The St. Gregory’s Curriculum for the St. Gregory’s Child
‘Together we Love, Learn, Create and Celebrate!’
‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ John 10:10
The St. Gregory's Curriculum for the St. Gregory's Child
Within the St. Gregory’s school community, the children in our care are at the heart of everything we do. Every pupil is recognised as a unique individual, with their differences celebrated, developing a sense of self and belonging. Each child should leave St. Gregory’s knowing God’s love and being able to show God’s love. We believe that all children are unique and must be encouraged to develop talents and be celebrated for the special gifts that they possess. Each day, we encourage our children to work hard, have a positive mind-set, have the confidence to make mistakes, persevere and to not give up; the St. Gregory’s child is a happy child, ready to take the next steps in their education journey.
Together with pupils, parents and governors, staff have developed a knowledge-rich curriculum, where acquisition and assimilation of knowledge is at the heart of learning, and where skills may be an outcome of the curriculum, not its driving purpose. In its design, stake-holders have referred to a wealth of research surrounding cognitive psychology and working memory, as a guide to developing a framework that enables children to blossom both cognitively and creatively: to recognise prior learning; to provide quality first-hand learning experiences; to allow children to develop communicative and interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers; to encourage children to become autonomous in learning; to experience a variety of curriculum-enhancing and life-enriching opportunities. Furthermore, we intend to provide a continually improving curriculum that responds to findings from pupil feedback and school data to ensure it is bespoke to our needs and reflects the ever-changing world, locally and globally.
At. Gregory's Catholic Primary, we provide a wealth of enhancement opportunities to engage pupils in learning and believe that childhood should be a happy, memorable, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new knowledge and experiences.
Community engagement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate our locality, with children gaining new experiences and learning new skills, as they take an active role in various events throughout the year. Children leave our school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community, where they have the confidence, knowledge and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
Curriculum delivery is informed by key areas of research, and is delivered in a way that aims to ensure each strand is developed at age-appropriate levels: memory, vocabulary and oracy, knowledge and skill, quality learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, and aspirations.
By the end of each unit of learning, the majority of pupils will have sustained mastery of the content: that is, they show good recall and fluency or outcomes; some may show depth of understanding, potentially through application or demonstration of critical thinking. Statutory EYFS and end of Key Stage data, for core subjects, is available to view on the results page of our website. The impact of what we do and children’s achievement cannot always be measured in numerical data, so we approach reviewing impact holistically, considering the whole child through a variety of well-chosen assessment strategies, such as regular quizzing, spoken or written tasks and pupil voice groups, to name a few.
hrough adopting many strategies proven by current and relevant research, as well as drawing upon support from our experienced SENDCo and other internal and external professionals, we are able to ensure that our curriculum is fully accessible for all pupils; staff maintain their high expectations for the achievement of all pupils, and make the necessary adaptations/individualisation to curriculum implementation, to deliver on this.
Cultural Capital: Enhancing the St. Gregory's Curriculum; Enriching our pupils' lives
The St. Gregory’s curriculum has been designed in consultation with pupils, parents, teachers and governors, with our core values and specific context in mind. Staff are firm in the belief that acquisition of knowledge and richness of life and experience are key to nurturing young, inquisitive minds; to broaden pupils’ experiences and open up new learning and opportunities. Staff have worked to ensure there is breadth and balance of experiences across the year groups, so that each child is able to experience and value the richness of our immediate locality, as well as growing to appreciate areas beyond our own context. In some cases, the curriculum is being enhanced and maybe brought to life through educational visits; for others, we simply believe it is a necessary experience for our children! In reflecting upon their own journey (and in many cases, the future journey of their siblings or relatives!), Year 6 pupils have helped to coordinate the offer of curriculum-enhancing and life-enriching opportunities that they would be proud for their family to experience and grow in.
At. St. Gregory's, Cultural Capital does not only sit in isolation for educational visits and experiences; St. Gregory's staff believe that this should be deeply embedded in the curriculum content that we offer, as well as the Personal, Social and Emotional skills which we enable and hone. For example, our Reading curriculum from Year 4 to Year 6 allows our children to (through deep novel study as well as linked extracts) encounter characters from many different walks of life, representative of many different communities different to their own; our studies of texts included in the No Outsiders approach ensures our children encounter and explore lives which may be representative of or different to their own.
Broadening horizons and raising aspirations is fully part of the St. Gregory's culture. With our Steps to Success approach (shared in assemblies, display, and daily class learning), we continually teach about and provide opportunities for our pupils to further their own personal development, establishing positive attitudes and behaviour for lifelong learning.
Assessment Across the Curriculum
At St. Gregory’s, we recognise the importance of feedback as part of the teaching and learning cycle and aim to maximise the effectiveness of its use in practice. We are mindful also of the workload implications of written marking, and of the research surrounding effective feedback and its impact on pupil outcomes.
We have considered key recommendations from expert organisations including EEF: redirecting or refocusing either the teacher or learner actions to achieve a goal; to be specific, accurate and clear; to encourage and support further effort; to be selective to enhance meaning; to provide specific guidance on how to improve. Within these principles, our aim is to make use of the good practice approaches outlined by the EEF toolkit among other research findings; to ensure that children are provided with timely and purposeful feedback that furthers their learning, so that teachers are able to gather feedback and assessments that enable them to adjust their teaching both within and across a sequence of lessons. Also at the heart of our policy is the gradual and phased development of pupil’s meta-cognition and self-regulation. When thinking is deep, learning is much more likely to be stored in long-term memory, available to be recalled at will; as Daniel Willingham says, ‘memory is the residue of thought.’
At. St.Gregory’s, we have continually reflected upon our wider curriculum offer, and continued to offer a multitude of activities during and after school, which have been highly commended by families for a number of years. From golf and boxing to reading and prayers, our broad and rich offer of clubs evolves as the year and seasons progress. Whether it's sports or academics, prayer or creative arts, we make an offer that it suited to every St. Gregory's child.
Please see our School Clubs page to see our latest offer.
Our early morning Breakfast Club is an extremely popular choice for our families whose commitments begin before the start of the school day. Breakfast club (open from 7.45am until 8.45am) invites children from all classes to enjoy a healthy breakfast, with a wide selection of food and drink choices. Children start the day with a variety of stimulating tasks, set out within our programme of events below, to ensure our regular attenders are given opportunities to grow in many different ways. With the many current COVID-19 restrictions in place, St. Gregory's Breakfast Club staff are operating on a slightly reduced timetable, to ensure our environment remains safe for all our community whilst enabling our children to grow, learn and play in lots of different ways.
Our after-school provision, The Hub, serves as a helpful choice to families who are unable to collect children at the end of the school day. With opening hours from 3.20pm – 5.45pm (Monday to Thursday) and 3.20pm – 4.45pm (Fridays), we recognise that children will need opportunities to complete classwork or additional learning tasks, as well as having time to relax and wind down before heading home to the remainder of the evening. The safe and stimulating environment provided by our after-school staff ensures that children of of all primary school ages are able to continue or enhance their class learning in a relaxed setting, involving children in a variety of stimulating and seasonal activities. Children experience a time of togetherness with snacks and drinks. The Hub’s timetable varies according to seasonal weather and activities; staff follow a generic guide:
With the many current COVID-19 restrictions in place, St. Gregory's 'Hub' staff are operating on a slightly reduced timetable, to ensure our environment remains safe for all our community whilst enabling our children to grow, learn and play in lots of different ways.