At St James’ Blackburn Church of England Primary School the children are: skilled readers, confident writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, geographers, musicians, artists, linguists, theologists, athletes, digital explorers, designers and technologists, inclusive and respectful of diversity and faiths. The curriculum is carefully designed so that the children develop their academic, social and cultural capital.
The curriculum celebrates the mission of the school, the sense of community of our local area and our aspirations for our children to leave as global citizens. It promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. We strive for academic excellence and want all children to have high aspirations. Pupils should believe their ambitions are limitless and the curriculum is designed to empower children to become independent. The school celebrates the success of all and their efforts in being ‘Exceptional in all we do!’, and to recognise that disappointment in failings can build resilience. We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Embedded throughout our curriculum is a thorough understanding of who our children are – where they come from, why they should be proud of where they live and where they are in relation to the rest of the world. The importance of the area that they grow up is significant in the curriculum, learning about and from the local area of Blackburn. The curriculum aims to learn from other cultures, respect diversity and cooperate with one another. We achieve this by placing the school values at the heart of everything that we do. Pupils are encouraged to embody the school’s values to become responsible citizens equipped for later life. We enrich their time in school with memorable experiences and ensure pupils participate a range of opportunities that possibly may never experience. For example, providing extra opportunities for Outdoor Adventurous Activities.
The school firmly believes that it is all about the child and each child will ‘only pass this way once.’ School has one opportunity to ensure each child is a well-rounded, aspirational, caring, compassionate citizen of the future. We nurture a love of all God’s children. We ensure every child is valued, challenged and encouraged to achieve their full potential.
The curriculum has been designed carefully, with learning and assessment opportunities for each year group, constructed to ensure progression and repetition to enable embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. We have three school values which permeate all aspects of life at St James’ Blackburn Primary School – Respect, Courage and Love. These are the key focus for worship, RE and PSHE lessons and local, national and international charity appeals and are revisited throughout the year. For example, school raised £1366.52 for our link school ‘Mimtams, South Africa’ to build a new school kitchen showing how we ‘serve one another in love’ (Galatians 5:13).
A ‘year group curriculum overview’ identifies the long term curriculum for different subjects and topics taught across the academic year. Schemes of work and planning resources support staff in delivering the curriculum so that content is taught in a logical progression and explicitly for all pupils to acquire the intended knowledge and skills. However, staff are empowered to adapt these to best suit the needs of the pupils in their care. Meaningful links between topics and subjects are made with the majority of subjects being taught discretely. Lessons are enquiry based with questions initiating many of the learning journeys.
Subject Leaders have devised ‘sticky knowledge organisers’ which identify the subject and topic specific vocabulary and knowledge that pupils are expected to learn within that topic. These support pupils in embedding knowledge and retain key facts, which gives them the chance to then apply this knowledge as skills.
Classes follow a two-weekly timetable to ensure that all of the Non-Core subjects have sufficient time allocated to them. Weekly Religious Education, Science and Physical Education are taught, alongside daily Core Subject lessons.
To ensure that all pupils receive the best possible support, staff use formative assessment information every day, in every lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions and to assess what the children know as the topic progresses. This formative assessment also contributed to informing summative assessment judgements which are used in all subjects. Both forms of assessments are used to inform targets and future planning and interventions.
Assessment information is analysed by Subject Leaders, Phase Leaders, the Senior Leadership Team and the Head teacher as part of a monitoring cycle. Pupil progress meetings are conducted termly. This process provides the SLT and Governors with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in school.
A monitoring cycle, linked with school priorities, identifies areas of strength and areas for future development. Subject Leaders also support the monitoring of subjects across the curriculum. Monitoring includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff conferencing.
Any information gathered is reviewed and used to inform further developments of the curriculum and its provision.
By providing a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures progression and repetition, pupils will develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the end of key stage expectations. Pupils should leave St James’ and:
- Be resilient and independent learners having accessed all areas of a broad and balanced curriculum
- Have an in-depth knowledge in all subjects and be able to see connections and links between topics
- Have a wide range of vocabulary and subject specific, technical terms
- Have knowledge of the local area they grow up in, with knowledge of its history and significant people
- Have a love and thirst for learning, having fond memories of their lessons at St James’ feeling inspired and believe that they can achieve anything.
- Know that they are valued, open to challenge and are capable of reaching their full potential in life.
- Show respect for other faiths and cultures showing St James’ school values to others.
Should you require further information or have any questions about the school curriculum please feel free to discuss with your child’s class teacher, view the curriculum newsletters on the website for information on your child’s learning each half term or speak to Mrs Taylor (Senior Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum lead) via the school office.
For further information on our curriculum, please visit these pages: