At St.James’ CofE Primary School we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced and above all stimulates the children to learn. In addition to acquiring skills and knowledge we aim to help the children to grow in confidence and maturity so that they can enter secondary school, and later, adulthood with the ability to pursue wholeheartedly, academic social and cultural activities.
We deliver programmes of study that meet the National Curriculum requirements issued by the DfE. This National Curriculum comprises of three core subjects: English, Mathematics, Science
And foundation subjects: History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), Computing, Religious Education and MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)
The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum but following the Blackburn Primary Syllabus.
At St.James’ we place great emphasis on Numeracy and Literacy as these underpin many of the other aspects of the taught curriculum. Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects may be taught as blocks of work over a matter of weeks, or through theme days.
The planning of the curriculum is based around a scheme of work called Cornerstones. The programmes for both Key Stages make use of our local environment. E.g. Watergrove reservoir. We also study other localities so that children gain an understanding of Britain as a diverse society.
This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives or to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work.
There is now a great deal of emphasis in the use of ICT across the curriculum with a focus on ‘Computing’ and, in particular, computer skills to enhance the learning in all the subjects of the curriculum. Through the subject of ‘Computing’ we aim to teach a progressive set of skills that enable all the children to become competent and confident users of ICT. We have increased the range of equipment in this area to provide a wealth of opportunities to develop and apply these skills.
In English we value the role of high quality, engaging texts to inspire and motivate our children. We have undertaken work with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) on their Power of Reading Project. This underpins our English curriculum. The children explore texts, explore new writing skills, develop creativity before producing ‘mini’ and ‘substantial’ writes over the course of each half term.. Typically these alternate weekly, with mini writes forming interim stepping stones towards the substantial writes. These become the assessed pieces.
At St.James’ we use multiple reading schemes to enhance the reading opportunities for our children. However, our main scheme for both guided reading and individual reading is PROJECT X. More information Can be found by clicking HERE
At St.James’ we use a phonics scheme to support the teaching of reading. This scheme is called ‘Floppy’s Phonics’. More information can be found by by clicking HERE
At St.James’ we follow a Singapore style approach to our teaching of maths.
Singapore has become a “laboratory of maths teaching” by incorporating established international research into a highly effective teaching approach. With its emphasis on teaching pupils to solve problems, Singapore Maths teaching is the envy of the world.
Programme Based On Established Theories Singapore Maths is an amalgamation of global ideas delivered as a highly effective programme of teaching methods and resources. The approach is based on recommendations from notable experts such as Jerome Bruner, Richard Skemp, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Zoltan Dienes.
Bruner studied how children learned and put forward the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach to learning. He also coined the term “scaffolding” to describe how children build on the information they have already mastered. In his research on the development of children (1966), Bruner proposed three modes of representation: concrete or action-based (enactive representation), pictorial or image-based (iconic representation) and abstract or language-based (symbolic).
Based on his findings, Bruner proposed the spiral curriculum: a teaching approach in which each subject or skill area is revisited in intervals at a more sophisticated level each time. Using this technique of a spiral curriculum, material is presented in a logical sequence. Initially a concept is enacted with “concrete” materials, later it is represented by models (pictures) and then by abstract notation (such a plus or equals sign). These learning theories are the basis of the Concrete Pictorial Abstract approach which runs throughout the Maths — No Problem! Programme.
Skemp wrote about instrumental and relational learning in his paper “Relational Understanding and Instrumental Understanding” (Richard R. Skemp Department of Education, University of Warwick. First published in Mathematics Teaching 7 in 1976).
Skemp distinguishes between the ability to perform a procedure (instrumental) and the ability to explain the procedure (relational) and argues that these are two different methods of learning - relational and instrumental. Singapore Maths aims for pupils to progress beyond seeing mathematics as a set of arbitrary rules or procedures so that they have a relational understanding.
Based on Dienes’ ideas (1960), systematic variation is used throughout the series. The idea is that you vary the lesson through a series of examples that deal with the same problem or topic. Variation can take the form of mathematical variability, where the learning of one particular mathematical concept is varied, and perceptual variability, where the concept is the same but the pupils are presented with different ways to perceive a problem and use different ways to to represent the same concept. The Singapore Maths approach presents this in a systematic way to ensure pupils comprehend what they are learning.
We use Maths No-Problem! as our core resource. Click here to learn more
Here at St.James’ CofE Primary School we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum.
In 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced by the Government, here at St.James’ we have been working hard to refresh our school approach and provision for pupils. As part of this work we have decided to implement the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
How it Works?
Children will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. To find out more about these stages please click on the link through to Cornerstones website.
Cornerstones Curriculum Website
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