St Paul’s Curriculum
St Paul’s Curriculum
At St Paul’s all that we do is driven by our school vision:
At the heart of St Paul’s we aim for excellence. We seek to understand ourselves and to understand others. We value creativity and the joy of learning whilst gaining a deep understanding of the Christian faith.
It is our aim that the vision drives the experiences of the children at St Paul’s School.
Our intent is to offer a curriculum that is full of excellence and for the children to joyfully engage in high quality learning experiences. We do this through enhancing our curriculum with enrichment days with visits to relevant places of interest such as museums, woodlands or with days focused on solving Maths problems or an Easter Project week; through regular visitors, for example animal experts, scientists or a teacher from the Victorian times. Our Curiosity Curriculum topics have been chosen to readily engage our children; who can resist learning about ‘Muck, Mess and Mixtures’ or finding out about music in our topic ‘Playlist’ or exploring ‘The Enchanted Woodland’? The topics are planned with a different subject focus each half term so that the children have a breadth of learning experiences. Our subject leads regularly monitor their subject and obtain the views of our pupils so that the teaching and learning remains fresh and relevant to the children in our community.
To secure this vision of excellence we strongly believe relies on a deep sense of self and the world around us. It is for this reason that our vision has a focus on understanding. This is delivered through aspects of our curriculum, particularly PSHE (Jigsaw and Evolve) but is also part of our focus on speaking and listening. Throughout a child’s time as St Paul’s there will be numerous opportunities to develop these skills either formally through learning phonics and then later taking part in our speaking exams (in partnership with the English Speaking Board) or informally through shows, assemblies, school campaigns or (when older) elections for leadership roles. We believe that being a faith school gives us the opportunity to nurture children in a safe environment and our partnership with UNICEF gives us the opportunity to test our understanding of the world around us.
All of our curriculum is firmly rooted in supporting our children to develop a deeper understanding of the Christian faith. We enjoy a particularly close partnership with St Paul’s Church. Our local clergy lead collective worship on a weekly basis in school with regular services held at church. The clergy work alongside staff when teaching about topics such as baptism or the journey through life from a Christian perspective. We take regular opportunities to reflect and think about how we should be leading our lives, how we can love our neighbours and make the world a better place.
We have high expectations in all subject areas and encourage and nurture our children to become independent thinkers and learners. The curriculum is planned and delivered sequentially, building on skills, with knowledge becoming embedded in pupils’ long-term memory. Clear planning maps out the progress the children make with their skills and knowledge from entering the school in EYFS to their end point in Year Six. This is checked using regular assessment opportunities and progress is reported to our families on a regular basis. We believe that our curriculum provides our children with cultural capital; essential knowledge that children need for success in the future.
In our Curiosity Curriculum, each topic will start with a memorable experience. This is intentional to make learning ‘sticky’. If a child remembers an experience they are more likely to remember the learning associated with it. At the start they will receive a topic map which includes useful facts and information for that topic as well as a core glossary which they will cover as part of weekly spelling tests to help reinforce new language. At home families will receive a termly overview. We then follow a pathway of learning that runs between 5-7 weeks depending on the unit. Supporting each unit is a class story. We strongly believe in the shared experience of a teacher reading to the class and have shaped our curriculum to take advantage of this. We strive to make links with our curriculum and there is a Bible Story and a UNICEF right linked to each of our Curiosity Curriculum Topics.
We want children to leave St Paul’s flooded with happy memories of their time at school along with a genuine sense of personal success that will support them way beyond their time at St Paul’s. This comes when children feel safe, take learning risks, are challenged and supported. School is so much more than reading, writing and maths. It is adventures with friends on overnight trips, representing the school in sports, singing at the top of our lungs at the O2 Arena or Royal Albert Hall, spending time in peace together in school or with the many other Church of England schools across London at St Paul’s Cathedral. Our curriculum, which is full of ‘Big Questions’ gives the children skills and resilience to persevere in further deepening their knowledge and understanding beyond their time at St Paul’s. All of these exciting opportunities help develop confidence and through that we are able to enhance our children’s natural curiosity. It is for this reason that we named our curriculum The Curiosity Curriculum.
Children leave our school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community which has a strong grounding in the Christian faith. They leave having the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections, understand themselves and others and be courageous advocates.
Bible Stories in the curriculum
At St Paul’s we have a discrete RE curriculum. However, we take every opportunity to teach about the bible and with our topics we have decided to teach discrete bible stories. There is a joy in reading a bible story and an opportunity to ask a simple question: why? Why did Noah build such a large boat? Why did Daniel go into the lions' den? Why did Joseph help Pharaoh? This also provides us with an opportunity to explain when, in the great bible time line, did these stories take place and what part of the bible core concepts do they support. Below is a table that sets out what stories are taught against which topic and what bible concept they reflect:
Bible Story Links in the curriculum
UNICEF links in the curriculum
It is important that children and families understand that there is an active purpose behind each convention for the rights of a child article. It would be too easy to teach these separately to the curriculum rather than as part of it. To begin to address this we have looked carefully at each topic and chose one article that we feel best reflects a core concept that that topic is addressing.
Below is a table that sets out the articles covered each year and which topic they support: