Curriculum Design Statement;

Intent, Implementation and Impact

 

 Introduction

The National Curriculum (2014) sets out what children should be taught in schools across England and Wales. Schools may choose how they organise their school curriculum to cover the programmes of study from years 1 to 6. Children in their reception year follow the Early Years Foundation Stage programmes of learning.

The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools in England and Wales but does not form part of the National Curriculum.  As a Catholic school under the trusteeship of the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, RE is taught in accordance with provisions laid out in the programme for primary schools in England and Wales; “Come and See”.

 What are our aims?

  • Finbar’s delivers an inclusive, broad, vocabulary-rich curriculum which provides all pupils with engaging, meaningful learning experiences to inspire, enthuse and challenge learning.
  • Through the provision of a stimulating environment, children will develop to their full potential academically, socially, spiritually and physically.
  • Barriers to learning are removed (insofar as is possible) and we provide suitable learning challenges that respond to diverse needs. This encompasses a variety of exciting, first-hand experiences to enable children to acquire appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding preparing them for today’s world.
  • Our curriculum aims to identify opportunities for all pupils to apply their core knowledge and skills in English, Mathematics and Science across all other subject areas. Other aspects of learning are taught in discrete subjects such as history, geography, computing etc.
  • Parents are kept up-to-date about curriculum issues by means of a curriculum newsletter sent out each half term by individual year groups. A copy of all year groups’ curriculum news is also put up on the website at the beginning of each term. Not complete!
  • We also encourage our pupils to engage in a range of extra-curricular activities, in particular sport, music and art and are proud of our children’s participation in these areas.
  • We aim to prepare our pupils for life in modern British society by fostering in them attitudes and qualities which will enable them to become confident, caring, respectful and responsible citizens.
  • Finbar’s pupils are given a voice and are involved in planning and decision-making. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning in a variety of ways such as peer and independent learning opportunities.  By doing so, we intend to foster a lifelong love of learning in every child.
  • It is through all learning opportunities that each child is challenged, supported and guided in not only being their best but to also give their best.

How do we organise our learning?

At St. Finbar’s Catholic Primary School learning is split into three phases;

  • Early Years Foundation Stage: 3 – 5 years (EYFS),
  • Key Stage One: 5 – 7 years (KS1) and
  • Key Stage Two: 7 – 11 years (KS2).
  • 7 – 9 years (LKS2)
  • 9 – 11 years (UKS2)

EYFS – How we organise our learning

  • EYFS children are taught within one learning space (unit).  Each class has access to individual year-group teaching/ learning and mixed-age teaching/ learning opportunities.
  • The EYFS curriculum sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years of age.
  • There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in any EYFS setting.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
  • Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas, the PRIME areas, are:

  1. communication and language
  2. physical development
  3. personal, social and emotional development

Providers must also support children in four SPECIFIC areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  1. literacy
  2. mathematics
  3. understanding the world
  4. expressive arts and design

More information can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596629/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf

  • All learning opportunities are planned and organised into themes and topics which are of interest to children e.g. Pirates.  In this way, the interest of the children is being harnessed and used to stimulate greater learning.   Children enjoy feeling that they have chosen the vehicle for their learning.
  • The day is planned so that a mixture of teacher-led/ child-led/ teacher-initiated/ child-initiated learning opportunities are available to all children.  In addition, all children benefit from small group foci with a key person which further develop and enhance basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.  Adults lead or guide learning through their conversational interaction with the children.
  • All children take part in whole-class daily acts of collective worship, reading, writing, phonics, maths and PSHE sessions. Children are grouped according to their ability so that focussed and bespoke provision can be given for their age and ability.
  • Provision is made for all children to access all areas of the EYFS curriculum both indoors and outdoors.
  • The learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, enables all children to acquire k, u, s & d in an attractive and stimulating way.  All areas of learning are explicitly planned for in the physical organisation of the spaces and in how they are used.
  • During the summer term Reception children are given the opportunity to experience some learning in a spare classroom called the “Activities Room”.  This enables the Reception teacher to provide the children with opportunities for preparing them for Y1.  It also enables the nursey children lone time in the EYFS learning space without the demands of reception children intruding on their learning.

EYFS – Why we organise our learning in this way

On-entry into EYFS standards of CLL (communication, language, literacy) and PSED (Personal, Socail. Emotional Development) are particularly low.  (As demonstrated in baseline assessments).  Learning, as described above, is planned so as to ensure rapid progress in these particular prime areas of learning for all children.

  • A range of teaching and learning strategies used enables all children to;
  • develop their capacity to adapt and change to new situations
  • build their resilience at persevering at lone/ paired/ group tasks
  • interact at different levels with different ages/ abilities of people for a wide range of purposes
  • widen and deepen their fundamental human values by learning to show respect and tolerance towards others who are different to them
  • widen and deepen their knowledge, understanding and curiosity about the world; adding to a sense of awe and wonder
  • encourage independence in learning and enhance decision-making and reasoning skills
  • make at least sufficient progress in all aspects of learning

EYFS – How we know our learning works for our children

We have different ways of finding out if our curriculum (content and provision) helps our children develop and grow in all aspects of learning;

  • Observe learning
  • Ask the children questions about their k, u and attitude towards their learning
  • Look at their learning journals, work books, class floor books, reading records
  • Speak to the key adults
  • Speak to and listen to parents/ carers about their child’s growth and development
  • Measure the progress the children have made in all areas of learning since they first started our school.

We plan to find answers to this question over the course of the school year, every year.

In our school, measuring how much learning has taken place is undertaken in a number of different ways:

  • Baseline – Upon entry into EYFS (any time from 3 – 5 years) children are assessed as to their ability to undertake certain activities with some level of independence and to know some things about the world.
  • Reception Statutory Assessment – Final check towards to end of Reception as to what a child can do independently and what elements of the curriculum can be used and applied with confidence (knowledge, skills and understanding).
  • Formative assessment – These are undertaken daily for different children and in each of the areas of learning.  All staff members assess by observing children in their independent learning and by asking the children questions and to explain their thinking out loud.

Key Stages 1 and 2 – How we organise our learning

  • We deliver programmes of study that meet the National Curriculum requirements issued by the DfE. This National Curriculum comprises of RE (Religious Education) and three core subjects:

English, Mathematics, Science

And foundation subjects:

History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), Computing, PSHE and French (Modern Foreign Languages for KS2)

  • All subjects are taught discretely as individual subjects. Links to other areas of the curriculum are made where applicable.  English and mathematics skills are applied across all subjects.
  • Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects are taught as units of work over a half term in each class.
  • All children will experience and learn subject-specific skills, knowledge, understanding and dispositions in every year group for each subject.
  • The planning of the curriculum is based around a rolling programme to ensure coverage of subjects by children in all classes. E.g. Each alternate half term history swaps to geography, art swaps to DT etc.
  • PE is taught each term, with a different focus each half term.
  • The rolling programmes for both Key Stages make use of our local environment. We also study other localities so that children gain an understanding of Britain as a diverse society.
  • This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives or to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work.
  • There is now a great deal of emphasis in the use of IT across the curriculum with a focus on ‘Computing’ and, in particular, computer skills to enhance the learning in all the subjects of the curriculum. Through the subject of ‘Computing’ we aim to teach a progressive set of skills that enable all the children to become competent and confident users of ICT.
  • At St. Finbar’s Catholic Primary School we seek to create opportunities for children to experience and excel in a range of activities that enhance and extend the National Curriculum. Children have opportunities both inside and outside the classroom eg Forest School Days, Residential trips, gifted and talented workshops, a variety of sporting events, visiting theatre companies and art projects. We also have a wide range of after school club provision.
  • We also value the role of modern foreign languages in the curriculum and French is taught throughout the school from Year 2 to Year 6.
  • When children leave St. Finbar’s Catholic Primary School at the end of Year 6, they should be equipped with the full range of skills and aptitudes that enables them to become lifelong learners.

Key Stages 1 and 2 – Why we organise our learning in this way

  • Units of work or themes are chosen and planned so as to reflect the needs and experiences of our children. For example, we live and work near the river Mersey and so geography and history units reflect this.  (Y1 – Kitty Wilkinson established the first public wash-house in the country at Stebble Street baths).
  • The vast majority of children who enter our school have not had the fortune of visiting a wide range of cultural, historical, social places of importance. We therefore ensure that each term there is at least one opportunity for children to explore this richness within the immediate and wider environment.
  • On entry into our school skills and standards in communication, language and literacy skills are generally very poor, with many children experiencing vocabulary deprivation.  Consequently, in each curriculum area, and in all classes, the richness of subject-specific knowledge and vocabulary is planned for and developed so as to equip our children with a tool-kit for life-long learning.
  • We teach in discrete subjects because we find that our children are able to recall subject-specifc knowledge with greater ease.  They like the purity of each subject; knowing that now they are going to be a historian/ musician/ scientist/ geographer etc.  It also enables teachers to plan sequences of learning which facilitate and enhance clear progression in skills, knowledge and understanding for all children; thus allowing any gaps in learning to be closed with greater ease.  Moreover, our children tell us that they like their learning in different subjects as it helps them learn and remember information better.
  • All children have access to all subjects every year.  We find that the annual over-learning of subject-specific knowledge, understanding, skills and dispositions is important for our children so as to enable them to reinforce and deepen k,u,s and d previously acquired.
  • Opportunities for using and applying skills from one subject to another subject are always planned for as applicable.  As with anything, the more a skill is rehearsed and used, the more it becomes embedded and fully owned by the learner. For example; drawing tables and charts in geography to record annual rainfall.

Key Stages 1 & 2  – How we know our learning works for our children

We have different ways of finding out if our curriculum (content and provision) helps our children develop and grow in all aspects of learning;

  • Observe learning
  • Ask the children questions about their k, u and attitude towards their learning (pupil voice)
  • Look at their work books, class books, reading records (work scrutiny)
  • Speak to the teachers and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) (staff voice/ professional conversations)
  • Speak to and listen to parents/ carers about their child’s growth and development (parent voice)
  • Measure the progress the children have made in all areas of learning since they first started our school. (data comparisons)

We plan to find answers to this question over the course of the school year, every year.

In our school, measuring how much learning has taken place is undertaken in a number of different ways:

  • Formative assessment – This is undertaken daily in each lesson for different children.  All staff members assess progress by observing children in their independent learning and by asking the children questions and to explain their thinking out loud.  This then enables the class teacher to plan bespoke “next steps” for a child so that gaps in k and u can be closed.
  • Summative assessment –
  • End of unit/ topic tasks in all subjects of the curriculum. This task provides the children with an opportunity to use and apply all k, u and s with growing levels of independence and confidence to an unseen task.
  • End of year teacher assessment looking at test data together with the evidence in workbooks demonstrating achievement of the standards.
  • End of year tests in reading, mathematics and GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) for Y3 – Y5 inclusive.

Year 2 and Year 6 End of Key Stage Statutory Assessment – Final national tests and statutory teacher assessment at the end of Y2 and Y6 seek to find out what a child can do independently and what elements of the curriculum can be used and applied with confidence (knowledge, skills and understanding).

Year 1 and Year 2 phonics screening check – A national test enabling the children to demonstrate their ability to decode and read words by segmenting and blending groups of letters.  The Y2 check is only for those children who did not meet the standard when in Y1.

What do we achieve by delivering our curriculum in this way?

  • That for ALL children the gap between current standards in school and national standards is continuing to narrow
  • That our children leave our school with a love of learning, a sense of awe about the world and the skills to enable them to engage in life-long learning
  • That our children leave our school with the initial toolkit of life-long learning skills; independence, resilience, persistence and an enthusiasm in seeking to be their best
  • Our children are enabled in acquiring and developing a sense of presence in the world; that they k and u that they are part of something greater than just themselves and their immediate family
  • Children are encouraged to deepen their independent learning skills and to develop a “can do attitude”
  • Children have a clear understanding of the differences and uniqueness of the subject disciplines thereby providing them with an opportunity to further any particular curricular interests as they get older
  • Children leave school having acquired and deepened a range of knowledge and understanding about the world; past and present and here, there and everywhere
  • High standards in behaviour for leaning and of learning
  • All children, without exception, show respect and tolerance towards all others.  Behaviour is of a good standard with children proud of their polite manners and consideration for others
  • Children feel valued, respected and listened to.  They then apply this when interacting with others; children and adults alike.  Children see themselves as a positive citizen who can make a valid contribution to wider society
  • Children who have the initial toolkit to stay safe in a range of different situations and who feel happy and safe in school
  • Children who enjoy learning and enjoy coming to school

 

Latest News

Newsletter – March 2024

Newsletter – March 2024 (PDF)

Year 2 & 3 Swimming Letter

Year 2 – Year 3 Swimming letter – April – June 2024 (PDF)

Easter Events 2024

Easter Events 2024 (PDF)

What's On

No events coming up!