“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World.”
— Nelson Mandela
At Saint Augustine Webster Catholic Voluntary Academy, our intention is that our curriculum will build on the school mission and values. We believe in providing a knowledge-based curriculum which is in line with National Curriculum expectations, but has a strong focus on skills progression to drive questioning, investigation and challenges. Our curriculum is ambitious and content-rich.
At its heart we have 5 core values which permeate through all areas of school life:
Kindness, Respect, Community, Forgiveness, Faith
Our mission statement explains how our academy exists to provide a broad and balances curriculum in a Catholic atmosphere where we focus on Jesus Christ as the Way, the truth and the Life. As a Catholic school we aim to be a community where the spiritual, cultural and personal worlds within which we live are harmonised to form the roots from which grow our values, motivation, aspirations and the moral imperatives that inform our choices and actions.
Our curriculum is built upon principles of instruction and cognitive load. We are distinctly aware that children’s working memory can be easily overloaded therefore we aim to provide children with a curriculum that alleviates this issue and aids understanding. Subject coverage is planned sequentially and with a clear rationale for making connections with prior learning. The curriculum connects previous learning, revisits and builds on foundational knowledge using spaced retrieval practice. We tailor the learning to pupil’s existing knowledge, using worked examples, removing unnecessary information and simplifying complex information.
Our curriculum is heavily vocabulary based and we believe that the development of children’s vocabulary is a vital tool in learning and understanding the full curriculum. We believe that a vocabulary curriculum should not be seen as additional to a knowledge-rich curriculum, but as part of best practice on how to achieve one. We have a high percentage of children with EAL (English as an additional language), and we feel this is a vital tool in assisting all children with their learning.
We strive to develop their confidence in their ability to learn independently, to persevere when learning is difficult, be resilient in the face of challenge, to work collaboratively and think critically. We seek to provide opportunities for development, not only through academic subjects and religious instruction but through all aspects of the school day, including breaks and lunchtimes, collective worship and extra-curricular activities. With high expectations for all, we promote support for each child to enable them to develop into responsible, resilient and reflective young people ready for life in modern Britain.
The aim of our curriculum is for Saint Augustine Webster CVA pupils to have the skills to be successful, independent, motivated and resilient learners in preparation for the next stage of their education.
National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school by subject leaders, and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly.
Our curriculum is planned sequentially and with a clear rationale for making connections with prior learning. They also revisit and build on foundational knowledge. Opportunities are consciously made to enable pupils to acquire and engage in EYFS curriculum experiences and to take knowledge and skills into KS1. Each foundation subject lesson starts with a key question, which gives the children a clear focus for the lesson ahead. Each lesson then has a knowledge note, this combats the split attention effect and increase cognitive participation. Relevant subjects are positioned to support and enhance learning so that pupils retrieve and transfer knowledge. Timetables focus on curriculum studies to increase motivation, pace and connection. A coherent sequence of learning supported by cumulative quiz questions to direct retrieval practice, over time.
There are variety of visits and visitors planned to enrich the learning and create lasting memories via real experiences. Throughout the year there are special days/weeks that have a clear focus for example Careers Week, Anti Bullying Week, Democracy Week, Safer Internet Day. These special events enable the children to put their learning into practice in a variety of other situations. We also celebrate diversity through diversity days that explore different faiths and cultures, such as Diwali and Eid.
At Saint Augustine Webster CVA, children are assessed during every lesson, which enables our teachers to plan the next steps for each child. Teachers assess against the learning objectives or key questions and the basic skills requirements for each year group and provide live feedback which enables each pupil to make progress within the lesson and overtime. Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked and reported to parents/carers at parents evening and on the end of year report. Saint Augustine Webster CVA uses rigorous triangulated monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of the curriculum design. Senior leaders and subject leaders monitor individual subjects: reviewing learning, evaluating pupil voice, providing individual feedback to move practice forwards, celebrating positives and highlighting areas of development that through coaching and continued professional development are developed and strengthened.
We will measure the impact of curriculum through:
- pupil achievement data
- attendance data
- stakeholder’s voice
- lesson observations
- learning walks
- work scrutiny
- extra curriculum registers
- behaviour reports (CPOMS)
Curriculum Plans 2021-22
Please find some useful links regarding the curriculum:
If you require additional information on the curriculum please contact Mr Robert Dickinson, Assitant Headteacher/Curriculum Lead