Holy Family School Curriculum statement
‘Always our best for God, each other and ourselves. Guided by Jesus, we give everyone the gifts of: love and compassion; trust and honesty; confidence and self-belief; equality and forgiveness; in order to develop a sense of belonging, curiosity and a desire for learning.’ These are our values and our mission. Our values and mission underpin everything we do.
At Holy Family Catholic School, we seek to ensure that: all pupils achieve the highest standard they can; they enjoy their learning and are eager to learn more; they know that they are in a secure environment where they are cared for. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 and the Curriculum Directory. However, our curriculum has been strengthened with our focus on the seven aspects of Catholic Social Teaching (CST): the dignity of the human person; family and community; solidarity and the common good; rights and responsibilities; the option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity of work; stewardship. (see below for more detail)
We teach all subjects: English, Maths, Science, RE, Computing, Art, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Music, PE, a Modern Foreign Language (Spanish) and Personal, Social and Health Education. However, many of these subjects may be taught through cross-curricular themes. Forest School is also taught across the school. Our Early Years class is taught according to the national required curriculum statements.
We ensure that the children have a wide, broad, balanced and rich curriculum that includes a variety of different learning experiences so that they build up knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare them for their secondary school and life beyond education.
Principles for Learning and Teaching
- All children are valued as individuals.
- All children are encouraged and enabled to achieve their very best.
- All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.
- All children are given opportunities for reflection
- All children are supported their different learning styles recognised.
- All children are entitled to teaching that encourages them to be creative.
- All children are striving to be challenged in their learning and enjoy learning, as well as encouraging problem solving.
- All children are allowed to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.
As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise R.E as a core subject, so we adhere to the Curriculum Directory through our RE scheme ‘The Way, the Truth and the Life’ as well as following the liturgical seasons through the year. We also use the Caritas in Action and Building the Kingdom programmes to enrich our curriculum offer and ensure that the focus of our work reflects our mission. We recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work in partnership to achieve this goal. Charitable links and service remain a focus of the work we do in supporting the local, national and more global communities. We are working to build the leaders of tomorrow. The school recognises that science is both an exciting academic subject and another area where children can develop a sense of awe and wonder.
When planning a curriculum, Holy Family recognises the very wide diversity of the backgrounds of our families. The school is almost full in all year groups (NOR 200) because the families in our school value the Christian education that is on offer for their children of other faiths or no other faith. We have a significant number of children for whom English is an additional language (40%) and from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.
We are serious about the fact that all children need to realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in it. To do this not only do we pursue excellence but ensure the children are equipped with the correct skills in which to do this. We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, linked to the KCSiE document. Alongside our CST focus we also plan for and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.
The wellbeing agenda is at the heart of Holy Family’s curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in RE, PSHE and themed work, through our Building the Kingdom and Caritas in Action programs pupils are able to explore the bigger questions in life. They show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions.
In recognising the development of the whole child, pastoral support given to children and families so they can access the curriculum, is strong. There is a thriving ‘Wellbeing Team’ that offers a range of support for the emotional development of the child, particularly some of our most vulnerable. The school has various systems, including a fully qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, which support the emotional and mental well-being of children and can provide signposting to their parents.
Staff regularly review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. Subject leaders have introduced learning ladders to ensure curriculum coverage of foundation subjects. All subject leaders are aware of the curriculum expectations and the skills within those areas.
A curriculum for the whole child
“A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints….” Pope Benedict XVI, 2010
At the centre of our curriculum is Catholic Social Teaching:
The dignity of the human person:
God loves us. God loves everyone. We are all different. We are all unique. We are equally loved. People matter more than possessions. We have all got different gifts and talents.
Family and community:
Family at home and family at school. We look after each other. We learn to walk, talk, love, forgive, share, belong. We are all needed in our families and our communities. There are different communities. There are different ways to belong. We all have rights and responsibilities to our families and communities. We are all helping to create God’s kingdom.
Solidarity and the Common Good:
We play together. We help each other. We bring peace to each other. We learn together. We celebrate together. We are grateful for each other. We listen to each other. We walk alongside each other in times of peace and of challenge.
Rights and Responsibilities:
God wants everyone to be happy. We have all we need for everyone’s happiness. We need to share fairly with everyone. We need to make the right choices and help other to make the right choices. We need to recognise the right of everyone to happiness. With rights come responsibilities. We need to take responsibility to ensure other’s happiness. We need to share and give.
The option for the poor and vulnerable:
We play together. We share together. We learn together. We use our gifts to help others. We need to recognise inequalities. We need to explore fairness and justice. We need to recognise who needs our help and how can we help them.
The dignity of work:
The gifts we have been given are invaluable and are needed to continue God’s work. We need to work together for each other, in school, at home, in life. We need to work hard to be the best we can be for others. We need to recognise equality: working together, sharing gifts, enabling others, ensuring all achieve and are able to use their gifts to support the community/the world.
We discover God’s beautiful world; caring and helping it to grow. We are thankful and celebrate the harvest. We learn about interdependence; how we can make good choices and be good gardeners; how we need the air and plants and animals. Everything is interconnected. We learn about the consequences of unequal distribution of resources and poor choices. We understand what being good stewards entails. We see God in all creation.
The Curriculum – Implementation
The school is currently organised into 7 classes. The time spent teaching across the week is 25.7 hours.
The school curriculum overview for each year group is on the website.
For details please follow the links to subjects and classes:
Full details on our curriculum subjects - English, Maths, RE, Science, Computing, Humanities, PE, Music, Art, DT, PSHE, MFL will follow soon.
Impact our curriculum is having on standards of teaching and learning
The curriculum at Holy Family is well planned to enable a wide range of engagement, not only within class but in providing out of class opportunities to enable children to develop themselves as learners and encourage each child to be as independent as they can be. Questionnaires to the pupils and parents allow the staff to regularly review and assess the impact that the curriculum is having.
Data shows that pupils are making consistent progress in Reading, Writing and Maths. Pupils who need some support in these areas are identified early and different strategies are used according to pupils’ needs.
Challenge is integrated within the curriculum with striving for every child to produce their absolute best.
Homework projects provide the opportunity for parents to get involved in their child’s learning. The results are amazing, from Stonehenge made out of chocolate biscuits to a ‘life-size’ Gruffalo.
Assessing our children’s learning within the curriculum
At Holy Family we ensure that the children are regularly assessed against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. We moderate pupils’ work within school and across our Emmaus Partnership schools.
Whilst the children’s learning is assessed every day to ensure that we are meeting their needs and to inform future planning, we formally assess Reading, Writing, Maths and RE three times a year and all other subjects are assessed at least once a year.
We are extremely proud of the achievements of the children in our school. Academic data proves that our attainment and progress, which is a culmination of hard work, determination and high expectations expected from all at Holy Family has led to successful learning and performance. Further information can be found in the School Performance Tables and KS2 Results section of our website.
There is a regular termly cycle of monitoring and assessment which provides data; this is collected, analysed and utilized for providing interventions, support and a reviewing of planning. In addition to this, the teachers meet with members of the leadership team to discuss each pupil’s progress to find out the reasons behind their current attainment.
Monitoring the curriculum
Our subject leads monitor the curriculum regularly: the standards the pupils achieve; pupils’ engagement and enjoyment of their subject; teachers’ training needs and resources needed. This is done through various methods including: lesson observations; pupil conferencing; book looks; data analysis; staff conferencing.
Sex and Relationships Education
At Holy Family, sex and relationships education is taught through a whole school policy and, where possible, is integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as religious education, science and PSHE. It is always taught within the context of the church’s teaching on sexual relationships. Parents are informed prior to any lessons from the class teacher and parents are given the opportunity to discuss what their child will be learning so that they can support their child’s work at home. Any questions that children ask are answered sensitively and in a caring manner. Lessons and resources are always chosen to suit to the age of the children.
We are proud of the broad and balanced curriculum that we offer at Holy Family. Children enjoy a range of opportunities to explore their own gifts and talents through art, design and technology, music and sport. We have high expectations for all and children are proud of their achievements as a result.
At Holy Family, the children experience a variety of educational visits and visitors, which prove to be valuable learning experiences. We enjoy a variety of focus weeks including:
- Multi-Faith week, children consolidate their learning about other faiths and enjoy visits to places of worship. The major world religions are revisited each year.
- Cultural week where we celebrate the wonderful diversity at Holy Family.
- Take One week where the whole school works on a themed art project culminating in an exhibition.
- Science week where all pupils are involved in investigating a ‘real-life’ whodunit and engage in exciting and fun scientific experiments.