The Curriculum at St Giles
Overall, the intent of our curriculum is to ensure high standards in all subjects, especially Reading, broaden children’s knowledge across all subject disciplines, and provide strong support for Social and Emotional Mental Health in our more vulnerable pupils. We also aim, through curriculum design and pedagogy, to increase children’s independence and resilience, and seek further ways to embrace and celebrate diversity.
Using the National Curriculum as a minimum expectation, leaders have sequenced learning in individual subjects so that knowledge builds incrementally about people, places, concepts and ideas. Alongside this, skills progression in different subjects is carefully taught and linked to this knowledge, so that skills development (knowing 'how to') is related to what has been learned within subject areas. Progress in learning is defined as knowing more and remembering more, and this is tested regularly to ensure that key concepts - identified by staff as the most important - stick in children's memory.
Over time, children's understanding of the world will therefore strengthen as they develop ever-more complex webs of knowledge that have been linked together, and they will begin to recognise links of their own. For each unit of work, key concepts and knowledge - and how they link to prior and future learning across subjects are shared with parents in 'Knowledge Organisers'.
Each subject discipline is clearly defined when being taught. The plans below have more information about this. These plans are then broken down further into smaller steps by teachers in unit plans which match the overarching subject plans.
Reading is taught from Foundation Stage through to Y6 through individual and Reading Practice sessions, as well as focused comprehension and textual analysis lessons, and daily phonics sessions are delivered in KS1 and FS2. We have recently switched from Letters and Sounds to the Little Wandle scheme for phonics, and we teach this (as we did with Letters and Sounds) with absolute fidelity. Our Early Reading resource is Collins Big Cat decodable books, matching sounds in books to those taught in phonics sessions. As children become fluent, there are many books to choose from in classroom and whole school libraries. Teachers and the headteacher read on a daily basis to children, and we use an agreed 'immersive', carefully sequenced approach to Writing across school.
We prioritise broadening children's vocabulary, as knowledge and understanding depend upon a rich vocabulary of the words that define the world. This links strongly to Reading (for more on Reading lists and ways to help at home, see 'Helping your child to Learn' under the Parents banner). Vocabulary progression is taught using 'Vocabulary Ninja', as well as subject-specific words that are planned across the curriculum (see Sequence and Progression documents below).
Maths is taught using the 'White Rose' scheme, and we use a 'Mastery' approach for this. All children are taught using a mixture of fluency (basic skills, using number), reasoning and problem solving (manipulating number and applying their fluency skills). Maths teaching (especially intervention and homework) is supplemented by Maths Whizz. Standards are high in maths over time at all ages and we consider this to be a strength of the school.
In September 2019 we introduced Outdoor Learning across school, following training undertaken by our HLTAs. They deliver the 'Muddy Puddles' approach, which connects children with the physical environment and with nature, and includes Literacy, Maths, Art, Science, problem-solving, team-working and collaboration. It also helps to build independence and resilience, and supports SEMH, in line with our curriculum intent. With the help of our pupil-led Eco Squad, we achieved Eco Schools Bronze Award in November 2019.
We achieved Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) in May 2021, have wonderful performances from EYFS and KS1 at Christmas, and very high quality drama productions from Y6 in the summer term.
Homework is set in all classes to match our curriculum approach. We consulted with parents in October 2019 and changed our policy as a result of this (see the link below). We aim for homework to reinforce key knowledge and skills learned, but also to be enjoyable for all involved; built into the policy is '50 Things to do before you're 11 and three-quarters', which children take with them through school.
RE lessons follow the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus which covers national requirements; two thirds of the curriculum studies Christianity and the remainder looks at a range of different religions. 'Understanding Christianity' is our main resource in RE. We achieved the RE Quality Mark Silver Award in October 2019.
Children are taught PE twice weekly and learn a range of skills and games. On occasion, delivery of PE is from an external coach which provides children with opportunities to experience a variety of sports. After school and lunchtime activities enrich our curriculum and there are a large number of sports clubs and activities to try. We also participate with great success in many sporting and dance competitions against other schools, including football and netball leagues in KS2. Children are encouraged to participate in these as much as possible and learn about healthy lifestyles as part of the PE curriculum. Swimming is taught in Y3 and Y5, with non-swimmers having further lessons in Y6. Standards are high and we are very proud of our successes in Sport.
Standards have been good in recent years, and there are rising trends in almost all areas - EYFS, Phonics, KS1, and KS2, with 3-year averages at KS2 higher than last year despite a slight attainment dip on the very high standards achieved in 2018. We have provided support for other schools within the Trust in Maths because of our strong outcomes in this area. Outcomes for children for whom Pupil Premium funding provides support are good over time, and Sports Premium funding has a strong impact. Further details can be found on the Standards, Pupil Premium and Sports Premium pages under the Our School banner. In-year progress for other cohorts is good, and we have achieved Healthy School Community Award (as well as PSQM, REQM Silver level and Eco Schools Bronze Award).
Adapting the Curriculum
Teachers liaise closely with the SENDCO and parents, as well as external agencies, to adapt the curriculum to make it fully accessible for pupils with SEND. Please see the 'Adapting the Curriculum for Pupils with SEND' below (under 'Curriculum Maps by Year Group) for how we do this. There is more information on our SEND page on the same tab above.
We also outline our duties under the Equalities Act and Public Sector Equality Duty to pay particular heed to identified groups, including objectives to improve Reading and Attendance rates for disadvantaged pupils, and ensure strong provision for pupils with SEND. Please follow the link below on Equality Policy/PSED for more information about this.
The schemes or resources listed below form a part of the teaching in these subjects and are based on National Curriculum entitlements, although these are supplemented by other approaches or plans. Other subjects are based on the National Curriculum and are planned discretely by teachers.
Phonics - Little Wandle
Vocabulary - Vocabulary Ninja
Maths - White Rose
RE - Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus, Understanding Christianity
Computing - Purple Mash
PSHE - PSHE Matters, and Goodness and Mercy for Sex Education
PE - Real PE (supplemented by Skills PE)
DT - Kapow
Music - Charanga
MFL - Salut (French)
For further information, please click the links below. Mr Loader (Headteacher) and Mrs Shackleton (Deputy Headteacher) have overall responsibility for organising the whole school curriculum, so for further details please speak to them, or your child's teacher:
by Year Group
KS1 Year A 2021/22
KS1 Year B 2022/23
Y3/4 Year A 2021/22
Y3/4 Year B 2022/23
Y5/6 Year A 2021/22
Y5/6 Year B 2022/23
Long Term Plans
Subjects - National Curriculum
Sequence and Progression
Art Whole School Overview (artists and links to subjects)
(see Sequence and Progression
grids for full breakdown and
development across school)
History Vocabulary Lists