An Overview of our Curriculum
Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure all children can live a life in all its fullness by offering stimulating and awe-inspiring learning experiences with Catholic Gospel values at its heart.
Our curriculum is bespoke to the needs of all pupils at Holy Souls Catholic Primary School, not only by focusing on appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the EYFS framework and National Curriculum, but by modelling the virtues given to us by Christ and by developing individual and collaborative learning experiences, a positive growth mindset, a sense of responsibility and challenges that take them beyond the classroom.
Our curriculum is constantly evolving, responding to the needs of learners and their interests by enhancing their learning experiences and raising awareness from the local area to national and global arenas. Thus, we will develop outward looking pupils who are able to engage in learning about themselves and have an understanding of the wider world and its diverse cultures.
Ultimately, our curriculum is intended to live out our school mission:
Our curriculum intent – where we live:
- Our pupils recognise their own identify and role within their school, homes, community and wider global society.
- Our pupils show a curiosity in the world around them. They are active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.
- Our pupils experience a range of cultural events and enrichment opportunities to develop their cultural capital.
Our curriculum intent – how we love:
- Our pupils are empathetic to the needs of others and offer support. They have high self-esteem and recognise that they can contribute to the world.
- Our pupils build respectful relationships regardless of faith, gender and race – recognising that everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
- Our pupils uphold and understand the importance of our British Values.
- Our pupils have strong values, know what is right and wrong and their behaviour reflects this.
Our curriculum intent – how we learn:
- Our pupils are able to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it, knowing how this will impact on their progress.
- Our pupils know that finding things difficult results in growth and will not be put off by failure; instead they show a resilience and yearning to continue.
- Our pupils are aspirational and are able to demonstrate how they can reach their goals; they can also be an example to others.
- Our pupils are grateful and celebrate that everybody has talents. They develop confidence in their own abilities and a desire to strive to be the best they can be.
- Our pupils are inquisitive and prepared to take calculated risks to try something new.
- Our pupils make links in their learning leading to sustained mastery.
- Our pupils use high-quality vocabulary to express and develop their learning.
Our curriculum is implemented through a range of strategies, tailored to suit the needs of all pupils, including:
Teaching and Learning
- Starting all lessons with a review of learning
- Presenting new material in small steps
- Providing clear and detailed instructions and explanations
- Using a wide range of questioning to check for understanding
- Ensuring active practice for all pupils
- Providing effective and timely modelling
- Providing systematic feedback and corrections
- Use of high quality resources/examples, texts and use of vocabulary
Use of Assessment
- Use of timely feedback to pupils and ‘next steps’ in their learning
- Use of formative and summative assessments to adapt teaching so all pupils make progress
- Use of dedicated interventions to support pupils to reach their full potential
Continued Professional Development
- Regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve teaching and learning.
- Dedicated continued professional development for all staff
- Performance Management targets
- Peer coaching
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each phase pupils will have sustained mastery of the content; they remember it and are fluent based upon the targets set for individuals to ensure ambitious progress. As a result, when Holy Souls pupils move on they will have:
- A strong spiritual knowledge and faith based upon our school Mission statement and Catholic ethos.
- A strong web of knowledge from across the curriculum subjects which can be transferred from one context to another.
- The ability to retrieve knowledge and make connections between subjects and apply their skills.
- The ability to apply their knowledge to solve problems and create workable solutions.
- A sense of identity and how they can make a positive contribution locally, nationally and globally.
- The knowledge and resilience needed to keep themselves and others safe.
- The ability to make well-informed decisions using a moral compass.
- Mutual respect and tolerance for all.
- The ability to be rounded citizens upholding British Values.
The intent for our individual subjects is:
Holy Souls pupils will become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, they will know and apply key skills and reason mathematically. Pupils will also solve problems across a range of contexts methodically and with resilience. Our pupils will have a secure and confident grasp in the fundamentals of maths. This conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge forms the foundations of all maths learning. This alongside the application of age appropriate key skills, and use of mathematical vocabulary, allows access to deeper understanding; therefore, making purposeful connections between areas of maths and other subjects.
Please see our separate English page.
Religious Education (RE)
Religious Education has an important role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, vocational and cultural development. Our pupils will be respectful and open-minded towards others with different faiths and beliefs and develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.
Science at Holy Souls Catholic Primary School aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically. It aims to support children in gaining an understanding of scientific processes and an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. Children will learn about topics from three core parts of science: biology, chemistry and physics and understand where science fits in today's world.
Scientific enquiry skills and approaches are embedded through our lessons in which children are encouraged to wonder about scientific concepts and create their own investigations. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. At Holy Souls, we follow ‘Outstanding Science’ to ensure our lessons are sequenced through progression of skills. This ensures that children are revisiting, recapping and reconsolidating their knowledge throughout their time in Holy Souls.
Art and Design
At Holy Souls Catholic Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art and Design provides the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Our children live in a computer driven world. They are growing up surrounded by technology, but that doesn’t automatically make them confident digital citizens. That’s what we will ensure, that the effective teaching of Computing at Holy Souls will give them the right knowledge and skills that enables them to succeed in the workspace and help them to be ready to live in the future.
Our curriculum will help them navigate the online world in a safe, responsible and respectful way – treating others as they would like to be treated, recognising the risks whilst being equipped with the strategies they need to deal with issues that may arise. They will be able to do this having experienced a curriculum which has online safety woven throughout and is delivered regularly.
We will have very high expectations of behaviour in lessons which will in turn maximise opportunities for learning. We want our children to be confident to ask for help when they need it and who are not afraid to make mistakes or feel intimidated when using technology.
By the time our children leave Holy Souls they will have proficient IT skills enabling them to access everything the digital world has to offer, have the knowledge and skills to understand the principles of information technology and computer science, how digital systems work and programming. Children will be able to use technology effectively and to a level which ensures a seamless transition into secondary education, they will be at a place in their learning which is advantageous to their future studies and their life ahead.
At Holy Souls Catholic Primary School, we recognise that high-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. This drives us to focus on ensuring that DT is an inspiring and practical subject which provides all children with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making functional products (including nutrition).
We feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation and also support our pupils as they take risks on the road to becoming resourceful and enterprising citizens who can solve problems in real and relevant contexts.
Our foreign languages curriculum fosters a curiosity in pupils paired with a deeper understanding of God’s world. We believe that this will allow our pupils to develop a positive attitude towards cultural diversity and enables them to compare cultures and values of both Britain and France. Speaking, reading and writing in more than one language is increasingly important in a world of borderless communications and global travel. The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. We intend for pupils to be life-long language learners.
We learn French for a variety of reasons at Holy Souls. French is one of the widest spoken languages in the world with around 300 million people speaking it every day and countries across five continents nominating it as their first language. France’s close proximity to where we live has meant that it has influenced our own language. An increased understanding of the French language can support pupils’ development and ability to access wider English vocabulary. French is also part of the ‘Romance Languages’ family (derived from Latin), therefore, learning French will also build strong foundations to learn and explore more languages throughout the pupils’ further study.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas.
At Holy Souls, our vision is to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world that we live in, and its people.
Our Geography curriculum has been designed to equip children with geographical skills that are progressive, as well as transferable. We aim to develop their knowledge through investigating a range of places – both in Britain and abroad – to help further their understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We will provide children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of Acocks Green and Birmingham so that they can develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
Through high quality teaching the children will build an extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary, fluency in Geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills. They will learn excellent field skills, build a genuine interest in the subject and a secure knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
By the time our children leave Holy Souls, they will have had the opportunity to develop their life-long Geography skills to help them to become competent Geographers for the rest of their lives. They will have the geographical skills to help them explore, navigate, and understand the world around them and their place in it.
At Holy Souls Catholic Primary School we want our children to enjoy History and inspire their curiosity of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our aim is, through teaching History, to stimulate children’s interest and understanding about the lives of significant people and how the past has influenced society as we know it today. We provide an ambitious curriculum which immerses all children in a range of cultures and engenders.
Our History curriculum equips our children to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop an understanding of the process of change. We teach children a sense of chronology, in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their own historical heritage, encouraging them to discover links within our local community and the wider world.
By the time our children leave Holy Souls they will have had opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, and analysis, whilst building their confidence in orating and debating historical issues. They will be exposed to different people’s perspectives on historical issues and events preparing them for their next phase of education.
‘Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ (The National Curriculum)
At Holy Souls Primary School, our music curriculum encourages our children on their musical journeys by inspiring creativity, self-expression and providing opportunities to connect with others. We hope to foster a life-long love of music by exposing pupils to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music. By listening and responding to different musical styles, finding their voices as singers and performers and as composers, we will enable them to become confident, reflective musicians. Pupils will understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Personal, Social, Health Education
Children at Holy Souls Catholic Primary School will become healthier, more independent and more responsible members of modern society. Pupils will be encouraged to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. We teach them in simple ways how society is organised and governed and the process of democracy. Children will recognise their rights and responsibilities. They learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse and multicultural society.
Physical Education (PE)
In line with the National Curriculum for Physical Education, the purpose of the PE Curriculum at Holy Souls Catholic Primary School is to ‘inspire all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities.’ Our focus on high quality PE provides opportunities for our children to become confident and physically literate in ways that support their mental and physical wellbeing.
Physical development is encouraged through the provision of opportunities to be active and interactive; improving their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. Through personal challenge and participation in competitive sport our children will develop a healthy and active lifestyle, build resilience and embed values of team work, fairness and respect for use throughout their life.
Relationships and Health Education
We are created in the unique image of and likeness of God, helping the children understand the importance of valuing themselves as the basis for their personal relationships.
We explore our relationships with others. Pupils will build upon their understanding that we have been created out of love and for love, and how we take this calling into our family, friendships and relationships and how we develop healthy and safe relationships.
We explore our relationships with the wider world. Pupils will explore how we are called to love others in the wider community through service, dialogue and the Common Good.
The National Curriculum
The guide below explains about the new National Curriculum, introduced from September 2014, and which became statutory from 2015:
Year Group Curriculum Overviews
See the appropriate year group pages for Curriculum Overviews and Timetables relating to each class: