|At St Gregory's, we strive for academic excellence.|
In doing so we have a great deal of fun along the way!
Take a look at some of our curriculum drivers in
action and see what is important to us…
We recognise that the Curriculum reaches far wider than the learning that happens in formal lessons in each classroom. It includes everything that a child experiences in their time at our school and develops the very person they are becoming, with their talents, their needs and their aspirations for the future. Each experience provides a learning opportunity to develop and prepare our children for life in modern Britain as global citizens through the lens of Catholic life.
At St Gregory's, we are inclusive and recognise that everyone has their own unique God-given talents. Our curriculum is progressive and builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills so that we develop our whole school community academically, spiritually, emotionally, morally and socially. This enables our children to develop cultural capital and become righteous citizens who give to society. We provide creative and engaging opportunities that inspire and motivate our children to become lifelong learners and have aspirations to be the very best they can be. We make this curriculum accessible to all members of our school community. More information can be found HERE.
As such, our Early Years Curriculum, The National Curriculum and knowledge and skills the children gain through the formal teaching of this sits alongside the far wider vision we have for the characteristics of the learners we develop at our school. In striving for academic excellence, we are also unapologetic for the focus given to the characteristics we seek to develop in each and every member of our school community. These characteristics, which include Catholic Social Teaching principles, threading through all we do, are the key to developing lifelong learners and global citizens. The characteristics outlined in our learner profile are of great value to us and as such, permeate our entire curriculum:
Statement of Implementation
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework and The National Curriculum are the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each area / subject. This can be found in the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum Overview and Programmes of Study.
The wider curriculum includes a number of vehicles to develop the whole child and includes:
Extracurricular opportunities – provide a wide range of additional experiences for the children to inspire them within their learning and add a wider context for them. This also enables us to seek out and develop the talents in every child. e.g. (trips, festivals, clubs, assemblies, liturgies, mass, chaplaincy, school councils, residential, outdoor learning, production)
These aspects are expanded further in our teaching and learning policy.
How the Curriculum is designed in EYFS:
The curriculum in EYFS is delivered in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and supported by non-statutory guidance, Development Matters.
When planning and guiding activities we ensure that the characteristics of effective teaching and learning underpin all areas of learning and support children to be effective and motivated learners. These characteristics sit alongside and feed into our St Gregory’s Learner profile which outlines characteristics that are valuable to us as learners and can be found above.
The characteristics of effective learning are:
Playing and exploring – engagement
Active learning – motivation
Creating and thinking critically - thinking
Areas of learning and development
Learning in the EYFS framework is defined into seven areas: three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas underpin further learning in the four specific areas. These areas of learning and development address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and personal development. No one aspect of development stands in isolation from the others. All areas of learning and development are equally important and are all closely interlinked.
These are the prime areas:
1. Communication and Language
2. Physical Development
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
These are the specific areas:
3. Understanding of the World
4. Expressive Arts and Design
Our EYFS curriculum design includes six flexible themes that are tailored to meet the needs, interests and development of all children. Teachers carefully sequence learning with the help of Development Matters guidance and the EYFS Framework to support progression and depth of learning alongside assessment such as observations, talk and links with parents as a means to discover each child’s interests and gifts in order to provide challenging and enjoyable experiences that stimulate children’s interests in all seven areas. This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centred curriculum that is designed to give all children knowledge, self- belief and build cultural capital, and is delivered using challenging and enjoyable experiences. Our themes are driven by high quality texts. Encompassing texts into our themes captures children’s imagination, supports a deeper acquisition of language, vocabulary and knowledge as well as promoting a love of reading.
Our curriculum map is very fluid and is regularly reviewed to ensure that we provide rich and holistic experiences that meet our children’s needs and follows their interests.
Below is an outline of our themes. These are skeletal as we tune in to the children’s needs and interests. Themes begin with a launch and include opportunities to explore, deepen, reflect and celebrate, through experiences, trips and events both inside and outside of school.
How the formal taught curriculum is designed in KS1 and KS2:
We have designed the curriculum around year group themes which are driven by high quality texts. Encompassing texts into our themes captures children’s imagination, supports a deeper acquisition of language, vocabulary and knowledge and generates stronger links between subjects as well as promoting a love of reading.
To ensure that children experience real breadth and depth in their learning, each theme has been devised with a clear thread in mind that takes children on an engaging journey through their curriculum. These help them to make links, apply skills and knowledge and build upon prior learning in a variety of ways.
Curriculum leaders carefully sequence the expectations from the National Curriculum across Year groups to ensure coverage and provide clear opportunities to build on prior learning of knowledge and vocabulary. They have developed progression of skills documents and progression of vocabulary documents to support teaching, learning and assessment. Allowing children to revisit and build on skills as they move through the school ensures we provide a progressive curriculum so that children know more and remember more as they progress through their learning careers at St Gregory’s.
Themes begin with a launch and include opportunities to explore, deepen, reflect and celebrate, through experiences, trips and events both inside and outside of school. Learning is contextualised through a termly History, Geography or Science theme that makes purposeful links. Some subjects and objectives are taught discreetly.
Parents as Partners
We value the role of parents as children’s primary educators and endeavour to build strong and positive partnerships with parents / carers to promote and strengthen each child’s experiences, learning and development at home and at school.
We do this by sharing information about their child about what is happening in the setting, setting next steps together and providing support, ideas and guidance about how they can support their child’s development at home. Similarly, we encourage parents to share their unique knowledge of their child, providing further insight into the child as an individual (e.g. characteristics, interests, experiences, likes, dislikes). This supports practitioners in establishing interesting and stimulating learning experiences, responding to children’s needs and interests. Parents are always welcomed into school and encouraged to discuss any concerns they might have. We communicate through a variety of means throughout the year, for example; home visits, Parent teacher reviews, informal chats at the beginning and end of the day, questionnaires, child’s online learning journal (Tapestry), Twitter, workshops, webinars and class dojo. We strongly believe that relationships and sharing of information set foundations for our partnership with parents through a child’s time at our school.
Other opportunities for practitioners to share children’s learning, development and well-being with parents include: End of Year Reports, Assemblies, Liturgies, Story Making Assemblies, Stay and Play Sessions, Parent Workshops and Prepare to be Proud, where children’s achievements are recognised.
Parents are also invited to get involved with school life. There are opportunities for them to help with
activities such as educational visits and reading, as well as offering their particular skills (e.g. cooking, art,
music) and professional experiences (presenting at our careers and aspirations fair) to support children’s learning and provide them with further inspiration.
Statement of Intended Impact and Monitoring of this:
As a school, we continuously reflect on the impact that our curriculum has on our whole school community, in helping our children to know more and remember more as well as preparing them to be the best they can be as global citizens.
We aim to ensure there are no barriers to children accessing learning and, therefore, assessment is fundamental in our setting and the impact of our curriculum. It is regular, targeted and takes into account each child’s needs. A record of each child’s progress in all areas of their learning is stored on Insight.
To reflect on the impact the curriculum is having on each child, we use both qualitative and quantitative means including: