The necessary building blocks
to learning well in a subject are carefully identified. This allows pupils to make sense of new learning
OFSTED November 2023
Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure each and every child can 'live life in all its fullness' John 10:10 by offering stimulating and awe-inspiring learning experiences with Christian values at its heart.
At St John’s, all our pupils will expect a curriculum with a clear intention which deepens knowledge and develops skills progressively in every subject. Our curriculum helps children to acquire the knowledge and skills that they need and then gives them opportunities to practise and apply them over time (sticky knowledge), in order to master them. Pupils will expect vocabulary to be taught explicitly in each subject in order to foster ability and understanding.
Our curriculum equips all pupils’ to be life-long learners as they transition into the next phase of education and the world of work.
Our curriculum will develop outward looking pupils who are able to engage in learning about themselves, build connections and have an understanding of the wider world, with a strong desire to make a positive contribution to the global community.
Our curriculum promotes opportunities for real- life purposeful experiences in and outside of the classroom to provide enrichment opportunities and to develop the wellbeing and cultural capital of the whole child.
At St John's school we are following a thematic approach to the curriculum. We can see the benefits for all children in making connections for them between different areas of learning. At Foundation stage (nursery and reception class) the teachers follow a programme of work planned from the Foundation Stage Curriculum which incorporates six areas of learning:
In KS1 (years 1 and 2 ) and KS2 (years, 3,4,5 and 6) work is planned in five blocks and follows the guidance as laid out in the national curriculum. For each theme the children will have their own learning diary in which the majority of their work around this theme will be recorded. Key Stage 1 use the Read, Write Inc phonics/reading scheme.
We feel it is important that children develop a sense of pride in their work and are able to revisit themes so that they can re-evaluate it themselves.
As a Church of England school we follow the scheme as provided by the diocese.
We recognise that our young people need to grow in both knowledge and understanding of the Christian religion and other world religions. We also aim to develop spirituality in our pupils through recognising the awe and wonder of the world around us.
The skills of literacy permeate throughout the wider curriculum. The ability to express ideas both verbally and on paper and to be able to read effectively to further understanding and for pleasure are key skills in almost all subjects and indeed for being able to function in society.
Because of this, we place a great deal of importance on the development of literacy at St John’s. This is a process that starts with speaking and listening, moves into phonetic awareness and reading and then into writing. These stages are not distinct from each other. They complement each other and we continue to nurture all areas throughout the journey through primary school.
Speaking and listening can involve encouraging children to take turns and listen to one another, or sitting quietly and attentively while listening to a story. It could also involve improvised drama and hot seating exercises to explore ideas and concepts.
Reading is highly valued at St John’s. We demonstrate this through introducing the children to interesting and exciting texts, by modelling high quality and enthusiastic reading and by celebrating the efforts of others. Reading at home is encouraged through the use of home reading records and through a range of regular school-based reading activities such as small group guided reading and the use of whole class reading books.
Writing comes from reading and listening to a wide range of stories. This develops an understanding of how stories are structured and gives children a rich and varied bank of ideas to draw upon. From mark making in early years to complex and structured pieces of writing in KS2, we celebrate the children’s work and ensure that progress is given equal weighting to achievement to ensure that all children’s efforts are celebrated
At St.John’s we recognise that mathematics is an important life skill as well as fundamental to the vast majority of career pathways. Therefore it is our intent that we provide a high-quality mathematical education which will ensure children move to the next stage of their education being numerate, confident and well-equipped. Through quality first teaching, with our primary aim being mastery of the curriculum for all children, we aim to unlock children’s potential in maths and make it a fun, engaging subject which is accessible to all. Our intention is to show children they can master the maths curriculum and that maths is an area where all children can experience success and is not something to be anxious about. With this in mind, we recognise the importance of being fluent in the fundamentals of maths and provide a variety of opportunities for children to practise their automatic recall to make it more rapid and accurate.
All children are encouraged and given the opportunity to reason mathematically and solve problems. With maths being an interconnected subject, children not only need to make connections and links between mathematical concepts but they need to be provided with concrete experiences of using maths outside the maths lesson. Wherever possible, we aim to use maths in our other subject areas so that children have the opportunity to experience interwoven learning and also to understand the importance of everyday maths in other areas. Children who are working at greater depth in each year group receive input which challenges their reasoning and problem solving skills using the content which has been taught. Only once a rich offer has been provided where children can demonstrate they can make connections and use and apply their skills broadly would we consider moving on to what might potentially be new content.
Science learning at St. John’s is underpinned by the National Curriculum and forms part of our core area for learning. Our lessons will be enjoyable, engaging, inclusive and interactive, where we all fulfil our school motto: “Believe Inspire Achieve”.
We encourage children to ask questions about the world around them and empower them to answer these queries using scientific thinking and vocabulary. Children at St. John’s are confident using the IPROF statement and they understand the strand of science they are learning in any given lesson. We make effective use of all outdoor areas building in cross-curricular links and relatable experiences to our everyday lives: for now and in the future.
At St John’s it is our intent, through our foreign language curriculum, to develop in our children, a love of learning about other languages and cultures. Our current foreign language taught is French, however we strive to provide children with opportunities to experience a range of other languages. It is our intention that when children leave St John’s, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to begin to explore other countries, cultures and languages, understanding that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language. We want to provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to access international opportunities for study and work later in life.
By Year 6, our children will have acquired an understanding of both spoken and written French, a growing confidence to speak in French with others and know how important other languages can be in their future.
Our vision is for ‘all our children to become responsible citizens who make positive contributions to society’ and as we live in a multi -cultural society we are preparing them for their future without barriers.
Our History curriculum at St John’s enables pupils to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. Our History curriculum is carefully designed to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past, providing valuable opportunities for pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Our History curriculum helps pupils to understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference, and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts and analyse trends. Through the teaching of History, we teach pupils to understand how people’s lives and events have shaped Britain and how Britain has been influenced by the wider world. Our high-quality History curriculum helps pupils understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources and allows them to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
Our Geography curriculum at St John’s inspires in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our Geography curriculum is carefully designed to teach pupils about diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments and provide them with a deep understanding of the earth’s key physical and human processes.
Through the teaching of Geography, our pupils’ growing knowledge about the world helps to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Our high- quality Geography curriculum ensures that pupils have the necessary geographical skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork and develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge
Through our computing curriculum at St John’s C of E, we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in order to flourish. We want the use of technology to support learning across the entire curriculum and to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child. Not only do we want them to be digitally literate and competent end-users of technology but through our computer science lessons we want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We want our pupils to have a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community but also as members of a wider global community and as responsible digital citizens.
At St John’s, computing is taught in discreet computing lessons. The computing curriculum is delivered through our own scheme of work in order to ensure progression and coverage. Where appropriate, meaningful links will be made between the computing curriculum and the wider curriculum. In computing lessons, KS1 children use the suite pcs and KS2 utilise Chromebooks - each having a Google account. Computing lessons focus on the curriculum skills of information technology, online safety and computer science. In addition, our school issues each pupil access to our educational subscription services: Mathletics, Reading Eggs and Oxford Owl Reading.
Our vision is for children to become autonomous, independent users of computing technologies, gaining confidence and enjoyment from their learning in order to prepare them for their future
Art & Design
At St John’s our Art and Design curriculum develops creativity, sets challenges, engages and inspires children and equips them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. We value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. The curriculum has appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding to explore and investigate, create and evaluate artwork as set out in the National Curriculum and so will enable the children to reach and exceed their potential. Art and Design provides the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas using artistic vocabulary.
As they go through the school children learn the skills of drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, 3D work and technology and are given the opportunity to explore and evaluate different creative ideas. The skills they acquire are applied to their cross-curricular topics, allowing children to use their art skills to reflect on and explore topics in greater depth.
Children will be creative, independent, reflective and able to evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes to improve. They will have an appreciation of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from a range of times and cultures and apply this knowledge to their own work.
Our music curriculum intends to inspire creativity, self expression and to foster a life long love of music by exposing them to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music. By listening and responding to different musical styles, across a wide range of historical periods, finding their voices as singers, performers and composers, our children will become confident, reflective musicians.
Our music curriculum ensures children explore a range of musical skills, develop a critical engagement with music and prepares them in readiness for high school . It provides opportunities to sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate, guaranteeing progression across the year groups.
Our curriculum develops children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat through performing on a range of musical instruments. Children will learn about the structure and organisation of music by singing songs. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music across different time periods, cultures and traditions. This supports children to understand the cultural capital of being open minded in their listening as well as knowledgeable about a breadth of musical genres in the world today.
At St John’s, we strive to create a culture that aims to inspire an active generation to enjoy PE, encourage each other and achieve. We provide a safe and supportive environment for children to flourish in a range of different physical activities that is essential in supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual, social and moral development.
We offer a dynamic, varied and stimulating program of activity to ensure that all children progress physically through an inspirational, unique and fully inclusive PE curriculum. We aspire for children to adopt a positive mind-set and believe that anything can be achieved with determination and resilience.
The aim of Physical Education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children are taught to observe and produce the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. Thus embedding life-long values such as co-operation, collaboration and equity of play.
We provide opportunities for children to learn how to stay safe by starting swimming lessons in Year 3 and continuing until children have become confident in the water, knowing how to keep safe and also meet the National Curriculum requirements of swimming 25m by the end of Year 6.
At St John’s, we aim for children to develop the necessary knowledge and skills that will have a positive impact on their future by becoming physically active citizens to benefit their long-term health and well-being.
Religious Education (RE)
Religious Education (RE) is a statutory requirement that all state funded schools (including academies and free schools) must teach a full RE curriculum that prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.
The world including Britain today is a diverse place and it is important that we develop a mutual respect for and tolerance/acceptance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith in order to be able to live in peace and harmony with one another (and therefore flourish).
All children need to acquire core knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of the religions and worldviews which not only shape their history and culture but which guide their own development. The modern world needs young people who are sufficiently confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society.’ Secretary of State for Education 2013. At St John’s, RE helps pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews and helps pupils to appreciate diversity, difference, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews studied.
Our RE makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures. It enables pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life."
As Church schools, we are inclusive communities and teach a wide variety of religions and worldviews. However, in a church school RE teaching is considered a core subject; it will have a high profile and will be intrinsic to the development of the school’s Christian vision in enabling all pupils to flourish. It is important to note that church schools do not teach about Christianity to convert pupils to Christianity or ‘make more Christians’ but rather to gain knowledge and understanding of Christianity. Thus, the key phrase in the sentence is ‘learning about’. RE teaching is learning about a range of different religions and worldviews to develop knowledge and understanding. IT IS NOT ‘learning to be’ any of the religions or worldviews taught.
The language used in RE lessons will be formulated around words such as ‘Christians believe’ or ‘Muslim people believe’ rather than ‘we believe’. The term ‘worldviews’ is used to refer to a person’s way of understanding, experiencing and responding to the world. It can be described as a philosophy of life or an approach to life.
Further information can be found in the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education February 2019.
At St John’s, Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) is an embedded part of our broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is at the heart of our school ethos as well as the fundamental British Values which are promoted through the overarching aims and objectives of PSHE. These support our children to become healthy and responsible members of society, as well as preparing them for life and work in modern Britain.
Weaving through the heart of our PSHE curriculum, is a commitment to enhancing and promoting our core Christian Values: Respect, Honesty, Perseverance and Service. PSHE is embedded in all that we do to enable our children to become independent, responsible, resilient, healthy and confident members of society. Our PSHE curriculum supports the development of the ‘whole child’, by helping them to understand how they are developing personally and socially as well as promoting their social, mental and physical development. Children develop the ability to tackle the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up as well as learning how to keep themselves safe, physically and emotionally. We provide our children with opportunities to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society which is recognised through our achievement of the Bronze Rights Respecting Schools Award. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.
The PSHE curriculum is based on the frameworks of the National Curriculum and the PSHE Association and is split into the three key themes of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These three themes are taught on a rolling, spiral basis. Topics are revisited across year groups, and understanding is deepened. This allows for progression and retention of key skills and knowledge. Our PSHE programme and wider curriculum will enable children to meet the End of Key Stage Statements as set out in the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Guidance 2019. Along with our broad and balanced curriculum, there are overlaps with other subjects, for example Computing (E-safety), Science (recycling), PE (leading healthy active lives). At St John’s we respond to local, national, global events that may occur and we take part in key national campaigns throughout the year, such as; Anti-Bulling Week, Black History Month and Mental Health Week.
Our PSHE curriculum and wider provision will ensure that by the time our children leave our school
they will have:
a ready willingness and ability to try new things and push themselves and persevere.
a good understanding of how to stay safe, healthy and develop good relationships.
an appreciation of what it means to be a positive, responsible member of a diverse, multicultural society.
a strong self-awareness, interlinked with compassion of others.