Reading is an integral part of life at Sacred Heart; it is an essential life skill and we want our children to leave school with a love of reading. Reading is a habit and that habit needs to be grounded in what we do at school. Our 'Reading Stars' incentive motivates children to read both in and outside the school and has helped to create a buzz in our learning environment. In addition to this, children throughout Sacred Heart are encouraged to be independent learners through Reciprocal Reading sessions, where they develop their leadership skills alongside their reading skill-set. Reciprocal Reading allows children to not only read interesting texts, but ensure pupils regularly improve their vocabulary through the use of dictionary work. Children have the opportunity to visit the local library on a regular basis and enjooy visiting our newly developed 'Starbooks' cafe within school.
We are a Talk4writing school
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’’ encourages the children to talk about their ideas and the key features of different genres. The children learn texts using visual text maps as a prompt and then practice the texts by incorporating drama and games. They then ‘box up’ the text which acts as a plan for later independent writing. In this plan they are able to ‘magpie’ ideas from the original text that they would like to include in their own writing later in the week.
Following this, the children are then encouraged to change aspects of the original text to produce a new piece of writing. Again, the same procedure is followed; text map, boxing up, magpie key words and phrases, identifying key features etc.
In the final week, it is hoped that the children will have a secure knowledge of the genre and be able to produce a piece of work entirely independently.
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word. We believe that developing a love of language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life.
We aim to ensure that all pupils:
Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS and KS1 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development.
At Sacred Heart we follow the Jolly Phonics scheme and use the Letters and Sounds document for guidance. Each session gives children an opportunity to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children on entry to Reception begin with a block of phase 1 phonics to consolidate learning that has taken place in preschool and nursery settings. Children quickly move on to phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught writing the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one grapheme (spelling) is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue into Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support.
We encourage pupils to use mathematics as a means of describing, explaining and predicting answers to practical problems. Through tasks generated by National Curriculum 2014 guidelines, pupils acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to use mathematics as a means of understanding the world around them. By referring to links with other areas of the curriculum, we lay the foundation of mathematical skills for academic, technical, scientific and commercial needs in a constantly changing world.
Programmes of study for KS1 and 2 are taught according to guidance. Age appropriate objectives are adhered to, as far as possible with modifications to meet the needs of pupils performing significantly above or below expectations for their year group.
Cross curricular links are often made e.g. charts and graphs in science and geography- the use of a ruler for measuring in DT. We follow the White Rose Hub Calculations Policy as it is high quality and progressive across the year groups.
At Sacred Heart we focus on French throughout Key Stage 2. We believe that it is important that the children gain experiences of other languages. European days and Inter-cultural celebrations take place throughout the school year to support this ethos. Our language lessons are fun and exciting in order to engage the pupils and allow them to take control of their learning experience.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
Key Stage 2 Objectives
Pupils should be taught to:
The teaching of information and communication technology is a key skill for everyday life. At Sacred Heart, we understand that a high-quality computing education is essential for pupils to understand modern information and communication technologies (ICT), and for them to use these skills to become responsible, competent, confident and creative participants of an increasingly digital world. Computers, tablets, and a variety of devices can be used to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information.
Our curriculum can be broken down into 3 strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy with the aim to create digitally literate pupils. The main objectives are:
We teach children how to keep themselves safe and to treat others with respect. Children consider how their online actions impact other people and how they need to be aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities, such as showing respect for intellectual property rights (e.g. musical, literary and artistic works), keeping passwords and personal data secure and observing the terms and conditions for web services they use such as the 13+ age restriction on sites such as Facebook and other apps. Children are taught that if they ever feel worried about anything they see on the internet, they should share their concerns with a parent, teacher or trusted adult.
At Sacred Heart, we shape our history curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that encompasses the British Values throughout; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to study life in the past.
At Sacred Heart, we aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; know and understand about significant aspects of the history of the wider world like Ancient Civilisations and Empires; changes in living memory and beyond living memory; learn about the lives of significant people of the past; understand the methods of historical enquiry and be able to ask and answer questions. We want children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork, educational visits and visitors.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Sacred Heart, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. For example, providing children with regular “Drop Down Days”, to allow each class to deep dive into the learning experience.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Sacred Heart are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
We aim to provide a high quality geography curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about places and people; resources in the environment; physical and human processes; formation and use of landscapes. We also want children to develop geographical skills: collecting and analysing data; using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans; and communicating information in a variety of ways. We want children to enjoy and love learning about geography by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Sacred Heart, we ensure that geography has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. For example, using the local area to follow maps in Key Stage 1, to comparing the similarities and differences in environments and communities in Lower Key Stage 2, through to debating world issues in Upper Key Stage 2.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Sacred Heart are equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
At Sacred Heart Catholic School, we aim to develop children’s understanding of the world around them through high-quality science teaching and learning that is exciting and engaging. Our aim is to help our pupils understand how major scientific ideas have played a vital role in society and to prepare them for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
Our Core Principles of Science
Our core principles of science outline our aims and objectives. We know good science teaching and learning is happening when...
Our Science Curriculum
In the Foundation stage, children begin to develop an understanding of science through the broad area ‘Understanding the World’. Children explore and find out about the world around them and begin to ask questions about it. As children progress through the school they are given a wide range of scientific experiences as they are introduced to more complex scientific ideas. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science is an integral part of our everyday modern life and will affect the future and present on a personal, national and global level. The curriculum develops scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through a range of topics from the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children work scientifically and develop their understanding of scientific enquiry by establishing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Children apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.
We believe that a well-structured and progressive PE curriculum develops the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, so that they can perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. We work with specialist coaches who work with school staff to deliver high quality PE lessons. We also use the REAL PE scheme ensure that there is a clear progression in skills being taught to the different year groups. We have well developed links with St Wilfrid’s High School who provide opportunities for children to take part in competitive sport against children in other primary schools in our trust.