At St. Margaret Clitherow Academy, we are proud to have a knowledge-based curriculum which promotes good attitudes to learning, high standards and high achievements for all children. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. Our curriculum has been designed to encompass knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live, and also the events that have shaped it in the past to make it what it is today. The topics have been designed to complement and build on one another with clear progression and links so that in subsequent year groups, children will be able to explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts. We are a school who strives for greatness and strongly believes that all children can achieve better than their best, whatever their starting points.
To promote a strong work ethic, high aspirations and build resilience so that all children believe they can achieve greatness.
To celebrate diversity and learn from each other through strong partnerships with parents, parish and the wider community.
To allow children to apply their knowledge and skills across the curriculum to secure new learning.
To prepare children for their next stage of education by giving them the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners.
Our English curriculum is structured using the national curriculum and other resources to support the teaching and learning of reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Phonics is taught in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, through the use of Letters and Sounds. We teach English through quality texts, using eight reading inference training techniques to investigate texts and improve understanding. To support this learning, all children are given weekly reading homework based on Retrieval, Inference and Choice questions (RIC). Again, quality texts are used in the teaching of writing to immerse children in the correct and creative use of language, sentence structures and punctuation, discussing justified reasons for the possible developments of characters, plot and settings in fiction and the various presentations of information in non-fiction. Because our children are at various stages of learning English, we encourage children to investigate, understand and use a rich and broad range of vocabulary, preparing them for the linguistic challenges that come with the new curriculum.
Our maths curriculum is structured using a variety of schemes including White Rose, which support planning for the teaching and learning in arithmetic, fluency, reasoning and problem solving. The new maths curriculum ensures that when a child is introduced to a key new concept, they should have the opportunity to build competency in this concept by taking this approach.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects to help them understand the concept.
Pictorial – children use pictorial representations to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children are able to move to an abstract approach, using numbers and key concepts with confidence. Maths is developed through quality first teaching using rich tasks to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
As a Catholic school, we use at least 10% of our curriculum time on RE from Reception up to Year Six. This equates to two hours per week in EYFS and KS1 and two and a half hours per week in KS2. We also conduct Collective Worship in different forms across all classes, including Nursery. As we are a part of the Nottingham Diocese, we undertake lessons using the Come and See curriculum. This scheme uses relevant resources to make learning fun, interactive, deep and meaningful in each class. At the start of each topic, children explain what they know already about the topic being studied and by the end of the unit, children are able to celebrate their new learning.
A creative curriculum approach is used, where relevant, for the wider curriculum to allow children opportunities to apply new learning in different contexts. This allows our children to repeatedly use new knowledge, vocabulary and skills to practise and secure new learning. Science is taught discretely, using the national curriculum and specialist support to plan lessons. Computing lessons are used to enhance learning across the curriculum through research and presentations, as well as being taught the skills of programming, internet use and eSafety. Music incorporates learning from other areas of the curriculum and writing opportunities are carefully planned in R.E, Science, Geography and History to allow children to frequently practise new writing skills to ensure the greatest amount of progress and success.
Specialist teachers and instructors support music, physical education and fitness. We have used the sports premium wisely to promote lifelong healthy and active lifestyles. All subject leaders are given training and opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. A variety of cost-effective phase group and whole school learning opportunities enrich and develop the children’s learning. A carefully designed programme of after school clubs and events extend these opportunities further, helping to ensure that our children develop the knowledge and skills they need to excel, and become creative, responsible and curious citizens.