At St Helen's we offer an engaging curriculum which is broad, balanced and progressive. Our curriculum is ambitious. It distils the requirements of the National Curriculum which is, in itself, ambitious and wide-ranging. The curriculum reflects and takes into account the needs of our community. Opportunities in the curriculum have been identified to build Cultural Capital through knowledge, skills and understanding. Children enter school with skills and abilities broadly typical for their age; however, within each cohort, an increasing number of children are entering with limited speech and language skills. Our curriculum has oracy and literacy at its heart. We methodically build the knowledge that pupils need to read fluently and with understanding, building generic and specific vocabulary. In every unit of work, Alex Quigley's principles of vocabulary development feed into the planning of schema of vocabulary development. This allows pupils to access the whole curriculum and achieve well across the full range of subjects, ensuring that every child is able to SHINE.
Our bespoke and progressive curriculum has been designed, planned and organised to ensure breadth, balance and depth for every learner in our school. We ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum and produce high-quality outcomes. All subject lessons are planned discretely. Our careful curriculum design and planning ensures that content is progressive and builds upon prior knowledge, weaving British and Christian values across all subjects. Our Curriculum Documents for each subject area articulate exactly how progression is planned and sequenced.
Curriculum intent has been influenced by current research, including Christine Counsell, the work of Mary Myatt and also the work of Tom Sherrington and Oliver Caviglioli. We stay abreast of new research and use evidence as a base for planning our journey through the curriculum. Research also runs through school practice which is reviewed regularly as new evidence becomes available.
As a church school, we consider RE to be our fourth core subject. Strong leadership and teaching in this area ensures that our children make very strong progress. We use our links within the Diocese of Leeds to ensure that all staff are highly trained in this area.
In line with Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction, Teachers routinely activate prior learning through daily review which builds and strengthens pupils' knowledge through progressive activities. Using the development of schema, explicit teaching of subject specific vocabulary enables children to understand deeply and articulate their learning. Teachers use modelling and worked examples to demonstrate methodology, scaffolding learning appropriately to support all pupils effectively. Guided and independent practice is used to lead children through the learning process to success. Purposeful questioning engages all learners and allows assessment 'in the moment' for Teachers to address misconceptions and gague depth of understanding.
Pupil voice and work show that children know more and remember more. Work by subject leaders to develop and monitor their curriculum area, in collaboration with their colleagues, shows the development of cohesive and progressive understanding as children move through school, leading to outcomes for key measures that are at least in line with or above those seen nationally.
We ensure that our children acquire the knowledge, vocabulary and skills across all curriculum areas so that they are equipped to thrive in the next stage of their education.
Please look at our Curriculum Documents in the individual curriculum areas on the website for more information.