At St. Bede’s we have the very highest expectations for the academic success of our children and for their excitement in learning. Our goal is exceptional Teaching & Learning to equip the children with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives.
Quality of teaching is the foundation on which our school’s success rests, and we must be uncompromising in every lesson about striving for the very best for all our children. We believe that effective learning takes place when there is considerable emphasis on active involvement, opportunities to talk both imaginatively and to explain and clarify thinking.
We believe that children produce quality work when they are inspired and when their interest is sparked by learning in that context. Teachers will begin every new topic with a Spark Event to inspire future learning.
There is evidence that teaching subject knowledge and skills as part of a wider topic-based curriculum allows children to make useful links between areas of learning, and consolidate skills. Children are also likely to be more engaged in their learning if it has a context and theme that runs through it. Saint Bede’s has therefore developed a new thematic curriculum to deliver the EYFS Framework, National Curriculum 2014 and other aspects of the school curriculum, including PSHE, Religious Education and Citizenship.
As a Catholic School, religion is not just another subject in the curriculum but is a way of life. It permeates all our relationships, activities and every aspect of school life.
Our present scheme of work is ‘Come and See’ a scheme recommended by the Bishops’ Conference. It is rooted in three aspects: teaching, worship and moral values. We will use the liturgical year as a framework in which these elements will be taught, experienced, explored and celebrated.
Religious Education also happens through regular prayers, assemblies and Masses. The whole school meets regularly for assemblies or collective prayers. Canon Derek Turnham and Monsignor Ricardo Morgan celebrates Mass in school regularly throughout the year. The school celebrates Mass in the Parish Church and the children are taught hymns and liturgical music which enhances all our worship. Following a timetable, during the term, Key Stage One and Two classes attend the parish masses. The children are also encouraged to attend Sunday Mass through monthly family Masses where classes are able to share their religious learning with the parishioners.
Underlying our teaching and our relationships are the Gospel Values of honesty and humility, justice and mercy. Our aim, within this context, is that all members of our community show respect and care for one another and extend their concern to the needy by prayer and charitable service.
Parents have a right to withdraw their child from all parts of the religious education and/or collective worship. However, given the importance of RE and Collective Worship in our school, parents and prospective parents need to be aware that it can never be confined to “timetabled slots” but may take place throughout the day in a variety of contexts other than those which are specifically structured.
At St Bede’s we value every pupil and the contribution they make. As a result, we aim to ensure that every child achieves success and that all are enabled to develop their skills in accordance with the level of ability.
Mathematics is both a key skill within school, and a life skill to be utilised throughout every person’s day to day experiences.
Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
The National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) describes in detail what pupils must learn in each year group. Combined with our Calculation Policy, this ensures continuity, progression and high expectations for attainment in mathematics.
It is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all our pupils to foster confidence and achievement in a skill this essential in our society. As St Bede’s we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate to their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through education. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving, the development of mathematical thinking and development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of the St Bede’s approach to this subject.
At St Bede’s, we promote high standards of literacy by ensuring our pupils have a strong command of the spoken and written word and a love of literature. We achieve this by teaching the basic skills in discrete, daily lessons. Opportunities are then created for the children to practice these skills through the wider curriculum, reading, writing and talking about topics that they find engaging.
The teaching of these basic skills is in line with the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Key objectives are organised into a curriculum for each year group. Children are taught about these concepts in depth and practise new skills until they are embedded and secure. We do not accelerate our more able children through the curriculum; we give them different contexts in which they can apply these skills in greater depth.
At St Bede’s we aim to ensure our children are able to:
· read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
· develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information as these are important for life-long learning;
· acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and a knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
· write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
· use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
Our Science Curriculum is organised into topics for each year group that follow the year by year programmes of study outlined in the National Curriculum. This enables the children’s natural curiosities to develop into real scientific thinking. Throughout the school we aim to offer an exciting and dynamic science curriculum designed to stimulate the interest and enthusiasm of our students. Science is a core subject that demands a vigorous approach to make it interesting and challenging. Therefore, we strive to make it as practical and hands-on as possible allowing students to investigate, experiment and have fun finding out about the world within which they live. We aim to teach skills such as thinking scientifically, investigation, co-operation, teamwork and resilience. Pupils are supported to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of their world. This involves providing learning experiences where pupils can explore and investigate objects and materials, learn about change and patterns, similarities and differences, and question how and why things work.
Our History curriculum aims to give children the opportunity to develop the skills and ideas needed to retrieve information from a variety of sources, the ability to examine and evaluate evidence and an understanding of chronology, cause and effect and the influence of the past upon the present. Our History teaching is rooted in the History skills and concepts as outlined in the History National Curriculum. As per the document’s purpose of study outline, we aim to ‘help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.’ We aspire to help children develop and deepen their natural curiosity to know more about the past. Our topics are planned across the school to ensure a coverage of local, national and world history topics are covered thus enabling children’s chronological understanding to be developed.
In Geography pupils develop their knowledge of people and places to understand the physical, social and economic forces which shape those places and the lifestyles of the people who live there. We study local areas/issues and extend these studies into the wider world. The children learn to use maps to locate cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, seas, oceans and other geographical features. They use atlases, photos and the internet to explore the environment and economics of those countries which they study. The skills they have are then developed in literacy, numeracy and ICT to report and record their findings.
The national Physical Education vision is that ‘all pupils leaving primary school to be physically literate and with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport.’
We aim to promote and improve the mental and physical health and well-being of each child. We endeavour to create opportunities for each child to fulfil their potential through active participation in exercise and sport, creating a culture of learning for life. We also believe that a varied PE curriculum and wide-ranging, extra-curricular opportunities have a positive effect on concentration, attitude and enhance the academic achievement of all our children.
St Bede’s PE provision aims to embrace a range of games activities, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming (at some stage in Key Stage 2) and outdoor adventurous activities.
Children have the opportunity to develop individual skills such as co-ordination, balance and control. They plan, perform and evaluate their own and each other’s work. Children learn to appreciate the benefits of cooperation and teamwork and come to understand the advantages of healthy, safe exercise to their general physical well-being. We aim for at least two hour physical activity per class per week.
Music is developed across all age groups from EYFS to year 6. The children are encouraged to compose, listen, discuss and perform with a variety of audiences in mind. They learn to appreciate music of different styles, cultures and times, and to use their voices and a range of instruments as expressive media.
We believe a love of music gained in childhood lasts a lifetime and that making music with others is a social, joyful and spiritual experience. We therefore, encourage children to understand, appreciate and create music but above all, to find enjoyment within this particular curriculum area. Whole school singing takes place regularly during assemblies and at ‘singing sessions’.
Modern Foreign Languages
All children in Key Stage 2 study French where they develop their speaking and listening skills as well as their ability to read and write French. They also carry out research into French culture and life.
Design & Technology (D&T)
D&T has a unique contribution to make to a balanced curriculum threading into many other curriculum areas. It is primarily concerned with generating ideas, researching, producing, and evaluating. It provides opportunities for children to imagine, analyse similar products, make decisions, create solutions and put them into practice. D&T enables children to use appropriate apparatus and equipment, but most importantly encourages a way of thinking and analysing that can be applied to real world situations. We teach D&T largely through a cross curricular approach whilst teaching specific skills as and when necessary. We also offer the opportunity for experts to come into school and share their knowledge and skills to help the development of children’s skills.
Art & Design
All children are encouraged to draw, paint and create three-dimensional work using a variety of media and stimuli. An appreciation of the work of famous artists in different periods of history, the exploration of the immediate environment and other cultures and development of their own expressive ideas is encouraged. Through art, we hope that pupils develop an aesthetic awareness.
Work is displayed in classrooms and areas around the schools.
“Computers and technology are now part of everyday life. We believe that an understanding of computer science and technology is essential to understanding the world in which we live”
The core teaching of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology.
In the Early Years/Foundation Stage our pupils are introduced technology through computing activities and resources through understanding the world. In Key Stage 1 and 2, pupils receive weekly computing lessons as well as many opportunities to learn in other subjects in a cross-curricular way.
Our computing curriculum has four strands to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum:
· Computer Science
· Information Technology
· Digital Literacy
Keeping children safe is our priority at St Bede’s Catholic Primary school. That is why our pupils take part in e-safety from Foundation Stage through to Year 6. Through the curriculum our pupils are taught how to stay safe when using the internet and how to be a responsible user of technology.
Early Phonics Teaching
Read Write Inc. is a literacy programme designed and developed by Ruth Miskin, one of the country’s leading authorities on teaching children to read. The programme aims to create fluent readers and confident speakers.
At the start of the new academic year, each child in Reception and Key Stage 1 is assessed on their letter recognition and reading within the first few weeks. After the assessment; any gaps in phonic knowledge, comprehension, or reading fluency will be used to assign each child to their own small, exclusive group for regular sessions with a trained member of staff using Read Write Inc. methods. These groups are organised according to the children’s specific needs, and the specific sounds, letters and comprehension skills needed are taught in a secure and engaging way.
The Read Write Inc sessions last 30 minutes and includes a variety of activities delivered with pace and rigour. Children have the opportunity to learn sounds which are reinforced during the session with reading activities and spelling games – learning is put into practise.
Year 1 also have daily phonics in addition to RWI sessions, so that all the children can access Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds in preparation for the phonics screening test.
The children enjoy 4 sessions of RWI per week. (Monday – Thursday)
Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:
1) Participation – As they are in small groups, children participate fully in every session. They are able to maintain high levels of concentration and they do not miss key elements of the teaching.
2) Praise – Children work together as partners. They take turns to teach and praise each other. They are motivated by praise from their teachers and teaching assistants.
3) Pace – Sessions are fast paced and lively. This keeps every child fully engaged and on task.
4) Purpose – Every adult has been trained in Read Write Inc. methods. They know the purpose of each activity, and how it leads into the next.
5) Passion – adults become passionate about their teaching as they see the children enjoying the progress they are making.
The More Able Child
Our school policy is to identify through clear curriculum guidelines those children who have outstanding abilities. Opportunities are given for children to develop their specific skills or talents right across the curriculum.
Parents are always closely involved in all aspects of this special provision.