Curriculum development and pedagogy are continually evolving. It is now recognised that a full and rich curriculum, designed to ensure that new learning builds on what has previously been taught, is central to strong curriculum models that promote excellent outcomes for children. At St Katharine’s we are proud to be a reflective organisation that strives to build our practice around strong evidence based research. We are keen to identify best-practice in the education sector and from the many partners that we work with and adapt that practice to fit our school and the learners that we have here.
In September 2019 we identified a need for a full review of our existing curriculum. This work and the progress towards it are recorded in the Academy Improvement Plan. We recorded our broad aims under 4 milestones; each milestone setting out the work that we are planning to undertake. Milestone 4 (September 2021) articulates the curriculum that we are working hard to develop and have in place by this date. Some of the aims, detailed in that document are shared below:
- All subjects mapped for progression of skills and knowledge from Y1 – 6
- History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and Science are taught in blocked units.
- Blocks of learning are phrased as enquiry questions
- Music, Computing, RE, PE and MFL remain as discreet subjects, time-tabled weekly
- PSHE is woven into the curriculum – this is intentionally mapped. Aspects of PSHE (SRE sex and relationships education) that are specifically taught are mapped throughout a child’s journey with us
- Key concepts agreed and mapped; inequality, monarchy, conservation, democracy, change and innovation. We will continue to identify threads that run through our curriculum as part of a process of continued review
- Subject specific curriculum maps that include: key people, key places (visits), cultural capital, texts, the best that has been said, done and written
Curriculum development is a key objective in the 2020 – 2021 Academy Improvement Plan as we track towards the outcomes that we have identified in the document entitled ‘Milestone 4’.
We are still in the development stages of this piece of work and we recognise that as we learn and grow our understanding of good curriculum design, the aims identified in ‘Milestone 4’ will change with us.
We have already had some early parental feedback:
‘we are noticing the difference at home, the children are coming home talking about Science or DT – they have a real sense that they are learning in a particular subject.’
If you would like to find out more about this direction of travel please come and ask; we will be happy to talk you through our plans.
Our Maths planning comes directly from the National Curriculum supported by the ‘Can Do Maths’ scheme which focusses on a mastery model; teachers use this to plan ‘small steps’ units of work that build on the skills gained by the children in previous blocks of learning. Our approach to maths is detailed in the maths policy. Please ask for a copy if you would like to find out more.
At St. Katharine’s school we have a strong focus on the development of mental maths skills right from the beginning, when children enter school. It is our belief that if children can quickly gain the skills needs to compute mentally then this will support learning in all other areas of the maths curriculum.
We use a home /school scheme call ‘Passport Maths’ that fully involves children in their learning. Children have clear targets to reach before gaining their certificate for a continent. We aim for all our children to be ‘Globe Trotters’ when they leave our school with a firm grasp of all times tables and the factors of all numbers to 100, computing with decimals as well as understanding factors, square and prime numbers.
Currently parents receive a ‘topic web’ every term that details the key areas that their child will be learning about. Your can find these in the ‘parents’ section of our website. As children begin a new block of curriculum learning, teachers write a knowledge organiser to accompany that block. These come home with your child to support discussion and further learning at home. We actively encourage parental involvement in their child’s learning and they are always welcome to come in and help either on a regular basis or to share a particular expertise in an area as a one off.
We operate an open door policy and are happy to discuss any aspect of your child’s learning with you in addition to the information that is supplied on this website.
Please look in the resources section on the parent tab to find:
1) our reading booklet (to support parents understand how we approach reading)
2) information about our approach to calculation