The Foundation Subjects
There are eight foundation subjects; Science, Design Technology, Computing, History, Geography, P.E., Art and Design and Music. We also teach French as our Modern Foreign Language in KS2. Spanish Lessons are offered to all as an after school club. Our approach to these subjects is outlined below. You will also find information below on Personal And Social Education.
Science gives us the opportunity to explore and discover the world around us. We endeavour to engage the children and instill a curiosity to continue learning beyond the classroom.
We aim to deliver a rich and challenging curriculum that develops practical and critical thinking skills to facilitate a smooth transition to secondary school and adulthood.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is a member of the Association for Science Education and our approach to Science in the National Curriculum is subject based, but with the opportunity for the class teacher to use a cross-curricular approach where appropriate.
This facilitates a variety of teaching methods including class, group and individual teaching.
The children will experience the National Curriculum through observation, investigation and discovery. Pupils should meet each area (observation, investigation and discovery) regularly throughout each year of their Primary Education to enable progression and depth. The use of these techniques at different levels allows pupils the opportunity to develop both individual initiative and the skills needed for teamwork.
Design Technology is met within a cross-curricular approach in which we aim to develop the children’s skills as they progress.
Design Technology involves the investigation of a need and the skills of planning, making and evaluating to realise it practically. DT is taught using a wide range of media, e.g. clay, textiles, wood, paper and construction materials.
Computing is an ever changing challenge to pupils, staff and parents. It is taught as a discrete subject where specific skills are taught to children to prepare them for the future use of technology. These include: Programming, E- Safety, Handling Data, Multimedia and Technology in our Lives. Where possible teachers make links between Computing work and other areas of the curriculum. Computing aims to develop children to become digital citizens (who are safe and responsible), digital communicators (who are digitally literate) and digital creators (who are logical and creative).Interactive white boards and visualisers are used to support the children’s learning in all classrooms. All teaching areas are networked, incorporating pupil access to the internet and peripheral equipment such as digital cameras. We also have learn pads that can be used in all areas of the curriculum. In addition to classroom provision we have a dedicated computer suite to enable whole class learning.
History is taught through a topic approach. Each year group focuses on different aspects throughout the year. We aim to develop the children’s historical understanding through the use of artefacts and secondary sources in order to foster research skills and an empathy with the past.
Specialist historical groups visit the school to provide the children with a variety of experiences related to the historical period they are studying. This enables them to become active in their learning through the use of role-play.
Geography is taught through a cross-curricular approach, or as a separate subject where appropriate.
We endeavor to match geography with other related subjects such as Science to ensure a depth of experience without unnecessary duplication.
We cover the Geography National Curriculum through a series of projects looking at both the local environment and the wider world. Children also have the opportunity to develop their studies further afield during residential field trips in Years 4 and 6.
Map work skills are developed throughout the school. Many aspects introduced in Key Stage One are revisited and further developed in Key Stage Two.
P.E is an integral part of the school curriculum. We aim to provide an enjoyable and balanced programme by following the Real PE scheme of work from Create Development. Alongside this children will also develop their skills and understanding of competitive team games (e.g. Netball and Cricket) as well as Outdoor and Adventurous Activities, Dance and Gymnastics. Within PE lessons children are provided with the opportunity to develop their ‘Multi-Abilities’ which are, cognitive, health and fitness, personal, social, physical and creative skills. Within in the physical ‘Multi-Abilities’ our main focus is improving agility, balance and coordination. The development of confidence, tolerance and the appreciation of one’s own and others’ strengths and weaknesses are an essential part of our teaching. The school is fortunate to have two multi-purpose halls and extensive outdoor facilities including grass areas and an all-weather pitch, as well as hard playing surfaces.
All children in Key Stage One and Year 4 have the opportunity to swim, with weekly sessions at the pool in Donyngs Leisure Centre for a term throughout the year.
Art and Design
At St Joseph’s the children are given the opportunity to explore a variety of media working both two and three dimensions. Our aims throughout the school are the ongoing development of visual literacy, and to foster an appreciation of artistic traditions and ethnic heritages.
Children are encouraged to observe and appreciate the work of a variety of artists.
Art is taught either as a class or group activity and is at times related to the class topic.
Music is usually taught as a class activity. Our aim is to enable children to enjoy music through the development of listening skills and musical appreciation. Children are encouraged to compose and perform both vocal and instrumental pieces are introduced to a wide variety of styles.
Personal and Social Education
Education in Personal Relationships
Education in Personal Relationships (EPR) is a framework for Personal, Social, Moral, Health and Citizenship Education.
It aims to develop children in the following areas:
- Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
- Preparing to play an active role as citizens
- Developing a healthy, safe lifestyle
- Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people
Much of EPR is taught through the Religious Education Programme of ‘Come and See’ and specific links with topics are identified. Further aspects are covered through other areas of the curriculum. The SEAL resource is used to support the learning in those areas related to feelings, emotions and behaviour. Teaching resources provided by CAFOD and Fairtrade are also used.
Relationships and Sex Education
Relationships and Sex Education is taught to all ages throughout the school at an age appropriate level. It includes health education, sex education, moral and social interaction.
We use a resource called ‘A Journey in Love’ created by Sister Jude Groden. It is the recommended programme of study for Catholic schools for Relationship and Sex Education, and has been written as a progressive scheme of work that supports the Religious Education, EPR and Science curricula taught within the school.
As children progress through school, they discover more and more about themselves and the wider world. This thirst for learning new things in all aspects of life is fostered by the school, who attempt to create a safe, stimulating environment for learning; supporting all children in their development. Our mission statement which drives the school, attempts to achieve this goal following the Gospel values of truth and respect, understanding our journey as children of God, both special and unique.
Central to our work within the school is learning about our faith, including understanding ourselves, our position in our community and how we develop as human beings - our spiritual, social, emotional and physical development. This is how ‘A Journey in Love’ fits in to the school’s curriculum. The scheme caters for all levels of learning throughout the school. It focuses on friendship, family, community, relationships and spirituality; a guide to the children’s development as young Catholics.
Further information about this programme, including resources, can be found on our VLE. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education should they wish to do so. Please contact the Headteacher in these circumstances. There can be no withdrawal from the Science National Curriculum.
Primary Science Quality Mark
We are very proud to have been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in June 2021.