St Paul’s Curriculum
St Paul’s Curriculum
At the heart of our curriculum is the desire to ‘feed the hungry minds’ of today’s pupils.
As such, we adapt our curriculum appropriately to ensure that we are not only providing a balanced learning experience but one that reflects our school’s vision that aims for excellence in a way that is creative, joyful and wholly inclusive. It was for this reason that, in 2020, we decided to formally re-name our curriculum to show how it reflects a core school value, hence the Curiosity Curriculum.
How does a curiosity curriculum work? At heart is a core theme. It might focus on a subject such as history, science or geography, but each theme will have discrete links to English (writing and reading), and the foundation subjects (art, PSHE, design, science, music, history, PE and geography). Due to the volume of content, our RE and maths curriculums largely sit separately to these however each topic has a discrete RE connection. It is through the topics that we teach bible stories and link these stories to the bigger timeline of the bible (we call these bible core concepts and more can learned about them on our RE page). Equally, we have linked each topic to a UN Convention for the Rights of a Child. Our aim is to promote the Rights throughout the curriculum so that this is something that sits within learning not separately.
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 (a copy will be in each child’s Google Classroom and a copy will be in each child’s topic book). At home you will receive a termly overview. If you can’t find yours a copy can be found on the school’s website in your child’s year group (though it is worth searching your Arbor App email as it will have been emailed to you). 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. The unit then ends with an opportunity celebrate learning from the curriculum which can take the form of class trip, assembly or open classroom session to showcase learning.
In this section of the website you will be able to see what learning is covered in each year group, term by term, but you can also access the range of skills and knowledge that your child will learn if you access each subject area.
Beyond the Classroom
It would be too easy to say that school life is simply 9.00-3.30.
Maybe that was your experience as a child but at St Paul’s we aim to go well beyond the classroom. There is a section on the website that goes into more detail about what happens in each year group, but understand that, as your child moves through the school, you should expect them to perform at world leading venues (Royal Albert Hall, O2 Arena), to compete in a wide range of sporting events, to camp our under the stars, to sail on the open seas, to stand up and campaign for their rights, to learn and love about Jesus, to visit the virtual world, to visit the real world, to understand what it means to rooted in Mill Hill and what it means to be a Londoner and a member of our global community – to appreciate what is different and, crucially, what we have in common. The wide range of experiences that we offer that go beyond the classroom we believe support our vision ambition to help our learners understand themselves better and by being able to do that that they can understand others.
When you enter St Paul’s one of the things that hits you is our diversity of community. We have pupils from dozens of global nations. It is a clear demonstration of how unique each child is. As such we aim to provide each child with a unique experience that supports or challenges them with equity of opportunity. At heart is our Christian ambition for all children to flourish and this is complimented by our commitment to the UN Rights for a Child by promoting childhood dignity. In all their unique ways we seek to provide opportunities that allow each child to experience personal excellence through their joy of being in this place of learning.
Children get one chance at learning. If they are unable to concentrate because of worries at home, they have lost a chance. If they do not understand the learning, they have lost a chance. If it is too easy, they have lost a chance to be stretched. If relationships in class are affecting them it can be easy to loose concentration. If they are not in school, they have lost a chance. The reality is that it is all too easy to ‘loose that chance’ and often for reasons that have little to do with the subject being taught. For this reason the school has invested in its well-being resources to ensure that we try and address concerns quickly to help get that child back onto their learning journey, their one chance. Building relationships and being honest are critical in nurturing our ‘one chance’. St Paul’s is well known for being a ‘family’; there is a strong sense of loyalty which creates safety. We want our learners to feel safe at St Paul’s so they can reflect the vision and values and get the most out of the one chance they have whilst at St Paul’s.
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:
UNICEF links in the curriculum
It is important than 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.