Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum at St Julian's Church School

We are a happy, inclusive school where everyone is valued. Through learning that is creative, rich and full of opportunities, we aspire to develop a love for learning rooted in Christian values. We encourage children to follow their dreams and have the confidence to be the best they can be.

Vision (What drives our curriculum?)

We have two main drivers: Reading (both for pleasure and for learning) and our Core Values.

Reading:

Throughout our curriculum and at every opportunity is a focus on reading; reading for learning and reading for pleasure. Texts are carefully chosen to lead into and inform learning in different subjects. Additionally classes dedicate time daily to reading for pleasure, as a class and as individuals.

Our Core Values:

Creativity: Our curriculum is designed to ensure our children are curious, ask questions and think creatively. We embrace opportunities to learn our whole curriculum through the Arts. Our RE curriculum develops wonder, awe and spirituality through asking ‘big questions’.

Respect: Our curriculum teaches children to respect each other, themselves and the environment. We want our children to develop healthy attitudes both towards their physical and mental health, knowing and understanding when and how to take moments of rest and mindfulness.

Aspiration: We teach our children to have a strong sense of self and to be able to articulate aspirations for their life. Our curriculum inspires children to do their best, and have the determination and resilience to learn from mistakes. We help our children to see the range of opportunities and possibilities that await them in life.

Joy: Our children experience joy through the act of learning and through achieving. We offer rich opportunities for outdoor learning helping children to appreciate joy through learning in our beautiful natural environment.

Kindness: We provide opportunities for children to develop empathy and compassion for others in our community – both immediate and globally, helping to support campaigns for change and justice. We support children to become kind and thoughtful citizens who value each other and understand their own and others’ beliefs.

Resilience: Children are engaged in learning, they are motivated to achieve and can work collaboratively with others both at school and in our community.

 

Intent (What do we intend our children to learn?)

Our intention is to create and implement a curriculum for our pupils that introduces a range of key concepts, in ways which enable learners to build them into reliable schemata. We are ambitious for our learners and measure the impact of what we do, using agreed principles of assessment. We regard the proper use of assessment as a key teaching and learning tool, and place it firmly at the heart of our practice.

 

Implementation (How is our curriculum being delivered?)

We plan a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum rooted in the National Curriculum and the new Early Years Curriculum that enables children to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding over a series of lessons.  We make meaningful connections across the curriculum, enabling children to recognise links across subjects and to develop their understanding of the world in which we live. Our school-wide themes allow children to make links and build on prior knowledge, while our subject specific planning helps us to focus on the most important and useful knowledge in each subject and ensure children learn the disciplines and skills associated with that subject.

 

Wider Curriculum

We recognise the importance of all areas of the curriculum, which are planned for over a 2-year planning cycle due to our mixed aged-classes. Each curriculum subject has a long term progression document. This sets out the aims and purposes of the subject; the breadth of study for each year group; the ‘Big Ideas’ (threshold concepts) and how these build up to Year 6; the key vocabulary that must be learnt to support those threshold concepts; the milestones to reach on that learning journey; and the activities teachers will use to assess children’s progress towards those milestones. These long term plans ensure progression which can be monitored by subject leaders. Our Knowledge Organisers, based on the progression documents, ensure each teacher has clarity as to what to cover in each unit of learning.

The ‘big ideas’ or ‘threshold concepts’ are domain specific concepts which open up new ways of thinking about the subjects and help pupils to link new knowledge and commit it to their long term memories. We consider this to be the most powerful knowledge in each subject domain. Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each unit and across the subject area. These concepts help teachers to present new information clearly and build on what has been taught before.

Teachers plan the vocabulary that the children will be taught so that it is extended at every stage of their primary journey with opportunities to ask questions and talk about their learning. It is understood that through developing vocabulary children are better able to acquire and deepen their knowledge.

There are frequent opportunities for children to practice, remember and retrieve knowledge through ‘no stakes’ quizzes, regular repetition, plenaries in lessons and practice. Teachers use knowledge gained through this regular assessment as part of their teach-do-review cycle. At the end of a unit of learning, teachers will either plan an activity for children to demonstrate their depth of knowledge in that unit, and/or scaffold a Double Page Spread activity to capture and celebrate the learning from the unit, allowing children to engage in the practical application of writing, art and DT skills to aid the presentation of learning.

Over the course of 2021-22 our Long Term Progression Documents and Our Knowledge Organisers will be uploaded to the subject-specific pages on our website for your reference.

English

Writing is taught using a highly structured and expertly modelled approach, enhancing the school’s teaching of vocabulary through meaningful writing opportunities. This approach is called ‘Write Stuff’. Every ‘Write Stuff’ piece of writing is based on a high quality text and has a clear audience and purpose. Opportunities for spelling, grammar and punctuation learning are woven into the Write Stuff lessons. Further writing opportunities are planned that link to the wider curriculum whilst maintaining a focus on high quality modelling of sentence structure, appropriate voice and vocabulary.

Reading is taught using a range of whole class and group strategies. Children are taught the skills required to retrieve, infer and comment on choices in texts. Each child must also have a personal reading book at their own level. Classes read whole texts together to further foster a love of reading for pleasure.

Phonics is taught from the Early Years using Letters and Sounds programme, supported with Big Cat decodable reading books and the school’s own set of resources that support good phoneme-grapheme correspondence and letter formation. Phonics is taught daily in the Early Years and Year 1 and 2. The No Nonsense Spelling programme builds on the phonics programme and is taught at least 3 times a week. Speaking and listening opportunities are planned frequently and, where appropriate, will involve links with performances / outside theatre groups.

 

Mathematics

Mathematics is taught using a mastery approach with a strong focus on the use of CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) to support children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. There is a strong focus on children learning number facts including multiplication tables. The Calculations Policy ensures that children are taught the 4 operations using appropriate models and images, progressing to become proficient mathematicians who are confident in manipulating numbers. There is a strong emphasis on children learning the necessary skills and vocabulary in order to explain and reason about mathematics. Links are made between discrete ‘classroom’ mathematics skills and real life contexts. White Rose planning is followed to ensure there is full coverage of the national curriculum for mathematics whilst Numbots and Times Table Rockstars supports children in practicing their number facts and multiplication recall.

 

Religious Education

We teach RE through a combination of Somerset’s ‘Awareness, Mystery and Value’ and the Church of England’s ‘Understanding Christianity’. In this way we ensure good coverage of the main religions whilst also ensuring that pupils develop their own thinking and understanding of Christianity. The long term plan has been arranged over the two year rolling programme that will use the UC headings (God, Creation, Fall, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation, Kingdom of God) in sequence with the Anglican year (Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost)  to deliver the teaching of Christianity and Judaism. The teaching of Judaism and Christianity will be separate but sequential to allow children to understand the relationship between the faiths, the origins of Christianity and Jesus’ Jewish heritage. This narrative sequencing is repeated within the terms, echoing the UC focus on understanding the ‘big story’ of the Bible before teaching individual events. Islam, Hinduism and Humanism will then be delivered in term 6 of each year, giving these faiths dedicated time to be taught without confusion between them.

For KS2, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism is delivered in Term 6 of each year, so giving these faiths dedicated time to be taught without confusion between them.

Key events within the Anglican year are studied and celebrated within the Wellow community.  The curriculum is further enriched by access to quality artefacts (all religions) visitors from all faiths and external visits.

Each term RE lessons give children the time, space and opportunity to reflect on their own spirituality and what it might mean to them to pray.  These lessons link to the term’s value and also our Collective Worship.

 

SEND

SEND children are supported to make the same progress as all other children in their core subjects, by providing them with appropriate support and guidance to support them in meeting or exceeding their targets. We have as high expectations for pupils with SEND as we do for all pupils.

 

Impact (What difference is our curriculum making?)

Our children are happy, engaged and enthusiastic learners who strive to do their best. They have high personal aspirations. They have a good understanding of Christian values and how these can support them to become successful and happy citizens. Children develop and take with them a range of life-long skills for learning. Children have broadened their cultural experiences and deepened their knowledge, understanding and empathy for others. They are caring and kind individuals. We continue to support children in their recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

The impact of recent improvements in our curriculum are seen in pupils’ books and while walking around school. Children talk about their learning with enthusiasm and confidence. They show good recall of key knowledge and can make meaningful connections across units of learning. We track carefully to ensure that our children are making good progress and are fulfilling their potential. We expect to see this reflected in future national assessments.

 

Our subject leaders will check the impact of our curriculum  through pupil conferencing and work sampling. We anticipate that as we embed our new long term plans and knowledge organisers that children will reach each milestone, demonstrating sustained mastery of the content. Some children will demonstrate a greater depth of mastery.

 

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