A Curriculum for
St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Winchester
‘Jesus came so that they could have life and have it to the full.’ John 10:10
‘The best preparation for tomorrow is to do good work today.’ - Elbert Hubbard
The Vision and Mission statements underpin the school curriculum. From these a culture and ethos is generated that supports the spiritual development of all involved in the community. The school is committed to ensuring that the curriculum is broad and balanced in order that the needs of all children are provided for and the uniqueness of each individual is valued. We develop the whole child through striving for excellent academic achievement along with valuing the spiritual, social, moral, cultural, physical and creative development of each individual.
We believe that intelligence is multi-faceted, and children learn in different ways; the curriculum must support this.
In the daily living out of our Catholic faith, we aim to ensure that religious education and spiritual development permeate every aspect of the curriculum, so that it is explicit and implicit within the taught curriculum. Rooted in prayer and lived out in the daily life of the school, children are supported, through the curriculum, to grow in faith and deepen their relationships with God and each other. We recognise R.E as a core subject, so we adhere to a diocesan-wide curriculum, ‘God Matters’. We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of the faith and we work closely with the local parish and community in embedding these strong links. We foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society.
In planning the curriculum, the range of social and economic backgrounds of our families is recognised. The school is the primary school for the Catholic parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs and as such there is a wide geographical spread to its catchment area. Families come from as far as Sutton Scotney in the north, Colden Common in the south, Stockbridge in the west and Itchen Abbas in the east. In Winchester, the school is situated next to the Stanmore Estate – which using indicators for multiple deprivation (IMD), is amongst the bottom 30% of most deprived areas nationally, whereas the majority of Winchester and its environs are in the top 10% of least deprived areas nationally. The school has a falling roll of Catholics (Year 6 - 71%, EYFS - 41%). The overall percentage of Catholics in the school is 57%. This is combined with an increasing number of pupils from Stanmore Estate and social housing in Winchester Village and other areas. Currently, 23% of the pupils in the school have English as an additional language with a spread of 30 first languages.
By recognising the diversity of background of our families and the variety of strengths and needs our children bring, the development of the whole child is a key priority. The pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is strong. Our nurture group sits at the heart of our school and is one way that allows vulnerable children to access their learning and curriculum entitlement. The school has a further range of systems that support the emotional and mental well-being of children including a newly appointed Child and Family Support Worker.
Our Curriculum is planned to enable all children to develop good learning habits for life.
Through the curriculum, children will be encouraged to develop:
- spiritual and moral values from the Gospel including respect for themselves and others;
- a love for learning and an understanding that it is a lifelong process;
- lively enquiring minds through questioning, investigating and the making of rational decisions;
- an ability to work independently and collaboratively;
- the ability to persevere with tasks and resilience for learning;
- the ability to take risks and make mistakes;
- high expectations of their personal achievement by measuring themselves against their own personal best;
- confidence in the core skills of English, Maths;
- interests and skills, including physical skills which will enable them to enjoy and make the best use of their time both in and out of school;
- an appreciation and understanding of creativity and imagination;
- knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live;
- an attitude of respect and care for our environment;
- an understanding that our actions have an impact on others and on the environment;
- appreciation and respect for their own culture, and the culture of other communities;
- an understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe;
- respect for difference including religious and racial differences;
- recognition of aspirations, achievements and celebration of success.
(devised by staff Summer 2019 and reviewed by staff Spring 2021)
‘I like it because we have real results like designing a pizza and then making it or writing a letter to the Minister for the Environment.’ - Polly
‘Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.’ - Immanel Kant
We constantly strive to learn from our teaching so that we can understand how our children can learn more effectively. We have adopted 3 key principles for learning:
- Learning involves making sense of information.
- Learning involves building on existing understanding.
- Learning takes place at a level just beyond current understanding.
We believe all children can achieve. Children need to practise, embed and apply their knowledge, skills and understanding. To do this, children need…
- a clear learning journey through learning objectives consisting of
a pathway of small steps;
- learning that builds on prior knowledge;
- time to develop and make understanding ‘stick’;
- strong conceptual models that go beyond rote or process learning;
- opportunities to demonstrate or re-create their understanding and make links;
- questions that require them to think, reason and explain;
- precise on-going formative teacher assessment;
- timely, effective feedback and intervention to close gaps or go deeper.
“Teachers help us learn step by step so that it is not too complicated and we know what to focus on.” - Michael
“Learning is exciting. Sometimes we have a slow reveal and we have to wait to find out what happens.” - George
“Using different environments including the school grounds really helps our learning.” - Polly
‘It’s not just the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.’ - David Allen Coe
Our curriculum is committed to meeting the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 & 2. Pupils are ensured quality access to the whole curriculum so that they may learn effectively and make good progress. Challenging, realistic and attainable targets are set in order to help pupils achieve in all aspects of the curriculum. Cross-curricular opportunities and real experiences are given wherever possible in order to enhance children's knowledge and understanding. We work in partnership with parents, who are the primary educators of their children. Our aim is that when pupils leave St Peter’s they are fully prepared for the next stage of their education.
Learning takes place in a stimulating environment supported by a range of activities and hooks aimed at developing a sense of awe and wonder. We aim to ensure that learning is a hands on, investigative experience that makes full use of the whole school environment. To further support effective learning, pupils regularly participate in educational visits off site and curriculum themed days. Visitors into school, expertise and knowledge drawn from the wider community further enhance learning.
The school is currently organised into 14 classes and 2 phases (EYFS/KS1 and KS2).
The school curriculum overview for each year group follows at the foot of the page.
Annually, staff review medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. Pupil voice is captured through the use of pupil conferencing. Subject leaders continue to develop the curriculum in foundation subjects with all middle leaders working towards ensuring the skills progression within their respective curriculum areas from EYFS to Year 6. The curriculum for each subject is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus on ensuring access for all and extending those who are working at a greater depth; engagement with learning; breadth and balance of the curriculum. Not only do staff review the actual curriculum regularly, but also the principles for learning and teaching.
An overview, including curriculum map and progression document for each curriculum subject is available on the subject link on the curriculum page of the school website.
Assessing learning within the curriculum
‘Assessment is, indeed, the bridge between teaching and learning.’ - Dylan Wiliam
At St Peter’s, we ensure that the children are regularly assessed against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. Regular feedback is used to support learning. This results in each child receiving personalised learning and in turn increases their awareness of their next target(s). Our assessment policy highlights the various ways in which we assess children’s learning, both formatively (on a daily basis) and summatively (end of a unit of study or tests).
There is a regular cycle of monitoring and assessment that provides data; this is collected, analysed and utilized for providing interventions, support and a review of planning. In addition to this, teachers meet with members of the leadership team to discuss each pupil’s progress to find out the reasons behind their current attainment and to plan next steps.
‘Education is not just about information but also formation.’ - Mona Siddiqui
The development of an understanding of individual responsibility is a key part of our curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning in all lessons and for their actions at all times. Our behaviour code promotes responsibility for all for ensuring everyone is safe, is respected and is able to learn. This is further developed through the involvement of pupils in the running of the school.
Our Student Council is comprised of elected representatives from each class. The members of the Student Council play a key role in promoting and fostering the values of serving both individuals and society. They do this through activities ranging from organising fund raising events for organisations such as CAFOD and NSPCC to campaigning and organising events to encourage the school community to look after our environment, for example: cutting down on single use plastics.
A sense of community responsibility is further developed in our Year 6 pupils. Each pupil in Year 6 each has a job that contributes to the wider life of the school. These responsibilities range from distributing class registers to supporting younger children in our pre-school; from running lunchtime sports clubs for pupils in KS1 to preparation of the church/hall for assembly. We have two Junior Road Safety Officers who promote and champion road safety, responsible use of transport and walking to school.
Pupils with English as an additional language take pride in welcoming and supporting new pupils into the school who share the same first language as themselves. Additionally, throughout KS2 children take responsibility for leading prayer time in their class. Pupils throughout the school take pride in undertaking jobs across the day to support the well-being of all in the class in addition to supporting the smooth running of the classroom.
“Our student council is good because it gives the child’s perspective. Children can relate well to each other.” - Harry
“We have helped to look after our school environment by organising litter picking.” - Noah
“When the NSPCC came in we organised a fun day and raised money to support the charity.” - Hughie
Pupils in all year groups access and enjoy a broad curriculum.
Across the school and the curriculum, pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers and are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of view and beliefs other than their own. Throughout the curriculum but particularly in RE and RSHE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are ready to question arguments and situations.
“……there is a positive attitude and enjoyment of RE. Pupils appreciate how it can help them in their daily lives. Good questioning, developed through the ‘Let’s Think’ project, encourages deeper thinking. The ‘orange questions’ are proving to be an effective strategy in further developing the children’s religious knowledge and providing opportunities for them to demonstrate their understanding.” (RE Validation report July 2019)