At St Michael’s, we have a curriculum that is not only unique to us but that also recognises our church school status, where the teachings of the bible play an important role in our practice and experiences. As part of the Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust (BDMAT), we strive to provide an experience that reflects their vision, “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10), for our school.
“Together, as one, we will be strong and show courage in all we do” are words based on the scripture from Joshua 1:9 – words which resonate with leaders, staff and governors, as we strive to offer the pupils of St Michael’s an experience that will empower them to succeed. The curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum (2014) and is tailored to suit the needs of our children and our community. Alongside our scripture, our vision sets out what is core to our school, including our curriculum.
Our curriculum, ever evolving, has been created to prepare our children to grow academically, emotionally, socially and spirituality and, through our vision, be confident to achieve and raise aspirations by being ambitious for themselves and others. We want the pupils to feel nurtured, protected and courageous; enjoying and flourishing in all they do. Diversity and spirituality are elements that are entwined into the curriculum. The philosophy behind the vision is to allow all children opportunities to flourish in the creative arts as well as develop a love of reading.
As a church school, our Christian values and the way we live our lives by these is important. Developing Trust, Love, Courage, Hope, Thankfulness and Forgiveness are embedded in half termly for all Year groups. Alongside these values, we have behaviours for learning, our 4R’s (Ready, Responsible. Respect and Resilience), which we all, staff and pupils alike, aim to demonstrate daily.
Through our St Michael’s life skills (independence, perseverance, questioning, challenge and reflection), we aim to encourage our learners to take an interest in their school work and believe that they can achieve. Through our Half termly focus on British Values we prepare our pupils to become positive global citizens.
Our curriculum, where knowledge and skills are valued equally, is also rich in reading opportunities, where the aim is to develop a passion for reading and for readers to become vocabulary-rich. To engage our pupils, we utilise a Stunning Start, to wow and stimulate the pupils, and a Fabulous Finish, to showcase and consolidate learning.
Preparing our children for the next phase in the education is key, and so our curriculum has been designed to help all pupils to understand, retain and build upon the experiences they are offered. We recognise that we have children with specific and individual needs and through differentiation, scaffolded support and a graduated approach, we adapt the curriculum to support all learners within the St Michael’s community.
Our journey starts with our very youngest pupils in Nursery. Here we provide our children with a learning environment and an Early Years curriculum that is imaginative, stimulating and thought provoking. Through this we aim to develop creative, curious and independent lifelong learners, where all children are given opportunities to increase in confidence and independence through play and interaction with others. Developing communication and language skills that will allow them to become good communicators and to gain social skills that will provide them with a firm foundation for future learning is vital. The EYFS curriculum for both Reception and Nursery is planned for both indoor and outdoor ‘classrooms’, with equal importance given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way, to enable all aspects of the children’s development.
Reception pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum that provides a wide range of exciting and stimulating opportunities for them. This is underpinned by structured phonics, writing and mathematics lessons to ensure firm foundations in these areas are deeply rooted so that the transition into KS1 is successful. Breadth and depth are in crucial but we also take into consideration the children’s interests, aiming to make their learning fun and personal at all times.
Key Stage 1
The broad and balanced curriculum continues in Key Stage 1, with Foundation subjects being as important as the Core subjects. The teaching of Phonics remains a high priority, along with reading and writing. Mathematical knowledge is practised and mastered through the Mathematics Mastery programme. Sequential and progressive plans enable a ‘linked’ curriculum for the Foundation subjects. This approach uses one theme to develop knowledge and skills across a range of Foundation subjects.
Key Stage 2
The same philosophy continues into KS2. Our knowledge and skills-based curriculum is developed further through the use of subject knowledge ties, with pupils thinking creatively and critically.
The intent of our curriculum is to allow our pupils to enjoy what they do each at school, in order that they can flourish at anything they try their hand at and that with courage and by being strong, they can aspire to be whatever they wish to be.
Our Curriculum Intent underpins of all we do at St Michael’s CE Primary School.
Long term plans include yearly overviews; these are created with year group teachers and Subject Champions in order to ensure consistent progression across the school. Collaboration and professional dialogue between Subject Champions ensures we deliver a curriculum that builds on prior learning, deepens knowledge and enhances skills that foster learning and achievement. The intent, implementation and impact is frequently reviewed, evaluated and enhanced. Half termly curriculum maps for each year group ensure clarity of coverage and a strong emphasis on progression of knowledge and skills; this informs the medium-term planning. We will maintain our strong teaching of the Core subjects, making links to the cross-curricular learning in the teaching of Foundation subjects. In designing our own curriculum, we strive to ensure that all children are active, engaged, enthused and challenged in their learning and the implementation of the curriculum.
The desired impact of our curriculum at St Michael’s is that the needs of all our pupils are met. By ensuring that our learners are engaged in the learning, by making the curriculum suit their needs, through differentiating where appropriate, we aim to create a learning environment that grows learners’ confidence and where children become leaders in their own learning. Achievement and attainment are important, but it is the progress each young individual makes in their journey at St Michael’s that is of greatest importance. If we can provide opportunities for our pupils to enjoy and flourish, aspire to be the best they can and have the courage and strength to aim for all they want to achieve, then we have achieved what we have set out to do as staff and governors at St Michael’s.