There is a clear curriculum statement that illustrates the rationale behind our curriculum and links with our values. The aim of the curriculum at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School is to provide pupils with a rich, relevant, broad and balanced education, in line with the National Curriculum, so they experience: -
‘Enjoyment, Opportunity, Learning and Achievement’.
From Nursery to Year Six, the teaching staff consider what they want the children to learn, why they are teaching it and carefully consider how to teach and assess it. We use Development Matters and Bold Beginnings as a base for our EYFS Curriculum for every child. We focus on skills, enquiry, research and knowledge, making use of a variety of approaches including using drama, computing, real-life experiences and outdoor learning to name a few, all contribute to providing opportunities to achieve outstanding learning, achievement and significant growth in pupils’ knowledge. The school focuses on promoting excellent attitudes to learning and this is enhanced further by our RHE curriculum and Growth Mind-set initiative.
We provide Early focussed Interventions but still ensure that pupils have full access to the whole curriculum. Quality First Teaching is the biggest key to success and school invests in personalised Coaching for all members of staff.
As a Catholic school, the principles of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. We recognise that parents are the primary educators of our faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding strong links and fostering an ethos of serving both individuals and society. We also recognise that the work environment is evolving and that we need to prepare our children for a job market that does not yet exist.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum. Our children leave our school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community, where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
As a Rights Respecting School (RRS), following the UNICEF charter for the rights of all children, the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They can empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. They show a keen interest in ethical issues and can apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are ready to question arguments and situations.
Every child is recognised as an individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills, knowledge, concepts and values. In recognising the development of the whole child, the pastoral support given so all children can access the curriculum is strong and evident as part of the direct and discreet curriculum. The school has systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children. We are part of the Children’s Health project which supports mental well-being, resilience and Growth Mind-set.
Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision. Previously, we heavily invested our Sports Premium to enhance our lunchtime provision. This increased participation in exercise also facilitates and lays the foundation for an interest and love of sport for the pupils to take forward into their adult life. We have now been able to make the transition to become an OPAL school and place play at the heart of our lunchtime provision. Post COVID we feel that this is needed to support the fragility in children’s mental health and help them to reform and establish new friendships across the school.
Links with the Local Community, Visits to the Local Area, Workshops and Visitors
In the curriculum design we recognise that children’s learning is enhanced by different experiences. Using the local area where possible, we offer children a wide range of educational visits which are used to motivate and engage learning. For example, Year 1 visit the Gunpowder Mills which supports their history learning, Year 4 go to The William Morris Gallery to study a local artist and Year 5 visit Suntrap Forest Centre in Epping Forest to investigate Rivers.
Workshops also enhance the pupils’ curriculum knowledge and skills, allowing pupils to explore the curriculum at a deeper level for example, Space, Sound, dissection and VR workshops, and pre-Covid, visitors in school give the children another perspective on values, attitudes, learning and understanding.
We ensure our pupils serve others through a wide range of charities in their local community and are also globally aware of the needs of others. Such examples are: Sing-a-thons to raise money for a local children’s hospice, using our connections with previous staff members to sponsor school children in Zambia and CAFOD. Pupils have also initiated cake staffs or undertaken fun runs as individuals to raise money for cancer charities.
Our aim is to ensure that there is a breadth to learning and that the children enjoy enrichment activities to further their understanding of the world around them. We aim to inspire and ignite a love of independent learning.
Our experienced and committed teachers are passionate, ensuring that every child is happy. We understand that children are most receptive when they are happy and have the confidence to complete a range of tasks and challenges. We stimulate curiosity; days are designed to be fun so that lessons are learned intuitively in an atmosphere of excitement and inquisitiveness.
Our curriculum meets the statutory expectations although we continue to adapt and develop aspects to meet the cultural capital of our pupils. We have worked hard to ensure we meet the needs of our community and provide worthwhile experiences for our pupils. Our Mastery approach provides opportunities for children to apply their skills across the curriculum and middle leaders consider mastery as part of their monitoring. Subject leaders are at different stages of their professional development but they have an understanding of the progression of skills, knowledge and understanding in their subject areas. There are clear links from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2. Teachers are aware of the importance of sequencing the curriculum and the use of Knowledge Organisers helps to embed prior learning.