At St James CE Primary School, we provide a History curriculum which covers a wide range of topics, covering the earliest civilizations through to modern periods such as the Second World War. In order to enhance the learning experience, where possible, the children will be taken to historically significant places and museums displaying primary and secondary source material. Within school, the children are encouraged to engage with a variety of source material in order to develop their skills in historical enquiry. They will encounter key concepts such as significance, change, cause and effect. By studying the subject, they will identify how historians lay claims using a range of evidence and that not all interpretations of the same event will agree. The children will learn to understand the reasons why interpretations will differ depending on the context. Questioning is a crucial aspect of historical enquiry; therefore, the children will be encouraged to develop their questions to enhance their understanding and also to provide challenge. Teaching will encompass the history of the wider world, alongside Britain’s past. This will enable the children to further develop their understanding of key British values such as democracy and rule of law, along with other key concepts such as:
To see our History curriculum overview, click here.
At St James CE Primary School, a sense of place is an important aspect in many of the topics covered. On occasions, Geography will be the centre of the topic within the curriculum. The main aim of teaching and learning within Geography is to inspire the children with a fascination about the world and its people. Teaching should allow the children to understand and respect the differences between a wide range of people and environments. The children will cover both human and physical Geography and the relationship between the two. Teaching will ensure that children develop an understanding of where they are within the world: this includes the names of the continents, oceans and globally significant places. Fieldwork skills will be taught both in school and off-site, which will include the gathering of data, including the use of digital technology. The children will be encouraged to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways which will provide opportunities to use the skills acquired in English and Maths. Finally, the children will develop their map skills throughout primary school and will include a wider range of maps for different purposes.
To see our Geography curriculum overview, click here.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring practical subject. Using imagination and creativity children investigate, design and make products that serve a purpose. Children will learn how to manage risks, become resourceful, innovative and enterprising. Across the curriculum the children will be given opportunities to investigate, assess and analyse existing products, whilst offering ideas about how to adapt them.
To see our DT curriculum overview, click here.
We aim to harness and develop each child’s creativity through an inspiring and challenging Art curriculum. We encourage the children to appreciate works of art, use their imaginations and study a range of artists' work and use these as a springboard to produce their own creative work. In each Key Stage, children will practise skills and record their ideas. The children plan and draw in sketchbooks to support their art journeys. There is an emphasis on developing their proficiency in the seven core skills of: line, shape, form, tone, texture, colour and pattern. These are then applied through drawing, painting and sculpture but other art techniques will support these. They will evaluate their own creative work and the work of others. Alongside this, the children will increase their knowledge of great artists, craft-makers and designers. They will research and appreciate artists from a variety of historical periods and also from different cultures.
To see our Art curriculum overview, click here.
To see our Art progression document, click here.
In Music, children have experience of composing, performing, listening to and appraising their own and others' contributions. It supports children in developing imagination, the ability to listen/watch attentively and to express thoughts and feelings. Each year group has the opportunity to listen to and perform a range of music and instruments are used to support their composition and performance. School uses Charanga to support the teaching of music which is a recognised scheme of work.The learning within this scheme is based on: listening and appraising, musical activities (creating and exploring) and singing and performing.
Other music and performing art opportunities support this and children are given the chance to perform at different points of the year including Harvest, Christmas, Advent, Easter and at the end of Year 5 and 6 where they speak, sing, act, and dance in performances to the school, family and friends and to the wider community each year. Children in Key Stage Two are able to take part in extra -curricular opportunities e.g. choir, or learning to play a musical instrument on offer. We hope that these opportunities will inspire children to work together, to feel happy about themselves, the environment and the world they live in.
To see our Music curriculum overview, click here.
Modern Foreign Language
The teaching of a foreign language is a statutory requirement in Key Stage Two and each class receives German lessons, delivered by a specialist teacher, which enables us to ensure progression throughout this phase and on to Secondary Education. Equal emphasis is placed on the skills of listening and responding, speaking, reading and writing, along with knowledge about language and culture.
German is taught as the language is easily accessible to all children and is a language that is taught in our local main secondary schools so children will continue to learn this language beyond St James. At St James, the children are taught how to learn a language with skills that are transferable, not just within lessons, but across the board, and can be applied to other languages. Also from time to time children look at other languages as part of language awareness/ language comparison which embeds literacy skills and enriches vocabulary awareness.
Mike Rauh is our Specialist MFL teacher and has a plethora of knowledge and experience in teaching languages. Mr Rauh taught at 4 secondary schools across Sandwell from 1984 to 2012, was Head of Languages at Warley High School (now Oldbury Academy) and Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) at Shireland Language College (now Shireland Collegiate Academy). He was sometime Consultant Lecturer/ Tutor at Newman University College, Birmingham (now Newman University, Birmingham) and Coventry University. He was Lead Trainer for BCSIP (Black Country School Improvement Partnership) for PMFL providing/ leading courses for Language Colleges and Primary Head Teachers and Strategy Leaders (2003- 2006) and presented at various local, regional and national conferences. He was National Trainer for PMFL (Primary Modern Foreign Languages) for CILT/ DfES from March 2006 and Primary Languages Coordinator on behalf of/ on secondment to Sandwell LA from September 2006. From 2007 to 2010 he was on the DfES National Steering Group for Language Learning at KS2 (Research and Evaluation), as well as various regional steering groups in the West Midlands. From 2003 he founded, and ran, various primary teacher network groups across Sandwell, until 2018. He is currently Secretary of the National Association of Language Advisers (NALA), a long-established and highly regarded association providing advice, support, training and inspection in the languages field from primary to tertiary education, and influential in the development of national and local policy.
To see our German progression document, click here.
At St James CE Primary School, we aim to provide a high-quality Physical Education curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. During our PE lessons, the children are given the chance to improve their confidence, health and fitness. There are also opportunities outside of lessons for children to partake in competitive and non-competitive sporting activities which help develop their character and embed values such as fairness and respect. All children are taught PE by a specialist sports coach but have additional lessons from their teacher, reinforcing the skills learned.
At St James CE Primary School we value the importance of our children’s physical, social and health education. PSHE is taught following the scheme of work from the PSHE Association which covers all the main aspects of the national curriculum, along with additional content which we believe is important for our children to learn. We aim to support each child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) throughout the teaching of our curriculum. Within the rapidly changing world in which we live, it is vital that these areas are explored in a safe and supportive environment. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. Our pupils are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community. They learn how society is organised and governed and experience the process of democracy in school through the School Council. We provide opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse society.
At St James, Computing is taught by a specialist teacher who has a plethora of teaching knowledge and skill in computer science and information communication technology. In this ever changing digital world, children are taught a range of skills including how digital systems work and apply this in programming. They are taught about coding, networking and making sure they know how to stay safe online.