A ‘curriculum’ is a list of content to be taught and learnt – a course of study for schools, colleges and universities. From September 2014, schools in England follow a new National Curriculum - a course of study decided by the Department for Education. Below is a brief introduction to the National Curriculum. Download the entire National Curriculum for more detail.
Our approach to the National Curriculum at St. Wulstan's
- develops children to the best of their abilities
- helps children to find their passions and interests
- facilitates children’s acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding
- helps children to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and morally
- assists children in becoming independent, responsible, useful, confident and considerate members of the community
- promotes a positive attitude towards learning, so children enjoy coming to school
- helps children to acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning
- creates and maintains an exciting and stimulating learning environment
- ensures that each child’s education has continuity and progression
- enables children to contribute positively within a culturally diverse society.
The curriculum contains the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects.
At St. Wulstan's, we follow the programs of study as set out in the national curriculum, adding a wide range of enriching activities in order to achieve academic excellence through a broad, balanced, differentiated, ambitious and exciting curriculum where every child has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Key knowledge and skills are taught in ways that seek to enthuse and engage children in their learning. As the children progress through the school, their experience in all aspects of the curriculum helps towards preparing them for the secondary phase of education and most importantly, for life as a good citizen.
Our school values feature highly throughout life at St. Wulstan's along with manners and politeness continually being actively promoted and encouraged.
Please have a look at our subject specific pages for more information.
Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum
St. Wulstan’s prides itself in being very inclusive and will endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need. All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented.
To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:
- Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities.
- Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
- Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
- Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
- To work in partnership with parents/ carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
- To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional)
- To make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
- Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
- To promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
- To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
- To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.
At St. Wulstan’s we believe in participation and progress for all. We aim to create an inclusive culture in our school and value high quality teaching for all learners.
We understand that children learn and develop in different ways. Teachers and teaching assistants recognise this and use different teaching styles, resources and plan different levels of work in the classroom to cater for the various ways children learn. The majority of children in our school will receive support through good quality teaching in the classroom (Quality First Teaching). This will include:
- Differentiating work and highly focused lessons
- Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explanations
- Small group support by the teacher or classroom assistant
- Opportunities for pupils to learn through dialogue, with regular opportunities to talk within groups
- Short term interventions to aid catch-up
However, some children, at some time in their school life, may need extra help and support in a variety of different ways. If staff feel that a child’s needs cannot be met through quality first teaching alone, then additional support or intervention may be put into place.
Each learner identified as having SEND is entitled to support that is ‘additional to or different from’ a normal differentiated curriculum. The type of support is dependent on the individual learning needs, and is intended to enable access to learning and overcome the barrier to learning identified.
The waves of intervention model describe how different levels of intervention can be used to facilitate learning.
Wave 1 Quality First Teaching
This is about what should be on offer for all children: the effective inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching. This could include:
- Differentiated and personalised work to meet pupils’ needs
- High expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils
- Good subject and curriculum knowledge
- Well-structured lessons
- Adapting teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils
- Behaviour managed effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment which promotes progress
- Deploying support staff effectively.
Wave 2 Interventions
Where children need additional support, they may be given some Wave 2 intervention to help them ‘Catch Up’ with their peers or prevent a gap from appearing. Wave 2 interventions are often targeted at a group of pupils with similar needs. Intervention programmes such as Toe by Toe, IDL would be would be regarded as Wave 2 interventions.
Wave 3 interventions
If pupils continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness, the class teacher, with support from the SENDCO, should assess whether a pupil has a significant learning difficulty, which may require highly- tailored interventions. This may include specialist or one to one provision.
Types of SEND
At St. Wulstan’s R.C. Primary School, we have experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of need including:
- General learning difficulties
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Speech and Language Difficulties
- Behavioural Difficulties
- Selective Mutism
- Other medical needs including nut allergy and diabetes.
The school provides data on the levels and types of need to the Local Authority. This is collected through the school census.
Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum
At Wulstan’s R.C. Primary School, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.
It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of additional opportunities that the school organises in order to enrich the experiences of our children. Our curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning.
How we identify and assess children with special educational needs
Most children and young people will have their special educational needs met in mainstream schools through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.
At St Wulstan’s R.C. Primary School, the progress of the whole child, not just academic, is regularly assessed. Any children whom we feel may require extra support to achieve their potential or remove any barriers to learning are quickly identified and appropriate support implemented. Any extra support that is required is discussed with the child and their parents. If it is felt appropriate, the class teacher may involve the SENDCO who in turn may seek advice from outside agencies.
At Wulstan’s R.C. Primary School, we follow a graduated support approach which is called “Assess, Plan,Do, Review”.
This means that we will:
- Assess a child’s special educational needs
- Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
- Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
- Review the support and progress
The class teacher, working with the SENDCO, will identify the pupil’s needs. Where appropriate, professionals will help to inform the assessment. Parents will be asked to contribute to the assessment.
Parents will be formally notified about any initial concerns during a consultation meeting and will involved in in subsequent meetings to discuss the progress their child has made. Interventions will be recorded on the school provision map and targets set on the child’s Pupil Profile.
The class teacher will remain responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis and retain responsibility for their progress and outcomes. The class or subject teacher will plan and assess the impact of support and interventions with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved. The SENCO will support the above.
The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress will be reviewed on the agreed date. Reviews will be held with parents at least three times per year. The class teacher, working with the SENDCO if needed, will revise the support in light of the pupil’s progress. If a pupil does not make expected progress over a sustained period of time school will consider involving specialists.
As part of this approach, we will produce a SEN Support Plan that describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s special educational needs and agreed outcomes. Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process.
A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Staffing and any Specialist Qualifications/Expertise
Staff have received training in the following aspects of SEND:
- ASD and strategies to support children
- ADHD and strategies to support children
- Attachment Disorder and strategies to support children
- SEND and new Code of Practice
- Administering EpiPen medication
- Safeguarding updates
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
National Curriculum: overview
The following extract from section 2 of the National Curriculum (Department for Education, September 2013) provides a helpful overview:
2.1 Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which: promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. 2.2 The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. 2.3 All state schools are also required to make provision for a daily act of collective worship and must teach religious education to pupils at every key stage and sex and relationship education to pupils in secondary education. 2.4 Maintained schools in England are legally required to follow the statutory national curriculum which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects that should be taught to all pupils. All schools must publish their school curriculum by subject and academic year online (as we do here). 2.5 All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.
The National Curriculum: aims
Section 3 2 of the National Curriculum (Department for Education, September 2013) sets out its aims:
3.1 The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. 3.2 The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
The National Curriculum Structure
The National Curriculum states that all state schools in England and Wales should provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum that:
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
- prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
In primary schools, learning is organised into three phases:
- Early Years Foundation Stage: ages 3 - 4 (Nursery and Reception)
- Key Stage 1: ages 5-7 (Years 1-2)
- Key Stage 2: ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)
At Key Stages 1 and 2, the statutory subjects that all pupils must study are:
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- Physical education (PE)
- Languages (KS2)
Religious Education (RE) and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHE) must also be provided at Key Stages 1 and 2.
At St. Wulstan’s, all Key Stage 2 children are taught French as part of the curriculum.
Click here for a Parents’ Guide to the National Curriculum