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 Worship.”
St Cuthbert and The First Martyrs’ provides an environment in which children can grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith and develop their own relationship with Jesus. We want our children to understand that religion education is not just about learning, but also for living. We foster the spiritual development of our children by experiencing the love of God and leading them to a greater understanding of our faith through religious education, worship and witness. We offer our children the chance for personal reflection and spiritual development.
To complement the religious education that already takes place in the children's homes and Parish, we follow “The Way, The Truth and the Life,” religious education programme within the framework of the Leeds Diocese Programme of Study. The children's experiences are enriched through reading and reflecting upon the Old and New Testaments. We also study other world faiths in order to develop our knowledge and to help promote tolerance and understanding of the cultural and religious diversity that exists in our community.
Science is taught each term so that we cover the whole science National Curriculum. Each year group has science focus areas, areas that will be covered in depth. First hand practical experience is paramount as is the teaching of scientific key skills. Children are encouraged to be independent and collaborative scientific investigators by their involvement in exciting practical investigations.
In Science pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical processes. They evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.
The school aims to give all children a thorough understanding of number work, shape, space and data handling. A strong emphasis is also placed on investigative and problem solving activities. The work is delivered through a balance of individual programmes, group work and whole class lessons. Our mathematics curriculum has the overall aim of meeting the individual needs of children of all abilities, as well as offering challenge and enjoyment.
The ABACUS scheme for mathematics is used throughout the school and is complemented with the study of mathematical topics and applied where possible in all cross curricular work. There is a strong commitment to practical activities leading to mathematical understanding as well as in mental arithmetic as a basis for the children to be able to tackle more complex mathematical operations with confidence.
The school has incorporated the objectives of the National Numeracy Strategy fully into its Mathematics curriculum. We also use a computer programme called EducationCity to reinforce the skills covered in lessons.
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 is well equipped to provide the children with the access they require to a range of technologies in this increasingly important area of the curriculum. Pupils benefit from access to netbook computers, laptops and ipads for classwork across the curriculum, and make good use of the school's well-equipped ICT suite.
The school has a Learning Platform which children across the school have access to both at school and home. In addition, subscriptions to a number of websites such as ActiveLearn, Education City and Purple Mash allow pupils to access a wide range of learning materials wherever they may be.
Information Communication Technology is used throughout the curriculum. As well as a discrete Computing lesson each week where pupils learn skills such as coding and computer game design, pupils are introduced to the wide range of opportunities technology can present in many other aspects of the curriculum. This is based around the Bradford LA's scheme of work, developed by their Curriculum ICT team.
Personal, Social and Health and Citizenship Education
Personal, Social and Health and Citizenship Education is considered to be important so that children can develop an understanding of themselves and the environment in which they live.
School will be implementing a new PSHC Scheme of Work from Nursery to Year 6 in September called Jigsaw. It brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning.
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are identified and brought together helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to others in the world.
Parents will be notified and invited to attend The Life Caravan mobile classroom and any talks or assemblies delivered by the health service
We aim to develop agility, physical co-ordination, fitness, confidence and enjoyment through physical activities.
The school encourages all children to participate in sport in order to develop an appreciation of teamwork, a respect of and tolerance of the abilities of others and an awareness of opportunities to enjoy fulfilling leisure activities.
Swimming takes place weekly, at St Cuthbert and The First Martyrs’, for pupils from Reception upwards. Priority is given to increasing water confidence and ensuring that all children learn to swim. A high percentage of children develop their swimming techniques to award level.
The school’s high reputation in P.E is maintained through extra-curricular activity and children regularly participate in local competitions. Extra curricular activities are available in through our Sports Club and holiday clubs. A number of these activities are provided in partnership with fully qualified coaches who are brought in to provide expert tuition.
Modern foreign languages 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 France.
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.’
As part of their Humanities Studies, children are encouraged to develop an interest in the past, to appreciate past achievements and major events – both national and worldwide – and to develop an understanding of their own and their family’s history and how values and attitudes may have changed.
Pupils are taught the skills necessary for the interpretation of primary and secondary source material, artefacts, maps and visual and auditory aids, books, the countryside, ancient sites, newspapers, records and documents.
Within the framework of a cross curricular approach, we aim to develop an understanding of the nature of cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarity and difference. Visits and visitors are used to ‘hook’ children into learning and to make it a memorable learning experience.
As with History, Geography forms part of the school’s cross curricular approach. Pupils are encouraged to develop a lively and questioning awareness of their local surroundings. Their interest and knowledge of the variety of physical and human conditions will extend from their local environment to the national and international scene. Within the places studies, children will acquire the skills necessary for the interpretation of geographical information and for geographical enquiry.
The school makes use of outdoor learning with visits to The Forest School and Nell Bank. Activities within this play a vital role in fostering an understanding of the relationship between human activity and the quality of the environment. Walks, guided visits, regular surveys and residential visits all contribute towards a growing awareness and appreciation of the child’s environment.
The school has a long tradition of musical activity, offering considerable opportunities for children to develop their talents in all aspects of music including composition, singing and appreciation.
Children learn to play the guitar in Year 4 and Year 5. The school also offers tuition in many instruments using peripatetic teachers. There are visiting peripatetic teachers for strings, woodwind, guitar, keyboard and piano. Children are encouraged to perform in concerts and take part in the Ilkley Music Festival and the Bradford Schools Choir Competition. There are also many opportunities for the children to perform in assemblies, school concerts and in the community.