The St Peter's Curriculum
The Curriculum is built upon the unique ethos of the school which has its foundation in the Mission Statement linked to the St Peter’s Charter. ‘Christ is at the heart of our school community; through loving, living and learning together, we all grow as the person God calls us to be.’
At St Peter’s children are growing to become the best versions of themselves, by constantly developing an awareness of the key virtues expressed through the Gospels, and how by adopting these values, and understanding these concepts, they can ‘live life to the full.’
Virtue: a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of being morally good
Values: the principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations
Concept: a principle or idea
The St Peter’s Curriculum is designed to provide our children with a wide breadth of study which allows them to explore the range of key concepts within each subject area. At St Peter’s we are aware that when children ‘think’ about, regularly practise and revisit concepts, and apply their learning they are more likely to store it in their long-term memory. This is when learning happens! Children gain an understanding/awareness of key concepts through a broad curriculum experience. These concepts are revisited through different experiences, themes and topics. They are deepened with the development of the child’s maturity; internal voice, vocabulary and ability to reason. Our Curriculum is designed to focus on themes of learning that provide webs of knowledge and skills, in turn supporting flexible thinking and the ability to reason and problem solve, resulting in even deeper learning and the building of expertise.
Children are encouraged to internalise this learning to form a set of values that they can articulate to others. They integrate this value system into their actions and develop them so that they become virtuous in their outlook and life choices. In other words the child develops from ‘I am inspired by the compassion of Mary Seacole’ - ‘how can I be more compassionate?’ - ‘I am compassionate.’
Embedded within each topic of the whole curriculum is a link to the key concepts we feel children need to explore and develop an understanding of. By exploring these concepts they begin to see how they link to the actions and experiences of individuals. They are encouraged to identify why people behave in the way they do, and acknowledge that the choices made have impact and consequences. It is our ambition that children synthesise this learning and internalise it so that it becomes part of their own personal value system.
The children need a wide a knowledge base to communicate, articulate and develop their awareness in order to fully understand key concepts. They need to develop fluency on key literacy and numeracy skills, and remember key information on which to develop reasoned conclusions and judgements. Conceptual understanding is not limited by topic or subject delineations, and we encourage them to make connections and comparison across the curriculum. For example the mathematical idea of the value of money in comparison to the value of a person. On the Titanic should the person who paid more be safer? Or comparing the beauty of the world to that of celebrity.
Encouraging our children to become ‘active’ learners and develop core values of perseverance and creative and critical thinking skills is at the heart of learning. We encourage our children to ask questions, think, adapt, and overcome barriers. We do this by providing rich opportunities that require reasonable amounts of challenge and desirable difficulty, within a broad and balanced curriculum design. It is also important that children at St Peter’s know themselves as learners. Developing their metacognition allows them to seek out challenges and find solutions to trickier problems. In a modern world where knowledge is easily and abundantly available, we want our children to develop the ability to sift and challenge this information to find truth.
How do our children learn?
The content of the curriculum dictates the teaching strategies that are used to engage children in the ‘learning'. Teachers carefully match levels of challenge to provide ‘desirable difficulty’ for all learners. The pleasure of working something out motivates children and makes the experience memorable. The Curriculum is designed to introduce our children to new ideas and to broaden their scope. There is a key focus on extending vocabulary to enable children to articulate and formulate verbally their understanding and points of view. It also helps them to explore new concepts with more depth.
Reception pupils are taught using a variety of teacher-led and pupil-initiated activities through continuous provision.
Pupils are given Phonics instruction through the Read Write Inc Scheme from Reception - Year 2.
Year 1 - Year 6 pupils are taught in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. The St Peter's Curriculum has been developed to ensure that the pupils receive a broad and balanced offer and at is based on the values of our school mission and St Peter's Charter. The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that pupils develop their meta-cognition through a progressive set of objectives which build upon previous learning and experience. This is to ensure that learning is secure and deepened over time.
Reading is an essential part of the St Peter's Curriculum and included in the Curriculum is a commitment to reading increasingly more complex texts which broadens their knowledge base. Our pupils enjoy reading a variety of good quality texts. Time is each day is dedicated to reading in the classroom. The younger pupils use the Oxford Reading Tree and a variety of supplementary reading schemes to build their skills, enhanced by guided reading sessions during curriculum time. Our Key Stage 2 pupils are encouraged to develop their higher order skills such as inference and deduction through 'book talk' and other strategies. We have recently introduced the Accelerated Reading approach. This encourages children to read a wide range of text and to persevere to the end. The children are able to take a quiz to assess their understanding, and the outcomes of this lead to points and other incentives. The data generated also supports the teachers in matching challenge level.
Please use the links below to access the yearly overview of topics and key learning for each aspect of the Curriculum.
At the beginning of each new academic year parents are invited to a 'meet the teacher' information session. During this meeting parents will be given key information about the curriculum content for the year ahead. If you would like any additional information about the Curriculum content and delivery then please make an appointment to speak to your child's class teacher.