St. Aidan’s Church of England Primary School: Our Curriculum Intent

At St Aidan’s School we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all our learners. As a church school we are inspired by Jesus’ intention for the lives of His people.

I have come that they may have life and have it to the full – John 10:10

 Everything starts with the child and how we as professionals can craft a learning environment for them which nurtures their mind, body and soul in order to develop a happy, healthy and well-rounded citizen of the world – a child who can live and enjoy life to the full.

Our curriculum both reflects and helps deliver our school vision.  We intend for all children to have an excellent foundation in the core areas of reading, writing and maths; to be articulate and confident communicators; to develop secure friendships and positive relationships; and to have access to a curriculum that excites, motivates and enriches their lives. We want all our children to develop the skills and knowledge to enable them to make the best possible progress in their learning, and we aim to provide a very wide variety of additional opportunities for children to explore their talents. Our curriculum is highly inclusive, and we aim to support every child, whatever their need, to be the best they can be. As a result, all our children will shine, and be well-prepared for the future.

Our curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong  vocabulary base and understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long term learning and we  believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. One of our central aims of the curriculum is to ensure that our pupils are both “interesting and interested”. We want them to be ‘interesting’ to talk to because they know a great deal about the world and ‘interested’ in finding out more. We understand the more pupils know the easier it is for them to know more.

We have designed our curriculum to ensure coherence and connectivity so that knowledge, skills and concepts are introduced, built on over time, revisited and assessed. We believe that a well-connected curriculum will enable our children to grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. It will enable them to become increasingly knowledgeable and make sense of complex concepts that might otherwise be taught in isolation.

Underpinning all learning is a commitment to promote positive learning behaviours and attitudes which allow our children to grow as individuals whilst developing a life-long love of learning and high aspirations for their future. Through the provision of varied and rich opportunities, we inspire and encourage our children to make a positive contribution to their local community and the wider society, live healthy lifestyles, be moral citizens and take opportunities to extend their horizons.

 Our curriculum is built on four stages of pedagogy based on both research and experience.
Engage: We hook learners with a memorable experience which provides a context for learning. We believe in asking questions to find out the children’s interests and spark their curiosity using interesting questions and starting points.
Develop: We believe in teaching the children facts and information which enables deeper understanding and knowledge. We provide creative opportunities for making and doing and allow time for consolidation.
Innovate: We provide our children with imaginative scenarios and encourage creative thinking enabling children to apply preciously learned skills. We encourage enterprise and independent thinking and provide opportunities for collaborative working and problem solving.
Express: We develop our environments to encourage reflective talk and create opportunities for shared evaluation. We always celebrate and share children’s successes as well as identify

The curriculum here at St. Aidan’s CE Primary School is designed to allow all our learners to;

  • Achieve the best possible outcomes and academic standards, whatever their ability; ensuring all pupils have high aspirations for themselves.
  • Develop the skills, passion and personal qualities for lifelong learning; developing a thirst for learning in all our pupils.
  • Develop creative individuals who collaborate and co-operate and can solve problems seeing failure as an opportunity to learn; ensuring critical thinking skills are developed so they always do their best.
  • Prepare our children to make an active, positive contribution to and care about their local community and society in general; encouraging them to feel part of, and to contribute positively to fundamental British values.
  • Become mentally positive, emotionally happy and resilient people, who are able to cope with adversity ensuring they are ready to take on the challenges of the 21st

 Based on our knowledge of the National Curriculum 2014, we have broken down the programmes of study into a series of skills and knowledge  and our long term curriculum plans show how at St Aidan’s we intend to cover the fundamental concepts of each national curriculum subject.  Each subject has a ‘Subject Leader’ who has an overview of planning for that area of learning across the school.  Each Subject Leader has considered how each skill and knowledge statement connects and builds over time in their subject. They have also considered how larger concepts are developed over time and in a variety of contexts to create a bespoke curriculum offer matched to our children’s needs. As a result of this children have a range of knowledge and skills that are developed, embedded and mastered – ensuring that the children are ready for the next steps in their learning journey.

As part of our curriculum we also pride ourselves on providing children with many other learning experiences and opportunities such as residential visits, educational visits, extra-curricular activities, sports competitions, taking part in music and dance festivals, engaging in cultural exchanges with children across Europe and the wider world with a significant focus on our link schools in Thiene, Italy and Shanghai, China.

 St. Aidan’s Church of England Primary School: Our Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum here at St. Aidan’s is built around the key principles of

  1. Discrete Subject Teaching in Key Stages 1 and 2.
  2. Memorable Learning Experiences
  3. Christian Values
  4. Reading
  5. Emotional and Physical Well-Being
  6. Positive Learning Behaviours
  7. Quality First Teaching

The curriculum for each year group is carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression across all subject areas; developing depth of knowledge and understanding together with opportunities for intelligent repetition which enables children to remember more.

We recognise children’s prior learning, encourage the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. Children are supported to achieve their potential and progress with confidence to the next phase of their education.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide opportunities for guided and independent practice. The development of children’s knowledge and skills across all primary subjects is key when building on prior learning, this supports pupils for the next stage of their learning.

Everyone at St Aidan’s is encouraged to improve through our curriculum, understand others, not to give up, try new things, work hard, concentrate, excel in many subject areas, to experience real life contexts and embed these in memorable learning journeys, and to enjoy school life, to enjoy the subjects the children take part in, to develop a thirst, a love, a need to develop their own knowledge and thus become model British citizens of the world with a clear, reflective moral compass and independent skills to apply in the wider world.

Pupils are supported in school with extra support/resources deployed as necessary to help close the individual learning gaps.

Key skills such as evaluation, reflection and investigation are developed across our curriculum.  Lessons are planned in such a way that children can apply their knowledge in thinking/problem solving context.

CPD for staff

The development of teacher subject knowledge underpins our curriculum and continual school improvement. It cannot be left to chance. In the implementation section of the Education Inspection Handbook 2019, it states that ‘teachers have good knowledge of the subject(s) and courses they teach. Leaders provide effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise.’

CPD is priority for all our staff to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver the highest standards of teaching, learning and assessment across the whole curriculum. Subject Leaders have an essential role in designing their subject area – ensuring progression of skills, knowledge, understanding, concepts and vocabulary, underpinned by pupil self-assessment and robust assessment systems that are appropriate to child and the curriculum area. Subject Leaders are confident to articulate their plans and how learning is progresses and is developed year on year to ensure depth of learning and mastery across the school. Subject leaders work closely with their colleagues to monitor curriculum provision and quality of teaching and learning, offering feedback, support and guidance as needed.

St. Aidan’s Church of England Primary School: Our Curriculum Impact

The impact of our curriculum here at St. Aidan’s is measured in several ways;

  1. Formative Assessment
  2. Summative Assessment
  3. Self-Evaluation
  4. Pupil Interviews/Discussions
  5. Lesson Monitoring

We evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that the pupils have gained against the expectations agreed and evaluate our teaching from this.  This ensures that we are constantly striving for improvement and ensuring that our curriculum is the best it can be, we continually review and evaluate each subject.

We use rigorous monitoring throughout the year to evaluate the impact of our curriculum design. Staff and governors monitor individual curriculum subjects: reviewing learning and the impact of teaching, evaluating pupil voice, tracking attainment and progress, celebrating and sharing highly effective practice proven to have an impact upon learning.  We continually review provision and how effectively it meets the needs of our children, and feed areas identified for development into our focused school improvement plan.

 We are confident that the impact of our curriculum can be clearly seen through the way in which our children develop into confident, motivated learners; well-equipped to take on the challenges of their next stage of education.  They take with them very fond memories of their time in our school, of the staff and of each other.

 Pupils’ personal development is a strength and is evident in the way that pupils contribute to the life of school and how they interact with each other and the world around them.  Our pupils understand and express their emotions well and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.  We are proud to see that our drive to improve children’s learning behaviours is having a clear impact: they are becoming increasingly independent and resilient; developing a repertoire of life-long skills which support them in overcoming challenges and making progress.

 Through a collective responsibility for raising standards and improving pupil outcomes, and a rich, broad and relevant curriculum, our children develop detailed knowledge and skills across all subjects.  They can transfer their knowledge and skills into wider contexts; making links.

 We fully recognise the privileged position that we are in to be working with our children at St Aidan’s, and our greatest reward is seeing our children flourish and hearing of their achievements.