Please note that, as we begin a new academic year, we are currently reviewing and updating all the curriculum pages on the school website and, therefore, some subjects may contain more detailed and up-to-date information than others. If you have any questions or require any further information about our curriculum, please contact school and arrange to speak to Mrs Sherratt, Miss Smith or our curriculum lead, Mr Brassington.
Please click on the following link to see our Curriculum Policies:
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum which can be found by clicking the link below. We believe curriculum development is an ongoing process and that the work continues year-on-year. We have developed our curriculum over recent years to ensure we not only meet but exceed the requirements of the national curriculum in providing our pupils with a knowledge-rich education to ensure their success as they move into KS3. The National Curriculum document shows the statutory objectives for the knowledge, skills and understanding that we teach at St Modwen’s from Year 1 to Year 6.
At St Modwen’s we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all our learners. Our curriculum is heavily influenced by our school mission statement: Excellence for all, through Jesus’ Love.
With Jesus at the heart, we intend to provide:
- Excellence for all children.
- Excellence for all staff.
- Excellent spaces and opportunities to learn.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught using the EYFS framework with an emphasis on developing key skills, knowledge and understanding through direct teaching and structured continuous provision.
"We are passing on the discoveries and work of the previous generations to the next whilst empowering them to add to this body of knowledge in the future."
Mark Enser, 2019
The St Modwen’s curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and an extensive understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long-term learning, and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. As pupils learn the content of the curriculum, they are making progress. We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children not only have access to 'the best that has been thought and said' but are taught this in a way that ensures children can remember the curriculum content in future years.
We make use of knowledge organisers, where appropriate, to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular subject. These knowledge organisers are a reference tool for children throughout a given sequence of learning and are also shared with parents and guardians so that they can work alongside their children to help bridge the gap between our in-house and at-home learning.
Our curriculum aims to ensure pupils are both "interesting and interested". We want them to be 'interesting' to talk to, because they know a great deal about the world and 'interested' in finding out more. We believe that knowledge breeds curiosity - as pupils learn more about the world, they become more curious. It is very difficult to be curious about something that you don't know anything about.
We understand that knowledge is sticky - in other words, the more pupils know, the easier it is for them to know more. As a result, we carefully check and activate prior knowledge to ensure our pupils are able to understand and remember new things they are learning. We utilise retrieval practice inspired tools such as low-stake quizzes, little and often activities and focused questioning to revisit, remind and build upon prior learning.
In English we teach a broad curriculum covering reading, writing, grammar and oracy. Our approach to the teaching of writing is influenced in part by ‘Talk for Writing’. This was implemented throughout school in 2021-22 and led to a significant increase in the quality of writing. We have a curriculum of high-quality texts which are used throughout school that builds children's knowledge of literature and their reading ability in a structured way.
In Key Stage 1 Children will be given a reading book to take home each week and it is helpful if parents can make a brief comment in the child's reading record to let us know how they are getting on with their reading at home. We expect children to bring their reading books into school each day.
Children in Key Stage 2 will be given a book to take home each week which is at their individual reading level. It is helpful if parents can write a comment in the reading record books to keep us up to date on how children are getting on with their reading at home. We expect children to bring their reading books into school each day.
Developing confident readers is one of our school priorities and we greatly appreciate parental support in this area.
From September 2021, we will be using the Read Write Inc Phonics programme to ensure children develop their phonic skills in a coherent and systematic way. There is direct teaching of phonics using this programme from Nursery upwards. Children in KS2 receive additional phonics teaching if they have failed to pass the phonics check in Year 1 or the retake in Year 2. It is one of our school priorities to ensure that all children develop confidence in phonics to enable them to become confident readers and writers. We greatly appreciate parental support in this area and encourage parents to read phonically decodable books with their child regularly.
We use the White Rose Maths Hub plans across school to ensure that there is appropriate breadth and depth in our maths curriculum. We adopt a Mastery approach - aiming to allow all children the opportunity to reach their full mathematical potential. Pupils have many opportunities to practice the basic skills and memorise key number facts such as number bonds and times tables to help them develop greater fluency in their mathematical development. There are also many opportunities for children to develop their mathematical reasoning and problem solving. For further information on the White Rose Maths Hub scheme and how parents can support their children please visit the White Rose Maths Hub website here - WHITE ROSE MATHS HUB WEBSITE.
When the children enter Key Stage they begin Spanish lessons using the resources from Language Angels. These include a range of writing opportunities, oral lessons as well as learning through memorable songs and games. For further information on the resources Language Angels have to offer, please visit their website here - Language Angels website
For information on our teaching of RE- which is of crucial importance to us as a Catholic school- please see our RE policy on the website.
Art and Design
In art, pupils will learn about some of the most significant pieces of art that have been created and the artists that created them. They will also learn how to produce their own pieces of art in a range of different forms. We place great emphasis on teaching pupils to grow in confidence in their own artistic ability and offer the chance for them to express themselves, recognising improvement during each attempt they make to refine their skills. We ensure pupils have lots of chance to practice the basics so that they are able to use their knowledge to create their own pieces of art at the end of a unit of study.
We follow a booklet model for the delivery of our Design Technology curriculum. At the end of each half-term, children are given the chance to create a piece of DT work that is linked to the wider curriculum or key events in the calendar year. The booklets we have created not only ensure children are developing the skills and building up the knowledge they need to improve, but also build towards a 36-project portfolio they are able to leave with in Year 6, showcasing all their fantastic creations.
We base our Computing curriculum on the Kapow Primary scheme of work which ensures pupils gain a solid grasp of the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to move onto further study at KS3. In an ever-increasing technological world, we recognise the importance of keeping pupils safe online and have a hybrid offer of regular e-safety newsletters and in-school online safety lessons to support families in this difficult task.
History, Geography and Science
We have developed a bespoke knowledge-rich curriculum which gives children access to broad knowledge in subjects such as History, Geography and Science. We have a well sequenced programme that builds knowledge and vocabulary in a well thought out way and ensures that learning is remembered for the long term. We ensure content meets and exceeds the national curriculum. Content is planned so that more difficult abstract concepts are covered in different contexts over time. For example, in History children develop an understanding of key players in history, key events and their impacts. In Geography, children develop an understanding of physical and human geography as well as recognising how these impact mankind- we look at these under the three golden threads of Creation, Compassion and Community. In Science, children are given the opportunity to carry out an enquiry or scientific investigation every half-term as well as look at a range of influential scientists. Our pupils use their studies in these subjects to answer low-stakes quizzes, complete carefully thought-through tasks and showcase their learning in written and oral outcomes.
We have high expectations for what children will know and remember in each subject. See the subject overviews for further information.
We currently use the well-respected Charanga scheme of learning for our music teaching throughout school. This is a well-structured programme of learning that builds pupils knowledge, skills and understanding in music giving them time to study important pieces of music and also to learn how to create music. Alongside this programme we use the BBC Ten Pieces resources to teach our pupils about significant pieces of classical music.
Our children in Year 3 take part in a programme of intensive music tuition provided by specialist music teachers from Entrust to help them learn the ukulele. Children also have access to specialist programmes of study for a range of instruments, should parents be interested in taking advantage of these opportunities. Singing is a part of the fabric of St Modwen’s and as well as weekly hymn practice and Mass, children can also join choirs, take part in Young Voices - The largest School Choir in the World concerts and perform in musical productions both in-house and elsewhere in our locality.
Our PE curriculum is planned from and supported by The PE Hub. Our pupils are given the opportunity to partake in a range of different sports and develop skills in a variety of disciplines. There are many sporting teams within our school that our Key Stage 2 children may be chosen to partake in. Each year, ELITE Swimming set up a swimming pool onsite for our Key Stage 2 children to be taught in.
We teach a wide ranging PSHE curriculum including Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). We provide clear communication to parents about what is taught in RSE lessons. At the beginning of the year, we invite parents in to discuss the content of the lessons and share any resources that we will use with them. Parents are then given the opportunity to withdraw their children from these lessons if needed. Our faith-focussed RSE resources are provided by Ten:Ten Resources
At St Modwen’s we believe quality outdoor learning opportunities are not just the right of every child but also essential to ensure they achieve their potential inside the classroom. Supported by The OPAL Primary Programme, we are radically enhancing the outdoor spaces within our school to offer children an exciting, diverse range of daily play options. We will also be developing our own outdoor learning curriculum over the course of this year to utilise out outdoor spaces and allow children to realise that learning isn’t constrained to the four walls of the classroom. For more information on the research around play and its importance, visit the OPAL website above.
Our curriculum promotes diversity through the study and celebration of a wide range of famous people. Here are some of the curriculum elements that help to promote diversity at St Modwen’s:
- In Early Years children learn about different types of families.
- In Year 1 children study the life and achievements of Beatrix Potter, Jane Goodall, Mary Seacole and Usain Bolt.
- In Year 2 children study the life and works of Rosa Parks, Sir David Attenborough and Louis Pasteur.
- In Year 3 children study the work of Beethoven, The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald and Stormzy as part of their studies into ‘Artists through History’.
- In Year 4 children study both modern day and Ancient Greece and see how life has changed in that country over time.
- In Year 5 children study famous scientists such as Katherine Johnson, Gustav Holst and Albert Einstein.
- In Year 6 children study the Ancient Islamic civilisations and The Victorian era as well as spending time learning about the long-lasting scientific contributions of Charles Darwin, Alexander Fleming and Thomas Edison. They also then consider how these civilisations and significant figures have changed our modern world.
Preparing for SAT Tests
Children in Year 2 and Year 6 take SAT tests in the Summer term to check how they are progressing with their learning. SATs include tests of reading, grammar and mathematics. At St Modwen’s we want all our children to achieve good results in these tests as they are good indicators of their general ability in Maths and English. While we value the tests, we believe that a broad curriculum helps children to succeed rather than narrowing teaching to focus on English and Maths. We pride ourselves on ensuring that Year 6 children have access to the full range of subjects in the lead up to the tests in May.
Trips and Visits
Each year group has at least one trip/visit to enrich their curriculum. We also often invite people into school to work with children to enrich learning further.