ST NICHOLAS CURRICULUM POLICY
St Nicholas Catholic Primary is striving to be an inspiring and aspirational learning community following the Example of Jesus
The curriculum at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School is the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the various extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich children’s experience. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’ – what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We want children to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and cooperate with others while at the same time developing their knowledge and skills, in order to be ‘secondary_ready’
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
At St Nicholas Catholic Primary School our goal is to create situations where children love learning, seek challenges, value effort and persist in the face of difficulty.
The aims of our curriculum therefore are:
- To provide fun and engaging challenges for all
- To equip children with the skills to solve problems
- To ensure there is a ‘wow’ factor with a ‘hook and grab’
- To provide real, hands on experiences with maximum opportunity for outdoor learning.
- To lead to a high quality ‘product’ that can be shared with others
Through our curriculum our objectives are:
- To teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.
- To enable children to develop scientific enquiry.
- To enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking.
- To teach children about the developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time.
- To help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage.
- To enable children to develop and explore physical skills with increasing control and coordination
- To enable children to familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language through learning Spanish.
- To appreciate and value the contribution made by all ethnic groups in our multi-cultural society.
- To enable children to be positive citizens.
- To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Catholic agreed syllabus for religious education.
- To teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to distinguish right from wrong.
- To help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all.
- To enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to live and work cooperatively with others.
Our school curriculum is underpinned by the values that are important at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
- We value children’s uniqueness, we listen to the views of individual children, and we promote respect for diverse cultures.
- We value the spiritual and moral development of each child, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
- We value the importance of each child in our community, and we organise our curriculum to promote inclusion, cooperation and understanding among all members of our community.
- We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We want to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all our pupils.
- We value our environment, and we want to teach our children, through our curriculum, how we should take care of the world, not only for ourselves, but also for future generations.
ORGANISATION AND PLANNING
Programmes of Study in English, maths and science inform curriculum planning in these subject areas. Other areas of our curriculum are organised around the concept of Prime Learning Challenges expressed as a question. History, Geography and Science are our main curriculum drivers for the other subjects.
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what Prime Learning Challenges are to be taught in each term, and to which groups of children. We review this long-term plan on an annual basis through our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives to be taught, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session.
Having identified a Prime Learning Challenge question reflecting the appropriate National Curriculum Programmes of Study, pre learning tasks are planned. Through the pre learning tasks we ensure that children are directly involved in the planning process. The tasks bring out what they already know; what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them. Pre learning tasks then inform a series of subsidiary challenges which are also presented as a question.
Continuity and progression in the Learning Challenge curriculum is built around a set of matrices known as essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within subject disciplines. They are broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners.
In addition, there is an expectation that teachers apply English, mathematics and ICT skills where it is appropriate to do so.
Time for learners to reflect or review their learning is central to the whole process. This is in keeping with the ‘Learning to Learn’ principles where reflection is seen as a very important part of individual child’s development.
Throughout each topic- Science, History or Geography, teachers are continuously observing pupils and assessing their learning and adapting their lesson plans according to meet the children’s needs. The Learning Challenge Curriculum also has set assessment questions, adapted from The National Curriculum, which teachers use to assess learning. Teachers also encourage children to be reflective by using self-assessments and peer assessments.
The curriculum at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School is designed to be accessed by all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to modify some children’s access to the curriculum, in order to meet their needs, then we do this only after their parents or carers have been consulted.
If children have an additional need, we do all we can to meet those needs by complying with the requirements set out in the SEN Code of Practice. If any child displays signs of having additional needs, then his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances, the teacher is able to provide the resources and educational opportunities that meet the child’s needs, within normal class organisation. If a child’s need is more severe, we involve the appropriate external agencies in making an assessment and may consider the child for an Educational Health Care Plan.
Some children in our school have disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of these children, as we are to meeting the needs of all groups of children within our school. The school complies fully with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these children are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled children. Teaching and learning are appropriately modified for children with disabilities. For example, they may be given additional time to complete certain activities, or the teaching
materials may be adapted.
We follow the NASSEA guidelines for supporting children new to the country in the first stages of learning English. We also consult and work with EMTAS to support children to access the curriculum at an age appropriate level.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum that we teach in the reception classes meets the requirements set out in EYFS Statutory Framework 2014. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals, as set out in this document,
and on developing children’s skills and experiences.
St Nicholas Catholic Primary School fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well planned and structured activities. Teaching in the reception classes builds on the experiences of the children in their pre-school learning. We have strong links between our own nursery and Reception classes and do all we can to build positive partnerships with other pre-school providers in the area.
THE ROLE OF THE SUBJECT LEADER
- provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
- support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject;
- monitor pupils’ progress in that subject area;
- provide efficient resource management for the subject.
It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local levels. They review the way in which the subject is taught in the school, and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for the subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum, and sees that progression is planned into Learning Challenges. The subject leader is responsible for monitoring consistency in outcomes across year groups and Key Stages.
Parents are encouraged to support their children in their learning in a number of ways. Curriculum information is provided to parents each term and parents are invited into the school during parents week to observe how lessons are taught within their child’s class to enable them to support their child’s learning. Children’s progress in core subjects is reported to parents three times a year in the form of Parent’s Meetings or Reports. Parents are informed of their child’s progress, current targets and attainment.