The St James Curriculum
Love, Respect, Unity and Courage - ‘Let your light shine’
At St James we believe that every subject in the primary Curriculum is important in its own right and plan a broad and balanced Curriculum. We are committed to children learning knowledge and skills and these are taught in a way that ensure deep retentions and transference to long-term memory. We aim to expand children's vocabulary by ensuring technical vocabulary is taught explicitly within individual subjects and applied to wider contexts to deepen knowledge and understanding.
Reading is the heart of our curriculum and books are used across the curriculum to stimulate discussion, inspire work and deepen learning as we draw on prior knowledge when we recover themes and ideas. We are committed that children at St James develop a love of reading as we use books to build links and reinforce learning from across the curriculum.
We are committed to diversity and inclusion at St James so constantly review our curriculum and books to ensure they are representative of our diverse school and the diverse world that the children live in. Through our Christian Values: Love, Unity, Respect and Courage, alongside the Fundamental British Values, we celebrate differences and promote tolerance within our school. We work with the community, which includes our linked church, to support all children to be the change the world needs.
Our Curriculum planning ensures all subjects are planned discretely and ensures that there is clear progression and challenge across the school. Our carefully selected schemes of work ensure that each subject’s substantive and disciplinary knowledge is placed at the heart of the curriculum and use aim for all children to have a firm grounding across all curriculum subjects. We draw on local area to personalise our curriculum choices. For example studying Oatlands Palace, a previous Tudor Palace as our school site lies in the grounds, and how Brooklands racecourse changed the area. Through all our curriculum choices, we aim that our children will succeed socially, emotionally and academically and “ be the best they can be” at St James and in the next stage of their school life and beyond.
Whilst doing this, teachers carefully consider where interdisciplinary links between subjects can be used to embed learning. We draw on cognitive learning theory to revisit prior learning before deepening and extending children's learning to new concepts. We use assessment to adapt planning and to respond to the needs of every class and child. We use high quality educational experiences both in and outside of school to deepen learning and develop cultural capital in our children.
Our subject leads are champions of their subject. They lead by example and monitor the implementation and impact of the curriculum and our phase leaders support teachers to develop interdisciplinary links across subjects to deepen learning We are all passionate about ensuring a curriculum which is high in challenge, engagement and is excellent.
All staff in the school know the journey the children have been on when then arrive in their class. They are encouraged to draw on prior knowledge and use informal assessments to assess this. All planning is adapted for the needs of the class to extend and support.
We know that retrieval – bringing relevant knowledge to mind – is the most powerful part of the learning process and teachers skilfully make relevant connections between knowledge from other subject disciplines to deepen learning, whilst keeping the integrity of the subject-specific knowledge intact.