Our Curriculum Intent
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
‘Walking with Jesus as one family’
At St. Joseph’s, we have designed our curriculum with pupils’ learning at the centre, with the aim of ensuring that all pupils make progress. We recognise that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced, and offer pupils opportunities to grow as individuals, as well as learners.
By embedding a virtuous curriculum, we are encouraging all our children to be the best version of themselves and we are committed to ensuring that every child at St. Joseph’s is respectful, resilient, articulate, aspirational, and knows how to be happy and safe.
It is our intention that pupils leave St. Joseph’s with a sense of belonging to a community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections, and become life-long learners.
Aims of our Curriculum
For all pupils to:
- Become fluent and confident readers, and to develop an appreciation and love of reading, whilst gaining knowledge across the curriculum
- Use excellent basic skills across the curriculum including reading, writing, and mathematics
- Develop a sense of morality, respect, and community
- Be excited by the curriculum, and want to learn
- Retain key knowledge in all curriculum areas
- Become independent, resilient and divergent learners, so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond)
- Be challenged and make progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability)
- Have a broad and lasting knowledge of subject specific vocabulary
- Have a wide range of life experiences that enhance their learning (including trips and extra-curricular activities)
Rationale for our Curriculum Design
We recognise the importance of reading across the whole curriculum and its impact on the future success of pupils. Our children are taught to read confidently, fluently, and with a good understanding. Pupils are encouraged to develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information through daily practice and whole school activities. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and real texts are used to introduce topics across different subject areas including history, geography and science.
Although each subject is taught as a discrete area, we have designed a curriculum that makes links between different subjects, creating curriculum cohesion and enabling pupils to link their learning appropriately.
As a Catholic school, we have designed a curriculum that teaches pupils morality, respect and a sense of community. Through the explicit teaching of the Catholic Virtues, we aim to develop the Character Education of each and every pupil, which is not only delivered through our religious education and PSHE teaching, but underpins our whole school curriculum.
Our pupils have told us (through pupil interviews) that they learn best when they enjoy learning. We have planned our curriculum to include a range of exciting and pupil-motivated activities.
Our curriculum provides a mastery of key knowledge and aims to provide a shift in memory and retention of skills. Our maths curriculum, for example, provides opportunities for pupils to practise and consolidate their learning, master learning objectives by developing a deeper understanding and to apply their knowledge in greater depth.
We want pupils to become independent, resilient and divergent learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond). Our curriculum focuses on a meta cognitive style of learning including activities that encourage pupils to reflect on how they think and strategies they can use to apply their knowledge. This includes explicitly teaching strategies for how to plan, organise knowledge and monitor tasks. We have developed a ‘growth mindsets’ culture throughout our school, teaching pupils to ‘have a go’, to use a different strategy if they get stuck, to seek peer support, and to learn from their mistakes.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum outlines the programmes of study in maintained/state primary and secondary schools in England. It sets out what children should learn in Key Stages 1 and 2.
The content within the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum identifies what to teach but not how to teach. In primary schools, it consists of eleven subject areas and Religious Education. English, Maths and Science are the three core subject areas, with detailed programmes of study. As a Catholic school, we consider the teaching of RE to be a core subject area too.
National Curriculum 2014
From September 2014, it was compulsory for children in Years 1, 3, 4 & 5 to follow the ‘new National Curriculum’. As of September 2015, all year groups, Years 1 – 6, will follow the new National Curriculum, as will the government testing, which will be modified against the new expectations.