St Wilfrid’s Curriculum Intent
As a Catholic school we uphold the values of our faith endowing each child with the knowledge of their own unique gifts and talents. Using both their words and actions we enable our pupils to live out the gospel values and virtues which permeate our community.
The intention of our curriculum is clear, we seek to enable our pupils to develop the ability to aspire, achieve and succeed. We will enable all of our pupils, despite their varying start points, to take their place as an active, contributing member of modern British society. We firmly believe that reading lies at the heart of a great curriculum and that via reading children experience other worlds, lives and viewpoints. Reading exists at the heart of our school.
We seek to use research evidence to inform our best practice teaching and to close the gaps of disadvantage which exist in our diverse socio -economic area. The cultural capital required by our pupils, to take their place in society, is delivered via a coherent and ambitious curriculum which enables all to aspire, achieve and succeed
Oracy and the development of pupil’s language is central to our philosophy of education and we seek all opportunities to develop this skill. Our children come to school with different life experiences, which impacts on their vocabulary, reasoning and understanding throughout all key stages. Via communication, and reading as a vehicle of experiences, we build our pupil’s awareness of the world.
Mathematics and the fundamental role it has within in our lives is explored and taught to enable fluency and reasoning skills. We consider it imperative that children’s confidence in this curriculum area encompasses real life situations and enables them, as young adults, to consider the fiscal choices they will make as they mature
We provide a wealth of trips and visits to improve learning outside the classroom and to create links between learning and fun for our children. ‘100 thing to do at St. Wilfrid’s’ provides a framework of experiences for our children and families to have opportunities to encounter – such as restaurant and theatre experiences, a book author visit, residential spiritual retreats, outdoor pursuits and trips to the farm, museum, zoo or seaside. These experiences are carefully considered to allow the maximum impact to be gained by our entire community.
We seek to prepare all our children for the next stages in their educational careers as well as to support them as they develop aspirations for their adult life. Their knowledge and skills, their independence as learners and their aspirations as young adults, are built with love, pride and self-belief here at St Wilfrid’s.
St Wilfrid’s Curriculum Implementation
A carefully crafted, challenging curriculum ensures that all children have equal access to learning throughout and beyond the school. Our practice is based upon recent research evidence and we support the subject and pedagogical knowledge development of our staff as well as our pupils. Everyone at St Wilfrid’s recognises and values education knowing that learning is a continuum.
We have devised our curriculum using subject specific concepts to create a coherent narrative of both knowledge and skill acquisition across the school. We build upon what has gone before, connecting new learning to established concepts whilst also preparing pupils for the learning to come. Thus we encourage both knowledge acquisition and retention in both discrete subject disciplines and via inter -curricular links
Reading lies at the heart of our curriculum with the intentional selection of texts and authors creating rich cultural capital. We utilise evidence- based research to develop our focus and explicit teaching of comprehension skills to fully equip our pupils to learn from and through text. Our pupils experience a balanced and cumulative view of reading via consistently high standards of systematic synthetic phonic teaching in our Early Years, to the careful development of fluency and development of prosody within KS1 and the further development of skills and a love of reading throughout KS2.
This curriculum model is further supplemented by a learning challenge curriculum whereby children are encouraged to develop their enquiry- based learning skills to again promote deeper levels of thinking.
With the understanding that some of our children enter our school with lower than national starting points, we believe that family and community engagement is key to break down the barriers of any possible, pre-existing negative school experiences and to welcome families in to our happy, vibrant school. The early years’ team focus highly on play-based learning which is informed by early reading and communication experiences, complemented with a balance of adult directed tasks. This approach to teaching ensures high level engagement for all children throughout their early years’ and engages families with the importance and the skill of reading to and with their children.
Our Foundation Subjects utilise the features of our local area and context encouraging our pupils to appreciate and learn from the past whilst also looking to the future. This practical approach develops pupil’s conceptual knowledge from the concrete understanding of our pottery industries to the abstract appreciation of economic change and development.
We have excellent relationships with our parish church, shops and businesses, all of which contribute to our unique curriculum throughout the year. Poets, politicians, artists, actors, governors, musicians and engineers work with our children regularly to enrich their experiences and help them acquire skills and begin to form their future aspirations..
A multi-agency approach is implemented throughout our school and the utilisation of a range of agencies helps to close the gaps for some of our most vulnerable children. Sport is recognised as an excellent tool in enabling physical and mental well-being which is particularly important for our context. As a result we employ a PE leader across the MAC who support to ensure that we deliver a robust and challenging PE curriculum to all children. To complement this, advanced sporting opportunities are offered to all children in different year groups: Year 4, 5 and 6 carry out their ‘Bikeability’ training which not only inspires them to ride a bike but teaches them how to do it safely and independently in readiness for their transition.
Alongside teaching of curriculum subjects and assessment of attainment and progress, we ensure that our children’s talents and successes are celebrated throughout school. We hold weekly achievement assemblies which not only celebrate academic gains but personal ones too. Children and parents are invited and encouraged to bring in their ‘out of school’ certificates and trophies; this helps to inspire children to work hard in all areas of their learning as we embed a culture of celebrating all achievements for every child. High expectations of all our children leads to high aspirations and the belief that they can achieve in all that they do.
St Wilfrid’s Curriculum Impact
The impact and measure of St Wilfrid’s curriculum and school is to ensure children not only acquire and know appropriate age- related knowledge but also the behavioural and learning skills which will equip them to progress through life. In shaping our curriculum this way, progress can be measured against end of year expectations providing a clear end point for teachers whilst acknowledging the conceptual links already established or being built.
Assessment is used to inform the curriculum design. It asks questions of us as leaders relating to the retention and use of knowledge, to the way in which pupils learn best, helping them to build rich scheme of knowledge ensuring long term storage.
Assessment is used to identify misconceptions, misunderstandings or missing areas of knowledge. These quickly and directly are areas which are addressed within the whole class or individually as required.
We teach our children, using evidence- based practice, to ensure that we alter their long- term memories and we define progress as knowing and remembering more.
Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad and balanced curriculum which is expertly delivered to ensure a child’s entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life in whatever they choose.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a KS3 curriculum, they have a wealth of transferable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment. We are proud that children from St. Wilfrid’s Catholic Academy are faith-filled and ready to make a positive contribution to society; have been supported through their transition; have been exposed to a rich vein of reading and vocabulary and have a justified self-belief.