Curriculum

Our Aims for Your Children

We aim to achieve the school’s Mission by working towards the following goals for all the children in our care. (Not in order of priority)

  1. To encourage them in the achievement of the highest standards in all curriculum areas.
  2. To promote their spiritual, moral, cultural, intellectual and physical development.
  3. To develop lively enquiring minds leading to an understanding of the world and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations.
  4. To provide skills that will enable them to continue learning throughout their lives.
  5. To inculcate within them a love of learning.
  6. To develop within them a sense of self-respect, the capacity to live as independent, self motivated individuals and the ability to function as contributing members of cooperating groups.
  7. To develop their self discipline, their ability to accept responsibility for their own actions and the realisation that orderly behaviour is essential for effective learning.
  8. To help them differentiate between right and wrong thereby developing the character to resist wrong doing and injustice.
  9. To ensure they are aware of and feel responsibility for their environment.
  10. To establish the Catholic Faith as a firm basis upon which their spiritual, moral and social relationships can develop.

 Organisation of Our School

The school is a Primary School and accepts children from the September following their fourth birthday, until the age of eleven. Most of the learning is under the control of the class teacher who is with the children every day. We have additional support staff who work with the classes and with small groups, giving children opportunities for additional individual teacher attention. The classes are numbered according to the National Curriculum year group.

Foundation Stage Key Stage I (Infants) Key Stage 2 (Juniors)
Foundation Year 4 – 5 Years Year 1      5 – 6 Years Year 3      7 – 8 Years
Year 2      6 – 7 Years Year 4      8 – 9 Years
Year 5     9 – 10 Years
Year 6     10- 11 Years

The Curriculum

 Our core aim is to provide children with the skills, attitudes, knowledge and confidence necessary to begin making informed choices for themselves. In following carefully planned programmes of work in all subjects the children experience various approaches to problem solving and are helped towards critical thinking. In both Key Stages, children are taught daily sessions of English and Mathematics, where levels of work are tailored to ability. A broad, balanced curriculum is planned and taught in-line with National Curriculum requirements, in a happy and stimulating environment.

Independent and collaborative skills are encouraged from the earliest years. Children are taught as a whole class, in ability groups and on an individual basis. High achieving children receive enrichment activities to extend their learning.

Parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education. They are also invited to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher on a regular basis. Academic standards reached by pupils are consistently high.

It is our intention that all children at St Joseph’s should enjoy their time at school, take a great pride in their attainment and progress whilst learning to respect the disciplines and standards necessary for life.

The National Curriculum

 All National Curriculum subjects are taught. We continually review our provision to ensure we are meeting national requirements and also the specific needs of the children in our care.

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

What Your Child will learn in the Foundation Year.

As part of a Catholic community, we involve the children in a variety of religious and cultural events appropriate to their age and development. The curriculum is based on seven  areas of learning carried out in holistic topic based programmes. These specify goals for children’s learning on entering compulsory education.

Prime areas:
Communication and Language develops skills in listening, attention, understanding and speaking
Physical development Helps children develop physical control, mobility (different ways of moving around), awareness of space and manipulative skills (ability to handle a range of objects both indoors and outdoors).  It includes development of fine motor skills, including scissor and pencil control.  It also includes health and self-care.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development Focuses on children learning how to work, play and cooperate with others, and mix in a group other than their family. It encourages children to have self-awareness and self-confidence, and to manage their feelings and behaviour.
Specific areas:
Literacy Develops skills in reading and writing. The literacy programme is closely linked to that of the school, and includes a programme of synthetic phonics.
Mathematics Develops counting and ordering with numbers up to 20, calculation skills and problem solving.  In addition it includes activities to build children’s understanding of shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World Encourages knowledge and understanding of the children’s immediate environment, and past and present events in their own lives and those of other people and communities. Children have ‘hands on’ experience of a range of ICT.
Expressive Arts and Design Focuses on how children’s imagination develops and encourages their ability to communicate and express their ideas and feelings in creative ways. Art, music and imaginative play are regular features of the curriculum.

 Working in small groups also helps them to develop social skills and to make new friends.

What Children Learn 

As a voluntary aided Catholic School Academy, the Catholic religious ethos is to be found across the whole curriculum and not just within the Religious education programme. The children’s faith is enriched through contact with the faith and prayer of the teachers and the Christian atmosphere of the school. Children are helped to understand their world and their lives in the light of their faith. The school supports, extends and clarifies what the children learn and experience at home and in church.

Daily worship and Religious Education are seen as having an important influence in promoting the Christian attitudes and values we hope children will apply throughout their lives.

Religious Education

Developing an awareness of God’s World. Praying, celebrating and supporting the needs of others. The school celebrates Holy Mass at special times. The Religious Education we provide is in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. We teach the “Learning and Growing as the People of God” programme. This scheme is the curriculum strategy for Religious Education in Catholic Primary Schools in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, approved and commended by the Archbishop of Birmingham. This strategy is also supplemented by the “Here I Am” scheme and other resources. It complements the catechesis which takes place in the home and parish.

Collective Worship

There is a daily act of worship for all children that is suited to their age and stage of personal, social and religious development. Children are involved as much as possible in leading school worship. The parish priest, Fr Michael Ho, helps the children to appreciate and participate in the liturgy of the Church. During the school term, the children take part in the celebration of the Mass either in church or the school hall. The major Christian festivals are celebrated with special services in which pupils participate. Parents are very welcome to join us on these occasions. When the children are in Year 3 they prepare for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The school welcomes the support of the parents at this time in the spiritual lives. In Year 6 the children prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Throughout this involvement, we aim to deepen the faith of the whole family at these important stages in a child’s life.

Parents have a statutory right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and worship. It is not expected that parents seeking a place in a Catholic School would wish to exercise this option. In many instances it would be very difficult to identify a specifically “Religious” element in a topic or theme as Catholic philosophy underpins so much of our everyday work. Any parents considering withdrawing their children from this area of the curriculum should put their requests in writing to the Principal. They are very strongly urged to discuss the matter with the Principal in advance of any such decision.

English and Literacy

We place great emphasis on developing good language skills and will encourage your child to develop fluency and understanding in reading. Pupils learn to read using various approaches to word recognition. They are taught the sounds of spoken language in order to develop phonic skills. At the early stages “Letters and Sounds”, ‘Read, Write inc’ phonics and the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ reading schemes are used with books from other schemes extending the vocabulary and styles of writing. As abilities improve, children are given opportunities to read a broader range of books for pleasure, vocabulary and interest. Parents are encouraged to help with reading both at home and in school. Children borrow books regularly from the school library. Each class has a daily English lesson in which the children are concentrating on developing their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. We follow national curriculum guidance to plan English lessons and each class has an interactive whiteboard with appropriate English programs to enrich the children’s work. Good handwriting and correct spelling are considered to be of great importance and are taught at each stage.

Mathematics and Numeracy

Equally, we appreciate the value of Mathematics. Competence and confidence in Mathematics are viewed as basic entitlements of the children in our care. Much time and energy is spent in helping this to be achieved. We hope in doing this we can also impart a feeling of enjoyment in the subject, a pleasure in the recognition of patterns and in the resolution of a problem.

Each class has a daily mathematics lesson. The school follows National Curriculum objectives and a wide range of resources and materials to support the development, planning and teaching of all aspects of numeracy. We recognise the importance of a more formal approach to the teaching of number bonds, tables and four rules of number.

Science

Science is taught throughout the school. The teaching and acquisition of scientific skills and knowledge are essential in preparing children for their future in a rapidly changing technological world. In the early years, Science is taught through topics, carefully chosen to stimulate scientific discovery. Children learn to observe, make fair tests, reason systematically and logically, communicate findings and apply learning. Throughout Key

Stage 1 & 2 teachers use a range of resources to support the teaching of science including the  Folens scheme and ‘Star’.

Design Technology

The School is well resourced for the teaching of Design technology from Foundation to Year 6. Design, make, evaluate assignments are the means whereby skills and knowledge are drawn together in the creation of a product. The areas covered include Food Technology, Textiles, Construction and the Engineering of moulded materials. Projects are often linked to other areas of the curriculum such as Science, History and Art.

 Computing

All pupils, from the beginning of the Foundation Year onwards, have access to tablets in class and computers in the suite with appropriate software. Programs are available to enhance work across the curriculum. As the pupils become competent in the use of the computer they move on to work, which involves the application of computer skills during research or problem solving, computer science projects and designing and writing computer programs.

Geography

Geography is taught through subject based themes and fieldwork. Such topics centre on the study of physical and human features in real places and the children are taught how to explain why features are as they are. To enable them to do this, the children are taught to carry out fieldwork, use maps, find relevant details from a range of reference materials, then to record and discuss their observations. ICT supports geographical enquiry and research through the use of the internet.

 History

Throughout their time at St Josephs, children are encouraged to develop an awareness of the past, the ways in which it was different from the present day and the influence it has had on the modern world. All of the requirements of the National Curriculum are covered. Children use a range of information sources to aid enquiry and interpretation. Such sources include artefacts, pictures and photographs, written documents, the internet, educational visits and adults talking about their own pasts. From considering their own recent pasts through topics as varied as Ancient Egypt and the Iron Age and Bronze Age, the children are encouraged to develop an interesting and relevant perspective on history.

 Art

Children are given opportunities to experience different approaches to art and craft, working individually, in groups and as a whole class. The work may be related to a topic, or may simply be an experience of working with a medium as an end in itself. To create a stimulating learning environment for the children’s work, especially art work, is displayed in classrooms.

Music

All the children are able to take part in singing, percussion and appreciation of music. School has a wide variety of musical instruments and resources to aid teaching and learning, as well as a music room. Instrumental tuition is provided by the Music Support Service through auditions for pupils in KS2, but has to be paid for by parents. These lessons are held during the school day. Currently pupils receive tuition in the Oboe, Bassoon, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Saxophone. Children are encouraged to perform in assemblies and other social occasions.

Physical Education

The school aims for all children to develop their physical potential through the activity areas of the National Curriculum. Throughout the school the children taught Gymnastics, Dance, Games and Athletics. The children experience Swimming in Year 3.  The school has a large, well equipped hall, two large playing fields and playground hard surface area which are used extensively by the children. The children are made aware of:

  • the relevance of P.E. to a healthy life-style
  • safety aspects of P.E.
  • the importance of teamwork and co-operation
  • consideration for others and of fair play in all P.E. activities

The school competes at inter school level in competition between the other primary schools in the Local Sutton area and the Catholic Network of schools. The sports include:

  • Football, Netball, Athletics, Chess, Swimming, Cross Country

We have  been awarded the Primary Active mark which reflects our commitment to physical exercise.

Personal and Social Education

The school recognises its responsibilities towards the children in this area of their development. A programme of Sex Education is in place which provides for pupils, as part of a wider study of personal, social, religious and health education. It will seek to answer questions honestly, when they occur, and in a manner appropriate to the child’s age. From the child’s early years, the sex and relationships programme aims to:

  • Provide information that is relevant and appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the pupils.
  • Foster self-esteem, positive self-image and confidence.
  • Foster respect for others, and a growing appreciation of the dignity of Christian marriage and family life.

In years 5 and 6 the children follow the Diocesan Department of RE’s scheme “All that I am”.  It aims “to provide a curriculum in SRE that is authentic to the church’s teaching and acknowledges pupils’ stage of physical and sexual; development” DDRE 2001.  It is rooted in the belief that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Children are encouraged to discuss what they learn with their parents. Parents are invited to view and discuss the materials used in school before it is delivered to our pupils. Any parents wishing to have more information about the school’s programme for sex education are encouraged to contact the school through either their child’s teacher initially or the Principal. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from aspects of the Sex Education programmes, which do not form part of the National Curriculum. Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing to the Principal, but parents are strongly encouraged to discuss the matter before taking this step.

Health Education

The school seeks to support and promote attitudes, practices and understanding conducive to good health. The emphasis which the school gives to the general care and well-being of pupils in fostering social skills, self-esteem and sense of responsibility is an essential context for the development of the more organised elements of health education. That is, the provision of the knowledge and skills that will enable pupils to understand their own bodies and how to keep them healthy, and to have regard for the health of the community. We aim to help children to understand how to make informed choices necessary to avoid life-styles that increase the risk of disease, disability and accident and encourage those which promote mental and physical health.

Safety Education

The school actively supports the development of positive attitudes towards safety. This will be achieved though the integration of appropriate themes and topics into the curriculum. With the support of outside agencies, we aim to promote an awareness of the strategies and precautions necessary to avoid accidents or harm in the home, on the streets and in or near water. KS2 (Y3-6) classes follow a PHSE programme devised by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain

The programme follows two Characters ‘Barney and Echo’ through a series of issues that young people face growing up in modern society including drugs, tobacco and alcohol mis-use, internet safety, peer pressure, bullying and vandalism, hate crime, gang culture and the entire spectrum of anti-social behaviour. It is particularly pertinent at this time. The books will be for use both in school, as homework, through English lessons and PSHE lessons.

At St Joseph’s we follow both the National Curriculum for core subjects and for our foundation subjects. Our curriculum is designed to excite our children; ensuring that they develop a love of learning as well as achieving high standards in all that they do.

Termly Curriculum Overviews are written for each year group to inform parents of the topic and learning taking place in their child’s class. These overviews can be viewed on the individual class pages on this website.

Catholic Primary School