The governors and staff at St. Brigid’s value and respect children and young people, supports them in developing their full potential and celebrates their success as learners. A high quality, relevant curriculum helps us to achieve these aims and comprises all the learning and other experiences that schools plan for children and young people. We want to ensure that, in delivering the curriculum with the pupils’ main educators at home, the school’s core professional purpose, which is ‘to inspire and be inspired’ is at the centre, and allows us to deliver on our principles of ‘love, faith, truth, respect and excellence.’ As a Catholic school it is imperative that the Christian ethos is embodied within the curriculum and that not just what we teach, but how we teach it, reflects the teaching of Jesus Christ.
An effective curriculum will help us achieve these aims, especially when it:
- Is based on collaboration with pupils’ main educators at home and within and between schools, the community and a range of partners
- Promotes high quality lifelong learning
- Increases participation and raises achievement, creating opportunity and success for all
- Is inclusive and values and rewards the contribution of all children and young people
- Supports economic regeneration, the Welsh agenda, and contributes to the provision of cultural and spiritual opportunities and to the improvement of health, well-being and the quality of life
- Reflects the 7 key aims of ‘Children’s Right to Action’
The Head teacher, staff and governing body, are responsible for ensuring that the curriculum is broad and balanced. The basic curriculum, which includes the National Curriculum and religious education, should be taught in all maintained schools and, in secondary schools, provision must be made for sex education, careers education and citizenship. Opportunity should be provided for pupils to progress in line with their abilities, however, we recognise that St. Brigid’s does add value to pupils’ educational attainment and as such we will challenge children and young people and ourselves, to achieve the highest standards. Programmes of Study are required to be taught by the end of a key stage. The National Curriculum applies to all pupils who have attained the age of three but are not over compulsory school age.
A general requirement of the curriculum is that it should:
- Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and;
- Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
- Enjoy lifelong learning
St Brigid’s also develop pupils socially, spiritually and emotionally, in line with its Christian ethos. We put learners at the heart of what we do within a culture of high expectation. Pupils take a pride in their achievements and through effective assessment, they build successfully on what they have learnt previously and enable effective transition from one year or key stage to the next. We aim to ensure the progressive development of knowledge, skills and understanding in collaboration with other schools, parents/guardians, the church and the community.
We have a positive ethos and those who visit us recognise our unique identity and a broad, balanced but innovative and exciting curriculum is the most powerful way in which we aim to express our distinctive character and achieve our core professional purpose.
The curriculum will embody our principles of ‘love, faith, truth, respect and excellence’ and as such, the curriculum is based on the needs of the learner, the drive to promote inclusive practice and the effective and efficient organisation of the learning experience, so that all experience ‘excellence’. So what does a curriculum based on our principles look like?
The needs of the learner:
- We will promote the well-being of the individual pupils and cater for the interests, aptitudes and particular needs of all pupils so all can achieve success.
- The curriculum will develop enjoyment of and commitment to learning and enable pupils to work independently and collaboratively.
- The curriculum will enable the individual to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and a positive attitude.
- Pupils will be able to think critically and creatively and to appreciate the creativity of others.
- Pupils will develop as citizens, be able to live in a community, exercise responsibility and challenge discrimination, with a clear understanding of Christian faith and morals.
- We will equip individuals to meet the demands of the rapidly changing world in which they will live and work, particularly in respect of the global economy, the expansion of communication technology, and the need for sustainable development.
- The curriculum will take account of pupils’ learning styles so they are engaged in their learning.
- The curriculum will be inclusive and provide equality of access and opportunity for all pupils so they can learn and achieve.
- The curriculum should provide effectively for those with additional needs and/or barriers to learning.
- The needs of pupils who are more able or who have particular gifts and talents should be recognised and provided for so they are suitably challenged.
- The school’s curricular, class groupings and staffing structures should ensure that all pupils have the best opportunities for learning.
- We will work collaboratively with each other and with family and community.
- The curriculum will promote a strong knowledge and understanding of the Roman Catholic faith, its teaching, its practice and tradition. Other beliefs and cultures that are part of a modern society are taught with understanding and sensitivity.
- Pupils will develop personally, and value self, family, wider relationships and the diversity of society.
- Every pupil will have the opportunity to experience success in learning and achieve as well as possible.
- The planned curriculum will set high expectations and provide for all pupils to achieve; it will recognise the diversity of experience pupils bring to their learning.
High Quality Curriculum Organisation:
- The curriculum will meet statutory requirements, including provision for religious education and collective worship.
- The curriculum will be responsive to the changing needs of pupils and society and should be subject to review and further development; it should take account of innovative practice.
- Key skills will be promoted and applied across the curriculum, including: communication in a variety of forms, the application of number, the use of information technology, the ability to work with others, and solve problems.
- Thinking skills will be developed, to promote imagination, reasoning, enquiry, and evaluation.
- Work related learning will form part of a planned experience to enable an understanding of workplace diversity and requirements.
- The curriculum will be coherent, covering all the required elements and subjects in a way that is relevant to pupils.
- The curriculum will promote progression and continuity in learning and prepare pupils effectively for subsequent stages of education.
- The curriculum will reflect our Core Professional Purpose and principles and will support successful teaching and learning (see Teaching and Learning policy)
- The curriculum will promote high achievement and be organised imaginatively to provide connected experiences that pupils recognise.
- There will be a rich and varied curriculum so pupils can acquire and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills, with opportunity for enrichment including learning outside the school day and participation in sport and the arts.
- There will be opportunity to develop physical skills and to recognise the importance of pursuing a healthy life style, including relationships education and attention to alcohol and drug use and misuse.
- The curriculum will encourage an appreciation of human aspiration and achievement in social, aesthetic, scientific and technological fields.
At St. Brigid’s, we are committed to providing a coherent, high-quality experience for all pupils. The primary curriculum will include provision for all the areas of learning in the Foundation Phase so the youngest children have opportunity to develop enquiring minds, curiosity and a love of learning and an understanding of their faith, thus ensuring they have the best possible start. A balanced primary curriculum, whilst securing a firm foundation in literacy and numeracy as keys to a wider world of learning, will also make learning vivid, real and meaningful.
The secondary curriculum will also encompass vocational options, and opportunity for successful work related and enterprise learning. A unified and broad qualifications framework with varied learning activities will be available for all 14-19 year olds, in line with the 14-19 Measure. Within this framework, for 14-16 year olds, English, Mathematics Science, R.E. and Welsh will remain compulsory, as will ICT, although it will be increasingly taught through other subjects. All learners will be entitled to study another language, a humanities subject, an arts subject and design and technology. All will continue to be taught citizenship, sex education, physical education and careers education, but using the potential for cross-curriculum delivery. Pupils will receive well-integrated and timely guidance to make informed and relevant choices.
The vision for St. Brigid’s is one of high aspiration and spirtual inspiration, but will also promote enjoyment of learning, within an inclusive culture, where all learners have the opportunity to achieve their best.