At St Bernadette’s we teach according to the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. We have clear expectations for each subject and each child with each lesson. All staff deliver learning that is challenging, high quality and provides consistency across year groups. Key Performance Indicators matched to the National Curriculum 2014 requirements support termly teacher assessment. Regular pupil progress meetings and moderation ensures accuracy of results.
Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” in a Catholic school. The children follow the ‘Come and See’ programme of study for RE. We ensure 10% of our timetable is reserved for exploring our faith. The children learn in a creative way, using a variety of teaching opportunities to greater strengthen our understanding of the Christian faith. We ensure our children think deeply and question what they hear. We present in an engaging way a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith. We raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them. We stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith and enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum.
Please refer to the Calculation policy from our policies page for guidance in the methods your child will be taught in school. Should you require further explanation please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff.
Phonics and Early Reading Statement of Intent.
At St Bernadette’s, we intend for children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers; to develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types; for children to have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read; to encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and to use reading to provoke thought within children.
What do we teach and what it looks like?
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability or additional need to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
In our school, our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum; we use a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English and reading lessons.
We encourage reading for pleasure through children having a choice of challenging and enriching texts as well as building in time for children to read independently and as part of a whole class. All children have daily opportunities to read a variety of material in school, including regularly with an adult.
KS1 children love reading and this is evident in their attitude and ability! Reading in KS1 is embedded in all areas of the children’s learning. At St Bernadette’s we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. Children are given school reading books according to their ability. The books are banded in colours and the children progress through the coloured stages. They take home their books each night to read with their parents. The books are also shared with class teachers and teaching assistants each week.
As soon as we feel that the children are ready to read long texts and understand them fully, they are given a ‘Star reading’ test to see if they can go onto Accelerated Reader. This is usually from Year 3.
In EYFS and early KS1, there is a greater emphasis on phonics; this is then applied throughout the rest of the school to consolidate what has been learnt. Within daily phonic sessions, children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning and practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways.
Children learn phonic skills best in the first few years of school. Children use the Letters and Sounds programme which is supported by Jolly Phonics. Teachers plan using the scheme strategically using a wide range of resources such as; phonics play, games etc. Whole class phonics is taught 3-4 times a week with sessions lasting 15 to 30 minutes. The phonics teaching ensures children are progressing through the different stages at the appropriate rate. Targeted intervention groups support children who require further consolidation.
At the end of Year 1 children are required to take a ‘Phonics screening check’ which assesses their reading of the different sounds they have learnt, both in real word and ‘alien’ word contexts.
Children also complete ‘Lotto’s’, these are tricky words (cannot be sounded out) which the children need to learn. Again these are sent home and practised in school time.
*Please find guidance on how to support your children with the letter and blending sounds using the Sounds of the English Phonic Code clip below.
**Please refer to the Phonics and Early reading policy from our policies page for guidance in the methods your child will be taught in school. Should you require further explanation please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff.
At St Bernadette’s, our Numeracy provision offers children a stimulating diet of activities geared toward the achievement of ‘greater depth’. Our lessons offer a ‘low threshold, high ceiling’ approach to mathematics, which enables children to access work that challenges their current level of understanding and aims to move children from fluency/calculation work to reasoning and problem solving at their own individual pace. There is an emphasis placed on children gaining comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts using practical resources, paired talking activities (designed to encourage deeper mathematical thinking) and pictorial representations. We aim to produce confident mathematicians who can use appropriate mathematical vocabulary articulately and in context, demonstrating resilience, perseverance and an ever-increasing ‘toolbox’ of written and mental numerical methods.
At St Bernadette’s, teach children effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, through a variety of activities, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. We help children to develop as effective writers using compositional skills – developing ideas and communicating meaning to a reader using a wide-ranging vocabulary and an effective style, organising and structuring grammatically. We enable children to use a widening variety of forms of writing for different purposes and to develop presentational skills using accurate punctuation, correct spelling and legible handwriting. In Reading, we aim to develop effective and fluent readers, who develop a love of reading. We enable our pupils to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers who are able to understand and respond to the texts they read. We guide them to be able to read, analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts through discussing and analysis. We aim to make parents partners in helping our children progress in their reading with home/school reading challenges.
At St Bernadette’s we aim to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We aim to develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer questions about the world around them and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and creative. We use thematic topics to ensure we cover all areas of the curriculum, including History, Geography, Art and DT. There is a clear progression in skill development to ensure progression is evident across year groups.
Our History topics aim to give children opportunities to develop the skills and ideas needed to retrieve information from books, ICT, pictures, people and places, the ability to examine and evaluate evidence and an understanding of chronology, cause and effect and the influence of the past upon the present.
Our Geography topic aims to enable the children to develop geographical knowledge, understanding and enquiry, mapping skills and fieldwork techniques, an appreciation of the environment and the need to protect it and a greater understanding of the UK and the wider world. Children’s work includes the study of places and covers a range of physical, human and environmental geography.
Our final topic, focused toward Art/D&T, has a unique contribution to make to a balanced curriculum and is seen to be of a holistic nature. It is primarily concerned with generating ideas, making and doing. It provides opportunities for children to imagine, make decisions, create solutions and put them into practice. D&T enables children to use appropriate apparatus and equipment.
We endeavor to maintain a range of activities providing an environment, which will benefit the children’s physical, emotional and moral wellbeing. St Bernadette’s P.E provision aims to embrace a range of games activities, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming and outdoor adventurous activities.
Children have the opportunity to develop individual skills such as co-ordination, balance and control. They plan, perform and evaluate their own and each other’s work. They develop an appreciation of the benefits of cooperation and teamwork and come to understand the advantages of healthy, safe exercise to their general physical wellbeing.
All children in Key Stage 2 study French where they develop their speaking and listening skills as well as their ability to read and write French. They also carry out research into French culture and life.
At St Bernadette’s School, we aim to prepare our pupils with the skills and understanding to fully embrace the world of information technology. We aim to offer a rounded and balanced provision which teaches computer science, information technology and digital literacy with equal weighting, in a manner whereby our children are facilitated to transfer learned skills to support their learning across the curriculum range in an effective, informed and safe manner.
Music is developed across all age groups from EYFS to year 6. The children are encouraged to compose, listen, discuss and perform with a variety of audiences in mind. They learn to appreciate music of different styles, cultures and times, and to use their voices and a range of instruments as expressive media.