Intent: Our Aims
At St Louis Catholic Primary School, we aim for our children to develop a love of learning in a safe, supportive environment. Every child is given the opportunity and the encouragement to discover their talents and abilities, to have a respect for and an appreciation of others and to grow into responsible, well-rounded individuals, prepared for life in a diverse and ever-changing world. Our school mission statement, ‘We work together, we pray together, we grow together’ is part of the fabric of our school and our curriculum reflects this.
We follow an ABC approach to the curriculum:
Ambitious – we have high expectations of what the children can achieve
Brave – we encourage our children to try their best and ‘have a go’, to not give up when the going gets tough and to recognise that this is often when the best learning takes place
Caring – we offer a safe environment where children can take risks with their learning, we also develop within children a considerate attitude towards one another, the resources they use and to God’s world around them
Having an interesting and stimulating curriculum which is well matched to the needs of the children is an essential requirement for a successful school. Without this, children will not gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve well and to become the well-rounded individuals we want them to be. We take into account the cultural capital our children need, and build opportunities into our curriculum for trips and visits to enhance their experiences. Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and relationships and sex education (RSE) are woven into the curriculum in age appropriate ways, as well as having discrete lesson time dedicated to them.
We believe that children should build on the knowledge and skills they gain as they move through the school. Therefore, the focus in each Key Stage is as follows:
EYFS: Building good habits – it is vital children get off to a good start by learning to do the basics well, whether learning to take turns, speak in sentences or form letters and numbers correctly. There is a focus on phonics and developing early reading skills.
KS1: Journey of discovery – children begin to learn in more depth, adding to their knowledge whilst building on the good habits formed in EYFS. Phonics is still a focus in Year 1 as is continuing to apply their knowledge and develop fluency in reading. There is a move to developing comprehension skills in Y2.
KS2: Broadening horizons – pupils continue to add to their growing knowledge and begin to take greater control of their learning, asking questions and reaching their own conclusions. Children are introduced to key concepts in lower KS2 which they return to with greater understanding in upper KS2. Reading is still as key focus, with whole class sessions taking place daily, aimed at developing a broad vocabulary and deeper thinking skills.
Implementation: How the curriculum is taught
Each term, learning in a variety of subjects is drawn together under an ‘umbrella’ of a topic. Topics provide context and meaning for learning and enable natural links to be made between different curriculum areas. Exciting learning opportunities are planned with an emphasis on rich language and developing an ever-increasing vocabulary. Some subjects may not fit naturally into a topic and so will be taught discretely.
Topic overview sheets outlining the learning to take place, are available on the website at the start of each term and suggestions as to how parents can help their child with their current learning at home are provided weekly as part of the headteacher’s update.
Each topic culminates in a celebration of learning, where children apply the knowledge and skills they have gained in a creative way. Parents and carers are invited to share in these celebrations in order to gain first-hand experience of what their children have been learning.
Because we are a Catholic school there is a great emphasis on learning about religion and learning from religion. We follow the Diocesan programme ‘Come and See’, which teaches not just about Christianity, but about Islam and Judaism as important world religions too. We place a great emphasis on respect and self-control, good behaviour, prayer and meditation because we believe that every person is made in the image of God and this is an integral part of being a faith school. We treat all children equally and have a well thought out programme that prepares children for life in the 21st century without contradicting the key teachings of our faith.
Alongside the subjects taught as part of the national curriculum, we offer a range of broader opportunities for our children. We create opportunities for our pupils to be both leaders and to be able to work as part of a team by being Buddies to a younger child, Playground Pals, Liturgy Team members and House Captains. Children have the opportunity to perform for an audience throughout the year through Christmas and Summer shows, assemblies and curriculum celebrations. Children are offered the opportunity for music lessons and singing is an integral part of our curriculum. We take part in PE festivals and hold an annual sports day.
Impact: The results of the curriculum experience
We assess the impact of our curriculum against the national curriculum expectations, as well as through statutory assessment points such as at the end of EYFS, the phonics screening in Y1, end of KS1 assessments, the times table screening in Y4 and end of KS2 tests. We have also developed progression of knowledge and skills grids in each foundation subject to ensure that work is pitched appropriately and children are reaching the milestones expected of them.
We are very proud of the progress children make as a result of coming to our school. Our academic results are high, pupil voice results show an enjoyment of learning, and visitors are impressed by the good behaviour and respect demonstrated across the school. Our parish priest repeatedly comments positively about the children’s singing in mass and at carol concerts, and prospective parents are always so taken by the confidence and love for our school that our Y6 pupils demonstrate as they lead tours around the school.