OUR CURRICULUM INTENT
At St John the Baptist, our curriculum is designed to develop a passion for lifelong learning. We have created a clear, cohesive and well-sequenced curriculum with high quality experiences that meet the needs of all our children. It recognises children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allows the children to develop interpersonal skills, and build resilience.
We have developed our curriculum to ensure that knowledge, skills and concepts that start within the Early Years Foundation Stage are continually built upon so by the time our Year 6 children leave, they are ready to start a new chapter in their educational journey. Using the National Curriculum as a framework, our curriculum goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide, such as trips, visitors, enterprise, performances, musical experiences, community projects and fundraising.
In our Reception class, a particularly strong emphasis is placed upon being active and learning through play. We encourage the children to follow their interests, to make informed choices and become independent learners. The environment that we try to create is one in which the children feel happy and confident to ‘have-a-go’ and learn through their experiences. We hope that the curriculum is relevant and challenging, but also exciting and good fun.
The following documents make useful reading if you want to know what your child should be achieving by the end of the reception year.
In KS1 and KS2 we follow the National Curriculum (2014), which forms the backbone of our school curriculum but we also include other elements that enhance and shape the children’s experiences giving them a stimulating, rich and varied range of learning opportunities. All staff work hard to make lessons both enjoyable and effective.
Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will ever learn, as it underpins learning in everything they do within the curriculum. At St John the Baptist, we are dedicated in ensuring that every child learns to read as quickly as possible, and develop a passion for reading along the way.
We teach phonics through 'Song of Sounds', a systematic, synthetic phonics programme, which runs from Reception to Year 2. The programme teaches children to read and write by introducing children to the sounds that they can hear in words (phonemes) and their written equivalent (graphemes). Children learn to blend sounds together to read words and segment words in order to spell them.
Our children receive daily Phonics sessions, which are taught discreetly in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. The first four lessons are approximately 20 minutes with an hour’s consolidation lesson at the end of the week. Within the Reception indoor and outdoor environment, children can explore Phonics related activities independently throughout the day. Children are assessed at the end of each unit. Using this information, teachers will determine whether children need further support in the development of their phonics.
The children access decodable books in line with the phonics phases taught.
Children progress from Year 2 onwards to the Accelerated Reader scheme. We strongly feel that this reading program helps to develop a culture of ‘reading for pleasure’, as well as allowing teachers, parents and pupils to monitor progress and attainment.
At the beginning of the year, children take a STAR Reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to the child’s responses. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. After undertaking this assessment, the class teacher is provided with a range of information related to the child’s reading ability. This includes: their reading age, the difficulty range of books that the child should be reading (ZPD) and how children can be supported to improve their reading comprehension. The children each receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test, which guides them into making appropriate book choices. When finished, they take a short quiz on the computer.
Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.
For more subject information please see the school prospectus.