For more information regarding our curriculum, please click on the subject headings below.
For more information regarding our curriculum, please click on the subject headings below.
We aim to provide a high quality mathematics curriculum, which allows the children to develop the skills they require for everyday life. Maths teaching enables pupils to reason mathematically and to build an appreciation of the power of mathematics, as well as to develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
We follow The New National Curriculum Mathematics programme of study. The programmes of study are organised into distinct domains, within each year group. There are clear sets of objectives for Years 1 to 6. This programme provides teachers with the flexibility to make connections within mathematical ideas and across a range of other subjects in order to make the learning relevant. Children are taught reasoning, fluency in number and mental calculation and competence when solving problems.
In the Foundation stage we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework. Mathematical development involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. Learning takes place largely through practical games and activities.
At St Joseph’s we place a strong emphasis on the development of mental arithmetic and investigating in a systematic way, so all children are equipped to apply their knowledge and skills and solves problems in the real and mathematical worlds.
At St Joseph’s we aim to equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of reading, by providing children with rich and varied learning experiences. We believe that a high-quality education in English enables pupils to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others accurately and expressively.
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak is vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and their understanding of reading and writing.
At St Joseph’s we believe the best way to teach children about the correct conventions for spoken language is to immerse them in it. In all subjects children have opportunities to orally explain their ideas, make formal presentations and participate in drama activities and debates.
Children are taught a range of phonic strategies, using the Letters and Sounds programme, to enable them to decode new words so they can read fluently and with confidence. Through high quality discussion of a range of texts including; fiction, non-fiction and poetry, children develop their comprehension skills, as well as an appreciation and love of reading.
Guided reading is a daily occurrence throughout the school. During these sessions, children have the opportunity to explore progressively challenging books from the Big Cat reading scheme, as well as engage with high quality texts from different genres. Children work in small groups with the teacher and are taught key reading strategies to support the development of their comprehension and apply them through a range of activities, such as drama and extended writing opportunities.
Our home reading programme, which provides children with books to read at home, plays an important role in developing our positive reading culture. In Reception and KS1, children begin by following the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme to support them in developing their phonic skills, stamina and comprehension. As children become more fluent, confident readers, they are encouraged to read ‘real’ books and write reflections about what they have read in their reading journals, in order to develop their critical thinking skills. Our annual ‘Book Week’ celebrations, and events such as author’s visits and book fairs, create a culture of reading for pleasure, which we hope will stay with children throughout their lives.
At St Joseph’s, we understand that being an effective writer requires many skills, such as; a sound knowledge of spelling rules and patterns, an understanding of proper grammatical conventions and sentence structures, a wide vocabulary to express ideas, and fluent, legible handwriting to write them down.
We ensure that all of our children are explicitly taught these skills through a mixture of discrete lessons, thoughtful discussion and analysis of quality writing.
Through careful choices of exciting class texts, ranging from myths and legends to newspaper reports, pupils are given starting points for their writing, as well as opportunities to expand their vocabulary. In shared and guided writing activities, pupils work with their teacher to learn how to plan, revise and evaluate their own written work, enabling them to become more independent, successful writers.
Grammar and spelling lessons are often linked to class texts to provide children with a context for their learning and they are taught through a mixture of games, quizzes and short written experiences.
In handwriting lessons, pupils are taught to form and join their letters correctly – using the Nelson Handwriting Programme – to develop a legible, cursive style which allows them to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively.
At St. Joseph’s we aim to deliver meaningful science lessons which excite and engage pupils. We encourage children to ask questions about the world around them and aim to provide them with hands-on opportunities to investigate and answer these questions for themselves. Through practical investigations, research, visits out and inviting people into our school, we aim to provide children with the required level of scientific knowledge in a way that they will remember.
We believe that as science is an integral part of our daily lives, children should have various opportunities within the school grounds to explore and learn outside the classroom. We are currently designing a wildlife area and a school trail so children can see how their local environment changes throughout the year. In addition, we build visits into the curriculum so children are able to get out and about and learn in different settings.
The scheme of work, has carefully structured the content of the new primary curriculum in a way that is progressive and manageable. Teachers then adapt the ideas and activities to the needs, interests and ability of their class to ensure learning is relevant, engaging and purposeful.
Recording and communicating is an important part of science. Our children record results in a variety of way; from using data logging equipment in computing, taking photographs, reading thermometers or simply describing in words or drawings, observations they have made. They are taught and given opportunities to present their findings in a variety of ways which is reflective of the purpose of the task.
These include tables, graphs, written reports, fact books, PowerPoint presentations, posters and formal speeches. Children are taught and use the correct scientific vocabulary right from the start and we make links to other areas of the curriculum to make learning as holistic as possible.
At St Joseph’s School we understand the importance of Computing technology in today’s world and reflect this in the numerous ways that our children are using it to realise their full learning potential across the entire curriculum as well as developing specific Computing based knowledge.
Careful planning and flexible thinking has allowed St Joseph’s to provide our children with a full range of Computing devices which can be used both directly and indirectly to enhance their learning. Whether they are using the interactive whiteboard in lessons to annotate a page from a story with the feelings of the characters, researching a topic using the in class computer banks, programming apps using the class set of tablet computers, developing multimedia skills in the Computing suite or photographing a setting for a story, your children will have the resources required to make them safe and confident navigators in a world where real life and communications technology are increasing integrated.
We follow the Rising Stars Computing curriculum which has been specifically designed with the New Curriculum objectives in mind, leading to an easily understood progressive model which takes into account all the latest changes in teaching, hardware and software to provide an exciting and comprehensive education for our children. From Year One children becoming TV chefs using Movie Maker to Year Fours co-authoring Wiki-pages to Year Six children programming mobile phone apps, St Joseph’s school children will be learning a huge range of skills which can be applied in many different areas.
St Joseph’s prioritises the teaching and implementation of a clear and concise internet policy which ensures the safety and security of children while using this valuable educational resource to augment their learning. All classes have a bank of four computers and access at least twice a week to a timetabled Computing Suite. Furthermore the children will have access to tablet computers to further assist them in their learning across the curriculum while building vital teamwork and communication skills with their classmates.
At St Joseph’s history is taught as a discrete subject, broadly organised into chronological periods across Key Stage 2. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, history units are topic–based and generally focus on the more recent past.
At St Joseph’s we follow the new National Curriculum for History which states:
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
We ensure our planning and all lessons engage the children about the past, making good use of sources, cross curricular opportunities and educational visits to develop the skills above and enjoyment in this subject.
From the youngest age history is presented as an exciting narrative and brought alive, whatever period or topic is studied, using: story, film, drama and role play. We regularly have visiting workshops from organisations such as Freshwater Drama and Portals to the Past. Some of the exciting ways the children engage in to develop their understanding of the past is clearly illustrated in the photographs on the site.
We also ensure that our curriculum is responsive to current events and issues. For example, over the next 4 years for the World War 1 commemoration, all year groups will study aspects of this period which will include Remembrance Day and a Black History Month focus. In 2014, the school focused on the theme of international friendship which culminated in our commemorative match on 5th December 2014 between the staff and school team. In 2015, the school focused on people including Walter Tull and Wilfred Owen. 2016 focuses on animals in war and include looking at texts such as War horse by Michael Morporgo.
In addition, the children have been very excited to see the timeline we have had painted which not only makes an attractive display but will help the children develop their chronological understanding. This is situated long one of our school staircases.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for Geography which opens with this phrase:
‘… inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.’
St Joseph’s pupils’ are taught to appreciate, value and wonder at the world around them through our Catholic ethos – it is our intention, therefore, that their understanding and sense of awe, the main aim of the National Curriculum for Geography, is at the heart of our developing curriculum framework.
Our framework, which runs over a 2 year cycle, starts in the Foundation Stage where children explore the world using their immediate environment, before studying the UK and contrasting areas of the wider world in Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 2, pupils build on earlier studies of the UK in more depth, as well as learning about Europe and the Americas.
Geography is taught discretely using a range of engaging starting points and resources, including the use of story, interactive maps, a powerful image or drama workshops. Children are increasingly building their skills using new technology and opportunities are taken to develop their knowledge through cross curricular topics and whole school initiatives. In addition, children learn about their locality and beyond through issues affecting different parts of the world, arising from: topics in the news; their own interest and families; and school or class assemblies.
Regular opportunities are taken for field trips to ensure the children apply and link their knowledge and skills from maps, texts and pictures to real places. Such opportunities include visits to the local area – for example the River Thames; as well as sites, such as Horton Kirby, and the opportunity for Year 6 to go further afield to the Isle of Wight for their school journey.
Modern Foreign Languages aids the development of children’s linguistic competence. At St Joseph’s, we believe that learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life.
The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others.
Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this critical area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.
As the UK is becoming an increasingly multicultural society, we have a duty to provide our children with an understanding of other cultures and languages. At St Joseph’s, we teach children in Key Stage Two French.
Speaking and Listening
Reading and Writing
Organisation of Teaching
The planning developed for KS2 will target objectives taken from the National Curriculum 2014. Each phase group in KS2 will have its own programme of study, each building on learning from the previous year and each contributing to a secure development of the National Curriculum objectives. We follow closely the Euro Stars Scheme of Work specifically designed for primary school children, introducing learners to the language and everyday life of France. The emphasis is on oracy, encouraging children to listen and speak the foreign language. Children develop an inter-cultural understanding of the language and the countries where French is spoken. A specialist MFL teacher from St Michael’s Secondary School teaches French to children in Key Stage 2 during autumn and spring terms.
Learning another language presents opportunities for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding in other curriculum areas. An understanding of the structure of a new language enhances the children’s understanding of their own language and so links closely to the Literacy curriculum. There are also opportunities to link to the PSHE and citizenship, geography and RE curricula in terms of the development of positive attitudes towards, and knowledge of, other cultures and countries. We make more links to many other subjects when celebrating Bastille Day and Le Tour de France.
We believe that, by connecting young children to music, we can enhance not only their enjoyment, skills, understanding and appreciation of the subject itself, but also learning in other areas, including: thinking and listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creative, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence, and sensitive to others.
Each class (including the nursery) has a weekly music lesson with the specialist teacher. Children are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding of music in accordance with the programme of study contained in the national curriculum.
We have a range of pitched and unpitched musical instrument for children use, including electronic keyboards and instruments from non-European cultures. Songs from a wide range of cultures, traditions and genres are learned, as well as practising songs for our assemblies and school productions.
Class teachers plan together with the subject leader to exploit cross-curriculum links between music and other subjects wherever practicable. The subject leader assists in providing good quality, well-performed music for assemblies and especially for the celebrations of the liturgy.
Design Technology at St Joseph’s gives our children an opportunity to explore and understand their world before using their creative and practical talents to design and construct a product from their own perspective.
The children look at existing products and investigate how their design has been tailored to a specific audience before considering how they might alter this for an alternative design brief. They are then taught subject specific skills in a controlled environment before applying those skills on their own design. At all times children are encouraged to consider and plan for any risk that may be present when using a specific skill, ensuring a classroom that is aware and confident.
The children’s learning will also reflect the prioritising of Nutrition in the New Curriculum, developing their skills and understanding in the kitchen environment from planing a balanced meal to learning how to safely prepare ingredients in a creative way for a set design brief. They will be encouraged to try new things and investigate flavours and ingredients from around the globe, all while understanding the vital importance of balanced meals, exercise and safe preparation on their health and well-being throughout their lives.
St Joseph’s is a Catholic school which aims to support its pupils in learning about the life and mission of Jesus in a loving, caring and supportive environment that reflects the gospel values. Through focused RE lessons, children learn about the life and work of Jesus; the traditions of the church; the importance of the sacraments and develop their understanding of the Mass. They also learn about other world faiths and the need to respect the beliefs and traditions of others.
At St Joseph’s we recognise that children should not just learn about the Gospel values but live them. We believe it is our duty to create an environment that is reflective of this; where children feel respected, loved and cared for in every aspect of their education and able to reach their full potential, not just academically but emotionally, socially and personally.
Collective worship is an important part of our routine; children come together for assemblies either as a whole school or in key stages. The children also participate in hymn practice and thoroughly enjoy their chance to take part in a class assembly which parents are invited to attend. The children in Key Stage Two attend Parish Mass with their class each term.
At St. Joseph’s school, we are committed to providing high quality physical education helping children to realise that physical exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
Each class has two sessions of PE a week and has a balance of indoor and outdoor PE over the academic year. Across the school the children experience a wide range of physical activities, including Gymnastics, Dance, Games, Athletics and Outdoor Adventure. Swimming is also taught in Years 3 and 4 by a fully qualified instructor.
All our PE lessons begin with fun and rigorous warm ups, ranging from energetic dances to command and response games such as `Jumping Beans’. All our PE lessons end with a cool down, which may take the form of quiet meditation focussing on breathing; stretches; or a reflection on individual improvements to be made in the next lesson.
The main teaching of our lessons is structured in two parts. The first part focuses on the teaching of specific skills, and the second, challenging the children to apply these skills in a small-sided game, dance motif or gymnastic sequence, depending on the area of PE being taught.
We strive for excellence in our PE lessons, always looking for the children to be active; performing gymnastic actions with increasing control and finesse; demonstrating awareness of tactics in a games context and cooperating as a team when solving a physical task together, e.g. crossing the swamp with a limited number of mats!
All items of school uniform, including our PE kit, are available from the school office.
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education)
At St. Joseph’s, we are committed to providing fun, meaningful and appropriately challenging learning opportunities that help children develop holistically. We wish children to develop physically, linguistically, intellectually, personally and socially. Therefore, PSHE is a very important area of learning which helps to ‘prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.’ (NC, p4, 2014).
Within the new National Curriculum, we have the flexibility to tailor the PSHE programme of study to our children. This is fundamental given the ever changing and developing world in which we live. As a global community advancing daily in technology we find ourselves facing new challenges concerning online safety, security and privacy. Our responsibility to look after our planet means we are constantly improving our awareness and practices to ensure we recycle and preserve energy. We are never without news reports relating to human rights and the importance of respectful relations both local and international.
Therefore, we aim to address issues with our children in the following themes, ensuring our children are informed, prepared and ready for life’s challenges:
Core Theme 1: Health and Wellbeing
Core Theme 2: Relationships
Core Theme 3: Living in the wider world – Economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen
At St Joseph’s School we recognise that some children may experience learning difficulties during their time at our school. We realise that these needs will varied and will be specific to each child. Similarly we acknowledge the fact that children’s needs may change according to experience and circumstance.
As such we aim to:
For our SEN Information Report, CLICK HERE
For more information on our curriculum please refer to half-termly class curriculum letters or speak to the class teacher.