Our curriculum is designed with our children and school context in mind, and aims to develop not only the academic knowledge and skills our pupils need to succeed, but also promotes the development of the whole child.
At St. David’s, we aim to provide an ambitious curriculum, to meet the needs of all children, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, in our school. Our intent is to provide a curriculum that is well sequenced, coherent and progressive, enabling children to learn more, know more and remember more. Our ambition is for our pupils to build on their prior learning and develop a deep body of knowledge, which will equip our pupils for future learning.
Our intention is to place early reading and language development at the heart of our curriculum, where precise, subject specific vocabulary is identified. Through Read Write Inc., Literacy and Language and our wider curriculum, we aspire to give our children a rich and engaging curriculum, which fosters a love for learning, creativity and independence. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which is enhanced by extra-curricular activities, enrichment opportunities and experiences, to build cultural capital that our children need to succeed in life.
Our Christian values and distinctiveness, alongside our Christian vision of, ‘Stand firm in the faith; Be courageous; Be strong,’ 1 Corinthians 16:13, are at the core of our curriculum and all that we do at St. David’s.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum.
Our curriculum is diverse, broad-based and in-depth, which provides opportunities for purposeful experiences to enrich learning. We use the Cornerstones knowledge rich projects alongside companion mini projects, to deliver our wider curriculum subjects; history, geography, art and design, design and technology and the core subject science. Our curriculum is implemented through a progressive four stage approach to learning; Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. Pupils are engaged from the very start, due to carefully planned memorable learning experiences that set the scene and provoke curiosity to ask questions. We develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding through high-quality teaching with planned opportunities for pupils to revisit and consolidated learning, over time. The innovate stage provides opportunities for pupils to develop their creative thought processes and apply their previously learnt skills and independent thinking to solve problems. Finally, in our express stage, pupils engage in reflective discussions and shared evaluation, celebrating successes and identifying next steps for learning.
Through the implementation of our curriculum projects, subject specific knowledge and skills are taught and revisited appropriately to help ensure that learning sticks and is built upon. To help children to learn and remember new knowledge, each project has built-in opportunities for recapping and knowledge retrieval, including a mixture of low stakes quizzing, independent application of knowledge and effective questioning. This approach can help children to store knowledge in their long-term memory and recall it more easily, in turn freeing up their working memory to learn new things.
Assessment is integral to our curriculum and quality of education. Assessment for learning is an active and ongoing process in the classroom between the teacher and child, and informs daily teaching and learning. We apply a consistent approach to our formative assessment to support children and help move them forward in their learning. Target setting meetings take place, at the start of each academic year, during which, aspirational targets are set, for all pupils, through a professional dialogue with teachers. Each term, pupil progress meetings are held to review progress and attainment of all children. We have a clear, well-structured summative assessment schedule, that identifies assessment opportunities in Mathematics and English, including Phonics, every half term, to inform teacher assessment and next steps in teaching and learning. This enables question level analysis to identify trends, strengths and areas of development as well as providing a basis for moderation opportunities across our Trust. All assessment and discussions regarding progress and attainment informs Quality First Teaching Class Action Plans, which identify next steps for individuals and groups of children, to ensure their needs are met and they fulfil their potential.
We implement a fully inclusive curriculum to meet the needs of all our children, including those with identified SEND. A graduated approach is in place for children who are identified as requiring a very high level of support, one-to-one SEND support is in place to facilitate a differentiated curriculum. Small group SEND support, in class, under the direction of the class teacher, is provided for children with identified needs, who need a high level of scaffolding and some tailored support. SLT undertake rigorous analysis of teacher assessment data using Target Tracker to identify children who are not on track to meet targets and make expected progress. For these children, targeted intervention, based on objectives set by the class teacher, is facilitated in small groups by teachers. Our provision to meet individuals’ needs is informed by external agencies and partners.
We use Read Write Inc. Phonics, which is a Department for Education approved, complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme. Daily phonics lessons provide a clear structure, consistent teaching sequence with embedded pedagogy to ensure pace, participation and progress. Read Write Inc Phonics is underpinned by the assess, teach, regroup methodology to enable children to ‘keep up’ rather than require ‘catch up.’ Interventions are delivered to targeted children, outside of lessons, by trained staff, with the lowest 20% of readers, receiving one Quality First Teaching session each day, plus 1:1 tuition based on individual need, at least three times a week. Fresh Start is used in upper key stage two, to plug any phonological gaps.
Our Literacy and Language programme is implemented to children in Years 2-6 who are reading accurately and fluently, at or above National Curriculum expectations, and follows on from Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language lessons provide a clear structure, consistent teaching sequence with embedded pedagogy to ensure pace, participation and progress and meets all requirements of the national curriculum for English. Our Literacy and Language programme fosters a love for reading and teaches children to read, write and discuss texts with maturity. Reading is prioritised across the curriculum with opportunities for children to read texts linked to the projects they are studying. A detailed reading spine and regular built in opportunities for reading for pleasure ensures children at all stages of their education at St. David’s are exposed to high quality texts and foster a love of reading. Year six (Oak Class) read with their buddies in Reception and Year One (Acorn Class) to further support reading development and share a love of books. There is a daily ‘Love of Reading’ session in each class and ‘Reader of the Week’ is celebrated every Friday.
In Mathematics, we implement a concrete, pictorial and symbolic approach, ensuring that our children become fluent, can reason and solve problems. All children engage in Quick Maths daily to strengthen their fluency and every day is a ‘Reasoning Day.’ With our Maths consultant, we have adapted our curriculum offer using the Ready to Progress and Curriculum Prioritisation documents in response to learning loss during the pandemic. Plans are adapted from White Rose and are supplemented with resources from a range of high-quality sources, such as NCETM. Upper Key Stage 2 engage in Fraction Friday to address the identified gaps in this strand and we have raised our expectations of accurate maths vocabulary being used by all children. Along with our ongoing assessments and retrieval session at the start of each lesson, we make effective use of assessment materials each half term and adapt our long-term plan accordingly to ensure our children’s needs are met.
We work with a variety of skilled external providers to support the implementation of our curriculum. Our partners include Skillwise Sports, who deliver our Physical Education in school, LCF French, and Coram Life Education Caravan, who support the delivery of specific Health, Relationships and Sex Education. Skillwise Sports further enhances our Physical Education offer through the provision of Extra-Curricular activities and enrichment. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development and Fundamental British Values are threaded through our curriculum, and are embedded within the four stages of Cornerstones and our pedagogical approach, to ensure that our children are reflective and responsible citizens, who are prepared for life in modern Britain.
We create a culture of continuous professional development, where staff training is prioritised. Following rigorous continuous self-evaluation, we invest in ongoing training and support from external consultants, including Sarah Martin and experts from Read Write Inc. and Cornerstones, to enhance teacher pedagogical knowledge and ensure the highest standard of education for our pupils.
Our well planned curriculum ensures that children are knowledgeable and skilled, achieve well and make positive progress at each stage of their education. As a result of our robust Read Write Inc. programme, children make good progress in their reading and as a result are able to access quality texts across the wider curriculum, gaining knowledge and skills in the different subject domains. Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, children have high aspirations and ambition, are confident and resilient, and well-equipped for the next phase of their education.