Christ Church C of E School Curriculum Statement
All children will be offered a broad and balanced curriculum, which is relevant to today's world and based on research into what makes an outstanding curriculum. Our curriculum is drawn from the national Curriculum and integrated into purposeful learning challenges.
Each child will be treated as an individual within the school community, so that their potential can be fully developed in all areas. These opportunities will be offered on an equal basis for all children. The development of their own interests in encouraged and promoted in pupils through the use of weekly learning logs where children undertake personal study into topics linked to classroom work or based on their own interests. Teachers send home a termly newsletter giving an overview of the curriculum for each year group at the start of each term. The curriculum for each subject and by year group can also be found on our website.
The curriculum and enrichment opportunities also cover all areas of the Every Child Matters agenda ensuring the children learn about how to stay safe (including protecting them from the dangers of violent extremism and from the risk of child sexual exploitation), be healthy, enjoy and achieve, economic well-being and make a positive contribution. Our curriculum prepares children for life as British citizens and promotes British values such as respect for the law, democracy, equality and tolerance and respect of all faiths and other beliefs.
Learning Challenge Approach
The Learning Challenge Curriculum used at Christ Church School uses the process that young people are working to a real purpose or outcome. Children know, and are in some cases, are involved in deciding what the outcome should be. The outcomes are always done for real and not for pretend. It is through completing this outcome that children use their learning and understanding for the purpose; it is a way of them communicating their findings and hopefully making some sort of impact through this.
By the achievement of the outcome being presented as a Challenge from the start of the learning, children know that they have to achieve. By further breaking that challenge down into a set or steps or sub-questions, the journey through the challenge can be further considered; and the knowledge and skills needed to achieve this attached to the steps or sub-questions. The idea of this approach is that each topic is driven by a challenge or question that opens out the plans for the whole topic and directs the learning of knowledge and skills through the learning journey.
Each topic developed is driven by an overall challenge and an outcome being worked towards. From the overarching challenge teachers create sub-questions or steps that the class should work through to get to the outcome and thereby find answers to their question. The cross curricular approach to learning is about bringing a purpose and outcome; children connect to what they are studying in the specific subjects, why it is important to gather knowledge and understanding to then be able to apply this into their purpose.
The idea of challenge is about encouraging children to see the learning opportunity as something that they should rise to, and also as a clear way of children taking responsibility for their learning. If constructed affectively, there should be clear opportunities in the learning challenge for children to take responsibility for decisions, work in teams or independently, and to take on various roles within the process of learning and achieving.
The Foundation Stage encompasses both Nursery and Reception.
Children in our Nursery and Reception classes have fantastic facilities for both indoor and outdoor learning. We have spacious and stimulating classrooms and outside areas that the children use throughout the school day.
The Early Years Foundation Stage covers the first years at school, Nursery and Reception. The three prime areas are:
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development
• Communication and Language
The four specific areas of development are:
• Understanding of the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
The children learn through play based curriculum, which draws on their interests and is pitched at each child’s personal level of development.
Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2
Key Stage 1 covers Years 1 & 2 and Key Stage 2 years 3, 4, 5 & 6. We teach a curriculum that is exciting, fun and imaginative, introducing children to a wide range of experiences that will extend their understanding of themselves and the world around them.
All children follow the National Curriculum which means that they spend a good deal of time developing their literacy and numeracy skills. Every child has a daily activity in these subjects. Science and ICT are also core subjects. There is still plenty of time throughout the week for the other curriculum subjects the children enjoy: History, Art, Design and Technology, RE, Geography, Music, Physical Education (Dance, Gym and Games) and Personal, Social and Health Education. Subjects are incorporated into class topics while others are taught as separate subjects.
A variety of teaching approaches are used. This means that children are sometimes taught as a class, sometimes as a group and sometimes individually. This ensures each child receives a broad and balanced education based on his or her needs. We encourage the children to become independent learners and develop their thinking skills, through cross curricular activities.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring every child can read well. Poor reading can hold people back throughout their adult lives, preventing them from reaching their full potential.”
(Department for Education. School Reform Minister, Nick Gibb. March 2015)
Teaching children to read and write is essential for them to access the curriculum and to develop skills for life. Therefore reading takes place on a daily basis in school through phonics sessions, guided reading, choice books, class stories, comprehension activities, Talk For Writing and intervention/support strategies such as precision teaching, inference, running reading records and other methods. The development of the habit of reading for pleasure is promoted through the selection of graded choice books to accompany reading scheme books, rewards such as the Reading Raffle weekly, a full school library, ebooks on our e-portal, visits to Oldbury library, participation in events such as World Book Day.
Here at Christ Church Primary School we believe that reading is a valuable and rewarding experience where happy and healthy pupils grow into confident and independent readers. We equip our pupils with the opportunities and skills needed, using cross curricular links, to open doors to a world of knowledge.
At Christ Church Primary School we aim to develop pupil’s reading and comprehensive abilities through a consistent and structured approach to the teaching of reading skills during Guided Reading sessions, comprehension activities, weekly visits to the school library, weekly SPAG lessons and daily phonics lessons.
We aim for all children to read with confidence, accuracy and pace with a good understanding of the text. Children at our school develop a habit of reading for pleasure, acquire a wide range of vocabulary, grammar and imagination and develop reading skills in accordance with those of writing, so that they become literature and independent learners.
Classrooms and school areas provide a stimulating and inviting reading environment to promote the love of reading. The teacher’s role is to model what a good reader looks like, where reading skills are clearly modelled and discussions take place to check the children’s understanding of the text.
Support from parents is vital if a child is to become a successful and competent reader. It is our policy to send reading books home on a regular basis to encourage parents/ carers to work with their children. For those children who struggle with reading they receive a range of quality interventions including Reading Recovery, Better Reading partners and Switch On.
The school does not have a main reading scheme but instead book bands books from a range of schemes which we believe meet the needs of our children and offer a wider range of choice.
Phonics & Handwriting
Phonics teaching is high profile in our school and daily phonic group activities are delivered in Early years, KS1 and where needed in KS2.
Staff are trained and available to discuss any issue related to phonics and how we approach this in school.
In Foundation Stage and KS1 children are taught letter and sound recognition through the Letters and Sounds programme. Handwriting is modelled to ensure children develop a fluent and joined style, which is maintained throughout the school.
In the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) children should be given opportunities to:
• speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
• use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;
• become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication.
At Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), children should learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They should begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They should use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
In Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6), children should learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They should read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They should explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.
The daily literacy lessons in Key Stage 1 and 2 provide children with the opportunity to develop an independent approach to planning and writing in an imaginative and inventive way. Weekly spellings are provided so that children develop an early recognition and recall of high frequency words, leading to teaching and understanding of spelling patterns in Key Stage 2.
R.E. follows the Diocesan approved scheme and is taught in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. The School aims for the Christian growth of its children in their own faith and in their awareness of the world around them. Respect for other faiths and cultures is part of our mission and the teaching of other cultures and religions is an important part of our programme. Assemblies and daily prayers are central to our worship.
For information on the national curriculum programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 please look at: