Each class uses a theme to provide a context for learning for the wider curriculum. Subjects such as Art; Design Technology; History; Geography; Music and English are all linked to the theme. Our curriculum overviews show the way the work is planned around the theme in order that children are immersed in knowledge and skills across the curriculum, transferring skills from one subject to another, making learning more accessible for all learners.
Modern foreign Languages, French, is taught in KS2.
Madame Russell teaches French and originates from Compiegne, France. We are very lucky to have a native French speaker who can give the children a real taste of the language and culture of the country, and who can share her stories about growing up in France with the children so that they gain a real insight into the similarities and differences of our two countries.
MFL is taught in KS2 for an hour each week in every other half term. Madame Russell teaches Years 3 to 6.
Here is the content of work for each year group.
Science is taught across KS1 and KS2. It is not taught as part of the curriculum theme, although staff will make links when appropriate.
Science teaching is hands on whenever possible; the children are given opportunities to explore and experience first hand so that learning is multi sensory, linked to the world around them and fun. Investigations are carried out as an essential part of the learning and children are required to make predictions, make observations, make discoveries and draw conclusions from the work they do.
Another essential part of learning in Science here at St Joseph's is to take lessons outside and into our school garden and outdoor classroom. On our field we have a pond; a 'twigloo' (a living willow igloo); raised beds for growing produce; a polytunnel for the propagation of seeds; a bug hotel and extensive grounds in which the children can go exploring. Children use the garden to grow food, which they then eat; to study nature first hand in the pond and in the bug hotel; to observe wildlife including birds and insects and to learn about seasonal changes and the weather.
Our outdoor classroom allows for these activities to take place all year round. The Eco Council are busy collecting ecobricks with which they intend making furniture for the classroom.
Art and Design
We believe that Art and Design express some of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality Art and Design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design. They should also know how it reflects and shapes our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. Our Art and Design curriculum is planned alongside the thematic curriculum and brings a creative element to the rest of the work of the theme.
Art and Design is taught through our curriculum themes. The themes are driven by History and Geography but other areas of the curriculum are linked so that the learning is cross curricular and the contexts for learning are coherent. Each theme will have Art and Design content, linked to the work of an artist. Children will also have their learning enriched by workshops; visiting speakers and visits to museums and galleries.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology brings learning to life. It is a motivating context for discovering literacy, mathematics, science, art, PSHE and ICT. At St Joseph’s, Design and Technology education involves two important elements - learning about the designed and made world and how things work, and learning to design and make functional products for particular purposes and users. Through Design and Technology, we aim to provide opportunities for our pupils to develop their capabilities in these areas. By combining their design and making skills with technical knowledge and understanding, they will learn to create quality products. The inclusion of this subject in the thematic curriculum gives the children a context and a purpose for the product, bringing real world situations to the process.
At St. Joseph’s we believe that music is a way for the children to express their creativity and talent. A high quality music education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils to develop a love of music and equip them with the understanding, knowledge and skills to listen, experiment, invent and create their own musical compositions. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically about the music they hear. They should also know how it reflects and shapes our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Our children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
At St.Joseph’s, we aim to provide a high-quality Physical Education curriculum that inspires all of our pupils to succeed and excel in competitive and non-competitive sports and other physically demanding activities. We aim to provide opportunities for our pupils to become confident in a way which supports their health and fitness as they move towards making their own choices as young adults.
In addition, we aim to provide opportunities for children to compete in sport and other activities in order to build character and help to embed values such as teamwork and fairness.
We aim to develop children who are determined to succeed, think creatively and resourcefully in order to give every young person the opportunities to achieve and follow their aspirations for life. To do this we have a strong ethos of hard work coupled with fun and engaging opportunities.
At St Joseph's, our intent is to ignite a passion for History and to equip our children with the knowledge, skills and understanding to become the next generation of historians! We encourage children to be curious and excited to learn about Britain’s past and that of the wider world and understand that History could also shape their future. A high-quality History curriculum encompasses themes which aim to foster awe and wonder and drive children to ask questions linked to the period of time they are studying. Through our teaching of History, we aim to equip children with both the tools and confidence to ask questions, reflect critically, challenge viewpoints and develop their own judgements based on historical evidence.
We use a thematic approach to develop historical skills and to encourage children to work as historians. We intend for our children to learn about History in an active and creative way. Our aims is to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History, providing a broad and balanced curriculum that encompasses the British Values throughout, ensuring the development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills and for the children to study life in the past. History is taught over three theme blocks per year, with the forth theme being a chance to use the arts to revisit knowledge and skills, ensuring that children remember the learning and take it with them throughout their lives.
Through our carefully designed curriculum, the History topics will help children to gain an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. This will be done by using a range of resources that will bring history to life and include photographs, diaries, newspaper articles, music and handling real artefacts from the past. Excursions, visiting experts and outdoor learning will enhance the learning experience. Other curriculum areas such as Art and Design Technology have been thoughtfully planned in with the History themes so that learning is contextual and meaningful.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.
At St Joseph's, our Geography curriculum aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about: diverse places and people; resources in the environment; human and physical processes; and formation and use of landscapes. In addition, we aim to develop children’s geographical skills such as: collecting and analysing data; using maps, globes and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans and communicating information in a variety of ways. Through our teaching, we want children to enjoy learning about geography. The enjoyment of the subject will be delivered via experiences in the classroom and out of the classroom, such as fieldwork and educational visits.
The Geography curriculum at St Joseph's enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world as well as their place in it. Geography is an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at primary school and beyond.
Our long term planning throughout the school ensures coverage of the National Geography curriculum. Geography at St Joseph's is taught in themes throughout the year. The subject is taught over three theme blocks per year, with the forth theme being a chance to use the arts to revisit knowledge and skills, ensuring that children remember the learning and take it with them throughout their lives.
We have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Children are encouraged to develop geographical skills in lessons and are challenged by a curriculum, which allows a local and global understanding of our lives and the processes within it. We have high expectations and children are regularly assessed during lessons, following a unit of work and during the forth theme block to make sure that the children haven't forgotten what they have learned!
Geography themes are taught discretely but teachers make meaningful links to other subjects. Cross curricular outcomes in Geography are specifically planned for, with links between Geography and English including the use of a class novel and links to Art and Design and Design Technology.
In Geography lessons, children have access to high quality teaching, which develops their knowledge, skills and experiences. Children are also given opportunities to develop an interest in our world through the use of the outdoors and fieldwork.
Our computing curriculum is accessible to all and maximises the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement in the skills of Computing. We want our children to know more, remember more and understand more so that they leave our school as confident, creative and independent computer users with the necessary skills for the next stage in their education.
The key intentions for our computing curriculum are to:
• build a computing curriculum that develops pupil’s learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge of the world around them;
• design a curriculum with appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum so that children can reach and exceed their potential in the key strands of information technology, computer science and digital literacy;
• build a computing curriculum that prepares pupils to live safely in an increasingly digital society;
• prepare pupils for the challenges posed by digital systems in a modern society.
Our approach to the curriculum results in fun, engaging, and high-quality computing lessons. The children will leave equipped, not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and for their own benefit, but importantly – to use technology safely. The biggest impact we want on our children is that they understand the consequences of using the internet and that they are also aware of how to keep themselves safe online. As children become more confident in their abilities in Computing, they will become more independent and key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation will become second nature.