Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum
The Curriculum at Sacred Heart School
As a Catholic School, we put Christ at the centre of everything we do by integrating Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning, teaching and the totality of school life. The curriculum we offer is therefore inspired by the teachings of the Gospel.
The curriculum is the means by which our school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives. At Sacred Heart School, we promise to deliver a fully inclusive curriculum which is engaging, challenging and which fosters independence.
Through our experienced, dedicated staff, and our highly trained teaching assistants, the curriculum we offer at Sacred Heart School is designed to encourage and promote the intellectual, personal, social, physical, creative, spiritual and moral development of our pupils.
We believe that, through our curriculum, our children will:
- gain the in-depth knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
- develop the skills needed for future learning
- be prepared for the next stage of their education
- value diversity whilst also promoting shared values
- develop an awareness of human rights
- be able to make a positive contribution to their school community and the wider community of Sheffield
- understand what it is to be a Global Citizen, recognising the part they have to play within this.
The curriculum at Sacred Heart School is arranged in a four year cycle of exciting and engaging whole school themes. These themes enable school to deliver its curriculum principles and entitlement whilst ensuring coverage of the statutory requirements of the national curriculum.
Our curriculum includes not only the learning which occurs in the classroom, but also the extra-curricular activities which we provide to enrich the experiences of the children.
All staff are involved in regular curriculum discussions and have input into curriculum design.
The Core Offer for all children includes entitlement to the following, as a minimum:
- Experienced, dedicated staff who have high expectations of all children.
- Highly trained teaching assistants who are able to deliver specific interventions as well as provide in-class support.
- Read Write Inc- a systematic and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and early reading, including reading books which match phonics knowledge
- At least one whole class educational visit per year.
- One key stage or whole school science trip in the Spring term.
- A fully themed Science Week at the beginning of March every year.
- Visits to Hallam University through the STEM project.
- Collaborative work with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield.
- External visitors such as Zoolab, poets, African drummers and theatre groups.
- An immersive classroom with a themed doorway and themed reading area.
- Whole school themed days with opportunities to dress up and be fully immersed in the whole school theme.
- An engaging and exciting curriculum with a four-year cycle of whole school themes.
- An exciting ‘hook’ at the start of each new theme e.g. a rocket crash landing, a mad scientist visiting, taking a walk through the body etc
- Regular Showcases for parents and the wider community to display written work, drawings and models made by the class. An opportunity to perform poems and songs at the showcases.
- TASC wheel activities to develop independent learning skills.
- The use of KAGAN structures to build self-confidence and social skills.
- Quality maths teaching through the Mastery Maths approach.
- The expertise of visiting professional sports people such as Sheffield United, to develop a range of sporting skills eg cricket and rugby.
- Cross curricular global learning including work around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- A fully themed Global Week which focuses on a different continent, or country, each year.
- A specialist PE teacher and a specialist music teacher.
- Participate in Advent and Lenten services in church.
- Read prayers and scripture and perform liturgical dance in church.
- Read at a variety of whole school and class Masses/services.
- Be a Global Guardian or a member of the School Council, Sports Council, Eco Team or Chaplaincy Team.
- Extend writing skills through the half termly Big Write sessions.
- Develop reading skills through the Reciprocal Reading approach.
- Develop and use the language of debate through regular access to First Newspapers and associated activities
- Develop and use correct mathematical vocabulary through the Mastery approach to mathematics
- Develop awareness of local, national and international events through the regular use of BBC Newsround and other, local media sources
- Learn to play the recorder with all children in the class.
- Purchase ‘additional’ music lessons for guitar, violin, woodwind, drums.
- Attend a range of extra-curricular activities such as: craft; French; cheer leading; badminton; Lego; gymnastics; handball; netball; basketball; and many others.
Pupils acquire subject-specific vocabulary and knowledge which allows them to build links and enhance their learning across other subjects. The school’s Curriculum Grids demonstrate how the school achieves breadth and balance, whilst ensuring there is a progression of knowledge and skills across all year groups.
In planning a sequence of lessons, staff recognise that repetition of content and regular retrieval of knowledge are essential elements in promoting the acquisition of core knowledge and efficient recall from the long-term memory.
Staff identify high quality resources needed to help deliver the curriculum, as a good quality curriculum needs good quality resources. These resources include human resources, practical equipment, commercially produced schemes of work and other teaching resources. Trips are planned, visitors identified, and resources are purchased as necessary. Local and community resources are used as much as possible eg Rivelin Valley, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Whirlow Hall Farm.
Early years staff are trained to deliver the Read Write Inc programme – a systematic and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and early reading. Through this, the children learn to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment words for spelling. (All staff will be trained by the end of October 2019)
As a Catholic school, we follow the Come and See RE Programme which staff use this to help guide the children on their Faith Journey. The school’s Chaplaincy Team also help the school to be a community of faith, developing good relationships within and beyond the school community. The Chaplaincy Team help the children in supporting Liturgy, prayer and the spiritual life of the school, support the school in its Mission Statement and involve their peers in fundraising for charities.
In addition, the Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children is addressed through the RE scheme, PSHE Policy, RSE Policy and the general ethos of the school.
Through debate and the work of the Global Guardians, Sacred Heart School is proud to be developing the UN 17 Global Development Goals. This also helps the children understand more about British Values and their role in society.
CHECK AND REVIEW
By using ongoing assessment, this allows staff to check pupils’ understanding of the main curriculum elements and to respond appropriately through teaching. The information gained through assessment is used not only for identifying gaps in pupils’ knowledge, skills and depth of understanding, but also to inform and improve future curriculum design.
A full review of curriculum impact is undertaken by the senior leaders of the school and this is shared with staff and governors. From this review, a Curriculum Action Plan is generated and is also monitored by the SLT and governors.
Through monitoring books, talking with children, and ensuring work is of the standard expected by school, Curriculum Leaders regularly review and evaluate the impact of their subject area, to ensure the children gain detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Senior Leaders and staff ensure the children are prepared for the next stage in their education with structured transition opportunities between key stages.Training needs are identified and acted upon, data is reviewed where available/appropriate and the curriculum adjusted accordingly.
To find out more about our curriculum, please contact the school and ask to speak to the Headteacher, Mrs Kelly, or the Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Jessop. Alternatively, why not make an appointment to come and have a look round our wonderful school and see the curriculum in action for yourself? You can be assured of a warm welcome.
Full details of the curriculum at each key stage can be found here: