Curriculum - September 2020
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” —Aristotle
At St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, we see the curriculum as something that embraces more or less everything that the children do during their time here. We are proud to be part of preparing our children for life beyond school. The children really are the starting point and at the centre of our curriculum. It is adapted and planned for the children, firstly by the children, alongside the teaching staff and whole school family. From EYFS to Year 6 we want to ensure that all our children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live.
Christian values and the love of God are at the heart of our teaching and learning. The curriculum is made up of all the activities that the school undertakes in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It is designed to fulfil our mission to guide the children to love, hope, dream and achieve. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its primary goal of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to lead a fulfilling and productive life. It has been carefully developed, and shall be delivered, with full awareness of our responsibility and commitment to the purpose of British Values.
Academic learning is obviously an important part of what happens in the school, and we take the progress and attainment of each child achieving the very best they are capable of achieving, very seriously: whether that is R.E, English, Geography, Music, P.E., Maths or Art. But it is certainly true that of equal importance are skills that you learn at school that can’t really be measured in terms of scores or grades. We prioritise the development of the children's social and emotional skills and social and emotional wellbeing which includes a curriculum that integrates the development of social and emotional skills within all subject areas. Being a mentally healthy school is also an integral part of our curriculum and whole school ethos.
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church. We are confident that our continued focus on the Gospel Values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life celebrating equality of all. Through our Topics, RE, PSHE, SEAL, Geography, Art, Music and History and by promoting The Common Good we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general.
Through our Curriculum we teach about democracy (school council elections), civic responsibility (being part of making rules and looking after the world around us), rules and laws, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness (eco-schools) and understanding of other faiths through visits to places of worship and visitors to school. We feel that the topics, events and people that we have selected to learn about this year symbolise many of the values and attitudes we want our children to adopt around academic learning or striving for excellence or making a difference to society in some way.
When the children join St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, they will have up to 8 years’ experience of academic, sporting, dramatic, artistic, musical, caring and, perhaps most importantly, personal growth to look back on. The greater part of the latter having been centred on the aspirations and the friendships they have made here. The curriculum will inspire the children to have confidence that they can become the person they want to become, be the very best they can be academically, and create a lifetime love of learning.
The Catholic ethos and values will underpin all the learning and experiences that the children have at St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery. The children will follow the “Come and See” programme and will experience daily Collective worship, weekly gospel assemblies and regular time for reflection. We feel that the children learn as much from the way they are treated and the expectations we have of their behaviour as Christians, as from the formal curriculum.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the beliefs we share as Christians and the desire to worship God in everything we do. We are a church school and a caring school family. We want our children to grow up and have a sense of appreciation for the world in which we live; feeling a valuable part of it, knowing they have a contribution to make. That they are able to meet challenge positively, be supported and support on another when needed.
We recognise and respect the range of beliefs and cultures within our world. Our subject leaders and Key Stage Leaders have all developed the different subject areas and influenced the curriculum using their expertise, experience and specialism. All subjects, including daily Maths and English, will be delivered through a bespoke curriculum carefully developed with a full awareness of the children’s interests and the national programme of study. We will ensure the full coverage of skills and opportunities are taught to all children in the whole school.
Whilst our curriculum is bespoke in all subjects, we follow the Read Write Inc programme for phonics and as a “Teaching for Mastery” school, our Maths approach is incorporating Mastery teaching strategies for all. We use Maths of the Day in PE lessons, Numeracy in Maths in KS1 which is linked to Music, EYFS use “Fluency in Mathematics” within their learning and all children have access and compete across the school through TT Rockstars to develop their fluency in times table knowledge.
The children will all have opportunities to learn and develop skills through specialist teaching and learning for P.E, Swimming, Music, D&T, The Arts, SMSC, Science, Geography, History, Computing and extra-curricular activities and clubs. Life at St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School is rich, varied, caring, inclusive, exciting, challenging, inspiring, but, above all, enormously rewarding and a happy experience.
Assessment Children are continually assessed and a full record of attainment progress and targets are recorded. This is to ensure that the daily teaching and planning can be adapted to suit the needs of the children. Throughout the year teachers assess and record progress on a daily basis. We have a central database of attainment for each class and year group, with individual assessment and progress also recorded in detail. There is an Individual Tracking System within the school with predictions and individual targets informing the planning, teaching and learning. All subject areas are assessed.
Further information about the school's curriculum or assessment can be obtained from our Curriculum Leader and Assessment Leader Mrs McCallum by using the school contact details.