Aspects of the National Curriculum and Wigan Entitlement Curriculum are taught sometimes as individual subjects and sometimes in an integrated way, taking advantage of cross-curricular links.
Children will be taught in mixed ability age groups. Some classes may be vertically grouped, i.e. contain children of more than one age group, if numbers demand.
Every effort is made to cater for children’s special needs. Additional help will be provided in small groups where possible.
Content of the Curriculum
The National Curriculum consists of :-
Core Subjects - English, Mathematics, Computing and Science
Sacred Heart Leigh Curriculum Topic Overview
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we have designed our curriculum so that it provides a life-long love of learning for our children. Wherever possible Foundation Subjects are grouped together to create a ‘Themed Approach’. We have worked closely with three other primary schools to develop ‘Snapshot’ a computer programme designed by us and made by Kaleida to provide a way of assessing our curriculum. At any particular time a child’s achievements and progress through the curriculum can be seen.
Literacy skills are at the heart of all children’s learning, enabling children to become effective communicators and develop across the curriculum. We want every child to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and have a strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes.
We want all children to understand the benefits of being able to read to a high standard and the impact that this will have throughout their life. We aim to inspire readers who:
- Have an excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
- Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts.
- Knowledge of an extensive vocabulary.
- Excellent comprehension skills.
- Enjoy reading for pleasure and are able to discuss a range of authors and different text types.
- Are able to use books for research and study.
In EYFS and KS1, phonetic knowledge is developed through structured daily lessons when the children are given opportunity to apply their phonic knowledge and develop skills to decode words.
At Sacred Heart we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic scheme. Knowledge and acquisition of sounds are broken down into 6 phases:
Phase 1 – within phase one the children explore a range of different sounds. As they progress through Phase 1, they will learn to segment individual sounds and blend them back together.
Phase 2 - Once the children can confidently orally segment sounds and blend them back together, they are introduced to the letters which represent these sounds. The children will move on from oral segmenting and blending, to blending and segmenting with letters.
Phase 3 – the children will learn the next 25 graphemes (letters). Most of these graphemes contain 2 letters, for example: ‘sh’ and ‘ng’.
Phase 4 – During this phase the children will consolidate their knowledge and understanding of the graphemes that they have previously learnt. They will apply their knowledge when reading and spelling, practicing CVC words (words with 3 sounds); CVCC words (words with 4 sounds) and CCVC words (words with 4 sounds).
Phases 5 – Throughout phase 5 the children will learn new graphemes for reading as well as alternative pronunciation and spelling of the graphemes that they already know. In addition, they will practice reading and spelling a range of high frequency words.
Phases 6 – the children will be taught: how to spell words in the past tense; how to add suffixes; to spell longer words and how to read more challenging words.
Throughout Phase 6 the children become fluent and confident readers, therefore they are able to decode words quickly and silently when reading.
In KS1, the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme is supported with a variety of reading materials including: Oxford Reading Tree and Dandelion Readers.
At KS2, a range of reading material, including Oxford Tree Tops, is used for guided reading sessions. In Lower Key Stage 2, children are provided with home readers from levelled boxes. In upper key stage 2, the children are encouraged to choose their own home reading books and have weekly access to the school library.
Teachers will monitor independent reading and the progression of skills in reading development.
By the time the children leave Sacred Heart, we aim for them to be competent and confident readers who enjoy an array of different books and can recommend their favourite books to their peers.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we aim to inspire and encourage the children to enjoy writing. We want every child to develop the skills that equip them to:
- Write with fluency.
- Use sophisticated vocabulary for purpose and effect.
- Use a range of sentence structures across a range of genres.
- Use appropriate punctuation and spelling.
- Produce work that is well presented.
- Edit and redraft work.
We promote writing in all areas of the curriculum and have high expectations of all children.
All the children will have the opportunity to plan, draft and write a wide range of genres, including:
Narrative: adventure, mystery, science fiction, myths, legends, fairy tales, fables and traditional tales.
Non-Fiction: explanation texts, persuasive texts, reports, recounts, reviews, formal letters and discussion texts.
Poetry: free verse, narrative poetry and performance poetry.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we believe that Mathematics should be Fun! The children will learn best when challenged to use and apply their understanding of mathematical concepts.
From Early years through to Year 6, the children are taught through the concrete, pictorial and symbolic teaching approach and are given lots of opportunities to develop reasoning and vocabulary through discussion and explanations.
We endeavour to help every child reach their full potential and to become competent Mathematicians and problem solvers.
Children will cover and build upon the following concepts:
- Number and place value
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Position and direction
We aim that all children will develop the following characteristics and become confident to use Mathematics in life:
- An understanding of the number system
- Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts
- Fluency to perform calculations both mentally and written
- A wide of mathematical vocabulary
- The resilience and perseverance to solve problems in a wide range of concepts and the satisfaction gained
At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, we intend to deliver a high-quality science education that provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Over time, science has evolved and has had a significant impact on our lives and will continue to do so. Science is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
Through high quality teaching and engaging activities, children should be encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity for their own learning.
Children should also be taught to work scientifically including making predictions, recording and analysing results and drawing conclusions.
Our aim is to provide children with a broad, balanced, engaging and interesting science curriculum that ensures children are given the opportunity to ask scientific questions and work scientifically to find the answers.
The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Where possible, science is linked to class topics. Science is taught as discrete units and lessons where needed to ensure coverage. Due to the themed approached throughout Sacred Heart which is on a two year cycle, KS2 science also follows the same two year cycle. In KS1, science is taught in the specific year groups due to the starting points of some of the children and the need to build on their skills.
Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available. We have recently invested in the ‘Outstanding Science’ scheme to support planning and provide additional child friendly resources for children.
The successful approach at Sacred Heart results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world.
The impact and measure of our science curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.
All children will have:
The National Curriculum for Computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world. The new National Curriculum for Computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for Computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
Why is computational thinking so important?
It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in.
Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.
Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes computing an extraordinarily useful and intensely creative subject, suffused with excitement, both visceral (‘it works!’) and intellectual (‘that is so beautiful’).
The focus of the new programme of study undeniably moves towards programming and other aspects of computer science. Programming has been part of the primary national curriculum right from the start, as ‘control’ or ‘sequencing instructions’, although this has too often been overlooked or treated superficially.
There is more to computer science than programming, though. It incorporates techniques and methods for solving problems and advancing knowledge, and includes a distinct way of thinking and working that sets it apart from other disciplines. Every core principle can be taught or illustrated without relying on the use of a specific technology.
The role of programming in computer science is similar to that of practical work in the other sciences – it provides motivation, and a context within which ideas are brought to life. Information technology deals with applying computer systems to solve real-world problems. Things that have long been part of Computing in schools, such as finding things out, exchanging and sharing information, and reviewing, modifying and evaluating work, remain as important now, for a broad and balanced technological education, as they ever were.
The new programme of study provides ample scope for pupils to develop understanding, knowledge and skills in these areas. At Sacred Heart, Leigh, we equip pupils with high level skills in using Computing, preparing them to apply these across the curriculum.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh Geography is included in our themed approach. Our aim in Geography is for every child to develop an appreciation and fascination of the world in which they live. Furthermore, to grow in understanding and wonder of the people with whom they live with. Our children will explore a range of places, both in Britain and the wider world to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We strive to equip our children with the skills they need to confidently make links and connections between the natural world and the human activity that takes place in it.
Our young geographers will:
- have an inquisitive interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions of the earth’s surface.
- have a sense of wonder and awe of the beautiful world around them.
- have a growing sense of responsibility to care for world in which they live in for themselves and generations to come.
- have the skills to understand information and interpret it through asking and answering geographical questions.
- have the opportunity to develop fieldwork skills to further their knowledge and understanding of the world, especially their immediate locality.
- have a sense of understanding about how we are interconnected and interdependent with other people and ecosystems around the world.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh, History is included in our Themed Approach. We endeavour to inspire children to want to know more about the past and to think and act as historians. 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 strive to equip children with these essential characteristics to help them become a historian:
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including a range of significant events in Britain’s past.
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences.
- The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and other’s views using historical evidence from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
- A developing sense of curiosity of the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we believe in the importance of learning languages. We invest in specialist language teachers to teach the Key Stage Two children. We aim to create able linguists, children that are able to
- Confidently speak with good intonation and pronunciation.
- Read and write fluently.
- An awareness of the countries where different languages are spoken.
- The ability to use languages creatively.
Each year the Year 6 children are assessed using the Asset Language Assessments QCA endorsed and in recognition of their attainment are awarded certificates.
The music curriculum interweaves through our whole curriculum particularly in our Themed Approach.
Music is central to the life of Sacred Heart, Leigh the children know many songs and hymns used in worship.
The school choir is well known within the community, performing at various events throughout the year.
Each Tuesday Year 4 children take part in the Wider Horizons Music Project, they have opportunity to learn a string instrument. Each term the children enjoy performing their work to the school and parents.
We have a team of specialist music teachers from Wigan Council who provide peripatetic lessons in piano, guitar, strings and voice.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we aim to enable our children to produce creative work by developing their skills and knowledge. Our children produce drawings, paintings, prints, collage, textile, 3D work and digital art, using a range of materials.
Art work can be used to support the core subjects as well as being inter-woven throughout the whole curriculum, particularly in our themed approach. The children also learn about the work of a range of great artists, craft makers and designers.
We encourage our children to think critically, to evaluate and think about how they can improve their work. The children take pride in seeing their work displayed throughout the whole school, including in public areas.
The children are also offered opportunities to develop their creativity in extra-curricular art clubs.
D&T Curriculum Information
At Sacred Heart, Leigh design and technology is taught through themed lessons and follows the ‘Projects on a Page’ schemes of work. These are national schemes of work for design and technology at Key Stages 1 and 2.
During lessons, pupils are taught to focus on the six essentials of good D&T practice. These are put in place to ensure children’s learning is genuinely design and technology in nature. Lessons are consistent with the new National Curriculum and key skills are applied when children are designing and making products.
Six essential skills:
- User – children are taught have a clear idea of who they are designing and making products for, considering their needs, wants, interests and preferences. The user could be themselves, an imaginary character, another person, client, consumer or specific target audience.
- Purpose – children are encouraged to investigate what the products they design and make are for. Each product should perform a clearly identified task that can be evaluated in use.
- Functionality – children are encouraged to design and make products that function in some way to be successful. Products often combine aesthetic qualities with functional characteristics. Children are reminded that in D&T, it is insufficient to design and make products that are purely aesthetic.
- Design Decisions – when designing and making, children are provided with opportunities to make informed decisions such as selecting materials, components and techniques and deciding what form the products will take, how they will work, what task they will perform and who they are for.
- Innovation – when designing and making, children are required to be original with their thinking. Projects that encourage innovation lead to a range of design ideas and products being developed.
- Authenticity – children are taught to design and make products that are believable, real and meaningful to themselves i.e. not replicas or reproductions or models that do not provide opportunities for children to make design decisions with clear users and purpose in mind.
Designing and making, and cooking and nutrition are linked in children’s learning. These means that as part of food technology lessons pupils apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, learn how to prepare dishes at KS1 and prepare and cook dishes at KS2. Food technology projects in KS1 require pupils to prepare dishes with fresh fruit and vegetables without using a heat source. In KS2 projects, children prepare and cook dishes, using a wider range of ingredients, using a heat source where appropriate.
At Sacred Heart, Leigh we are fortunate to have specialist PE coaches and a PE coordinator who has studied Physical and Adventure Education at degree level. This expertise greatly enhances our provision in the PE curriculum as well as continuing professional development of teaching staff. All classes partake in at least 2 hours per week of physical activity during curriculum time.
The aims of our PE curriculum are for our children:
- to be able to swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and how to be safe in and around water
- to practise skills in a wide range of activities, alone, in small group and in team situations
- to develop healthy, resilient and enthusiastic children for physical activities
- to apply skills learnt to attain higher levels of performance
- to learn about the benefits of and maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, being able to remain physically active for a sustained period of time and being aware of risks to health (dangers of drugs, alcohol and lack of exercise)
- to access and experience as many different facets of physical activity as possible in their school life
- to become well-rounded, creative and responsible young people
- to develop techniques and strategies to improve their own and others' performance
- to be encouraged in becoming excellent young leaders, organising and officiating and evaluating what needs to be done to improve
- to be good role models, be able to work independently, motivating and showing a positive sporting attitude to others
- to further increase their level of performance in extra curricular activities and to encourage participation in competitive sport in the local area
Breakfast, Lunchtime and After School Clubs
Throughout the year, Sacred Heart provides a number of activities that all children are welcome to attend. Many lunchtime clubs are used in preparation to play in inter-school competitions in the borough.
Breakfast clubs for Football and Dance have been introduced in 2017.
Teaching staff and Premier Sport coaches organise and supervise these lunchtime and after school clubs:
Tag Rugby League KS1
Rugby League KS2
Tag Rugby League KS2
Pop Lacrosse KS2
Hockey Quiksticks KS2
Cross Country KS2
Adventure Service Challenge KS2
Just Join In (Inclusion) Days KS1
Just Join In (Inclusion) Days KS2
Y6 children apply to be play leaders organising and providing activities for KS1 during lunchtimes Monday to Thursday. This helps Y6 play leaders to become more independent and responsible. On Friday lunchtimes, KS1 children are encouraged to play games independently using the games play leaders have introduced.
The Golden Mile
Sacred Heart has joined the national initiative to promote an increased level of physical activity in children by creating a route of one mile in the school grounds. Classes will walk, jog or run the mile initially throughout the week with the target of achieving a mile a day individually.