At St Bernadette’s, we want our children to “aspire not to have more but to BE more” (Archbishop Oscar Romero) We want them to be active participants in the world in which they live and not merely observers. We understand that this level of interaction with the world, at any age, requires a great deal of language, knowledge, skills and values. Therefore, we have designed an ambitious, coherently planned, inclusive curriculum with a clear focus on developing the long-term learning of children. Categories of knowledge are identified in each subject and sequenced carefully to ensure broad coverage and progression. Subject specific themes enable teachers to easily draw on prior knowledge, prepare pupils for the next steps of learning and ensure that the understanding of key themes are deepened over time.
We understand that deep learning is linked to the application of thought and that knowledge building is not an end in itself. Therefore, each sequence of learning is carefully designed to intrinsically link and interconnect both substantive and disciplinary knowledge. As such, we know we broaden possibilities to deepen learning over time by providing opportunities for pupils to explain and reason, assess, compare, contrast, evaluate and make judgements or decisions, predict, follow enquiry and challenge perceptions.
Our whole school values are: Courage, Compassion, Humility, Kindness, Stewardship and Justice. Our values' curriculum alongside our taught curriculum provides pupils with opportunities to contextualise their learning and engage with real life audiences through projects, educational visits and wider opportunities. This not only helps them to make sense of the increasingly complex and rapidly changing world in which they live but also encourages them to think critically and ethically about local and global issues and the impact they can have on the lives of individuals and the wider world.
Clearly defined destinations (end goals) are our primary source of assessing understanding, application of knowledge and subject-specific skills. Throughout a unit of learning, we help children remember more and do more through regular reviews of learning - through a range of high-value, low-stakes testing, knowledge organiser quizzes, providing a good deal of instructional support as well as immediate feedback. Additionally, we use regular and robust triangulated monitoring to gauge the impact of our curriculum design on all pupils. In our drive to continually improve our curriculum, leaders at all levels consider the impact of our curriculum by reviewing a range of evidence gathered from: classroom learning reviews, considering evidence in books, having discussions with children about what they have learnt and what they have remembered and discussions with teachers around decision-making.