‘Young people get one opportunity to learn in school and we owe it to them to make sure they all get an education that is broad, rich and deep.’ Speilman

 

St. Bernadette’s Primary School aims to provide an outstanding education and ensure children develop towards their full as exemplified in our school vision: ‘Be strong and courageous. Inspire each other to excellence, shining in the light of Christ and making a positive impact on the world.’

The St. Bernadette’s Curriculum Guide

Please find below a full and comprehensive guide to our rationale behind planning, assessment and the curriculum.

At St Bernadette’s we want to create people who will go on to make an impact in the world.  We believe our curriculum will inspire children to go on and achieve great things!

 

A Vision for a truly Creative Curriculum

At St. Bernadette’s, we have re-designed, planned and created our own Creative Curriculum and planning and assessment framework, which we believe will allow us to thoroughly excite and engage our children in their learning, providing high levels of challenge, whilst also allowing us to  track and rigorously assess our children to ensure consistently excellent levels of progress.

At St. Bernadette’s, our aim is to provide constantly high standards of teaching which stimulate and motivate children to learn. We use and instigate best practice and innovation to deliver a school curriculum that is rich as well as broad and balanced.

We are inspirational, creative and diverse, engaging in child-led learning, with the aim to help all our children regardless of ability become lifelong learners.

 

National Curriculum

Our statement of intent for our whole school curriculum is to ensure our pupils develop the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude to achieve fulfilling lives. We ensure this through;

  1. High expectations of behaviour and learning – we aim to provide an inclusive culture of high expectations whereby every child succeeds and progress from their starting points is clear.
  2. Differentiation – all of our children are supported to meet individual targets. Our curriculum meets the needs of the children.
  3. Independent learning and problem solving – children are active participants in their own learning and develop understanding through real experiences and enquiry.
  4. Challenge and enrichment – our curriculum is driven by stimulating and enthusiastic teaching which ignites a love of learning and motivates and inspires pupils to achieve more.

Our new, Creative Curriculum allows us greater freedom whilst still covering all required elements of the National Curriculum (2014).

The National Curriculum allows us, as a school, a number of freedoms:

  1. How to teach – The Programmes of study outline what is to be taught but not how it should be taught
  2. Which aspects of the subject pupils study in depth – The requirement is for schools to cover the programme of study but individual teachers can decide which aspects they wish to emphasise. For example they may choose to cover some aspects in a single afternoon and a whole term on others.
  3. How long to spend on each subject – It is for school to decide how to deliver the curriculum and how to organise their timetables.
  4. How to arrange learning in a school day – There is no requirement for subjects to be taught discretely. Subjects can be grouped or taught through projects, if strong enough links can be made to develop pupils’ understanding and skills

Planning

At St Bernadette’s, we have a clear vision of our curriculum expectations and have created long-term Curriculum plans for all year groups, all subject areas are mapped out across all year groups to ensure excellent coverage and progression.

All Long Term Planning is available below by clicking on the appropriate year group.  

Bespoke medium and short term planning provides greater depth and creativity to expected learning.

Curriculum coverage

Each term we send to parents Curriculum Newsletters which provide a summary of the topics that children are studying.  We always encourage parental support with our work.  These newsletters can be found on the Class pages section of the website along with information about the fun and interesting activities each class are partaking in.

Y1-6 Foundation subject coverage

To ensure deep and in-depth coverage of all foundation subject areas, we have designated each term to a specific foundation subject area.

Autumn Term: History

Spring Term: Geography

Summer Term: Art and Design & Technology

All other subjects are taught throughout the full academic year.

Y1-6 Assessment of core subjects

Key performance Indicators have been designed and created for each individual year group to monitor and track progress across Key Stages/year groups.  KPIs have been tailored for the needs of St. Bernadette’s to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum in all core subjects: Literacy, Maths and Science.

R.E is assessed across school using a termly tracker, formatively tracking work as well as the summative assessment of work.

These KPIs have been carefully mapped out across the subject specific terms to ensure full and complete coverage of the National Curriculum and are used to plan suitably challenging, engaging and exciting lessons for children to develop their skills.  All KPIs are updated formatively and used to accurately assess children’s attainment as well as inform future teaching and learning through planning

Y1-6 Assessment of Foundation subjects

Key Performance Indicators have also been designed and created for each individual year group to monitor and track progress across Key Stages/year groups in all foundation subjects.

These KPIs have been carefully mapped out across the subject specific terms to ensure full and complete coverage of the National Curriculum and are used to plan suitably challenging, engaging and exciting activities for children to develop their skills as well as being used to formatively and accurately assess children’s attainment.

Y1-6 Metacognition

We ensure our children retain as much information as possible to allow them to transfer knowledge and understanding across different areas of the curriculum.

We have embedded metacognitive strategies throughout all medium term planning to aid retention and memory. We have also created summative assessments to assess our children’s retention of new teaching to aid future planning.

Extended Schools

We are incredibly lucky in the amount of extra curricular activities on offer to our children both during and after school.  This huge variety includes: drama club, football clubs, archery, tag rugby, guitar club, science club, dance, cookery,  gardening, languages and many more.

Our school staff offers their time, energy and expertise willingly to offer our children as many different experiences as possible to enrich their learning

Educational Visits

All classes enjoy regular educational visits and visitors, which thoroughly enrich learning and promote independence and excitement.

Y6 children also enjoy two three-day residentials in October and June: one outward bounds activities and then a reflective, spiritual retreat to look back and reflect on their time together.

Y6 Transition

We have strong links with Trinity Catholic College, our partnership secondary school.  Our children are welcomed to Trinity throughout their time with us to sporting events, extra-curricular activities as well as teaching and learning opportunities to benefit from the superb facilities, resources and expertise available.

Some feedback from our past students, now studying at Trinity Catholic College:

“Everyone was very welcoming, I felt like I belonged at Trinity from the first moment I arrived.”

It was really easy moving from St. Bernadette’s to Trinity as the teachers were very helpful and it was also very easy to make friends as the school has clubs where you can do sports which is an amazing thing to make friends through.”

“Trinity is a very inclusive school and provides a supportive and welcoming atmosphere to all students; there is a wide range of activities and resources available to everyone. Students have a positive mindset and attitude towards learning which helps progress within subjects.”

 

 

EYFS Curriculum

The EYFS department is the start of our pupil’s school journey towards achieving this important purpose.

At St Bernadette’s, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning.  We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential.

Our EYFS curriculum ensures we are able to meet the individual needs of every child within the department.  All our children have personalised targets. These targets ensure every child is working towards achieving the outcomes in their personalised Education Health and Care Plan.  In the EYFS department personalised targets are developed through a curriculum that reflects the learner’s age, developmental readiness and individual needs.

 

The principles that guide the work in the EYFS are grouped into 4 themes:

  • A unique child, Positive relationships, Enabling Environments, Learning and Development
  • The EYFS Curriculum consists of the seven areas of Learning and Development.
  • The three prime areas of learning are:
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development

 

The four specific areas of learning are:  Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding of the World, Expressive Arts and Design

The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities

The curriculum in Early Years is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It facilitates them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and preparing them for the next stage of their education.

Our ethos in Early Years is to support children’s personal, social and emotional development so that they feel safe and secure and are ready to learn, enthused and excited to learn new things in a safe environment.

Through the seven areas of learning we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them.

We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children.

 

At St Bernadette’s, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We follow the Early Years curriculum using topic themes and enrichment opportunities.

The aim of our curriculum is to develop a thirst and love for learning by:

  • Carefully planning sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences, developing each child’s characteristics of learning.
  • Providing high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children.
  • Using high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions.
  • Staff acting as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.
  • Carefully assessing, through observations, which are recorded on tapestry and shared with parents. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs.
  • Developing an effective and engaging environment that is set up so that children can access all areas of learning both inside and outside at any one time.
  • Providing activity starting points for child initiated activities that enhance children’s learning and impact on progress.
  • Allowing children to be successful in their attempts at an activity and using effective feedback to help facilitate next steps in learning.
  • Suggesting home learning opportunities with information about what has been taught, allowing parents to build on their child’s school experiences, at home.

We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing existing topics.

Literacy opportunities are promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week.

The Early Years uses core texts as a basis for topic planning and usually start with an exciting hook to engage children in both the topic and the book. We have developed our own suggested text list and we also have class authors. These texts are chosen for their level of challenge and quality language. They have also been chosen with a view to promoting reading for pleasure.

Phonics is taught daily through story time phonics and the love of real books. Through stories and activities associated with these, phonic sounds are introduced to children each day in an engaging way. The phonics activities are revisited to embed over the year and supported in a range of ways including associating actions with these.

In Reception the maths curriculum is taught through daily dedicated sessions. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real life experiences across the theme and year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences. In Nursery we have a maths focus day once a week and children work on basic skills to 5, embedding throughout the year.

Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers through Tapestry. Regular ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for nursery, allow parents to join in learning activities alongside their children and share the nursery experience. Parents are invited in to look at the children’s learning and leave positive comments on a golden orb. We have a twitter feed where children’s learning and successes are celebrated.

 

Our EYFS and Whole School Teaching and Learning Policy are attached below.