The vision that underpins our school and everything that happens here at St. John’s is our school aim of ‘nurture, learn, succeed, together’. Through our curriculum, every individual is recognised and valued as special and unique in the image and likeness of God following St. John’s example to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’.
At St. John’s, we offer an ambitious and engaging curriculum, which is designed to give all children the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our curriculum covers all the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. We enhance the National Curriculum by ensuring that it relates to our locality and heritage of our children. In addition, we enrich learning through providing opportunities, visits, visitors and experiences that build real-life learning – the children ‘live and breathe’ the curriculum.
To ensure that children develop secure knowledge, skills and understanding that they can build on, our curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way in each year group. All aspects of the curriculum are carefully mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge so that they can make meaningful connections. Each subject taught has its own progression grid.
All subjects are delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for children.
Our curriculum is taught through blocked topics where the skills and knowledge of the National Curriculum are delivered. The skills and knowledge taught throughout the school are progressive so that children are ready for future learning.
We think very carefully on the knowledge that we want the children to learn in each subject and this is outlined in our ‘Knowledge organisers’. They provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers are sent home to support home learning. Staff will model the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow children to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Teachers support children to practice new learning, questioning for understanding, checking for misconceptions and giving clear and appropriate feedback.
Quizzes and games are used to review learning and check that children know more and remember more. Assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation.
All of our curriculum topics end with a ‘Big Question’ which showcases the knowledge and skills the children have learned throughout the topic.
As a church school, we consider Religion and World Views as a core subject. Strong leadership and teaching in this area ensures that our children make very strong progress. We use our links within the Diocese of Leeds to ensure that all staff are highly trained in this area.
Music, Computing and French are taught in weekly sessions to enable children to make maximum progress and have a high-quality experience of learning in those subjects.
We have specialist coaching from ACES who deliver high-quality PE across the school. We also employ a specialist HLTA who is also a qualified swimming teacher and lifeguard and teaches swimming lessons to children in Year 4 and 5.
At St. John’s, the impact of our curriculum is shown in several ways. In core subjects, impact is shown through the progress and outcomes of children in national testing. In addition, children talk about their learning and the quality of work in their books demonstrates the deeper impact on children knowing and remembering more. In the wider curriculum, children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt using subject-specific vocabulary. The children talk about how they enjoy their learning and can recall their learning over time. Children’s work demonstrates that the curriculum is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned in for children working at greater depth. Work across the curriculum is of good quality and demonstrates children acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence so that they know and remember more.