The curriculum of the school is based upon the New National Curriculum (2014) in conjunction with our RE scheme Come and See'. We ensure our curriculum is broad and balanced as we know that engagement and variety are the key to successful learning. It consists of the core subjects – RE, English, Mathematics and Science – and foundation subjects – History, Geography, Design Technology Computing, Music, Art, and Physical Education. As part of 'Come and See' we teach one week per term about other faiths which include Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. We are committed to ensuring that we prepare our children for life in modern Britain and part of this is achieved through our stimulating and thought-provoking curriculum.
Outdoor learning is a particular feature of our school which we are very proud of! We are blessed to be located in a stunning and inspirational environment and we strive to capitalise on this for the benefit of our children whenever possible; whether this be by facilitating team building games on our field or encouraging children to write a prayer whilst looking at the breath-taking landscape. In the summer of 2014 we successfully secured a grant of £10k from the National Lottery 'Awards for All' which was spent on our woodland area. This area is now ideal for weekly Forest Schools sessions as it is equipped with den building equipment, a swing, a large wooden shelter, sunken fire pit, log seating and an enormous storytelling chair! The children are so enthused by this development and through our carefully planned curriculum they have the opportunity to develop their learning in such a motivational setting.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), a cross-curricular thematic approach is used to ensure that children gain vital skills in English and Mathematics, together with knowledge of the world around them including technologies and modern Britain. The curriculum is delivered through highly motivating indoor and outdoor learning activities.
As this is a Catholic school, Religious Education is central to all subjects and to all aspects of our daily lives. The curriculum is designed so that each child is able to work at their own level in each subject according to their developmental stage.
At St. Peter’s we aim to get the best for and from each individual child in all learning experiences. Through the curriculum we try to nurture the spiritual, moral, academic, pastoral, social, physical and aesthetic development of every child so that each may reach his or her full potential.
Over the last 2 years we have introduced a more thematic whole school approach to the curriculum by planning topics as a staff right from Reception to Year 6. These have included...'Heroes and Villains, ‘Blast off into space’…’Festivals’, ‘Authors’ and ‘Changes’ The children have responded with real enthusiasm to these topics and each one has included a ‘Wow’ experience such as a cinema trip, a planetarium in school or a famous poet workshop day.
Curriculum information is shared with parents through our website – each class has their topic web on their page, as well as the topic web being sent home. We strive to support parents in their role as the first educator of their children through the sharing of teaching and learning strategies.
Our Religious Education curriculum has been specifically tailored to meet the unique context of our school. It is designed to be broad and balanced, providing all pupils with the opportunity to master their learning and deepen the knowledge, making sense and giving purpose as to why we learn about Religion, which will help them change and transform our society, putting their faith into action.
As a Catholic school we are deeply committed to developing children’s faith, with Jesus Christ as our inspiration and St Peter as our role model. Our vision is made real as we put our mission into practice and our deep commitment to preparing children for modern life in Britain and the wider world, with a clear and moral purpose. We challenge them to become resilient, confident and independent learners. We develop children’s knowledge and understanding of other faiths and understanding of other faiths and world religions respecting and appreciating alternative viewpoints. We encourage curiosity, tolerance and respect and strive to inspire pupils to understand how life in modern Britain and the wider world is continually changing around them.
We encourage our children to be able to articulate the Gospel Values in a way that is meaningful to them and allows them to be active participants in their own formation.
The Religious Education of our pupils is the core of the core curriculum. 10% RE curriculum time is allocated across all key stages. The staffing and resourcing devoted to RE is of the highest standard. The requirements of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory are met at all key stages and standards equal or better those of literacy at all key stages, including foundation stage. Our pupils are inspired by exceptional teaching and consistently high expectations across the school through the ‘Come and See’ scheme of work. They are challenged throughout the curriculum, to engage with the ‘Big Questions’ of the purpose and meaning of life as created and sustained by God. This allows for religious literacy to be developed to a very high level for all our pupils.
Our pupils, as part of their curriculum for life, are actively encouraged and supported in being pro-active citizens who participate in building a community and in appropriate decision making processes, at school, local, national and global level. A high priority is given to the appropriate formation of pupils in their understanding of, involvement in, and service to the common good.
RE process of learning:
• Title Pages for each 'Come and See' topic are inserted into R.E. books with assessment opportunities taken from the ‘Come and See’ Scheme of work. Each topic then starts with a 'Checking in' question and ends with a 'Checking Out' question to evidence learning.
• Sequence of work: This includes L.O.s and challenge questions to develop greater depth and critical thinking through aspects of SMSC (Big questions). We challenge and empower pupils to be creative, independent and reflective learners. Assessments are carried out in various forms:
• Big questions
• Assessment tasks.
• Children are assessed against the Salford Diocese age related standards. These assessments and outcomes are an invaluable tool for the subject leader to measure the impact of the current system. This combined with other forms of monitoring help to inform the subject leader's Action Plan in religion for the following school year.
As a result of these strategies, most children:
• are well prepared for the next stage of their education as confident and enthusiastic learners who are witness to Christ in their words and actions.
• are happy, well-rounded individuals who can articulate how their Catholic education has impacted on their beliefs and values.
• produce good quality work across religion, which they are proud of.
• achieve consistently well in all areas of Religious education.
• develop detailed knowledge and skills across a range of curriculum areas.
• show compassion, justice, love and forgiveness in their relationships with others
Our Reading Scheme
Our phonics teaching is highly successful, we are consistently above the national average % of children reaching or exceeding the required standard We use the Read, Write Inc scheme as a means of teaching phonics. This is also used as our reading scheme which is supplemented by Project X scheme, New Way and Oxford Reading Tree. Once children have completed RWI (typically in the early stages of Year 2) they then progress on to our new English scheme ‘Literacy and Language’.
Assessing Without Levels
At the end of each year parents and carers receive a comprehensive report which shows where their child sits in regard to age related expectations.
Since September 2015 we have been assessing children against age related expectations using a similar model to the one which is currently in place in the EYFS. This shows whether a child is at the Developing, Confident or Secure level for their age. We believe this allows increased continuity when measuring a child's journey from the moment they enter our school family. We also believe this terminology will be more relevant to our parents and carers who will have a very clear picture of the progress and attainment of their child at every stage.