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St Augustine of Canterbury
Catholic Primary School

Our Curriculum

At St Augustine's we strive to create a truly broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all children, irrespective of their academic ability or preferences.  English and Maths are core subjects and we often work in a cross-curricular fashion to promote the skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Further information can be found at: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception) curriculum is organised differently according to national expectations and covers 17 areas of learning.

We offer prescribed interventions for those children who may struggle academically or have special educational needs.  Our philosophy is always to encourage and motivate children to challenge themselves in order to meet our Mission Statement. Enrichment and extra curricular activities  all contribute to our distinctive curriculum.  These include trips, residential visits, specialised music and sports tuition as well as visiting specialists. It is vitally important that children's esteem is built through subjects they all enjoy and succeed at.

Our curriculum is being developed to reflect our changing class profiles. Our mixed-aged classes are different each year, therefore we plan carefully to ensure that all children are taught every aspect of the national curriculum, whilst avoiding repetition. In some subjects, we have adopted a four-year rolling programme. 
Please read our curriculum rationales below which explain what we teach for each subject, why and how:

English:

Reading and phonics:                                                                                                                         At St. Augustine’s we believe that the ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners, during their time at school and beyond.  Reading is central to our ability to understand, interpret and communicate with each other and the world around us.  Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum, therefore reading is given a high priority, enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.

We use a variety of reading schemes, covering fiction and non- fiction, including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Tree Tops. Children also have access to a well- stocked library and more confident readers are able to choose from ‘free reader’ texts. We encourage children to read daily at home and this is monitored via a home-school reading record book. Reading Assistants provide additional support for highlighted children in Years 1-6, to further develop reading skills.

Why Phonics matters:                                                                                                               Synthetic Phonics is taught as a way of decoding written letters and spoken sounds in the early stages of learning to read. Learning to read is like cracking a code so, by teaching phonics, we teach children to crack the code. We believe having a strong knowledge of phonemes and their corresponding graphemes provides children with a core foundation on which they can develop their skills in reading and spelling as they move through the school. We want the teaching of phonics to be engaging for children at St Augustine’s, so we use a variety of resources alongside our sequence of teaching and structured lessons.

Our Approach:                                                                                                                             Phonics lessons at St Augustine’s follow the Letters and Sounds scheme, with lessons being structured in a Review, Teach, Practise and Apply format. In order to engage the children and help them to retain and apply their learning we incorporate songs, actions and interactive online activities.

Phonics in EYFS and Year 1                                                                                                    Reading:                                                                                                                                                 In Reception and Year 1, emphasis is placed upon children applying their phonic knowledge when reading, equipping them with skills to segment and blend phonemes in unfamiliar words in texts. Songs and actions from the Jolly Phonics scheme are used to engage children and to help them retain knowledge of phonemes and corresponding graphemes. Additional booster provision is given to children when necessary.

Writing and Spelling                                                                                                                           In Reception and Year 1, children are taught to apply their phonics knowledge when writing unfamiliar words. Similar to reading, children are encouraged to segment sounds in a word to help them write the correct graphemes. This also applies in Year 1, where children’s spelling skills are extended to include suffixes and prefixes, with the root words mostly being phonetically regular.

Phonics into Spelling in Years 2-6                                                                                                From Year 2 upwards emphasis is placed on using phonics to spell and the teaching of spelling rules. We use the No Nonsense Spelling scheme to provide a comprehensive progression in the teaching of spelling. This incorporates the teaching of spelling strategies, knowledge and skills pupils need to learn, to become effective and confident spellers. The No Nonsense Spelling scheme follows the Review, Teach, Practise and Apply format, as used in EYFS and Year 1.

Additional spelling support, for highlighted children in Years 3-6, is provided through the Sounds Discovery scheme.

RE          

At St Augustine of Canterbury Primary School, as a Catholic school, we attach the greatest importance to Religious Education in the life of our School. We aim to deliver a broad and engaging Religious Education, enriched in the Catholic ethos of the school community. This not only applies to specific R.E. lessons but in the everyday interaction of school life, assemblies, meal times, play times and all the relationships that exist within the school. We try to help children to find a personal faith in God and to enjoy a sense of awe and wonder at His creation.

Religious Education in St. Augustine’s aims to promote:

·       The content of the Curriculum Directory for Religious Education

·       Knowledge and understanding of The Catholic Church

·       The foundation for a life of faith

·       Knowledge and understanding of the response of The Catholic Church to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose

·       The skills required to engage in examination of and reflection on religious belief and practice

·       A degree of understanding and awareness of other major world religions

·       St. Augustine’s School Mission Statement

To support our teaching, we use the scheme ‘God Matters’. Each year, children cover topics linked to the liturgical year: Creation, Prayer, Saints and feasts, Advent, Christmas, Revelation, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Sacraments. We teach tolerance and respect for other faiths, races and cultures within each of these topics.

Religious Education is further enhanced through the liturgical life of the church by attendance and active participation in the Mass and the sacraments through the observance of religious services and festivals.

 
Maths

At St Augustine’s, we have developed a whole-school maths curriculum which ensures progression of skills and knowledge from Reception through to Year 6. As we believe that all children are ‘Created by God to love and learn’, our primary role is to support children to reach their potential. Therefore, we endeavour for all children to be able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently which will equip them with the necessary skills they need in later life. A sound understanding of mathematical concepts will ensure that our children feel comfortable and confident when the time comes for them to head out into the wider community and help them to be secondary school ready. We want all children to enjoy mathematics and to experience success in the subject. Our school values permeate through our maths curriculum and underpin our approach to maths.

§  courage - children will show courage by attempting everything they are taught and approaching it with an open mind.

§  respect - children will show respect by allowing each other to solve problems and allowing each other to learn.

§  perseverance - children will show perseverance by never giving up and always trying to seek an answer.

§  honesty – children will show honesty when they self-mark their work as they have been taught to so that any misconceptions can be addressed by their teacher.

§  curiosity – children will demonstrate curiosity by finding multiples solutions to some problems.

§  responsibility – children act responsibly for their own and other’s learning by making sure all next steps are completed and they complete their work.

§  humility – children will show humility by asking for help.

§  service – children will show service by supporting each other with their work without telling them the answers.

§  compassion – children will show compassion if someone is upset and struggling by supporting them with their work, offering kind words or reassurance.

§  love – children will show love by being self-motivated to learn (love of learning).

At St Augustine’s our curriculum broadly follows the White Rose scheme of work. Staff use this national scheme to support their planning but are not solely reliant on it. Maths sessions are carefully sequenced and adapted to suit the needs of our children and to ensure new skills are built on prior knowledge. This is done mainly through daily formative assessments and planned summative assessments. This way, staff can ensure they meet the needs of the children.

Organisation of the Curriculum: The National Curriculum (2014) forms the basis of our long-term planning. The medium-term planning organises the topics systematically so each year, children are taught objectives from the following units: place value, calculation, fractions (including decimals), measurement and statistics. Short-term unit plans are prepared for daily teaching. 

Lesson Structure: At St Augustine’s, we teach challenging and engaging maths lessons every day across the school. We use a teaching approach called 'Try it, Use it, Prove it' which ensures challenge for all children. 'Try it' tasks aim to improve the children's fluency of the skill. Fluency refers to knowing key mathematical facts and methods and recalling these quickly and accurately. 'Use it' tasks are usually in context (for example, money and measures) and challenge the children to draw on the skills they have achieved in their 'Try it' tasks. 'Prove it' tasks require the children to explain their understanding demonstrating a developed and broad mathematical understanding. 

Maths environment: In each classroom, the maths learning wall reflects the 'Try it, Use it, Prove it' approach as it has examples of the different levels of work displayed in named sections. This provides the children with an opportunity to independently access the learning. The learning wall grows as the learning progresses through the unit of work, with examples added to the display as they happen. The sections of the learning wall include key vocabulary (for the unit of work), what we already know (a quick elicitation exercise), today’s learning and sometimes an example of what the children will be able to do after their work. Manipulatives (resources) are available for children to help support their understanding of their work. This includes Numicon, Diennes, multi-link cubes, place value counters, rulers, 100 squares, fraction walls, weighing scales etc. Children are encouraged to use the resources and are shown how best to use them.

From Year 2 onwards, children may use marking stations to self-assess their learning. This allows them to either move onto more challenging problems or seek help to further support any misunderstandings. 

Multiplication Tables: As the ability to recall multiplication tables is imperative to becoming a fluent, competent and confident mathematician, we strongly encourage and support children to learn their tables. Once a child has demonstrated they know their multiplication tables (and any corresponding division facts), they are awarded certificates and badges which are given out in assembly. 

Opportunities to embed learning: Across the school, outside of Maths lessons, children are given the opportunity to practise and embed their mathematical learning. All children from Year 1 to Year 6, have a ‘magpie tin’ which contains the multiplication tables they are working on (as well as key spellings). These are used frequently, throughout the week, and allows the children to learn those tricky multiplication facts.

During the morning registration period, children in Year 1 to Year 6 revisit key aspects of their maths learning through completing maths activities 3 times per week, Children also complete fortnightly arithmetic tests that recap and embed calculation methods, which the children find difficult to remember. Staff use this analysis to inform planning. The teaching and learning of mathematics is further supported through exciting events such as our 'Mathstermind' competitions and maths weeks.

Science

At St Augustine of Canterbury Primary School, we want our pupils to have a sense of excitement and passion about science. We develop pupils’ curiosity, enjoyment, skills and a growing understanding of science knowledge and enquiry, through an approach of children raising questions and investigating the world in which they live. We have an emphasis on scientific enquiry and developing these key skills through investigative work. During their Science lessons the children are encouraged to think and work scientifically – devising their own questions and considering how they might answer these using their scientific skills of fair testing, predicting, observing, measuring and identifying patterns in data before presenting their findings and drawing conclusions. We focus on teaching new scientific terminology, using our ‘Word Aware’ programme to increase children’s oracy skills as well as an understanding of the key vocabulary linked to each topic. There is an emphasis is placed on using our school grounds, and learning outside to engage children.

In Key Stage 1 the children learn about plants, animals including humans, habitats, everyday materials and seasonal changes.  This learning is extended in Key Stage 2 when the children continue learning about the topics they studied in Key Stage 1 and some other scientific topics are added to the curriculum: rocks, light, forces and magnets, states of matter, sound, electricity, properties and changes of materials, Earth and space and evolution.

Computing

At St Augustine’s of Canterbury Primary School, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to use and experience a range of new technologies. We aim to encourage children to become computer literate to prepare them for the computer-dominated world that they exist in. Learning key computer skills develops essential programming, data handling, research and media concepts.

Computing is taught weekly at within the school. The children are given the opportunity to use a range of technologies including, laptops, Learnpads, Blue-Bots and LEGO NXTs. The school uses a whole range of programmes from TT Rockstars, Scratch, Kodu and Infant Video Toolkit to apply their skills.

We begin each year focusing upon the key concept of E-safety and it is addressed in every lesson to ensure they can navigate the internet safely.

History

At St Augustine’s, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know about the past and to think and act as historians.  Children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world and to be able to communicate historically.  Wherever possible, learning is related back to Bristol and our local context. 

Geography

Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Children investigate a range of places- both in Britain and abroad-to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes.  We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquires about their local area of Downend and Bristol so that they can develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.  We also develop the children’s ability to apply geographical skills to enable them to confidently communicate their findings and geographical understanding to a range of audiences.

Art and Design & Technology

At St Augustine's, our vision is that every child is given opportunities to explore their creativity. Both Art and Design & Technology are taught as part of a broad, balanced curriculum, building on children’s prior knowledge and experience, whilst encompassing our School values.

The varied topics allow children to connect with different artist, style periods and cultures.

All children are given the opportunity to experience colour mixing, printing techniques and use of textiles and construction materials throughout the year.

We value the use of sketch books and design books for children to produce ideas, build upon designs and evaluate their finished products.

Music

 

At St Augustine’s we believe that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to foster a love and appreciation of music and help children to develop the skills necessary to express themselves musically. Studying music helps to increase children's self-confidence, creativity, co-operative skills and sense of achievement. As children progress through our school, they will learn to critically engage with music, create their own compositions and perform various pieces of music from across the musical canon. 

 

To deliver exciting and engaging lessons we use the Charanga Musical School Scheme.  It provides teachers with resourced music lessons and support for each year group in the school. In Key Stage 1,  six units are taught throughout the year and in Key Stage 2, three units are taught. The Scheme supports all the requirements of the National Curriculum and moves away from the previous levels and learning objective/outcome concepts to an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. Each unit of work involves all the strands of music included in the National Curriculum.

1.     Listening and Appraising

2.     Musical Activities (warm up games, singing, playing, and improvising)

3.     Performing

Additionally, we have a weekly singing assembly where we focus on learning new songs and practising those in our repertoire. These could be for use in worship, masses or assemblies or simply for the pleasure of singing. Music is often used by KS2 children when groups of children plan their own class reflections. We also have access to peripatetic music teaching through the South Gloucestershire Music Hub. These lessons can take place during and out of school time.  Currently we have a string, brass and keyboard teacher coming regularly into school to deliver lessons.

Chances to perform are encouraged with vibrant musical performances at Christmas, Easter, and a Year 6 leavers’ production. Music has also been used to help with language learning in Latin. Twice a year we hold a talent contest, “St. Augustine's got talent,” where there are always children who want to showcase their singing, dancing and playing.

 

MFL- Latin

 

At St Augustine’s Primary School, we believe that learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, fostering curiosity and deepening an understanding of the world. We want our pupils to enjoy the opportunity to learn a new language through practical activities giving them the inspiration to develop an interest in exploring the world and embracing other languages as they grow. All pupils in Key Stage 2 are given the opportunity to learn Latin. This was chosen as it is the root language of many European languages and much of our own language is based on it.

 

We use the specialist Latin course, “Minimus: Starting out in Latin.” This unique course for 7-10 year olds, provides a lively introduction to the Latin language and the culture of Roman Britain with a highly illustrated mix of comic strips, stories and myths. The course centres on a real family who lived at Vindolanda in 100AD: Flavius, the fort commander, his wife Lepidina, their three children, assorted household slaves, their cat Vibrissa - and Minimus the mouse! It features many of the artefacts and writing tablets from the Vindolanda excavations.

We aim to make lessons as interactive as possible by:

·        teaching skills through listening, speaking, reading, writing and developing cultural understanding

·        giving opportunities to respond to spoken and written language (including illustrations of real Roman writing found at Vindolanda)  

·        encouraging and enabling pupils to speak with increasing confidence and spontaneity

·        making links between Latin vocabulary and grammar with English  

Learning Latin provides our children with the chance to enter competitions, such as the Bristol festival of Latin drama. The children have enjoyed considerable success, taking 1st and 2nd place in 2018 and 2nd place in 2019. This has led to the  school holding a festival of Latin drama in school with every Key Stage 2 pupil taking part in a performance wholly in Latin. In addition, we enter a Greek myth competition and have won several individual and school prizes.  

PE      

At St Augustine of Canterbury Primary School, we want our pupils, upon leaving primary school, to be physically literate and to have the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy and active lifestyle.  We believe that the more sports children are exposed to, the more likely they are to find one that they enjoy and participate in moving forward throughout their life. For this reason, we host holiday sports camps to encourage children to stay active.

 We achieve the target of teaching at least two hours of P.E. a week. This is split into two parts: Indoor P.E. and outdoor games. Indoor P.E. focuses upon building on the skills of gymnastics and dance routines whilst outdoor games focuses upon developing the skills of throwing, catching and hitting.

During lunch times, Key Stage two children run sports clubs for younger children and twice a week members of staff offer lunchtime clubs to target children who would benefit from structured and supported play. We work in partnership with Signature Sports, whose specialist sports coaches teach PE sessions for two afternoons a week. This allows the children the opportunity to be exposed to new sports, taught by specialised teachers, as well as providing continued professional development for teachers. We offer a sports mentoring programme that provides a bespoke outdoor and active curriculum for those who require it.