“The Christian life is a call to a deeper communion with God and with one another, and this finds particular expression in our schools, which are rightly recognised as being families themselves, where no one is a stranger and where everyone, whatever his or her background or academic ability, is welcomed, treasured, supported and helped to become the person whom God calls them to be.” Bishop Malcolm MacMahon.
At Corpus Christi we firmly believe in, and try to live out our Mission Statement, ‘Together we DREAM, Together we Learn.’ We believe in providing opportunities for pupils to develop their skills and understanding in all areas of life through discovery, respect, enthusiasm, aspiration and trying to make a difference.
Every Child is recognised as a unique individual. We welcome and celebrate differences within our school community. The ability to learn in underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide different opportunities to engage learning and believe that childhood should be a happy time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new learning. We further working on providing our children with an engaging curriculum and real experiences.
Children leave our school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
- Deliver a broad, well rounded curriculum that meets the needs of all learners, showing progress at an age and stage appropriate standard.
- Build within our children a mixture of skills and knowledge, to develop the whole child in all areas of the curriculum.
- Prepare children for all areas of life, both whilst in education and beyond.
- Experience awe and wonder in all areas of the curriculum, encouraging questions, independent thinking and an inquisitive approach to life.
At Corpus Christi, our mission statement and the teaching of Jesus is at the centre of all we do.
We intend to show this through our curriculum development:
Give opportunities to DISCOVER new facts, skills, talents and experiences, creating well rounded independent learners, well prepared for their journey through life.
Teach children to RESPECT each other, those who are different and the world around them by exposing them to different ideas, cultures and aspects of society, ensuring they recognise that their choices can impact many things.
Provide experiences to ENTHUSE and excite across all subjects, giving the children a chance to explore their interests and build their love of learning and life across all curriculum areas.
Encourage high ASPIRATIONS in both school and beyond, providing a strong foundation for our children to grow from and develop into useful and enhancing members of society and communities.
Show ways our children can MAKE A DIFFERENCE to themselves, each other and outside, in big and small ways.
In Nursery and Reception we follow the EYFS areas of learning. Our KS1 and 2 curriculum is built on the National Curriculum Programmes of study for each subject area. The National Curriculum provides pupils with and introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens.
We are ambitious for all pupils including disadvantaged and SEND, irrespective of background or ability and believe they all have an entitlement to receive a broad and balanced curriculum, so that each pupil can see their achievement in whatever area of learning they can.
In planning our curriculum we take into account current research into the knowledge based curriculum and cognitive learning. We provide a wealth of experiences, so pupils can build upon a secure knowledge based curriculum sequentially across all subjects, enabling them to grow and develop personally and academically.
We will ensure that all children gain a wealth of experiences beyond learning facts in the classroom. We want our curriculum to inspire children to want to learn more, to provoke children’s intellectual curiosity. Ofsted research indicates that a lack of a wide range of vocabulary is the biggest barrier to disadvantaged children in achieving.
We aim to address social disadvantage by placing vocabulary at the heart of our curriculum. We are consciously aware of gaps in pupils’ vocabulary and strive, through our curriculum, to allow all children to become confident and fluent with an extensive range of powerful vocabulary.
Reading is an essential skill for learning across the school’s curriculum offer and for lifelong learning. Reading is therefore given a very high priority throughout the school for each pupil. The teaching of reading is based on the desire that children will read widely, read fluently, fully understand what they are reading and develop good reading habits, based on a love of books. Effective middle leadership has ensured that approaches to teaching reading throughout the school are consistent; as a result the outcomes are good. The teaching of phonics in EYFS and Key Stage 1 have improved and is contributing effectively to the standards. This is built on in Key Stage 2 where staff encourage pupils to read more extensively. The use of selected texts within the Writing area of the curriculum and deconstruction of text is having a positive impact on establishing a reading culture across the school. Specific learning difficulties associated with reading are not a barrier to the love of reading and achievement, access is for all. The children have excellent reading habits and skills which prepare them well for high school.
We also recognise the importance of Mathematics as an academic discipline, but also a precondition for success across the curriculum.
Relationships within the school are very strong, between all members of Corpus Christi community, within and across groups of pupils, staff, parents and governors. We are aware that a number of our pupils benefit from the care, support and stability the whole school community gives them, so they are secure in their school environment to succeed in a variety of learning experiences.
Our aim is that Corpus Christi’s curriculum will lead to our pupils achieving well at secondary school and beyond, followed by further study or in the world of work, to become well informed and responsible, cultural citizens in the future, who will make a positive contribution to their community in the future.
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is very good and central to good outcomes that children achieve throughout the school. The current teaching profile is good with many outstanding.
At Corpus Christi, there are established procedures in place that support subject leaders to develop their subjects effectively. Each teacher is a leader for at least one subject, some teachers have three. At Corpus Christi we provide champions with dedicated time throughout the year to act on their subject, guidance and documentation, cluster group support, INSET and training.
All teachers demonstrate high expectations, enthusing and motivating all pupils within their class. We are constantly striving to embed ‘DREAM, Believe, Achieve’ consistently throughout school in line with our vision for teaching and learning linked with our Mission Statement, ‘Together we DREAM, Together we Learn’.
Teachers have good subject knowledge and are keen to collaborate with each other and within our network of school to further develop skills in different subject areas alongside other professionals. They recognise what constitutes outstanding learning and have a good knowledge of our pupils’ needs and their next steps, this enables them to provide a challenging environment which encourages questionings and independent thinking.
Subject Leaders across all subjects are strong leaders and are effectively developing CPD for staff in knowledge development in collaboration within our school. Our School Development Plan has identified these subject areas initially and once these improvements have been embedded, further subject areas will be addressed.
The school has enhanced subject expertise, to supplement current staff strengths by employing specialist Music teachers for our Years 3 and 4. We have also invested in the sporting expertise of Sport4Kids to support our PE lead in further enhancing sporting opportunities across school, enhancing competition and elitism within some areas of the curriculum. We have also invested in some subject specific curriculum offers for example, Charanga for music, which is proving to be popular and highly effective in successfully engaging, challenging and exciting all learners, Developing Extperts for science, bringing enthusiasm and high aspirations for the future to our curriculum, and Languge Angels, providing high quality resources and progression in our Foreign Languages curriculum.
As the children move through the school, the expectation for the depth and breadth of their learning is increased. They engage in skills of a similar nature, but at a higher level of understanding leading to a mastery approach to learning. This more so evident in the schools approach to improving Mathematics across school using the White Rose Curriculum and working with Local Teaching Schools and TRG groups to offer challenge and enhancement in the approach towards teaching Mathematics
Start and End tasks are in place at the beginning and end of each topic to assess pupils’ prior knowledge. They are used for all Foundation Subjects. They differ across year groups, older children may have a quiz, with questions about the subject knowledge to be covered, for younger children it could be a group discussion of pupils’ pre-knowledge, followed by notes from discussions. Assessing prior knowledge in this way allows both pupils and teachers to assess what knowledge pupils have gained and evidence measurable improvement.
Formal assessments are carried out termly by each child in Reading, Maths and RE with Writing judgements backed up by GPS formal assessment. These are used to support teacher judgements when learning alongside classwork, discussions, work in books and judgements of other adults.
We have developed knowledge planners for all topics, which will be used in lessons throughout the topics and displayed prominently in classrooms for children to access. They have vocabulary specific to each topic.
All subjects are taught discretely, but links and common themes are planned for between subjects where relevant and meaningful. Topics are chosen to broaden our children’s horizons and open their experiences to find out about knowledge of life in different times and places, experience creative and artistic skills and knowledge and have access to high quality rich experiences during their time at Corpus Christi, through the DREAM curriculum.
Our Curriculum handbooks show topics to be covered in each year group. English and Maths are taught daily, Science and PE are taught once or twice weekly, other subjects are taught in three half term blocks over the school year. As a Catholic school, RE is a core part of our curriculum, with 10% of our teaching time focused on this areas. The school is committed through our RSHE, equality act, British Values and online safety provision to preparing our children effectively, both socially and emotionally, to love an independent and safe life, in a world which values equality and diversity.
Teachers continually review curriculum provision for each subject during staff meetings to ensure knowledge is sequenced and progressive within subjects, but also across subjects, where meaningful and relevant. Reading is a vital skill for learning and life, so this is given the highest priority throughout the school beginning in Nursery, where we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children started on their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Corpus Christi aim for every child from Nursery to Reception have a 1:1 reading session at least once a week with an adult in school, and a large number of children have two or three sessions weekly. Once children have successfully completed the RWI programme, they access a range of texts through Guided Whole Class Reading session, using a wide variety of texts and VIPERS questions. Home reading books are sent home to consolidate and reinforce reading activities and highlight the importance of reading to both children and their parents. Class reading books linked to Foundation Subject topics are being provided in each class to broaden children’s literature and deepen subject knowledge within topics.
Maths is a core subject, KS1 & 2 follow the White Rose scheme of work and it is vital that all pupils achieve well, to access curriculum content in Foundation Subjects. Links between Maths and subjects such as Science and Geography will be planned for. Pupils have separate books for each subject area which will be used throughout KS1, then a separate book for each subject area for KS2. That way progression is evident across each Key Stage. Each class also has an Awe and Wonder book which is used to record other pupil’s achievements, photographs of other learning and pupils comments not necessarily recorded in pupils books. We laso use a We Are One Family book to record, PSHE, RSE and Equality work.
Termly progress meetings are being further enhanced to ensure that internal assessment data is analysed thoroughly alongside a personal conversation with class teachers so that all aspects of a child’s lived experience, both school and home is taken into account when considering pupil progress further ensuring any slippage is highlighted and addressed swiftly and effectively either within school or through support at home. These meetings lead to clear ‘Class Action Plans’. Vulnerable pupils and pupils with additional needs are identified early and well supported through intervention programmes that are individually tailored, effectively taught and closely monitored.
SLT gain insight into strengths and areas for improvement through clear monitoring which is in partly done as a whole staff as part of colleague to colleague support and challenge. This learning is used to support teachers so that they maximise their impact in the classroom.
The school takes a view of performance management as a tool for professional growth and development and uses this approach to constantly strive to develop and support teaching, ‘Talent Management’ and improve learning in school. The headteacher has worked with the Archdiocese on Talent Management and has volunteered to further work on a more robust ‘Talent Management’ opportunity for leaders across the Archdiocese as a wider approach to succession planning.
We actively seek external expertise with staff accessing high quality and relevant training opportunities to drive their knowledge and the curriculum forwards. We have worked with Teaching Schools, ALPSIT and their advisor, Maths Hubs and our local clusters to develop our curriculum, maximising opportunities for learning.
Records of attainment are maintained, using our digital tracking system, by the class teachers and monitored by SLT and Subject Champions.
The school has a tracking system in place that allows us to identify children making accelerated or slow progress and address any issues. Each class maintains a class tracker which records each child’s progress within the class.
The SLT maintains a whole school tracker that aids monitoring and identifies areas or cohorts for monitoring, development or training needs.
Moderation takes place in staff meetings. Teachers and SLT attend cluster group meetings to share good practice in assessing and moderation of learning.
All work is marked and assessed in line with the school’s marking policy, giving feedback and praising children’s achievements in line with the learning objective and focus. Where appropriate, to either challenge or reinforce, a challenge question may be posed to aid assessment of the piece of work.
Children with SEN are carefully provided for within each class and taught and assessed through tailored support and differentiation. Where applicable, the P Scale objectives are used to plan and assess the children, to ensure each child achieves their potential.
Assessments are entered termly onto our tracking system, the same codes designated to all subjects.
Analysis of assessment data is carried out termly by the SLT and discussed with teachers as part of pupil progress meetings with actions put into place to support identified areas of need.
Our aim is for the curriculum to extend beyond academic achievements and we highly value educating the whole child in preparation for life in the modern world. This will be evident when a Corpus Christi
· has confidence and self- belief in their own ability to achieve
· has excellent attitudes to learning
· enjoys learning and is excited and inspired to learn new things
· is an independent learner
· can confidently recall key knowledge from current and previous areas of learning
· retains knowledge in their long term memory
· can confidently apply knowledge to their learning
· is confident using and applying high-level vocabulary
· is articulate and confident to talk about a wide range of topics
· is a well-rounded individual who understands the importance of Christian and British values
· shows respect for all and values difference and diversity
· demonstrates appreciation and wonder of the world they live in
The school has a good track record of ensuring that pupils have good outcomes and make good progress from their starting points and go on to secure outcomes that prepare them well for their next stage of education.
Pupil outcomes for the past four years have been consistently in line or above national average for KS2 and KS1. Standards for EYFS and Phonics are above National expectations for GLD and Phonics.
These results reflect the determination to constantly monitor pupils progress and engage pupils in this process.
There is also significant evidence that children achieve very well in different aspects of our curriculum, For example, children participate in a wide range of sporting activities reaching high personal standards and often being successful in local and regional competitions.
Across the Arts children experience many opportunities to sing in choirs, play musical instruments and perform in dance and dramatic presentations. All contribute very effectively to the growth of self-confidence, self-belief and character building that means that children enjoy and celebrate success as well dealing positively with experiences that they find difficult and need to work harder to improve. The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each year, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they show a good recall and fluency. This means that they are able to use what they have learnt across other areas. Some pupils will have greater depth of understanding. We will track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations. We also believe that pupil voice is a very useful tool for assessment. By asking pupils questions such as what they have enjoyed and what they have learnt, we are able to view the impact of their learning experiences and support their next stage of education.