Our curriculum is knowledge rich and skills based with a clear sense of purpose; we believe that children should be agents of their own learning and empowered to be learners with high ambitions. We want our children to produce exceptional outcomes whilst developing their curiosity, imagination, resilience and self regulation. We want to produce courageous leaders, risk takers, explorers and more than anything else, young people who care about the well-being of their friends and families, their communities and the planet. We believe that all children should have access to a wide, exciting and inspiring curriculum that prepares them for the society they live in and how to succeed in life and work.
Governors and staff believe that the development of pupils spiritually and pastorally plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to deliver an education that provides children with curriculum opportunities that embed our PATHS programme of study, supporting British Values democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, diversity and tolerance alongside our Christian Values: aspiration, compassion, service, forgiveness, trust, and love. In addition, we endeavour to explore and deepen children’s understanding of a variety of skills and knowledge based on the National Curriculum and beyond. We aim to ensure our children move on as successful learners, confident individuals and responsible members of 21st century modern Britain.
A broad and balanced curriculum encompasses more than our daily subjects; it is every student’s holistic experience of school. This encompasses the ‘hidden curriculum’, such as: extracurricular activities, trips, careers, how to be Ready, Respectful, Safe, how to have tolerance of others and good mental health. The curriculum also includes experiences of ‘cultural capital’, which can be described as students being given an awareness of the world around them. We also understand that having a wide vocabulary and good reading skills are crucial for our students to be able to access all aspects of the curriculum.
Quality First Teaching at St Nicholas Priory, means high quality inclusive teaching together with continuous whole school processes for assessing, planning, implementing, tracking, monitoring and reviewing children’s progres.
We look to maximise the success for all of our children and believe that if they learn in an exciting way then they will remember what they have learnt. We strive to ensure our children gain more knowledge, and remember more knowledge. We believe that children learn best when they enjoy what they are learning, having options and choices and can develop their own knowledge and skills, based on their own interests. Creative learning allows for this to happen and for children to revisit activities, knowledge and skills time and time again to embed learning. Carefully considered and constructed thinking tasks that have a subject focus on a knowledge nugget are used in the afternoons where children can free flow between the tasks and access them at their own pace. These are interspersed with mindfulness moments in order to ensure children regulate their emotions whilst decreasing stress. Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction’ which are referred to as part of our teaching and learning policy, enable new material to move into a pupils long-term memory, linked to their existing knowledge.
We follow the CUSP curriculum for History, Geography, Science, DT and Art, Charanga music, Getset4PE, and PATHS.
The CUSP curriculum has sequentially planned subject coverage with a clear rationale for making connections with prior learning. Relevant subjects are positioned to support and enhance learning so that pupils retrieve and transfer knowledge. For example stone age learning is enhanced through the contextual study of prehistoric art. Subjects connect to previous learning whilst also revisiting and building on foundational knowledge. Timetables focus on curriculum studies to increase motivation, pace and connection within an allocated subject. Curriculum Visions, a digital library, sits alongside this, with books and videos to support the CUSP curriculum accessed both at school and at home.
Cultural capital gives our children the vital background knowledge required to be knowledgeable and considerate members of our community who understand and believe in British values. This is achieved through a variety of areas including educational trips, expert visitors and through our reading scheme which has many cross curricular links. In geography each year group will undertake a field trip at least every term. This is a priority for our children and something which we feel is developing well through the opportunities and experiences we are providing.
Our Christian Values are at the core of what we do and believe in. We encourage our children to be good Christians throughout their school day with activities such as collective worship and through encouraging Christian behaviour throughout the school and during non-learning times. Our curriculum has a strong Christian ethos allowing links with vulnerable people, donations of gifts to the elderly community and donations to wider world charities. We believe that not all learning is curriculum based and every moment of the school day is an opportunity to be a responsible citizen and an agent for change in our community and beyond.
In 2023 we will be applying for the Bronze Global Neighbour award. This award, developed by Christian Aid, celebrates courageous advocacy that we have embedded into our school. This award highlights the work we do as a school to raise awareness and engage in tackling issues of poverty, injustice and the exploitation of the natural world through our creative curriculum, daily collective worship and the work of pupil groups such as Community Heroes and Priory Parliament.
The curriculum, including additional activities, provides pupils with a broad range of learning experiences that enable them to enjoy school. This prepares them well for life in the 21st century modern Britain and for the next stage in the education. Ofsted, March 2019.
Children will collate evidence of their knowledge in their learning journey and sketch books in KS2. KS1 and EYFS use Evidence Me, where they have a virtual portfolio and record of their work. Our children love sharing their learning and will happily talk through the evidence and exciting activities which support their in-depth, purposeful learning experience.
We understand that learning is a change to long-term memory and so it is impossible to see impact in the short term. We use curriculum outcomes in foundation subjects to assess the success of pupils’ learning opportunities. End of unit quizzes give us a snap shot of knowledge learnt. Our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps all of our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.
Children will leave St Nicholas Priory School ready for the next stage in their learning at secondary school having been provided with a range of knowledge and skills to support them in their future endeavours. Children will be able to work collaboratively with their peers and independently as inquisitive learners, respectful and tolerant to all, from different faiths and backgrounds and who are motivated to excel in all learning. The children will have a strong desire to embrace challenge, to be resilient learners and to be successful, happy and fulfilled in all they do.
We can’t wait for our Priory adventurers to come back, sharing their experiences of life and their positive impact on their community.