At Katherines, we passionately believe that all children deserve access to an education that will provide them with life-fulfilling opportunities and the freedom to make choices about their future. The curriculum at Katherines Primary Academy sets out the body of knowledge and skills that our pupils will gain at each stage of their time at school, whilst supporting and promoting our core school values. The curriculum supports our ethos and structures that encompass a proactive development of the whole child.
Through focusing on three intrinsically linked key drivers: academic success, physical development and positive wellbeing, children are given the opportunity to thrive in fundamental areas, preparing them to be not just ‘next stage ready’, but ‘life ready as global citizens’.
Through a carefully sequenced core curriculum, alongside an inspiring wider curriculum, children at Katherines will leave with:
- The ability to read fluently, and a love for reading, allowing them to make sense and understand the world
- A rich vocabulary enabling them to communicate successfully, challenge and debate
- A wealth of character defining and memorable childhood experiences (largely mapped out within our ’100 things’ programme) to develop cultural capital
- An understanding of the world around them that they are fully equipped to compete in
- An acceptance and appreciation of others differences (inspired by the work we have completed with ‘no-outsiders’)
- Tools and strategies to ensure positive wellbeing and happiness
- The ability to think metacognitively and self-regulate, allowing them to feel in control of their learning
Using the National Curriculum to underpin our curriculum, subjects are carefully planned and sequenced, mapping out the key knowledge and subject specific skills children need to master at each stage. For most subjects, the school has developed its own sequential and progressive curriculum to ensure the school’s local context is reflected. For others, the school has adopted, and then adapted, external schemes of work.
Each unit has essential learning questions outlined that children explore, as well as key subject skills children need to develop from early years to year 6. The knowledge and skills are both progressive and support the development of key concepts and schemas. Key vocabulary is highlighted and taught explicitly to the children throughout all lessons, in line with the school’s teaching and learning policy. Exposure to high quality texts is consistent across the curriculum, ensuring reading and vocabulary opportunities are maximised.
We strongly believe it is essential that primary schools are proactive in their approaches towards wellbeing and this is at the heart of Katherines’s wider curriculum. A structured, purposeful whole school approach and ethos helps to support pupils in developing lifelong positive wellbeing and can strengthen any additional support pupils may have for mental health and wellbeing.
Katherines has developed a GROW Programme, encompassing Global Citizens, Resilient learners, Outstanding achievers and Well-rounded, empowered individuals. The GROW Programme has been designed to ensure that every pupil is empowered through their journey through school to achieve the best they can in all areas of growth, either personal or academic. It facilitates the development of positive wellbeing, whilst supporting pupils as learners and community citizens in their own right. In turn, this enables pupils to develop healthy positive relationships not only with their peers but with themselves, using the additional toolkits such as Zones of Regulation and TPP to support their holistic development. Some of our GROW experiences include:
· Exposing children to unique experiences
· Increases resilience, independence and confidence
· Supports children in developing relationships
· · Increases motivation
· Building confidence and self-esteem in and out the community
· Improving resilience in the classroom and in personal situations
· Encouraging children to be independent and forward thinking
· Forging relationships with peers and adults
· Reducing noise and unwanted behaviour in corridors
· Creating a welcoming environment
· Ensuring those with sensory difficulties or anxiety enter a calm building
· Setting a tone for the environment outside of the classroom
GUGG (Get Up Get Going)
· Increasing physical fitness over time
· Linking health benefits with wellbeing (academically and mentally)
· Reducing obesity across the school
· Developing a love for running
How we teach the Curriculum
Our teaching and learning policy highlights our consistent pedagogical approach across all subjects:
Key teaching intentions:
- Teachers have secure subject knowledge
- Prior knowledge is explored, recapped and built upon
- Retrieval opportunities are provided across all subjects
- Knowledge and skills are progressive
- Learning questions and steps to being successful are made explicit
- Oracy is built into all lessons
- Vocabulary is explicitly taught in all lessons, focusing on tier 2 and tier 3 words
- A range of formative assessment strategies are used
- Scaffolded planned activities ensure expectations remain high and all learners can be successful
- Metacognitive skills are developed and promoted across all areas of learning
- Plenaries allow learning to be consolidated and moved forward. Learning behaviours linked to the school’s values and subject specific skills are consistently reflected upon
The purpose and aim of our curriculum is for high achievement and success for all pupils, despite their backgrounds or starting points. Children’s success can be demonstrated in these three key areas (our curriculum drivers).
A range of effective formative and summative assessment strategies demonstrate that knowledge and subject specific skills are learnt and retained as children move through their primary education. We understand that ‘The aim of all instruction is to alter long-term memory. If nothing has changed in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.’ (Kirschner, Sweller and Clarke, 2006). Retrieval opportunities and practise across the curriculum are fundamental to our assessment approach, enabling children to retain and link key knowledge in order to develop concepts and schemas.
Children at Katherines understand the importance of being physically healthy. A huge importance is placed on health and wellbeing and the school has developed a range of approaches to ensure children are physically healthy. Some of these approaches include:
- Attendance for our morning and afternoon clubs is high, with all classes at full capacity these sessions provide children with extra opportunities to engage with an activity focused on their physical health.
- Get Up Get Going (GUGG), children at Katherines take part in GUGG, giving them an additional opportunity to exercise, increasing physical fitness over time.
- Competitions, children are encouraged to take part in competitive sports, which they do so with determination, resilience and perseverance.
Children at Katherines are happy. They have a love for learning and show a great enthusiasm for subjects across the curriculum. The wider curriculum provides children with a range of tools they can use to regulate their emotions (e.g. the use of Zones of regulation) and they have a huge network around them if they need to seek support and advice. Our partnership with Place2Be provides invaluable support. The service is accessed by a high number of our children and has an extremely positive impact on their wellbeing. Pupils make the right choices for their safety, including their safety online, and these choices benefit the school and the wider community.