Curriculum intent statements
The 2014 National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
· Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics,
· Are able to reason mathematically,
· Can solve problems by applying their mathematics.
At St Martha’s Catholic Primary School, these skills are embedded within maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy maths and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics.
At St Martha’s, we believe that our English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading and inspire a curiosity about language. In recognition of the fundamental importance of good reading, writing and oracy skills in determining future success of pupils, English and literacy are at the heart of our curriculum.
We hope that all our pupils will grow to love reading. In order to achieve this, we ensure that every child is read to by their teacher every day. We immerse our pupils in a variety of high quality texts, talk to them regularly about what they are reading, and guide them in finding books they will enjoy. This daily work is supplemented by special days and events, including: World Book Day, an annual sponsored read event, relax and read evenings, book swaps, mixed age reading buddies and visits to the local public library.
We aim for all our pupils to be able to communicate effectively in English, including those who speak English as an additional language. In order to achieve this, reading, writing and oracy are embedded throughout our curriculum. We hope to promote a positive attitude towards writing, and provide regular opportunities for pupils to write for a range of purposes and audiences. We provide high-quality models to assist children with their writing, and ensure they can independently plan, revise and evaluate their work. A systematic approach is taken to teach spelling, with a strong emphasis on understanding spelling rules and being able to use a dictionary to assist with spelling.
Handwriting is regularly taught and practised to ensure fluency and legibility, as well as a high standard of presentation across all learning.
Science teaching at St Martha’s aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically and gain an understanding of the uses of science in the world that surrounds them. Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them.
At St Martha’s, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past and think and act like historians. Our history curriculum makes full use of the resources within the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality. In addition to this, topics are sensitive to pupils’ interests and provide opportunities for them to explore their own cultural heritage. This enables the pupils of St Martha’s to gain a sense of their own identity within society.
We aim to develop the following essential characteristics to enable pupils to become historians:
· An understanding of chronology and the ability to compare events in different parts of the world during the same period of time;
· An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past;
· The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently;
· The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources;
· The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry;
· A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning;
· A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics;
· A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
At St Martha’s it is our intent for our geography curriculum to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Our curriculum reflects the diversity of our school community, allowing pupils to gain a deeper understanding of their own, and each other’s, backgrounds and cultural heritage. Pupils will be equipped with knowledge of a range of places and people, as well as an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and how these change over time. We want our pupils to gain practical experiences and skills in a variety of ways, settings and contexts.
Furthermore, our curriculum will enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and is used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Within the physical education curriculum at St Martha’s, we aspire to incorporate an enjoyable and varied syllabus which allows pupils to become confident in their sporting abilities. There is a particular focus on health and fitness, which in turn allows children to develop and adopt a healthy lifestyle and promotes positive mental health. The curriculum to designed to instil the fundamental principles of sport, teaching values such as respect, working as part of a team and fair play.
At St Martha’s we believe that all children should gain a strong understanding of how computer systems are designed, programmed and function. We aim to ensure that our pupils are digitally literate, and have the basic computing skills necessary for the future. Children will be given a strong awareness of the changing technological world and how to use technology both confidently and safely.
At St Martha’s, personal, social and health education (PSHE) enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It aims to help children understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. 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. 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.
At St Martha’s, we teach Latin in Key Stage 2. One of our central curriculum aims is:
“…to inspire and foster a love of learning and reading by providing a curriculum which is literacy and language rich.”
This was central in our decision to choose Latin as the language we teach. Learning Latin inspires children to become curious about language, as they explore the countless links between English and Latin vocabulary.
Furthermore, Latin provides the building blocks for many languages studied at Key Stage 3 and beyond (including French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese). Teaching Latin at Key Stage 2 will equip children with the knowledge and skills they will need in their next phase of education.
As children progress through the Minimus scheme of work we follow, they will not only develop their knowledge of language, but they will also grow appreciation of a classic civilisation, which will support their learning of the primary history curriculum.
At St Martha’s, our aim is to provide a music curriculum which will enable each child to reach their full potential in music. We wish to give our pupils an appreciation of music across a variety of styles and traditions, to discover the joy of singing and provide the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to perform to an audience.
Children will learn to work both independently and as part of a group, ensuring skills of resilience and teamwork are promoted as part of their music learning. Opportunities to perform outside school ensure that our children appreciate the cultural value of music in wider society and will inspire children in their participation in music both now and in the future.
Design and Technology
Our design and technology curriculum aims to provide children with the opportunity to use their imagination to solve a variety of problems in a practical way. We aim to develop a wide range of skills relevant to design and technology through a broad and balanced curriculum which takes pupils through the entire design process. Children will develop their fine motor skills through using tools, as well as apply their mathematics, science and computing skills in real-life contexts. The design process will also encourage children to take risks, learn to work as a team and build their confidence in using the six design principles.