From September 2014, schools need to follow a new National Curriculum. This sets out what pupils should be taught but it is for schools to choose how they organise their school curriculum. (Academies and free schools do not need to follow the National Curriculum.)
At St. Paul’s CE Primary School, we follow a ‘theme-based’ approach to the curriculum. This means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a theme. The themes we choose depend on two factors: what areas of the National Curriculum we must cover and the interests and needs of the children. We want to make sure that our curriculum is relevant to our pupils and also teaches them the knowledge and skills they need for the next stage in tehir education and to become successful citizens of the world.
Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a theme and so these subjects are sometimes taught separately. Music and Spanish are always taught separately by our specialist staff. Not everything in Maths links well with a theme and so this can sometimes run separately, but it is always taught by the class teacher and links are made whenever possible. Science can lend itself to lots of very engaging themes – space and plants both offer lots of opportunity – whereas other Science areas will be taught as ‘mini-themes’ – a two week theme of Solids and Liquids, for example.
We also have break out weeks within the curriculum where there is a whole school focus around the same theme. We have weeks planned in for RE and Art, Science, Fair-trade, Anti-Bullying and Music. These fit with National / regional events so that our pupils are aware and can contribute to topical events as they happen. We also aim to promote British values and so our curriculum is underpinned by this, alongside spiritual, moral, social and cultural development so that we develop the whole child.
We have a yearly overview and all classes from Y1 to Y6 also have 6 different themes which will be the focus for their learning throughout the year. These are below.
Curriculum in the Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage follows a separate curriculum which can be viewed by clicking on this link.
There are seven areas which form the basis of the curriculum. These areas are made up of prime areas and specific areas.
The prime areas are:
Personal, social and emotional development (making relationships; self-confidence and self-awareness; managing feelings and behaviour)
Communication and language (listening and attention; understanding; speaking)
Physical development (moving and handling; health and self-care)
The specific areas are:
Literacy (reading; writing)
Mathematics (numbers; shape, space and measures)
Understanding the world (people and communities; the world; technology)
Expressive arts and design (exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative) Each area of learning has a set of related early learning goals which the children are assessed against.