Our Curriculum Approach

‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’

John 10:10

Curriculum Intent 

Intention 1: Developing the learning (What  we learn)

To provide high quality teaching, developing the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding, and a well-resourced rich environment so that pupils can learn effectively, fulfill their potential and bring about outstanding outcomes.

Intention 2: Developing the character of our learners (Who we are when we learn) 

To provide a broad, balanced, relevant and well-resourced curriculum to include first hand experiences, in order to fulfill the requirements of the national curriculum, modern life and a changing technological world.

Intention 3: Developing behaviours and habits to become effective learners (Our actions and attitudes: How we act  when we learn)

To develop a growth mind set approach to learning so that pupils are resilient learners who recognise that their effort is key to their success and develop independent learning skills as pupils progress through the school.

Our pupils will have a healthy self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence. They will develop high levels of resilience and develop the skills necessary to deal with everyday life.

Intention 4: Developing the spiritual and moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: Where we are)

To develop the whole child by providing a broad and balanced curriculum in order to empower pupils to be engaged and creative lifelong learners who can contribute to the wider society.  Our pupils will live out our catholic mission by responding to social justice and local, national and international charitable work.

Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum will be implemented with our intentions as the driving force behind our actions.  By ensuring we think about what we learn, who we are when we are learning, how we act when we learn and who we are in the world, we build happy, resilient, successful, good citizens. Our implementation plan ensures our curriculum keeps us focused on these areas.

‘Be who God created you to be…’

St Catherine of Siena

Intention 1: Developing our  learning (What we learn)

Our promise to our learners: In addition to learning through the national curriculum (and of equal importance), we strive to offer our pupils a breadth of experiences throughout their journey at St. Catherine’s. Examples include: providing a range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities; leading the charitable work in the school, parish and local community as ‘Friends of Faith’; arranging educational visits and speakers of different cultures, faith and experiences to share about their way of life; promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and mental health; offering pupil leadership opportunities, Junior Leadership Team, ECO monitors, Sustainability Squad, Farm Rangers and Buddies.

Maths – We use the Hertfordshire ESSENTIALMaths planning, alongside Maths on Target textbooks for progression. We assess using testbase materials and regular/constant teacher assessment. We use a range of online resources to support learning including IXL and Times Tables Rock Stars.

Writing – We look at comprehension skills, spelling, grammar and punctuation skills, writing planning and extended writing each week, to give us a regular routine that helps us build up competency. We assess using writing assessment grids and moderate across the year group and with the year group below/above. We work hard on handwriting and presentation, and edit our work carefully to improve it. We celebrate writing across the school.

Reading – We read with the class in whole-class guided reading sessions. We visit our school Jungle Library to access a progressive reading scheme to help us with reading at home. Learners need the space and time to make choices about books, and to discover authors and texts they might not get chance to look at outside of school. Our teachers check we are reading books that will challenge us, and create exciting reading areas around the school. To support this, we engage in Book Bingo.  We assess reading using teacher assessment and CLPE.

Religious Education –  We use the Diocesan approved scheme of work ‘Come and See.’ This includes 6 topics per year group from Reception to Year 6. Subject leaders deliver training to staff to enhance teaching and learning in Religious Education as a result of specialist training that they have received. 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 our Junior Leadership Team, Farm Rangers, Sustainability Society and Friends in Faith.

Foundation subjects –We plan foundation subjects using progressive skills, which show what children should be learning in each year group in each subject. Teachers check children’s learning against these progressive skills and curriculum leaders check that they are doing this correctly. Curriculum Leaders keep a record of how each class is doing and monitor the progress of pupils. Our curriculum encourages children to develop independent thinking skills and questioning, with a strong focus on skills based, practical learning rooted in real-life experiences.

Teachers plan a wide variety of educational visits including: residentials, school trips and guest speakers. We hold exciting events like: Science week, History Day and Art week as well as half-termly theme weeks. These allow children the opportunity to apply their learning in a real-life context and situation. These events are extremely popular with parents and members of the parish and wider community.

Where possible cross curricular links are made between Religious Education, Maths, English and Foundation Subjects. We assess the foundation subjects using assessment grids with the National Curriculum objectives referenced.

Intention 2: Developing the character of our learners (Who we are when we learn) 

We empower our pupils to be engaged and creative lifelong learners who can contribute to the wider society.  Our pupils live out our Catholic mission by responding to social justice and local, national and international charitable work.

Our school believes in and celebrates the uniqueness of every child, as created in the image of God. The example of Christ’s love and care is encouraged through every aspect of school life. This is developed in partnership with parents, the parishes and the wider community.

We follow our school mission of ‘Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire’ which inspires us to be the best we can be academically, spiritually and socially. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. We promote and uphold the key ‘British Values’.

Teachers ask learners to undertake positions of responsibility around the school, as we believe that children understand values by seeing them in action in others.

Intention 3: Developing behaviours and habits to become effective learners (How we act when we learn)

Our pupils develop a growth mind set approach from the earliest opportunities in school, so that they are resilient learners, who recognise that their effort is key to their success. They understand that they can improve through hard work, the use of effective strategies, and help from others when needed. They are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.

Our pupils understand the importance of wellbeing and good mental health and its impact on our learning. They know who to speak to if they need support and that looking after their mental health is as important as looking after their physical health. When teachers design learning opportunities, they look for ways for children to develop good learning behaviours.

Our teachers notice when learners are showing positive learning behaviours. They recognise these on ‘Recognition boards in each classroom’ and award certificates for this in our weekly assembly. Teachers send postcards to parents when they notice exemplary behaviour in line with our school behaviour policy.

Intention 4: Developing the spiritual and moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: Where we are)

When teachers plan the curriculum, they think not just about what pupils should learn and how pupils should learn it, but also how they can bring in an understanding of spirituality, morality and the wider world. Teachers do this through:

‘and you will set the world on fire!’

St Catherine of Siena

Curriculum Impact

What do we hope will be the impact of our curriculum and how do we measure it?

Intention 1: Developing our learner’s learning (What we learn)

We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in Religious Education, core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering age related expectations. Our aim is to ensure that children will be academically and socially prepared for life in high school and in modern Britain and the world.

Intention 2: Developing the character of our learners (Who we are when we learn) 

Our learners will have a clear understanding of our core values and our mission as pupils in our school and as they move on in each stage of their life. They will be empowered to see that they are able to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others. They will feel inspired to use their skills, talents and abilities to make a postivie change in their on homes, schools, communities and in the world.

We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our community, including staff and children.

Intention 3: Developing behaviours and habits to become effective learners (Our actions and attitudes: How we act when we learn)

The impact is seen by how pupils approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. Children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this. They will be able to express how they are feeling and know how/where to get support if needed.

Intention 4: Developing the moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: Where we are)

Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of spirituality and morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community, guided by their faith. Our learners will be happy and resilient, and the impact will be that they make a positive contribution to society and to modern Britain.  They will leave this school ready for the next phase of their education and go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others.