Curriculum

Article 29 Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.

English

TEACHING PHONICS

Curriculum

What do we teach?

At St. Catherine’s C of E Primary School, Read Write Inc. (RWI) is used to teach synthetic phonics.  A graduated approach is used and children begin phonics as soon as they enter Reception. Phonics is taught daily through a systematic approach. Children are taught in small groups based on the progress they have made in the scheme.

In Reception, children begin by developing an awareness of sounds through stories, rhymes and games. They quickly move on to learn the links between individual letters and their sounds. There are 44 different sounds to be learnt and again these are taught in a systematic way throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 using the RWI scheme.  In some cases, where children in Key Stage Two still require early reading skills as part of the RWI scheme, they may join these groups.

How do we teach phonics?

Within Early Years and KS1, phonics is taught discreetly in a daily session. Children then apply their new skills when reading books from the RWI scheme which match the letters and sounds that they have previously learnt. Teachers regularly assess children’s progress to check where they are and what they need to learn next.

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Reading

We adopt a graduated approach to the teaching of reading, using the following steps:

Phonics based approach

A phonics-based approach is used in Reception and Key Stage One, to introduce children to reading. Children learn to decode books that are closely matched to the letters and sounds they are currently learning. Children are encouraged to read at home on a daily basis. Children keep the same book to allow them to apply their skills to decode the text. They then keep the same book to allow them the opportunity to practise reading for fluency. A reading record book is used as a communication tool between parents and teachers and allows regular updates on reading progress. Children are also provided with log in details for My-On online reading resource which allows them to access a range of books both fiction and non-fiction, linked to their reading level.

Accelerated Reader

Curriculum 1

The Accelerated Reader (AR) approach moves away from the traditional reading scheme to include books by a range of popular, modern and classic authors and poets. There are also non-fiction texts, graphic novels and play scripts to name a few additional text types. The system determines the level of readability for this vast range of texts. After assessment, children are allocated a numerical range from which they can choose books. This is closely monitored by teachers. Independent reading and level of understanding is confirmed through an online retrieval quiz taken on the completion of a book. Children are expected to achieve a minimum of 85% success rate over the term. We try to provide books that broaden horizons and help learners connect with the world around them with a focus on positive moral values, developing empathy and showing diversity.

MyOn

Curriculum 2

Linked to Accelerated Reader is the MyON online library which has over 5000 books for children to access at all levels. Children can access MyON at school and at home through an individual login which allows them to track their own progress, find a range of books that they are interested in, interact with teacher led reading tasks linked to their topics, and take AR tests to track their reading progress.

Reading for pleasure

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School we feel really passionately that the children develop a lifelong love of reading and books and that they choose to read for pleasure.

  • We encourage the children to read a wide range of genres and authors, including non-fiction books, newspapers and novels.
  • Book displays around the school inspire the children to choose books and authors that they may not have considered before.
  • We have also worked hard to develop our reading spaces around the school including the development of our library space to inspire the children’s interest and enthusiasm for reading and books.
  • Our online reading library is a useful tool to support children to a wide range of video and audio versions of popular titles and authors.
  • Teacher’s enjoy sharing books with children in all classes.

Whole Class Reading & Group Reading

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School, we believe that children need to be directly taught the skills required to read, interrogate and understand the different texts that they read. We do this through our Whole Class Reading approach in Key Stage 2 and Group Reading in Key Stage 1.

Group Reading

In our younger year groups (Reception and Year 1), whilst the focus is predominantly on developing the children’s phonological awareness and skills, we also believe in supporting the children to develop their vocabulary and comprehension of texts through the use of Group Reading sessions. These sessions take place every week using group reading texts. 

Whole Class Reading

Our Whole Class Reading approach is based on research which supports the idea that reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development, providing children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading. Children can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This, in turn, helps them understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). It exposes less able readers to the same rich and engaging books that fluent readers can access independently, and entices them to become better readers. Students of any age benefit from hearing an experienced reading of a wonderful book.

Our children from Year 2 to Year 6 have daily Whole Class Reading sessions throughout the week. These sessions are based on a whole class novel (read daily), as well as a range of shorter texts which enable teachers to ensure that the children experience a wide range of genres. These are linked to other areas of the curriculum wherever possible. During the sessions, the children are given opportunities to work with talk partners, work as a group and develop their independent thinking skills through a wide range of questions, focusing on the following areas across the sessions: vocabulary, inference, prediction, evaluation, retrieval, sequencing and summarising.

Maths

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School, we ensure a clear progression in the teaching of mathematics by using the White Rose Maths mastery scheme of work.

We promote enjoyment of mathematics in a variety of different ways, including: through practical opportunities to explore mathematical concepts, as well as through exploration and discussion. This helps the children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics from an early age.

We encourage the children to be active participants in maths lessons, in which they work collaboratively. We believe in creating an environment where children feel comfortable to share their thinking, question one another, and agree or disagree by justifying their decisions. Calculations and concepts are represented in different ways moving from concrete representations where children can build their understanding using equipment and manipulatives, to visual representations, before moving on to abstract representations.

Our aim is for pupils at St Catherine’s C of E Primary School to display positive attitudes towards mathematics and embrace mathematical challenges. We provide pupils with opportunities to develop their mathematical fluency, building their confidence to carry out a range of problems and solve them by utilising their reasoning and problem-solving skills. As a school we are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of mathematics in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. This also extends to how mathematics can be used within other areas of curriculum through rich cross-curricular links.

Learning Challenge Curriculum

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School, we aim to provide our pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum, full of rich opportunities for them to develop their skills in many different areas. Children are encouraged to be thoughtful, creative and resilient learners who develop independent learning skills from a young age, as well as a love of learning and an understanding of their role as global citizens in our ever-changing world.

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School, we have adopted the principles of the Learning Challenge Curriculum (LCC). The LCC is built upon the idea of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages curiosity through the use of an interesting and thought-provoking question as the starting point for learning. Subjects are brought together in themes and links between subjects are made wherever possible, including allowing for the children’s application of English and mathematic skills. This imaginative curriculum approach successfully builds upon pupils’ knowledge and skills as they move through the school and is carefully aligned to the locality of the school, making it relevant for the children at our school. Ultimately, the aim of our curriculum is to foster a love of learning for life within our children.

State schools within England are required to cover the National Curriculum (2014) by law. The National Curriculum consists of both core subjects and foundation subjects which are taught to all pupils.

Personal Development & PSHE

At St Catherine’s C of E Primary School, whilst ensuring the academic progress of our pupils, our school also places high importance on the personal development of our children to help them become confident, responsible and valuable members of society.

We are a Rights Respecting Accredited School, working towards our silver award; we are incredibly proud of this achievement, particularly as we continued to strive towards the award throughout the turbulent COVID period. Children’s rights now underpin everything we do at school, from our policies to establishing strong pupil voice in our school. Children undertake the roles of Rights Respecting Champions and Eco-Councillors and help to drive school projects and campaigns that are important to the children and of global significance.

Click here to view our Rights Respecting page

The children’s learning about their rights and their responsibility to the world around them forms a huge part of our Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) development. Rights, Fundamental British Values (FBV) and SMSC underpins the ethos of our school and curriculum; they are not standalone subjects but taught through many different elements of our curriculum. Links to external agencies (police, magistrates courts, community groups, parents and families) and our local and wider community, enables us to enrich this learning further and ensure that our children have a clear understanding of their social responsibilities as global citizens.

Click here to view our British Values page

Personal, Social, Health Education

The personal development of the children at St Catherine’s, is further enhanced by our teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). We use a whole-school approach to the teaching of PSHE using the Jigsaw scheme of learning. This provides a well-structured, progression of learning, with the aim of preparing our children for life. We teach them to understand and value themselves as individuals, relate to other people and understand how to stay safe and healthy, both physically and mentally.

Throughout the year, the children learn at age-appropriate levels through the study of, and reflection in, the following topic areas:

This mindful approach to PSHE also further enhances our MindUp Curriculum. More information about our MindUp curriculum, and the ways in which we support our children and families’ emotional health can be found by clicking on the link below.

Click here to view our Emotional Health page

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of our pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. It involves a combination of sharing information and exploring issues and values.

At St Catherine’s, our curriculum encompasses many aspects of the Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) curriculum as well as contributing to promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils. Our policy on RSE is based on the Department for Education (DfE) Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (2019).

To deliver our RSE curriculum, we use Jigsaw, our PSHE scheme of learning. Through our Relationships and Sex Education programme, we aim to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. We believe that a successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, will help young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood, through adolescence into adulthood.

The main focus for RSE is in the ‘Changing me’ unit taught in the second half of the Summer term – the learning deepens and broadens every year.

Our programme aims to provide the basis for an ongoing programme of RSE that begins in Reception and continues through to Year 6. The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) in our schools:

 

  • Is a partnership between home and school.
  • To prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene.
  • To create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships.
  • To teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies.
  • Starts early and is relevant to pupils at each stage in their development and maturity.
  • Includes the acquisition of knowledge, development of life skills and respectful attitudes and values.
  • Has sufficient time to cover a wide range of topics with a strong emphasis on relationships, consent, rights, responsibilities to others, negotiation and communication skills, and accessing services.
  • Helps pupils understand on and off-line safety, consent, violence and exploitation and how to keep themselves safe.
  • Is both medically and factually correct and treats sex as a normal fact of life.
  • Is inclusive of difference, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, culture, age, faith or belief, or other life experiences.
  • Promotes equality in relationships, recognises the challenges, gender inequality and reflects girls’ and boys’ different experiences and needs.

 

Click here to view our RSE policy on our Policies page

Useful Links

Curriculum Policies

Long Term Planning 2023-24

Parent Sessions