A curriculum designed for
St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School & Kindergarten
A curriculum that promotes the school’s culture and aims
“The Christian life is a call to a deeper communion with God and with one another, and this finds particular expression in our schools, which are rightly recognised as being families themselves, where no one is a stranger and where everyone, whatever his or her background or academic ability, is welcomed, treasured, supported and helped to become the person whom God calls them to be.” Bishop Malcolm MacMahon.
The school’s direction stems from its Mission Statement:
A family united in God’s love, learning in faith together for a compassionate tomorrow’.
At St Catherine’s,
We believe that children should love learning, be guided to adopt a set of values that they want to live their life by, be treated with dignity and recognised as a gift from God. We have high expectations for all children and encourage them to produce work they can be very proud of.
Our aim is to enable all children to learn and achieve, promote their spiritual, moral and cultural development and prepare all children for the opportunities and responsibilities of later life.
We believe that the key to both a child's academic and personal future success is the development of literacy and numeracy skills. We pride ourselves on providing a rich language environment with daily high-quality phonics and number work within our Reception, Year 1 and 2 classes. As a result, our children make significant progress in their early literacy skills enabling them to access out rich curriculum effectively. Throughout the school, our focus on developing key skills by applying them within a wide range of subject areas leads to rapid progress.
Our curriculum planning constantly evolves in order to meet the interest of our learners. Our curriculum has been carefully designed to cover both a wide spectrum of knowledge from the National Curriculum and real-life skills, such as resilience, problem solving, persistence and enquiry.
St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School will:
- develop a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge
- foster values for learning
- help our children become global, national and local citizens.
- have high expectations
- provide a broad and balanced curriculum that inspires independence and life-long learning
- know our children well
- use assessment to tailor our curriculum to meet each child's needs regardless of ability, gender, ethnicity, culture, faith or tradition
- create and maintain an exciting and stimulating learning environment
- believe learning should be active
- ensure that each child’s education builds on their prior learning
- make sure that learning is tailored to each child's individual needs
- recognise the crucial role which parents play in their child’s education
- encourage parental involvement
We provide our children with a toolkit for lifelong, values based learning by enabling them to:
- be resilient learners (manage distractions, notice what is going on around them, persevere and absorb themselves in their learning)
- be reflective (learn about learning, plan, revise, explain to others)
- be resourceful (make links, ask questions, imagine, reason and capitalise on opportunities)
- collaborate, have empathy, listen, try things out and recognise the need for each other - interdependence
- Show kindness and concern for others, the environment
- think of others before themselves
- communicate effectively, be willing to talk and share ideas
- be courteous and polite
- cooperate, work with others in a helpful way
- be conscientious, get things done and follow through a task
- be confident, be sure of themselves, have an 'I can' attitude
- be tolerant
- show respect for all cultures and in doing so promote positive attitudes towards other people
- recognise and value uniqueness
and apply these skills across the curriculum and in real life contexts
Our curriculum inspires our children to:
- love learning
- take responsibility for their own learning
- listen attentively
- speak and write using standard English
- think and solve problems mathematically in a variety of situations using concepts of number, algebra, measurement, shape and space, and handling data
- develop an enquiring mind and scientific approach to problems
- solve problems using technological skills
- communicate through a variety of art forms including art / craft, music, drama
- develop their inventiveness and creativity
- know about geographical, historical and social aspects of the local environment and national heritage
- be aware of other times and places
- recognize links among family, local, national and international events
- know about the beliefs of the major world religions
- be agile and physically co-ordinated
- apply the basic principles of health, hygiene and safety
Curriculum Intent – how we designed our curriculum
Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.” (Parker Palmer)
We can look for opportunities to make links across the curriculum, to look at a topic from a range of subject perspectives, to relate to those we teach as whole people but, perhaps most importantly of all, we show it by living lives that have a wholeness that comes from Christ.
As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise R.E as a core subject, so we adhere to a diocesan-wide curriculum, ‘God Matters’. We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding these strong links with our parish and our local community we foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society. Charitable links and service remain a focus of our termly enrichment weeks, as does seeking awe and wonder. The school recognises that science is both an exciting academic subject and another area where children can develop a sense of awe and wonder.
When planning a curriculum, St. Catherine’s has had to recognise the very wide social and economic backgrounds of our families. The school has a wide catchment area from Blandford to Bournemouth.
Hence school has a significant minority of families who require a lot of support, sign posting and care. Within PSHE and citizenship, account is made of the socio-economics of the area and we recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves and developing aspirations for their future and for their community. We have designed our termly curriculum enrichment weeks to provide a breadth of experience within a subject area, drawing on outside speakers, involvement of parents and developing a sense of curiosity. We are passionate that all children realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in. We play an important part in providing the means for social mobility. We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, linked to the KCSiE document. We also plan for and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.
The wellbeing agenda is at the heart of St Catherine’s curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. (Please refer to the bottom of this page for more detail). Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in RE and PSHE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are ready to question arguments and situations. “The school embraces every opportunity to nurture spirituality and give Christian witness.” (Ofsted Section 48, 2015)
In recognising the development of the whole child, the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is strong. Nurture group sits at heart of our school and is mentioned within the curriculum page as this allows vulnerable children to access their learning and curriculum entitlement. The school has various systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children and provides signposting to their parents.
Emotional and mental wellbeing is also greatly enhanced by sport. Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision and we know this is hugely beneficial to all our children. We also believe the pedagogy of P.E. in sport affects other areas of the curriculum and really enhances children’s learning, physiologically allowing better learning to happen, as well as children learning skills such as listening, problem solving, team work and resilience. We have invested heavily with the P.E. and sport provision, with inclusion for all and this has been evident through being recipients of the School Games Gold Award which reflects the effective sport provision. The school believes that this is an area of excellence and parent surveys also convey this.
Staff annually review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. Subject leaders are currently working on curriculum coverage on foundation subjects, e.g. Geography and History, with all middle leaders being aware of the curriculum expectations and in turn working towards planning the skills within their respective curriculum areas. The curriculum is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance. Not only do staff review the actual curriculum regularly, but also the principles for learning and teaching.
Currently the staff are working on improving outdoor learning opportunities and questioned whether we are making the most of our locality and will be assessing our school trips for next year, and hopefully making the most of our beautiful beaches and the New Forest – places we all take for granted.
The Curriculum – implementation
The school is currently organised into 6 classes.
In KS1, 21 hours is spent each week on teaching the curriculum and in KS2, 23.5 hours.
The Governors are responsible for providing a broad & balanced curriculum and it is the responsibility of the Headteacher and staff to put it in place. The school follows the National Curriculum and children in the Foundation Stage (i.e. Kindergarten & Reception) follow the Early Learning Goals which is pre-National Curriculum.
The school offers children opportunities to play in a variety of sporting competitions including football, netball, tag rugby, athletics, rounders & swimming. Our children also benefit from our school band and a range of instrumental tuition.