Whole School Curriculum
Children in our Reception class follow Curriculum Guidance for The Early Years Foundation Stage (Sept 2012). There are 7 areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings.
The 3 Prime Areas are:
- Communication & Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social, Emotional Development
In additions to these, there are a further 4 Specific Areas through which the Prime Areas are strengthened and applied.
The Specific Areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The children will have opportunities for learning and experiencing the above through a more ’play based’ learning environment.
KEY STAGE 1 & 2
In Key Stage 1 & 2 we have updated our curriculum in line with the new national Curriculum 2014 requirements. We continue to use a cross curricular/themed approach to learning where possible, as we believe that the knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes which are learned in one curriculum area, can be applied in another. This also provides opportunities for our pupils to develop ‘mastery or depth of learning’ in this subject areas.
All our pupils study our Core Subjects – RE, English, Maths, together with Science. Accompanying these Core Subjects are the Foundation Subjects of Design & Technology, Computing, Music, PSHCE, History, Geography, PE, Art and Modern Foreign Language (French). Through our curriculum we endeavour for our pupils to become Mathematicians, Historians, Musicians etc. therefore embedding skills for life-long learning.
Each year group covers the key learning objectives set out within the National Curriculum and we assess and judge pupil outcomes of achievement based on these.
In English, there are three main areas of focus: reading, writing and speaking and listening. Each class shares a text and from this text writing opportunities are created where pupils are encouraged to become ‘writers. In KS1, there are three genres which pupils focus on: narrative, information and instructions. Whereas in KS2, there are a range of genres including: discursive, narrative, explanation, biographies, instructions, recounts, newspaper reports, persuasive and non-chronological reports. Writing is an important part of the whole curriculum and in English we give the pupils many opportunities to write, editing their work by refining vocabulary and sentences to make their writing more effective. As part of developing the pupils as independent learners, they are given the opportunity to assess their work using our assessment package – Assertive Mentoring. This helps the pupils to focus their skills, making sure their work is grammatically secure.
In Reading, we encourage pupils to read for pleasure as ‘readers’. We develop their fluency and comprehension by listening to them in class and with the support of reading at home. Reading regularly out loud is extremely important and it helps pupils develop use of expression and an understanding of the different punctuation marks and their uses. In KS1, it is vitally important that pupils are given opportunities to read texts to become confident in reading and can develop understanding skills. Pupils may keep books for two days in a row to help their fluency and comprehension. In KS2, we continue to develop fluency and comprehension, but also endeavour to introduce the children to more novels through shared reading and books being read at home.
Each year group has particular objectives to achieve and these can be found in the documents below:
"A high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject." (The National Curriculum, September 2014).
At Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School we strive to provide a curriculum which is both rich and thorough. We aim to ensure children acquire and become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately when problem solving. Speaking and listening is a priority of the curriculum and ensures opportunities for pupils to develop their mathematical vocabulary as well as reasoning and explanation skills through open ended investigations and high quality dialogue and discussion.
Daily practice of number facts gives pupils the opportunity to be able to recall facts at speed. Pupils have the opportunity to participate in Maths Challenges each term, which test their speedy recall of number facts and multiplication tables.
Children's progress is regularly assessed (Weekly Basic Skills Tests, Termly White Rose Arithmetic and Reasoning or NFER Assessments) and lessons are planned to have appropriate levels of challenge and support.
The Maths Curriculum is made up of the following areas:
• Number – pupils learn to read, write, order numbers, count, add, subtract divide, multiply and solve problems involving the four operations.
• Algebra – pupils learn to explore number patterns, develop their understanding and using symbols to represent number values.
• Measures – pupils learn to use measures in length, mass, capacity, volume and area. They also handle money and tell the time.
• Shape & Space – pupils learn about both 2d and 3d shapes, angle, position and direction.
• Handling Data – pupils learn to collect, represent and interpret data as well as probability.
Whole school theme days and weeks
Throughout each academic year we have whole school theme weeks or days linked to Mathematics and other areas of the curriculum such as Maths Challenge Week, Number Day, Money Week, etc.. These weeks are used to excite and engage pupils and develop further a cross curricular approach where skills can be adopted across a range of subject areas. Parents are always informed and invited to join us on various occasions.
Feedback from Parents
"It was great to see the children learning Maths. It helps to see what techniques and resources are used in school so we can use the same approach at home." (Year 1)
"Thank you for inviting us and giving us insights on how to solve different types of Maths problems with our children." (Year 2)
"It was lovely to be here today. I wish to do more problem solving sessions with my son." (Year 3)
"A good opportunity to see first hand how the children are learning. Really enjoyed it!" (Year 4)
"I really enjoyed this session. It was challenging for both children and parents. Great experience!" (Year 5)
"I enjoyed coming into school to see how children engage in Maths learning. It also gave me some good ideas for practicing maths at home with my child." (Year 6)
The Science curriculum at Our Lady’s is taught as a discreet subject, however where applicable, we strive to link areas of the strands and programmes of study to our class themes. This means pupils are attaining the important scientific knowledge which is required for their year groups but are also approaching their learning through exciting and engaging activities. We encourage our pupils to become confident and competent scientists by giving them opportunities to ask scientific questions and plan investigations to test out their ideas; gather evidence to prove or disprove a hypothesis and draw conclusions using a range of scientific vocabulary. Our aim is to ensure that through practising the processes and methods of science along with the spoken language associated with it, they will have a greater understanding of the uses and implications of science today and in the future. We try to ensure that these skills of ‘working scientifically’ are embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics units and not taught as stand-alone focus so that pupils do not only receive the knowledge and conceptual understanding of the programmes of study, but are given lots of opportunity to also expand their knowledge of scientific enquiry skills.
Through the use of wider opportunities for science at our school, such as after school clubs, trips, National Science week, whole-school activities and parent/expert-led workshops, we hope to maximise our pupil’s enthusiasm and motivation for studying science now, and in the future.
At Our Lady Queen of Peace, there is a strong focus on Religious education. Pupils have the opportunity to attend and take part in regular masses in the parish church. There are 4 main strands which are pertinent to their learning these are:
- The Sacraments
- The Liturgical Year
- Living as Christians including prayer
These are explored within the units of work in each year group. In addition to this, the children in Year 3 are prepared to receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion and in Year 6 they prepare for Confirmation.
Our school promotes a positive attitude to health, fitness and well being, with PE being taught for 2 hours per week. Pupils in each year will be taught games, gymnastics and dance. There are also opportunities for swimming in years 1-6, athletics and adventure activities. Our pupils will also have opportunities to attend festivals with other Primary schools. We have many links with outside agencies including; Worcester Warriors, Worcester County Cricket Club as well as the University of Worcester. In Year 6, pupils also have the opportunity to experience the Pioneer Centre as a residential visit where they take part in many outdoor activities.
At OLQOP we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in Geography and become young Geographers. A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and it’s people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Teaching will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world will help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
Being Geographers provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Fieldwork studies will strengthen children’s understanding of their own and wider communities in order to develop a sense of pride and willingness to protect the world around them for the future.
Aims - The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils by the end of each key stage, know, can apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study.
Key Stage 1
name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans
name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas
understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country
Human and physical geography
identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles
use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather
key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop
Geographical skills and fieldwork
use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage
use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language (e.g. near and far; left and right) to describe the location of features and routes on a map
use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught about:
locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)
understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America
Human and physical geography
describe and understand key aspects of:
physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water
Geographical skills and fieldwork
use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
use fieldwork to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.
History is taught through themed based lessons alongside and within other curriculum subjects, eg, Literacy and Computing, as well in separate history lessons. As Historians pupils will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which will inspire pupils’ curiosity to learn more about the past. Teaching will encourage pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Being Historians enables pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity within modern Britain.
Aims - The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils by the end of each key stage, know, can apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study.
Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught about:
changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught about:
changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the 2 following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history -
one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD
The introduction of the new computing curriculum has placed a larger focus on computational thinking and creativity, as well as opportunities for creative work in programming and digital media. At Our Lady Queen of Peace we aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that engages and challenges pupils in all areas of the computing curriculum and enables pupils to embed computational thinking and problem solving in all other aspects of their lives.
There computing curriculum is divided into three strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
Computer Science - This is the core of the new curriculum, in which pupils learn how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Using the Rising Stars Switched on Computing scheme we will be using Scratch, App Furnace, Purple Mash 2Code and various other computer programs and apps to allow the pupils to develop skills in logic, problem solving and debugging and programming in a creative way. This practical experience is a fun and effective way to learn about computer science.
Information Technology - Pupils learn to use information technology to, create, organise, store and retrieve digital material in a purposeful way using a variety of digital media including desktop publishing software, online presentation software, wiki’s and Purple Mash collaborative tools. Pupils across the school will be learning ways to search the internet effectively and use a range of software and digital devices to accomplish their goals.Pupils will also be taught how computer networks work by learning about email systems, our school network and how computers respond to input and output devices.
Digital Literacy - Pupils learn to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly within their computing and PHSCE lessons by following the SWGfL digital literacy scheme. Pupils will be taught to understand the opportunities that networks offer for communication but also learn to be discerning about digital content. Computing is an integral part of the learning and our computing curriculum gives children the opportunity to develop skills in all aspects of the subject. This includes opportunities for children to create their own programs as well as communication, data handling, modelling, control and research.
Our school is well equipped with a laptop trolley containing 30 laptops, a class set of 30 Learnpad tablets and an additional set of 15 smaller tablets for intervention work. Each classroom has a laptop connected to an Interactive Whiteboard and additional laptops in class for pupil use. We also have a varied range of technology to support learning including cameras, visualisers/webcams, microphones, digital microscopes, data loggers and programmable robots. We also use a school learning portal as a safe method of sharing information with pupils and and to allow pupils to upload work they have created and collaborate with other pupils.
The Design Technology curriculum at Our Lady’s is taught by linking creative opportunities for designing and making to each classes theme. This gives pupils the chance to demonstrate their imagination, creativity and design skills to produce products for a purpose and to solve real life problems.
We encourage pupils to become confident and competent designers by ensuring that each unit which is taught focuses on the key skills of researching, designing, making and evaluating, and that their skills are built upon by testing prototypes and critiquing how well their ideas have worked. These skills run through all areas of our D.T curriculum where pupils get a chance to work with a range of materials and processes including textiles and nutrition.
Through striving to focus some of our products on the existing work of important designers and craft-workers, we also ensure that pupils feel inspired and motivated to produce high-quality products. This also enables them to see that taking risks and being innovative is how we continue to contribute to the world of culture today.
At Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary we value the learning and teaching of Art because:
- Art can stimulate creativity and promote imagination.
- Art provides a stimulating learning environment where children’s work is celebrated.
- Art can give children confidence and a chance to produce something without failure, something that is personal to them.
- Art can enrich all other areas of the curriculum by adding a practical approach to learning.
Throughout the year pupils are given ample opportunities within KS1 to develop the skills necessary to enhance their art skills. They are taught the basics of drawing, painting and sculpture, the language of Art and a range of techniques i.e. colour pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
As artists in KS2 the children are taught how to develop these techniques further, including their control and use of different materials. For example, they are taught how to improve their skills of drawing, painting and sculpture, using a range of materials.
Throughout the year each year group will focus on particular artists which are linked to their theme. They will find out about the life of the artist, their specific techniques and how to apply them to their own work. As artists the children record their work in sketchbooks which travel with them as they progress through the school.
Finally, as a celebration of Art in the school, every year the children participate in an Art week. All year groups produce pieces of work over a week linked to the theme specified and at the end of the week the work is showcased to parents.
At OLQP we believe that children should be engaged by and develop a love of music.
We encourage them to develop their talent as musicians, increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. They will be given opportunities to perform, listen to, review and evaluate a wide variety of musical genres, styles and traditions. They will learn to sing and have the opportunity to create and compose music. They will have opportunities to learn a musical instrument and will be supported to develop their musical abilities. They will understand and explore how music is created and will develop their knowledge of music terminology and notations.
Forest School & Outdoor Learning
All classes have a half term experience with Reception having a Forest School session each week. Our pupils are encouraged to use nature as their basis for learning, looking at how the seasons change and what grows in our outdoor environment. Pupils are taught to use appropriate tools, build camp fires, and look after themselves as well as nature around them.
Outdoor Learning is experienced by pupils in Year 1 – Year 6. Activities include orienteering, shelter building as well as learning to use our bouldering wall safely. During these sessions, our pupils are encouraged to solve problems, work as part of a team thinking about skills such as; co-operation, communication, planning and organisation.