“Aspire not to have more but to be more.” Archbishop Oscar Romero
At St Bernadette’s, we want our children to be happy.
We want them to be socially and emotionally intelligent in order to act with empathy and compassion.
We want them to be resilient and determined, so they can become independent – in learning and in life.
We want them to be confident decision makers by developing opinions and having the knowledge, language and confidence to express them articulately.
We want them to be living examples of courage, compassion, humility, kindness, justice and stewardship in order to make sense of the increasingly complex and rapidly changing world in which they live.
We want to encourage them to think critically and ethically about local and global issues and the impact they can have on the lives of individuals and the wider world.
Therefore, we want our curriculum to provide all pupils with the cultural capital – the language, knowledge, skills and values - to be active participants in the world in which they live and not merely observers.
This level of interaction with the world requires a great deal of knowledge and so we have designed an ambitious, language and knowledge rich curriculum where the focus is on developing the long-term learning of children, not just the here-and-now and the understanding of key concepts is deepened over time
If deep learning is linked to the application of thought, then we understand that knowledge building is not an end in itself. Rather, when substantive and disciplinary knowledge are intrinsically linked and interdependent, we broaden possibilities to deepen learning by providing opportunities for pupils to explain and reason, think about evidence, evaluate and make judgements or decisions, make choices, identify patterns, follow enquiry and challenge perceptions.
While categories of knowledge are identified in each subject and sequenced carefully to ensure broad coverage and progression across each key stage, subject specific themes enable teachers to easily draw on prior learning and prepare pupils for the next steps of learning.
Key knowledge and vocabulary are identified across all topics and sequences of learning are carefully constructed using a ‘teaching backwards’ approach. At the heart of teaching backwards is a thinking process that enables teachers to plan and teach from a clear and well-defined destination.
Clearly defined destinations are our primary source of assessing understanding and application of knowledge and subject specific skills. Throughout a unit of learning, we help children remember more and do more through regular reviews of learning, rehearsing and connecting background knowledge and by providing a good deal of instructional support as well as immediate feedback. Additionally, we use regular and robust triangulated monitoring to gauge the impact of our curriculum design on all pupils. In our drive to continually improve our curriculum, leaders at all levels consider the impact of our curriculum by reviewing a range of evidence gathered from: classroom learning reviews, considering evidence in books, having discussions with children about what they have learnt and what they have remembered and discussions with teachers around decision-making. Where appropriate and relevant we make comparisons with national and local data.