Our school curriculum is bespoke and designed to provide ‘Excellence, Enrichment and Enjoyment’ for each pupil in each subject area. We want every pupil to achieve well academically so that they have the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to become literate, numerate and problem solvers.
Every child is unique and made in the image of God. Therefore, we value each pupil’s individuality and it is our mission to help each one of them reach their full potential through the pursuit of excellence in everything we do for them and in everything we teach them. Our curriculum is designed to be exciting, engaging and challenging, enriched with opportunities to develop each child’s God-given talents, build their character and improve their cultural capital.
Our school curriculum is designed to meet the full requirements on the national curriculum but goes beyond this so that the content is pertinent to their lives and our local context. This means that we provide opportunities to develop language and communication skills, which are a particular focus in the Early Years but are embedded throughout the curriculum. We also support our pupils to develop a growth mindset. We recognise these are key skills and attitudes that our pupils need to become resilient, hard-working and aspirational. We raise our children’s aspirations and ensure they have every available opportunity to improve their cultural capital, their personal development and instil British values and the Catholic virtues of friendship, responsibility, respect, honesty, forgiveness, self-respect, justice, compassion, patience, generosity, empathy and tolerance.
The foundation subjects are planned, taught and assessed to the same excellent standards as the core subjects in recognition that the arts, humanities, languages and sports are important for human flourishing and the development of cultural capital.
Progression Maps for each subject identify the knowledge, skills, understanding and vocabulary that pupils are expected to master each year in each subject. They also identify opportunities to develop cultural capital in each subject area. Teachers use these maps to weave together a cohesive curriculum for their year group that makes cross-curricular links around a theme when possible but recognises that some knowledge, skills and understandings should be taught discreetly.
Each Subject has a Curriculum Map and this is replicated with a Curriculum Map for Each Year Group. Knowledge Organisers are created for each topic of work. A knowledge organiser contains all the important information for a particular topic, summarised in just a few pages. It includes key words, important facts, diagrams, methods and skills relating to the topic. These are shared on the website for parents to access and are available to the pupils and teachers to use in their classroom throughout their learning. Knowledge Organisers help children know more, remember more and learn more.
Children should be happy and learning should be enjoyable! Our curriculum is designed to engage, excite and challenge our pupils so that they are comfortable to take risks with their learning in a safe environment. They will have opportunities to both follow their own lines of enquiry and learn new knowledge from expert teachers.
Having a close relationship with God enriches our lives so Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel Values permeate all areas our school curriculum. Our Catholic values and virtues are a golden thread throughout our curriculum and inform our teachings on British Values and shape our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
We have the highest expectations for teaching, learning and assessment, using OFSTED’s Outstanding grade descriptors and our own policies as our ‘Agreed Expectations’. Teachers are very well supported to become outstanding practitioners. They are given license to innovate and use research-based approaches to continually improve their pedagogy and share best practice with others.
We acknowledge that parents are the primary educators of their child and work hard to ensure they are highly engaged and work in close partnership with us to ensure every child makes sustained progress. All children receive home learning each week to support their learning in Reading, Mathematics, Religious Education and Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling. During half-terms, pupils are set a creative project to help them prepare for their forthcoming cross-curricular topic.
We provide challenge and support in equal measure. All pupils, including those who are disadvantaged or with special educational needs or a disability (SEND), are supported to achieve. Our Teaching Assistants are highly trained and deliver a number of specific interventions with expertise to ensure disadvantaged and SEND pupils access the curriculum and make sustained progress. We have high expectations for all pupils so choice and challenge are key parts of a sequence of lessons. Pupils that are high attaining are given opportunities to be challenged further through high quality teaching and enrichment opportunities.
Our bespoke school curriculum is enriched by the resources available to enhance learning. School visits, workshops and visitors regularly enhance our curriculum. Our immersive classroom (The Imaginarium), science laboratory (The Lab), music room (The Studio), art & food technology Hut (The Hut) and our outdoor classroom (The Log-In) provide dedicated learning spaces for inspiring and enjoyable lessons that enhance learning across the curriculum. In addition, we have bespoke wall displays to support pupils learn key knowledge across our curriculum. These include a time line to support our history curriculum, a world map to support our geography curriculum, the Maths Stairs, a Catholic Social Teaching wall and a Gallery of Excellence displaying carefully chosen works of art alongside our children’s work.
We are committed to providing outstanding play provision so that our pupils develop strong social, communication and problem-solving skills and improve our pupil’s well-being. We have excellent outdoor facilities such as a pond, a nature garden, a playing field and an astro-turf pitch so learning can take place effectively outside of the classroom. We have a dedicated Early Years playscape to support learning in our nursery and our reception classes.
In Key Stage 2, pupils are taught maths, english, languages, PE, computing, music and musical instruments by specialist teachers. Class teachers are encouraged to develop expertise where their particular passions lie.
Each year group uses the Subject Progression Maps to create a Curriculum Map for their year group. These are chosen to ensure the national curriculum and our own bespoke objectives are organised and taught in a progressive sequence so knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon year on year. Each year group creates a Curriculum Coverage Chart, which outlines when the specific objectives will be taught throughout the year.
Wherever possible, links are made to other areas of the curriculum and the overarching topic being taught during the half-term. We recognise, however, that much of the curriculum is best taught discreetly in the first instance to ensure the knowledge and skills of the pupils are secure before being applied to other areas of the curriculum to achieve mastery.
Each subject leader has created a Subject Policy to identify the Intent, Implementation and Impact of their subject. A Subject Story summarises the subject and gives examples of how it is implemented. They also write a Teacher Guide for their subject to detail how the subject should be implemented. This ensures there are consistent approaches to teaching, learning and assessment of each subject throughout the school.
At Saint Michael’s, we want each pupil to flourish, so our curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for each pupil to develop their interests and God-given talents. Our curriculum inspires a love for learning and pupils become good communicators, have a positive, growth mindset and have reached their full academic potential. They will have formed a strong moral code, informed by Catholic teachings and have a strong faith to support their formation. They will have the confidence to continue to the next stage of their education and continue to succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
We assess every subject we teach and track progress closely so that any child that falls behind can be given extra support. All pupils are assessed in all subjects throughout the year to provide ‘point in time assessment’. Our bespoke curriculum has been divided into learning objectives for each subject and for each year group and uploaded to an online assessment tool, Insight. We provide highly effective support for disadvantaged pupils or those with SEND and ensure pupils with the potential to reach greater depth are challenged to do so - support and challenge in equal measure. At the end of each term, pupils also complete a standardised test for Reading (PIRA), Maths (PUMA) and Grammar, Punctuation and Spellings (GAPS). These provide a summative assessment to support the teacher’s overall ‘point in time’ assessment in these subjects.
Outcomes for pupils are extremely high year on year. Despite average starting points, pupils make sustained progress so that attainment for pupils in all statutory assessments is above national and local authority averages.
All curriculum subjects are assessed. Rigorous and regular monitoring ensures actions are swiftly put into place so that all pupils’ needs are met. Pupils are confident, independent, responsible and very well prepared for the next stage in their education. They see themselves as global citizens and have strong moral values informed by our Catholic teachings.
Please click below for the school's full curriculum policy.
Our catholic ethos, religious education and wider school curriculum is designed to instil:
the fundamental British Values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
This essential personal development, which helps our pupils aspire to be virtuous, kind, compassionate citizens of the world.
Cultural capital, which compromises the essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens and prepare them for their future success. We aim to introduce our pupils to ‘the best that has been thought and said
These fundamental values and opportunities are promoted in all we do and say but some specific curriculum opportunities for explicit teaching of these values are detailed below.