At St Joseph’s, we are passionately committed to providing our pupils with the best possible start in life. We are driven to equip every child with the knowledge, skills and values they need in order to become resilient, responsible and happy citizens of the changing world they live in. We fervently believe that all children deserve to succeed and our ultimate goal is to nurture articulate, well-informed children who are prepared for life’s many opportunities and challenges.
- To deliver a relevant and ambitious curriculum that supports our pupils to understand the world around them and encourages them to form and express educated opinions.
- To provide an inclusive and safe environment that equips all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, to unlock their full potential.
- To foster inquisitive minds, providing opportunities for all children to question, choose, evaluate and argue rationally.
- To adequately prepare children for the next stage of their educational journey.
- To maintain high expectations of our pupils’ behaviour and attitude towards learning in school.
- To establish and maintain positive relationships between everybody in our school community including pupils, staff and parents, recognising each person’s worth.
- To maintain a culture of mutual respect and co-operation.
The Prototype Theory (Rosch 1973) suggests that when we encounter words, we use our previous knowledge and experiences to inform our understanding of the word. Furthermore, over time we build up webs or networks of meaning called ‘schemata’ (Anderson 1977) and one prototype triggers another, which triggers another, and so on. In order for our pupils to be able to create these layers of meaning and association, it is vital that they encounter rich and subject-specific vocabulary across the curriculum. In this way, every subject in the curriculum serves to improve children’s literacy, rather than the other way around. Sequencing the curriculum is vital; knowledge must be deliberately and explicitly revisited throughout a Key Stage and beyond.
Although skills are not as prevalent in the current national curriculum as perhaps they were previously, they are still a fundamental part of what we teach our children. Fleetham (2018) states that ‘skills-based learning provides classroom environments where independence, thinking skills, collaboration and active learning are developed at the same time as knowledge is acquired.’ Therefore, an engaging, high quality curriculum should consist of a balance of both knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skills are intertwined – being able to effectively use knowledge arguably matters more than just the acquisition of it, which is why skills are equally important. Research indicates that children learn more effectively and remember more when they can use skills to access, process and express their knowledge. An extreme swing to one approach rather than the other leaves a significant gap in children’s learning which is detrimental. (Moore 2017).
We want our children as children of God and citizens of the world to flourish in independence, co-operation, responsibility, self-confidence, respect, perseverance, honesty, effort, friendship, aspiration and equality. These values are extremely important to us and underpin everything that the children learn. By embedding these values into our curriculum and school life, we aim to nurture responsible, resilient and mindful individuals who are well prepared for life in the wider world.
Assessment for Learning
Assessment of pupil’s attainment and progress is directly linked to the curriculum followed by our school and evaluates pupils’ knowledge and understanding of subject requirements. Assessment is used to ensure that all pupils make appropriate progress.
There are three main types of assessment used at St. Joseph’s:
This is used by our teachers to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly.
This is used to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period (end of a Unit/Topic, term or academic year).
Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment
This is used by the Government to hold schools to account and to provide information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally.
Procedures – Formative and Summative Assessment
Day-to-Day Formative Assessments
This type of assessment is embedded across all lessons. Teachers assess pupils’ understanding of a topic and identify where there are gaps. This tells the teacher what to focus on in future lessons and prompts them to adapt their teaching approach to improve pupils’ understanding.
Tracking Pupil Progress
Teachers record ongoing assessments of pupils’ knowledge and understanding of curriculum objectives on SIMS (our online tracking program). This is done using the following terminology: