Our Curriculum Intent
Our children will journey through St Teresa’s as kind, courageous and curious citizens, with their passion for learning ignited and their self-belief and well-being nurtured. Every child will have the chance to shine and will leave us prepared for a future of opportunities.
At St Teresa’s Primary School we believe that our curriculum is one that is broad, balanced and ambitious for all. It is exciting, relevant and meaningful and responds to the needs of the individuals within our learning community, enabling them to achieve their best academically as well as flourish socially, emotionally, morally and culturally.
We believe that our curriculum should be viewed in its widest sense – as the entire planned learning experience, including formal learning opportunities as well as events, routines and enrichment activities that take place outside the classroom. Also, permeating our curriculum are the core values of our school ~ Love, Trust, Teamwork and Ambition~, together with the NED values (Never Give Up, Encourage Others, Do Your Best) and the British Values of Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect, Democracy and the Rule of Law.
Our curriculum at St Teresa’s is designed to enable all learners to:
- Achieve the best possible academic standards, whatever their ability
- Develop skills and personal qualities for lifelong learning, preparing children to make an active contribution to society
- Explore real world experiences, so that children can see the relevance their learning has in the real world
- Become mentally and emotionally happy and resilient citizens, ready for the challenges of the 21st Century.
We have designed our curriculum with the following in mind:
- How children learn and remember – we recognise that progress means knowing more and remembering more and so we want our children to know more and remember more as a result of their learning experience at St Teresa’s
- What our children need to succeed in life- we want our learners to have the ‘cultural capital’ they need to make aspirational choices and experience success beyond their time at St Teresa’s
- Take account of the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Primary National Curriculum. (These have been used as the basis for the content and the expectations of our own curriculum). Our bespoke curriculum incorporates other experiences and opportunities which best meet the needs of the children in our school.
- The full range of core and foundation subjects have been carefully mapped out across the school in a clear progression of skills framework, so that knowledge, understanding, skills and concepts build over time. As a result of this, we hope that all children leave St Teresa’s having mastered a wide range of concepts and skills and gained the knowledge that gives them a love of learning, prepares them for their next steps and develops an understanding of the world in which they live.
- As part of our carefully mapped out and sequenced curriculum, we also ensure we provide all children with opportunities for experiential learning, through outdoor activities such as residential visits to Hindleap Warren, and a range of extra-curricular sports, arts, choir, peripatetic music lessons, taking part in music festivals, music , French, Cooking and more.
Our Curriculum Implementation:
Our curriculum at St Teresa’s is built around 8 core features:
- We have adopted a thematic and creative approach to our curriculum which helps children to see how subjects are both ‘independent’ and ‘interdependent’ enabling them to see ‘the big picture’ of their learning, make connections through and across different subjects, and talk about a theme from multiple perspectives. The particular ‘theme’ chosen- Enquire (Science), Explore (Geography), and Discover (History), is always relevant to the children and is designed to be exciting and engaging for that particular cohort. Whilst these subjects (Science, History, Geography) are at times the main drivers, the themes are cross-curricular and other subjects are taught as part of the termly theme.
- To engage, immerse and ‘hook’ the children in their learning experiences, every classroom learning environment reflects the theme that the children are learning about.
- Through the theme, all children engage in a memorable experience to enhance their learning, and further develop their knowledge and understanding. We use ‘launch’ activities to add to children’s excitement and engagement in learning. This could be for example, a visit to a place of interest, a visitor into school or a practical activity or experience led by school staff.
- At the heart of our curriculum is core quality texts which we believe to be integral to our curriculum approach. We recognise that fluency in reading enables children to have access to the full curriculum entitlement. We ensure children leave us being able to articulate themselves clearly, and read and write confidently and effectively. A quality text is chosen to drive learning in English and used as the basis for the teaching of our bespoke ‘writing sequence’. Using schemes such as the Power of Reading and Literacy Tree, we ensure as far as possible that the texts chosen as the driver for English link to the termly theme. During the term, children will experience narrative, poetry and non-fiction texts.
- Through our RE and PSHE teaching sessions we closely meet the needs of our children. PSHE is also taught explicitly, using the Jigsaw Framework of learning. We believe that PSHE concepts add a different dimension to children’s thinking. For example, in Y6 the children learn about World War Two, and through this theme develop their understanding of the concepts of justice, empathy, prejudice, redemption and oppression to name a few.
- We endeavour to ensure that children see a relevance and a purpose to their learning, so plan for learning to build towards a purposeful outcome at the end of the term. This is an opportunity for children to showcase their learning to a wider audience, for example through a performance to the school community, or through the publication of our pupil-led school newspaper.
- Strong learning behaviours are essential in order for children to be equipped to be successful in life. We have created a culture of Building Learning Power in school as well as children becoming ‘St Teresa’s NED Learners’ and our three key learning behaviours thread through every learning experience in school. We regularly reflect on and celebrate how these learning behaviours enable them to be successful learners.
We have adopted the following learning mantra called NED:
Never give up
Do your best
- Central to all of the above, and to our curriculum design, is an expectation of well-planned and resourced quality first teaching and learning, delivered by all. Teaching staff use our curriculum progression document and planning format to ensure that learning is sequenced so that children build knowledge and skills over time – both building skills and knowledge within the year group curriculum, but also building on, and making connections with, prior knowledge from other years in school.
The Impact of our Curriculum:
As a result of our well planned and implemented curriculum, we would expect the impact to be that:
- Our children show kindness, compassion, empathy and courage
- Our children demonstrate a passion and thirst for learning
- Our children achieve well – all making good progress from their starting points and achieving at least the expected standard across the entire curriculum by the end of Key Stage 2. They will have the knowledge, skills, understanding and vocabulary that empowers them as citizens in the 21st Century
- Our children have access to a wide and varied curriculum, enabling each of them to excel as individuals and be the best they can be
- Our children have high aspirations for the future and know that these can be realised with hard work and determination
- Our children are mentally and emotionally happy and resilient learners
- Our families work in partnership with us to ensure their child’s journey at St Teresa’s is a positive one and prepares them to contribute positively to the world in which they live