Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools defines the curriculum as:
“The curriculum in its fullest sense comprises all the opportunities for learning provided by the school: the so called extra curricular and out of school activities promoted or supported by the school and the climate of relationships, attitudes, styles of behaviour and the general quality of life established in the school as a whole.”
The curriculum is not just the formal programme of lessons. The extra dimensions of the learning of values and the development of attitudes, through the relationships experienced in the wider life of the school, have a powerful influence upon a pupil’s education.
At Wallsend St Peter's the curriculum is constantly reviewed to ensure that pupils learn more and remember more. Above all it is an opportunity for all pupils to succeed. The process of evaluation and assessment is continuous and is inseparable from the teaching and learning process. It provides the next steps for learning for your child and ensures that they make progress. We believe in assessment for learning.
Wallsend St Peter's curriculum intent, implementation and impact
At Wallsend St Peter’s we strive to provide the best possible education catering for every child’s individual needs. We celebrate the individual talents of our pupils and it is our job to build upon these and encourage new opportunities by providing a broad, well balanced and creative curriculum. Christian values weave through everything that we do with a focus on loving God, loving others and being the best that we can be.
At Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary we believe that our curriculum should offer children not only the National Curriculum but life skills and experiences beyond this.
Alongside teaching the requirements of the national curriculum, key drivers have been identified. We have prioritised the key skills and aspirations we want our children to experience and develop during their time with us. We use these 'drivers' to underpin the learning and experiences we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure our curriculum offer is enriched. These key drivers are personal to our school and reflect the social and educational needs of our local community.
We aim to provide the opportunities for all children to participate in activities which go above and beyond those they would regularly experience. These experiences will add to the cultural capital of our children as well as providing first hand understanding of how our learning fits into our wider community.
We will ensure all children are exposed to exciting and interesting vocabulary throughout our school in order to allow them to use an expanded vocabulary choice when expressing themselves orally or in written work. A greater vocabulary will also allow for better understanding and comprehension of written texts the children will access as part of our curriculum.
We will provide all children with the tools and skills which will allow them to pursue their lifelong ambitions, knowing there are no barriers they can’t overcome. Children will be shown the links between the learning that they are undertaking in school links to their goals.
When planning a curriculum which both meets and challenges the needs of the pupils in our school, Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary School has had to recognise the very wide social and economic backgrounds of our families. A growing number of families join our school community with English as an additional language therefore it is essential that we ensure our curriculum is accessible and enables them to flourish alongside their peers. We encourage every pupil in our care to be the best that they can be.
A significant number of families require additional support and care from school staff and wider agencies, alongside signposting to support within the community. Within PSHE and citizenship, account is made of the strengths and challenges of the local area and we recognise that the children need, and deserve to have, many opportunities to learn to value themselves, develop confidence and self-esteem as well as aspirations for their future and for their community.
Curriculum enrichment in each theme is designed to provide a breadth of experience within a subject area, drawing on external visits/visitors, involvement of parents and developing a sense of curiosity. In order to provide our pupils with a curriculum that is rich in language and vocabulary, books and vocabulary-rich resources are used to inspire and excite; providing purposeful opportunities in teaching the skills for reading and writing and curriculum coverage.
We aim to ensure that the children have a secure and deep understanding in the core subjects of reading, writing and maths and that they can apply these to other curriculum subject areas. We have this same ambition for the full range of subjects we teach within the Early Years and the national curriculum from Years One to Six.
We are passionate that all children acquire the skills to be prepared for the next stage in their learning and life whilst flourishing as individuals We also plan opportunities for the children to know about how to keep themselves safe, linked to the KCSiE document. We also plan for and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is woven throughout the curriculum. We encourage pupils 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.
To enable all children to access the curriculum, pastoral support is strong. Nurture sits at the heart of our school as this allows vulnerable children to access their learning and curriculum entitlement. As a school we have a strong emphasis on supporting the emotional and mental well-being of children alongside providing support and advice to their families. We have staff trained as Mental Health first-aiders in school to support the pupils.
Emotional and mental wellbeing is also enhanced by a wide range of sports, health and fitness opportunities, including taking part in the Daily Mile and competing in tournaments involving other schools. All classes take part in Commando Joe's missions which focus on the RESPECT behaviour traits of:
Staff annually review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. Subject leaders ensure full curriculum coverage in foundation subjects, e.g. Geography and History, is fully progressive from entering the school at Early Years Foundation Stage to exiting at Y6, with all middle leaders being aware of the curriculum expectations and in turn working towards planning the progression of skills and knowledge within their respective curriculum areas.
The curriculum is being reviewed alongside input from a wide range of stakeholders to ensure deep learning, with a focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas and engagement with their learning. Experiential learning is key to the success of our pupils and is evident in our commitment to providing rich ‘hands-on’ experiences that our children may not have access to outside of school.
Our teaching and learning build upon previous learning. In Science, Humanities and Arts we ensure that the children are able to achieve key knowledge milestones and then apply this knowledge to wider concepts and debates.
Our curriculum extends to a range of wider opportunities and we are proud to provide our children with the chance to be in a choir, perform at theatres and dance festivals, attend an extensive range of PE festivals and be active members of our local community.
We are now looking for further opportunities to integrate our locality making the most of our local historical and geographical features such as Hadrian’s Wall, Segedunum and the coastline to share opportunities for Key Stages 1 & 2 to connect with art, geography and outdoor learning. Pupils will work alongside historians to explore feats of engineering, architecture and ancient lifestyle at historic Roman sites in our locality. They will develop geographical vocabulary, fieldwork and observational skills; use a range of creative materials; and find out about the work of artists, geographers and historians.
Upper Key Stage 2 pupils have the opportunity to attend a residential trip annually to an outdoor education centre which is founded on experiential learning through adventure. The aims of the experience focus around health and fitness through physical activity, contact with the natural world and healthy eating; through skills including physical movement, use of specialist equipment and clothing, and challenging environments. Development of appreciation of the contributions and achievements of self and of others, for independence and interdependence, using core skills of communication, problem solving, leadership and teamwork are also key.
At Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary we have one class per year group and teachers have regular key stage meetings so that no professional is planning in isolation, ensuring progression and teaching of skills and knowledge.
Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term or half term. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are then developed into medium term plans which clearly highlight the learning objectives, assessment opportunities, differentiated tasks as well as links to other subjects. These topics are designed with the end in mind, working towards a final project, show or community event.
We are currently developing more effective ways of assessing children’s needs and starting points, and measuring impact on progress and attainment and, as such, teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all the children.
The process of re-refining our curriculum to promote high standards is taking into account:
• What we want children to learn
• What we have to teach
• What we want to teach (other things we thought were important for our pupils)
• Why we are teaching it in this order
• Which knowledge, skills and understanding the children will learn
• How we will teach it
Phonics and Reading Teaching
Pupils at our school learn to read through a variety of strategies. We use phonics (the teaching of the sounds that letters make) as our main method. This is supported by regular reading with adults in school, reading at home, learning high frequency words and developing sight vocabulary. The Phonics scheme we use is the ReadWriteInc Phonics program.
For reading books we use Read Write Inc books for all of our Early Readers so they are phonetically-decodable and lots of choice of free-readers for our children with the intention that they are offered a range of texts to read in school and at home. Instilling an enjoyment of reading is fundamental to our approach. Pupils in Key Stage 2 also use the Accelerated Reader scheme to ensure that they are reading books at their correct reading level and they enjoy completing the computerised quizzes at the end of a book. We have also invested in MyOn which has a wealth of digital books that our pupils can access from their devices and link to Accelerated Reader for their quizzes.
Talk for Writing is used to make learning engaging, employing the three stages of imitation, innovation and invention to range of non-fiction and fiction genres. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose. The process starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing. By imitating the vocabulary orally, reading and analysing the text, pupils become more confident independent writers.
Pupils are taught to develop an understanding of the important mathematical concepts and to make connections within mathematics. ’White Rose’ is used to teach and develop a broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics. We teach recall of number facts, encouraging pupils to think independently and persevere when faced with challenges whilst developing fluency in performing written and mental calculations. The mastery approach is used to ensure that pupils develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics at each stage of their learning. A wide range of concrete and pictorial resources are used which progress through the school to ensure continuity of strategies.
Pupils’ curiosity in the world around them engages pupils at all levels. Our science curriculum aims to satisfy that curiosity with knowledge and skills through experimenting, modelling and evaluating.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, both independently and with others. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
At Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary we believe that all children are entitled to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum through which we support children with additional needs. All children are encouraged to achieve their full potential and to be included in the social and academic life of the school. We aim to provide educational experiences that take into account the individual needs of children, appropriate to their level of ability.
Collaborative planning with informed and experienced colleagues in phases and as a whole school ensures progression of skills and knowledge as pupils move through Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary. Teachers are developed in their practice through subject specific CPD and in developing the curriculum and associated resources with an emphasis on curriculum and pedagogy. Teachers make links where possible to encourage creativity and the involvement of families and community in their learning journey.
The impact is in building resilience in children, that are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
We want our pupils to become innovators in building communities and overcome social disadvantages. As a result, pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum with opportunities to develop knowledge and skills enriched and enhanced through visits, visitors and ‘hands-on’ experiences as we prepare them for the next stage of their learning and work beyond our school.
Our curriculum at Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school is carefully designed, organised and planned for depth of learning:
At Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school our definition of progress is; the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.
Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise opportunities for essential knowledge, skills and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order deep level of understanding rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
At Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school we carefully design, plan and implement a curriculum to provide balance for every pupil:
At Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through the curriculum we can impact on what is in children’s head and how they feel about themselves, so that they feel clever, confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face.
We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development which means that in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects.
At Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental well-being are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore we carefully design our curriculum and adopt a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. Children’s physical and mental well-being are as valued and important as academic development.
We carefully monitor children’s progress with their personal development and our well planned and thoughtful approach to SMSC helps to ensure that every child is well cared for and supported.
Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach national expectations and above is of vital importance if they are to succeed at the next stage of their education and go on to achieve full and happy lives and careers.
Our full and rich curriculum, with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary School makes excellent progress both academically and personally. Every child is given the opportunity to shine and flourish.
At Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school we carefully design, plan and implement a curriculum which provides breadth for every pupil:
Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary school uses careful analysis and discussion about our pupils’ backgrounds, life experiences and culture. These have helped us to design a curriculum with three key priorities underpinning every subject area. We believe that by focusing on the following key priorities our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives.
Our curriculum priorities are:
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which belong and play an active part. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work towards their goals and dreams in life.
In Early Years and KS1 our children use the Read Write Inc phonics scheme.
In June every Year 1 child will be taking the statutory phonics screening check. The check takes place in a 2 week window. The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons. The purpose of the check is to provide evidence of children’s decoding and blending skills, not to test their vocabulary.
What does the Phonics Screen look like?
The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with me. Non-words (or made up words, or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. The teacher administering the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first – including some non-words – so they understand more about what they have to do. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if the word were their name (and so your child doesn't think the word is a mistake because it doesn't make sense!).
Scoring and communicating the results
Your child will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below or within this standard.
What can you do to help prepare your child for the Phonics Screen Check?
You can help your child prepare for their Phonics Screening Check by going over the phonics they’ve learned in Reception and Year 1. Read new books and stories with them where they will be introduced to new words that they’ll have to sound out, and review the phonics sounds and rules. In past years we have found that the children have been less confident with the pseudo words. As a result this year we have focussed on developing strategies to enable the children to approach these words successfully. These are: