Our St Alphonsus’ Curriculum Journey

St Alphonsus’ curriculum was developed in partnership with all teaching staff and support staff through a series of staff meetings, twilights and working from home tasks during lockdown in March 2020. It has been through many periods of reflection and developments as to what we feel will be the most effective and beneficial curriculum for the children in our care. We realise that we will continue to evaluate and refine our curriculum as we adapt to meet the needs of all of our children.

 

Intent

As a collective, we began to discussed our intent and developed a statement of what we wanted our curriculum to achieve. Following reflection from senior leaders, we realised that our intent was full of well-meant fluffy phrases but that it didn’t actually provide specific criteria. With this in mind, all staff looked at the ideas of Simon Sinek – ‘Start with the Why’ to begin forming ideas on the intent, implementation and potential impact of our curriculum. Together, we thought about why we wanted our specific curriculum structure and how will it meet the needs of our children. We were then able to produce 3 very explicit reasons for our curriculum.

https://cdn.realsmart.co.uk/npcat-stalphonsus/uploads/2021/11/01171453/St-Alphonsus-Curriculum-Intent.png

Implementation

Next we looked at how our intent would be achieved. Firstly, senior leaders provided CPD around metacognition and memory and the impact on teaching and learning. The aim of this was to enhance the understanding of all staff and to identify the relevance of including development of these areas within our curriculum.

Following evaluation of success with whole school focus weeks, we decided to introduce whole school topics as an overarching theme to support individual year group topics – see Curriculum Overview.

Subject Leaders showed effective leadership of identifying progression of the subject and spent time planning what units of learning should be taught in which year groups – as shown in Progression sheets.

The English Subject Lead worked with the English Hub to create a personalised reading and writing curriculum for our school which matched key texts to the genres of writing and topics being taught. All staff received training on this – as seen in English Curriculum. writing overviews were then completed by class to teachers to establish what objectives would be taught and when – as seen in writing provision sheets.

The Maths Subject Lead created a clear outline using the white Rose Maths documents with clear progression. CPD on DfE materials to support progression released in July 2020 have also been provided for all staff – as seen in Maths Curriculum.

Year group overviews were then developed to plot which progression statements would be delivered and when. Subject Leaders were heavily involved in this process, ensuring that links were made between prior learning and topics were revisited to support retrieval practice – as seen in planning sheets.

Real life links have been incorporated where possible with lots of visits to local areas and webinars from people in the workplace to support our aim of raising aspirations – see plans for Career focus days each term.

Subject Leaders have identified implications for CPD and resource to support the curriculum. To date, we have had science CPD provided online from a STEM specialist, Maths CPD, PE CPD to introduce the new PE Passport curriculum, EYFS training with more training being planned for.

Our curriculum continues to be embedded and developed into our practice.

 

Impact

Due to the short period that we have been using the new curriculum we are still monitoring the impact. Our recovery curriculum ensured that our children returned to school confidently following their long period of absence. They settled into new routines well and children’s emotional health and wellbeing has continued to take priority with focused activities and ways to ‘catch up’ being carried out – See Recovery Curriculum. Children have enjoyed various experiences to support PSHE including online sessions delivered by Headstart based on dealing with anxiety and promoting resilience.

The children have enjoyed exciting activities which engage and motivate them with their learning – see children’s work, Twitter and Facebook posts, displays.

Staff have completed an evaluation of the curriculum delivered so far, both as class teachers and subject leaders – see Curriculum evaluations. Lesson drop-ins have been carried out across a range of subjects last half term. We will continue to monitor the curriculum and how it is impacting upon teaching and learning for the children of St Alphonsus’ Primary.

 

Further information about the schools Curriculum as identified in the bold type can be found by contacting a member of the Senior Leadership Team via [email protected]

 

https://cdn.realsmart.co.uk/npcat-stalphonsus/uploads/2021/11/01171458/Curriculum-Overview.pdf