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Curriculum Vision St Helen's Catholic Primary

At St Helen's we have a creative, challenging curriculum with high expectations for all of our children and the core values of the Catholic faith at the forefront of everything we do. This curriculum allows us to meet the needs of all of our children both spiritually and academically. Our goal is to inspire our children to become independent, life-long learners and to reach their individual potential.

We have six principle curriculum aims:

  • To nurture children as they grow, following the teaching of the Catholic church.
  • To give our children the strongest foundation and the best chance for success in the next stage of their education.
  • To help children develop healthy attitudes towards learning, themselves and other people.
  • To raise children's aspirations and help them understand that hard work and a positive growth mindset are key to reaching these goals.
  • To help children develop a better understanding of the world around them.
  • To teach children in an exciting, topic-based way which opens curriculum subjects and children's minds, for exploration and deeper understanding.

At the heart of our curriculum is the high-quality teaching of basic skills (reading, writing, number and speaking & listening). These fundamental skills are practised and applied across a range of contexts and cross-curricula themes. This creates a love of reading throughout school, offers a range of wider curricula activities, including work with member of our families and communities, and develops the children’s own faith and understanding of the beliefs of others.

We want to help all of our children to become real learners, who not only have the key skills of literacy, mathematics, computing and science, but have a thirst for learning and a confidence to question information that they find.

We recognise that in a fast-changing world, our children will need to be able to carry out research, work independently and with others, and to have developed a resourcefulness that will see them through periods of challenge or change.

We encourage all our learners to have a positive growth mindset, where they are encouraged to believe that their ability is not inherited or fixed, but is developed over time through successful learning.

Our Approach

Each term our curriculum takes a different primary focus – History in Autumn, Geography in Spring and Art & Design in Summer. After identifying the curriculum content for each term we then explore different conceptual themes that weave through our topic.

These concepts are framed within an enquiry question which allows us to develop a philosophical starting point for each of our projects.

These questions are a critical part of allowing our children to learn to listen to and respect one another, and challenge and explore the beliefs and values of others. They develop their own views and make more deliberate and responsible judgements. It encourages children to have an enquiring mind in all that they do and allows them to develop advanced skills such as inference, deduction, analysing and summarising — all of which are needed in order to be successful no matter what the subject.

As our projects develop over the term the children have opportunities to extend their learning in the termly focus as well as in our other curriculum areas which are interwoven throughout the project.

Throughout the year a variety of trips and visitors are planned to enrich the children's learning experiences by creating lasting and exciting memories which help to contextualise the children's learning. we also include specific focus weeks in our calendar such as weeks which explore other faiths such as Judaism or Islam, Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day.

Curriculum Impact

Our curriculum enables learners to achieve well in all subjects, while considering their learning styles and capabilities. Our subjects also aim to enhance learning for our children, including the application of core skills such as literacy and maths across the curriculum.

Children are assessed on an ongoing basis which enables teachers to plan next steps for their learning. Teachers assess against the learning objectives or key questions and the basic skills requirements for each year group and provide feedback which enables each pupil to make progress within the lesson and overtime. Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked and reported to parents/carers at parents evening and on the end of year report.

At St Helen's we use rigorous triangulated monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of our curriculum and the progress of the children.

Senior leaders and subject leaders monitor individual subjects through a review of the learning taking place, discussion with pupils about what they have learnt, providing individual feedback and support to move practice forwards.

We will measure the impact of our curriculum through:

  • Pupil attainment data
  • Pupil voice
  • Work scrutiny
  • Learning Walks
  • Professional discussion with staff
  • Lesson observations

We provide thematic and contextualised learning experiences where children are encouraged to make links across subjects in order to broaden their general knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We produce collaborators, innovators, leaders and, more than anything else, are confident to demonstrate their learning, love and faith in an ever-changing world.