The Sacred Heart Curriculum
"Open our minds to discover new things about you and the world." - Sacred Heart Mission Prayer
Year 5 Residential bringing the First World War alive. The Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium
Magdalen College, Oxford University visit - aspirational!
Sacred Heart Primary School is founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His teachings and values as seen in the light of the tradition of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The Society has always devoted itself to promoting education and the pursuit of academic excellence.
The National Curriculum is statutory. It lays out the range of subjects we must teach and sets the standards pupils are expected to reach at the end of each key stage of learning. Our School Curriculum incorporates the National Curriculum and goes beyond it. We have adapted and extended the National Curriculum to meet the particular needs of our pupils. It is a curriculum designed to work for all in our community.
At Sacred Heart Primary School, we offer our pupils an inspiring, well taught, knowledge-rich curriculum that is broad, balanced, diverse and reflective of the global society and culture in which we live. We believe that all children should be challenged to become lifelong learners. Our curriculum will ensure that children reflect positively on their primary school years. Learning should be deep and meaningful and experiences and knowledge that the children gain in lessons will be fully embedded. At each stage of education, our school curriculum prepares pupils for adult life by equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need, to be responsible, respectful and active citizens who contribute positively to society.
Through our curriculum:
We want children to challenge themselves
We celebrate effort as well as achievement and are committed to individual and collective success, placing no ceiling on aspiration and enabling all children to succeed. At Sacred Heart, we believe that the way that children view themselves as learners can be vital to their progress and success, not just at school, but in life beyond the classroom. We want to cultivate and nurture a culture where children know that their intelligence is not fixed, but can change and grow through hard work, effort, determination and practice. Therefore, we encourage children to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, welcome feedback for learning and be inspired by the success of others. All of these traits are attributed to a 'Growth Mindset’.
We want children to be socially responsible and respectful of one another. We want our children to learn about their rights, promote rights, be respectful and enjoy all opportunities.
Everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. RE and PSHE lessons are both valuable parts of school life. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play. We are committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing for all pupils, their families, members of staff and governors. Using the programme ‘Life to the Full’ by Ten:Ten, our children take part in RSE lessons from Year 1 to Year 6. As well as learning about their bodies and their physical health, they also learn about the importance of emotional well-being.
During weekly PATHS lessons (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies), the pupils are able to explore their feelings and emotions. The aim of these lessons is to help the children to build and develop positive relationships with others. Nursery also follow the PATHS programme where appropriate and adapt the zones of regulation framework through their ‘emotion monsters’. The PATHs programme provides weekly planning and resources which build on prior knowledge and makes links to real life scenarios (although teachers often adapt these scenarios to suit the needs of their class). The ‘Control Signals’ and ‘Playground Rules’ promoted in PATHs are displayed in all classrooms and on the school playgrounds. We also encourage discussion of topics at home by regularly sending home PATHs resources such as our ‘Pupil of the Day’ certificates.
We want children to inspire others through their behaviour and attitude
We expect the children to demonstrate exemplary behaviour so they are safe and can participate in all aspects of school life.
We want children to challenge social inequality, embrace diversity and care about the wider world
We have a diverse school community. Our children need to learn and understand this context. They need to have an understanding of social inequality and how to challenge this in a respectful manner. We want our children to have their own self-identity whilst being respectful and appreciative of others, take pride in their school, celebrate diversity, be socially responsible and believe in and promote our values as shown in our school mission prayer.
We want children to be proud of their school and their achievements
We support them in achieving this through developing a love of learning through effective teaching and a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the school’s values. We place the child at the centre of learning, nurturing their creativity, developing independence and resilience and ensuring that they are able to access a relevant and appropriate curriculum that meets their needs.
At Sacred Heart School, we believe the best interest of the child should come first and that it is important children are taught about their rights as expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are proud to be a Gold UNICEF Rights Respecting School. We want our children to be socially conscious citizens. Comprehensive research from UNICEF shows that a child rights education plays a key role in developing children and young people as active, engaged local and global citizens with the following four findings:
Children are happier and healthier
Children feel safe in school
3. Children have better relationships with their peers and the adults who support them
4. Children become more active and involved in school life, the local community and the wider world
Children have many opportunities to take on leadership roles in school. These include being an elected member of the:
· Faith Friend group
· School Council
· Eco Council
· Core and foundation subject councils
· UNICEF Article 12 Group
· Playground Friends Group
· Year 6 prefects
· Year 6 Head Boy and Head Girl
Our staff have high aspirations for all our children and want to enable them to succeed. Learning happens in a relationship between teacher, pupil and the activities children engage with. The quality of teaching and depth of challenge is essential, and added to the attitudes and behaviours pupils bring to learning, leads to high levels of engagement. This is achieved by teachers:
· having high standards of communication through the development of articulate pupils and strong home-school partnerships.
· sharing good practice both within school and in the wider learning community and learning from each other.
· supporting each other to help deliver the school’s vision through high quality appointments (and safer recruitment).
· having good professional support (CPD) and feeling valued as a member of staff.
Learning in school and more broadly in life is hugely dependent on the ability to read, as is communication in written form. Numerical fluency is core knowledge required by all subjects across the curriculum. Maths develops the skills of reasoning, deduction, problem-solving, representation and logical connection, which are crucial thinking tools for wider learning.
We are committed to ensuring that we provide a wide range of opportunities for children to participate in arts and cultural activities, ensuring that where families are unable to pass on ‘cultural capital’ to their children by the activities they are involved in outside of school, we ensure we do, as we recognise that in many cases, the experiences children have, can be limited to context in which they live. We therefore aim to ensure the children have knowledge that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. This includes wider curriculum opportunities e.g. links with Roehampton University, Rackets Cubed, themed days/weeks, visits to museums in London related to history topics, school residential visits in Years 5 and 6 and the annual visit to Oxford University for more able students (we are linked with Magdalen College and Jesus College). All this helps to ensure that as well as the curriculum being broad and balanced, it is also a tool for social justice.
The curriculum at Sacred Heart, consists of many planned experiences both in school and out of school. These include:-
· classroom lessons
· collective worship and assemblies
· whole school themed days and weeks (including ‘Go For It’ enrichment days held every term)
· outdoor learning (which also includes animal husbandry whilst caring for our school animals -Shetland pony, two goats, chickens, a rabbit and guinea pigs)
· after school clubs
· sporting events and competitions (including fully funded squash and tennis lessons at The Roehampton Club)
· school trips and visits, (including residential trips in Years 5 and 6)
· subject workshops (e.g. links to each subject department at Roehampton University)
· fund raising and community projects
· using good quality schemes and resources to support learning e.g. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, Power Maths and Kapow
· specialist teachers/coaches for computing, music, PE and gymnastics
The Role of Teaching Assistants
Teaching assistants effectively support the children in their classes and this support is carefully planned for. All teaching assistants have regular CPD, including having taken part in high quality training delivered with materials produced by the Education Endowment Foundation – ‘The teaching assistant’ guide to effective interaction: How to maximise your practice’. This involves teaching assistants looking at how they can best support pupils with their learning, and in particular how they can scaffold pupils’ learning to enable them to work with greater independence. Teaching assistants in Early Years have regular CPD to improve their practice.
The Learning Environment
All classrooms are positive and safe places to learn. The classroom environments are attractive and stimulating. Displays and role play areas are current and informative, reflecting work across the curriculum. Flip charts in all classes from Year 1 upwards show key vocabulary and working sheets/walls are used where appropriate to support pupils in their lessons. Classroom resources are organised for pupils to access them independently. All classrooms have a Rights Respecting Class Charter that establishes an agreed set of rights-based principles upon which relationships can be based and which provide a language for shared values in the classroom. It is a framework for both adults and children on how to respect each other’s rights. A ‘Growth Mindset’ display is also in each classroom, to help children understand their abilities and become more successful learners. The displays remind the children that they can 'grow' their brain with practice and effort.
Skilful questioning is a key feature of high-quality teaching. Teachers use questioning to unlock prior knowledge and find out what pupils know about a topic. They will use both closed and open questions and then use ‘hooks’ to introduce new learning with active questioning that:
• Encourages engagement
• Arouses curiosity
• Stimulates interest
• Motivates pupils to find out more
Teachers also promote critical thinking – posing questions (e.g. why, how and what if?) that prompt pupils to think about everyday things in new ways and encourage them to:
• Invent solutions
• Formulate a hypothesis
Short Term and Long Term Memory
In order to allow children to remember key skills, knowledge is revisited over the course of their time at primary school. Rosenshine’s 2010 ‘Principles of Instruction’ are applied to teaching and learning, as they are grounded in a range of evidence on cognitive science. We have used Tom Sherrington’s work on ‘Rosenshine’s Principles in Action’, looking at the four strands: sequencing concepts and modelling, questioning, reviewing material and stages of practice.
In EYFS, the curriculum reflects the areas of learning identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage Document. This EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development, all of which are important and included in the delivered curriculum and provision. The seven areas are taught through topics. The rooms and outdoor area are organised into learning zones, where children are encouraged to find and locate equipment and resources independently to enable child-initiated learning to take place in the continuous provision. Activities and challenges are planned for in all areas which enable the children to develop in all the areas of their learning. Reception pupils participate in whole class teaching and group work with appropriate scaffolds and challenges to ensure all pupils are supported and challenged according to their needs. Other adult-focussed and adult-initiated tasks are also planned for and take place within the classrooms and outdoor areas.
At Sacred Heart, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.
For the teaching of mathematics, all teachers follow a ‘mastery approach’ allowing children an opportunity to investigate concepts through different mediums, concrete (a physical object), pictorial and abstract (using mathematical equations). In KS1, lessons are based on the NCETM Curriculum prioritisation document and lesson design is supported through NCETM PD materials alongside other mastery schemes (White Rose, Master the Curriculum, Power Maths). In KS2 lessons follow the Power Maths Scheme. The use of manipulatives in the teaching of mathematics is used throughout the school for all pupils.
Science and Foundation Subjects
We teach Science and the other foundation subjects with pre planned themes/topics. History is also taught using an enquiry question. Pupils are encouraged to make links between different subjects, creating curriculum cohesion and enabling pupils to link their learning appropriately. Our curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on previous learning.
Wherever possible, reading, writing and maths activities are linked across lessons and reading is used continuously to discover and explore. The same quality of work is expected across all subjects which leads to higher standards and outcomes.
Celebrating our love of reading- World Book Day
RHS Wisley - taking our learning outdoors
Making 'The Great Fire of London' come to life
Celebrating the work we all do around the Rights of the Child (UNICEF)
Measuring the impact of the curriculum is an ongoing process through:
· evaluating the effectiveness of the way in which the curriculum is designed
· evaluating the effectiveness of the way in which the curriculum is taught
· evaluating the pace of pupil progress, pupil outcomes, and pupils’ preparedness for their next steps
We do this by:
· analysing pupil outcomes and carrying out termly pupil progress meetings
· conducting regular Governor meetings
· gathering feedback from parents, children and teaching staff
· carrying out lesson observations
· carrying out 'Book Scans'
· conducting learning walks
· gathering Pupil Voice
Through our curriculum, our children will:-
· be better equipped to cope with challenges they may face whilst in education. This includes transitions between the various phases, stages and years of education, as well as between schools
· challenge themselves, demonstrating a ‘Growth Mindset’
· inspire others through their exemplary behaviour and attitude
· be proud of their school and their own achievements
· learn about their rights, promote rights, be respectful and enjoy all opportunities
· understand and appreciate diversity, have the knowledge and skills to be socially responsible and respectful of one another and to be able to contribute positively to society.
Outdoor and Adventurous Activities - PGL Liddington - a chance to demonstrate 'Growth Mindset'
Tate Modern - we are on the wall! Inspiring great artists of the future!
Taking pride in my Maths Mastery!
Coding conference- what does the future hold for us?
Taking our learning into the centre of our community