Curriculum

Here you can access all information related to our school curriculum, including long-term objectives and latest curriculum news.

Curriculum Information Types

A school curriculum is broad and comprises a lot of information. To best communicate this to you, our curriculum information is broken down as follows:

(Use the title links above to jump to the relevant sections)

1. Curriculum Introduction and Overview
This top level information can be found on this page. It includes curriculum overview, along with phonics scheme and complaints procedure information, relevant for the whole school. 
2. Year Group Yearly Overviews
These documents, available below, detail exactly what will be taught, included any engaging texts that children may read during the year
3. Subject Overviews
Information outlining longer term objectives and plans for each subject, also found on this page.
4. Class Newsletters For Each Year Group >
These documents include year group specific information about what children will be learning during each term. In addition to the page linked above, they will also appear on your child’s year group page news feed as they are published, along with all the other year group news.
5. Curriculum News >
These are curriculum news articles from daily life at St. Stephen’s RC, with accompanying photos and videos, to give you an insight into the classroom, strengthen the home-school partnership and celebrate the work the children are producing. As with all news, the articles can be found in our main news feed and on specific class pages. You can use the category links at the top of the articles to explore specific subjects in more detail. You can also browse specific subject via the links in the sidebar on this page.
6. The Golden Wall >
A collection of examples of great work from our pupils that we are proud to publish. For quick access you can also find The Golden Wall in the Year Group main drop down menu.  

1. Curriculum Introduction and Overview

 

Introduction to the St Stephen’s Curriculum

Our school curriculum is designed around the Gospel Values and carefully selected scripture is at the heart of subject leadership.

At the heart of curriculum is experiences. Teachers carefully select purposeful and meaningful learning experiences that bring to life the curriculum. Its focus is almost entirely on the ability to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding so that they leave school with skills that they will take to secondary school and beyond in their working life.

Curriculum Aims

  • To develop skills that children will use in their everyday life
  • To promote a love a learning and a thirst for knowledge
  • To develop an understanding of who they are, what part they play in Modern Britain and the wider world.
  • To develop and nurture their curiosity, creativity and their ability to question
  • To instil resilience, independence and other personal attributes

Curriculum Principles

  • In line with Mastery Learning, we will focus on depth before breadth in every subject area so that pupils can attain proficiency and study the curriculum with confidence
  • Teach pupils Personal Learning and Thinking Skills so that they become successful and motivated learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens
  • Cultivate Collaborative Learning so that pupils develop social skills, practise interacting with others and enjoy learning
  • Endorse high-quality texts that enhance the subjects selected 
  • Promote Feedback which allows pupils time to engage, reflect and review – including peer and self-evaluation so that they are capable of improving their own learning 
  • Ensure that Oracy is at the heart of the curriculum so that our pupils are able to express themselves fluently, grammatically and confidently
  • Develop Social and Emotional Learning so that our pupils are self-aware, foster positive relationships and achieve personal wellbeing
  • Participate in The Arts so that our pupils develop artistically and creatively
  • Provide an Experience-Rich Curriculum so that our pupils can pursue personal interests and talents 
  • Use Digital Technology effectively and creatively so that pupils are digitally fluent and equipped for life in the 21st Century
  • Enable our children to Demonstrate Learning in Different Ways – not always pages in an exercise book but photographs, posters, products, presentations and performances

Purpose

The purpose of the our curriculum is to equip pupils with a set of relevant personal, learning and thinking skills needed for success in learning and life. Our curriculum will focus on:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self-managers
  • Effective participators and communicators

What does the Curriculum look like?

  • English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Music, MFL, Computing are taught discreetly however cross curricular links are explicit, particularly with Art and Design Technology
  • PE is delivered twice weekly, one taught by a specialist sports coach and the other by the class teacher

The full national curriculum, set out by the Department of Education, can be accessed here.


2. Year Group Yearly Overviews

Please find below copies of each year groups long term plan for the academic year:

EYFS Cycle

Year 1 Overview – 2017

Year 2 Overview – 2017

Year 3 Overview – 2017

Year 4 Overview – 2017

Year 5 Overview – 2017

Year 6 Overview – 2017


3. Subject Overviews 

Below you will find a summary of each curriculum area, written by our subject leaders, outlining the purpose of their subject area.

EYFS

At St Stephen’s RC Primary, we believe that by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be resilient, self-assured, strong, responsible and independent learners. We aim to help our children to develop into happy and healthy well rounded individuals who possess skills for the ever changing 21st Century, have a thirst for life-long learning and who make a positive contribution to society. 

Our vision is facilitated through:

  • Committed, enthusiastic and reflective practitioners with a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • A thorough understanding of the individual child and the diverse ways and rates in which children develop and learn.
  • On-going training for practitioners in order to ensure all children’s needs, learning styles and interests are fulfilled.
  • Demonstrating and continuously improving our work with parents, carers and the wider community.
  • Supporting children’s development in all areas of learning.
  • Working collaboratively with other professionals within and beyond the setting.
  • Striving to develop secure relationships between children and staff and staff and parents in ways which are positive, sensitive and non-judgmental.
  • Providing a stimulating learning environment which supports and extends learning and enables children to reach their full potential.

English

At St. Stephen’s we encourage all pupils to read a wide range of quality texts of both fiction and non-fiction. Children experience these texts through Guided Reading sessions when enjoying class books; in the books they take home to read and in the English units each class teacher plans. We also like to hold special events like ‘Book Day’ and ‘Poetry Day’ where the children can immerse themselves in activities story/language related. Sometimes poets and authors are invited into school. Early Years and Key Stage 1 like to hold ‘Fairy tale Day,’ ‘Superhero Day’ or other special days related to their class books and topics. These types of days help to instil a love of reading across school. Classes often link up so the children can enjoy sharing storybooks or books they have written themselves with other year groups. We have found this to be extremely rewarding for both sets of children.

The children of St. Stephen’s are very keen writers. We aim to provide them with a rich, stimulating environment where they can develop their writing skills. Each English unit is based on a picture book. This is the case all the way through school. Teachers use the book to plan a range of activities which develop children’s spoken and written language as well as their ability to plan and structure a story with all the necessary punctuation and grammatical features. It is important for the children to write for a variety of purposes and audiences and to practise a full range of texts types including narrative, reports, instructions, letters and recounts.

We aim to broaden and extend the range of children’s writing by giving them opportunities to write in other curriculum areas, always with the aim of developing their English skills.

Spelling is developed by the teaching of phonics initially and then extends to the children exploring spelling patterns and rules which are practised through games and other fun activities. Spellings are tested weekly.

St. Stephen’s use the ‘Achieving Excellence in Handwriting’ scheme which is used regularly every week. This leads to well-formed, joined handwriting of the correct size.

Maths

Our planning and resources are based heavily on Tara Loughran’s toolkit.

Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. We strive for our pupils to master mathematics so that they can represent a concept or skill in multiple ways, have the mathematical language to communicate related ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Pupils should be encouraged to make connections across mathematical procedures and concepts to ensure fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving problems.

Religious Education

St. Stephen’s RC Primary school follows the “Come and See” R.E programme as recommended by the Diocese of Salford. In the classroom we deliver the programme of “Come and See” through our R.E sessions. The essence of our beliefs and practices are carried out through all our classroom practices. Liturgies, whole school assemblies and class reflections echo the themes and the liturgical calendar throughout each week, in addition to class sessions.

“The programme has been developed to respond to the needs of children today in their faith journey, to enable them to grow in their religious literacy and understanding in a way that is coherent with current educational principles. It is designed to support teachers in their delivery of religious education. It integrates the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Levels of Attainment and the new Religious Education Curriculum Directory. At the heart of the progamme is the mystery of God’s self revelation of love through Jesus Christ. “Come and See” gives pupils the opportunity to explore the mystery of faith through Scripture and Tradition. I am sure that “Come and See” will serve you well in the sacred task of teaching religious education.” Rt Rev Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton – Former President of the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisers.

“Come and See” is developed through three themes based on the above documents of the Second Vatican Council, which are gradually explored each time at greater depths. They are Church, Sacrament and Christian Living.

The Church themes occur in each season time and each theme gradually builds on the understanding of the previous theme.

  1. Autumn – My story – my family – Domestic Church. To start the year Come and See begins with my story within a family. The Church honours the family with the title Domestic Church because it is there that parents by their word and example are the first (teachers) heralds of faith with regard to their children.
  2. Spring – Our story – local community – Local Church. After Christmas the children explore the theme of local Church which is our story. The parish is where people gather together to celebrate and practice care and love for each other. The diocese is the community of the Christian faithful.
  3. Summer – The story – the worldwide community – Universal Church. The year finishes with the story of the worldwide community, the universal Church. In the Church, God is calling together his people throughout the world. The order and harmony of the created world result from the diversity of beings and from the relationships that exist among them.

The Sacramental themes occur once in every season time and each theme gradually builds on the understanding of the previous theme.

  1. Autumn – Belonging – born into Christ’s life. Following on from an understanding of belonging to a family the theme of Baptism introduces the understanding of being initiated into belonging to the Christian Church during key stage 1. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. At key stage 2 children will learn about the Sacrament of Confirmation, whereby the baptised are more perfectly bound to the church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit, the Sacrament of Ordination for the service of the Church and the Sacrament of Marriage, perfecting the human love of wife and husband.
  2. Spring – Relating – God’s love in our lives – Eucharist. In the Spring time after learning about the local Church community, the Sacrament of the Eucharist is explored. This is the Sacrament of communion with Christ and the Church. This sacrament is at the heart of Come and See since it is at the heart of Christ nourishing his people.
  3. Summer – inter-relating – service to the community – Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Reconciliation forms part of the work of the summer time where there is an opportunity to learn about the joy and challenge of relationships and God’s love and mercy celebrated in this sacrament. At key stage 2 children will learn about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which strengthens, forgives and unites the ailing person more closely to Christ.

Science

Science is a core curriculum subject. The teaching of science should offer the following opportunities to children:

Knowledge and Understanding

Children should:

  • be curious about the things they observe, experiencing and exploring the world around them with all their senses
  • use this experience to develop their understanding of key scientific ideas and make links between different phenomena and experiences
  • begin to think about models to represent things they cannot directly experience
  • try to make sense of phenomena, seeking explanations and thinking critically about claims and ideas

Processes and Skills

Children should:

  • acquire and refine practical skills needed to investigate questions safely
  • develop skills of predicting, asking questions, hypothesising, planning, fair testing, observing, measuring, recording, evaluating results based on evidence and understanding, drawing conclusions and using these skills in investigative work
  • practise mathematical skills in real life contexts
  • learn why numerical skills and mathematical skills are useful and helpful in understanding

Values and Attitudes

Children should:

  • work with others, listening to their ideas and treating these with respect
  • develop respect for evidence and evaluate critically ideas which may or may not fit evidence available
  • develop the ability to work in an increasingly independent way
  • develop a respect for the environment and living things and for their own health and safety

A principle aim of science within St Stephen’s is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. We approach this through a variety of teaching and learning styles within the science lessons. Whole class teaching and enquiry based research allows the children not only to ask questions but also to find out the answers to scientific questions. Various resources are available for the children to explore and manipulate such as graphs, pictures, photographs, models and equipment. Children are encouraged to take part in discussions based around their topic and present their ideas and findings to the rest of the class. In most cases the children take part in ‘real’ scientific activities which are relevant to their learning and experiences. We follow the scheme of work produced by Collins called ‘Snap Science’.

History and Geography (Humanities)

Voyagers is a history and geography scheme for Key Stages 1 and 2, containing half-termly projects teeming with creative outcomes such as creating your own Viking myth, recording your own weather forecast, or creating your very own archaeological dig.

Physical Education

As a school use Active Tameside as our PE provider and follow their scheme of work when planning and assessing. Matthew our coach helps to provide CPD for teachers in each session and supports with making assessment judgements too.

This information is being updated so please keep looking back for new and updated materials.

For additional information about our Curriculum, please contact the school office who will be happy to provide additional information.


EYFS & KS1 Phonics Scheme

Read, Write Inc is considered to be an inclusive Literacy programme that has already been successful in many schools.

At the core of the Read, Write Inc programme is the vigorous teaching of synthetic phonics. Children will learn the 44 common sounds in the English Language and how to sound blend words over a short period of time, alongside letter formation and spelling. They then read books with the words they are learning to sound blend. This approach guarantees early reading success.

Comprehension is an integral element of the programme from the start. We want children to find writing easy and enjoyable too. The programme includes a set of Get Writing books linked to the reading that support children’s learning in reading, writing and spelling.

All the children have already been assessed and placed at the appropriate level on the programme. Assessment is ongoing and movement between the groups is fluid. So if a child is making good progress they can move up likewise children who need extra support will be catered for.

The overarching aim of this programme is to help our school become a read-a-lot school and a talk-a-lot school. In partnership and with the support of parents we hope that this new initiative will be successful for your child.


Homework

Homework is an important part of school life. At St Stephen’s all children receive homework. This helps your child make better progress and complements their work in class.

  • In Key Stage 1 this will consist of reading every night and learning key words.
  • In Key Stage 2 the amount of homework will gradually increase year by year.
  • Extra work on the topics detailed in the yearly guide will also help your child.
  • All classes will have reading every night and spellings every week. Numeracy and Literacy work will also be set with topic work were appropriate.
  • Please help your child get into good routines by asking them to complete their homework as soon as they get in from school.
  • If your child is experiencing problems with their homework, please come into school and ask thier class teacher for help – we all need a helping hand from time to time!

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions about homework.


Enriched Curriculum

We recognise that children learn in lots of ways and we are committed to providing a broad, exciting and challenging curriculum which gives every child the chance to excel both during and after school.

Learn more about the wide range of activities on offer on our Clubs and Enrichment page. 


Supporting additional needs

Please see our SEND & Local Offer page for more information about how we support children additional needs at St. Stephen’s RC.


Curriculum Complaints Procedure

  • The Headteacher deals with all aspects of the school curriculum and is the first point of contact for any parent who has concerns about what is taught and learned in school.
  • School rarely receive complaints about the curriculum, but all schools are required to set out a curriculum complaints procedure.
  • If you contact us we will try to answer any questions you may have in an informal and helpful manner.
  • If, the concerns cannot be resolved, then a formal complaint may be referred to the Governing Body and from there to the Local Education. Please refer to our Complaints Procedures document on the school policies page for more information on how to do this.

Still Want To Know More?

Should you require any further information regarding our curriculum, your child’s class teacher will be more than happy to provide you with the details you require.