Our ‘Childhood Curriculum’ at St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School
‘Childhood is not preparation for life, childhood is life.’ (Professor T. Ripaldi)
As well as ensuring that our children are academically prepared for the next step in their educational journey, we are passionate about ensuring our children’s school days truly are ‘the happiest days’ of their lives. Our ‘Childhood Curriculum’ is designed to ensure all our children leave St. Matthew’s with a breadth of experiences, designed and delivered with the purpose of developing key life skills. It is the intention of our ‘Childhood curriculum’ to improve communication, build confidence, encourage creativity, embrace challenge and enact positive change.
At St. Matthew’s we strive to deliver a curriculum which will also enable our children to be ready for the next stage of their educational journey and for adult life. As such, we have worked in collaboration with our partnership school, St. Thomas More to develop a curriculum offer which provides our children with the building blocks for future success.
We see our curriculum as both structured to meet the needs of our pupils, but also, importantly as dynamic, so that our pupils benefit from the opportunities presented by an ever-changing world.
Across all subjects, each programme of study has been carefully devised so that learning is both sequential and purposeful. We place equal weight on the acquisition of both knowledge and skills and we place a heavy emphasis on our ‘Make it Stick’ principle. In practice, this means that our children are provided with regular opportunities to embed prior learning and consolidate core knowledge and skills that they will require for future success.
‘The 5 Cs’
Communication. Confidence. Creativity. Challenge. Change.
Communication brings people together. Through focusing on the development of communication skills, we will be empowering our pupils and enhancing their ability to collaborate with peers and to convey their thoughts and feelings in an age-appropriate way.
Confidence is the cornerstone on which future success is built. Through accessing our broad and enriched curriculum, our children will grow in self-confidence and realise the importance of self-acceptance. Our curriculum will offer all children the opportunity to shine whether it be through the arts, STEM or through sport.
Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes and having fun. Our curriculum is designed to inspire our children to look at things in different ways and to challenge their notions of what is possible.
Challenge is what makes life interesting and overcoming it is what makes life meaningful. Not only will our children face and embrace challenges through our curriculum, they will be encouraged to challenge the status quo so that they can become leaders of the future.
Change is inevitable. Our curriculum is dynamic so that it reflects the constancy of change, both within the individual, and in the world. Our children will learn that change is good and that it should be embraced and not feared
The national curriculum acts as the backbone of our curriculum offer at St. Matthew’s. From its objectives, our teachers have planned a dynamic, enriching and rounded curriculum for our pupils based on our five driver words: communication, confidence, creativity, challenge and change.
Within each subject, we focus on three key areas: skills, knowledge and our ‘make it stick’ principle.
In each topic, children are taught new knowledge and given opportunities to develop and embed prior knowledge and skills.
Our curriculum is planned to be progressive and sequential so that the goal of all learning is to prepare children for the next stage of their educational journey.
We value the importance of all of our children accessing a range of cultural, sporting and STEM related opportunities. Our pupils access a breadth of opportunities through partnership work within the Bishop Wilkinson Trust, and other local schools.
As a school committed to the development of STEM subjects, we are delighted to be an Ogden Trust Partnership Lead School. Through this partnership, we are committed to the provision of first class opportunities for pupils in the field of physics and all of the sciences. We run annual space camps affording our children the opportunity to attend astronaut training camp and as a result of our work, we have been invited to present at international space conferences!
Developing the arts is an integral part of our curriculum offer at St. Matthew’s. As a Music Mark school, we look to extend opportunities for our pupils to learn different instruments, whilst as a regular participant in the Coram Shakespeare School’s Festival, we afford our pupils the opportunity to perform on a professional stage. Music, dance and drama are hugely important at St. Matthew’s and opportunities for pupils to develop confidence through the arts is one of our key priorities.
Through our partnership with Active Northumberland and Gateshead School Sport, we offer our pupils a range of sporting opportunities and we always look to make use of our extensive outdoor environment. We have enjoyed particular success in recent years in swimming and athletics.
Outward bounds residential opportunities in Key Stage 2 form a significant part of our children’s overall character development.
Our offer to the children of St. Matthew’s has several intended outcomes linked to our curriculum driver words.
- Our children will be effective communicators, capable of interacting in various ways
- Our children will feel empowered and be confident in their ability to succeed in any given situation
- Our children will be able to express their creativity, whether that be through the arts or through STEM related activities
- Our children will relish challenges and will show a resilient attitude towards problem solving
- Our children will be adaptable and able to cope with change
It is difficult to be able to quantify the success of these aims; however, we have demonstrated for a number of years through our end of phase outcomes that our pupils benefit from our holistic approach.
Like all schools, the impact of our academic curriculum is measured through standardised testing at key points throughout each child’s primary school journey. We are always assessing the impact of our teaching and learning and through a consistent dialogue between school and home, we are able to identify and implement actions that are going to ensure academic success.
At St. Matthew’s we recognise that all children are unique and made in the image and likeness of God. As such, we recognise that impact is not only measured through attainment but also through progress. Significantly, our curriculum is designed to give children a breadth of experiences that will ensure all individuals experience success during their time at St. Matthew’s.
If you require any further information regarding our curriculum here at St. Matthew’s, please email us or give us a call
You can also find more information about the national curriculum here: link