What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.
One definition of curriculum is, "All that a child experiences in school, both planned and unplanned." If you take that definition then the whole of this website is about curriculum! Please keep a careful eye on the calendar page to see how vibrant our school is.
Your child's year group pages will have specific curriculum information and website links for that age group and the "Our Catholic School" section hosts the latest news about R.E. and our Catholic life.
“Letters and Sounds” is our phonics scheme and we use a range of banded reading books in the Lower Phase and Year 2.
Our school expansion resulted in a fantastic campus for primary education with endless specialist facilities. Which other primary school is fortunate enough to have specialist facilities? At St Joseph's we have:
- An art studio
- A dance studio
- A music classroom
- A music instrumental room
- A sensory room
- A MUGA (Multi Use Games Area)
- Three hall spaces
- Excellent playground provision
- An outstanding Early Years learning environment
- Professional lighting and sound for productions
- Superb class and group teaching spaces
- Fast Wi-Fi throughout the school and computers in every classroom
In addition, we have specialist teaching for music (from Year 1), Spanish (from Year 3), swimming and visiting music instrument teachers and choir leaders.
Definition of Curriculum
At St Joseph’s, we accept the widest possible definition of the word curriculum, “All that is experienced in school, whether planned or unplanned.” This definition encompasses concepts such as ethos, crucial to our mission as a Catholic school, and holds the school accountable for the lessons it teaches the children in our care.
The RE Curriculum and the Catholic curriculum
We currently use the ‘Come and See’ scheme supplemented by resources from other providers to deliver the Catholic Curriculum Directory. For the purpose of inspection, 10% of the school’s teaching time each week is devoted to RE lessons. In practice, the figure can vary depending where in a topic one finds oneself. Staff are aware of the centrality of RE to the school’s curriculum and our Catholic teaching insists upon the search for excellence for each unique child, and so plan accordingly.
We are in the early days of introducing a more explicit Catholic Curriculum. This curriculum will follow the National Curriculum fully but supplement the content with specific topics which reflect the principles of Catholic Social Justice:
- Life and dignity of the human person
- Family and Community
- Solidarity and the Common Good
- Rights and responsibilities
- Option for the poor and vulnerable
- Dignity of work
- Stewardship - Care for God’s creation
Management of the curriculum
Curriculum leaders produce a subject plan with detailed SMART actions. This ensures that all subjects are developing without overwhelming class teachers with change. In addition, curriculum leaders produce a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) report for governors listing areas of concern (red), areas ticking over very well (amber), and areas of success (green). This report both informs governors and ensures leaders are reflecting upon their subject area. Subject leaders bid for funds annually under the headings of replacement /standstill, development and dream time.
The approach to planning the curriculum is that it should be done alongside colleagues, and there is an expectation that colleagues will bring children’s books to planning meetings so work can be shared and consistency ensured. Beyond that, the staff draw on curriculum maps, medium term plans and short term plans to design their week and lessons to a level of detail required by their experience and skills in each subject. Our staff is trusted to produce these plans.
Such trust needs to be monitored however, and book trawls based on subject or year group are powerful tools to do this. Lesson observations are conducted for performance management purposes but are less powerful tools for curriculum management. Finally, data interrogation is an essential tool to ask the questions to which data alone will never answer.
School structure for delivery of the planned curriculum
The school operates within three distinct phases. Each phase is led by a Phase Leader with one day’s class release time. Significant delegation of responsibility with the curriculum is made to each Phase Leader. In addition, other staff have a Teaching and Learning Responsibility point (TLR) for a vertical responsibility for a faculty of subjects e.g. the Humanities, the Arts, Keeping Healthy. The interplay between the subject leader ensuring continuity and progression across the school and the Phase Leader ensuring curriculum coverage and consistency within their teams results in a creative tension which is to be celebrated.
It is a truism that a good way of assessing what is important to a school is to “follow the money”. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School’s decision to invest in specialist facilities for foundation subjects such as a specially equipped art room, a well resourced music room plus peripatetic instruction room, highly effective provision for SEND including a sensory room and top class sports surfaces alongside external learning areas across the school and places for quiet contemplation are testament to clear management and leadership by senior staff and governors in this area.
Anti-bullying and e-Safety
All schools experience incidents of bullying. At St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, we are no different. However, where we may differ from some other schools is that we challenge it directly when we hear about it and use preventative ANTI-BULLYING programmes to try to educate our children.
Bullying always involves an imbalance of power. The power may come from age (older on younger normally), by popularity (cool social conformists versus independent thinkers) or by numbers (a group versus an individual).
Unpleasantness or bullying?
For parents and children it is useful to distinguish between unpleasant incidents and bullying.
Unpleasantness is behaviour that hurts someone else. It can include name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
Bullying is the same as above but it is repeated over a long period and has the potential to hurt both physically and emotionally.
The school's response
In each and every situation the solution comes from early communication between the child and a member of the school staff or between parent and school.
Your child's class teacher is the best point of contact; the teacher will always involve more senior staff where bullying is suspected or found to be the case.
Most parents, and all children, simply want the problem to go away and as an educating Christian community the school will always respond robustly using education and reconciliation as its first approach; but the school's behaviour policy is available where necessary.
Bullying via text, social networks, web pages etc. is considered to be, in some ways, more dangerous than traditional school based incidents, due to its 24/7 nature. Case law in the High Court has shown that the school has a right to discipline children for cyber-bullying even when the electronic message is sent out of school time, if the bullying is related to school.
In any instance, parents of victims are encouraged to report their concerns to the school and where resolution is not achieved, to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams of the Metropolitan Police. Derogatory comments about school staff (by adults or children) will be equally robustly addressed. The rule is, what is said on-line is considered to be the same as if said face to face.
Parents must monitor their child's safety in the on-line world as carefully as they do in the real world. Facebook asks all its subscribers to confirm they are over 13 years of age, don't condone lying. Set privacy settings to "friends only" otherwise all the world can literally see what your son or daughter are up to and remember you have the same right to have a view about on-line friends as you have real world friends.
Our policy is that it is a breach of the school's behaviour policy to:
- Forward a clearly negative text or post
- Comment upon a clearly negative text or post
- Forward any image of a child without consent
- Participate in polls (who is the coolest? etc)
The internet links below take you to You Tube sites where approved anti-bullying and internet safety videos are available.
Bully or bystander?
A US short film making the point that bystanders have the same responsibility as bullies.
A hard hitting short film showing that words hurt as much as actions.
Great short film showing how you can help victims of bullying by standing alongside them!
Consequences, cyber safety video for 11 year olds up from CEOP
This video from the Child Exploitation On Line Protection Agency is a warning to children over 11, or those who are acting over 11!