At St Joseph’s, the Gospel values and our school Mission Statement, “Praying together, Learning for life, Caring for all” permeates through all aspects of our curriculum. We want our pupils to leave our school as well-rounded, resilient, conscientious and kind citizens of our rich and diverse world who look after other people and the world around them, make a valuable contribution to society, are independent and self-motivated and have a real desire to continue to further their learning.
We know children learn best when their learning is meaningful to them within their own context and their experiences of life to date. We believe that having a deep body of knowledge and the opportunities to rehearse skills in a planned and purposeful way results in true progress being made. Our curriculum is consciously designed to maximise breadth and retention of knowledge in a coherent, progressive way, leading to the development of skills in order that all our learners are able to meet their full potential and are all able to achieve ambitious outcomes.
We aim to weave all areas of the curriculum into half termly topics for each year group so that, over time, through repeated, progressive experience, the children grow and develop their knowledge of core and foundation subjects. Concepts and vocabulary are revisited in a variety of contexts in order to deepen and extend understanding, knowledge and skills.
Reading – Teaching children to read is one of the most important skills of life. We provide as many opportunities for our pupils to read as possible, as we know that in order to read to learn, one must first learn to read. In the EYFS and KS1 Letters and Sounds is followed for the teaching of synthetic phonics. The children read in groups with an adult during guided reading sessions, using a progressive reading scheme covering all genres, where books are closely matched to their phonics knowledge. Accelerated Reader is used in KS2 to guide pupils to books of an appropriate level, and motivate them to read to learn and develop their comprehension skills. Teacher led, whole class guided reading sessions support the development of reading in KS2. We assess reading using phonics screening materials, teacher assessment and Rising Stars PiRA tests. We encourage and promote reading for pleasure both at home and at school through our own school reading scheme, book swaps and engaging book corners in all classrooms.
Writing – In order to become confident writers, children must already be confident readers. As a result, writing is widely based on what the children have read, either in English lessons, or as part of developing their knowledge in another subject area. Reading and writing permeate the primary curriculum and writing is therefore vital in the teaching and learning of English in our school. A long term plan is in place to support continuity and progression in the coverage of fiction and non-fiction genres across Key Stages and year groups. Teaching of grammar and punctuation is embedded within the context of writing to ensure that children learn to apply their skills. We use Rising Stars GAPS assessments to track attainment and progress in SPAG. Teachers provide children with opportunities to write every day across all Key Stages. A variety of writing approaches are used throughout the school so that all pupils can access the curriculum. Alan Peat’s ‘Exciting Sentences’ are used in each year group (see Exciting Sentences progression policy) and Talk 4 Writing strategies are used from Nursery to Year 6. Assessment of writing is continuous and built into the teaching sequence and teachers will conduct a more detailed assessment of an independent piece of writing each half term in order to track progress and set targets for development. This is moderated across the year group and with the year group above/below. We work hard on handwriting and presentation, and edit our work carefully to improve it. We celebrate writing across the school.
Maths – We use the White Rose Hub mastery schemes of work. We assess using Rising Stars PUMA Assessment materials throughout the year. We use a range of online resources to support learning including MyMaths and Times Tables Rock Stars.
Religious Education – We use the Diocesan approved scheme of work 'The Way, the Truth and the Life'. This includes 6 topics per year group from Nursery to Year 6. All children participate in pupil-led and teacher-led Collective Worship sessions as well as taking part in assemblies, Masses and liturgies. Children are encouraged to take opportunities to express their faith through various school organisations such as The School Council, Eco Club and Mini Vinnies and to support charitable causes in the local, national and international community. Our Y6 pupils participate in the Faith in Action Award.
Music – We teach and assess music using Charanga Primary Music Scheme. This ensures that the progression of knowledge and skills outlined by the National Curriculum are cemented in an engaging way. As many links as possible are made to half termly topics in further enhance learning.
PE – PE Passport is used throughout the school to provide a broad, ambitious PE curriculum in which all learners are challenged according to their own learning journey. As many links as possible are made to half termly topics in further enhance learning.
Computing – We use Purple Mash to teach and assess progress against National Curriculum objectives in Computing, and support the development of digital skills.
Modern Foreign Languages – In KS1 pupils follow a teacher-led curriculum to develop their basic knowledge of the French language. In KS2 the Catherine Cheater scheme of work is used, led by a specialist linguist, to progressively develop children’s language learning skills and reinforce their literacy.
Other Foundation Subjects – Subject coordinators, in collaboration with teachers and senior leaders, create, monitor and evaluate a bespoke, interwoven curriculum where skills are carefully sequenced throughout pupils’ learning journeys to allow for cumulative knowledge and skills.
Impact can be seen each day, by looking at the progress made by each individual learner in all aspects of their development. In addition, impact is evident through the outcomes of National Assessments at the end of KS1 and KS2.
We aim to maximise impact by providing a curriculum that helps learners to know more and remember more.