculum and want to learn.
- Retain key knowledge in all curriculum areas.
- Become independent, resilient learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond).
- Be challenged and make progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability).
- Have a broad and lasting knowledge of subject specific vocabulary.
- Have a wide range of life experiences that enhance their learning (including residential visits and extra-curricular activities).
Our aim is also to prepare them to have active roles in the community of Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick and our wider world. We want to provide a thirst for knowledge and encourage our children to be ambitious; to encourage them to try new skills without a fear of failure.
The outcomes of the curriculum are measured by the attainment and progress made by the children. Put simply: how much the children know and remember including whether or not the children have mastered a particular skill. Teachers continually use assessment of the children’s responses and the work they produce to measure impact. Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. This includes book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations to measure the impact of teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders also have the school’s curriculum assessment data to support judgements on the impact our curriculum is having.