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Our Primary Curriculum
We want the children in our school to be curious and enthusiastic students so that they develop a life-long love of learning that sets them up well for success in the next stage of their education (and beyond).
At English Martyrs we want to be an outward-looking community because we believe that God has given mankind the responsibility of caring for his world, both for our own benefit and for the benefit of generations to come. We all have a responsibility to care for the whole of his creation.
We believe that every human being is made in the image of God and that every member of our school community deserves the best possible experience of primary education in order to become aspirational, principled and engaged human beings.
We use our topic links (history and geography) to create exciting and engaging themes for learning. The children develop their historical and geographical knowledge through these topics and they also have a strong “Purpose and Audience” for their work in other subjects.
We are blessed with wonderful grounds and staff take every opportunity to take learning outside as well as planning in exciting topic-linked trips and inviting visitors in to talk to the children.
As a Catholic School, Religious Education is at the heart of our curriculum.
Religious education in Catholic schools aims to promote:
- knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and life;
- knowledge and understanding of the response of faith to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose;
- the skills required to engage in examination of and reflection upon religious belief and practice, including awareness of and respect for the beliefs and practices of other faith groups and religious communities
We want the children in our school to be able to express themselves clearly and developing their writing skills is an important part of that.
Our teaching of writing aims to develop both the technical skills (letter formation, spelling, punctuation, grammar and proof-reading) and the creative skills (planning and shaping a text).
We spend a lot of time exploring model texts and analysing them to identify the key features we need to build into our own versions. Strong topic links and clear “Purpose and Audience” help to keep children engaged and excited about writing.
Reading is the key that unlocks all the other subjects and we want our children to develop great reading skills to support their learning. We also want to encourage a love of reading for its own sake. Whether you are a story lover, a non-fiction fiend or a comic book afficionado, we want you to find your “thing” in reading and to be able to enjoy reading for its own sake.
Reading is made up of the parallel skills of “decoding” (physically reading) and “comprehension” (understanding what you have read). In Nursery, Early Years and Key Stage 1, we use Read Write Inc phonics to help children develop their decoding skills. In Key Stage 2 we build on children’s growing comprehension skills using “VIPERS”. This stands for
Vocabulary – Infer – Predict – Explain – Retrieve -Sequence/Summarise
If you can’t say it, you can’t write it. It is essential that children learn to express themselves clearly in spoken language.
Staff work with children to develop their confidence in speaking to a an adult, a partner, a small group, their class or a larger audience.
We work on expanding children's vocabulary, including the phrases and sentence structures that are appropriate in different contexts.
Oracy also includes developing children's listening skills.
Fluency with numbers is really important for helping children learn to solve problems in all sorts of contexts.
It is important that children understand what numbers and calculations mean, rather than simply counting etc, by rote. We support this by using lots of objects and images as children are learning new concepts. This is called a "Concrete > Pictorial > Abstract" approach to maths learning.
Learning should be fun!
It is really important that children have the opportunity to experience a broad and balanced curriculum that inspires and engages them.
History, Geography, Science, Music, ICT, DT, Art, PE etc are important subjects in their own right and they are also linked together to provide exciting Topic contexts for learning.