A curriculum designed for St Edward’s Catholic Primary School, Oldham
‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10)
Love. Learn. Smile. Believe.
The school’s direction stems from its Mission Statement above: to provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth
At St Edward’s we:
– provide a Catholic Christian education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the Gospel underpin all aspects of school life;
– provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth;
– provide a curriculum which is enriching and challenging; where children experience the opportunity to learn in a wide range of contexts and where the children learn about the importance of the communities that they live in and the vital role they play within those communities.
Curriculum Intent – how we designed our curriculum
As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise Religion as a core subject, so we adhere the ‘Come and See’ programme of study, where appropriate. We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding these strong links with our parish and our local community we foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society. These are further enhanced with the introduction of a Faith team – linking parish and school closer together in the one community. Charitable links and service are a focus throughout the school year.
Within lessons account is made of the qualities our locality; we recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves, and developing aspirations for their future and for their community. We are passionate that all children realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in. To do this not only do we pursue excellence but ensure the children are equipped with the correct skills in which to do this. We play an important part in providing the means for social mobility. We maintain close links with the local community such as the local residential homes and a very dynamic working relationship with all of the Oldham Catholic primary schools (CFOS). We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, with road safety, cycling proficiency, eSafety – among others - all key parts of our wider curriculum within school. We also plan for and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen. Alongside this, we use Caritas in Action as a tool for Catholic Social Teaching, ensuring our children understand the role that they play in justice and equality on a global scale. Much of this is taught in our Family Groups, linear Key Stage Two classes, which encourage children in different year groups to work collaboratively each week.
Wellbeing is at the heart of what we do at St Edward’s. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong. Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers; they are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others and see points of views and beliefs other than their own. In recognising the development of the whole child the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is exceptional. Pastoral interventions and additional support for vulnerable children sits at the heart of our school and is mentioned within the curriculum page as this allows these children to access their learning and curriculum entitlement. The school has various systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children and provides signposting to their parents.
Emotional and mental wellbeing is also greatly enhanced by sport. Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision. We also believe the pedagogy of P.E. in sport affects other areas of the curriculum and really enhances children’s learning, physiologically allowing better learning to happen, as well as children learning skills such as listening, problem solving, team work and resilience. We have invested heavily with the P.E. and sport provision, with inclusion for all and this has been evident through being recipients of the School Games Gold Award which reflects the effective sport provision and our Healthy Schools Diamond Award.
Staff annually review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs and are given a curriculum planning day each year to plan for the following year. As a staff team, we take responsibility for leading projects on subject development, rather than have discrete subject leaders. This enables our whole staff team to have a clear idea of how we are continually developing our whole curriculum. Leaders in schools regularly check on curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance. Not only do staff review the actual curriculum regularly, but also the principles for learning and teaching – this forms part of every teacher’s performance management cycle.
At St Edward’s school, we are committed to ensuring the highest standards of every child’s school experience and ensuring that all children leave our school having ‘lived life to the full.’