The curriculum at St Wilfrid's CE combines high standards with a broad, rich and creative curriculum. There is continuity and progression, challenge and pace. We are passionate about bringing learning to life for all children and engaging them academically, emotionally, physically and socially in contexts which have a real meaning and purpose..
Our expectation is that pupils will make significant progress in all subjects but also develop a passion for learning, discovering their own individual strengths and talents through the opportunities that we provide. To that end, in addition to academic, sporting and cultural and social opportunities, the performing arts play an important part of the curriculum in every year group.
Staff work in and across year group teams to plan a comprehensive, cohesive curriculum which is enriched with a broad range of learning opportunities, designed to challenge the most able and those with special needs. Children will have the opportunity to imagine, question, reason, choose, observe, experience, explain, test, estimate, problem-solve, deduce, hypothesise, evaluate and record.
Curriculum enrichment is essential part of learning at our academy schools. We plan numerous visits to bring learning to life. Theatre companies, artists, sports coaches and people with passion and expertise support us in delivering an inspiring curriculum which is delivered creatively through termly topics that engage the learner through exciting content and enrichment opportunities.
Our modern learning environment and ICT facilities provide our pupils with experiences and skills suitable for the 21st century, allowing us to incorporate new technologies into our learning and teaching. Right from Nursery to year 6, children have the opportunity to incorporate ICT into all aspects of their learning. Smart Screens, visualisers, cameras, ipads, tablets and computers are integral to learning and teaching in our school.
Additionally, we aim to provide a curriculum and experiences which develop pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural wellbeing and promote a sound understanding of the human/British values of democracy, government, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. These values are embedded, together with our Christian vision of Belonging, Believing, Becoming, within curriculum, assemblies and PHSE sessions, ensuring that our pupils develop tolerance, respect, courtesy and consideration for others regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture or belief and are fully prepared for modern life.
At St Wilfrid’s, we pursue excellence for our students within all areas of their lives. We expect them to aspire to be the best that they can be and to achieve the highest possible academic standards. We also expect our students to develop into caring and considerate young people, who will leave the school to become responsible secondary school students and make a valuable contribution to their communities. Our curriculum is therefore designed to be broad, balanced and relevant, meeting the needs of individual learners. We follow the National Curriculum and teach the following:
We allow children to be submerged in a variety of texts that engage and excite them. We make sure that our children are given the opportunity to inform, persuade and entertain with their writing and are regularly given the opportunity to write for a purpose. Knowledge of different writing features, layouts and styles are embedded through repeated exposure. Quality and quantity of writing improves each time a genre is revisited. Poetry produced in writing lessons is performed each half term, one piece of writing is assessed and clearly labelled in writing book. Where possible, our texts are linked to topics in the wider curriculum, however, the quality of the texts we use as resource is more important than anything so tenuous links to unsuitable books are avoided.
We believe that it is important that pupils can communicate their ideas clearly in their writing but also orally. They will often participate in group activities (including role play and other drama activities) to share ideas and explore language choices. They are also encouraged to read their work aloud with appropriate expression and evaluate its impact
From years 1 to 6, the National Curriculum objectives for grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught in short lessons, both implicitly and explicitly. An opportunity to use and apply these skills is provided for children in the weeks’ writing lessons.
We provide a reading curriculum that gives children an opportunity to enjoy and engage with books from a range of authors and genres.
We teach children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding; to develop appropriate reading skills such as inference, skimming and scanning and summarising. Children develop the habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure and information and this is timetabled daily. We aim for children to acquire a wide vocabulary from the books they read.
In EYFS, Reading is taught through the Reading early learning goal. Children have the opportunity to read through daily shared and guided reading sessions as well as participating in reading activities in the workshop areas both indoors and out.
From Year 1 to Year 6, Guided Reading lessons are provided where a different text is used each week. From this text, teachers prepare comprehension questions with a focus on key objectives. Using the VIPERS structure, each lesson focusses on a different comprehension skill: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explaining, Retrieval and Sequencing.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, Writing is taught daily through a systematic phonics approach. We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme. Twenty minute sessions are provided for all children from Nursery to Year 2. Each session focusses on a different sound, presented by the teacher. Additionally, children will also carry out writing practice/activities in small groups. Children are introduced to specific vocabulary relating to Phonics (phoneme, digraph, blending etc) as part of their learning. Children take are assessed using the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1. Children who are still struggling with Phonics by the end of Year 2 are supported in year 3 with catch up classes.
Our mathematics curriculum will give students the opportunity to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Pupils reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. Children can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and seeking solutions. We teach children to communicate, justify, argue and prove using mathematical vocabulary.
Our curriculum is designed to develop the inquisitive nature of the children throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum we ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career. We ensure children can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently. Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied science curriculum.
We aim for our History curriculum to lead children's interests into the world they live in. To do this we teach a knowledge rich History curriculum beginning in EYFS where children compare themselves as they are now with how they were when they were younger. Children also look at their own family and focus on what their grandparents used to be like in the past.
In Key Stage 1 children move into looking at modern history from before their birth. Children compare their lives with that of children from within the last 100 years through the context of toys and games and holidays and how they are different now. Our increasingly diverse intake means that we teach children about important figures from the recent past such as Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and Rosa Parks, and their struggles for human rights.
In Key Stage 2 we go further back into the past and ancient civilisations are studied and the impact these cultures (Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings etc) had on Britain is always a focus. Importantly we also look to other parts of the world for our History topics and study a range of civilisations from the Ancient Egyptians to the Islamic Caliphates, to ensure our coverage reflects the diversity of our pupils.
Historical skills are taught in History lessons using the different topics as a context. Children are taught to work as historians as they question the reliability of resources, compare and contrast the past with the present and communicate their findings in their books.
We provide opportunities in Key Stage 1 and 2 for children to apply their literacy skills to History in the form of writing non-fiction texts such as biographies and information texts.
In geography, our youngest children explore the world around them and their local area. They gain an understanding of what a town and a city is and how where they live is different to the countryside and coast. They also learn what a map is and how it is used.
In Key Stage 1, children learn about the UK as a country and the nations that it consists of. This is combined with gaining an understanding that their area (Northenden/Wythenshawe) is part of a city: Manchester. Children also learn which seven continents make up the world and after this, compare their country (UK) to and African country (Kenya).
In Key Stage 2, children study human and physical Geography through topics ranging from Europe to China and the Americas. We teach children of the different biomes that are found across the world and the distinct cultures and languages that are represented in these countries.
In terms of Geographic skills, these progress through the key stages and are tied into the topics. For example, using maps to find countries and capitals and using the four points of a compass in KS1 and the eight points in KS2. Each phase gains experience of Geographic field work: KS1 will use the locality of their school for this and KS2 will record features of their local area using sketch maps, drawings and plans.
Modern Foreign Languages
In Spanish we teach children in Key Stage 2 to communicate through meaningful contexts that are relevant to them, such as school, sports and activities, food and animals. Children are taught to express opinions and justify this with explanations. Much of the same grammar and vocabulary is covered as children move from Lower Key Stage 2 to Upper Key Stage 2 as repetition is key to learning a foreign language. However as children move into Year 5 and 6, they will expand on what they have learnt previously. For example, children in Upper Key Stage 2 will learn more verbs to go with food and how these conjugate whereas in Lower Key Stage 2, lessons on food will focus mostly on the vocabulary. Likewise when learning the names of sports and activities in Spanish, younger children will focus on the vocabulary but older children in Year 5 and 6 will study the verbs that go with these activities (eg. practico – I practise and juego – I play)
Through our Art curriculum, children are taught a variety of skills through a mixture of media: each year group from Nursery to Year 6 explores a range of 2D drawing and painting; print and mixed media and 3D sculpture.
Skills progress through the phases ranging from finger painting, developing manipulation of materials and creating collaboratively in EYFS, through to overlaying, using water colour and creating printing blocks in Key Stage 1. Children in Key Stage 2 are introduced to collage making by manipulating photographs, using mod-roc for sculpture and developing paintings from drawings.
From Year 1 to Year 6, children have Art books in which they analyse the work of artists before planning their own work. Importantly, children have the opportunity to reflect on their finished work after it is completed.
Our curriculum follows the structure of designing, making and evaluating. Projects are linked to topics where possible, for example children make an air raid shelter during Upper Key Stage Two’s History topic of World War 2. Design Technology skills are taught through these projects and progress through the key stages from simple joining techniques using string in EYFS through to using strengthening and stiffening techniques when making structures in Years 5 and 6.
At each stage children work collaboratively and discuss ideas and designs before making. Children are given the opportunity to look at examples of similar products to the one they are trying to make. From Year 1 to 6, children will evaluate the effectiveness of what they have made at the end of the unit of work.
We use Charanga to teach singing from Reception to Year 6. Children listen and appraise a song before learning to sing it with the teacher. Children are taught the fundamentals of body posture for singing and breathing techniques. Vocal warm ups in the form of practising scales are used before children learn to sing a specific song. As well as learning to sing, children learn to listen and appraise and a singing lesson will always feature section where children listen out for specific aspects of a song relating to rhythm, pulse, pitch etc before attempting to sing. We also have a separate listening curriculum where a diverse range of music and songs are enjoyed and discussed by the children.
In Key Stage 2, children are given the opportunity to use instruments for performing and composing. In Years 3 and 4, children play the tin whistle and ukulele lessons are provided for those in Years 5 and 6.
Songs are also performed by different year groups in church services throughout the year.
All pupils at St Wilfrid’s have the right to have rich, deep learning experiences that balance all the aspects of computing. We follow the Purple Mash scheme of work and children are taught the fundamentals of coding, spreadsheets and skills such as touch typing and using email. We aim for children to understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation. We teach children to communicate ideas well by utilising appliances and devices throughout all areas of the curriculum.
Importantly, children are taught how to be safe online and we devote a significant part of our Computing curriculum to E-Safety. We make sure this aspect is taught to each year group from Years 1 to 6 and lessons are supported with whole school assemblies led by our Computing Lead.
Children’s creativity is also enhanced in this subject as children use a range of software to create blogs, animations, music and stories.
At St Wilfrid's CE we teach a Religious Education (RE) curriculum that provides opportunities for spiritual development and personal reflection. It develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief, it provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging. RE prepares children for citizenship in today’s diverse society. It enables them to develop sensitivity to, and respect for others. The quality RE that we teach helps to break down barriers and build communities. RE offers pupils authentic encounters with living faith communities equipping them with the ability to hold an informed conversation about religious beliefs and practices.
This gives pupils opportunity to investigate, reflect, evaluate and make meaning. In doing so they will discover more about themselves, their relationships with others, their relationship with the world around them and their relationship with God.