Whole School Curriculum
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, the starting point for our curriculum lies in the consideration of two questions:
- What qualities do we want our pupils to have?
- What kind of people do we want our children to grow into?
Therefore, our curriculum is designed to provide every child with experiences and opportunities which enable them to grow and flourish as unique individuals created by God. We want our curriculum to inspire a love of learning and to provide our children with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become independent, lifelong learners, well-equipped for life in an ever-changing world.
Each step of the learning journey begins with our children reflecting on their own experiences and what has shaped them into who they are today. They then turn their gaze outwards to gain a better understanding of the people, places and world in which they live; before reflecting on how they, as individuals, can influence, change and impact the world around them.
We aim for our pupils to:
- develop a strong understanding of themselves and their own personal identity - understanding ‘who I am and where I come from'
- learn to understand and embrace the rich and sometimes challenging diversity of an ever-changing world – developing knowledge and understanding of their local area, events of national significance and the wider world
- become loving, competent, responsible citizens using their unique strengths, skills and gifts to ‘carve out’ their place in the world – being empowered to have an impact on changing the world for the better
How our curriculum is taught:
The starting point for our curriculum is two-fold - the Catholic Schools’ Profile and the national curriculum.
The Catholic Schools’ Profile outlines the values we aspire to develop in our children in order for them to become successful, lifelong learners. With our values at the core of our curriculum, children are given opportunities to think deeply and learn both collaboratively and independently, developing as successful learners.
Each term, learning in a range of subjects is drawn together under an ‘umbrella’ topic. Topics provide context and meaning for learning and connect areas of learning by making explicit links where they naturally occur. Where subjects do not fit naturally into a topic, they are taught discretely.
Our topics are built around providing experiences of new and engaging content followed by in-depth exploration of previous and new areas of learning; enabling our children to know more and remember more. This leads them to become experts in the use of new knowledge and skills.
High priority is given to developing and embedding fundamental knowledge and skills in reading writing and maths. Lessons are planned with an emphasis on rich language and developing an ever-increasing vocabulary. High priority is also given to teaching communication skills, both verbal and written, in order to support self-expression, emotional well-being and the fostering of successful relationships. This provides children with essential tools for learning and life beyond St. Joseph’s.
Our curriculum is enriched through a programme of educational visits, visitors to school, outdoor learning in our school grounds and exploration of our locality. We also have strong links with our parish; pupils attend and take part in Mass regularly and our Parish priest, a regular visitor in school.
Alongside subjects taught as part of the national curriculum, we offer experiences to enrich our curriculum. These include chess, taught by specialist instructors, dance taught by a specialist dance teacher and forest school. In addition to this, our pupils take part in many sporting activities and tournaments.
We are constantly reviewing and adapting our curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils and our school context. Below is an overview of the topics in place from April 2023. Some further adjustments will be made at the end of this academic year, ready for September 2023.
How we measure our children’s progress and achievement
Children’s learning is assessed within every lesson, with teachers identifying the progress children have made towards key learning. This information is gathered through discussion, questioning, and the completion of activities and informs teachers’ planning of the next steps to be taught. At the end of each term, assessment data informs teacher assessment which is then monitored by the senior leadership team. Progress is tracked and reported to parents at Parents’ Evenings and in end of year reports.