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Curriculum Overview

Approach to the curriculum in light of the 2019 Ofsted Inspection Framework and 2015 Laudato Si encyclical

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,”

St Catherine of Siena 1347-1380

Intent - See

At Priory we have designed our curriculum with pupils’ learning at the centre ensuring that all pupils make progress in all subject areas. We recognise that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced and offer pupils opportunities to grow as individuals as well as learners. As a Catholic School, gospel values are at the centre of everything we do and all are expected to live out our mission statement to ‘Honour God Through Our Actions’. Pupils are taught to treat each other with respect and to support each other in their learning. We aim to ensure that pupils enjoy learning and feel prepared for life after school. We recognise that pupils should be challenged in their school; learning from failures and celebrating successes. We intend for our curriculum to enable pupils to develop their interpersonal skills, creativity and independence. It is our intention that pupils leave Priory with a sense of belonging to a community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.

Aims of our Curriculum
At the heart of our curriculum we ensure children are literate through encouraging a love of reading, developing imagination and vocabulary. We recognise that becoming fluent and confident readers opens doors and further develops the ability to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
We also aim for all pupils to:
  • Use excellent basic skills across the curriculum including reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Develop a moral compass , respect and sense of community.
  • Be excited by the curriculum and want to learn.
  • Retain and apply key knowledge in all curriculum areas.
  • Become independent, resourceful, resilient and divergent learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond).
  • Be challenged and make progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability).
  • Acquire a broad and lasting knowledge of subject specific vocabulary.
  • Have a wide range of life experiences that enhance their learning (including trips and extra-curricular activities).
Rationale for our Curriculum Design

  • As a Catholic school, children use the Catholic ethos to honour God through their actions. They will be stewards of the earth and understand the importance of protecting God’s creations, acting upon these issues to drive change in their community.
  • The curriculum facilitates opportunities to develop relationships, and immerse children in experiences that develop empathy and our gospel values of compassion, justice, courage, humility, kindness, peace, forgiveness and integrity.
  • Children leave our school with a strong sense of moral purpose.
  • We recognise the importance of reading being at the heart of the whole curriculum and its impact on the future success of pupils. Our children are taught to read confidently, fluently and with a good understanding. Pupils are encouraged to develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information through daily practice and whole school activities.
  • Although each subject is taught as a discrete area we have designed a curriculum that makes links between different subjects, creating curriculum cohesion and enabling pupils to link their learning appropriately. There is a focus on high quality writing and pupils use mathematics and information technology skills across different subject areas.
  • At Priory we recognise that our pupils need preparation for the 21st century, for a world that does not yet exist. As part of this they need to see the effect of making mistakes and be able to take risks.
  • Our pupils have told us that they learn best when they enjoy learning. We have planned our curriculum to include a range of exciting and pupil-motivating activities which will allow pupils to recall knowledge more readily alongside frequent repetition. We provide memorable experiences to develop the life experiences for many of our pupils who are unable to do so outside of school.
  • Our curriculum provides mastery of key knowledge. Our Maths curriculum, for example, provides opportunities for pupils to practise and consolidate their learning, master learning objectives by developing a deeper understanding and to apply their knowledge through reasoning and problem solving.
  • Our curriculum focuses on a meta cognitive style of learning including activities that encourage pupils to reflect on how they think and strategies they can use to apply their knowledge. This includes explicitly teaching strategies for how to plan, organise knowledge and monitor tasks. We have developed a ‘growth mindsets’ culture throughout our school teaching pupils to ‘have a go’, to use a different strategy if they get stuck, to seek peer support and to learn from their mistakes.
  • Our aim is that all groups of pupils have planning tailored to meet their needs to enable them to make good progress across all areas of the curriculum. There is a sequencing of subject-specific concepts based on what we expect pupils to know at each particular stage ensuring challenge.
  • Our curriculum has been developed to introduce/explore new vocabulary and activities have been planned to ensure that pupils get the opportunity to apply and revisit this new knowledge.
Implementation - Judge
  • Our children have told us that they enjoy learning from first hand experience, and this is when they learn best. We therefore begin each new topic with an immersion activity.
  • Knowledge organisers are created to share with children and parents as a tool to help gain, retain and build the knowledge and skills needed. Curriculum planning follows an s-plan format whereby the journey begins with the elicitation of what is already known and results in a demonstration of knowledge and skills acquired.
  • Lessons that follow the elicitation task will teach students skills and knowledge using practical tasks, dialogic learning and problem-solving activities.
  • Subject knowledge is taught discretely, with Rosenshine’s principles underpinning implementation.
  • The Big Ideas process is used to support and develop the dialogic and problem-solving approach to learning- deeply rooted in context to enable pupils to make links with their own lives.
  • An opportunity to apply knowledge to a new or abstract problem is given to allow for the assessment of learning and the evaluation of the depth of understanding of each pupil.
  • Planning is tailored to support the global issues outlined in Laudato Si and provide opportunities to drive a positive change to current schoolwide and local processes.

Impact - Act

  • Children honour God through their actions, they care for the world and live out the gospel values in their daily lives.
  • Children enjoy reading and are excited by books.
  • Children will have improved communication and language skills using appropriate vocabulary and carefully constructed responses to answer higher order questioning.
  • Pupils have the confidence to approach complicated or abstract problems in a logical and systematic way.
  • Children will show good progress across all subjects.
  • Children will be able to apply learning from other subjects in their lessons by drawing upon knowledge and experiences, creating historians, scientists, geographers etc of the future.
  • Behaviour of pupils is good in lessons demonstrating engagement and enjoyment.
  • Pupils will confidently set up and use relevant equipment appropriately and demonstrate subject-specific skills from previous learning experiences independently in subsequent lessons.
  • Pupils will have an increased depth of understanding of the topics outlined in the National Curriculum.
  • Children demonstrate an understanding of human impact on the environment and act upon this knowledge to drive change. They promote this approach to others, spreading and reinforcing the concept that it is a human responsibility to protect God’s creations.
What types of summative and formative assessment do we use and what impact does this have?

  • The progression and effectiveness of the curriculum at Priory is monitored by staff and senior leaders through triangulation of observation of teaching, data analysis and book looks.
  • The greatest emphasis is on daily assessment, this is used to inform next steps. Pupils are also assessed at the end of each sequence of learning to check their knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Skilful questioning will elicit understanding and identify misconceptions to allow for modification of the lesson progression to support all learners.
  • Enquiry skills and conceptual knowledge assessed through student responses to Big Ideas tasks
  • Teacher judgements formulated and tracked to allow for progress of individuals to be seen.
  • Termly judgements are recorded on our tracking system to enable analysis of groups and keep our parents, leaders and our Trust informed of progress.

Before a child leaves our school he/she will have had the opportunity to:

  • Know Jesus.
  • Raise money for a charity close to their heart.
  • Take part in an active hobby and a non-active hobby.
  • Help the local community
  • Help the school community
  • Stay away overnight
  • Perform in front of an audience
  • Build lifelong friendships across the school community
  • Learn how to look after themselves and keep safe
  • Recognise their own vulnerabilities and know where to get help if they need it
  • Understand better the diversity of our world and their part in it
We base our curriculum on a 2 year rolling programme and seek to take full advantage of the locality of our school.

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