At St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide the very best in planned and co-planned opportunities for your child to develop in all areas across the curriculum. In embracing the new curriculum, we are focused on our children having the opportunities to demonstrate that they are Healthy and Confident individuals, Ambitious and Capable Learners, Ethically informed citizens and Enterprising and Creative contributors.
We endeavour to ‘Strive to achieve; take care of our world; look after each other’ as a school with the Gospel Values and Jesuit Pupil Profile virtues at the heart of our curriculum, to try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Wellbeing is paramount at St. Helen’s Primary. Our children will experience social, emotional and physical wellbeing activities enabling them to thrive and engage successfully with their education. Furthermore, we endeavour to foster strong, restorative and positive relationships with each other, with parents and the community.
We want to develop a culture of inclusivity where all children have a voice, rights and responsibilities, care for each other, feel safe and have the opportunity to play an active role in decisions that affect their learning and wellbeing.
It is our aim to develop each individual and to encourage all those in school to strive for independence and excellence in whatever they undertake. Excellence is understood in St. Helen’s as being the best you can be.
The environment is essential to the learning experience at St. Helen’s. A great emphasis is placed on the use of the outdoors in blended teaching and learning experiences with learning about environmental themes embedded in topics across the school. We want to develop a curriculum that is authentic, flexible and relevant for all our learners. Having interrogated the Four Purposes, we realised it was essential for our learners to develop a strong understanding of their local community. Additionally, instilling a sense of cynefin (belonging) as a Welsh citizen was equally important to our curriculum design. Furthermore, we wanted to allow learners the opportunity to explore the wider world. Our curriculum concepts reflect this as we learn about different cultures and countries.
St. Helen’s will ensure that the school fulfils its statutory obligations and embraces the latest developments in education in Wales. We aim to make cross- curricular links between Areas of Learning and Experiences. Our curriculum is organised and delivered through a range of interesting themes which aim to teach and develop a range of skills.
Each class teacher plans thoroughly to ensure that every child’s education has continuity and progression. Throughout the school, a balance of class teaching, group work and individual tuition is used as appropriate. We also ensure that opportunities for different styles of learning are catered for within our teaching. This arrangement enables teaching staff to cater for the varying educational needs of all our pupils.
We have collated a broad range of experiences, knowledge and skills that are explored through a range of contexts, topics and activities selected in the process of curriculum design. Our Progression Step Teams have collaborated to cover the Statements of What Matters and are beginning to make links across the six Areas of Learning and Experience as appropriate.
Our curriculum is also built in co-construction with learners. We ask our learners at the beginning of topics to consider what we should teach. At St. Helen’s we strongly believe that selection of curriculum content should consider learners’ input and should provide increasing opportunities for learners to help direct their learning as they progress. Participation is a key principle of the UNCRC and enabling participation will create an engaging curriculum that responds to learners’ interests, needs and priorities.
Additional Learning Needs
St. Helen’s values the abilities and achievements of all pupils and is committed to provide each pupil with the best environment for learning. All staff encourage and support learners to reach their full potential and promote positive self-esteem and success. Every teacher is concerned with the ‘whole child’ as an individual and is aware of the importance of early identification of any additional learning need. Most children’s needs are met directly by the school, but there are occasions when the support and advice of other agencies is required. Our school identifies pupils who have difficulties including neuro-diverse, literacy, numeracy and wellbeing. When appropriate, these pupils are placed on our Provision Map and receive extra support throughout the relevant intervention programme. Assessments before and after the implementation of the intervention are used to ascertain its effectiveness. You will always be advised if your child has been identified to be supported on one of these programmes.
We encourage all our pupils to achieve and succeed. We identify and monitor the progress and success of our pupils. All staff at St. Helen’s Primary School recognise that assessment is an intrinsic part of the curriculum with the purpose of supporting every learner to make progress. Effective assessment of learners contributes to a holistic picture of the individual, which includes both academic progress and learner well-being. It ensures that learners are supported and challenged appropriately and that barriers to learning are considered. The process of assessing learner progression is a continuous one, fully integrated into daily learning. There are many opportunities for questioning, feedback and peer/self-assessment. Practitioners use the cross – curricular skills of literacy, numeracy and digital competence to understand what it means for learners to progress, and use this to inform learning, teaching and assessment. There are opportunities for annual cycles of assessment and reporting to ensure progression of learners which includes assessment for for progression, target setting and reviews for learners with additional learning needs, parent consultations, annual reports to parents and transition handovers.
Working with our Cardinal Newman cluster provides important opportunities to share learning and develop co-ordinated experiences for learners across their learning journey. To ensure equity for learners within the Cardinal Newman cluster we felt it was important that there is a shared understanding of the fundamentals of curriculum design. Therefore we are developing a cluster curriculum vision for each of the Areas of Learning Experiences.