Teaching & Learning in our school
At St Cuthbert and The First Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide an excellent education where all children make progress. The children are encouraged to think for themselves and to acquire lifelong skills which will prepare them for life in a modern society. The development of the whole child is at the forefront of all our activities which means that we encourage academic achievement as well as their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The teachers assess the children in their care, in order to plan with the needs of each child in mind, setting challenging but realistic targets so that children can make progress and achieve their potential.
We are mindful of the introduction of a new National Curriculum in September 2014. The school has worked on tailoring the new curriculum to incorporate the successful skills based curriculum that we use whilst ensuring that we are also delivering the statutory content of the National Curriculum.
We aim to be innovative in our practice to provide contextualised, stimulating learning opportunities which allow all our children to access learning. We work as part of local networks (Catholic Schools Partnership and Bradford West Partnership) to share ideas and resources.
In school the children learn through a themed topic approach based on our locality with an emphasis on first hand experiences. Each topic where possible is accompanied with a school trip that is central to the children’s learning experience. In addition to this they will have a series of memorable learning experiences. This includes: visitors into school, themed dressing-up days, project work, an assembly or a recreated experience in school.
We enable our pupils to succeed through challenging tasks and activities that encourage them to take risks. We develop their ability to think independently, enabling them to transfer their learning to all aspects of their life; preparing them for the future. We actively teach the skills needed to be a successful learner and reward these in our weekly “Celebration Assembly.”
The school aims to foster confident, articulate children who are able to communicate through the written and spoken word. We use the National Literacy Framework as a basis for developing the children’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Great importance is attached to enabling the child to become fluent readers. We use Oxford Reading Tree as a core reading scheme for the younger children and structured guided reading operates throughout the school. In addition there is a wide range of reading material, both factual and fiction, in the school classroom and our library. We actively promote reading for pleasure and undertake many activities to encourage it such as ‘Book Week’ with visiting authors. As a school we use the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ programme throughout Foundation and Key Stage 1, and “Phonics International” for those children who require phonics in KS2.
Children are taught to write in a variety of styles including prose, poetry and reporting, and to suit different purposes and audiences. As the child progresses emphasis is placed on the correct use of spelling, grammar and punctuation. We follow an approach to writing devised by a leading Literacy consultant, Alan Peat. A whole school policy for handwriting is aimed at the children progressing towards being able to write smoothly, legibly and neatly, leading to taking a pride in the presentation of all their work.
Speaking, listening and performing skills are promoted throughout the school through storytelling; discussion groups, drama lessons, and role play in history, religious education etc. Such opportunities, as well as whole school concerts, provide a valuable means of building confidence and developing the ability to listen to, and appreciate the efforts of others. The School has incorporated the National Literacy Strategy fully in to its curriculum.
Modern foreign language is now a statutory part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum. We offer the children lessons in French throughout Years 3 – 6. For the children in Year 4 and 5 there is the additional opportunity to take part in a residential trip to Château Beaumont in
Here the children are immersed in the language thus enhancing their experience of learning a MFL. We hold various fund raising events throughout the year to support this trip with a French theme; successfully events have included a ‘French Bingo Night.’