Click here for our Curriculum Topic Overview.
The St John’s curriculum is based upon our belief that every child should be inspired to have hope and a future. Knowledge and understanding of the past, opportunities to enjoy living and learning in the present, and the ability and desire to look to the future as life-long learners are fundamental to our curriculum.
We aim to create the necessary environment that enables our pupils’ to understand, explore the significance of, and demonstrate our Christian living and learning values which are threaded through our curriculum. Opportunities to promote spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development are embraced. Children develop resilience through overcoming barriers and develop curiosity through feeling confident and safe enough to take risks. Honesty and respect for others form the basis of our restorative approach to conflict, allowing pupils to think through causes and consequences of behaviour and develop empathy towards others. We understand the significance of all these aspects of development on children’s learning and ensure that our curriculum reflects the fact that, whilst some things cannot be taught in the same way as academic knowledge and skills, they are crucial to our pupils’ ability to learn and develop in a healthy way.
Learning in subjects and key stages follows the requirements of the EYFS (2021) and National Curriculum (2014), which provide the foundations for our broad and balanced curriculum. Taking into account our local context we have developed a purposeful curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils, aiming to provide challenge, opportunities to develop curiosity to find out more, and a lasting pleasure in and desire to learn. The St John’s subject progression documents ensure that teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary is sequential and progressive, based upon children’s prior learning.
Within each subject, key concepts are identified that we want pupils to learn. These are then broken down into smaller component parts and sequenced, enabling deeper understanding to be secured over time as children build upon their prior knowledge.
Our curriculum is ambitious, designed to allow every child to progress, experience excitement and enjoy learning whilst ensuring they are ready for their next stage of education. Careful differentiation within classes ensures that there is suitable challenge for all, including the most able and those who have a special educational need or disability. Where necessary, targeted interventions are planned for individual children; these include nurture and emotional support in addition to academic interventions.
Our curriculum reflects the key elements of our mission statement, in that appropriate challenge and support is provided throughout all aspects of school life. We are ambitious for our pupils’ and strive for them all to reach their maximum potential and to be happy, successful individuals with the academic and social skills required to be good citizens and lead fulfilling lives now and in the future.
At St John’s we recognise the importance of providing challenging, exciting, worthwhile experiences in all subjects across the curriculum, with ample opportunity to revisit key knowledge and skills acquired previously in order to embed learning. Teachers help children to make links between new knowledge and existing knowledge in order that prior learning is consolidated and deeper learning takes place.
Where possible, teachers make cross-curricular links, allowing children to draw upon knowledge from different subjects in order to strengthen their understanding and skills. We recognise the power of reading for children’s intellectual, social and emotional development and the teaching of reading and acquisition of the skills to be a reader are placed at the heart of teaching and learning, particularly in EYFS and KS1.
At St John’s all subjects are valued and we adopt a themed approach within year groups in which most subjects can be taught through the topic. Those subjects which do not fit naturally within the topic are taught discreetly. At the beginning of each topic, each class has a hook day in which teachers find out what children know and what they need to find out. They engage the children in the topic through a range of exciting activities to launch the new theme and enthuse the children about what they will be learning during the term. Our learning intentions are meaningful and relevant to our pupils and allow them to learn about their local community as well as national and global matters. We provide the children with a range of planned experiences which inspire them to find out more and help them to remember more.
Class teachers create a plan using the progression documents in each subject, as well as highlighting opportunities to promote school values, British values and SMSC. Developing spoken language and vocabulary is a priority at St John’s and we recognise the importance of pupils encountering a wide range of words used in different contexts. Curriculum progression documents identify the essential vocabulary in each year group to ensure that there is continuity and progression as pupils’ knowledge and understanding develops. Our curriculum is delivered in a variety of ways making learning purposeful and exciting and ensuring that children are inspired and curious to learn more. This may include drama, poetry, appreciation of art and music, research and fact finding activities.
We endeavour to use the expertise of those most suited to leading individual subjects so that the curriculum is led by knowledgeable, enthusiastic teachers with a passion for their subject. Our commitment to developing the knowledge and skills of staff is demonstrated through actions such as allowing the History and PE leaders to teach their subject alongside class teachers and employing PE coaches and specialist music teachers.
As well as developing subject leadership expertise amongst staff, our curriculum presents many opportunities for children to develop leadership qualities and to be a role model for others. Opportunities to lead are varied and include, for example, leadership in worship, sports, online safety and junior leadership roles. Children’s individual skills, such as speaking an additional language are celebrated, and young translators assist other children who speak the same language as themselves.
Community is important to us at St John’s and we provide opportunities for children to take responsibility for their own actions, take consideration of others and contribute to the school and wider community. We take every opportunity to enrich the curriculum with trips and visits, celebration days, visiting outside providers, whole school events and extra–curricular opportunities. We look for opportunities for pupils to have a real audience for sharing their learning including performing for parents/ carers as well as members of the local community.
Working in close partnership with local schools and other organisations, we enhance our curriculum provision with exciting and worthwhile activities benefiting both ourselves and others. Our range of extra-curricular activities is designed to develop confidence, self- esteem, perseverance and the ability to work in a team whilst developing pupils’ talents and interests. Our extra-curricular clubs change on a regular basis, but over recent years examples of clubs offered are Chess Club, Art Club, Creative Writing Club, German Club, Choir and a range of sports clubs, which demonstrates the choice on offer for children to acquire and develop a range of skills.
St John’s recognises the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers and we encourage parents/ carers to join us for a range of events throughout the year. These include celebrations, activities with their child’s class, sports day and charity events as well as engaging as volunteers and class parent reps.
Purposeful assessment as part of day-to-day practice in all subjects helps teachers to identify and address misconceptions, plan appropriate next steps and monitor pupil progress. Assessment takes many different forms and includes meaningful questioning and retrieval practice, discussion and instant feedback in lessons, marking of work to ensure that pupils are demonstrating their knowledge and understanding and more formal summative assessments. Assessment allows us to monitor the impact of our curriculum and to determine whether children are successfully working towards identified end points.
Regular progress meetings between class teachers and senior leaders ensure that additional provision, where necessary is put in place.
Subject leaders monitor the impact of their subject, reviewing and revising the curriculum where necessary. Monitoring and evaluation within the school takes place through work and book looks, pupil voice discussions, assessment outcomes and observations within lessons.
For information on each of the curriculum subjects, please click on the relevant subject page. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.