The Curriculum at St Aelred's
At St Aelred’s, we want children to be excited to learn. Our school curriculum is informed by our school vision and our core values to have a broad curriculum, representing and experiencing ‘life in all its fullness’.
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, development and personal growth. It includes the formal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, the National Curriculum and the Middlesbrough Diocesan RE curriculum, but also additional experiences which the school provides and the distinctive nature of St Aelred’s as a Catholic school.
Developing children’s communication and language is key, especially in Early Years and this is a focus which begins in in our Nursey and in our Reception class, helping children to develop their vocabulary and become confident in speaking and expressing themselves.
We have a strong focus from the outset on teaching reading in order to ensure that children become competent readers, develop a love of reading and can access and achieve in other aspects of the curriculum. We use Little Wandle as our phonics programme, ensure there is sufficient time given to phonics and early reading, and provide support and intervention to help children to keep up and catch up, where required.
Class novels and books, drive our English curriculum and these are
chosen with care to inspire a love of reading, stimulate writing, develop children’s vocabulary and help children to understand more about the world and other people.
Our curriculum overviews in each subject, set out a progression so that children build on their learning as they move through the school. We make sure to refer back to prior knowledge as we move children forward in their learning.
We seek to give pupils a range of experiences, for example: learning different sports and having opportunity to compete; reading high-quality literature; playing musical instruments; visiting museums; singing together; performing; taking part in charitable work; visiting places of worship; taking part in adventurous activities; leading sustainability initiatives; leading and participating in prayer and reflection; acting as tour guides when we have open morning; – to name just some of the activities.
Throughout the curriculum, there are a range of opportunities to provide children with strong and diverse role models; promote children’s personal and emotional, and SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) development). RE is a core subject in our Catholic school and has an important role in providing high quality opportunities for SMSC development including learning about world faiths other than Christianity. Our core values of Friendship, Courage and Respect are explored and promoted throughout the subjects and content of the curriculum.
Outcomes for learners
Through the design and implementation of the curriculum at St Aelred’s, we aim for pupils to:
- become independent learners who demonstrate positive attitudes, confidence, resilience, perseverance and creativity, and who enjoy both academic and physical challenge;
- be fluent communicators – both orally and in writing, efficient mathematicians and competent, skilful and responsible users of IT;
- to be competent readers with a love of reading, which becomes life-long;
- learn knowledge, skills and understanding across subjects of the curriculum, at the same time as making links, grasping concepts and seeing the ‘bigger picture’;
- develop agility and physical skills and enjoy being physically active and participating in sports and games;
- respond imaginatively and sensitively to the arts;
- have a growing understanding of the world: locally, nationally and globally, plus an understanding of and positive attitude to diversity and citizenship;
- understand and have participated in initiatives to play a part in taking care of our Common Home;
- develop Christian values with a focus on our core values of friendship, courage and respect;
- develop an understanding of the Catholic faith and of other world faiths;
- grow in their understanding of religion and belief, and have the opportunity to develop their own faith and spirituality;
- develop good social and emotional awareness and positive physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Throughout the curriculum, we seek to inspire pupils to learn and celebrate their achievements.
The impact of the curriculum is evaluated and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team, Subject Leaders, and governors through the outcomes for children which are monitored and evidenced through looking at children’s work in books, visiting lessons, reviewing planning, sharing children’s work in celebration assemblies and displays; listening to pupils; and assessment results.