The aim of our Curriculum is to develop the whole child.
Through the Curriculum, children are encouraged to develop their social, religious, physical, aesthetic and moral potential.
Our curriculum in all its aspects reflects that Christ is at the centre and is the foundation of the whole educational process. The beliefs and values communicated through all activities should be based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need, in order to lead fulfilling lives.
We try to ensure that the children receive a balanced, broad and relevant curriculum.
The children are placed in class according to age group. Programmes of work are followed which meet the needs of each individual child.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
How your child will be learning
In Reception Class your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and Language (C&L);
- Physical Development (PD); and
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Literacy (L);
- Mathematics (M);
- Understanding the World (UW); and
- Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. Teaching staff and professionals supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the Reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is based on observations and assessments of your child by all staff working with them throughout the year.
Religious Education is not simply a subject which we teach and offer our pupils, it is integrated into the whole life of our school and into all aspects of the Curriculum. The scheme for RE, ‘The Way, the Truth, the Life, is used throughout the school. We try to help children deepen their faith and to live and share it with their peers and to participate more actively in the life of the Church. We endeavour to work in close partnership with parents and parish. The children are encouraged to know and love Jesus through prayer and reflection as well as through their knowledge of him in the scriptures. The school has a policy for collective worship and worship activities take many different forms throughout the school day. Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from curriculum RE and timetabled worship. This is normally discussed before enrollment.
Our school was inspected for RE in Autumn 2012 and received an outstanding report. This is available for parents to see. We are proud of the spiritual life of our school and it is our ultimate aim to encourage our children to know and experience God in their lives.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life. We believe a high quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world around us, allowing us to make links to other curriculum areas as much as possible. We encourage our pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; reasoning mathematically and solving problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations. Essentially, we want our pupils to develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity for the subject.
The school follows the national framework for Mathematics with statutory assessments taking place at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2.
The school follows the National plans for Literacy. It is split into key areas.
SPEAKING & LISTENING: – provides the main instrument of learning throughout the school curriculum and should develop pupils abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding.
PHONICS:- The children are taught how to use letters and sounds in order to read words. Phonics are taught in a systematic way which gives the children a vital strategy when reading. The children are tested nationally in Year 1 to assess their knowledge of phonics.
READING: -. Children are introduced to picture books and, when ready, class reading books. Our primary reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. This is supplemented by additional reading schemes to meet the needs of individual pupils. Children are also encouraged to use books from class, school and local libraries. Children are encouraged to read for fluency, enjoyment and information. The school library bus makes an annual visit to school to give children and staff an opportunity to supplement reading materials already available in school. Overall we aim to enable children to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable readers. We opened our school library in 2013.
WRITING: – Handwriting is taught to an agreed formula to ensure continuity of progress. The school uses a cursive style from KS1, depending on individual pupil’s readiness.
Pupils have frequent opportunity to develop skills in writing in different contexts and for a variety of purposes. Teachers help children to express their thoughts through writing and to produce clear and accurate written work. The use of style, form, vocabulary, punctuation and spelling are often developed through discussion of the pupil’s own written work.
Grammar is a key focus in school and children are taught following school policy.
The National Curriculum for Science forms a framework on which teachers can work with the children. Children are encouraged to use scientific skills and develop scientific thinking. Science Education helps children to make sense of the world around them through investigations and interactions in which they are personally involved. Through our Science Programme we provide the children with a range of experiences within their environment which will help to develop in them an increased knowledge and understanding, an enquiring mind, observation skills and to prepare them for life in a rapidly changing world. Children study various topics throughout the year.
SKILLS BASED CURRICULUM
Our curriculum is based around the teaching of skills. Our skills curriculum links a variety of subjects and looks at workplace/enterprise skills. We want to prepare children for life in a future world so that they have opportunity to develop as responsible and caring citizens. Our children are taught the skills of curriculum subjects as well as ‘life’ and ‘enterprise skills’. We aim to prepare them fully for life in a future world.
Our children have opportunity to develop skills such as teamwork / co-operation / communication. We encourage them to become self-reliant independent learners. They are given responsible tasks and roles to help them develop as people.
Our children complete skills challenges which are linked with all areas of the curriculum.
Computing skills are developed throughout the school, often in conjunction with other subjects.
We are currently working on developing a computing curriculum to support children with programming.
The school has a laptop trolley with 30 laptops and 30 new i-pads to be used in the classrooms to support and enhance learning. We also have several laptops within each classroom.
The school has Smartboards or plasma screens in every room so that children can use ICT to enhance learning in all subjects.
We have our own website which can be accessed at www.stcolumbas.cumbria.sch.uk We also forge home/school learning links with our Moodle. Our Moodle helps our children to access information about learning in their own home. Please look at our school website to have a closer look at our school.
Animation Club takes place for Juniors on Tuesdays.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
“I have come that you may have life and have it to the full” (Jn10:10)
St Columba’s Catholic Primary School: Special Educational Needs: Local Offer
All children are different and unique in their own way.
St Columba’s Catholic Primary School is fully inclusive and has children with a range of gifts and needs. We believe all children develop at different stages and sometimes children need extra support to help them grow.
St Columba’s has a team of SEN teachers who work alongside the Head teacher as SENCO to support children to be the best that they can be. Identification of needs takes place throughout the school.
There are a range of needs throughout the school which are all catered for in different ways depending on the child.
Education Plan for SEN children
The Head teacher and key staff work together to oversee the EHC plan. Class teacher, SENCO and Head teacher all have a role in this process.
The Governing Body of St Columba’s School monitor and evaluate the work in school. The Head reports to Governors about the progress of all children. The Governors work to ensure the school is as accessible as possible to all.
Parents are crucial in the process and we aim to walk hand in hand with you as you journey through school.
Teaching, tasks and resources are all matched to the individual needs of each child. Work is fully differentiated at all levels so that each child is supported in a way that will help them flourish and grow. It is our aim that children feel that they are succeeding and that they are proud of all their work and achievements.
Parents of children with SEN have regular meetings with staff to discuss key areas. This parent/teacher liaison is crucial in the development of the whole child. Staff are available at the end of the school day to speak to parents if they feel they have questions or need support. Discussions will take place as to how you can work as a team with school and be involved in your child’s learning. In addition we offer many training and learning opportunities for parents in a range of areas.
St Columba’s School has an ethos of care and support. All staff offer pastoral and social support. The Head and Deputy provide extra emotional support where needed.
The school was graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for behaviour. Children are given clear, strict boundaries which in turn support their well being. Many positive strategies are used to ensure high levels of behaviour. Parents are crucial in supporting school; there is a home/school contract which sets out clear expectations.
All staff are Autism trained
Staff have awareness of Down’s Syndrome
We have a ‘Hearing Specialist Teacher’
Staff have had training from the ‘Hearing Specialist’ teacher
Staff have also been trained in safeguarding, first aid, bereavement, emotional attachment and diabetes.
We have access to school health, Ed P, Early Years support, speech and language, OT, behaviour team and social care.
Our building is partly wheel chair accessible; the auditory and visual environment is assessed to ensure we are supporting children in the best way possible.
There are disabled toilet facilities and a shower room.
We provide extra meetings and support parents of children with EAL
We provide effective liaison with Nurseries and home visits to support transition for life in a new setting.
PUPIL PREMIUM ALLOCATION
Our funding is used to support the whole child. Interventions range from musical support, social opportunities, behaviour advice, self esteem and confidence building, literacy, numeracy. The money is spent depending on the specific needs of each child. Children are involved in the process and views and opinions are taken into account.
There are limited numbers of pupil premium children in each cohort so it would be unfair to give data percentages on the website.
The impact of the funding was significant in some areas. It shows clearly that children at the end of KS2 have progressed and are ready for their next stage of education. Pupil Premium continues. There was no end of KS2 pupil premium in 2014.
All pupil premium children (in fact all children) are tracked, monitored and supported in order to allow them to progress.
Other funding for vulnerable children is used to provide targeted 1:1 support.
See Pupil Premium section
In geography throughout the school, we will aim to increase each child’s awe and wonder of God’s wonderful world. We will teach geography with an emphasis on enquiry and investigation of places and geographical processes, such as river erosion.
We will learn about a range different locations throughout the world and through these studies we will look at both human and physical processes as well as teaching technical skills. To enhance this work we will use appropriate maps and undertake fieldwork where possible.
Children will be taught about important episodes and developments in Britain’s past from ancient to modern times and will also have opportunities to investigate Local History.
Pupils are given opportunities to develop an awareness of the past and of the ways in which it was different from the present. They are taught about the lives of famous people and about important past events. At KS1 these skills are developed, Local History is studied and the children learn about the past from a range of sources of information. Historical enquiry and interpretation is developed. Education Visits are arranged where appropriate.
We aim to develop the children’s understanding and enjoyment of music through a range of musical experiences. Children are given an opportunity to appreciate music from different times and places and to perform and sing with others. Musical activities enhance other curriculum areas, eg: Historical Studies, RE.
We aim to prepare children for life in the world:
- by teaching them to listen with concentration and respond to what they hear
- to acquire the skills to express themselves with confidence
- to make thoughtful judgments and aesthetic and practical decisions
- to give them a sense of identity and togetherness
- encourage children to be confident, independent/creative.Children are encouraged to share their musical gifts with the parish and local community.Music is also used to help children to relax and be prayerful.
Children have the opportunity to learn to play the guitar and the recorder. In addition we also provide brass and violin tuition.
Children in Key Stage 2 are invited to sing in the school choir. We currently have a Girls’ Choir and a Boys’ Choir who sing at many school events and celebrations. Singing was highlighted in our 2012 Ofsted report.
We aim to stimulate children’s creativity and imagination. Art in school enables children to improve their skills in order to express themselves with confidence so they can communicate what they see, feel and think. We aim to give a rich experience and develop wonder and awe by teaching children how to observe – to really see colour, shape and light so they can appreciate the beauty of the world. They are encouraged to explore/develop/evaluate ideas.
Children engage in a wide range of activities in art, craft and design, using a variety of materials, tools and techniques. Art work is used as a form of expression in other curriculum areas and to enhance the internal environment of the school. A programme of work has been drawn up as a whole school approach to this subject.
There is an after school Art Club on Tuesday’s for Year 5 and Year 6, they fill our school with their work.
We take our inspiration from other artists.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
The teaching of languages is being taught throughout the Key Stage 2. This is to give the children the opportunity to experience a different language from their own. By learning a foreign language the children have the chance to explore language structure in more detail and this impacts on their literacy skills. Their listening skills are also enhanced as they have to listen to pronunciation to be able to communicate effectively with each other.
The children learn about the different cultures of people who speak French around the world. This enhances other curriculum areas such as Geography and PSHE.
Children are involved in a range of interactive activities during the French sessions which help them to gain confidence in using the language they are learning. The children are encouraged to use French in situations outside of the French lesson to aid their progression. We have just achieved the International School’s Award – Higher Level which is outstanding.
The PE curriculum consists of the following areas of activity Games, Dance and Gymnastics, which are followed in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. In addition children in Key Stage 2 also participate in Athletics, Outdoor and Adventure Activities and Swimming. Swimming is available for Year 2. Within this curriculum issues such as Health Related Fitness, and fair and good sportsmanship are covered. The Programme of Study is based on the National Curriculum. The school provides all children in Key Stage 2 with the opportunity to meet the Government target of 2 hours of high quality PE and School Sport each week. Our programme of Extra Curricular Activities aims to involve all pupils. We have practices for a number of sports and compete in fixtures and competitions. These include football, tag rugby, rugby league, netball, hockey, tennis, table tennis, athletics, cross country, basketball, swimming, rounders, cricket, orienteering, and Infant Activities.
Our school is part of the Cluster programme, through which we have strong links with partner secondary schools particularly St Bernard’s and other Catholic feeder schools. Children in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to take part in activities at St Bernard’s.
Thank you to all parents and grandparents who help make all this possible by helping with clubs and transport.
CHILDREN’S IMPROVEMENT TEAM
Our Year 6 children work hard to form a Children’s Improvement Team. They find ways to improve school life.
Children work hard to develop the school in relation to:
- Catholic Ethos
- Health and Sport
- Teaching and Learning
This develops our children as leaders who care for our community and strive for the best future for all.
EDUCATION IN HEALTH AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS POLICY
The school has a policy for Physical, Social, Health Education (PSHE) and has a Sex/Personal Relationship Policy. There is a Sex Education Programme used in Year 6 called ‘This is my Body’.
All our children are taught about the development, growth and journey of the whole person towards becoming fully human, fully alive as a unique creation made in God’s image. Our RE Scheme has the theme of Family and Growth flowing through it. What is taught at home in a natural and progressive way is re-enforced in the social and ethical training which is part of the whole curriculum. Children’s questions are answered directly and in an understanding manner according to the child’s age and maturity. The School Nurse comes to talk to the older children about puberty and issues to do with growing up. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from these programmes.
We endeavour to support parents in promoting the spiritual, moral cultural and physical development of our pupils. In 2012 Ofsted we were recognised as outstanding in this area.