Our Principles for Learning and Teaching:
All children are entitled to:
- develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community;
- be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out;
- understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress;
- be independent, enthusiastic, resilient and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions;
- time to evaluate and reflect on their learning;
- have their different learning styles recognised;
- teaching that inspires their learning;
- teaching that encourages them to be creative;
- be challenged and enjoy learning, as well as encouraging problem solving.
We give high priority to teaching the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths, every day, to ensure that all pupils acquire the basic skills for learning and life. These skills are used and practised across other subjects. We teach the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, using a wide range of strategies. We give children opportunities to work on their own, in pairs and in groups. We value the importance of talk as a tool for learning and invest time in this.
It is important to us to provide a broad range of exciting, relevant and creative opportunities that enrich our children’s learning, such as: wow events, trips, visitors and links with our parish church. Our school also has specialist coaches/teachers for Music, MFL and PE.
At Saint Joseph’s Infant and Junior Schools our Mission is to ‘Follow Christ’s Footsteps in Love’. Through our curriculum, we strive to develop the skills, knowledge and learning attitudes of our pupils so that they may become the best that they can be. We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010. We aim to reflect the views of the Catholic Church which universally teaches us Respect and Justice for all children in every aspect of their lives, irrespective of colour, culture, gender or ability. Christ did not give any exceptions for this love of our neighbour, therefore any kind of prejudice or discriminatory behaviour is incompatible with our faith.
Our Catholic values help children to develop their social and moral code, as they build their sense of uniqueness and self-worth as an individual. We believe all children deserve the opportunity to nurture their individual talents and to achieve their true potential. We aim to encourage the children to develop their understanding of their local and national heritage and their role in modern Britain today. We encourage them to embrace all that multi-cultural Britain has to offer them and develop their understanding of the global world, within which they are a citizen of the 21st Century. To enable each child to achieve their full potential and make the most of the opportunities and choices offered to them, we aim to provide a secure and stimulating environment that promotes independence, self-esteem and health and well-being.
As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy.
We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding these strong links with our parish and our local community we foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society.
When planning a curriculum, St. Joseph’s has had to recognise the very wide social and economic backgrounds of our families. We are committed to having a balanced and fair curriculum. We believe that our pupils should be exposed to ideas and concepts that may challenge their understanding to help ensure that pupils learn to become more accepting and inclusive of others. Challenging and controversial concepts will be delivered in a way that prevents discrimination, and instead promotes inclusive attitudes. Saint Joseph’s Infant and Junior Schools do not tolerate any form of prejudice-related incident. Whether direct or indirect, we treat discrimination against all members of our school with the utmost severity. When an incident is reported, through a thorough reporting procedure, our school is devoted to ensuring appropriate action is taken and a resolution is put into place which is both fair and firm. How are pupils with SEN ensured access to the curriculum? Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class. High-quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEN. This will be scaffolded for individual pupils. We ensure that all the children with SEND have full access to the curriculum that we offer. This is completed through personalised learning to match the children’s levels in more academic subjects and small alterations to activities in more physical subjects such as gymnastics and dance. We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:
- Scaffolding our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
- Adapting our resources and staffing
- Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
- Scaffolding our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
We recognise R.E as a core subject, so we adhere to a diocesan-wide curriculum and follow ‘Dr. Margaret Carswell’s RE Framework’.
In the Foundation Stage, all children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is centred around a child initiated ‘play’ approach. Very young children, who cannot read and write, express their feelings through play. Learning happens through play, it is the way to discover new things about the world; develop new skills and build new relationships.
When children begin school they rapidly gain new knowledge and learn new concepts and skills. As they progress through school their work becomes more demanding and challenging.
All children in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two are taught the 2014 National Curriculum, which consists of the core subjects of English, Maths and Science together with the foundation subjects and RE.
Being able to read is the most important skill a student will learn. Reading has far reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being. We are aware that learning to read is challenging for some of our students.
Read, Write Inc. is a synthetic phonic program that provides a systematic approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling. Read, Write Inc. is fully compatible with the broad and rich curriculum available at St. Joseph’s Infant and Junior Schools.
Read, Write Inc. gives us:
- Systematic, structured teaching
- Using simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic processes
- Clear importance of speaking and listening
- Encouragement of collaborative working
- Clear role for parents/carers
The outcomes of the curriculum are measured by the attainment and progress made by the children. Put simply how much the children know and remember including whether or not the children have mastered a particular skill. Teachers continually use assessment of the children’s responses and the work they produce to measure impact. Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. This includes book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations to measure the impact of teaching and learning. The SMT use data from all areas to make comparisons across groups, and within groups as well as keeping track of children’s progress and attainment from point to point to see they are keeping on track. We also use pupil interviews to gauge children’s engagement and enjoyment of the curriculum. Staff complete a topic review at the end of each topic and this is used to inform future planning and improve teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders also have the school’s curriculum assessment data to support judgements on the impact our curriculum is having. For children with SEND We follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.
Each child on the SEND register has their own personalised targets. This will draw on:
- The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
- Their previous progress and attainment or behaviour
- Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
- The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
- The views and experience of parents
- The pupil’s own views
- Advice from external support services, if relevant
The assessment will be reviewed regularly. A review is completed once a term with all the adults who work with the child to assess if they have been met and what interventions are working and what the child may benefit from moving onto next. A meeting is then held with the parents and child to discuss the review and also to then work together to prepare the next targets. Here the pupil’s voice is heard and both the child and the parent work with the class teacher to form their text targets. Interventions that happen in school are also reviewed at their finishing points and fully evaluated. These are then looked at for planning of funds and effectiveness of the intervention. Children may be taken off the SEND register when they have made sufficient progress against national expectations. If the child does, then later fall back behind national expectations they may be placed back onto the SEND register at a later date. If targets are not met, then the support is changed and the Graduated Approach is followed. The leadership team in consultation with staff and children regularly review and renew the school curriculum to ensure all elements are fit for purpose. The curriculum in more detail can be found on the relevant Year Group curriculum pages.