Curriculum Intent at Blessed Dominic
At Blessed Dominic, senior leaders, staff and Governors place great importance on a curriculum that develops the whole child. Through our core values, with Christ at the centre, we foster an environment where the, physical, academic, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each child is considered carefully. We do this alongside nurturing their emotional and mental well-being through a carefully planned PSHE curriculum.
Our curriculum has been carefully mapped to include coverage of the National Curriculum whilst also providing a range of enrichment experiences for our pupils through an enhanced curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to challenge, engage and motivate, with the ultimate goal that our learners progress academically and become successful, confident individuals, who make a positive contribution to the community and society – both now and in the future. At Blessed Dominic, we believe every single child ought to have the opportunity to succeed, so ensure our resources are targeted accurately and well planned to overcome any learning barriers.
As a school, we base our learning on a broad and balanced curriculum and strive to deliver wide and varied learning experiences, which are memorable and contextual. We are fully committed to developing each child’s unique potential within a secure and caring environment. We use a range of sources to meet the needs of the curriculum and provide an exciting and enlightening learning experience for our children, maximising the opportunities in our local area. We believe that our children should not only reach their best academically, but also develop a thirst for knowledge, foster a love of learning and leave our school with exceptional independent learning skills.
The children at Blessed Dominic are autonomous learners who use the Blessed Dominic Learning Behaviour Model to reach the challenges set by their teachers. Excellent teaching and learning give children opportunities to be successful in a creative, safe, calm environment where classrooms and other learning spaces promote creativity and high aspiration.
Our aim for this academic year is to successfully blend the carefully planned curriculum and provision provided in school, with an effective and robust virtual learning platform. We aim to provide the same high quality curriculum and pupil/teacher dialogue that pupils experience in school, at home, when necessary.
Parents Curriculum Meetings
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.
At Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School, we believe that reading is a key life skill and is one of the main skills that unlocks a remarkable world of learning to our pupils alongside many enchanting and alternative worlds through fiction. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils with sound reading skills so that they can take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of their current and later life.
By promoting high standards of reading as a communication tool across the curriculum, children recognise its pivotal place in their successful learning. We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become skilful sound and independent readers:
-High Expectations; All children are expected to succeed and make progress from their starting points. Quality feedback and formative assessments support this:
Phonics assessments, Reading assessments (NFER), End of Key Stage assessments.
-Progression of skills; Lessons are planned ensuring there is progression of key skills, particularly concerning the purpose and features of different writing types. Year groups plan and teach using cross curricular methods wherever appropriate to demonstrate how reading underpins the wider curriculum. Every pupil is challenged appropriately to their individual skillset and is supported to progress in class.
-Vocabulary rich environment; Pupils become familiar with key vocabulary and terminology specific to the reading skills and comprehension. Ambitious vocabulary is shared and expected to be utilised in pupils’ responses to their reading. Methods and resources for understanding vocabulary are taught in class and encouraged for independent learning and good habits in reading.
-Developing sense of enquiry and curiosity; Opportunities are planned for pupils to self-select their own reading material suitable to their age and needs whilst giving pupils exposure to more challenging texts to further develop their reading skills. Pupils are exposed to a variety of texts to show a broad reading spectrum and cater to all pupils’ interests.
-Good teacher subject knowledge; teachers will have sound knowledge of the curriculum area in order to deliver high-quality lessons and provide pupils with outstanding teaching and learning. Training is offered to teachers and support staff to develop their skills in planning and teaching a broad and balanced reading curriculum.
Please see below for more information about our school’s reading schemes used for home reading.
At Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School, we believe that being able to communicate appropriately through the written word is a crucial skill in the current and future world of our pupils. We are dedicated to equipping our pupils with the skills of an excellent writer so that they can take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of their current and later life.
Written communication is relied upon for academic success. We recognise that writing is underpinned by reading and consequently is taught through a reading stimulus where possible across the curriculum. We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become skilful writers:
-High Expectations; All children are expected to succeed and make progress from their starting points. Quality feedback and formative assessments in pupils’ English books support this.
-Progression of skills; Lessons are planned ensuring there is progression of key writing skills. Year groups plan and teach using cross curricular methods wherever appropriate to demonstrate how writing opens up methods of communication in the wider curriculum and offers a variety of ways to present work. Handwriting, spelling and grammar skills are taught discretely and skills covered are planned to be applied in following lessons when appropriate. All pupils are challenged and supported where necessary. Assessments are completed using tests and work in books to ensure skills taught are pitched accurately.
-Vocabulary rich environment; Pupils become familiar with key vocabulary and terminology specific to spelling, transcription, writing and grammar skills and understanding. Ambitious vocabulary is shared and expected to be utilised in pupils’ written responses and work. Methods and resources for understanding vocabulary are taught in class and pupils are encouraged to evaluate vocabulary’s appropriateness in creating their desired effect on their reader.
-Developing sense of enquiry and curiosity; Opportunities for pupils to write for a variety of purposes are planned and taught. Pupils gain an increasing awareness that the written word is a powerful communication tool but different purposes require different approaches and techniques for success. Pupils understand that to communicate effectively, the writing’s purpose must be identified and the audience of the writing considered and catered for.
-Good teacher subject knowledge; Teachers will have sound knowledge of the curriculum area in order to deliver high-quality lessons and provide pupils with outstanding teaching and learning. Training is regularly offered to teachers and support staff to enable them to deliver high-quality writing lessons underpinned by reading.
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.
At Blessed Domininc Catholic Primary School, we believe that high-quality history lessons, which are memorable and inspire children to want to know more about the past and to think and act as historians. By linking learning to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become historians:
-High Expectations; all children are expected to succeed and make progress from their starting points and quality feedback and formative assessments support this.
-Progression of skills; lessons are planned ensuring there is progression of key skills and pupils are challenged and/or supported where necessary. Assessments ensure skills taught are pitched accurately.
-Vocabulary rich environment; pupils become familiar with key vocabulary and terminology specific to the topic and we encourage teachers to ensure ambitious vocabulary is shared and applied in lessons.
-Developing sense of enquiry and curiosity; opportunities for pupils to think critically, embrace challenging activities and reflect will encourage broader thinking and encourage self-learning and curiosity.
-Good teacher subject knowledge; teachers will have sound knowledge of the curriculum area in order to deliver high-quality lessons and provide pupils with outstanding teaching and learning.
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