At Scotforth St. Paul’s Primary and Nursery School, our curriculum vision is driven by our mission statement:
Learning, growing and caring as part of God’s family
Our intention is to deliver a stimulating, engaging and exciting curriculum, which is both inclusive and challenging in order to get the very best from each child, thus fostering a love of learning. Our vision is to provide the children with a loving, stimulating and supportive environment where they can feel safe, secure and valued as individuals. We have a strong emphasis on 'family' and believe that our Christian values play an integral role in helping to shape our curriculum vision.
At Scotforth, we want our children to appreciate and take advantage of the uniqueness of our local area. We have strong links with the church and university and incorporate Lancaster’s rich history into our curriculum to benefit the children’s learning. We also want our children to be aware of their local community, the diversity that exists within it and discover how they can play an increasing role within it, through on-going work with local charities. We also look beyond our local area to give the children knowledge and understanding about the world they live in.
Our aim is that children will leave St. Paul’s with a firm sense of how they can make a difference in school and the world, both locally and in wider society. In order to do this, we aim to foster their independence to stand up for what they believe and to have the confidence to be independent thinkers and learners. Appreciating the challenges of growing up in the 21st century, we also aim to develop their resilience in bouncing back from difficulties they encounter. Our curriculum provides children at Scotforth St Paul's Primary and Nursery School with the knowledge, skills, confidence and values which will stay with them for life.
The National Curriculum lies at the heart of what is taught at Scotforth. It sets out a clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all children aged five to eleven and determines the content of what will be taught. It is preceded by the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is taught to children aged three to five.
We have shaped our curriculum to be ambitious for our children, so that it provides them with a range of new concepts that we feel are relevant. While we have strong outcomes within our core subjects, we are equally ambitious in our vision to ensure that our offer encompasses a range of curriculum experiences which promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, intellectual and physical development of children and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The curriculum at Scotforth is not static and is subject to ongoing development in order to enhance the delivery to our children, remove potential barriers to learning and take advantage of experiences which are offered to us as a school from time to time.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is used for children in Nursery and Reception. There is a strong emphasis on the three "Prime Areas" : Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Learning in the "Specific" areas of literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design build upon learning in the prime areas.
Years 1 to 6 follow the National Curriculum. To see full details of the new National Curriculum 2014, follow the link here to the Department of Education's website.
At Scotforth, we teach reading through a highly structured phonic based approach. From Reception onwards, children read using phonetically decodable books. Children take home a reading book that they can decode each week and all the children from Reception to Y2 take home a folder containing a book for parents to read with their child. This could be a picture book or a short chapter book. This means that in the early stages of reading children will also be exposed to new vocabulary and styles of writing. They are introduced to the "tricky" words that cannot be sounded out from reception and these words are practised regularly and added to as they work through the scheme.
In Reception, children first receive weekly games that are linked to the sounds they are learning in class. When they can blend 2 and 3 letter words using the sounds s/a/t/p/i/n they will bring home simple decodable books matched to their phonic level. The books are in numbered boxes that relate to the sounds taught in class. Children will progress through the decodable books and those who need them in Y3/4 will take them home alongside their short chapter book for parents to read to them. Class teachers decide when a child is ready for books containing the next set of sounds. Children should be reading at around 90-95% fluency in each book without support before moving on. Children also need to be able to answer questions about what they have read.
We use decodable books from Jolly Phonics throughout EYFS & KS1 and these books are organised to follow the order that the sounds are taught in class. In KS2, we continue to use phonic based books for children not yet fully secure in their decoding skills.
In class children have a class reader that the teacher reads to them. In some classes the children have an individual copy to follow along. Children also have guided reading lessons where in KS1 children read a copy of the same book in a small group and in KS2 all of the children have a copy of the book. These sessions teach inference and deduction skills alongside comprehension. Children need to be taught to retain information about what they have read so that they can answer questions such as "Why is the character feeling sad?" "How do you know?"
We recognise the key importance of teaching reading through a highly structured and repetitive synthetic phonic based curriculum to all children from Reception onwards. This is taught daily and given utmost priority in our timetabling. We know that children who learn to read can then go on confidently in KS2 to "read to learn". Children falling behind are identified quickly and given extra input in order to catch up. The scheme we use is the "Jolly Phonics" scheme which has been validated by the government.
We use the White Rose Hub resources as the basis of our maths teaching, supplemented by additional resources as necessary, according to the needs of the class or individuals. Click here to access the home learning pages of the White Rose Hub website.
Enriching Our Curriculum
At Scotforth we offer many opportunities for hands-on learning as we know children really benefit from direct experience. We bring learning alive in many ways including visitors to school, trips out, role play days, opportunities to perform and special events.
We run a range of extra-curricular activites, which change regularly. Please see the separate Extra-curricular Activities tab for details. There are also opportunities for children from Y2 upwards to learn to play a musical instrument through visiting tutors from Lancashire Music Service. Currently lessons on offer include: violin, cello, guitar, keyboard, flute, clarinet and trumpet.
As these opportunities show, we make learning fun and relevant to life in 21st century Britain, and that, combined with staff who go the extra mile, are two reasons our standards are so high.