At St James’s C.E. Primary School, we have developed a question based curriculum, where children learn through meaningful questioning and exploration. Using a clear process of learning with specific goals for every National Curriculum subject, we aim for pupils to develop personal learning skills and a lifelong love of learning. High quality teaching and well-planed learning activities, means that children of all abilities experience success, challenge and enjoyment across all subjects. Through our curriculum and school values, we aim to ensure that all pupils leave us with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and international mindfulness that they need to succeed in life. Our curriculum sets out clear progression and application of skills, knowledge and understanding across all areas. We aim to ensure that pupils are independently minded, courageous and confident citizens of the future.
Our curriculum establishes a rigorous knowledge base. We have considered the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required to achieve academic excellence at primary and secondary school, and beyond. Subject leaders oversee planning, ensuring that pupils in each year group receive a rigorous, coherent and intelligently sequenced curriculum, which builds on what has come before. Our curriculum is grounded in evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
Subject leaders and class teachers consider our curriculum at three levels. The first is the intended curriculum – what we intend our pupils to learn. Subject leaders set out this detail, drawing on their academic knowledge, the National Curriculum and experience of what is necessary to flourish in their subject. The second level is the implemented curriculum – the resources and strategies that teachers use to deliver the curriculum. An example of these are the medium term planning grids, setting out the Golden Nuggets of information for each lesson and the curriculum letters to parents at the beginning of each term. Importance is placed on vocabulary, ensuring that children have the language that they need to be able to express themselves confidently. Finally, we emphasise the importance of the enacted curriculum, where our skilled teachers bring all of this knowledge to life in a way that will be meaningful and exciting for the pupils that they know so well.
We aim to ensure that the impact of the curriculum on the children is great in all subjects. This includes not only their progress and attainment but also that their cultural capital is well developed and the children become successful and internationally minded citizens. Our curriculum reflects the school’s pride in local industrial heritage and we have worked closely with the Historic England to ensure that our children have a clear understanding of the significance of the area in which they are growing up. We take advantage of the school’s locality and in selecting our areas of study, we consider our local area – what it is now and what it has been through history. Close links with the charity Classrooms in the Clouds, ensure that children have a meaningful understanding of what life is like for children growing up in rural Nepal and what our two communities can learn from each other.
We expect learning to have context, with rich learning opportunities that link to and build upon previous learning to enable children to develop transferable skills and knowledge. This will often involve a visit to another location, visitors to school or an experience day, ensuring that all pupils are able to contextualise their learning and apply the knowledge, skills and vocabulary in a real life situation wherever possible.
• To develop awe and wonder and a lifelong love of learning in a range of subjects.
• To be curious, motivated and excited about coming to school.
• To adopt the school’s values as well as fundamental British Values and be responsible citizens with strong moral standards and able to contribute to society.
• To develop a sense of their own nationality and culture as well as developing a profound respect for the nationalities and cultures of others, especially those throughout Modern Britain.
• To use the school’s REACH mentality – to try new things without fear of failure; to collaborate and learn with and from others; to talk about their learning and to know and remember more.
• For learning to stick, so that their knowledge can build upon and connect with previous knowledge.
We are confident that the impact of our approach is that we truly offer a broad and balanced curriculum to all pupils. The curriculum offers the chance for all pupils to encounter and understand the very best that has been thought, said, sung, danced, made and played. We hope that this will inspire pupils to go on and excel in their chosen field, with the widest range of opportunities available to them.