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OUR CURRICULUM STATEMENT

New Mission Statement 2017-18 image.pdf

Intent

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Implementation

2.1 Planning a curriculum

It is evident that the broad and balanced curriculum that we offer allows children the opportunity to learn, process, practise and extend their learning in a creative way. Our approach supports the development and extension of the child’s long term memory and our teaching provides the tools for this to be successful. The School Leadership Team (SLT) meet weekly and the teachers with learning responsibilities (TLRs) every half term where the curriculum offer is reviewed and developed further. In adopting a cross-curricular approach through the use of a range of resources, such as the Power of Reading and developing our pedagogy through Building the Kingdom, this demonstrates our children’s love of learning in an environment that is fully inclusive, spiritually fulfilling and celebrates achievement. 

Children in Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This learning challenges children and encourages them to develop into independent, motivated learners and thinkers, full of curiosity about the world around them within a fun, happy and secure environment. Children have opportunities to explore, enquire and to take risks through practical, hands-on learning experiences. We have a high quality outside learning environment which the children are able to use throughout the day. This approach to learning provides the spring-board for future development within our creative and dynamic curriculum across the Key Stages.

New initiatives are resourced and shared with all staff who discuss, review and embrace these opportunities. These ideas are shared with our Governors who are always very supportive and keen to contribute , being willing to reaffirm the implementation while asking challenging questions about the outcomes and displaying great pride in the school’s achievements.

St. Bernadette’s recognises the wide social, economic and religious backgrounds of our families. The school has a falling roll of Catholics at 75% overall (Infants 65%) and increasing numbers of children from other faiths who are mainly Christian (Eastern Orthodox or Pentecostal) and Hindu. The school is on the border of Harrow and Brent situated within the Ward of Kenton East, which is demographically one of the poorest Wards in Harrow. According to Public Health England, Harrow has high levels of obesity and overweight children and the highest levels of tooth decay in the country. Our deprivation figure does not reflect the extreme poverty and issues arising for some of our families because of the Free School Meals (FSM) measure used to identify children eligible for Pupil Premium funding. Parents are reluctant to claim the FSM grant because they will lose their working tax credit which is worth far more to them but not the school. We run our own Food Bank so that we can be sure that identified children come to school nourished and ready to access the curriculum, this is supplemented by giving such children free access to our Breakfast and After School Clubs (these are not only the children for whom we receive Pupil Premium funding).

Hence the school has a significant group of families who require a lot of support, signposting and care. Within PSHE and citizenship, account is taken of the socio-economics of the area and we recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves and a want to develop aspirations for their future and for their community. We have designed our curriculum enrichment weeks to provide a breadth of experience within a subject area, drawing on outside speakers and the involvement of parents to help to develop a sense of curiosity and high aspirations. Careers advice often features within the curriculum enrichment weeks and enables visitors (including parents) to meet with the children and expose them to life outside school, providing them with ideas for their future. We passionately believe that all children must realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there in which they can play an active and positive part.

We play an important part in providing the means for social mobility. We maintain close links with the local community and we have a very dynamic working relationship with St Gregory’s High School and all the local Primary Schools, especially those within the All Saints’ Academy Trust. We provide opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, linked to the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) document. We also plan for and promote British values, ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen (We are a Right’s Respecting School).

2.2 Wellbeing agenda

The children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments are key ingredients within our curriculum offer. The children are offered many opportunities in all subject areas to develop their knowledge and skills within these areas. We have an in-depth PSHE Policy and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural elements of the curriculum are reinforced with our assemblies and other forms of communal worship.

Pastoral support/ Emotional and mental wellbeing

In recognising the development of the whole child the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is strong. Our school counsellor (Place to Be trained) is able to offer nurture group support or individual work depending on the level of need. This sits at the heart of our school because this allows vulnerable children to access their learning and curriculum entitlement fully and without delay. The school has various systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children and provides signposting to their parents. This is supported by our Parent Ambassador initiative that gives access to the curriculum for our largest non-English speaking members of the school community (Polish and Romanian).

Our Emotional and mental wellbeing offer is also greatly enhanced by sport. Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision. We know this is hugely beneficial to all our children. We also believe the pedagogy of P.E. in sport affects other areas of the curriculum and really enhances children’s learning physiologically and allows better learning to happen, as well as children learning skills such as listening, being fit and healthy, problem solving, team work and resilience. We have invested heavily in P.E. and sport provision using the PE/Sport Premium. This investment and quality of curriculum is recognised by the Local Authority for whom we provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to provide the PE training for all of the schools within the Borough and work alongside the School Games Organiser to provide competitions. The school believes that this is an area of excellence and parent surveys also convey this.

In addition to this provision we have an inclusive approach to all areas of the curriculum. Our Deputy-Head leads on SEND for the Borough and we offer a SEND SLA to provide training and develop awareness for all of the schools in the Borough which is a great success especially in areas such as speech and language/SEND forums/bespoke support.

Sex and Relationships Education

At St Bernadette’s, sex and relationships education is taught through a whole school policy and where possible is integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as Religious Education, Science and PSHE. It is always taught within the context of the Church’s teaching on sexual relationships and reflects National Curriculum guidelines. In Year 6 parents are informed prior to any lessons from the class teacher or workshops from the school nurse relating to this area of the curriculum. Parents are given the opportunity to discuss what their child will be learning so that they can support their child’s work at home. Any questions that children ask are answered sensitively and in a caring manner. Lessons and resources are always chosen to suit to the age of the children. 

2.3 Planning and delivery

Staff review their planning regularly to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. All middle leaders are aware of the curriculum expectations and in turn work towards planning the knowledge and skills  required within their respective curriculum areas, having a detailed awareness of outcomes across the Key Stages and the need for creativity with a cross curricular approach. The curriculum is designed to ensure: deep and independent learning, with a focus on access for all and extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating a sequence for the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance reinforced by cross curricular approaches to teaching and learning.

Not only do staff review the curriculum regularly, but also the principles for learning and teaching for example;

  • we are a lead school for the Building the Kingdom project which has meant a review of our RE teaching      and ensuring that our whole curriculum is an opportunity to show that we find God in all areas.
  • our science leader is working on the reaccreditation of the Science Mark to enrich Science within the Primary Curriculum as we recognise the importance of Science, both as a 21st Century subject and an area of awe and wonder of God’s creation.
  • relevant staff are working on evaluating Music provision and developing the key skills within the History and Geography curriculum.

Our curriculum is designed to show a sequential approach to learning with the application of knowledge and skills, expected across all subject areas, thus offering every opportunity to practise and rehearse skills.

The school is currently organised into 14 classes plus our Nursery.  In EYFS/KS1, 21 hours is spent each week on teaching the curriculum and in KS2, 23.5 hours.

The curriculum overview for each year group is set out on their school website pages. This is highlighted at the beginning of each Term when they hold Curriculum meetings for parents/carers.

For greater detail of our RE, English, Maths, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Music, PE and Modern Foreign Languages please see our separate policies.

The curriculum is successfully implemented to ensure pupils’ progression in knowledge/skills as well as promoting opportunities for pupils to enjoy the learning experience.

2.4 Assessing our children’s learning within the curriculum

At St. Bernadette’s we ensure that the children are regularly assessed against the relevant NC frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. Both formative and summative assessment informs planning next steps for pupils. Our Marking Policy is a clear and concise policy that sets out a structure that informs our assessment practices and allows pupils to be fully informed and be able to contribute to raising their level of achievement.  Within this we operate a ‘star system’ for assessment across KS1 and KS2 and it is used effectively by all staff and children. Marking also includes coding within books and the level of independent work and verbal feedback used are identified. This results in each child receiving personalised learning and in turn increases their awareness of their next target(s).

Again, within our Assessment Policy (which can be found on our website, ‘Our School’ and then ‘Our School Policies’), it highlights the various ways in which we assess the children, both formatively (on a daily basis) and summatively (end of a unit of study or tests) and the self and/or peer assessing that is used.

We are extremely proud of the achievements of the children in our school. Academic data proves that our attainment and progress is a culmination of hard work, determination and high expectations expected from all at St. Bernadette’s, which has led to successful learning and performance. Further information can be found in the ‘Our School’ and then ‘Our results’ section of our website.

There is a regular half-termly cycle of monitoring and assessment which provides data; this is collected, analysed and utilised for providing interventions, support and used for a review of planning. In addition to this the teachers meet with members of the leadership team to discuss each pupil’s progress and to track a child’s current level of attainment; putting in support as necessary to help their future development.

We celebrate a child’s achievement within the curriculum through our rewards systems that include House points and certificates that are awarded at the celebration assemblies and mentioned in our Newsletter

2.5 Ways in which our parents/carers can support their child at home;

  • Reading Newsletters
  • Encourage-Outdoor-Learning (30:30 Active fitness)/Daily Mile/Healthy eating)
  • Maths Passport/ DB Primary/ MyMaths/ TT Rockstars
  • Spelling Shed/ Maths Shed
  • Supporting English and Maths at home (using information from termly Curriculum meetings)

2.6 Curriculum Enrichment

We are always looking at ways to enrich our curriculum and our leaders plan a series of focus weeks during the year to develop this eg One World/Spirituality/Music/ Economic Wellbeing/Art/DT/History. Our teachers also seize the opportunity to deal with current issues to enhance the children’s long term learning eg current affairs, trips/visits (such as the Circus, theatre and music venues) and our international work (Lourdes/Madrid/Sopot).

The use of the Building the Kingdom project across the whole school has made our learning deeper and higher so that our children are encouraged to ask the ‘big questions’ where teachers are not the number 1 source. This project ensures that our curriculum is authentically different and that it reflects our beliefs and values.

We are very good at extending learning beyond the classroom eg our exchange programme that exists within our Comenius Project enables children to go on a cultural exchange and learn from different countries. Our work with local professional sports clubs provides opportunities for top quality coaching and the chance to attend iconic sporting events at venues such as Wembley Stadium, Craven Cottage, the Olympic Park and Twickenham.

Our One World Weeks extend the children’s learning and knowledge beyond our Christian faith by studying Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. This is enriched through visits locally and by having guest speakers to extend their knowledge.

We extend the opportunities within the curriculum by offering after-school activities every night of the week eg Sport, Art, Maths, Science and Drama. Each family has access to our ‘wrap-around care’ starting from 7.45am until 6pm; this gives the children an opportunity to have a nourishing breakfast to enable enhanced learning and to complete their homework in a supervised situation with support if necessary. It also extends their Art, Craft, Sporting and ICT skills within a planned programme of activities.

Our curriculum is further enhanced by our close links with the other schools within our Academy Trust. We have completed a lot of transition work with St Gregory’s Catholic High School and the curriculum for both schools has been completely reviewed to raise standards and expectations. We also have access to areas of the curriculum that would normally elude a Primary school thus enriching our children’s curriculum opportunities eg cross phase teaching and planning, writing schemes of work to raise standards and enhanced transition arrangements.

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Impact

3.1 The curriculum is successfully implemented to ensure pupil’s progression in knowledge and skills. Emphasis is on them enjoying the learning experience and extending their long term memory.

3.2 The curriculum at St. Bernadette’s is well planned and thought-through to enable a wide range of engagement, not only within class but in providing out of class opportunities to enable children to develop themselves as learners and encourage each child to be as independent as they can be. Questionnaires to the pupils and parents allow the staff to regularly review and assess the impact that the curriculum is having. We have had many positive responses from the children to this effect:

“I like learning”, “Maths is fun”, “I enjoy learning new things”, “I enjoy school and get a good education”, “My teachers help me in everything and are a great help”, “It is quiet and we can focus in lessons”, “I learn a lot from lessons” and “We learn lots and have lots of choice in what we’re learning”.

3.3 Following a recent parent survey (February 2019), we received acknowledgement that we continue to be successful in our approach to learning:

The responses to the questionnaire showed that 99.3% of pupils really like school, 100% feel safe here, 100% feel teaching is good or better and 99.3% believe strongly that there is a broad and creative curriculum that their child finds interesting, challenging and enjoyable. Responses included;

‘The school provides a safe and challenging environment for my son to learn and achieve his best’

‘The school is well led and the teachers are very accommodating, understanding and fair’

‘A warm and very friendly atmosphere’

‘Great support from the staff’

‘A nurturing and caring environment is provided for the children’

‘Good feedback is provided so that we can work on it as parents’

‘I like this school because it gives my child the opportunity to learn new things’

‘The sense of community and family that is created’

‘The curriculum levels are very good and explained to all parents’

‘It is a fantastic school with great teaching staff in a welcoming environment. I know that my son will do well here’

‘The level of teaching is constantly increasing and I notice that my daughter is more interested in learning and this is due to the curriculum and the presentation of the curriculum by the teachers’

3.4 Wellbeing is at the heart of St Bernadette’s curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding (“The promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength which permeates every aspect of the school’’ OFSTED June 2014).  Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in RE and PSHE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are encouraged to question arguments and situations.

The spiritual development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values

 •Their sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them

 •Their use of imagination and creativity in their learning

 •Their willingness to reflect on their experiences

 The moral development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respecting the civil and criminal law of England

 •Their understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions

 •Their interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able   to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

The social development of pupils is shown by:

•Pupils’ use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds

 •Their willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

 •Their acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

•The children enjoy getting involved with national and international celebrations.

•The friendliness of all pupils and their willingness to welcome and look after new members of our community

The cultural development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others

•Their understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain

•Their knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values and in continuing to develop Britain

•Their willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities

•Their interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

•Take responsibility and lead by example eg. Prefects, Chaplains, House Captains and Sport Leaders

(For an outline of British values see our Home page of the School website.)

3.5 Our parent body is very supportive and many parents join us on a regular basis for the curriculum activities on display. Our assemblies and performances are always of a very high standard and the audience always really enjoys them. We use parental input in our curriculum planning. This is evidenced by our Family/School Partnership Award.

3.6 Our children believe that coming to school is good fun and they work hard in a happy, loving and safe environment. This enables accelerated learning to take place and this is reflected within the progress and achievement reports for each child.

3.7 Our curriculum offer is shared with other schools and we share expertise through our work as leaders within SEND and PE/Sport, demonstrated by the buy-in to our SLAs that are offered for both subject areas. Our work in developing the Parent Ambassador Programme, to allow access to the curriculum for all, has been adopted by all Harrow schools and is now a National programme.

3.8 Our curriculum offer for sport is celebrated through our Platinum Award for the School Games Award. Our Headteacher performs the role of Youth Sport Trust Headteacher Ambassador. This enables him to advise other schools in the spending of sports premium and the teaching of curriculum P.E. and sport within a school.

3.9 Our cross curricular approach to the curriculum, which has been enhanced by our Power of Reading and Building the Kingdom work supported by our Marking Policy, meaning that teacher planning is now more effective and less time consuming and enables teachers to enjoy their teaching in a manageable environment to the great benefit of all of our pupils .Our Governors appreciate and support the fact that in order to have such a successful curriculum that we must always be looking for ways to maintain a work/life balance cutting down on unnecessary paper work.

3.10 Our statutory results for both attainment and progress show that our curriculum is very successful.

3.11 Our children leave us as happy, confident, intelligent and independent learners who have had Gospel/Core values instilled into them for their future lives. Values such as; love for others, honesty, respect, understanding, humility, discipline/fairness and hard work that are central to the ethos and success of St Bernadette's School.

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