Curriculum

We are proud of our Christian community and the values we uphold. Through our Christian Faith, we acknowledge our responsibility to all, to enrich lives and show love and respect within our school family. We believe in lifelong learning aiming to equip our children to live life today and for tomorrow in a safe, nurturing and fulfilling environment.

“Let your light Shine” (Matthew 5:16)

Our school is the light that brings Jesus into the lives of all in our community.

Intent:

At St George’s our Curriculum has been designed to ensure each and every child can ‘Shine, living a life in all its fullness’ by offering stimulating and awe-inspiring learning experiences with Christian values at its heart.

It is bespoke to the needs of the pupils at St George’s, not only by focusing on appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, but by modelling the virtues given to us by Christ and by developing individual and collaborative learning experiences, a positive growth mind set, a sense of responsibility and challenges that take them beyond the classroom.

We are a small and semi-rural school with a constantly evolving curriculum which responds to the needs of learners and their interests by enhancing learning experiences and raising awareness from the local area to national and global arenas. Thus, we will develop outward looking pupils who are able to engage in learning about themselves and have an understanding of the wider world and its complex cultures.

Ultimately our curriculum is intended to:

  • Develop our hearts and character: Who we are
  • Develop our head and body: What we learn
  • Develop our actions and attitudes: How we live and learn
  • Develop our moral compass: Where we fit in the world.

Our curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and that enable personal growth and development. We want children to grow into positive, responsible people who can work and co-operate with others, while at the same time developing their knowledge and skills in order to achieve their true potential. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development (SMSC) underpins much of the learning and curriculum. Accordingly St George’s School provides an educational environment which is values based, caring, friendly, well-structured, positive, and academically challenging for all pupils.

Our curriculum includes the various extra-curricular activities that are organised in order to enrich the children’s experience as well as the ‘hidden curriculum’ – what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave as a result of our strong Christian vision, associated values and nurturing ethos.

St George’s School is committed to providing a broad and balanced, enriched and extended curriculum which can be tailored to individual needs. By broad we mean we teach through a wide range of topics to include all subjects within the national curriculum and we provide our pupils with a wealth of experiences and opportunities during their time at St George’s. By balanced we mean that no one area of the curriculum is valued more or less than any other. Our curriculum is enriched through learning experiences which involve learning from and about other places, people and cultures and it is extended through trips, visits, themed days as well as daily choices of after school and lunch time clubs.

The school’s curriculum promotes a natural desire for knowledge and understanding, and a love of learning.  It covers a wide range of subjects and provides opportunities for academic, technical, creative and sporting excellence. It has a positive impact on all pupils’ behaviour, and safety, and contributes well to pupils’ academic achievement, their physical and mental well-being, and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Our Implementation: Curriculum Organisation

St George’s School is organised into four classes: YR/1, Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6.  Each Year group has an annual Long term Plan which is followed and a two year cycle (KS2) and a three year cycle (KS1) ensures appropriate coverage for mixed age classes.   Each term, all classes have a ‘focus theme’, which links English to the wider curriculum. Teachers use carefully selected, high-quality focus reading texts, relating to the History, Geography or Science focus themes, to deliver elements of the English curriculum. Within the wider curriculum, teachers ensure that there are opportunities planned for children to further develop their literacy skills, including regular cross-curricular writing, ensuring that standards are consistent across the curriculum.

Our curriculum is planned into Topics/Themes which are chosen to capture the interests and imaginations of the children. Skills based learning is further developed by linking subjects such as history, geography, art, design technology and music to the topic being studied where relevant links can legitimately be made.  This allows children to make purposeful links in their learning.  We also use every opportunity to make further links through reading, writing, mathematical problem solving, science and computing where relevant.  RE, PE and maths are often taught as discreet subjects to allow coverage of the main objectives and age appropriate skills development.  Our teachers plan foundation subjects using progressive skills, which show what pupils should be learning in each year group in each subject. They check the learning against these, and subject leaders check that they are doing this correctly. They keep a record of how each pupil is doing in each subject, including who is secure in the areas and who is working at age related expectations, at greater depth or towards age expected standards.

For each ‘focus theme’, teachers plan an inspiring stimulus, a trip or visitor, or a celebratory showcase event, to hook and engage children and parents and make learning purposeful and relevant. Parents are provided with ‘theme mats’ at the start of all our termly themes to encourage discussion with their child and deepen their knowledge.

Enrichment opportunities, including outdoor learning, inspirational visitors and exciting educational visits, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge. Knowledge and skills are accurately assessed against ‘Age-Related Descriptors’.

Our curriculum is continually shaped and developed to meet children’s interests and needs, and is supported by practices based on credible research.

Through quality teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary across core and foundation subjects, all children will be challenged to be inquisitive, compassionate, courageous and creative learners. All our children have opportunities to influence their own learning through age appropriate and progressive themes and topics.

At St George’s we embrace good pedagogy, which expects all children to work towards reaching or exceeding national expectations, to fulfil and develop their potential. High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious expectations and outcomes, challenging personal targets and early intervention to keep pupils on track. We use accurate assessment to check and maintain pupil progress. There are also clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain progress.

Over and above any of our national curriculum learning, we will deliver holistic childhood experiences for all our children throughout their journey at St George’s.

Maths we cover the maths curriculum in units with enough flexibility to spend as long on a unit as dictated by the children’s learning and progress.  We follow a Maths Mastery approach which has been developed in school by our Maths Subject Lead. We teach Maths daily in mixed ability classes following our Maths Curriculum which is based on the White Rose Scheme of work.  We assess using teacher assessment and more formal assessments throughout the year. We plan daily mental maths skills activities each day in each class.

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 each week, to give us a regular routine that helps us build up competency. We assess using Writing assessment grids that we frequently moderate ensuring standards across the school are high. We work hard on handwriting and presentation, and edit our work carefully to improve it.

Reading Phonics – Early phonics skills lay the foundations for children learning to read and write.  Pupils are taught to read using resources from the synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc.   We deliver phonic teaching in small groups, ensuring children are working at an appropriate level while covering the phases identified for their chronological age.  Children are assessed regularly.

Reading – Reading is a fundamental part of everything we do at St George’s. Children are exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. Alongside the skills of decoding and comprehension, book talk encourages children to think as a reader and discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes. Reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach and the high profile of reading in school is further enhanced by the numerous reading initiatives we carry out throughout the year.  Across the school each class carries out a quality story time sharing high quality text every day at 3pm celebrating a love of books and storytelling.

Religious Education – Religious Education at St George’s School provides opportunities for pupils to think about their own beliefs and values in the light of the beliefs of others, both religious and non-religious, and the values of the school community. We develop understanding of Christianity as a world faith and make comparisons with other faiths whilst aiming to encourage a sense of respect for religious traditions, beliefs and practice. It is important to us to support children as they develop skills and attitudes which will support their personal, moral, social and cultural development.

We aim to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents, of course, have the legal right to withdraw their children from Religious Education.

Science – In Science children have the chance to experience of a wide range of practical work, as well as to develop scientific skills and attitudes. Science helps children to understand more about the world around them and encourages them to question aspects that they don’t understand. Children are given an awareness of the role and importance of science in everyday life together with a consideration of the part that science has played in the development of everyday items. Our children are also given the opportunity to consider ways in which living things and the environment need protection.

They are encouraged to observe, to collect and record information and to interpret that information linked to these two main areas.

  1. Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding.
  2. The nature, processes and methods of science

Computing – The school is committed to offering the pupils the widest possible access to Computing and so, over the course of their time at the school, they will be given the opportunity to use a range of equipment including laptops, iPad, netbooks, pc’s, floor turtles, audio recording equipment, scanners, digital cameras, digital video cameras, digital microscopes, data handlers and control technology.  Computing skills are embedded in fun and interesting ways. When developing Computer Science skills, ‘unplugged’ activities embed a deep understanding of the importance of precise commands to form algorithms, while discussions around errors in these tasks helps children to develop their debugging skills. These activities are used alongside Programming software such as Scratch Animation.  Children apply I.T skills in creative ways to inform learning across the whole curriculum; this engagement in creative aspects of their curriculum helps all children to make progress.  Ensuring that all children at St George’s become Digitally Literate is a key focus of the curriculum. Children understand how Technology has an impact on the real world and how to stay safe online. Regular Online Safety lessons helps pupils understand both possible online dangers and a range of appropriate and necessary safety measures to action.

Design and Technology – Design and Technology draws from and contributes to all the other areas of the curriculum and involves the children in planning, making and evaluating.  We encourage children to:

✓           Develop their designing and making skills and nurture creativity and innovation through designing and making

✓           Develop knowledge and understanding, exercising their initiative, proposing, planning and developing ideas;

✓           Develop their capability to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding;

✓           Explore values about/attitudes to the made world and how we live and work within it;

✓           Develop an understanding of technological processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society;

✓           Enjoy exercising and developing the manipulative skills that realising ideas entails

✓           To develop a critical awareness of both their own and others’ responses to designs

History – Through History our pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at History in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, and cultural perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways. Good use is made of the local environment, which is rich in resources.

Geography – Pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad, including the local area, then find out about different environments and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. Children are encouraged to ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and Computers.

Art – Through Art, our children are encouraged to develop their creativity and imagination. Children are encouraged to build on skills to develop their control of materials, tools and techniques. We develop our children’s critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art, craft and design in different times and cultures. Our aim is for children to become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.

Music – Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe a high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.   At St George’s children participate in a range of musical activities, which include singing, composing and performing using tuned and percussion instruments. They listen to and discuss a variety of styles of music. Children have the opportunity to learn guitar, brass, and string or woodwind instrument through Peripatetic teachers.  There are opportunities for children to play in concerts and musical groups, and join the choir run by our music teacher throughout the year. Piano lessons are also offered to individual children.

MFL – French – At St George’s, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills, including the key skills of speaking and listening, and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures, their own languages, and the culture and languages of others.  As part of the National Curriculum, all Key Stage 2 pupils must now learn another language in school time. At St George’s, we have chosen to teach French to all children in KS2.

PSHE and Citizenship – In order to allow individuals, friendship groups, and classes to react to, and cope with, the pressures of the world around them, we allow time for talk, discussion and reflection so that everyone knows that they are important and that their opinions are valued. ‘Circle Time’ is a method of sharing which allows children to participate as partners in the process of developing responsibility for their own behaviour and learning. It aims to encourage the development of self-esteem, interpersonal skills and strengthen relationships; whilst at the same time allows all involved to have fun together.

Sex Ed – Sex Education is also part of the Personal, Social and Health Education programme. Care of oneself and consideration for others are central themes that lead naturally to later work on the physical and emotional changes that take place during puberty. Sex Education is taught in the context of relationships, marriage, family life and the responsibilities of parenthood.

Physical Education – In this subject, we aim to provide children of all abilities with a varied and well balanced Curriculum which is progressive, stimulating and challenging. We aim to encourage, improve and promote not only physical development but also social, moral and aesthetic qualities. Physical Education enables children to enjoy, pursue and maintain a lasting interest in an active and healthy lifestyle.  Dance and gymnastic activities take place in the school Hall, Games are played all year with all children taking part in rugby, football, netball and hockey in the winter months and rounder’s, tennis and cricket in the summer.  The other summer activities are athletics and swimming. The school has its own learner pool, which is used by all pupils in the second half of the Summer term.  There are various lunchtime and after school clubs and children take part in football, rugby, hockey and netball matches with other schools and various local sporting events.

Forest Schools – Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment.  As a school we are very fortunate in having access to a woodland area in our village and a teacher trained to deliver an outdoor learning “Forest Schools” programme.   Forest schools is offered to all pupils in our school, every week throughout the school year.  Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as spies, fairies or nature investigators.  Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led.  Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities.  Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art.  All children are encouraged to manage risks and take “risks” in a safe and managed environment.  Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.

Our Values – We have embedded our 11 Christian Values across our learning environment; this enables children to explore values that are critical for us to understand in modern Britain and beyond. Each month, our teachers teach pupils about a different value that we need to demonstrate in order to become good citizens of the world. We think carefully about the value, explore it in learning and demonstrate this whenever we can. The values are integrated into the Christian ethos of our school and permeate through everything we do. Our curriculum is designed to enhance children’s awareness of different cultures, practices and beliefs so we provide a wide range of learning experiences in order to give them the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life.

Opportunities are planned for the children to know about keeping safe, enabling pupils to recognise online and offline risk, with a particular focus on the danger of inappropriate use of mobile technology, social media.  We include and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.

At St George’s we have developed our own set of learning behaviours called “Learnimals”.  Learnimals are behaviours and habits we believe are fundamental for children to become effective learners.  When our teachers design the learning opportunities, they look for ways to develop good learning behaviours. At St George’s we understand that learning about learning helps pupils to be better learners. In our curriculum, we look for ways to develop concentration, perseverance, imagination, co-operation, the enjoyment of learning, self-improvement and curiosity.

When our teachers plan the curriculum, they think not just about what pupils should learn and how they should learn it, but also how they can bring in an understanding of morality and the wider world. They do this through teaching pupils Social and Emotional Aspects of the curriculum. Pupils learn about health and well-being, social skills, keeping safe and understanding social media. This helps our pupils understand their emotions and expected life skills.

Enrichment Opportunities – Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes an extensive programme of after-school clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as archery, tennis, and board games whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences (Cultural Capital).  A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.

The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.

In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible.  Our pupils visit places of worship, and welcome visitors into school, to get a good understanding of the beliefs of others. We work with local community groups such as our Parish Council and Pre-School, working with local charities, collecting and raising money for charities, working with other schools in GASP and beyond. We aim to increase our learner’s engagement with activities that benefit other members of the community and beyond.  Our teachers plan a wide variety of educational visits, including residential, visitors into school such as Authors, Local Church Groups, the police, and organise exciting focus weeks and events like Activities Week, Book Week, and class theme days.

Inclusion and Our Curriculum

St George’s is an inclusive school.  We accept children with Educational Health care Plans in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice.  We believe that all pupils deserve the right to a broad and a balanced curriculum.  The needs of children with English as an additional language are carefully considered.  We aim to provide support to assist each child’s individual needs.

We provide additional nurture support for children who require it.  Our programme, which aims to support and develop the emotional well-being of children who may have been identified as vulnerable or require focused behaviour support is delivered by our ELSA trained Teaching Assistant in school.

The curriculum is designed to be accessed by all children who attend the school.  If we think it necessary to modify some children’s access to the curriculum, to meet their needs, then we do this only after their parents have been consulted.  If children have special needs, our school does all it can to meet the individual needs, and we comply with the requirements set out in the SEN Code of Practice.  If a child displays signs of having specific needs, then his/her teacher assesses this need in consultation with the SENDCO.  If a child’s need is severe, we involve the appropriate external agencies in making an assessment.  We always provide additional resources and support for children with special needs as appropriate.

The school works with specific children and their parents to create a My Plan for each of the children who are on the Special Needs Register.  This sets out the nature of the special need, and outlines how the school will aim to address it.  The My Plan also sets out targets for improvement, so that we can review and monitor the progress of each child at regular intervals.  Detailed Provision Maps are written termly to identify the provision put in place to meet the needs of individuals.  Our provision mapping is an ongoing, self-review process designed to identify and overcome barriers to learning where they exist, ensuring inclusivity and that teachers are responsible for each pupil’s progress.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we adopt an inter-disciplinary topic approach to curriculum planning. We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherent and full coverage of all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and Early Learning Goals. We ensure that there is planned progression in all curriculum areas and this is based on children’s interests and the continual evaluation and evolvement of medium term plans.

Children learn basic skills through a blend of formal learning sessions, continuous provision practice and play activities which are carefully planned to include the prime and specific areas of learning.

PRIME AREAS:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development;

Communication and Language;

Physical Development.

SPECIFIC AREAS:

Literacy;

Maths;

Understanding of the World;

Expressive Art and Design.

In the Early Years, teachers build on children’s previous experiences and ensure that everyone feels included, secure and valued. The aim of the EYFS curriculum is to ensure equal access to the Early Years Foundation Stage learning objectives whilst also taking account of previous learning experiences and individual rates of development. The curriculum that we teach in our Reception and Year 1 class meets the requirements set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals, as set out in these documents, and on developing children’s skills and experiences.

Our school supports the principle that young children learn from a variety of activities, through appropriate play, and by engaging in well-planned and structured learning activities. We understand all children need the support of both the parents and the teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the parents of each child, by keeping them informed about how the children are being taught, how they can support learning, and how well each child is progressing.

Subject Leaders

Each Subject Leader checks each year group’s Long-Term Plan against the National Curriculum for coverage in their subject area. If there are gaps, the relevant year group’s teachers plus the Head teacher are informed to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Elements of the role of subject leader/leaders:

  • Knowing how well children make progress and what the standards are
  • Evaluating all aspects of the subject and summarising to define next steps for improvement
  • Action planning for future development by keeping up-to-date with developments (local and national) in their subject
  • Ensuring that appropriate resources are in place in order to deliver a rich and challenging curriculum
  • Having oversight of curriculum coverage and ensuring that the curriculum meets national requirements
  • Providing guidance and support to colleagues
  • Leading professional development
  • Overseeing the effectiveness of assessment

IMPACT

An integral aspect of the curriculum is that children are prepared for the future – during their time St George’s, they become good role models and the very best version of themselves. Their individual identity is valued and our children are kind and caring while also aspiring to be the best that they can be in whatever area they choose to pursue. We believe that every child is unique – they all have the potential to achieve; and our broad, varied curriculum allows every child to excel now and in the future based upon their own personal strengths, interests and core values.  At St George’s we acknowledge the importance of learning from mistakes, encouraging resilience and positive attitude to meeting challenges and learning from them.

Ongoing assessment is carried out across the school.  Some of this is informal on a day-to-day basis- teacher assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis using a range of assessment materials, and other relevant assessment and observation toolkits.  Some is formal to meet the requirements of statutory assessment – EYFS Profiles at the end of Reception, Year One Phonics Screening, and SATs at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6).

We review how well resources are matched to learning needs – in terms of use of time, space and money. Class Teachers are responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the curriculum. They monitor the weekly lesson plans, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the agreed schemes of work, and that all lessons have appropriate learning objectives.

  • Subject Leaders and our SLT monitor the way the subjects are delivered throughout the school. They review long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject Leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.
  • Subject Leaders also monitor the effectiveness of teaching and the impact on learning and progress
  • Subject leaders review the way the subject is taught in school, and plan for improvement.

This development planning then links to whole-school objectives. Each Subject Co-ordinator reviews the curriculum plans for the subject and sees that progression is planned into schemes of work.

At St George’s, we strive for all pupils to achieve their maximum potential, by having high expectations and excellent standards.  Our pupils make good progress throughout their time at St George’s.