At St Michael's, the children are at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to provide a safe, stimulating and happy environment to enable all members of the St Michael's family to thrive. We pride ourselves on their sense of achievement running through the core of the school. Visitors comment regularly on the welcoming Christian ethos provided by following our school values of Happiness, Friendship, Respect and Perseverance.
Our curriculum has been designed to allow for the children to motivate themselves in order to meet their maximum potential. The development of curiosity, creativity, challenge and independence, runs through the core of our learning intentions.
Curiosity- We strongly believe that children need exposure to a wide range of experiences, activities and 'WOW' spiritual moments, in order for them to learn develop into confident and independent young people. Curiosity is a vital part of a child's make-up and being given the opportunity to ask questions, plan their own learning and decide their own pathway will ultimately ensure a positive and fulfilling school experience.
Creativity- At St Michael's, Creativity means inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes and having fun. Each school term is split into specific subject areas with a key focus; this allows for multiple 'wow' experiences, a faster pace, lots of investigation, speaking and listening opportunities and consolidation of key skills and concepts through a variety of contexts.
Creativity is intelligence having fun - Albert Einstein
Challenge- Life is challenging. However, a challenge does not mean a negative. We believe that challenge encourages excitement and a sense of personal achievement. One of our school values is perseverance and it is this value that we particularly instill in our children from year R. To quote one of our year 3 children, 'It's okay to make mistakes as we can learn from them.' We ensure that all of our lessons are structured to challenge the thinking, resilience and independence of our children. It is only if they strive to achieve their maximum potential, they will 'be the best they can be'.
Independence- We believe that whilst on the St Michael's learning journey, all children should develop and increase their independent skill set. To embed knowledge and understanding, children must be able to problem-solve, organise their thought processes and overcome obstacles to complete a piece of work independently. Being brave and having courage is vital for independence and is something that we understand we need to teach as this does not always come naturally.
Overall, the aim of our curriculum is to give our children the life skills that they will need for the next steps of their own personal journey.
St Michael's infant and junior schools' subject leaders have worked collaboratively to design a curriculum that is tailored to the children of our school. To ensure curiosity, creativity, challenge and independence, our curriculum has been designed with the following areas:
- Develop sequential learning to aim for progression week on week, term on term and year on year
- WOW spiritual learning opportunities to allow children time to stop and think
- A child-centred approach which begins with discussion on what the children would like to learn
- Cross- curricular where appropriate
- Independent learning strategies to develop long term memory
- Freedom Friday - to focus on RE, PSHE, World Wildlife Foundation which allows for discussion, debate and personal development
The learning objectives for each year group are based on those provided in the National Curriculum. This is just one element of our curriculum design which is used to enable subject leaders to provide our children with fun and stimulating curriculum. Please see the separate subject areas for an explanation on how we design the curriculum for that subject and the progression document.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by how effectively our children are able to become independent, resilient and well- rounded young people. We use daily challenge and assessment to allow the children to showcase their thought processes. We offer a variety of opportunities for children to show their knowledge and understanding, both verbally and through their written work. The following are used to assess children's understanding:
- Pupil voice is a vital part of the school day; this is inclusive for all children and provides and outlet to discuss their developing thought processes
- Working walls display the children's learning pathway, including links to prior knowledge
- Marking and feedback, both written and verbal, is used to address misconceptions and celebrate the achievement of the intended learning objective
- Writing in all areas of the curriculum is assessed termly
- Structured assessment is used in all subjects to enable teachers and subject leaders the opportunity to provide intervention if necessary
- Based on pupil voice, marking and assessment, we can continually adapt our curriculum to meet the needs of the current cohort of children
Assessment is just one part of how we measure the impact and success of our school curriculum. From walking around the school, speaking to the teachers, children and parents, we can see and feel the impact of our curriculum.
The ultimate aim is for our children to be happy. With God's guidance, our school vision and values, we hope to provide our children with a family. The curriculum should enable our children to experience life at its very best.