A Whole School Curriculum
We know children learn best when their learning is purposeful and has a 'real' context. Mastery principles - Jerome Bruner's work in particular, tell us that we need to start with something 'concrete' - something which links to the children's experience of life. An exploration of the skeleton may start by looking at real chicken bones, for example.
The development of skills and knowledge are interconnected. The knowledge children acquire will be the key to open the doors of their future. Our curriculum is consciously designed to prepare the children to embrace the richness and diversity of life in modern Britain and the wider world.
We start with the end in mind; we ask ourselves, 'What kind of young people do we want to send out into the world when their time in school is over? Where will their place be in the wonderful world of work? What will they need, to be happy, kind and confident?
In 2018, we began the design of a bespoke curriculum offer; interleaving knowledge through progressive, carefully planned experiences and using reading as the pathway to learning in all contexts.
Curriculum for the Whole Child
Curriculum Design - A Narrative Approach
Our curriculum is conceived with real-life experience at its heart. National curriculum outcomes are mapped out in this context, incorporating the knowledge and skills to be gained in every year group.
With this mastery principle in mind, we have woven our areas of learning into a "Curriculum Story" for each year group from Foundation 2 to Year 6 so that, over time, through repeated, progressive experience, the children grow and develop their knowledge of core and foundation subjects. This gives all learning a meaningful context; learning flows from one topic to another.
Topics are not just linked, they become interconnected chapters, woven together in a cohesive narrative, over-learning enabled through supportive curriculum booklets. These tailored compilations layer and revisit key knowledge and vocabulary over time, with a feast of texts, classic and modern, cementing learning through the deepening of contextual understanding.
Impact can be seen in every classroom at every moment of the day and is measured against national markers, such as SATs. We know that progress in learning means 'knowing more' and also 'knowing how to know more'.
Children know more and remember more because the narrative curriculum supports revision of key concepts. Children are taught to add to their knowledge bank through reading and simple research.
Read, Read, Read, Read, READ!
Our approach is, 'Read wherever possible, rather than tell.' When we want to direct the class, present a problem, offer information, issue an instruction... wherever possible, we do this by reading rather than speaking. Choral reading plays a major part in all learning - maximising the amount of purposeful reading experienced by every child, every day.
Story has always been the ultimate teaching vehicle. Whether it be in the form of a parable to explore right and wrong, a story problem to launch a maths lesson or the exploration of a deep theme through a powerful novel, we use story to make learning, and life, meaningful.
The Curriculum Stories for 2019-20 are titled as follows:
|Year 1||"In My Life"|
|Year 2||"What a Wonderful World!"|
|Year 3||"From Zero to Hero"|
|Year 4||"Contrast - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"|
|Year 5||"Survival of the Fittest"|
|Year 6||"Fragile Earth"|
Coverage of topics and subjects is outlined in the curriculum maps - see the links below.
Please note, topic titles for history, geography, science, design technology and computing refer to the Rising Stars resources, which are used throughout the school.
Our school uses the Jolly Phonics programme. A range of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Jolly Phonics Readers, Read Write Inc Readers, Songbirds, and Big Cat are used to develop children's decoding, fluency and comprehension skills.
If you would like to know more about the way mathematics is taught at Our Lady of Pity School, please watch the videos by clicking on this link: Singapore Maths Fundamentals videos
Further information on PE, phonics and reading provision can be accessed by clicking on the links below: