St Cuthbert’s knows that for our children to succeed and derive the maximum benefit from school then we have to offer a wide-ranging, engaging, exciting and interesting curriculum. A significant number of children arrive at school with a poverty of ambition and aspiration and therefore we know we have to challenge and overcome this and take pride in doing so.
The ethos of our school is a crucial element in the delivery of an effective curriculum. Our faith and Gospel values of love and forgiveness are at the heart of our ethos – our Catholic school is essentially a community of faith, working in partnership with home and parish. As an inclusive school, we value how pupils are unique and our aspirations for each one of them is extremely high. We recognise that pupils learn best when they feel happy, safe and secure. Within a supportive, nurturing school environment, our carefully designed curriculum is child centred. We are committed to achieving academic excellence in all areas of the curriculum. Our curriculum is built around a pedagogy of worth, spirit and contribution. We aim to care for and educate the whole child, developing well-rounded and resilient school citizens, healthy in mind, body and spirit who aspire to be the very best and achieve the very best possible.
At St. Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, careful analysis and discussion about our pupils’ experiences, backgrounds, life experiences and cultures has and continues to guide us with our curriculum design. We believe that by having an awareness of potential barriers to learning and progress, we will form the necessary key foundations in order to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives.
St Cuthbert’s has always maintained the vital importance of retaining the highest possible quality of education. The leadership team and the teaching staff continue to work tirelessly and creatively in order to plan and deliver a broad curriculum and memorable learning opportunities for all. We have set out to limit any narrowing of the curriculum but have at the same time recognised the importance of catching up in the fundamental skills of phonics, reading, writing and mathematics in particular. As a school, we have always believed, and continue to believe, that the richness, relevance and accessibility of the curriculum are key to driving standards, ensuring the enjoyment of learning and guaranteeing the engagement of all.
We actively seek external expertise enabling staff to access high quality and relevant training opportunities with a view to drive their knowledge and the curriculum forward. Consultants, curriculum wide, have been engaged within the school to develop our personalised curriculum, maximising opportunities for learning. Teaching consistently deepens and improves pupil’s knowledge, skills and understanding and focuses on the important key skills that children need to thrive. The teaching of reading is a major focus of our teaching and all teachers have a very secure knowledge of how to develop excellent reading habits and skills. The appropriately targeted support for reading, combined with effective quality first teaching strategies that match the pupils’ individual needs means that all pupils’ needs are met and they make good to outstanding progress in reading. In the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 teachers use a very effective range of teaching styles and strategies in lessons to sustain the pupils’ enjoyment of and active participation in reading aloud. The consistent approach to the teaching of reading throughout the school is impacting positively on the standards being reached. The teaching of phonics in EYFS and Key Stage 1 has vastly improved and is now contributing effectively to raising standards. This is built on in Key Stage 2 and results in the attainment at the end of KS2 being at least in line with, if not exceeding, local and national expectation.
Teaching staff endeavour to provide a rich, broad and balanced curriculum offer meeting the needs of all pupils’ learning styles. They provide high quality planned learning, effectively monitor children’s progress and quickly identify and address those children who need additional support. The effectiveness of our assessments have been key in driving the planning of the catch-up programme and with our high expectations and targeted support, we have continued to support our children’s educational recovery.
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences, which contribute to every pupil receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our ethos and aims, ensuring that our pupils benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community, making them proud of their British Values (democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs) and the diverse society to which they belong and play an active part.
This promotion of British values and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are at the heart of our work. We promote equality of opportunity and diversity so that our ethos and culture prevent any form of discrimination. This we have built on, since we provided teaching resources on the DfE Educate Against Hate website, and offered training on the teaching of PREVENT in primary school, to the DfE Counter Extremism Reference Group. We are proud that our curriculum creates opportunities for our children to develop skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work towards their goals and dreams in life. In order to achieve this, we continue to work together with parents, partners, the parish and wider community. Collaboratively, we can positively influence our pupils’ feelings of self-worth and self-belief. This way, our pupils can feel more confident, ready and equipped to tackle any challenge they may face. We are committed to challenging our pupils with our emphasis on the arts, on sports, performance, and music. The extensive extra-curricular timetable on offer to our children impacts positively on the health and wellbeing of the whole school community.
Governors, school leaders, co-ordinators and class teachers have been made aware of the expected curriculum coverage and the importance of knowledge, understanding and key skills, through various training days and CPD sessions. As children move through our school, the expectation for the depth and breadth of their learning is and will continue to be closely monitored and evaluated. The spectrum of extra-curricular activities also forms an essential part of the school’s provision, especially in sports and the arts. Learning based on the local environment and educational visits further afield make learning ‘come alive’ for our children, such experiences are carefully planned for. We continue to facilitate inter school sporting competitions and our pupils relish the opportunity to enjoy sporting challenges such as cross country and athletics. We have a tradition of being highly proactive in leading our Liverpool and Catholic Schools Association, in developing arts and sports festivals, tournaments and competitions. Our emphasis on the “whole child” raises self-esteem, confidence, skills and abilities, as well as academic progress.
Our curriculum aims:
- Aspirations – We aim to provide a wealth of experiences which show pupils the wide range of possibilities available for their future. Our pupils must believe that anything is possible.
- The Whole Child – Our extended, enhanced curriculum, for the “whole child” builds our pupils’ cultural capital and supports them greatly in accessing a truly broad and balanced curriculum.
- Knowledge, understanding and skills – We aim to provide a knowledge- based full curriculum, ambitious in its content for all Our curriculum is designed and taught using strategies to enable children to embed their learning in their long term memories. Clear and well thought out sequences of learning with key assessment tasks ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.
- A language rich curriculum –Language acquisition is key to enhancing and furthering our pupils’ knowledge and their access to the curriculum. A great many of our pupils begin school life with poor speaking and listening skills. Their need to be exposed to the power of vocabulary is great. Our pupils must experience an ongoing appreciation and joy for the spoken and written word.
- Reading – A reading rich curriculum –with emphasis on text-based learning. All should continually experience the joy of reading.
- Basic Skills- It is important that all our pupils progress well in the basic skills of reading, writing, grammar and number so that all may access a full curriculum.
- Initiative & Problem Solving– We aim to offer experiences which help our pupils become independent and resourceful learners. Pupils will acquire a vast range of transferrable skills, to enhance and further their learning across a spectrum of subjects
- Citizenship & Environment – We aim to provide extensive experiences which help our pupils value their roles and responsibilities as Catholic citizens towards sustaining their local and global environment.
- Creativity – We aim to provide a varied curriculum where learning is fun and our pupils learn to celebrate the arts and creative thinking in all their forms.
- Challenge –We aim that all our pupils experience and embrace levels of challenge and risk taking, applying this to all elements of the curriculum – sports, arts, academic learning in all subjects.
All staff at St. Cuthbert’s strive to ensure that from the children’s different starting points, they make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Ongoing teacher assessment will ensure that knowledge, understanding and skills are secured and embedded so that children attain highly and are fully prepared for their next stage of education. Children will take pride in all that they do, be motivated to do their best and will demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge. Our staff at St. Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School work hard to ensure all children leave our school with confidence in their own abilities.
We have invested much staff training time and training budget, to improve and develop curriculum provision, working with the Local Authority, to improve our “catch up” offer and curriculum progression mapping. Co-ordinator subject monitoring takes place termly, with the production of well-written and informative reports for governors with subject responsibility. Curriculum leaders have developed refined ‘Subject Looks’ whereby co-ordinators monitor focused areas for more effective subject evaluation of strengths and areas to develop.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. Our pupils work collaboratively with their peers and independently as inquisitive learners, who are motivated to excel and who have a thirst for learning. St. Cuthbert’s pupils embrace challenge and are resilient learners. Our curriculum enables our pupils to become good citizens and demonstrate an appreciation for each other, the school community and the wider world. Our pupils are respectful and show tolerance and acceptance to those from different faiths and backgrounds.
We believe all of our children will:
- Be academically and physically prepared for their next stage of education, Modern Britain and the wider world.
- Confidently recall key knowledge from current and previous areas of learning.
- Confidently apply knowledge to their learning across the curriculum.
- Be confident in using and applying high-level vocabulary.
- Be articulate and confident to talk about a wide range of topics.
- Develop as well-rounded citizens with a clear understanding of values such as love, responsibility and friendship.
- Demonstrate greater levels of resilience and motivation, and a growth mind set when faced with different types of challenge.
- Leave St. Cuthbert’s respectful, skillful and ambitious, with the motivation and passion to continue to learn and with a thirst for life and all it has to offer.
- Appreciate how to make positive contributions to the local community.