St Michael’s Catholic Primary School Curriculum Statement
Ethos and Values
Our mission statement ‘Finding Christ in Each other’ is at the heart of our school. We believe in developing the whole child and praising qualities and talents in every child.
We see our curriculum as a vehicle for future learning and success. We want our children to see that they can contribute to the world and understand that they are citizens of the world and contribute to local, national and global issues.
- Catholic values – which helps pupils grow spiritually and give them values for life outside of school
- Historic Environment – which helps pupils to understand and appreciate their locality which facilitates their relationship to the wider world
- Resilience – which helps pupils grow as learners
- Independence – which helps pupils to grow as independent learners, not dependent on adults to learn
- Subject knowledge and skills – which help pupils develop their academic skills and give them knowledge for life
- Tolerance – respecting and valuing the beliefs, values, choices and opinions of others
At St. Michael’s school we want our children to experience:
- Success and having their success celebrated
- A curriculum that has knowledge, skills and vocabulary at the heart of their learning
- Opportunities to embed BASIC skills and express knowledge in a variety of ways before moving on
- Developing resilience, perseverance, challenge and support so they have the confidence to aim high and aspire to more
- Opportunities to delve deeper into their learning, building on skills progressively each year
- A curriculum that helps children to know how to live healthy lifestyles – both physically and mentally
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences threaded through all we do which will facilitate them with all they need to face the any and all futures
- Feeling safe and knowing what to do to keep safe and what to do if they don’t feel safe
- Cultural opportunities that they may not experience outside of school
- The history and beauty of the city of Durham and their local environment
- High expectations leading to high quality outcomes
- A curriculum that is current and responsive
- Being part of community as a class, school, village, parish, nation and family group.
We use the national curriculum guidelines in order to develop the content of the curriculum but our aim is to make the curriculum relevant to our children.
We have designed our curriculum to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative critical thinkers.
At St. Michael’s School, we plan learning in an individual subject approach to the curriculum with opportunities to inspire discussion and support the development of basic skills within each subject. Subjects have been broken down across each year group to ensure subject progression of knowledge and skills across all areas of the curriculum. All areas are underpinned by strong subject knowledge to ensure teaching is developmental and builds on the prior learning of pupils.
When designing sequences of learning across the curriculum we use a teaching backwards approach. We start with the national curriculum and decide what else we feel our children need to know. At the heart of this our teachers plan and teach from a clear and well defined destination with the end point clearly in mind. With this knowledge our staff design learning that focuses on small steps progression. The learning is designed with ongoing assessment of knowledge and skills. This supports teachers to design learning to ensure children retain this and build upon their prior knowledge.
Our approach of a more flexible delivery of the curriculum means that some weeks, children may not study all subjects, instead they will have a focus on one subject. During other weeks, the opposite may be true, and some weeks there may be a balance across the subjects or a deep focus on one subject only for a week.
Enquiry Based Learning
At times learning will be directed and other times more open-ended enquiry based approach through big questions posed by the teacher to develop our children’s love of learning and independence. We use a mix of both practical and written work. We encourage our children to ‘have a go’ and work hard at developing their resilience in everyday life to help prepare them for their future lives.
Basic Skills Teaching
The development of basic skills will be applied across all areas of the curriculum. We believe in developing the basic skills or reading, writing and maths will allow the children to progress and succeed in other areas of the curriculum.
We believe in offering interventions for all children to develop their skills further and to close gaps in their learning helping them to keep up. We have a flexible approach to the grouping and timing of these to ensure that children do not miss out on learning in other subjects.
Vocabulary will be planned within all units of learning and explicitly taught. Opportunities will be provided for the children to explore both oral and written language. Vocabulary will be enhanced across all areas of the curriculum.
Use of Environment
We see the beautiful city of Durham and the mining history of the village of Esh, as so valuable to our children’s learning so we try to thread these links into the curriculum throughout each year group.
First and foremost, we want to instil in our children a love of learning and an understanding that the learning is part of a journey they are on. We want them to feel safe, to express and celebrate their learning achievements and celebrate their own personal and academic growth.
We aim to meet the needs of all learners welcoming and celebrating differences within our school community.
Each day we encourage our children to work hard, have a positive mind-set, have the confidence to make mistakes, persevere and not give up – in order to succeed, and to feel good about themselves.
How we know we are successful in this is through:
- Teacher assessment – formative and summative – through ongoing questioning, dialogue, verbal and written feedback, informal quizzes, practical tasks, day to day work.
- Learner Voice – pupil questionnaires, self and peer assessment, school council, learning dialogue in the classroom that encourages self-evaluation.
- Parental Feedback – parent questionnaires, parental engagement sessions, parent/teacher meetings, Facebook group, Friends of the school
- Data Analysis – internal with SLT, subject leadership, pupil progress meetings, governors, Education Development Partner (EDP), Peer Review and external data (National Assessments)
- Quality Assurance – regular and triangulated monitoring from leaders at all levels.
- Participating in Community – proudly representing their school through Mini Vinnie group, School Council, sports tournaments, Gardening Club and Eco Group, community events, national events and parish events.
The impact of what we do and what the children achieve cannot always be measured in data sets and numbers so we always try to look holistically at the whole child.
Our daily interactions provide a regular check showing children demonstrating St Michael’s values – children demonstrating this in their learning and behaviour around school. Children making the right choices for their safety.
Children showing respect – visibly demonstrated through their school environment, their work, interactions and morals
We see children displaying positive attitudes to Learning – children engaged and inspired by their learning, posing own enquiry questions, taking initiative and being more resilient.
Our curriculum develops well rounded citizens with a clear understanding of values such as love, responsibility and friendship.
We consider our children as individuals. who are facing future challenges and ultimately leave us secondary school ready having enjoyed and embraced their learning experiences along the way.
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.