The curriculum at St Matthew’s is designed to meet the needs of our children and to foster a love of learning.
Our curriculum is underpinned by our Christian vision and values. For all children to have the opportunity to fulfil their God-given potential, we plan our curriculum to be enhancing, exciting, and stimulating. Woven throughout learning are our Christian values of Kindness, Honesty, Responsibility and Respect, and these – combined with the essential skills for lifelong learning such as perseverance, collaboration, listening and managing distractions enable our children to become highly competent and happy learners. It is important for our children to gain both academic and life skills in order to thrive in the modern world. We combine rigorous teaching with many imaginative and creative opportunities for these to be practiced and applied, both independently and with others.
We adhere to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and these can be read by subject in more depth via the government website;
Children in EYFS and KS1 are taught all of the sounds in the English language and how to write them (phonics). Each child is shown how to apply these to their reading and writing so that independence in these skills develops rapidly. There is a high level of emphasis on developing speaking and listening, including the introduction of new and rich vocabulary. At St Matthew’s, we follow Song of Sounds Programme. https://www.songofsounds.co.uk/
Song of Sounds is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme which runs from EYFS to Year 2. The programme teaches children to read and write by introducing children to the sounds that they can hear in words (phonemes) and their written equivalent (graphemes).
Children learn to blend sounds together to read words and segment words in order to spell them.
Song of Sounds is also a multi-sensory phonics programme. It is hands on and interactive with music, movement and practical activities at its core, to ensure children enjoy the phonics learning process. The programme ensures that children become fluent readers and knowledgeable spellers by the end of Key Stage 1.
We have signed up to Accelerated Reader, which has over 29,000 books categorised to allow children to choose books suitable for them. The beauty of the programme is that when children have read a book, they complete an online quiz which tests their comprehension. The children earn points if they answer questions correctly and this in turn helps build their reading skills. Parents and children can find books of suitable levels by using the following website; http://www.arbookfind.co.uk/usertype.aspx.
Writing skills are taught daily based on the high quality texts selected by the year group. The technical skills of Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation are taught through the medium of the text. A well-chosen text provides rich language models and structures from which children can learn how writing works and the effect it can have on a reader. At St Matthew’s we create opportunities for writing inspired by meaningful events and experiences in texts and real life.Through purposeful opportunities and reasons to write, children are able to develop authentic personal voice, style, stamina and range as a writer.
St Matthew’s uses White Rose Maths https://whiterosemaths.com/ to deliver the maths curriculum, White Rose aim to build a whole new culture of deep understanding, confidence and competence in maths – a culture that produces strong, secure learning and real progress. They have a simple mantra – ‘Everyone can do maths: Everyone can.’
White Rose Maths has a wealth of resources that can be accessed at home as well. They follow the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach to mathematics and their teaching videos, slides and workbooks are used and adapted by teachers to develop happy and resilient mathematicians who relish a challenge.
Science is taught as part of the thematic curriculum.
Please see our page on RE and worship
We plan our curriculum with a thematic approach. Themes are mapped across an academic year with each one encompassing a large number of curriculum areas. Generally each theme lasts a term (approx. 6-8 weeks) and provides an engaging and purposeful context for learning. Each year group create yearly overviews that encompass all subjects and ensure a broad and balanced curriculum. Children build their knowledge, skills and understanding over the academic year, leading to a cumulative fluency across year groups and key stages.
At the heart of the curriculum is reading and high quality texts are used to promote the theme. These are usually selected from the Power of Reading website, https://www.clpe.org.uk/powerofreading. All texts are carefully chosen by CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) as they are high quality books that alongside proven and creative teaching approaches, develop a love of reading for pleasure.
The curriculum maps will encompass foundation subjects; History, Geography, Music, Art & Design, Computing & IT, Design & Technology and languages. Science is built into the thematic overview plans and plenty of opportunity is given to develop their scientific enquiry skills through practical and interactive lessons. All children have access to weekly PE lessons, and we are lucky to have a dedicated sports coach at school to develop the children’s sporting skills.
Children in The Early Years Foundation Stage follow the EYFS Development Matters Curriculum guidance. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are:
- Active Learning
- Creating and thinking Critically
- Playing and exploring
Through these principles 17 areas of learning are covered, with emphasis on the Prime Areas of Learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal Social Emotional Development
- Specific Areas of Learning include Literacy and Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Creative Arts and Design.