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, ‘Ut Sint Unum – That We May Be One’ 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.
Implementation: How the curriculum is taught
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: Forming 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
KS1: Journey of discovery – children begin to learn in more depth, adding to their knowledge whilst building on the good habits formed in EYFS
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
Knowledge and skills are taught from the full range of curriculum subjects, along with the learning habits which enable children to develop an understanding of how to be effective learners. These learning habits focus on personal skills such as self-motivation, resilience, personal organisation and acting on feedback, as well as skills such as working collaboratively with others.
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 provided for parents at the start of each term and suggestions as to how they can help their child with their 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. For example, we teach that in the Catholic faith marriage is the union between one man and one woman but in society it can be the union of one man with one man and one woman with one woman. In Reception and Key Stage 1 we do this through the telling of stories with an equality theme and in Key Stage 2 an outside organisation runs a series of workshops for each year group on Rejecting racism, challenging stereotypes and celebrating different families.
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 children to be both leaders and to be able to work as part of a team by them 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 productions, 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. The high quality of our productions receives wonderful feedback from all who attend including parents and governors. 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.