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Curriculum Overview

Jesus shows us what it means to be fully human. Our curriculum is planned to enable the children to develop to their full human potential: physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, each according to his or her ability and age.

As a Catholic school, Saint Joseph’s has a special role to play in the education of young Christians. Our approach to religion does not seek to “compartmentalise” but rather tries to get children to see God at work within the context of the children’s everyday lives. Our Religious Education teaching uses the ‘Learning and Growing as the people of God’ (produced by the Archdiocese of Birmingham) programme which is taught from Year 1 to Year 6. In the Foundation Stage areas of learning are taken from the National RE Curriculum Directory and taught through the termly topic. Therefore we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which offers the best education for our children. And since ultimately everything relates to God, every part of the curriculum has a spiritual dimension.

In the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception), the curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning.

All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

• communication and language;

• physical development; 

• personal, social and emotional development.

We must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

• literacy;

• mathematics;

• understanding the world;

• expressive arts and design.

The characteristics of effective learning are key to planning for the Foundation Stage. These are: Playing and Exploring (willing to have a go and find out); Active Learning (concentrating and keep on trying) and Critical Thinking (problem solving / finding new ways to do things).

Records for the Foundation Stage Profiles are carried out throughout the Foundation Stage and completed at the end of Reception. At Saint Joseph’s, we also carry out a Baseline assessment within the first two weeks of the children starting Reception Class.

The learning in Key Stages 1 and 2 follows the National Curriculum (2014). Teachers plan an exciting and stimulating curriculum in order to promote active learning. A variety of learning styles are used to encourage independent and group learning and to developing thinking skills. Please see our planning overviews for further information.