Curriculum Overview

‘Leaders are proactively committed to the community and ‘go above and beyond’ transforming the lives of those they serve.’ (SIAMS, March 2020)

At St James, we nurture the whole child. Our curriculum recognises children’s prior learning experiences and is carefully designed to enrich and inspire pupils to become successful learners. We want our children to be brave, responsible, independent, communicators who are knowledgeable and self-motivated. The curriculum, and supplementary experiences at St James, are integral in developing these and supporting lifelong learning and future success.

St James has designed an ambitious curriculum which aims to meet the needs of all children in school and considers the community in which they live. We believe our children have a right to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed in order to overcome social disadvantage and enhance their cultural capital so they can ‘gain an advantage.’

Our curriculum prioritises knowledge, along with vocabulary acquisition, and holds reading at its core. We believe knowledge is power and is the key that opens many doors. Research has shown that a broad vocabulary is a key indicator to future academic attainment and frequent reading adds to children’s vocabularies exponentially.  It is our duty to equip children with the appropriate knowledge, skills and understanding they need in order to thrive and address any disadvantage.

The curriculum is taught as discrete subjects. We do this as we want our children to understand each subject as an academic discipline. We want them to be immersed in a subject and feel inspired by what they learn within it. It is progressive, with the sequencing of knowledge and skills carefully considered in each year group. We have planned what knowledge we think is important children should know, and ensure it builds on previous learning and progresses over units of work, both within and between year groups.  This approach ensures knowledge is remembered and built upon, whilst ensuring conceptual understanding is deepened.

Wider curriculum: Our pupil’s entitlement to a rich and varied curriculum is not limited to subjects. To widen our pupils’ experiences we include a number of enrichment activities, including providing a variety of after school clubs, residentials and educational trips and visits to enhance learning and allow children to develop interests and life skills.  We encourage an active involvement in school life through our CREW Team, Ethos Ambassadors and School Council. We also utilise the expert skills of wider agencies including the police, local community groups and have very close links with the local church. We are fortunate to have an established forest school, which provides a wealth of learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

Curriculum Drivers