St Bernadette’s Curriculum
At St Bernadette’s Primary School, we offer our children a broad and balanced curriculum that is coherently planned and sequenced towards accumulating sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning, based upon the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is constantly evolving to allow the children a wide range of experiences, to extend their understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. We believe that our curriculum should provide children with the opportunities to aspire to be more, in an environment that is rooted in our Gospel Values and our school motto ‘Doing our best for God.’
The curriculum is designed to contribute to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and provides opportunities for the development of personal skills such as resilience, cooperation, tolerance, independence and organisation. We support pupils’ physical development and enable them to become active individuals with a growing understanding and responsibility for their own health and well-being.
Within this broad and balanced curriculum, an emphasis is placed on ensuring the children develop excellent phonics and reading skills to enable them to confidently access the whole curriculum and be equipped for life in a sophisticated and technological society. We believe that effective learning takes place when there is active involvement, opportunities to talk imaginatively and clarify thinking and where meaningful connections are made within and across subjects. We are committed to a culture that promotes a positive and inclusive approach at all times with lessons planned to ensure that there are no barriers to learning with every pupil achieving their personal best.
At St Bernadette’s, our belief is that every child should be able to access the curriculum and in line with the Equalities Act (2010) and The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014), we adhere fully to the Inclusion agenda for access to the National Curriculum and all areas of school life for all pupils. We aim to identify and remove barriers for any children who may be at risk of underachievement; this includes children with special educational needs or a disability. The identification of vulnerable pupils and the support given by the school is a key element of the school’s ethos and partnership with parents of these children is vital to achieve success.
Our curriculum map, and units of work in every subject, contain the knowledge that we have identified as essential in our school, taking cultural capital into account. These have been carefully crafted for each subject, identifying composite knowledge and skills and breaking them down into component parts to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition. The curriculum is sequenced and progressive so that children can systematically accumulate ‘sticky knowledge’ which becomes embedded in their long-term memory. This approach enables pupils to make meaningful connections in their learning.
Quality first teaching, delivered and supported by our dedicated and motivated staff, enables all pupils to access our curriculum and become independent learners. Subject leaders have oversight of how subjects are taught from EYFS to Year 6, ensuring that there is progression both within and between year groups and Key Stages, and that knowledge and skills are taught sequentially within a subject area. We aim to make our pupils knowledge rich, knowing more and remembering more as they move through the school. We expect the quality of work to be of the same high standard across all subjects with children taking pride in the work they produce.
Our whole school curriculum overview shows the units of work taught across all year groups in every subject and are broken down further on the year group termly overviews available on each class page. Units have an overarching question to ‘hook’ the children and further questions to lead each individual lesson with the teaching of key vocabulary a primary feature in all subjects.
Within all subjects, we have made reading a high priority with a range of high quality short stories, folk and fairy tales, myths and legends, classic and modern children's fiction, poetry, picture books and non-fiction books. These books are chosen not only to entertain but allow children to investigate other lives, worlds and perspectives and reflect the diversity of our world. The school has moved to whole class shared reading where children are immersed in a single text and teachers model good use of intonation, movement, volume and expression, plan activities to develop comprehension strategies as well as identify and find the meanings of unknown vocabulary.
Through the school library, we continue to build our rich and diverse collection of books to give children the opportunity to extend their reading experiences, discover and use information and develop their research skills. Our home readers have been updated to reflect the change in the phonics curriculum in Key Stage One and extended in Key Stage Two to give children greater challenge within a wide range of genres.
Wherever possible, teachers plan visits to link in with the children’s learning such as visits to historical places, museums and local area visits. We have a dedicated Forest School teacher who works with whole classes to provide children with experiences that encourage an appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment. Blackpool Community Trust deliver PE and Games lessons to different year groups as well as running after school football for boys and girls alongside other extra-curricular clubs run by school staff. Our wider ops programme gives Year 4 children the opportunity to learn to play a brass instrument which they can continue to develop in following year groups.
Teachers use a range of assessment methods both formative and summative to assess the children’s understanding and application of a concept. Assessment is used to inform teaching and ensure that learners remember in the long term concepts, use knowledge fluently and embed their application of skills. By the end of each year group, and ultimately by the end of each key stage, children are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for the next stage of their education. This is reflected in the results that are achieved at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in the Statutory Assessment Tests. Children in other year groups are assessed using the NFER tests at the end of each term.
Assessment in foundation subjects is managed by the class teacher as to whether the child has achieved specific National Curriculum objectives relating to that unit of work. This may take the form of quizzes, observing pupils in class, mind maps, talking to pupils, questioning and scrutiny of pupils’ work.
By the end of Year 6, our aim for all learners is to be able to recall knowledge from across all areas of the curriculum and have developed a love of reading. They will be fully rounded individuals with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and tolerance and be able to demonstrate resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter a challenge. We expect all our children to leave St Bernadette’s ready for a successful transition to secondary school with aspirations to be achieve all they can be.
Curriculum Overview 2021 - 2022
Teaching and Learning Documents