Rationale

‘I came so that you may have life and have it to the full.’ John 10:10

Throughout the academic year 2020 – 2021, we will implement and continue to review our curriculum with subject leaders. We will be supported through the Teaching School.

Following consultation with governors, staff, parents and children, we identified 5 key words, which underpin our whole curriculum – Faith, Respect, Resilience, Empathy and Confidence.

Intent

Our Catholic ethos is at the core of the curriculum, we ensure that all of our pupils are taught to respect each other and have respect for people of all faiths, race and gender, everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. This is delivered within a secure, stable and stimulating atmosphere conducive to effective learning. We place a strong focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding. With the support and co-operation of parents, we stress the importance of a real partnership between school, home and parish community. This is reflected in our mission statement – ‘I came so that you may have life and have it to the full.’

The aim of our school is to provide every opportunity for each child to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society. All children are unique and we cannot judge the fish on how it climbs a tree. Children have different strengths and weaknesses, we value the whole child and support all areas of learning, leading to better outcomes for all.

Every child is entitled to the very best learning experiences through a curriculum that can be adapted to meet the needs of those with special educational needs and disabilities. We follow the National Curriculum but enhance it with imaginative planning around topics to make the learning experience more coherent and meaningful.  We enrich our curriculum through visits out of school, planning themed days around topics and arranging visitors to come in to school.  We are fortunate to have specialist teachers for Music, Italian and Sport, providing expert tuition, complementing our own teachers’ skills. We have planned our curriculum for security and depth of learning. To do this, we ensure that pupils return to key concepts and skills over and over again so that the application of ideas and knowledge across different subjects is embedded/committed to long term memory.

As society is undergoing increasing and substantial changes, we want to ensure that our children are given every opportunity to develop their skills as critical thinkers, to ask questions and be aware of how things work. They are encouraged to ask questions, conduct research and explore practically how things work. These opportunities will help them to acquire the necessary skills to cope with challenges ahead, in secondary school and in society.

Through research and consultation, we have have identified key elements that are integral to our curriculum design:

  • To ensure standards are high, and English and Maths is taught discretely
  • To ensure reading and oracy remains a high priority
  • To utilise the rich resource and history of our local community of Ordsall and Greater Manchester
  • To support our school’s Christian values and ethos
  • To ensure pupils leave as ‘well rounded’ and confident individuals
  • To ensure the wider curriculum and the arts are a key focus

Implementation

To achieve our aim, we teach the curriculum in a meaningful and engaging way which means that children can sequentially build knowledge and vital skills to drive their understanding, creativity and individuality. We believe every child should be given the opportunity to create, compose, perform, visit, experience, participate, know, understand and review as part of a cultural and creative curriculum. We celebrate and embrace the diverse home backgrounds of the children, recognising the wealth and variety of experiences that our learners bring with them to school. Some areas of the curriculum are taught in blocks, so will not be covered each week.

  • Coverage of National Curriculum objectives is ensured. Yearly plans show progression of knowledge and skills for each subject. Knowledge organisers are being introduced which will support planning and assessment.
  • We believe that language is the driver for all learning, which runs as a theme throughout our curriculum. In Early Years, language and communication is a key priority alongside our focus on social skills, and mathematical development.
  • Rich and high quality vocabulary is purposefully planned for across all subject areas to broaden and deepen learning. Knowledge Organisers for foundation subjects set out subject specific vocabulary for each half term/topic. New vocabulary in class and guided readers is highlighted and discussed prior to reading.
  • Reading is a key component, the skill and enjoyment of reading is pivotal for accessing current and future learning. We place a high priority on reading through the development of new, engaging reading areas, additional support for children, celebration of success, reading books to reward effort, Advent weekly story books for classes, new reading scheme.
  • Every aspect of the curriculum is underpinned by a range of texts, essential in our promotion of a language rich environment to support the increasing communication needs of the children in our school.
  • We strive to maximise the use of our local area, the thriving cities of Salford and Manchester, to enrich the curriculum through trips and visitors, bringing learning to life.
  • Children access a broad and balanced curriculum, with a wide range of activities on offer eg yoga, choir, art club, variety of sports
  • Cultural understanding is developed through a range of opportunities eg. Debate Mate, Shakespeare for Schools in Y5 perform at Z Arts Theatre.
  • Cultural Capital is accessed through a host of visits, visitors and trips, relevant topic based reading materials from Salford Library Service, eg. Y3 visit to Ordsall Hall whilst studying the Tudor period, Lledr Hall residential, Parliament Week
  • We are utilising the extensive grounds around our school to bring outdoor learning to all areas of the curriculum, for all year groups.
  • Celebrations of children’s achievements are planned throughout the year eg. assemblies, displays, presentations to parents…
  • Every child will have experienced visiting an art gallery, performing in a theatre, visited a range of places within Greater Manchester of historical interest, experienced a variety of different sports eg Helly Hansen water sports, skate boarding, taken part in a residential outdoor activity centre, supported those less fortunate than themselves in the wider community, visited a zoo, visit a non-Catholic place of worship, used the tram, been to the seaside
  • Curriculum leaders are being supported by St. Andrew’s teaching School.

To ensure this, we have:

  • Long term curriculum maps for each year group, outlining topics and themes in all curriculum areas
  • Subject leaders’ curriculum maps for each year group outlining topics and themes, ensuring NC coverage
  • Medium term plans showing National Curriculum content, key activities
  • Knowledge Organisers showing prior knowledge/skills, key vocabulary, key knowledge
  • Quick quizzes to asses knowledge retention and understanding
  • Entry and exit point tests to check prior knowledge, new learning and understanding
  • Sequence and Progression documents
  • Target Tracker to monitor progress
  • Clubs, sports and activities to ensure a broad spectrum of opportunities, to support physical and mental wellbeing

These are the key components of our curriculum.

Impact

The outcomes of the curriculum are measured by the attainment and progress made by the children, how much the children know and remember and their mastery of particular skills. Our data suggests the impact is strong by the improving outcomes achieved eg: teacher assessments at the end of KS2 highlight the continuing upward trend. We also measure impact through non- academic routes and this suggests children are engaged and enjoy their learning. Parents are increasingly participating in workshops and supporting their children’s learning.

Teachers continually assess the responses of the children and the work that they produce. Teachers use mini quizzes and end of half term/term tests as well as Target Tracker to assess pupils against key knowledge. Subject leaders are being supported with a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. This includes book scrutiny, learning walks and lesson observations to measure the impact of teaching and learning. Pupil interviews are used to gauge the children’s engagement and enjoyment of the curriculum.

Senior leaders will consult regularly with staff to review the school curriculum throughout the year to ensure that all elements are fit for purpose.

For information regarding our responce to COVID-19 and our Curriculum please see the two documents below.

At St. Joseph’s we follow the National Curriculum.

More information about the National Curriculum can be found using the button below.