Whole School Curriculum Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School
Holy Spirit Catholic Primary Curriculum Intent
At Holy Spirit we strive to give our children the wings to soar to the highest height. We have designed our curriculum with pupils’ learning at the centre of all that we do, ensuring that all of our pupils make progress in Holy Spirit. We recognise that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced and offer pupils opportunities to grow as individuals as well as learners. As a Catholic school, with Christ as our inspiration, our vision is to nurture all of our pupils, regardless of their backgrounds or life experiences, to learn and grow through our Love of one another, our Love of learning and Love of life itself so that they can all make progress . We aim to ensure that pupils enjoy learning and feel prepared for life after school. We intend to offer our pupils new and exciting experiences that are designed to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities. We recognise that pupils should be challenged in school; learning from failures and celebrating successes. We intend for our curriculum to enable pupils to develop their interpersonal skills, creativity and independence. Our vision is that our children will then soar to new heights in our supportive, safe and nurturing environment of Holy Spirit.
Aims of our Curriculum.
A love of one another as we strive to ensure that:
- We have a dedicated staff who give the very best to all of our children.
- Excellent parent partnerships are at the heart of all that we do at Holy Spirit.
- Our strong catholic faith permeates throughout school, both indoors and outdoors, providing our children with a safe, calm, loving and nurturing environment;
- SEL is at the heart of our curriculum being a PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) school. Our school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum aims to give our children the skills needed to self- manage their behaviour, understand their emotions, and work well with others.
- British Values is promoted throughout school so that our children and encourage respect for everyone, embracing and celebrating all backgrounds and differences through our Other Faith and Other Religion weeks in Come and See.
- All of our children develop spiritually, morally and socially as members of our school community and wider school community of Holy Spirit.
A love of learning as we strive to ensure that:
- All pupils are excited by the curriculum and want to learn by experiencing teaching that inspires their learning.
- All children to become fluent and confident readers and to develop an appreciation and love of Reading whilst gaining knowledge across the curriculum.
- All children to retain key knowledge in all curriculum areas.
- All children have a broad and lasting knowledge of subject specific vocabulary.
- All children to use excellent basic skills across the curriculum including Reading, writing and mathematics.
- All children to become independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners.
- All children are challenged and make progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability).
- All children to become independent, resilient and divergent learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond).
A love of life itself so that we can soar to new heights.
- All staff ensure that safeguarding (including the mental and emotional wellbeing) of every child, receives the highest priority so that our children feel emotionally and physically safe and secure in our highly supportive and nurturing school.
- Our staff provide our children with a rich learning environment and a broad and creatively balanced curriculum
- We promote an excellent learning behaviour throughout our school by the creation of a calm and positively disciplined environment, within which all of our children can maximise their learning potential.
- Holy Spirit is a place in which our children are safe to try and fail, and mistakes are opportunities for growth, resilience and empowerment; Spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences are interwoven into all that we do in Holy Spirit.
- Our curriculum enables our children to connect to the past, live in the present and look to the future.
- It ensures that our children are given the very best life experiences in Holy Spirit so that our children can fulfil their potential and soar to new heights.
- All children have a wide range of life experiences that enhance their learning (including trips and extra-curricular activities).
Holy Spirit Catholic Primary Curriculum Implementation
- We follow the national curriculum statutory requirements as the basis for our long term and medium term planning. Each subject has a long term curriculum plan which shows not only the knowledge and skills but how these are built upon each year.
- We recognise the importance of Reading across the whole curriculum and its impact on the future success of pupils. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Our children are taught to read confidently, fluently and with a good understanding. Pupils are encouraged to develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information through daily practice and whole school activities. We have a Reading Shed to promote reading outdoors, each class has a themed Reading area in their classroom and we have a school library.
- Special curriculum days and weeks such as World Book Day, World Kindness Day, Language Day, Black History Week, Science Week, are spread throughout the year to enhance the curriculum as well as expanding the children’s cultural capital.
- Each subject at Holy Spirit is taught as a discrete area and we have designed a curriculum that makes links between different subjects creating curriculum cohesion and enabling pupils to link their learning appropriately. There is a focus on high quality writing and pupils use mathematics and information technology skills across different subject areas.
- Our lessons are engaging and tailored and adapted to suit the needs of every child. A robust cycle of training, coaching and mentoring is used to strengthen the skills and subject knowledge of teachers, support staff and leaders. Where appropriate, specialist teachers are used to deliver lessons such as Dance, Music, Forest Schools and Spanish.
- As a Catholic school, we have designed a diverse curriculum that teaches pupils morality, respect and a sense of community.
- Our pupils learn best when they enjoy learning. We have planned our curriculum to include a range of exciting and pupil-motivating activities. We involve our parents in as much of their children’s learning as possible. We have Back to school with your kids days where parents come and learn with their children in their classrooms.
- We have ensured that our curriculum is knowledge-rich. There is a frequent repetition of content to help pupils acquire this core knowledge. Our curriculum provides mastery of key knowledge. Our Maths curriculum, for example, provides opportunities for pupils to practise and consolidate their learning, master learning objectives by developing a deeper understanding and to apply their knowledge in greater depth. There are opportunities for pupils who do not master learning objectives to consolidate work before moving on.
- We want our pupils to become independent, resilient and divergent learners so they are ready for secondary school (and beyond).. We have developed a ‘growth mindsets’ culture throughout our school teaching pupils to ‘have a go’, to use a different strategy if they get stuck, to seek peer support and to learn from their mistakes.
- Our aim is that all pupils make good progress across all areas of the curriculum (including disadvantaged pupils and those with a special need and/or disability). There is a sequencing of subject-specific concepts based on what we expect pupils to know at each particular stage ensuring challenge.
- We are an inclusive school and we aim to ensure curriculum access for all, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. We have developed a Rainforest Nurture camp where many of our SEND pupils thrive in. We also have a multi-sensory Rainbow Dream Den room for our children to access as well we are developing our outdoor area with a newly installed Sensory garden.
- Many of our pupils start school with a very limited vocabulary (as evidenced by our Early Years baseline assessments) and our disadvantaged pupils often have gaps in their vocabulary. Our curriculum has been developed to introduce/explore new vocabulary and activities have been planned to ensure that pupils get the opportunity to apply and revisit this new knowledge.
- Where possible, cross-curricular links are made to deepen the learning experiences so that children remember more through lived experiences. Not all of our children (including some of our disadvantaged pupils) have the opportunity to develop their life experiences outside of school. Our curriculum considers the local context and it is enriched with local trips, residential visits, workshops and visits linked to curriculum areas. We maximise the links within our local area of St. Helens and have visits from St.Helens Chamber and take part in projects such as the Beacon project. (please see the links identified on our Curriculum Overviews for each year group).
For further information about our curriculum design across all subject areas - please click on the subject tab.
Holy Spirit Catholic Primary Curriculum Impact
The impact of our curriculum is measured through qualitative and quantitative data. Teachers use assessment for learning strategies to evaluate, adjust and maximise the impact on pupil outcomes. Attainment and progress in house as well as statutory data is monitored closely by the curriculum and subject leads. Termly progress meetings identify pupils who need additional support. These are also used strategically to identify future CPD. Qualitative data in the form of pupil voice or from pupil, parent and staff surveys are also used to measure impact. These regular monitoring cycles for leaders at all levels, as well as external validation such as our Local Authority, help to triangulate the impact and are used to further adapt and refine our provision through strategic planning each year.