English at St. Michael’s
At St Michael’s, reading is central to our curriculum; we aim for our children to be avid readers and creative writers.
To do this, we provide children with multiple opportunities for reading, for a range of purposes, every day. We ensure that our children access rich, quality books and increasingly read for pleasure and with confidence. Texts are carefully selected to engage and ignite children’s love of reading; expose them to a range of genres and purposes beyond their usual preference; widen their vocabulary; enhance further curriculum links and stimulate their own creative ideas.
We actively teach reading and reading skills through structured programmes and lessons. In addition, we dedicate time to reading for pleasure independently and as a whole class.
Reading is at the forefront of our writing process which it is developed consistently across the school. Children are given a range of opportunities to read and write for a purpose in a range of genres, each unit stems from a core, quality text. Our English teaching follows a clear structure of Reading Phase, Capturing Ideas then Writing Phase, which ensures that there is enough time to acquire the knowledge, content and skills that will add to the quality of the writing.
We know that the promotion of a language-rich curriculum provides essential learning that our children need for their future success. Vocabulary development is a vital part of the writing process and is taught both explicitly and incidentally across English and wider areas of our curriculum.
We also place huge value on providing our children with Speaking and Listening opportunities which are carefully planned across the English curriculum. We aim for children to become confident and competent speakers and offer children the opportunity to participate, speak and perform for a variety of purposes and audiences. We aim to equip children with these vital communication skills which will be valuable for their future life.
Mathematics at St. Michael’s
At St Michaels V.A. Junior, mathematics is a core subject and has high priority within our school curriculum. Through our proactive approach, we aim to develop a love of mathematics and create an atmosphere where all children strive to learn. To achieve this, we constantly review our practice to incorporate research and development in the field of maths teaching.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Art at St. Michael’s
At St. Michael’s, we believe that a dynamic and inclusive art curriculum has the ability to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to participate in, experiment with, invent and create their own works of art as well as reshape their approach to every area of the curriculum. We believe that by fostering a culture of creativity we can enhance cultural understanding and promote imaginative risk taking to respond to our material, emotional, social, and virtual worlds. We hope that children will demonstrate a clear progression of skills, a diverse knowledge of great modern and historic artists and an ability to critique and evaluate.
Design and Technology at St Michael’s
Design and technology is part of the wider curriculum at St Michael’s. Through design and technology we aim to develop further the creative, technical and practical expertise that can be used in everyday tasks; as well as helping children to achieve in the increasingly technological world. We intend for children to use what they learn and practise in both personal ambitions, as well as those of our community and the wider world. Cross-curricular links are made to further enhance and embed learning.
Primary Foreign Languages at St. Michael’s
At St. Michael’s V.A. Junior School, we teach French. This is a language that has been chosen to make considerable progress over the four years. It is also a language that most of the schools at secondary level offer. We use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning – the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
Geography at St. Michael’s
Our mission for Geography is to inspire pupils to become global citizens who appreciate the awe and wonder of our planet, who explore their own place in the world and consider their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
Life Skills at St. Michael’s
At St. Michael’s, we use the term Life Skills instead of PSHE. We feel that this name is a clearer way of describing the subject for children, parents and teachers. We recognize the importance of life skills to allow all children to learn and in this fast-changing, virtually influenced world which we live in, it is increasingly important for children to learn how to keep themselves safe, happy and healthy. Life Skills units are catered to fit the requirements of the wider community in Bowthorpe, using elements of the JIGSAW scheme of work, supplemented by other resources and outside agencies. In lessons, we centre learning around mindfulness, teaching the children how to self-regulate their emotions and we use discussion and group work around meaningful topics, to stimulate learning. Teaching our children how to navigate their world, with all its contradictions and opportunities, is of paramount importance to us at St. Michael’s.
Music at St. Michael’s
At St. Michael’s, we recognise the importance of music to allow all children to learn and express themselves through a different medium. Music units are catered to fit the requirements of the national curriculum, using the Charanga scheme of work produced by the Norfolk Music Hub. This supports children to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Children develop critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to differentiate between different genres, styles and the works of great composers. Teaching our children how to understand the key terminology, sing while following a melody and learn to play an instrument, is of paramount importance to us at St. Michael’s.
PE at St. Michael’s
At St. Michael’s, we aim to provide a high quality PE curriculum which will develop physical literacy and will allow pupils to learn about themselves, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, self-expression and concepts such as fair play and respect. It will also contribute to the development of a range of important cognitive skills such as decision making and analysis, and social skills such as teamwork and communication. As many children as possible will be given the opportunity to compete in a variety of competitions, during school time or by representing the school at local events. Our PE curriculum will be inclusive and ensure that pupils of all abilities access the range of activities we offer and that they are physically active for sustained periods of time (as per the Chief Medical Officer guidelines) in order to encourage them to lead healthy, active lives. We also appreciate the lack of opportunity for families to partake in swimming and recognise that our intention of achieving swimming competence by the end of year 6 supports a fundamental life skill that children may not otherwise achieve.
RE at St. Michael’s
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At St. Michael’s we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world religions and world views, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions, such as those that are the main faiths of children within our school.
Science at St Michael’s
We inspire and challenge our pupils to become independent thinkers, who use their knowledge of Maintaining Curiosity (2013), a report by Ofsted into the teaching of science, highlights ‘the importance of teaching science for understanding. For pupils to achieve well in Science to develop their understanding of the constant changing world in which they live. We ensure that our children can learn about how Science impacts upon and underpins much of our lives in today’s society, while practical activities should stimulate their curiosity and develop a clear understanding for the future. This is done through engaging Science lessons, practical experiments, visits, talks, and links with our local community. We firmly believe that Science should be a sector that our children aspire to work in and we have designed our curriculum to compliment this.