At St. Benet’s RC Primary School we will ensure that our children are happy, stimulated and challenged so that they can make progress across the curriculum and achieve the highest standards possible. As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. Children will be taught by teachers with high expectations who will plan a curriculum that is interesting, relevant, extends their understanding of the subject and ensures high quality work and outcomes.
As children progress through the school they will develop high expectations of themselves in terms of their learning and behaviour; they will be encouraged to be independent learners who can also work cooperatively with others. They will develop support skills and nurturing skills towards their peers and younger pupils and also organisational skills to support their learning.
Our Curriculum Intent focuses on these three learning areas:
Intention 1: Develop our learner’s learning (what we learn)
To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, so that children can flourish, reach and exceed their potential academically, physically and artistically.
Intention 2: Develop the independent nature of our learners (how we learn)
To develop the independence in our learners which will prepare them for the everyday challenges of life in the modern world and will promote self-motivated and confident learners.
Intention 3: Develop the moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: who we are)
To understand spirituality in themselves and others, develop social skills and understand society, build a firm set of personal morality, and to engage in the culture they live in and understand the cultures of others.
Our curriculum will focus on our local heritage; preparing our children to become educated citizens with the knowledge and understanding of our world from a local, national and global perspective. As part of this Statement of Intent we have outlined below examples of how the school will enrich the curriculum in order to give all pupils the opportunity to excel and to ensure that they are stimulated by their learning and motivated to learn more.
During the eight/seven years at St. Benet’’s RC Catholic Primary School each child can expect to experience the following:
- Regular opportunities to share his/her achievements in assemblies and other whole school events
- Regular opportunities to contribute towards his/her learning and be involved in decision-making that effects the whole school either through School Council, Mini Police, E-Cadets, Mini Vinnies etc, and through regular pupil perception surveys etc.
- Opportunities to represent the school through liturgical celebrations, sporting events and musical/dramatic performances
- A wide range of clubs and extra-curricular activities both after school and
- The opportunity to grow closer to God through the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation
- Regular opportunities to partake in charitable events, considering the rights of everyone
- The opportunity to play a musical instrument
- The opportunity to join a choir – Year 5/6
- Regular opportunities to work with the local community
- The opportunity to be a buddy, where older pupils support younger pupils
- Forest School Learning in our local environment
- On-going opportunities to support a positive well-being
Visits and Visitors
During the eight/seven years at St. Benet’’s RC Catholic Primary School each child can expect to experience the following visits and visitors to the school, which will provide career development opportunities.
- Visits to local attractions that enhance the children’s awareness of our heritage including trips to Beamish, Durham Cathedral, Gibside, The Seaside, local museums etc – at least one per term
- Visits to places of interest further afield that enhance the children’s historical and geographical knowledge including The Jorvik Viking Centre, York, Holy Island, The Lake District
- Visits to London, our capital city, to widen our children’s multi-cultural experience
- Residential visits starting in Year 4
- Career Development opportunities- visits to local universities and professionals visiting the school
- The opportunity to visit places of worship including a synagogue
- The opportunity to work with writers/artists/scientists
- Regular participation in sports festivals with the Durham City School Sports Partnership
- Performing in a Dance Festival at The Gala Theatre, Durham
- The opportunity to visit a theatre including the Theatre Royal, Sunderland Empire, West-End Theatres, London
Our curriculum will be implemented with our intentions as the drivers behind our actions. By ensuring we think about what we learn, who we are when we are learning, how we act when we learn and who we are in the world, we build independent, happy, resilient, successful, good citizens. Our implementation plan ensures our curriculum keeps us focused on these areas.
Maths – we use the White Rose material for Maths alongside the Power Maths programme. We assess using testbase materials, teacher assessment and White Rose materials throughout the year. We focus greatly on learning our times tables and number facts to build on our mathematical knowledge. Where possible, we apply mathematics to real-life opportunities in preparation for the wider world.
Writing – we use a Book based curriculum. This means each half term we study a new book in each class, and our teachers generate writing opportunities out of this. We look at comprehension skills, grammar skills, writing planning and extended writing piece alternative weeks, to give us a regular routine that helps us build up competency. We assess using the Local Authority’s Writing assessment grids. We work hard on handwriting and presentation, and edit our work carefully to improve it.
Reading – when we start school, we use the Read, Write, Inc programme to teach us our phonics knowledge. Moving through the infants, we develop our reading with our teachers in Guided Reading groups, using The Big Cat progressive reading scheme covering all genres. Our teachers regularly update our topic areas with themed books and we visit our own school library each week and choose our own book to read for pleasure. For home reading, junior children read a variety of texts including novels by well-known authors, classics, non-fiction, poetry; using a combination of school library books and books from home. Our infant children read appropriate levelled books which allow us to progress in our reading and enable our families to help us with reading at home. Our teachers check we are reading books that will challenge us, and reward us for our effort to become confident and fluent readers.
Religious Education (RE)- As a Catholic school, in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, we follow the Come and See programme during RE. This is a programme of work which develops us in our faith journey, enabling us to grow in our understanding of religious literacy, domestic church, local church and universal church. We use class liturgies to celebrate our learning at the end of every unit of work. Furthermore, we celebrate other faiths twice a year and visit places of worship.
Foundation subjects – Our teachers plan foundation subjects using progressive skills, which show what we should be learning in each year group in each subject. Across the year, we learn three history topics and three geography topics (one each half term) and a similar pattern is followed for Art and Design and Technology. Teachers check our learning against the progression documents, and subject leaders will check that they are doing this correctly. They keep a record of how each class is doing in each subject, including who is working at or above age related expectations and who might require some further support. We learn from a learning challenge curriculum, which encourages us to develop independent thinking skills and questioning.
What do we hope will be the impact of our curriculum and how do we measure it?
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always consider Age Related Expectations. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically, physically and emotionally prepared for life in secondary school, in Modern Britain and the world.
The impact will be that our learners will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating independence and resilience. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, around school, and in the many roles we give them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our community, including staff and children.
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community and as members of God’s family. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others. They will go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others.
Please click here to access Curriculum Subject Overviews for the academic year 2019-2020.
Our overall curriculum statement can be found here Curriculum Overall Statement Sept 2019
Assessment at St Benet’s
At St Benet’s, children carry out a piece of assessment in Reading, Writing, Maths and Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation each term. The children also complete a piece of assessment in RE each term. For Science and Foundation Subjects, teachers use their professional judgement based on the work they complete during a unit, to assess children. In termly reports, children are reported as:
- Working below the age related expectations
- On track to meet the age related expectations
- Working above the age related expectations
Children in Years 2 and Year 6 who complete SATS at the end of their Key Stage One (Year 2) or Key Stage Two (Year 6) phase, shall also be given a scaled score and an indication if they have achieved the expected standard or not met the expected standard as well as an indication of whether they are working at a greater depth standard/ high score (working above age related expectations).
Schools have been asked to explain how they promote British Values in all that we do. Find out how St Benet’s RCVA Primary School is promoting British Values.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Children with special educational needs and/or a disability have access to the curriculum links appropriate to their year group. Based on their need and any Statement of Special Educational Needs/ Education Health Care plan which may apply, some children will access the curriculum at a lower level. Maths and English subjects are tailored to the child’s ability. Here at St Benet’s we will endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need. All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented. In some classes, eg: Reception and Year 6, Maths and English lessons are taught in ability groups as extra teaching provision is available. This enables those children who require additional support to access the curriculum at their ability level and reinforce the basic skills that they need to be able to progress further. Moreover, those children who are performing above their age-related expectations also have the opportunity to thrive in Maths and English as they are challenged to achieve better than the expected standard.
To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:
- Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
- Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
- Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
- To work in partnership with parents/ carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
- To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional)
- To make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
- Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
- To promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
- To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
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