Our Curriculum

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.

Our school vision has this Bible passage deeply rooted within. Children in our school will value everyone as unique individuals and celebrate the distinctive and diverse nature of our community and the wider world. They will aspire to greater heights and continue to flourish beyond our school community. They will use the powerful knowledge they have gained to grow into valuable citizens whilst demonstrating resilience, determination, adaptability and being shining lights to others. Our school is laying the foundations for pupils to flourish and ‘live life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum links closely with our school vision and aims and is laying the foundations for pupils to flourish and ‘live life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). It:

    • provides all pupils with an excellent, ambitious, broad and balanced education
    • is innovative and imaginative
  • motivates through igniting pupils with a passion for learning and a curiosity to foster life-long learning which will continue beyond our school
  • enables pupils to develop their confidence, be determined, persevere and show resilience
  • creates opportunities for pupils to develop wisdom, knowledge and skills which they can demonstrate across local and global communities. This links to pupils’ cultural capital to succeed in life and the Church of England’s character education
  • encourages children to show dignity and respect towards the beliefs of others and the environment
  • has the Christian Values at the heart
  • ensures that children understand the British Values
  • involves parents/carers in pupils’ learning
  • makes connections and links to prior learning so that pupils build on their knowledge and skills throughout their time in school
  • aims to ensure a deeper learning including mastery across all subject areas through the teaching and opportunities provided
  • is systemic and relevant to the context of our school community.

Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum is implemented in line with our intent. Each curriculum area also has its own Intent and Implementation which links to our school vision and school curriculum intent.

Year groups and teams work together to create an exciting and purposeful curriculum through the learning opportunities for our pupils. Some curriculum subjects link within topics if appropriate and others are taught as a sequence of subject lessons which connect and develop prior knowledge and skills learnt.

How to find out more – Termly team newsletters will offer further information about topics. in addition to the rolling programmes. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher; they will be happy to speak to you.

The Early Years Foundation Stage The Early Years foundation Stage (EYFS) begins from birth, then in school from entry to nursery (when children are three or four years old) and finishes at the end of the Reception class (when all the children in the class will be five years old). Whilst your child is in the Early Years Foundation Stage, they will experience activities which will help them progress in their development and learning. The Development Matters and Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Reception year. These goals are organised into seven areas of learning and provide the basis for planning and assessment throughout the EYFS. The seven curriculum areas of learning are made up of three prime areas and four specific areas. Three Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour),
  • Physical Development (Moving and handling, health and self-care),
  • Communication and Language (Listening and attention, speaking, understanding)

Four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy (Reading, Writing),
  • Mathematics (Numbers, Shape, Space and Measures),
  • Understanding of the World (People and communities, the world, technology)
  • Creative Development (Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative).

Please click here for information on topics taught within the Early Years Foundation Stage and click here for our R.E. Rolling Programme. Although the topics are followed from the rolling programme, we also follow the children’s interests where able or appropriate, so some activities and information may change. You can speak to your child’s class teacher for additional information.

English

  • At St Francis of Assisi Church of England Primary School, we seek to promote the development of language through study of the four areas of learning: speaking, listening, reading and writing. We recognise that English is the foundation to all learning and is crucial to communication in life – all children in our school are given rich, varied and creative learning opportunities to speak, listen, read and write and to apply these skills across our curriculum. Whilst our pupils are with us at St Francis of Assisi Church of England Primary School, we help them to develop their skills in many ways:
    to foster a love for reading, choosing books with enthusiasm and an appreciation of our varied literary heritage, using their reading skills to enhance their learning in other areas and reading often and widely;
    to learn to read words using a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics, which begins right at the start of the pupils’ education and, once pupils are fluent and confident readers, to develop their reading skills in order to comprehend at a deeper level;
    to become resilient and keen writers who see the written word as a crucial form of communication, by ensuring our writing lessons are purposeful and that our pupils can adapt their style to suit a range of purposes and audiences and can write with accuracy and pride;
    to be able to communicate verbally both effectively and considerately, being able to impart knowledge as well as describe, discuss, evaluate and ask questions;
    to understand the importance of quality, respectful listening, making sense of what they have heard and responding appropriately.
    We aim to cultivate confident, motivated pupils who are passionate about their learning in English and who recognise the importance of communication in its many forms, both in school and in the ‘real world’.
    As a church school, our Christian and British values are always at the heart of what we do: these values are embedded within our English curriculum – from the texts we choose to share with our pupils to the writing opportunities we give them and the discussion these both create.
    It is our intention to ensure our staff are highly effective practitioners who share their love of reading with their pupils and who have excellent subject knowledge. They are able to assess pupils’ attainment and progress accurately, understanding how to move the learning forwards for individual pupils but providing timely interventions where pupils have fallen behind.
    According to the National Curriculum (2014), “A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.”

Please click here for details of our whole school reading approach.

Please click here for details of our phonics approach within school.

Please click here for our KS2 English presentation for parents/carers.

Mathematics

At St. Francis of Assisi, we are committed to delivering a maths curriculum that is creative and engaging. All our children will have access to a mastery curriculum making progress in lessons, developing fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our children will develop the necessary skills to make them “deep thinkers” acquiring maths skills that can be recalled quickly to transfer and apply in different contexts. They need to be able to make rich connections across the areas of maths and use their knowledge in other subjects and everyday lives. As our pupils progress, we intend them to embed the fundamentals in mathematics, understand the world whilst enjoying and developing curiosity about the subject.

Please click here for our KS2 Maths presentation for parents/carers.

Religious Education Curriculum intent

Religious Education is provided in the school within the framework of the York Diocesan Agreed Syllabus. Please click here for the Church of England’s National Statement of Entitlement (February 2019) which gives additional information for parents/carers regarding the entitlement, curriculum statement, curriculum balance and time, staff expertise and knowledge, and support.

“Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together.”

Our RE curriculum links closely with our school vision and aims and is laying the foundations for pupils to flourish and ‘live life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).

The aims and objectives of R.E. in a church school (according to the Church of England) are:

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text.
  • To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
  • To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
  • To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
  • To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways, living, believing and thinking.

“In all Church schools religious education must be considered an academic subject. All pupils are entitled to religious education that is delivered in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner. Pupils are entitled to a balanced RE curriculum which enquires into religions and worldviews through theology, philosophy and the human and the social sciences. It should be a coherent curriculum that enables progress through ordered and sequential learning developing both knowledge and skills. There should be a clear curriculum vision and intent, a structure for implementation and provision and a process for evaluating impact.”

The syllabus is underpinned by three core elements, which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs. These elements are:
Making sense of beliefs; Making connections; Understanding the impact.

At St Francis of Assisi Primary school, RE:

  • is a core curriculum subject
  • is a non-confessional, academic subject which reflects the diverse community in which our school is based
  • is an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum poised between: human and social sciences, philosophy and theological aspects of Religious Education
  • is an integral part of all areas of the curriculum, linking SMSC, core Christian Values and fundamental British Values.
  • supports pupils in developing their understanding and their ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and beliefs.
  • is innovative and imaginative
  • allows children to gain knowledge of different world views and religions
  • is structured for progression, and to allow enquiry based learning
  • encourages the development of free thinking, and compassionately aware adults

In RE we contribute to the school vision by:

  • igniting pupils with a passion for learning and a curiosity to foster life-long learning which will continue beyond our school
  • enabling pupils to develop their confidence, be determined, persevere and show resilience
  • creating opportunities for pupils to develop wisdom, knowledge and skills which they can demonstrate across local and global communities. This links to pupils’ cultural capital to succeed in life and the Church of England’s character education
  • encouraging children to show dignity and respect towards the beliefs of others and the environment
  • having the Christian Values at the heart of our learning
  • involving parents/carers in learning

Religious Education Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum is implemented in line with our intent. Year groups and teams work together to create an exciting and purposeful curriculum through the learning opportunities for our pupils.

As a core curriculum subject area, there is an expectation that RE is taught for 10% of curriculum time. This is not necessarily each week but includes RE weeks, projects, visits and special days.

It is supported and shaped by the Diocese of York and Leeds Agreed Syllabus and Understanding Christianity documentation. Lessons are planned in an ordered way including both the systematic learning of specific faiths and world beliefs and Thematic learning exploring some of the ‘Big Questions’ in life. Every opportunity is used to relate the messages from the Bible to the everyday lives of the children.

Christianity and other world views are studied as living and diverse faiths with an appreciation of differing denominations and global differences. The curriculum is structured to allow opportunities to revisit learning and deepen understanding and thinking over time. Children learn about other faiths and are given opportunities throughout the curriculum to raise questions about faith and the various religions of the world.

Please click here for our R.E. curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2.

Series’ of lessons include:

  • living practices of beliefs
  • diversity of belief, practice and world views
  • impact of faith on individuals, community and society
  • beliefs and where they come from
  • application of beliefs in different contexts
  • morality and ethics
  • study of beliefs
  • engaging with sacred texts from a variety of religions
  • opportunities for creativity and spirited arts

Recording

Children record their work in a range of ways which reflect their understanding and level of development:

  • floor books
  • written work, reports, stories, reflections, comments,
  • debates
  • spirited arts

Religious Education Impact including ongoing assessment

Assessment is an ongoing task within RE and teachers will report to children on their progress, this may be through:

  • marking and reflective questioning
  • verbal feedback
  • constructive conversations

Teachers will record progress in terms of:

  • Post-it notes of comments/ conversations
  • Assessment for learning notes
  • Attainment of end of phase outcomes

Attainment in RE is reported to the leadership team regularly.

Special Educational Needs

We cater for all children’s individual needs within our curriculum and tailor our styles accordingly. Any child that experiences specific difficulties is catered for by the provision of a support plan in liaison with parents/carers. Sometimes external agencies can be involved to support children and offer advice to parents and teachers. This may include Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language Support. Please see our SEN Policy and School Offer for more information.

Gifted and Talented

Our school aims to  provide the best possible education to meet the individual needs of all learners and to help them develop to their full potential. Learners who have demonstrated high achievement, and whose previous assessments indicate possible future high achievement, are recognised by the school and supported in their development within and outside the classroom. We believe that we can make a difference in enabling pupils to achieve the greatest possible progress and recognise the value and importance of identifying and celebrating their achievements and successes. Research has shown that by making provision for gifted and talented, the standards of achievement are raised for all pupils. High expectations are fundamental in every aspect of our curriculum. Our definition of ability recognises academic and practical performance as well as those who show outstanding artistic musical and creative talent, physical skills, leadership qualities and the ability to process ideas and information. Additional curricular opportunities (workshops) are provided for children deemed Gifted or More Able to work alongside peers who share their talents, developing and challenging in a stimulating environment.

Other subjects in the curriculum

Please see below for information regarding these subject/curriculum areas. Our long term planning format is in the process of being developed. If you would like a copy, please contact the school directly. This website will be updated shortly with long term plans.

Science

‘Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee.’
Book of Job (12:8)

St Francis of Assis Church of England Primary School understands the need for all pupils to develop their Scientific ability as an essential component of all subjects and as a subject in its own right. A good understanding of scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding helps to support pupils work across the curriculum.

We believe that Science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas. Science is also a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us. Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. We believe that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability.

Science in our school should:-
• be fun and exciting
• challenge our thinking
• help us to find out about the World
• help us to know about ourselves
• be practical – HANDS ON!
• inspire our futures
• give us experiences inside and outside the classroom
• be taught at least once a week
• link to our other subjects
• help us to communicate, share our ideas and work together

Computing

Technology is a quintessential ingredient of modern-day life, developing and transforming the future of the world. At St Francis of Assisi, we believe computing is an essential component of the National Curriculum. Through our computing curriculum, we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a socially responsible and safe way in order to flourish.
We will focus on the skills required for children to adapt to an ever-changing digital world and want our children to become independent and resilient users of technology, having the confidence and critical problem-solving skills required for their future. We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace and we want them to know the career opportunities that will be open to them if they study computing.

By the time they leave St Francis, children will have will have developed a love of computing and gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully).

History

At St Francis of Assisi C of E Primary School, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to ignite a passion and curiosity about the past and to think and act as historians. Through history specific and lessons delivered through the wider curriculum, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become historians:
• An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past;
• The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences;
• The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources developing wisdom and knowledge of history;
• The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry;
• A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning;
• A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics. This should develop deeper learning across topics taught including mastery learning.
• A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
Teachers will ensure teaching of history has the school’s Christian ethos and values at its heart. A cohesive curriculum is built by ensuring all historical themes and topics cover the same aspects to allow comparisons to be made between different time periods. This will help children make connections and links to their prior learning ensuring that knowledge and skills are developed during their time in school. These aspects are: achievements, beliefs, society, housing (and buildings), entertainment and impact. Children will have the opportunity to explore British Values through history lessons. Where appropriate children will compare aspects of British society with the society they are studying.
Planning ensures that history skills are covered alongside objectives. The skills we aim to cover are: chronology, change, continuity, cause, consequence, enquiry, interpretation and organising relevant historical information.

Geography

‘A high quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.’

At St Francis of Assisi C of E Primary School, we believe that a high-quality, and engaging, geography curriculum will inspire children to explore and develop a deeper understanding of both natural and human aspects of the world. We endeavour to continuously develop the children’s geographical knowledge and understanding to ensure that they have the skills needed to explore and appreciate the world around them.

Through both geography specific lessons and the wider curriculum, we strive to equip the children with a deeper knowledge of the interactions between physical and human processes that have shaped the landscapes and environments of the world, as well as the local community that they live in. By incorporating the teaching of the Global Goals, we strive to shape our children into global citizens and provided them with the knowledge, understanding and passion to help make the world more sustainable for today and for generations to come.

By the time they leave St Francis of Assisi C of E Primary School, children will be competent in the geographical skills needed to: collect and analyse a range of geographical data, interpret a wide range of geographical sources of information, and present and communicate geographical information in a variety of ways. To achieve this, we aim to develop curiosity of the world and a love of geography, both inside and outside the classroom. We provide children with hands on experience of their local area, allowing them to implement and continue to develop their geographical skills and knowledge.

Arts

St Francis of Assisi Church of England Primary School understands that high quality Art lessons will inspire children to develop individual creativity. Art lessons should engage, challenge and invigorate children’s knowledge and skills and enable them to experiment with their own ideas to develop creative procedural understanding.

We believe that Art is a practical and engaging way of establishing individual pride and confidence. Art in our school is about developing children’s ability to explore, reflect on ideas and experiment with their skills. Art lessons will provide opportunities to develop an understanding of Art historical chronology complimenting the History curriculum. Our Art curriculum provides children with a broad range of skills and knowledge. At their time throughout St Francis of Assisi Church of England Primary School, we endeavour for our children to have knowledge about contemporary, local and specialist artists, designers and craftsmen and to build an understanding of pride and purpose within their own creations.

Art in our school should:-
• be enjoyable and exciting
• challenge our thinking
• help us to find out about human creativity
• help us to realise our individual creative skills and imagination
• help us to develop confidence in ourselves
• inspire our futures
• give us knowledge of creativity that shapes cultures around the world
• be a working progress that continually develops
• link to our other subjects
• help us to reflect on our own ideas

Physical Education

We endeavour to help children develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing in our children now and for their future. This includes giving pupils opportunities to develop leadership skills, responsibility and self-awareness so that they can be confident, enthusiastic learners. Through P.E., children learn that to be successful you must work hard, show resilience and have the determination to believe that anything can be achieved. By developing these skills, children will enjoy and have fun with physical activity during P.E. lessons and after school hours.

We hope to deliver high-quality teaching and learning opportunities that inspire all children to succeed in physical activities. This will allow pupils to develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, as well as providing opportunities for competitive sports and activities. Children should be able to recognise and follow relevant rules, etiquette and safety procedures for different activities and events, in practice and during competition. We hope to have children who are physically active for sustained periods who can go on to lead healthy, active lives now and in the future.

Languages – German or French

Learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others. Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s understanding of the wider world as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.

Our aims of teaching MFL at St Francis of Assisi Primary school are for children to:
• Ignite a passion for learning a foreign language and curiosity to foster life-long learning through providing an excellent, ambitious, broad and balanced foreign language education which motivates all pupils.
• become aware that language has a structure, and that this structure differs from one language to another;
• develop speaking and listening skills.
• gain enjoyment, pride and a sense of achievement;
• explore and apply strategies to improve their learning;
• explore their own cultural identities and those of others to deepen their understanding of the world therefore encouraging children to value everyone as unique individuals and celebrate the distinctive and diverse nature of our community and the wider world.
• equip children with the foundations to be able to communicate, study and /or work in a foreign country if desired, enabling them to flourish beyond our school community.

Music

St Francis of Assisi Primary school understands that all children have varying interests and abilities that allow them to shine as individuals. As a school we are committed to develop each child holistically in order for them to express themselves freely and without prejudice. Music allows for children to express themselves in this way.

We believe that music is an art form that is built up through teaching specific skills that children can transfer into performance and composition. The subjective nature of music allows children to express many opinions that may conflict with their peers and in our school we encourage children to share their opinions freely and unobjectively in discussions about music.

Music in our school should:
• Develop through each year group building on their previously learnt skills.
• Be fun and engaging.
• Be practical.
• Be challenging to develop resilience and perseverance.
• Give us experiences inside and outside the classroom.
• Help us to communicate our ideas, emotions and beliefs.
• Develop new ways of thinking and understanding.
• Link to other subjects including; History, English, Geography, Maths and Art.