OLST Curriculum Statement
At Our Lady and St Thomas RCVA Primary School we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum (2014) and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. We are a Rights Respecting School and this and our distinctive Catholic nature ensures we have a strong emphasis on mental health and well-being of all in our school family.
The school uses a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. This means that skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects are brought together and form a topic. Within the topic, children are able to practise and apply their reading, maths and English skills in other subject areas.
Our Long Term Curriculum Maps show each year group’s overview of topics and curriculum learning. We work on a two year rolling programme and have planned our coverage to incorporate split year groups e.g. both Y3/4 class and the Y4/5 class are taught an Ancient Civilisation and where possible this is chronological throughout the school.
Our overviews show each year group’s half termly areas of learning. They are led by enquiry questions posed by the pupils to determine what they already know about the topic, what they would like to know and what they have learned. The topic maps detail the class novel, writing and maths across the curriculum and hooks into learning through experiences. These could include a class trip, a visitor to school or a celebration of learning event.
Specialist teachers and instructors support music and physical education. We are fortunate to have language specialists and teach Spanish at KS1 and French at KS2. We have also trained our own Forest Lead Teacher to fully embrace outdoor learning in our curriculum. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. The school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology. OLST is a partner school of the RSC and our pupils enjoy the performing arts with leading Shakespeare ambassadors. Our Y5 pupils have worked on ‘Macbeth’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and this year ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.
Language acquisition and developing a love of books and reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children are exposed to classic texts and a wealth of rich texts and authors to develop their vocabulary. This is evident in their writing.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based or external presentations, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
We operate ‘Fun Fridays’ in response to the strong pupil voice in school. Pupils wanted the subjects they love to have more time. We have therefore tried to listen and our pupils dress down on Fridays in their PE kits. We have our whole school celebration, our top table for our stars of the week and a more relaxed and informal day where we concentrate on Art/DT, PSHE and important topics to debate, MFL, Forest School and PE/Sport. The children are enjoying this approach which ensures our curriculum is vibrant and exciting. Once a term, parents are invited to join us and share an aspect of learning through spending time with their child in their class learning environment.
For more detailed information about Curriculum, please ask to speak to Mrs Ruth Veitch, Head teacher.