Our Approach to the Curriculum
At St Columb Major Academy, we pride ourselves on our curriculum, designed to meet the needs and other interests of our school community, the local area and national and global contexts, using the National Curriculum as the basis. We believe we have created a curriculum and ethos that develops both the hearts and minds of our children, developing their resilience, perseverance, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness and respect. We have considered and identified any barriers to future attainment focusing on these in our curriculum. These are emotional needs (such as low self-esteem and not being ready to learn); low social awareness and understanding (such as tolerance); limited life-experiences (such as low aspirations for their future lives) and limited vocabulary due to a lack of rich language environments.
To provide a safe challenging environment where each individual is valued and can build positive foundations for learning for life which is underpinned by the six values listed above.
PSHE is at the heart of our curriculum, which is designed around our mission statement:
Happy : Hardworking : Successful
Happy: We aim to give our children knowledge, skills and understanding so they may enjoy a confident,
healthy and independent life with positive wellbeing.
Hardworking: We aim to develop our pupils’ attitudes, stamina and resilience to learning, enabling them
to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding in a way which excites and motivates them, in the
classroom and beyond, and results in life-long, successful learners.
Successful: We aim to inspire pupils to have their own aspirations and goals so they can live a full
life and realise their potential as a unique individual with sense of belonging and responsibility.
Our curriculum begins with our children’s first-hand experiences building on each child’s starting points and develops, year on year, building from the school community to the wider world and beyond. This is planned through a creative and thematic approach to learning, where topics are designed to complement and build on one another with clear progression in skills and knowledge and links so that, in subsequent year groups, they will be able to explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts.
Each subject's curriculum has been designed to ensure coherence across the school, so that the learning journey for each of our child covers a full range of experiences to equally develop both curricular and personal understanding in a meaningful way. Every subject has its own integrity, and our curriculum is designed and taught to ensure that we remain true to the underlying principles of each subject. Using the Foundation Stage & National Curriculums, each subject has been planned around a progression of skills and knowledge. Links have been made between subjects, creating topics, with the aim to make learning purposeful, relevant and to reinforce ideas and concepts within and across year groups through both curricular and extra - curricular opportunities.
Within Literacy, our Talk for Writing approach uses a variety of genres and texts to develop the pupils’ understanding of language, both written and spoken. Reading is also developed using a variety of extracts from high-quality books and texts which enable learners to develop their reading skills.
For Maths, we use a small-steps mastery approach based on our ongoing work with the Maths Hub. This ensures our pupils have a daily focus on Fluency, practising basic numeracy skills from prior learning, as well as developing their understanding of new concepts in a way which supports their learning until they can independently reason and apply their knowledge in different problem-solving contexts, supported by a variety of resources, including White-Rose.
At St Columb Major Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, which we believe are essential in ensuring our children are well-rounded, happy and successful individuals.
- What we learn (developing our children's knowledge and understanding)
- Who we are (developing our children's character, sense of belonging and
- How we behave (developing our children as self-aware, successful learners)
Throughout the year, we monitor and evaluate the impact of the curriculum design on pupil’s learning. In individual subjects, learning is reviewed through children’s outcomes in the classroom, whether practical, written or spoken and National Assessments give overall summative judgements for FS, Y2, Y4 and Y6 in core areas. Through our observations and pupil conferencing, we reflect on our pupils’ personal skills and behaviours to assess their personal development journey over time.
We are on a curriculum development journey, having recently reviewed and adapted our curriculum to maximise the learning opportunities for all our pupils. The impact of these changes will deepen over time, but from our current evidence, we know that our pupils make good progress academically, socially and emotionally from their starting points.
In the future, we are aiming for all our pupils to be more independent in their learning, know and remember more, be able to question and explore the world around them and be excited to transition to secondary school on the next phase of their educational journey.