our Curriculum Statement
OUR CURRICULUM DESIGN
At St John’s, our curriculum is creative with strong foundations in basic skills. It has evolved over the years into a topic based approach with a particular focus on developing a balance of knowledge and skills.
At St John's, we have worked collaboratively to design our curriculum rationale which is underpinned our Vision, Values and Aims for our school community. This helps us to create a positive nurturing ethos in which we can all learn together. As a Rights, Respecting School, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are central to the work we do.
How does our curriculum reflect our school culture?
At St John’s, our school’s is ‘Learning to make the world a better place’. This grew from the children’s engagement supporting refugees; finding out about the many stories of refugees overcoming adversity. As a result of this, the children are encouraged and supported by their teachers to continually strive for success regardless of any barriers they might encounter. We endeavour to build a community that is both resilient and resourceful.
Through PSHE, the children explore how they can become resilient when faced with challenges. Stories from the past and discovering countries around the world underpin the children’s understanding of resilience. As a Values-based school, we promote a number of values throughout all our subjects, be it showing co-operation in a Design Technology sessions or courage in a PE session. Values are the basis of our PSHE curriculum which then permeates throughout the children’s learning.
How does our curriculum show breadth of learning?
In order to meet the statuary requirements, all content from Curriculum 2014 is covered. However, this is just the beginning of our curriculum. When the Curriculum 2014 was unveiled, we were determined not to lose particular topics that were held dear as some are very reflective of our local and global communities. As a result of questionnaires for the children and staff, our most successful topics were retained.
How does the curriculum provide for physical and mental well-being?
The school ensures that the children experience a full range of skills and sports. The children are encouraged to take part in competitive sports as well as improving individual skills. All the children take part in a mile a day run in order to promote lifelong fitness. A few staff have undergone basic Mindfulness training. Children are aware that they can speak to staff about particular worries which may need a one-to-one conversation or could lead to circle time discussions. Staff are also mindful to be on the lookout for anything that might seem worrisome.
How do we teach a full curriculum rather than simply focussing on national assessment criteria?
Whenever possible, we will combine subjects and objectives in order to make the curriculum more purposeful for the children. When this is not possible, the children are taught subjects as part of a carousel, e.g. over the course of two weeks they will be taught computing, French, R.E. and music. This ensures that the children never miss out on foundation subjects. This breadth of learning ensures that the children are engaged and have a positive attitude to school life.
How does SMSC, including British Values, interweave with the curriculum?
All curriculum areas have SMSC as a golden thread. SMSC is at the heart of everything we do at St John’s Primary School. We promote British Values
How do we balance the drive for high standards with a creative curriculum?
As mentioned earlier, our curriculum, though creative, has its roots in basic skills. Our teaching of writing has had the result of improving the progress of most groups of children across the school. In reading, we are trialling whole class teaching of guided reading in order to improve the number of children attaining ARE. Our maths teaching is through a mastery approach so that the children are exposed to discussions and vocabulary from all attainment levels. This ensures that the children’s understanding of new concepts is both secure and challenged. At St John’s, we want our children to be enthusiastic and thriving in all parts of their learning. This can only be achieved when we appeal to their interests.
What recent innovation have we pioneered?
Our whole class reading approach has been particularly successful. The introduction of Everyone Reading in Class (ERIC) has helped to create and foster a love of reading. This has prompted us to create a beautiful space for our school library.
How do we track pupils’ achievements in all subjects?
We are now using Target Tracker Online for all subjects in the curriculum. The children’s work assessed continually by the teachers, setting next steps for future learning. Cold tasks are used in writing and maths at the beginning of a unit in order to plan for all children’s needs. Hot tasks are then carried out at the end of the unit to assess progress. Book looks are carried out by the senior leadership team and co-ordinators throughout the year in order to maintain the highest standards for all.
Any children falling behind are discussed with class teachers and the ‘day of the dot’ may be issued where the children will be given time to improve their work. Discussions are held with children throughout the school in order to assess engagement and enjoyment. There is a drive to ensure that foundation subjects are given the same level of focus as core subjects.
Promoting our curriculum
We ensure that parents and other stakeholders have a key understanding of our curriculum and coffee mornings are also used to promote this. You can also follow us on twitter