At St Catharine’s CE Primary School, we are constantly striving to provide an exciting and engaging curriculum. It is an ever evolving process which will be consistently and continuously amended and altered to match the needs of differing cohorts, teachers and the changing landscape in education and future employment.
The key aims and objectives of our curriculum development are:
- To create a broad, balanced and bespoke curriculum that matches the needs of the children and the skills and knowledge of all staff within our school
- To develop teaching approaches that will help children to acquire a depth of knowledge, a progression skills and enhance vocabulary across all subject areas.
- To enthuse and engage learners through exciting events, visits and visitors, and provide opportunities for them to demonstrate this learning through problem solving and challenging questions.
- To create a coherent and effective assessment tool which allows us to assess both the current level of children and also track progress over time.
- To give subject leaders ownership of their subject area by giving them time to analyse content, teaching strategies, subject knowledge, skills progression, assessment and depth of learning.
- To explore active learning within lessons
At St Catharine’s CE Primary School, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets both the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and the specific needs of our children.
We use the ‘Spirals of Enquiry’ to gain insight and feedback from all stakeholders. The Headteacher, SLT and Governors all take responsibility for managing, understanding and reporting on this feedback in order to best utilise both staff and time resources effectively.
We have dedicated large amounts of staff meeting time to developing a bespoke, exciting and engaging curriculum that matches the needs and interests of our pupils, plus the interests and subject knowledge/specialism of the adults in school. Teachers plan exciting project based learning activities, visits and visitors, including exciting learning log style homework to hook and engage children and parents. This makes learning purposeful and relevant, extending children’s breadth of language and vocabulary. This is an ongoing process which is amended and adapted for each academic year.
Our curriculum is delivered through highly effective ‘quality first teaching’. It promotes children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, ensuring that they are reflective and responsible citizens. Fundamental British Values are actively promoted in order to prepare the children for life in Modern Britain.
We have given subject leaders time and responsibility to take ownership of their subject and manage it effectively. This is monitored through meetings with both the Headteacher and SLT but also with our Chair of Governors, Mr David Ryder, who has taken a keen interest in our journey.
We have developed our own assessment tool for foundation subjects which allows us to assess pupils effectively and also track progress though time.
Thoughout this process, we are constantly re-evaluating our position in our curriculum journey and amending our objectives to match the needs of the children.
Using a Spirals of Enquiry method to gain feedback from all stakeholders, we are pleased with the direction in which our curriculum journey is heading to date.
Subject leaders appreciate their dedicated subject time and feel they have a much improved grasp of what takes place within projects, year groups and lessons. Meetings with the Chair of Governors have been productive for both parties!
Children are noticing a difference in the way lessons are being taught and enjoy the end of term awards for different subjects. Due to the new assessment format for foundation subjects, SLT and teachers are able to celebrate the successes of different pupils for different subjects during pupil progress meetings. The learning log homework has proven even more popular than we imagined and has engaged children and families who were not always enthused previously.
Finally, while COVID-19 remains in our community, we have revised our curriculum plans for 2020/21 to ensure our children are provided with rich, exciting learning experiences which will engage, motivate and ignite interest.