Our Curriculum

The intention of our curriculum

Recognising our historic foundation, St Paul’s School exists to serve God and the community by providing, within a biblical Christian ethos, a broad, balanced, and engaging education and learning experience.

Our curriculum is designed to enable our children to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them for life beyond primary school.

At the centre of our school ethos are the core virtues of compassion, honesty, respect, forgiveness, perseverance, courage and love of truth. These virtues permeate throughout the curriculum to enable our children to flourish.

Our curriculum is designed to develop outward looking members of society. It prepares our learners for life in an ever-changing world.

We focus on developing each child’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural capital.

We support our children to develop into independent thinkers and problem solvers who are resilient, able to persevere and embrace challenges.

The curriculum is carefully designed to provide both progression and a broad and balanced coverage of the National Curriculum.

It is devised to invoke purposeful learning opportunities that explore essential knowledge.

Our learners are enabled to engage with and talk about what they discover and learn, including that which is outside their daily experience, and encouraged to develop a range of transferable skills.

Our curriculum seeks to raise the aspirations of our learners by providing them with a breadth of experiences which develop their curiosity.

We are passionate that all children see themselves as belonging to the global community of mankind, and that their responsibility is to have a positive impact on the world.

We provide opportunities for the children to know how to keep themselves safe (in line with the KCSiE document).

We also promote British Values and comply with the requirements of the Equality Act, to help make pupils being aware of their duties and responsibilities as residents of the UK.

We promote and encourage physical health and wellbeing.

We offer a range of clubs to give children opportunities to access a wide variety of sports clubs after school.

Our PE curriculum is enriched with opportunities for children to engage in competitions across the West End Schools Trust and The School Games Partnership. They learn about team spirit. We fully embed the importance of leading a healthy active lifestyle.

We also promote the emotional well-being of all children. We use the Thrive Approach and access key services such as Zone West, Kalmer Counselling and running Play Therapy Sessions.

Our PSHE and RSE curriculum is designed to support children develop a strong sense of self- worth, and the responsibility we have to respect and care for others as well a.

 

The Implantation and Organisation of our Curriculum

The children study a broad and balanced range of subjects in all Key Stages. These are in line with the National Curriculum, Early Years Framework, and the 2021 updated Development Matters.

In the EYFS setting, the children experience a rich, exploration based approach, supported by effective modelling and scaffolding to meet individual needs. This approach enables the children to foster a curiosity and love for learning within an environment, which has a focused assessment structure to ensure that each child receives a broad and balanced learning experience.

In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, as part of a spiral curriculum, the information from the National Curriculum is separated into three Milestones, using the Essentials Curriculum, to ensure that the curriculum embodies rigor and high standards.

Milestone One is delivered to children in Years One and Two. Milestone Two is delivered tochildren in Years Three and Four, and Milestone Three is delivered to children in Years Fiveand Six. The objectives developed across the Milestones are covered over a two-year period.

There is a focus on revisiting objectives, in a spiral curriculum, to increase cognitive demand and deepen learning.

The intent documentation is designed to provide a breakdown of how the objectives, in each subject, are covered during each Milestone. For each subject, there is an outline of Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding for each year group.

This structure ensures that, whilst we deliver a bespoke curriculum that meets the distinctive needs of our learners and inspires their curiosity and love of learning, we are able to maintain a rigorous expectation of standards and outcomes for each stage of learning.

Each subject has set units of work to study in each class. Senior leaders, alongside subject leaders and class teachers, carefully select these units. This ensures children experience a curriculum with sufficient breadth to provide them with a span of knowledge within each subject. This also provides a framework in which to balance breadth with the provision of a curriculum that provides a depth of learning. This depth means that the children are able to understand and develop key concepts and form links throughout and across different ideas or subjects. The teacher will identify which substantive knowledge and core knowledge is required for the children to access the unit of work, which disciplinary knowledge they will try to establish, verify and revise and which hinterland knowledge they will encounter to provide contextual understanding to deepen learning.

As children progress through school, we want them to continue to develop their love of learning. We have a bespoke curriculum that is designed to inspire our children and to provoke thoughtful enquiry. At each stage, we want our children to understand the links between what they are learning and why this is important to them.

Each lesson has a clear learning intention, which is taken directly from the Essentials Curriculum Objectives. These objectives are selected to build upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding.

Each lesson is adapted for the individual needs of each learner. Differentiation is used to ensure that each child engages in learning and demonstrates progress.

As lessons progress, teachers and other adults use assessment for  learning to identify progress and help set next steps in learning.

As children progress through school, we want them to continue to develop their love of learning. Our bespoke curriculum is designed to inspire our children and to provoke thoughtful enquiry.

At each stage, our children are encouraged to understand the links between what they are learning and why this is important to them.

Each lesson has a clear learning intention, which is taken directly from the Essentials Curriculum Objectives. These objectives are selected to build upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding.

The curriculum is taught in discrete subject areas to ensure that the children are able to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that enriches their learning experience.

Each subject has an ‘Intent Document’ that sets out clear expectations for each stage of learning. Teachers utilise these documents to plan and deliver lessons that provide children with experiences that deepen their knowledge, skills, and understanding of that subject.

We use the approach of developing basic, advancing and deep learning so that when children revisit  key skills, knowledge and understanding, they are able to build upon their prior experiences and engage with content at a higher level. This approach not only deepens learning but also helps children develop transferable skills that they can apply to a range of subjects and contexts.

The development of a language rich environment is a driving factor behind the structure of our curriculum. The development of subject specific vocabulary helps children to gain a deeper understanding of the curriculum content. Teachers model high levels of vocabulary across the curriculum and teach the meaning and the purpose of different vocabulary. This approach supports the clear structure of effective questioning to develop communication within the classroom to engage and motivate all children.

Each lesson is scaffolded to meet the needs of all learners. Targeted questions and differentiated resources ensure that all children, including those who are disadvantaged or with special educational needs, access all learning and demonstrate progress in their learning journey.

The focus behind the structure of units of work is to ensure that all children are able to learn more and be able to develop further skills. To support this structure  we have a clear focus on developing confidence to enable children to develop transferable skills and be able to apply knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts.

Despite adopting a discrete curriculum, we ensure that children are able to understand how it is that  they may adapt skills to use across the curriculum.

Key principles are woven into our curriculum, such as British values, a focus on the Secrets of Success for personal, social and health.

The focus is on developing resilience as well as the promotion of our curriculum drivers. These ensure that we promote the social, moral and spiritual development of our pupils as well as nurturing character development.

To supplement the development of cultural capital throughout the curriculum, we provide a range of books that seek to expand the experiences of our children.

As part of an immersive music curriculum children hear music not just as part of a music lessons but also when they enter and leave collective acts of worship.

We identify visits that will provide experiences outside of their daily lives so as to expand their experience as well as develop their knowledge and understanding.

Breakfast club and after-school clubs are structured to engage children in activities that they can work on as a team to develop skills as residents of the UK.

We also provide an opportunity for children to participate in a residential visit in year six to provide children with the opportunity to develop independence and a positive self-image.

We appreciate that each child can exhibit strengths in different areas of each subject of the curriculum and within each strand of a subject.

To ensure that we are able to provide all children with equal learning opportunities, we adopt different styles of curriculum delivery.

We adopt a cumulative approach for areas such as Maths, Science as well as the spelling and grammar concepts that are introduced year on year.

When engaging children in different subjects, we use a segmented approach to learn about specific areas (such as about Frederick Douglass or the Moon Landing).

A spiral approach is the main approach used across most subject areas.

Research and observations throughout school have indicated that revisiting areas with increasing complexity has provided our children with the ability to develop mastery.

 

The process for monitoring the Impact of our Curriculum

We use pupil voice to assess whether the curriculum is aimed at the interests and needs of our children.

Subject leaders are fundamental to the success of our curriculum. They have a vision for their subject. They set a clear outline for the progress of knowledge, skills and understanding. They also conduct a regular programme of monitoring and evaluation, which helps review the learning that takes place and how successful this is.

To gain a strategic overview of our curriculum, subject leaders are allocated days to observe teaching and learning, to discuss learning of their subject with children and staff, and to monitor work. This provides a triangulation of evidence as we evaluate the intent of each curriculum area and the success of its implementation for all learners.

We use our assessment system alongside the use of assessment for learning to monitor progress and to help children succeed. Each subject area has its own assessment framework to track the progress of learning.

We measure the success in which the curriculum is designed, structured, and delivered. This is done to assess whether pupils carry out positive actions, how these actions become positive habits, and how they contribute to the positive development of their character.

We measure how the curriculum helps learners develop their knowledge and understanding and the extent to which it enables them to be free to join in discussions that will help shape the society in which they live.

Senior leaders monitor and evaluate all subject areas each term.

They look at planning and work samples. They discuss with pupils their learning. The focus is on how successful the progressive introduction of subject content is.

We assess whether expectations are set high enough to create a challenge and provide work which is ambitious for all groups of learners, including children with SEND and Pupil Premium.

We evaluate how successful we are in providing a broad and balanced learning experience.

We evaluate the time table to ensure that the allocated resources and time provide the level of demand each subject areas requires.

Assessments against the assessment framework of each subject area are recorded on the school tracking systems (Depth of Learning or ipsative for PSHE).

The information on the tracking system is analysed to discern trends in progress for all groups of learners. Particular attention is given to understanding how children in different groups, including the bottom 20%, progress in relation to their peers.

The monitoring and organisation of the curriculum is a shared process.  Pupil voice, the feedback from class teachers, subject leaders, the senior leaders, and the governors are all part of the process. This approach enables the school to benefit from the expertise of different stakeholders. It also fosters a proactive way of gathering information and ideas so that good practice is fostered.

Different metrics are used in measuring the impact of the curriculum. The baseline information we have for children across each subject, the progress and attainment data gathered each year, attendance records, pupil voice, and the scrutiny of lessons, planning, and work undertaken are all utilised.

The information gleaned is used to modify or change elements of the curriculum offered in St Paul’s School, as well as how it is delivered. It is that upon which the CPD programme is developed.

The whole process is geared to enable the school to provide and maintain a teaching and learning experience in St Paul’s that has the rigour and depth to be expected to enable us to provide a curriculum which enables our children to gain the knowledge, skills, and understanding which are necessary to prepare them for life beyond primary school. What we do is foundational for what follows as we seek to see our pupils flourish into being ready and able to make a positive contribution in the world at each stage of their life.