At St. Patrick’s, we believe that learning should be relevant, enjoyable, purposeful and challenging. We strive to achieve this through offering a broad, balanced and creative curriculum that nurtures and develops the whole child. Our aim is to develop life-long learners who take ownership of their learning and are proud of their achievements.
The National Curriculum:
In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum. This provides a framework for schools to use as they plan and implement a curriculum which is appropriate to the needs of the children and families within its own community. The content of the National Curriculum is designed to provide children with knowledge, skills and understanding fit for a learner in 21st Century Britain, encouraging them to be responsible global citizens of the future. To find out a little more about the National Curriculum please follow the link to the Department of Education website . Here you will find a full description of what children are expected to learn during their time in school.
Our Curriculum Intent
At St. Patrick’s, we have worked hard to design a broad and balanced, knowledge-based curriculum that meets the needs of all of our children. The curriculum that we offer provides many opportunities for all to develop and grow as confident, independent, resourceful learners who have high aspirations and feel that they are able to make positive contributions to their community and the wider society. We strive to equip our children to become global citizens of the future.
We have built our curriculum on key elements that will support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to life and learning. We identify these key elements as being: resilience, spirituality, aspiration, success in academic learning, problem solving, creativity, responsibility and physical and mental well-being.
Our Curriculum Drivers.
Based on the needs of our children we have identified three drivers that underpin our school’s curriculum. These curriculum drivers are:
POSSIBILITIES- Pupils at St. Patrick’s will have the opportunity to learn about their local community and develop their knowledge and understanding of the wider world and different cultures. All children will be encouraged to develop a sense of achievement, believing that everything is within their reach if they strive to be the best that they can be. This curriculum driver links closely to our school value, Hopes and Dreams.
SPIRITUALITY- All children will be given opportunities to value their own self-worth, empathise with others and see the positive contributions that they can make to their own community.
RESILIENCE- We feel that children at St. Patrick’s need to be able to deal with the many different challenges that they will experience in the curriculum and the wider world. We want our children to be able to ‘bounce back’ from these challenges and move forward with positivity, determination and pride. Within this curriculum driver, we focus on independence, problem-solving and resourcefulness.
The Importance of Knowledge in a Child’s Learning:
There is considerable evidence to show that teaching subject knowledge and skills as part of a wider topic based curriculum allows pupils to make useful links between areas of learning, and consolidate skills. Children are also likely to be more engaged in their learning if it has a context and theme that runs through it.
As a result, for many of our foundation subjects, we have chosen to follow the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum, which sets out essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development. Further information about The Essentials Curriculum can be found at https://www.chrisquigley.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CurriculumtoClassroom_V1_2016_Online.pdf
Milestones in our Foundation Subjects
One of the primary reasons for choosing to adopt this curriculum is that it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. This involves providing children with increased challenge, allowing them to apply the skills, which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts, rather than moving them onto the next skill before they have not truly mastered it.
Our EYFS curriculum has been created to embrace and encourage our children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder. We plan and prepare our environment so that our children feel safe and secure in their learning and explore, ask, design, make, question and create as they as they continue to develop the foundations required to become successful learners and live life to the full. Further information on our Early Years curriculum can be found at https://www.st-patricks-ce.solihull.sch.uk/the-foundation-stage/curriculum/.
Our Key Stage One curriculum builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. Following from this stage, the curriculum that we have designed builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. From Year 1 –Year 6, children will progress through three separate Milestones: Year 1 and Year 2: Milestone 1; Year 3 and Year 4: Milestone 2; Year 5 and Year: Milestone 3.
Each Milestone (Years 1, 3 and 5) begins at the 'Basic' Level. Here, children are beginning to develop a basic understanding of skills and concepts and are more dependent on the support of adults. By the end of each milestone (Years 2, 4 and 6), we expect the children to have an advancing or deep knowledge acquired.
A child at the ‘Basic’ level will be able to: name, describe, follow instructions, use, match, recognise, label and recall concepts and skills required for their current Milestone.
After children are able to demonstrate this ability on multiple occasions, they move to the ‘Advancing’ stage. They are more independent learners, capable of making more independent conclusions and decisions, whilst applying some of their skills with guidance. Children working confidently at the advancing stage will independently be able to: explain, classify, infer meaning, make predictions, interpret summarise and apply their skills to solve problems.
A number of children will reach the ‘Deep’ level of thinking. This involves a high level of cognitive challenge, in which children are expected to apply their skills in a range of complex contexts without the guidance of adults. At this stage, children demonstrate that they are able to: solve non-routine problems, appraise, explain concepts, hypothesise, investigate, design and prove. Within our curriculum many opportunities have been planned to challenge children to reach the deep level.
Children will progress through the Milestones at different rates and with different levels of support - not all children will reach a "Deep" level of learning.
Within each Milestone, skills and knowledge will be frequently revisited to enable greater long-term knowledge and understanding.
We feel this curriculum provides us with a coherent, progressive and appropriately sequenced curricular structure to enable our pupils to develop subject specific knowledge and skills to prepare them well for the next stages of their education.
Our Curriculum Implementation.
Our curriculum is implemented using a set of key foci:
- Effective Teaching.
This includes quality first teaching, target setting, focused assessment (formative and summative), interventions to ‘close the gaps’ in learning, suitable organisation of learning environments and curriculum organisation and review.
- Effective Learning
We acknowledge and respect that people learn in many different ways and use a range of methods that will enable all children to learn in the ways that best suit them. The ways in which we accommodate these different styles include: investigation and problem solving; open ended tasks; reasoning, research and finding out; the opportunity to access a range of resources independently; group, paired and independent work; effective questioning and opportunities for presentation.
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils will have gained and sustained knowledge and mastery of the content: our children will remember it all and are fluent in it. Some children will proceed further, developing a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully, intervening where necessary, to ensure that all children are given every opportunity to reach the expectations of our curriculum
Our Curriculum Overviews
In this area you will find overviews for each of the subjects that make up our curriculum. These provide details of the work completed by each year group and show progression across and within year groups and Milestones.
For information on Maths overviews, objectives and resources, please refer to our Maths Zone.