At the beginning of the academic year, there is a “meet the teacher” meeting for parents informing them of the subjects and topics that their child will be taught in the coming months.
Curriculum letters are distributed each term, detailing focus areas in each subject.
Blessed Dominic Primary School we are following the new National Curriculum.
Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School is a Voluntary Aided School and our primary role is to serve the Catholic community of St Margaret Clitherow and other neighbouring parishes.
Our school life is based on Christian Values. We recognise and respond to the needs of each child academically but also in their growth as an individual. We develop happy, fulfilled, well-educated and confident children in a caring, disciplined environment with our Faith as the focus of our actions. We expect and encourage excellence in all aspects of school life.
Education is a partnership between home, school and parish in which we seek and encourage the participation of parents in the learning process and in the life of the school. Parents are welcome partners in the education of their child and in the development of our school family. Parents are expected to uphold and reinforce those fundamentals of the Catholic Faith, which will be taught in school. The school looks to a partnership with the parents in the development of the Faith and religious commitment of their child. To this end, parents are expected to encourage by their own example of religious practice and on occasion to join with the teachers and governors in liturgies, assemblies or activities that might help them to foster the love of God and response to the Gospel in the children.
We promote reading for all children to have the opportunity to:
We use the Power of Reading scheme to structure our English lessons which puts quality children’s literature at the heart of all teaching. Experiencing text that excite and appeal to children improve their attitude to reading. This then helps them to develop into creative writers. To ensure reading is appealing, we have created inviting reading areas in all classrooms.
The project has strong links to Art, DT and Drama too. Through the stories, children might be inspired to devise their own endings to the tales; the tale from another character’s point of view or even write their own story! In many books the illustrations are as important to the tale as the words, so analysing and creating pictures to match the story is important too.
We also follow the Oxford Reading Scheme throughout the school. (click on link below for more information) Pupils change their books weekly with guidance from their class teacher or teaching assistant.
Reading and writing go hand in hand with each other. Writing skills tends to develop after reading skills as it’s easier to decode words and sentences than encode them. As a result, for children to become good writers they need to be good readers first.
We use the ‘Power of Reading’ along with the National Curriculum for our English writing lessons. Children build on their knowledge of fiction and non-fiction writing by being exposed to similar texts first. After a period of exploring the text’s language and grammar patterns, children are supported to attempt their own versions and produce their own written work. Writing is a key tool to communicate successfully so we aim to equip children with the skills to write for different purposes and employ different features appropriate to the task.
Children are taught that planning, drafting and editing are the steps to success in writing and are encouraged to follow this formula in KS1 and KS2.
At Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School we follow our own scheme of work based on the Primary Framework for Maths. Pupils develop their understanding of number, shape, measure and data handling. Emphasis is placed on mental maths skills and recall of number facts and patterns. Pupils are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to problem solving and investigation.
We want to enable pupils to see that Mathematics can be a way of viewing and making sense of the world and to be able to think logically, use Mathematical language with confidence and to enjoy investigating, solving and developing their own methods for calculation.
Science is a way of thinking which leads to a way of working, helping the children to understand more about the world around them. The question “why?” must play a key role in the children’s science teaching and learning. Practical activities are normally the best medium for understanding Science. Systematic inquiry, analysis of problems, formation of ideas, their testing and modification are encouraged through whole class, group or individual investigations and project work, designed to awake the children’s natural curiosity.
At Blessed Dominic our aims in teaching science are:
The Curriculum is planned to avoid repetition between years.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The New Computing curriculum has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world
In line with our mission statement, Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary endeavours for all pupils to be confident users and controllers of ICT in our continuously developing technological society.
To fulfill this need, we will provide pupils with a wide range of opportunities to develop and apply their Computing knowledge in a creative and confident way in a secure environment. We also aim to use Computing to support and enhance learning throughout the curriculum. We encourage the children to use what they have learned in class, both in school and in the outside world. We take Online Safety very seriously and children throughout the School are taught how to use technology appropriately.
To support the teaching of Computing at Blessed Dominic we use the Rising Stars Switched on scheme of work.
In the Foundation Stage and at Key Stage One, History is taught through themes linked to other curriculum areas. At Key Stage Two, teaching is mainly subject-based where pupils study the Roman civilisation, the Ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Tudors, the Victorians and Britain from 1960. Information technology and other source materials are used consistently to support learning. Pupils are taught to develop skills in understanding chronology, remembering and interpreting facts, research and communication. A wide range of outings are planned each year to develop historical knowledge and skills.
Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Across the school, geographical skills and knowledge are taught by studying continents. Our teaching enables the pupils to develop an understanding of different cultures and to learn about their local area and contrast it to other parts of the world. Pupils learn to draw and interpret maps and charts and develop research and investigative skills.
At Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School, we believe that all children can find enjoyment and satisfaction from partaking in physical activity.
Our aim in teaching Physical Education at school is to:
Pupils undertake a range of physical activities throughout the year. In addition to at least two sessions of PE, pupils have opportunities to take part in after school activities to develop their skills, maintain their fitness and to enjoy sport in a social context.
In Upper Foundation Stage, pupils spend time learning basic skills involved with travelling and using equipment, and improving hand-eye co-ordination.
Within Key Stages 1 & 2, pupils move around a series of activities, changing each half term. These include games (netball, basketball, hockey, tag rugby and football), gymnastics activities, dance, racquet games (tennis and badminton ), athletics and bat and ball games (cricket and rounders).
Children from Year 2 upwards take part in swimming sessions. On swimming days, pupils need to come to school equipped with a swimming costume, swimming hat and a towel. Swimming takes place throughout the school year. Each class having 10 – 12 sessions in their given term.
PE is an integral part of the National Curriculum and all pupils must participate unless there is a medical reason why they should not. In the case of a medical reason, we need a medical certificate for permanent exclusion from P.E and a written note for a temporary reason for non-participation. Wherever possible, children who cannot take part should still be involved in the lesson. This may be via simple observations or preferably by more active means eg by keeping score, operating the cd, answering questions etc. If a child consistently forgets their PE kits, parents will be informed via a standard PE kit letter.
We take part in a wide range of inter-school sports. This includes a variety of partnership and St James’ Catholic Secondary School events and festivals for pupils in Years 1- 6, we have sent teams of pupils to represent the school at boys and girls football, netball, cross-country, cricket and athletics. Visit our news page for our latest results.
Our annual sports day is one of the highlights of the school calendar. Well attended by parents, pupils compete in their colours over a series of events.
We offer a number of after school clubs, many of which have a sporting emphasis.
Residential Visit – Year 6 are given the opportunity to participate in a five day (four night) residential visit to PGL. During the visit they are given the chance to sample a number of outdoor activities including canoeing and climbing.
Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School believes children should experience a creative curriculum, and great emphasis is placed on the role of art & design. Art lessons build on prior learning, developing skills, knowledge and understanding and all children will have opportunities to:
· Explore and develop ideas
· Investigate and make art, craft and design
· Evaluate and develop work
· Use their knowledge and understanding
Children from Reception upwards use a sketchbook as part of the curriculum and their role is vital when researching, gathering and exploring ideas. A wide range of materials and resources are experienced such as pencil, paint, pastels, printing, digital technology, textiles, clay and modelling materials, enabling children to make a variety of 2D/3D work on different scales.
The Design & Technology curriculum provides children with an interesting, and fun way to develop their skills in designing and making. Each year group undertakes at least two DT projects each year, which build on prior learning, developing existing skills whilst, introducing new ones. During each project children will engage in activities that enable them to:
· Investigate, dissemble & evaluate products
· Undertake focused practical tasks (to practise skills)
· Design & make products for a purpose and specific audience
· Evaluate their own and others’ work
During the primary curriculum the projects undertaken will cover varied themes as structures, textiles, mechanisms, electrical control & food technology. Children will take part in projects such as designing and making a textiles puppet, controllable vehicle, pneumatically controlled monster, cams moving toy and bread making, to name a few!
All children will use a wide range of tools appropriate to the unit of work and under careful health and safety guidance, whilst learning how to recognise hazards and take appropriate to the unit of work and under careful health and safety guidance, whilst learning how to recognize hazards and take appropriate safety measures.
The children have many opportunities to enjoy music at Blessed Dominic School.
All classes from the Foundation stage up to Year 6 have a weekly curriculum music lesson with our specialist music teacher, Miss Velkova. Once a week, children in KS1 and KS2 also attend hymn practise.
Singing games, rhymes and movement form the basis of the EYFS and KS1 curriculum lessons, moving into reading rhythm and pitched notation, composition and performance in KS2.
PSHE is taught weekly using the Barnet emotional wellbeing framework. This is based on the PSHE Association’s PSHE Education Programme of Study with emotional health and wellbeing woven within it. Children have the opportunity to participate in discussion, reflecting and circle time as a vehicle to explore relevant themes including relationships (social and emotional), Health and well-being, Economic wellbeing & being a responsible citizen. We use Journey in Love to support our teaching of Sex and relationship Education (SRE) with a Catholic perspective.
P4C enables our children to reason more effectively and to discuss issues pertaining to life and the world in which we live.
This is the format of typical P4C session:
Present the stimulus – story, picture, music, object etc
Discuss stimulus – Children to feedback their ideas – written up on the board
Children to come up with questions in small groups
Vote to decide on a question or line of enquiry
Dialogue – seeking to answer the question
Closure and evaluation