Thematic Curriculum

Intent

At OLSH, our collective goal is to provide children with an exciting, broad and balanced curriculum, one that promotes; a love of learning; a thirst and curiosity to learn more about the world around them and the tools and skills in order to do this.  We believe we have designed a curriculum that not only showcases a progression of skills across all subject areas, but also offers deep coverage of the National Curriculum- underpinned by our Jesuit Virtues and Values. Through the development of this curriculum, each subject area has been carefully mapped in order to provide opportunities for skills and knowledge to be taught- and revisited- to help children to ‘know more and remember more’. Teachers will plan a range of tasks into each unit, to enable skills and knowledge to be embedded.

We have decided to use whole school themes, which will drive each half term’s learning from Pre School through to Year 6; however each year group will investigate that theme in very different ways. Each theme has been carefully chosen, in order to provide our children with opportunities to explore a wide range of subjects/issues that affect them and the world they live in. Our themes cover areas such as: sustainability- understanding and protecting their future; appreciating God’s creations- nurturing and exploring the world they live in; our past- how we have developed and lessons to be learned; Identity- who we are and where we come from. These themes will have many opportunities for further enrichment, both in and out of school with visits/trips, use of our school grounds, speakers into school and lots of hands on investigations.

Implementation

Although the broad curriculum will be driven by whole school themes, children will still be taught Science and the foundation subjects as discrete lessons in order to teach and develop specific subject skills.  We know that children engage more- and retain more- when they can make connections and links between their learning, building and developing schemata: this development of schema will allow children to learn more readily across a variety of subject areas. Therefore, teachers will ensure that, where appropriate, the context of these lessons will be linked to the half termly theme.  Interwoven through our lessons will be our 6Cs- ‘21st Century skills for effective learning,’ which will help to shape the lessons planned by our teachers, building on skills such as; communication, resilience, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and living as an active global citizen.

Each subject unit plan (and individual lessons), will follow a simple structure (informed by Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction):

Assess - It is essential for teachers assess prior knowledge in order to plan for effective progress of all children. Teachers will identify the specific knowledge and skills that children should already know, linked to each of the subject areas and, through techniques such as questioning, discussions, mind maps and low stakes quizzes, teachers can then ascertain what the children have retained and adapt their planning where needed.

Teach knowledge and skills - Teachers will plan series of lessons for each of the subjects identified for this unit, whether they be linked to the half termly theme or stand alone.  Children will be taught the relevant subject knowledge and vocabulary through well sequenced, engaging lessons, with strong use of modelling and questioning. Opportunities will also be sought to provide out of school activities that enrich our curriculum and provide links to develop schema. Teachers will follow a carefully planned progression of subject specific skills within their lessons, which have been mapped across the whole school. Some subjects will be taught as stand-alone lessons where needed; RE, PE and some areas of Science and Computing. Throughout the teaching of the broad curriculum, it will be important for children to have opportunities to recap and consolidate their learning: teachers will therefore ensure that important skills/facts are discussed and retrieved regularly, with opportunities for regular practice in lessons. In mapping out the whole curriculum, opportunities for revisiting taught knowledge and skills (in different year groups) have been developed and teachers are encouraged to use a variety of strategies for retrieval to ensure key learning is retained.

Apply - Towards the end of the half term, children will use what they have learnt and apply it to their real world, helping to deepen their learning. This will ideally be directed by the children and focus on a key issue/area that they have studied and want to further their learning. Children will showcase and develop a range of their 6Cs here; communicating their ideas to others, creating products to solve a problem, collaborating with their peers and thinking critically about strategies/materials/ideas.

Impact

 

When children leave Our Lady and St Hubert’s, they will be ready to face the next chapter in their life; able to make their own decisions; to have self-discipline; have the courage to stand out; to understand that hard work and resilience will pay off and most importantly, to know that God is with them in all they do.

We believe that we have provided children with a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum taught in a way which will promote retention of knowledge and skills and allow children to use their learning to explore the world they live in. Children will acquire a range of skills linked to each subject, that clearly progress through their school life and, along with the 6Cs, can be used well beyond primary school. With opportunities throughout the planned curriculum to explore our 6Cs, children will be better prepared for a world outside of school. A world in which the jobs and careers they choose may not exist.

This curriculum supports our Catholic ethos and will provide many opportunities for links to be made to Catholic Social Teaching and our Jesuit virtues and values.

This curriculum will help our children to be more active citizens; knowing that they are important. They can make a difference. They are the future.

Whole School Overview

Subject Skills progression

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