Curriculum

St Alban’s Catholic Primary School

Curriculum Statement 2018/19

St Alban’s is a place where all are valued as a child of God, where everyone is enabled to mature towards their full growth in Christ and achieve their potential. Through our curriculum we ensure that, with enthusiasm and celebration, the message of Jesus Christ is at the centre of all we do.

At St Alban’s Primary School we aim to offer a knowledge-rich curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge and understanding of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school.  The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite knowledge and understanding to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS curriculum covers Nursery and Reception and is split into seven areas of learning, three prime areas and four specific areas.

Prime:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).
  2. Physical Development (PD).
  3. Communication and Language (CL).

Specific:

  1. Literacy.
  2. Mathematics.
  3. Understanding the world.
  4. Expressive arts and design.

The EYFS curriculum is underpinned by a carefully thoughout out balance of a direct teaching model and a play-based approach where children have access to all areas of learning within the classroom and in the outside learning area. Children will engage in self-chosen activities as well as carefully planned adult directed sessions, including phonics. The children are continually observed and assessed by teachers and support staff so that they progress rapidly towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’.

Pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1.  There is a period in the Autumn Term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the Letters and Sounds Programme and developing their fluency in reading through the Daily Supported Reading Programme.

Through the EYFS, the children are taught phonics where children explore the initial letter sounds and their corresponding letter names. From this, they then learn the sounds that pairs of letters make and how to blend sounds together to read simple words.

This continues into Year 1 and 2 where the children will move through the five phases of the phonics programme learning to understand letter patterns as the sounds and words grow in complexity. Alongside this, through years 1-6 sessions of ‘reading for meaning’ take place at least four times a week. This gives pupils the opportunity to not only develop their fluency but also how to infer – reading between the lines – in order to comprehend the meaning behind a character’s thoughts and actions in fiction, and understanding information presented in non-fiction.

These sessions also give the children the opportunity to understand how writer’s select particular words and phrases for purpose in order to create effect. The pupils also focus on how the text may relate to themselves, another text they have read or an event in the wider world so that the children are immersed in the feelings of the character’s they are reading about and are aware of the world around them.

We believe that this vital knowledge and will enable our children to be critical thinkers and able to access texts at a deeper level to empower them to be passionate readers. We encourage our children to take responsibility of reading avidly. All pupils have their own reading record which they are expected to complete daily and a suggested reading list is sent home each year, for each year group, to challenge the children to read widely thus develop their life-long love of literature.

National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual phase groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly. The curriculum is underpinned by the school’s Golden Values (aspiration, communication, curiosity, independence, perseverance and self-belief) and these are taught on their own and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies and Acts of Collective Worship. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.

The English curriculum and the mathematics curriculum are supported through a framework developed by staff in school. These subjects are taught in mixed ability groups throughout the school following a mastery approach. In all year groups there are small group interventions in order to support pupils in gaining the key knowledge to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians.

Specialist teachers and instructors support music and physical education and the teaching of French. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further.

The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. It is our aim to develop the school grounds so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science.

Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, assemblies, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens having the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church at the very centre is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

Click on the links in the Curriculum Menu to see the curriculum maps for each age group for each term.