Over the last few years we have changed our class structure from year to year to meet the needs of the learners in various cohorts. This year we have Reception as a single year group, a Year 1 & 2 class, Year 3 & 4 and a Year 5 & 6 class. The previous year saw Reception and Year 1 taught together, year 2 and Year 3, Year 4 and 5 and a single year 6 class. Our topic cycle is carefully designed to allow the flexibility needed to manage these structural year group changes.
A Creative Curriculum
Since September 2014 we have been using the new National Curriculum to plan the work we do with our children, in every subject. Our focus is on making our curriculum as broad and balanced as we can with a strong commitment to making creative links between subjects. For example; a topic on Roman Britain might include mosaic making in art, shield making for DT, diary writing from the perspective of a Roman soldier or poetry writing, describing how it might have felt to march long distances, learning our Roman numerals, a trip to a significant historical Roman site i.e Cirencester or Bath and possibly actually invading another classroom using role play! By the very nature of some subjects such as maths and science, our teaching is more discreet although links are made to the ‘topic’ wherever meaningful. Our focus is always on the learning intention of what we are doing. Linking learning to the topic helps to place learning under an umbrella however, we are vigilant that links that are not tenuous and that what we want the children to learn is at the forefront of our planning.
During the academic years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 we spent a considerable amount of time as a staff reviewing our curriculum and topic titles. We began with the key skills in each area of the curriculum and used this as the starting point for our new currciulum maps. We then thought about the topics, subject areas and knowledge that would go with these skills. By the summer of 2019 we had produced ‘Year A’ and ‘Year B’ of our two year topic cycle. Planned into our AIP (academy improvement plan) for 2019/20 is a review of our current topic cycle and themes. We are exploring the blocking of learning to give more focus and attention to individual subjects within a theme and the progression of knowledge and skills across each child’s year group, key stage and whole school journey.
Also included here is the long term planning that we use to support our work in Literacy. Our numeracy planning comes directly from the National Curriculum; teachers use this to plan termly units of work that build on the skills gained by the children in the previous term. Topics such as Number & Place Value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as well as fractions decimals and percentages are included in every planning cycle so that our children develop strong foundations in key mathematical concepts.
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.
All 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 and this information is repeated in the ‘classes’ section. 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.