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The School Curriculum

We value every individual and strive to maximise the opportunities for his/her intellectual, moral,
spiritual, physical, aesthetic and social development. We view the curriculum as a holistic range of
experiences and disciplines that are used to help us achieve our aims for our pupils. It consists of the
study of academic subjects as well as a wide range of opportunities that are offered to the children
during their time at St Columbas.
We aim:
to help pupils develop lively, inquiring minds, the ability to question and argue rationally and to
apply themselves successfully to tasks
to help pupils to acquire knowledge and skills relevant to adult life at home, at work, at leisure and
as consumers and citizens.
to encourage pupils to acquire values, attitudes and concepts which will enable them to adapt to
life in a fast changing world.
to develop acceptable behaviour and social standards and to show pupils the need for these.

As a Catholic School we aim:
to provide children with a thorough grounding in the knowledge of the Catholic Faith.
to promote an awareness of ones behaviour in relation to what is required by God and by ones
fellow human being
to develop children as individuals who will, in time become full members of Society, living co-
operatively and caringly alongside others.
to encourage a respect for others and an understanding of, and a tolerance towards, the various
races, religions and cultures present in our modern society.
to develop an awareness and appreciation of human achievements, whilst recognising mankinds
place in the natural world.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
St. Columbas School is a Catholic school and, like all others of its kind, is established for the special
purpose of ensuring that, within the overall structure of the education it provides, instruction in the
Catholic faith is available for all children of Catholic parents.
Religious Education in school takes the form of curriculum RE, using the The way, The Truth and The
Life programme, which has been agreed by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. There
are also assemblies, liturgies and other acts of worship, as well as participation in the general
Catholic life of the school in its many different forms.

FOUNDATION STAGE (Nursery and Reception Class)
Teaching in Nursery builds on the learning experiences children have already achieved at home. We
continue that journey in school as each child develops through Reception Class. Much of the learning
is through structured play, which is appropriate to the needs of young children as well as adult-led
learning tasks.
Go to our Nursery and Reception Class pages to find out more about the curriculum in our
Foundation Stage.
THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM.
The latest National Curriculum (2014) covers the CORE and FOUNDATION subjects and their
associated attainment arrangements for children in Years 1-6. The subjects are as follows:
CORE SUBJECTS: Religious Education, English, Mathematics and Science.
FOUNDATION SUBJECTS: P.E., Computing, History, Geography, Music, Art, Design and Technology
and Modern Foreign Language (in KS2)
The schools curriculum policy for learning is based on a series of themes/topics to cover the
National Curriculum programmes of study, where this is possible and appropriate, creating a vibrant
and developing creative curriculum. Those elements of the programmes of study which cannot be
taught in this manner will be taught discretely. English and Mathematics are taught discretely,
though elements of both of these subjects are taught through cross curricular links. There is a strong
emphasis on the children acquiring a solid basis of key skills, for example, learning phonics from
Reception Class, with a consistent approach throughout Key Stage One based on the Letters and
Sounds programme. Opportunities for children to use and apply their key skills remains a priority
throughout the school.
French is taught in Key Stage Two by a specialist language teacher. Elements are introduced
informally in Key Stage One. Children from Years 3-6 receive weekly tuition from a specialist music
teacher.

READING
Reading is a key area which begins in Reception Class. Reading scheme materials are used to
support the teaching of reading, predominantly from the Oxford Reading Tree, supplemented with
other resources such as Big Cat. Our reading resources are banded using a system of levels used
across the UK and beyond. This helps us to select books from different reading schemes with
confidence, knowing that they are the right level for your child. We also use 'real' books as the
children progress through the various book bands. A variety of texts are used in Guided Reading
sessions; we have recently invested in Project 'X' materials for Year 2 and Key Stage Two.

ASSESSMENT
During the last term in the Year 2 and Year 6 classes, the class teacher will have to present their own
assessment and also administer some Standard Assessment Tasks. This should give us an overall
picture of a childs ability at key points of their educational journey. Published information from the
DfE tells us that the average child will have reached a secure Level 2 by the end of Key Stage 1 and
secure Level 4 by the end of Key Stage 2. However, assessment using levels is in the process of being
phased out so we are currently in a state of transition, developing new ways of assessing against
age-expectations.
However, children are continually assessed by staff. Staff feedback in the form of written comments
on their work and through vital, verbal feedback in the classroom. Teachers also use their
assessment and evaluation in each lesson to inform their planning of the next session. Teachers
formally assess children in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and RE on a termly basis, based on the
child's on-going work or any special assessment tasks. Children's levels in these areas are tracked to
ensure continued progression and to help identify any required intervention as appropriate.
PSHE
At St Columbas we use our SEALs programme as a basis for Personal, Social, Health and Economic
Education (PSHE.)
Throughout the course of the year, a variety of themes are covered to enable us to deliver a
comprehensive and cohesive programme.
Our Statements of the Week are launched in each Monday's assembly and are followed up in the
classroom. Circle Time is a key feature of weekly sessions.

THE WIDER CURRICULUM
We supplement the formal curriculum with a rich and varied range of experiences which come
together to supplement the children's education. We offer a range of after school clubs, giving
children the chance to try a range of different activities and mix with others. We have special theme
days eg. French day or cross-curricular weeks, eg. Health Week which give special focus to different
areas. Specialist teachers and Sports Coaches visit weekly to enhance the children's knowledge and
skills. As part of the local Sports Partnership with our feeder secondary school, Thornleigh, there are
many opportunities for children to compete in tournaments for a variety of sports.
We endeavour to arrange an educational visits for each class throughout the year as well as giving
all children the experience of spending a few days learning away from home on residential during
their time at Columbas recent residentials include Robinwood. Each year, children will have the
opportunity to take part in productions or help to lead Acts of Worship for other members of the
community. Children are also encouraged to take on various roles and responsibilities both in and
out of the classroom. eg. acting as Playground Buddies, School Councillors or Year 6 Prefects and
Head Boy/Girl
Please click on the tab to see the curriculum map for each Year group and the termly teacher
curriculum newsletters.