The Curriculum at Holy Family – Statement of Intent
A curriculum that promotes the school’s culture and aims
“The family is the original cell of social life. It is in the context of the family that we learn to live together with love. In the family, we learn closeness, care and respect for others. The family is a community of action, a place where the Gospel is proclaimed and where witness to Christ is given through solidarity with the poor, openness to a diversity of people, the protection of creation, moral and material solidarity with other families, including those most in need, commitment to the promotion of the common good and the transformation of unjust social structures. This begins in the territory in which the family lives, through the practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Let us reflect on the word of the Saviour so that we may truly be his witnesses to the World. Bishop Richard Moth (pastoral letter, Feast of The Holy Family, 2017)
The school’s direction stems from its Mission Statement: ‘Our children are encouraged to give of their best in all they do, to stand up for their beliefs and to work and play happily together. They are further encouraged to express their God given talents and to show qualities of honesty, tolerance, forgiveness, caring and patience. We aim to live each day as one happy and Holy Family’.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, our aims are:
- to provide a Catholic Christian education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the Gospel underpin all aspects of school life;
- to provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth;
- to provide a curriculum which is creative, imaginative, enriching, relevant and challenging, where children experience the opportunity to learn in a wide range of contexts.
Our Principles for Learning and Teaching
- All children are entitled to be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out.
- All children are entitled to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress.
- All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.
- All children are entitled to time to evaluate and reflect on their learning.
- All children are entitled to have their different learning styles recognised.
- All children are entitled to teaching that inspires their learning.
- All children are entitled to learning opportunities that encourage them to be creative.
- All children are entitled to be challenged and enjoy learning, as well as encouraging problem solving.
- All children are entitled to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.
Curriculum Intent – how we designed our curriculum
- As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise R.E as a core subject, so we adhere to a diocesan-wide curriculum, ‘Come and See’. We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding these strong links. Working alongside our parish and our local community we foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society. Charitable links and service remain a focus of our regular enrichment days/events, as does seeking awe and wonder. The school recognises that foundation subjects are exceptionally important and exciting, providing key learning experiences for children. These are fully embedded in our curriculum.
- When planning our curriculum, we recognise the wide social and economic backgrounds of our families. Our curriculum is designed to enhance children’s awareness of different cultures, practices and beliefs. We plan to provide a wide range of learning experiences. We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, with particular focus on keeping safe online. We include and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen. Our curriculum is designed to encourage creativity, imagination, enquiry and independence, We encourage children to make links and transfer their skills and knowledge from one curriculum area to another. We aim to create confident, adaptable learners who are comfortable working independently or collaboratively.
The wellbeing agenda is at the heart of our curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in RE and PSHE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are ready to question arguments and situations whilst remaining respectful of the views of others. ‘Holy Family school is an outstanding Catholic school. Pupils are exceptionally well behaved and achieve extremely high standards. All groups of pupils enjoy their learning, they are interested, attentive and achieve well. Learning partners are used very effectively’ (Section 48 Inspection, April 2014)
- In recognising the development of the whole child the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is exceptionally strong. The work of the inclusion team in The Star Suite allows vulnerable children to fully access their learning and curriculum entitlement. The school has various systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children and provides signposting to their parents. This includes 1 to 1 support, counselling, ELSA & focus groups.
- Emotional and mental wellbeing is also greatly enhanced by sport. Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision. We also strongly believe the pedagogy of P.E. in sport positively influences other areas of the curriculum and really enhances children’s learning, physiologically allowing better learning to happen, as well as children learning skills such as listening, problem solving, team work, respect and resilience. We have invested heavily with the P.E. and sport provision, with a clear focus on inclusion for all. This has been evident through being one of the first 100 schools In England to receive the Platinum School Games Gold Award which reflects the highly effective sport provision across the school. The school believes that this is an area of excellence and parent comments also convey this. Our Headteacher has held the important role of Youth Sport Trust National Ambassador since 2014 and also sits on the Surrey Active Sports organising committee in an advisory role. These roles enable him to advise and support schools in the spending of sports premium and the teaching of curriculum P.E. and sport within a school.
- Teaching staff annually review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. All topics include an exciting initial activity, experience or event to instill excitement and enthusiasm for the topic. Learning environments are crucial to our curriculum. Classrooms are vibrant, interactive and set up to stimulate and promote independent learning opportunities.
- Subject leaders are currently working on assessment of foundation subjects. Our curriculum is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance.
The Curriculum – implementation
Our curriculum is focused on high quality learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Our 4-D immersive teaching & learning room ‘The Space’ is a fully embedded multi-sensory resource used by school staff to inspire and engage learners across the school. Our curriculum is designed to encourage children to make links between traditional areas of the curriculum and to use and apply the skills and knowledge they gain. Teachers use the outside learning environments whenever possible.
- The school is currently organised into 7 classes. In KS1, 22 hours 50 minutes is spent each week on teaching the curriculum and in KS2, 24 hours 10 minutes. This time includes collective worship/assemblies and daily prayer.
- For greater detail of our curriculum content and delivery, please see the individual subject pages under the ‘curriculum’ tab or look on the class pages under the ‘school groups’ tab.
- We teach phonics in EYFS & KS1 using Letters & Sounds supported by a range of practical methods, providing additional support for children where appropriate. We use a wide variety of reading materials, covering fiction and non-fiction, including Oxford Reading Tree scheme. More confident readers are able to choose from class readers and a well-stocked library. The scheme is continued at home. We encourage children to read daily at home and this is monitored via a home-school reading diary. Reading is given very high profile within the school; we operate a system of paired reading (Y6 & Y3, Y5 & Y2, Y4 & Y1, Y3 & YR) with reading partners meeting every week.
- The school gives additional booster provision for reading and phonics to our younger children who may need it.
Impact our curriculum is having on standards of teaching and learning
- The curriculum at Holy Family is well planned and thought-through to enable a wide range of engagement, not only within class but in providing out of class opportunities to enable children to develop themselves as learners and encourage each child to be as independent as possible. Pupil voice feedback and specific whole staff planning time during staff meetings allows the staff to regularly review and assess the impact that the curriculum is having. We work closely alongside our colleagues within The Xavier CET’ on developing & monitoring our curriculum quality and provision. This includes working groups for learning & teaching, maths, English & foundation subjects. Our RE leader meets regularly with Deanery colleagues and attends Diocesan training/meetings to assess the impact of the RE curriculum.
Assessing our children’s learning within the curriculum
At Holy Family we ensure that the children are regularly assessed, using formative and summative assessments, against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. Teachers use a range of feedback strategies in class and children are very familiar and confident using self and peer assessment strategies. Further information about assessment can be found in the assessment policy.
A curriculum for the whole child
“A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints….” Pope Benedict XVI, 2010
The spiritual development of pupils is shown by:
•Pupils’ ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
•Their sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
•Their use of imagination and creativity in their learning
•Their willingness to reflect on their experiences
The moral development of pupils is shown by:
•Pupils’ ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
•Their understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
•Their interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
The social development of pupils is shown by:
•Pupils’ use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
•Their willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
•Their acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
The children enjoy getting involved with national celebrations:
The cultural development of pupils is shown by:
•Pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
•Their understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
•Their knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values and in continuing to develop Britain
•Their willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
•Their interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
Sex and Relationships Education
At Holy Family, sex and relationships education is taught through a whole school policy and scheme ‘Journey in Love’ and, where possible, is integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as religious education, science and PSHE. It is always taught within the context of the church’s teaching on sexual relationships. Parents are given the opportunity to discuss what their child will be learning so that they can support their child’s work at home. Any questions that children ask are answered sensitively and in a caring manner. Lessons and resources are always chosen to suit to the age of the children.
Wherever relevant and possible, our curriculum is enriched with workshops, visiting speakers, special events and educational trips. Examples of this include (this list is just a small sample of the many exciting things within our curriculum)
- ‘KS1 Airport Day’ with visiting BA Purser, Easyjet pilot, Gatwick Airport security and management
- ‘KS1 Seaside Day’ with visiting Punch & Judy show, donkey rides, beach activities and postcard workshop
- ‘Enable Me’ Day with focus on overcoming the challenges of a disability
- Visiting theatre groups eg Cat’s Grin Theatre (Shakespeare), M&M Productions (Secret Garden)
- Judaism workshop, visit to Hindu temple, visit to Sikh temple (study of other faiths)
- Educational visits to Roald Dahl Museum, Fishbourne Palace (Romans), RHS Wisley, Hobbledown Farm, Brooklands Museum
- Residential visits to Hooke Court (Year 4) and Isle of Wight (Year 6)
- BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club
- Year 6 Junior Citizen at Thorpe Park
- Pedals (KS1) & Bikeability training (Year 6)
- Holy Family’s Got Talent
- Evacuee Day (Year 6)
- Special celebration assemblies including Grandparents Afternoon Tea (October), Reception Welcome Assembly (November), Year 6 Leavers Assembly (July), Volunteers Assembly (July)