- is focused upon high standards in reading, writing and mathematics, as well as being broad and balanced, providing plenty of opportunities for enrichment
- excites our pupils’ imaginations
- is progressive, ensuring continuity from Reception to Year 6
- provides a firm foundation for later learning and subject choice
- is relevant to our pupils and their surroundings
- is underpinned by excellent teaching
In the core subjects of English, mathematics and science there is a relentless focus on teaching the fundamentals and it is our aim that no child will leave St Dominic Savio without these core skills in place. This is reflected in our national test results where attainment is outstanding. Alongside this is a desire to develop a love of reading in our pupils by giving them the opportunity to quality literature and to reflect on the themes inherent in these works. In mathematics, pupils learn not just to be numerate, but also to apply their knowledge of key mathematical concepts across a range of problem-solving situations. In science, our pupils leave for secondary school with secure knowledge of the inter-related disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics and a strong understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, developed through practical activity.
We begin, in September 2015, with our new integrated Cornerstones
creative curriculum. History, geography, art and design, music and design technology are organised into imaginative learning projects (ILPs) for each year group, approximately one project each half term. The structure of the ILPs is through a four stage philosophy: engage, develop, innovate, express. Names of some of the projects are: Potions, Enchanted Woodland, Frozen Kingdom, I Am Warrior, Scrumdiddlyumptious and many more!
Each topic is ‘driven’ by a different National Curriculum subject, alongside which the other subjects are taught. This approach combines the rigour of a subject-specific approach with the flexible nature of a topic-based curriculum; ensuring pupils make meaningful links across different areas of knowledge. There are excellent links with English so it is embedded across the curriculum.
As a Catholic school our provision for Religious Education is through 'God Matters' - the RE scheme set by the Diocese of Portsmouth.
ICT is taught discretely, although links are made to the current topic area where appropriate. Pupils are taught a range of specific computing skills, including coding, meeting the demands of the new National Curriculum 2014. A key element of most topics is an opportunity for pupils to demonstrate their proficiency in this subject by using ICT resources to solve a given problem. This means pupils can use ICT resources creatively and gives teachers an excellent opportunity for assessment. In addition to these elements, the Computing curriculum covers significant areas of online safety and appropriate behaviour online.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
PSHE is taught from a detailed scheme and teachers are encouraged to add to this as necessary. Through our assemblies and worship to visits from outside experts such as health professionals or the fire brigade, PHSE is embedded into the daily life of the school. These activities, combined with teacher-led discussion, circle time and informal talks about issues as they arise, mean that learning in this vitally important curriculum area is always relevant to what is happening in class, school or the wider world.
PE is taught as a discrete subject through a range of competitive sports and games and PE activities such as gymnastics and dance. We are fortunate to have an excellent sports coach from SCL to teach PE across the school. We use our Sports Premium Grant to enrich sports provision. Over the course of their school life, pupils will have the opportunity to play football, gaelic football, netball, hockey, tennis, cricket, lacrosse, basketball and rounders and take part in a range of athletic disciplines. Children in Year 4 upwards have swimming lessons, taught by qualified coaches. Pupils have two hours of timetabled PE each week. In addition to lessons during curriculum time, pupils have the opportunity to join one of our successful sports clubs, possibly representing the school in tournaments. Some of the topic units provide the opportunity for enrichment activities.
The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for children. Children develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning and reinforce the skills required for learning English. This is particularly relevant at St Dominic Savio where there are a high proportion of EAL learners.
Through learning a foreign language, pupils develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between other languages and English. They raise their awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world and their learning develops an international dimension which gives them an insight into their own culture and those of others.
At St Dominic Savio, we have chosen to teach French. In addition, all other languages and cultures are celebrated and valued throughout the school.