At St Leonard’s Lower school, we believe that all children whatever their abilities and capabilities have the right to receive a broad, balanced, relevant, exciting and inspiring education which provides progression, values difference and diversity and promotes community cohesion and tolerance in 21st century Britain.
Our school curriculum clearly reflects the principles and aims of our 'Vision and Ethos statement'
At St Leonard's the children learn through an exciting and challenging thematic based approach to learning. Each term the children embark on new learning journeys and learning environments are transformed to reflect these. Each learning journey has been designed to enable the children to meet the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study both in terms of content and skills, in an engaging, inspiring and memorable way. The curriculum is a literacy rich curriculum, incorporating high quality and engaging texts which are suited to children's ages and experiences and aimed at developing a love of reading and writing. High quality visits and visitors are an important part of our curriculum planning and our wonderful outdoor environment and neighbouring country parks are used to support the children's learning wherever possible.
We endeavour to make learning in all subjects cross-curricular and meaningful to each child; providing real depth of understanding. However, we also provide opportunities to teach certain knowledge and skills discreetly that don't fit harmoniously within our learning journeys, for example phonics, spelling, handwriting, mathematics, religious education, physical education, PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) and French (Key Stage 2 only). Our year 2 class also takes part in a planned, weekly Forest School session.
Our curriculum is carefully planned to sequence the introduction of new knowledge and the consolidation of prior understanding. Children connect new knowledge with existing knowledge and revisit the key skills which form the essence of each subject through a rich variety of contexts as prescribed by each topic where they also practise and refine their developing skills. In this way, children acquire the knowledge and facts they need for History for example, and consolidate their understanding by writing about it in English, whilst simultaneously improving and developing their English skills.
Our curriculum is inclusive for all and it's design provides a strong foundation and opportunities for our children to work in teams and develop social skills both indoors and out. Pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and encouraged to expand their skills through higher order questioning and problem solving skills and those who find learning more challenging are given targeted intervention, differentiated learning tasks and support to embed skills and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs. Qualified teaching assistants offer nurture and emotional interventions.
Embedded within our curriculum, throughout our teaching and learning is a whole school culture of 'growth mindset', encouraging our pupils to become confident and resilient learners. Our curriculum encourages pupils to relish challenges and embrace mistakes as part of the learning process, to value the importance of effort, to respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve in their future lives as adults and as they move onto middle school.
Half termly values are also embedded within our curriculum and within our whole school ethos through assemblies and classroom activities. Through these and through other areas of our curriculum pupils are given opportunities to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, ultimately preparing them for life in 21st century Britain.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year. Children leave St Leonard's with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
For further information on how we implement our Curriculum please see the subject links and the curriculum overviews below.
Our curriculum is monitored regularly, and according to our whole school monitoring and evaluation schedule, through lesson observations, learning walks, book looks and pupil progress meetings. Termly input from governors and the School's Improvement Advisor also forms part of the monitoring and evaluation process.
Assessment is carried out by teachers to inform them of the children’s gaps in learning, and this feeds into the next lesson so that the pace of learning is determined by the children’s confidence in each area. Parents receive reports twice per year, and are invited in to Parent Consultations one per term. Further information evenings and open classrooms are hosted across the academic year.
Impact – National Comparison (3 year average results to 2019)
St Leonard's is proud of its achievement record. Results shown are average results over the last 3 years:
· 74% of our pupils achieved the nationally expected level of achievement at the end of Reception compared with a national outcome of 72%
· 89% of our pupils passed the Phonics check in Year 1 compared to 82% nationally.
· In Year 2 Reading 84% of our children are working at national expectation (75% national) 35% of our children are working at Greater Depths (26% national)
· In Year 2 Writing 73% of our children are working at national expectation (70% national) 22% of our children are working at Greater Depths (16% national)
· In Year 2 Maths 77% are working at national expectation (77% national) 30% of our children are working at Greater Depths (22% national)
In 2019 95% of pupils made expected progress or better in reading, writing and maths from EYFS to year 2.
In 2019 100% of pupils made expected progress in reading and maths, 94% in writing from year 2 to year 4.