Our Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) and
Key Stage 2 (Year 3, 4, 5 and 6) Curriculum
The education children receive at St Cuthbert's has Gospel values at its very core; we are acknowledged in our local community as a good Catholic school with strong traditions and culture of inclusiveness. All staff are enthusiastic and strive to encourage a love of learning and develop a climate of excellence. We offer a broad curriculum delivered through a wide range of teaching styles and extended learning opportunities to ensure that every child's needs are catered for.
Children will be given support and challenge in their work and there will be high expectations for their behaviour. Diversity, effort, achievement and care for others will all be encouraged, recognised and celebrated.
Children love to play, explore, ask questions, imagine, try things out, and become good at new skills - consequently they are always learning! In school our task is to structure their experience so that they learn as much as possible in key areas, and take part in a broad and varied programme of learning activities, which reflects the richness and diversity of both the human and natural world.
In order to deliver a motivating, high quality and balanced curriculum to our pupils, we combine national and local strategies, with school specific focuses.
We follow the New National Curriculum For English
Reading is a strength of the school. We have a wide selection of books; both fiction and non-fiction in our library and all children are encouraged to take books home each night. Each term new books are purchased for our libraries. Class teachers keep a daily record of individual and group reading in school. Children's progress in reading is regularly assessed and results given to parents.
Our youngest children use writing in both structured play situations and to record their ideas. As children mature and gain in confidence they soon begin to write stories and longer pieces of work and they are taught the conventions of writing. Our children are taught the rules of spelling and are expected to learn weekly spellings. They are set targets to improve their writing each term and grouped in their classes to help them achieve these targets; they share the targets with parents each term at parent's evenings. Handwriting is taught and awards given to children for neat, joined writing.
We follow the New National Curriculum
For the youngest children the majority of maths work is through practical tasks and there is less recording at this stage. As children progress through the school they learn to record more and use formal methods of calculation. However, discovery, thinking and solving problems is at the heart of good maths teaching and all children undertake activities to foster this. They are expected to be able to talk about how they solved problems and share their ideas.
Children are taught their multiplication tables and are expected to have quick recall of number facts. Older children are taught how to use calculators effectively and appropriately. This prepares them for the use of calculators in secondary and adult life.
Children are set for Maths in the juniors. These groups are flexible and designed to meet the needs of each child. Children are taught as whole class groups or in small groups. We use a variety of resources both published and school based and this includes use of computers for such things as making and interpreting spreadsheets.
As a Catholic school, we regard the teaching of religious education as very important. Individual lessons are based on the Spirituality, Formation and Education Service in Hexham and Newcastle Diocesian guidelines. Whilst the teaching is predominantly Christian the children are also taught about Judaism, Islam, Hinduism & Sikhism as they progress through the school.
Science activities are designed to encourage children to ask questions, to investigate in a practical way and then to record their findings. We use our extensive grounds, visits or have visitors to support this work. For example children in year 5 visit St. Anthony’s Secondary School to investigate mixing and separating materials using the Science Laboratories.
We have an ICT suite each with 16 computers, which are networked and linked to the Internet. We have an interactive white board in all teaching classrooms, which allows teachers to access a wealth of resources to enhance learning opportunities. All children use the suite with their class teacher. Each classroom also has access to 6 i-pads, which enables focused group work. ICT supports all aspects of the curriculum. As children move through the school they learn how to use word and publishing programmes, data handling and control programs, how to extract information from CD ROMs and the Internet, send electronic mails and make simple presentations using power point. Our ICT suite is very popular with the children and staff and they have contributed to the very high standards our children have achieved in this subject. The new National Curriculum is providing us with new challenges which include coding, algorithums and programming. Of course the importance of e-safety is always high on our agenda and all children are taught to use technology safely and respectfully.
This is a strength of our school. We have specialist Music teaching across the school. In addition to this we have separate choir, recorder and band groups. All our Key Stage 2 pupils learn to the play the recorder, receiving a weekly group lesson from our specialist music teacher Ms Jackson.
Our Choir regularly takes part in ‘Sunderland City Sings’ Schools Choir contest, which takes place at the Sunderland Empire. Many of our children also have individual lessons from specialised instrument teachers, where they can learn a variety of orchestral instruments.
Children have the opportunity to learn and understand more about the past and make sense of their world. For our younger children this begins with their own experiences. Older children learn about each major period in History from Ancient Greece through to the Victorians. We do this in a variety of ways that motivate the children. For example the children and staff dress up as if they were being evacuated when they study World War II in Year 4 and children in Year 5 take part in a ‘Murder Mystery’ when they visit Beamish Museum as part of their work on the Victorians.
We begin with looking at our immediate environment when children look at the school and a local village. They learn to read maps and compare where they live to other places. They are taught how to use an Atlas and broaden their knowledge of countries around the world. Again much of the work is practically based.
Design Technology and Art
Children learn to investigate how things are made and are taught simple construction techniques. In art children have opportunities for drawing, painting, pottery, collage and model making. Children are encouraged to discuss and evaluate their work and to look at examples of art around the world.
Physical Education and Sport
Our children are introduced to a variety of skills necessary to enjoy individual and team games. As they move through the school they have opportunities to take part in competitive events. We have football, basketball, athletics, gymnastics, trampolining, cricket and cross country teams. All the children have the opportunity to go swimming during each Key Stage. We believe that physical exercise is very important for children and give this a high priority within the curriculum. We are fortunate to have a large hall, which does not have to be used as a dining hall. Our school teams compete regularly with other local schools. With both our football and basketball teams current City champions.
Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education
We have recently achieved the National Healthy Schools Award. This is a three year programme which looks at all aspects of P.S.H.E. and makes links with other subject areas as appropriate. We have a weekly circle time in each class, a time when children have the opportunity to talk to each other about their week and to discuss issues which are important to them. We have a school council. Classes elect one child to serve on this each year. The council discusses issues that concern the whole school and help make decisions. We believe that the children should feel that this is their school and that they are part of helping it to be a happy and secure place in which they play and learn. The school council members help create such an environment.
Modern Foreign Languages
During the year all our children have an opportunity to learn French, often through fun and exciting activities and songs.
Collective Worship and Church links
Children have the opportunity to take part in a daily act of collective worship; these are sometimes whole school based and at other times class based. They are led by staff, the children themselves and by our parish priest Father Humble. We are very proud to be part of the the parish community church cluster of Immaculate Heart of Mary (Springwell), Holy Rosary (Farringdon) and The Holy Family (Grindon). Church members from all these churches are regular visitors to the school.
Termly curriculum content will be shown by clicking the relevant year group tab to the right. This will change on a termly basis so that you can see what your child is studying each term.
If you would like further information or have any queries about our curriculum then please make an appointment to discuss this with your child's class teacher.