The Primary Curriculum
Statements of Intent
We are very proud here at St Leonard’s to be an internationally- minded School. Interwoven into every aspect of school life are our Christian Values which underpin the whole curriculum. To help prepare all students to become global citizens of the future we teach an ‘international ’aspect within all of our topics covered as well as deepening their Christian understanding. Our international lessons develop pupils’ awareness of the inter-relatedness with the global community and they instil a sense of responsibility to all of its members. Being internationally-minded, our pupils learn about the long term consequences of human behaviour on our wonderful world and global society. We have global links with a school in Buikwe, Uganda. This is where our sponsored child Evan goes to school. Some of our teachers are due to go and visit Evan in Uganda and meet with his teachers.
We celebrate cultural diversity of our school community at every opportunity and to celebrate our diverse world we name all of our classes after another country. Children learn about their class country to foster their global awareness and international consciousness. Our children at St Leonard’s are inspired to become significant contributors to the global community, to learn from the rest of the world, be sensitive to others’ needs and to understand how much stronger we are together than apart.
At St Leonard’s we aim to provide a high quality history education which will help pupils gain a good understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our lessons inspire pupil’s curiosity to find out more about the past. We encourage them to ask their own questions, think critically, use resources to explore evidence and develop their understanding of chronology. Pupils are encourage to make cross-curricular links as they find out where early civilisations began around the world and how history has changed peoples lives throughout the world. They understand how civilisations around the world have changed over time and how things have developed because of this.
St Leonard’s geography lessons unlock a curiosity and fascination about the world. We equip children with knowledge about the diverse world, people, resources both natural and human, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s physical and human features and processes. As children progress through the school, their knowledge of the interaction of physical and human processes grows as well as their understanding of formation and use of landscapes and environments. Children are also given the opportunity to develop mapping skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps of different scales and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry. Geography contributes to the cultural, social, spiritual and moral life of children as they acquire knowledge of a range of different cultures and traditions, and learn tolerance and understanding of other people and environments and gain an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means.
At St Leonard's, we understand that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe .We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and encourages and fosters our positive learning behaviours. We challenge children to develop and use scientific skills; acquire and apply scientific knowledge, understanding and language; investigate through play, exploration and experimentation; communicate and collaborate effectively with others. We ensure that ‘Working Scientifically’ skills are built-on and developed throughout a child’s school career so that children learn to confidently use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts whilst continuing to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. We want to provide our children with opportunities to view and experience science in the ‘real’ world and to have a good understanding of what science is and the contribution scientists have made both in the UK and the wider world. We hope to foster a love of science for all our children and inspire them to be our future scientists.
Art and Design
At St Leonard’s we provide engaging and inspiring Art lessons which challenge pupils to create their own art, design and craft. As they progress through the school, pupils are asked to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They learn to experiment and invent in art and design as well as deepening their knowledge of how art and design and artists have shaped international history, and contributed to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Design and Technology
Incorporating disciplines such as science, maths, engineering, computing and art, our DT lessons at St Leonard's provide children with the opportunities to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems. Through rigorous, creative and practical subject teaching, children learn how to take risks, and they become resourceful, innovative and enterprising pupils. Children are taught to evaluate designs from the past. Children leave St Leonard’s with the ability with a critical understanding of design and technology’s impact on daily life and the wider world. Pupils are challenged in our ‘Skills Hub’ classroom where children explore, create and invent even further.
We encourage all of our children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and to change the world in which we live. Principles of computer science such as programming and digital systems are developed as children move through the school here at St Leonard’s. Pupils leave our school equipped to use information technology to create programs and systems and a range of content. St Leonard’s pupils receive high quality lessons that help them become digitally literate and well equipped for their future as active participants in the digital world. Online safety is at the core of our computing curriculum and the children are instilled with the importance of being polite, respectful and safe online.
Our French lessons focus on a balance between written and spoken language which lay the foundations for further language development as the children progress to high school. Teachers ensure that children understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing. A large focus of the French curriculum here at St Leonard’s is on the practical communication in French; children taking part in simple verbal exchanges with one another as well as the teacher.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. St Leonard’s provides high-quality music education which engages and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
PSHE is a planned programme of learning (called Jigsaw) through which children and young people acquire knowledge, skills and understanding they need to manage their lives now and in the future. It teaches them the British Values and it develops the qualities and attributes children need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society and the global community. Take a look at the following Quick Guide to find more information about the Jigsaw approach to PSHE.
Aims of the National Curriculum: The main aim is to raise standards. The current government recently reviewed the previous curriculum and found that it did not contain sufficient levels of challenge and that higher expectations should be placed on children from their early stages of education. The Government believes that the new National Curriculum has been designed to produce productive, creative and well-educated students. For more information about the National Curriculum, please click here.
How Schools are expected to implement this: Schools are free to choose how they organise their school day, as long as the content of the National Curriculum programmes of study is taught to all pupils. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study.
We focus particularly on enabling children to make excellent progress in reading, writing and maths. A priority for the whole school this year is writing, particularly through stimulating cross-curricular writing opportunities. Lessons are planned to give children opportunities to write about subjects that particularly interest them and in ways they are more likely to engage in. Literacy lessons links to the topic being taught wherever possible to ensure increased engagement and a deeper understanding.
We provide opportunities for children to become involved in the wider school community. These range from helping to run fundraising events, being part of the School Council, being a member of one of the four House Teams or having other areas of responsibility.
The National Curriculum identifies what to teach, but not how to teach. It is essential to distinguish between the statutory National Curriculum and the whole school curriculum. All schools must provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils.
Assessment & Reporting to Parents: As far as schools are aware, phonics testing will remain in Year 1 and children who do not achieve the pass mark will be retested in Year 2. These results will be reported to parents as before.
End of Key Stage 1 assessments (at Year 2) and end of Key Stage 2 assessments (at year 6) has been left much as it was. Teachers will make evidence-based professional judgements on the children’s abilities, alongside completing external tests that are internally marked and moderated. There will now, in addition, be a new test on Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling.
The children will no longer be assessed on levels of attainment, but expectations at the end of each year group/key stage. This will be defined and reported to you in the following way:
- Working towards – A child who is beginning to access the curriculum appropriate for their age with some level of support.
- Expected – A child who is working at an age related level and has achieved the expectations for the year group/key stage
- Greater depth – A child is who is working beyond the expectations for their particular stage.