Our Curriculum at St John's C of E Primary School.
Intent of our curriculum
At St John's School, we see the curriculum in the broadest possible terms, which extends beyond National Curriculum lessons to encompass all that is experienced, both in and out of the classroom. This means that concepts such as our ethos, which is crucial to our values of a Church of England school, are acknowledged as an important part of 'our curriculum'. Our vision challenges us all and holds us all accountable in every aspect of school life.
" I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Our intent is that all St John's children will be committed, lifelong learners with the confidence and ability to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding whilst enjoying new experiences, meeting new challenges and finding resilience and confidence with unfamiliar learning or social situations.
We offer a challenging but nurturing learning environment, in which each child is encouraged to explore and develop their learning resilience; where their achievements and successes are celebrated, and their mistakes, failure or 'miss-steps' are put into perspective and used to build understanding and resilience. As a school, we aim to encourage mutual respect, responsibility and foster self-esteem in a happy and caring atmosphere.
We are firmly committed to ensure the quality of opportunity and committed to enabling all children to thrive and engage in and beyond the classroom and to have a wide range of experiences on which to build for the future. These include our extensive programme of leadership opportunities as Young Leaders, House and Vice House Captains, School and Eco Councillors, Buddies to our Reception Class, opportunities for drama, singing and leadership in Pupil Worship Groups - everyone is encouraged to get involved, especially as they move up the school. We offer a large number of extra-curricular opportunities for all children, and as a small school, we are proud of the variety and range of clubs and experiences we offer the children: Technology Club, Sewing Club, Film Club, Football Clubs for boys and girls, Multisports Club, Badminton Club, Dance Club, Book Group, Choir, Science Club, RockSteady Bands, Lego Club and more!
We are strongly committed, as a Church of England school, to ensure that all members of our school understand the role and purpose of Christian values in their lives. This pivotal aspect of our school aims to help us all appreciate how these Christian values impact on how we strive to be the best we can be in our daily lives. We have taken the word LIFE from our vision bible quote to help us make our vision a daily reality in all we do across our curriculum and beyond.
L - Living God's love every day
I - Inspiration for all to be the best we can be
F - Forgiveness of others and of ourselves so we can all flourish
E - Equality of opportunity; welcoming all
Implementation of our curriculum
The delivery of the planned curriculum is led and monitored by our subject leaders and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). High quality, inclusive teaching (Quality First Teaching) for all pupils in all subjects is the expectation at St John's, delivered in a memorable and engaging way, to help pupils discover new knowledge and skills, and to practise, embed and apply these skills to different contexts. We follow the National Curriculum foci and adapt content to suit the interests and needs of our pupils.
The documents below set out our plan for the way the curriculum is taught at St John's. We have organised this overview by each subject here, but have also provided an overview of all subjects for each class, which can be found in the individual class areas of the website.
Impact of our curriculum
The impact of our curriculum is that the vast majority of pupils leave with skills and knowledge at least in line with National Curriculum expectations, not only in core subjects but across the range of the curriculum. These skill will include being able to play a musical instrument ( all pupils learn the violin or cello in Yr 3 & 4); have a good knowledge of French (learnt from Reception through to Year 6); have had good leadership opportunities; have learnt to ride a bike safely on the road; been involved in many drama productions; have experienced many Shakespeare productions and have taken part in regular competitive sporting events. All pupils will have had the opportunity to experience a large variety of extra-curricular opportunities including two contrasting residential school journeys.
The impact can be seen in the knowledge the children have gained, the skills they have acquired and how this is applied in different contexts. This can be assessed formally through assessment tests or tasks, more informally but equally usefully by looking at their work, by talking to pupils about their learning and combining these assessments, results and outcomes to see the impact of the curriculum. The impact of our curriculum is also seen in the extent to which our pupils have gained social confidence, belief in themselves as learners and as contributors to their community and the wider world, and the extent to which they are well-prepared and excited to meet the challenges of secondary education.
Maths at St John's
At St John's C of E Primary School, Maths is an seen as an integral and essential element of our everyday lives and a necessary foundation for understanding the modern world.
Through the teaching of the Maths curriculum, pupils will make rich connections across mathematical ideas to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to reason mathematically and to become competent in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
Daily teaching combines a concrete – pictorial – abstract approach (CPA) enabling children to explore mathematical concepts. By revisiting these concepts year on year children can build upon and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Through a conceptual, engaging, practical and challenging learning experience all children leaving St John’s will have an appreciation of the power of maths, a sense of enjoyment and a curiosity about the subject.
Mathematical teaching and learning at St John’s is outlined in detail below.
Years 1 and 2
The key focus of mathematics teaching in Key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value.
By the end of year 2 pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value.
Pupils should develop their ability to recognise, draw, describe, compare and sort different shapes. They should also use a range of measures to describe and compare length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
Years 3 and 4
The key focus is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and place value. Pupils will develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
Pupils will develop their ability to solve a range of problems including with simple fractions and decimal place value. They should draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so that they can analyse shapes and their properties. They should use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
By the end of year 4 pupils should have memorised all of the multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table.
Years 5 and 6
The key focus is for pupils to extend their understanding of the number system and place value, to include larger integers. They will develop the connections between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
Pupils will be expected to solve a wider range of problems which will demand efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic pupils will be introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems.
Geometry and measure will consolidate and extend previous knowledge developed in number. Pupils will classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6 pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
English at St John's
The teaching and learning of English contains three interlinking skill strands; speaking and listening, reading and writing. One of our key aims is that children leave St John's with a love of literature and language in many forms, and will be able to express their thoughts clearly and fluently in both written and spoken forms.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening underpins all learning in class. from reciting poetry for a performance, to class debate and discussions, or explaining how they solved a problem - oral language is the foundation of every subject. Speaking and listening allows children to form and express their thoughts and ideas, as well as understanding those of others.
Phonics and Spelling
A secure phonic knowledge is key to successful reading , writing and spelling. Foundation Stage (Reception) and Year 1 undertake our Systematic Synthetic Phonics based programme (Little Wandle) with phonic sessions every day to practise and develop a range of skills. Children are taught to decode, segment and blend words for fluent reading and accurate spelling.
Once their phonic knowledge is secure, children progress onto the 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme. Through this scheme, children from years 2 - 6 learn and revise the spelling rules from the National Curriculum (2014).
At St John's, we place great emphasis on reading and aim to provide the children with a range of books and other reading materials to support this. We aim for children to be able to read fluently, and with understanding, so that reading becomes a source of enjoyment and pleasure.
Throughout the year, we monitor children's progress through a range of approaches (including whole-class, small group, and 1:1 reading) in order to support them reaching their full potential. We encourage and welcome support from home with the reading process. Reading widely provides children with models and inspiration for their own writing.
From being able to verbally express their thinking, children move on to expressing their ideas and thoughts through drawing and mark-making and writing. Children are encouraged to express themselves by writing in different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences, in both fiction and non-fiction pieces. At St John's, we aim to develop children's creativity, imagination , vocabulary, spelling and handwriting through the teaching of writing. This is through quality modelling practice, and sharing and dissecting good examples and setting writing targets to aid self-improvement. We give each child opportunities to discuss, improve and assess their own writing and the work of others.
Handwriting is a skill which an only be improved by consistent and regular practice. we have regular handwriting practice sessions and we support the development of this skill across writing opportunities provided by the curriculum.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum in the reception class meets the requirements set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our curriculum planning focuses on 7 areas of learning:
-Personal, Social and Emotional Development
-Communication and Language
Understanding of the world
-Expressive Arts and Design
Our school fully supports the principle that children learn through their play and by engaging in well-planned adult directed activities. Children’s interests are used and followed to engage and motivate learners.
Smooth transitions between nursery and reception are fundamental and we do all we can to ensure we build positive partnerships with the feeder settings in the area. Information from nursery key workers as well as information from home provides a starting point for each child. The class teacher then uses daily observations from child initiated and adult led learning time to form a baseline assessment. This is completed during the first few weeks of the Autumn term. The outcomes are then reported to the DfE and this will become an important part of the future curriculum planning for each child to work towards the EYFS profile to show children’s attainment at the end of Reception.
We also use the use the Development Matters guidance throughout the year as a guide to making best-fit summative judgements about whether a child is showing typical development, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. This allows practitioners to plan for children’s next steps.
We understand the importance of the support of parents and teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the parents of each child by keeping them informed about the way in which the children are being taught and how well each child is progressing. Our online learning journal also provides a brilliant home school link.