Whole School Curriculum
Our Knowledge Rich Curriculum at St. John the Baptist Catholic Primary School
At St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School we want to ensure that our curriculum is not only tailored to our pupils’ interests and needs but also ensures they are ready for life in the wider world. We believe in subject based lessons where pupils can articulate and have a passion for subject based learning.
We have recently reviewed our curriculum and are currently implementing the Primary Knowledge Curriculum (PKC) to ensure that our provision for Science, History, Geography and Art is a ‘carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum which aims to inspire pupils, promote excellent outcomes for all and overcome inequality of opportunity.’
'We are a subject discipline school so pupils develop a love of subjects and can dream of becoming an Historian, Artist or Ecologist and have the knowledge and skills to succeed.'
What is a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum?
A knowledge-rich curriculum at St John the Baptist;
- places powerful knowledge at the heart of the curriculum
- has carefully chosen content
- is organised in a coherent way, ensuring it builds from year to year
- is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can build conceptual understanding and skills over time
- is an entitlement for every child; regardless of background or ability
- is coherent and ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, but enables children to develop knowledge, foster curiosity and ignite a love of learning
We have focused our curriculum on what content should be taught, in what order, whilst reflecting upon what children remember and how they remember it. This allows children to make meaningful connections and gain an understanding of how our world is connected. The Primary Knowledge Curriculum (PKC) has been developed in line with current thinking on how children learn. Importantly, findings from cognitive science are beginning to influence practice in the classroom. We believe, through rigorous research, that a large majority of our children are more susceptible to cognitive overload due to home circumstances beyond their control, such as being required to act as young carers or witnessing stressful situations. Arriving to school under stress or feeling worried can impact negatively on learning.
Every day at St John’s begins in a calm, purposeful manner and breakfast is provided for every child, to ensure their readiness to learn.
An essential element of a knowledge curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this. The vocabulary content of the Primary Knowledge Curriculum has been planned with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’ for children who enter school with a limited vocabulary.
Senior leaders have conducted significant research to find the best possible curriculum offer for our children. Our phonics programme ‘Sounds-Write’ influences the teaching of reading and spelling, throughout school. Reading, English and Mathematics (Power Maths) are taught and enjoyed daily. RE, Catholic Life and Collective Worship weave throughout our curriculum supporting our children’s faith development and social and moral awareness. RSE is delivered through the Ten Ten ‘Life to the Full’ programme.
The PKC offers detailed knowledge based planning and resources ensuring that teachers are well equipped to deliver a high quality curriculum. Subject audits and staff meeting time are used to identify and support strengths and areas for development in our curriculum delivery.
Science, History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology, PE, Computing, Spanish (MFL) and Personal, Social, Health & Education (PSHE) are also taught discretely throughout the week.
Aims of such an education for our pupils;
- to be knowledgeable about content and the world around them
- to recognise the connection between significant events and people and how they have influenced the modern world
- to transform their minds so that they are able to make reasonable and informed judgements
- to ensure they can engage fruitfully in conversation and debate
- to develop confidence that comes from possessing a store of essential knowledge and the skills
- to have a sub-set of knowledge and the accompanying vocabulary that will maximize chances of leading rich and fulfilling lives
- to recognise their own role in becoming a responsible global citizen