The School Curriculum Policy has been revised in line with the New National Curriculum introduced in September 2014.
Please contact Deputy Head and Literacy Leader, Mr Piers Ranger, for more information.
CURRICULUM POLICY 2017
Exploring the World
At St Benedict’s C of E VA Junior School we aim to:
- Instil in every child a love of lifelong learning promoting ownership of their own learning
- Admire the wonders of God’s world together and share and care for everyone and everything in it
- Inspire children to be creative and to develop their own thinking skills, making learning relevant and practical
- Develop independence, stamina and perseverance
- Develop individual self-respect and encourage children to be respectful of the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others
The rationale of our curriculum is primarily to promote children’s learning and development through a broad, balanced, creative curriculum. It includes the formal requirements of the New Primary Curriculum and a whole school creative approach to learning as well as the additional extra-curricular activities organised to enrich our children’s learning experience. Our aim is for children to grow into positive, responsible young people. We also value the importance of providing a broad range of activities through our curriculum, encouraging creativity in all children, supporting them to become independent learners. We believe that involving children in their own learning and assessment results in a better understanding of how children can make progress. We have high expectations and believe that children should be given every opportunity to achieve their own personal potential. Children should establish a love of learning developing a life-long work ethic.
St Benedict’s C of E VA Junior School is committed to meeting the requirements of the New Primary Curriculum from September 2014. We have updated our plan of work to reflect the content and challenge of the new curriculum.
The curriculum is taught with the consideration of the needs of all learners. It is exciting and inspiring, ensuring children cultivate a passion for learning.
The curriculum meets the requirements of the New Primary Curriculum and the Locally Agreed Syllabus for RE as well as providing an extensive range of learning experiences beyond the statutory requirements.
We aim to develop a curriculum that is broad, balanced and based on the development and application of skills and one that has cross curricular links to ensure that children’s learning has even greater coherence. The school, whilst delivering the statutory content of the New Primary Curriculum, plans a thematic approach to learning and many of the topics change regularly to excite and stimulate the children. A skills-based approach is followed to ensure that the children make progress with their learning as they move through the school.
Curriculum Organisation and Planning
Creating a skills-based curriculum ensures that the focus is on progression and attainment in a creative curriculum. Each foundation subject has 4 or 5 skills with objectives attached to these to ensure coverage. The key skills in themselves are not progressive. What changes is the standard to which the skills are applied.
‘Key skills are the essential skills that pupils need to make progress in each subject.’ – Chris Quigley.
In our curriculum planning, we emphasise these skills, so that the children’s progress in all of these areas can be identified and monitored. In all subject areas teachers seek to contribute to a child’s progress in these skills because we believe that all children need to make good progress in these areas if they are to develop their true potential. Our curriculum is planned around a series of themes that maximise cross-curricular links whilst ensuring rigour where there is a clear development in the learning of key skills.
As a school we have adapted three ‘curriculum drivers’ -Independence, Community and Exploring the World. These personalise our curriculum and are embedded within all planning.
Teaching and learning
As well as focussing on the development and application of skills we aim to teach exciting and challenging lessons, delivering lessons in a variety of ways by providing as many first hand practical experiences as possible, such as the use of practical apparatus, artefacts and technology; visits and the use of experts. Throughout the year children will experience ‘wow’ days to inspire learning as well as workshop days, organised in house by planning teams as well as specific subject days and weeks such as a focus on Science or Maths. A themed week, for example, our whole school local history study of World War I, was concluded with an exhibition of children’s work and many artefacts loaned by members of the local community.
Through continual assessment, work is matched to the ability of the child through differentiated activities, adult support, providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills. Children who are not making sufficient progress are quickly identified and are placed on intervention programmes and those identified as having additional educational needs are given an individual education plan. The progress of these children is closely monitored.
Long term planning -Two year rolling programme, whole school curriculum map and subject overviews setting out what should be taught and when. Teachers then work in key stage planning teams creating a topic web that relates to the skills that will be taught and appropriate attainment and achievement outcomes.
Medium term planning grids – A brief outline of the main learning objectives/areas to be taught, to be recorded on a planning grid for each week. Opportunities for cross curricular work and the development of skills will also be clear on the planning grid. Planning grids are completed at the start of each term.
Weekly plans – Detailed planning for daily English and Maths lessons including additional basic skills lessons in both subjects taught for 30 minutes at least 3 times each week.
Children with Special Needs
Our curriculum, which is designed to provide access and opportunity for all pupils, may be adapted to meet the needs of individual children, but only after consultation with a child’s parents/carers.
If a child has individual special needs, our school will do its utmost to meet them in complying with the requirements set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. In the event of a child displaying signs of having special needs, his/her teacher will make an assessment of this need and in most cases be able to provide resources and educational opportunities which will meet them, within the normal class organisation. Where necessary, however, we will use the support provided by Teaching Assistants and may seek advice from external agencies or undertake statutory assessment.
The school provides an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for children on the special needs register which sets out the nature of the special need and outlines how the school will aim to address it. It also sets out targets for improvement, so that each child’s progress can be reviewed and monitored at regular intervals.
We are mindful that all children need the support of parents/carers and teachers to make good progress. We strive to build positive links with the parents/carers of each child by keeping them informed about the way the children are being taught and how well each child is progressing.
The Role of the Curriculum Manager
- Ensure that the curriculum is broad, cross-curricular and creative
- Ensure that the curriculum is underpinned by trips, visitors and experience
- Promote our creative curriculum and its values
- Facilitate shared curriculum planning time
- Monitor planning and work termly, ensuring consistency, progression and appropriate coverage
- Ensure that shared topics show progression with different elements of milestones being taught as appropriate
- Give feedback to colleagues
- Continually evaluate and refine our curriculum
- Hold conversations both formal and informal with children to assess child engagement
- Record monitoring and share with Leadership Team and Governors
- Ensure that the curriculum policy is observed in practice
Maintain an overview of ‘wow’ days, themed weeks, workshop days and subject days/weeks. Plan and facilitate these events.
The role of the Subject Leader
- Provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject
- Support and offer advice to colleagues on issues related to the subject
- Provide efficient resource management for the subject
- Keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level
- Organise a system of differentiated short-term English and Maths targets
- Review the way the subject is being taught and plan for improvement, linking to whole-school objectives
- Monitor pupils’ progress in the subject area and review the curriculum plans, ensuring that progression is planned into schemes of work
The Governing Board’s Curriculum Committee is responsible for monitoring the way the curriculum is implemented, reviewing each area of the School Development Plan (SDP), including Church School Distinctiveness.
There are named governors for all areas of the curriculum, who liaise with the subject leaders of these areas and monitor closely the way the school delivers the curriculum.
The Headteacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum and, together with senior staff, monitors the lesson plans for all teachers, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the New Primary Curriculum.
Subject leaders monitor the way their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long and medium-term planning and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. They also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.
Pupils’ progress is constantly monitored through a programme of continuous assessment, both formative and summative.
Pupils are also assessed according to the requirements of Key Stages 2 of the New Primary Curriculum, at age 11. The results of these assessments are reported to parents and summarised in the end of year report.
The Curriculum Policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher, in consultation with the Governing Board and in the light of the School’s Development Plan.