Curriculum Intent

At St Thomas More Primary School we value each child as an individual with a unique potential for learning.  We strive to be an inclusive community where children grow, learn and achieve together in the presence of God. With a culture of equality we aim to ensure that every child believes in themselves and are empowered to aim high.  Natural curiosity is encouraged through a creative and ambitious curriculum that excites and challenges; and enables all to be independent, resilient and successful learners.  Our children develop an understanding of citizenship, which is deeply rooted in faith at both a local and global scale.  Our curriculum nurtures and prepares children educationally, socially, morally and physically for learning beyond our community and in the wider world.

 

How our curriculum is designed   

Curriculum design at St Thomas More is underpinned by the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching[1] thus encouraging children to recognise their place in the world, their responsibilities and the dignity of the human person. It is has the needs, characteristics and interests of our children at its core.  We carefully consider children’s prior learning and experiences and the statutory curriculum (EYFS Statutory Framework and the NC). Because of this, curriculum design is constantly evolving to ensure local, national and global contexts are topical and current educational research and best practice informs pedagogy.  We are dedicated to maintaining high standards to ensure our curriculum is aspirational, dynamic and relevant to our children.

When designing the curriculum, the following factors influence its development:

  • Supporting a culture of resilience and positive mental health and wellbeing, where every child is safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included
  • Providing a coherent, structured and ambitious framework for teaching and learning, which is motivating, engaging and appropriate for all
  • Delivering a progression of knowledge and skills from Nursery to Year 6 to ensure all pupils achieve their potential
  • Ensuring new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and sets the foundation for future learning
  • Encompassing a wide range of subjects and opportunities for academic, technical, creative and sporting excellence
  • Promoting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and our commitment to and responsibility for our local community as well as the wider global community
  • Strengthening children’s capacity as a learner and developing their independence, initiative, determination, and love of learning
  • Equipping children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need for future success

The aims of our curriculum

We want children to develop a love for learning enabling them to become lifelong learners. At St Thomas More Primary we take pride in celebrating our learning journey and recognise that we are all learning together. We have an emphasis on our strong belief that every child can achieve their full potential and express their thinking without inhibition when given the opportunity. We aim to do this through a rich, broad and balanced curriculum, by making all aspects of teaching and learning exciting, engaging and motivating; ensuring all children have the best possible start to their school life.

Religious Education

We have an embedded mission across the RE curriculum, collective worship and the Catholic Life of the school.  This is applied in tandem with the Virtues which are inextricably linked to and through everything we teach. At all times the school serves as a witness to the Catholic faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the core of our curriculum is inclusivity. RE lessons are faith-filled and enjoyable where each child feels they belong to our school community.  All members of the school community are respected for their beliefs and expressions of faith, and all pupils are provided with every opportunity to achieve. Those responsible for Religious Education in our school prepare to give living witness to what they teach, fulfilling their professional responsibilities with regard to all that develops and enhances the life of our Catholic school.

Through careful and considered planning, we aim to provide:

A broad and balanced provision that promotes aspiration and ambition

  • A structured and progressive framework for the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the development of skills which leads to maximum progress for all children and long-term learning
  • Ensure all children are literate and numerate, recognising that a focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening and mathematics is fundamental
  • High-quality learning experiences, which engage, excite and motivate children in the classroom and beyond
  • Enrichment experiences where learning and teaching can take place beyond the classroom and involve the wider community
  • Opportunities that promote pupils’ personal development and encourages them to extend their interests beyond school, for example, through a range of after-school clubs
  • A wealth of relevant resources – in classrooms, outdoors, in the local community and the wider area, including visits and visitors
  • Development of children’s enterprise skills for them to grow into innovative, creative, strategic-thinking individuals who are equipped with skills that enable them to embrace the future
  • A self-reflective learning environment which enables children to know and understand what they are learning and why. Allowing time to engage, reflect and embrace learning opportunities is embedded in classroom practice and enhances the children’s ability to peer and self-evaluate.

 

At St Thomas More we aim to develop children who

  • Enjoy and are committed to learning
  • Have fluent Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Maths skills which they need to access learning across the curriculum
  • Understand the skills they need to become successful, resilient and independent learners
  • Are curious and creative
  • Are resilient and understand how to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing
  • Develop positive learning and social behaviours through the teaching, development and understanding of ‘Core Christian Values, and ’ British Values’
  • Are spiritually, morally, socially and culturally developed
  • Have a deep appreciation and concern for the world God has given us
  • Can apply the knowledge they have gained and skills they have learned

 

Curriculum Implementation: How do we achieve this?

Organisation

Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill. We strive for children to learn new skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are explicitly developed.  Recognising that knowledge and skills are intertwined, we take a cross-curricular approach to maximise links across subjects and to ensure teaching and learning is relevant and meaningful.

Using the EYFS Statutory Framework and National Curriculum, age-appropriate progression in knowledge and skills for each core and foundation subject has been identified and mapped out across the primary phases.  Priority is given to the development of English and Maths skills of all our pupils.

Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term.  Themes are delivered on an annual basis in the Early Years and on a two-yearly rolling programme for KS1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.  Topics are carefully designed to capture the interests and imaginations of our children, within a local context.  In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are developed into medium-term plans. Themes include Explorers; Long Live the Queen; What have the Romans done for us?; Paws, Claws and Whiskers; Moon Zoom; I am Warrior as well as many more exciting topics.  Each theme includes a memorable experience which aims to ignite children’s interest and motivation to learn; and finishes with a meaningful celebration of the children’s learning.  We use every opportunity to capitalise on connections between subjects and develop and apply all important reading, writing, speaking and listening, and maths skills in a purposeful context.  RE, PE, PSHE which includes RSE and Health education are taught as discreet subjects to ensure coverage of the main objectives and age-appropriate knowledge and skill development, however cross curricular links are made when appropriate.

EYFS

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, incorporate other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children. We believe that all children deserve an education rich in wonder and memorable experiences.

The curriculum in Early Years follows the children’s interests and fascinations through our in the moment planning approach. This ensures high engagement in activities and most importantly in play.

Curriculum Impact: What difference does the curriculum make to our children?

At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School we strive for all pupils to achieve their absolute potential, by having high expectations across the board. Our stimulating curriculum actively encompasses the acquisition of knowledge and skills across all areas of the National Curriculum. The practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality-first teaching, supported by targeted interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes. The impact and measure of our curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the curriculum but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points.  In shaping our curriculum this way, progress is measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and excellent behaviour.

When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a secondary school education, they have a wealth of transferrable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment.  Our children enjoy lessons and we believe this early love of learning stimulates children to become life-long learners. Our Growth Mindset approach to learning enhances the children socially and personally, developing their resilience, curiosity and empathy as well as their sense of responsibility, ability to risk-take, and their ability to collaborate.  This enables our children to become excellent role models who aspire to be the very best they can be.  Developing their independence, motivation and attitudes as learners, and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

We ensure quality-first teaching enables our children to develop their long-term memories and define their progress as knowing and remembering more.  Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which is expertly delivered to ensure a child’s entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life in whatever pathway they choose.

We are proud that once the children from St Thomas More Primary have moved on to secondary school, they have been supported through their transition; have been exposed to rich vocabulary and have high aspirations and self-belief all through the teaching of this broad and balanced curriculum.

Monitoring & Reviewing Impact of the curriculum:

Our children are assessed within every lesson which helps the teacher plan the next steps to be taught.  At the end of each term assessment data is gathered and progress is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team. Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked and reported to parents at Parents’ Evenings and within End-of-term Reports.

Subject Leadership

Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further.

The role of the Subject Leader and/or team is to:

  • Provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject.
  • Support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject.
  • Monitor pupils’ progress in that subject area.
  • Provide efficient resource management for the subject.
  • Keep up-to-date with developments in their key area of learning at both national and local levels.
  • Monitor how their subjects are taught through triangulation.
  • Review the way the subjects are taught in the school and plan for improvement linking to whole school priorities.
  • Lead sustainable improvement through supporting colleagues and others.
  • Evaluate teaching and learning, and assessment within their subjects.
  • Have a secure awareness of the schemes of work for EYFS, KS1 and KS2.
  • Report to the Principal on the strengths and areas for development of the subject and the strategies for improvement.

[1] 1. Dignity of the Human Person, 2. Family & Community, 3. Solidarity &the Common Good, 4. Rights & Responsibilities, 5. Option for the Poor & Vulnerable, 6. The Dignity of Work, 7. Stewardship

 

Year Group Curriculum Overview Letters

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School Remote Provision (1)

Spring Term 2022

Upper Key Stage 2 Year 5 & 6 Spring Term 1 Curriculum letter 2022

Spring Term 1 2022 Y3&4 Information Letter for Parents

Curriculum letter Spring 1 2022 parent letter Y1 & Y2

Autumn  Term 2021

Lower Key Stage 1 – Y3/4 Autumn Term 2 Curriculum letter 2021
Upper Key Stage 2 – Y5/6 Autumn Term 2 Curriculum letter 2021

Summer Term 2021

Upper Key Stage Two Summer Term 2 curriculum letter 2021

Spring Term 2 2021

Information Sheet for Parents or Guardians of Key Stage 1

Curriculum letter Spring 1 2021 parent letter Y1 & Y2 (Dinosaur planet)

Upper Key Stage Two Summer Term 1 curriculum letter 2021

 

 

Cross Curricular Theme Maps for Year 1-6:

Please see Curriculum Map for KS1, LKS2 and UKS2 Foundation Subjects posted below:

 

Partnership with Families

We very much value the partnership we have in learning with families helping to develop children’s learning at home too. To further support this we hold Meet the Teacher evenings at the start of each academic year where parents and carers have an opportunity to meet the professionals who care for their children, find out the programme of learning for the year, routines for the week and also ways in which they can support with homework. We have also invested in an online Pupil world for maths which the children will have access to in and outside of school. This pupil world enables an online homework to be set and is complete with help videos for parents ensuring consistency in the approaches taught in school and reinforced at home. As well as this the more formal Parents Evenings are held twice a year in the Autumn and Spring and a written report is sent home towards the end of the Summer term. We also hold Learning Events which are open afternoons where the children share with parents the learning they have been taking part in with an opportunity to teach the adults. Children also perform in a class assembly three times a year and hold a prayer service which parents are encouraged to attend. As well as these more formal opportunities, we adopt an open doors policy and always encourage parents and carers to see us regularly with any questions or concerns more informally.

 

Subject Information

Please click on the links below to view our individual subject information: