Our Curriculum

At St. Columba’s Catholic Primary School, our curriculum is reflected by our mission statement:

As a Catholic community, our curriculum is designed to ensure our children have an enriched learning experience rooted in the teaching of the Church and the message of Christ. At the centre of our curriculum is a belief that each pupil is an individual, whose interests and abilities need to be cultivated and given the chance to succeed. We aim to instil in our pupils a desire to become lifelong learners and we are committed to the growth and development of the whole child. As a school community, we pride ourselves on being an environment of care and support, inclusive to all learners and provide a safe environment where learning can thrive.

Our curriculum at St. Columba’s continues to adapt and evolve for the changing needs of the community that we serve – Wallsend, in the North East of England. Our curriculum is designed using the Early Years’ Framework and the National Curriculum; we also follow the diocesan guidelines for the teaching of Religious Education.

The curriculum in our school is ambitious and progressive, ensuring that learning is knowledge rich, and aims to provide tangible experiences for the children of our community to make learning experiences real and relevant to their individual starting points. We have high expectations for our pupils and what they can achieve.

Our curriculum intent is embodied by the intrinsic belief that, at St Columba’s, we all BELONG. For our pupils, staff and other members of the community, it means:

B – Believe. We believe in ourselves and respect the beliefs of others.

E – Empower. We all have an equal voice, are empowered to speak freely and have the right to be heard.

L – Learn. We see learning as a gift and know it is the right of every child to achieve, be challenged and reach their full potential

O – Ownership. We are stewards of the Earth, we can make a difference and it is our responsibility to take care of our school, our community and the wider world.

N – Navigate. We will face challenges, in our learning or with our friends. We work hard to find a way through together. We ask for help when we need it and offer our help to others.

G – Grow. We grow together as children of God. We are kind, we are honest, we forgive others quickly and we strive to live in peace as a school family.

Through our curriculum, we aim to ensure all our pupils are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a modern and versatile world, sharing that which we all have in common and celebrating differences within society. It is our commitment that our children will be prepared to access the challenges of life after primary school and will have aspirations for the future, articulate their thoughts and feelings, communicate effectively and be critical thinkers when encountering new experiences in the wider world.

Implementation

St Columba’s, the curriculum is delivered with a consistency of approach to ensure that all pupils receive high-quality education. In each lesson, we follow ‘steps’ of learning:

  • Recapping prior knowledge – so that children are building upon concepts over time and lessons always remain relevant by considering pupils’ individual starting points and existing experiences.
  • Vocabulary focus – encouraging the use of higher order vocabulary through introduction or reinforcement so that pupils can build upon their language skills
  • Knowledge gains – the development of pupils’ core knowledge and skills within each subject area, this is progressive and builds upon prior subject knowledge
  • Modelling – so that children are exposed to high quality examples which ensures high expectations and secures understanding of core concepts
  • Applying learning and skills – children are given the opportunity to practise knowledge and skills through a range of independent, group, paired and whole class activities
  • Assessment and next steps – to evaluate learning, to address misconceptions and to ensure that knowledge is retained and further developed over time

At St Columba’s, we deliver curriculum content through the timetabling and teaching of discrete subjects. Our curriculum is progressive and each subject is mapped out from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure greater depth and breadth at each stage of learning. Core subjects are delivered daily and foundation subjects are taught as blocked units which offset each other. Our academic curriculum is integrated with a ‘hidden’ curriculum, which intertwines academic learning with the development of good citizenship, Gospel values and teaches pupils British values.

At the heart of our approach is the confidence that every child can make good progress from their individual starting points. At St Columba’s, staff build excellent relationships with pupils so that they know best how to support them. In doing so, staff provide work that is accessible and challenging to enable all learners to achieve their full potential. We emphasise adaptive teaching strategies in order to support pupils Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Where necessary, staff work together with the SENDCo or external agencies to offer targeted support for individuals.

At St Columba’s, we provide active opportunities for pupils to develop resilience, independence and problem-solving skills. In classrooms, staff foster an environment where students can make links between different subject areas and integrate new knowledge into broader ideas. Lessons incorporating real-world, tangible experiences form an important part of our teaching. Where possible, we utilise the local environment of Wallsend to enhance pupils’ learning opportunities.

Throughout the wider curriculum, opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening are carefully planned. We focus on the development of pupils’ reading across the whole curriculum so that children are able to access higher levels of curriculum content and with a greater depth of understanding. Throughout the delivery of our curriculum, we emphasise the celebration of pupils’ achievements in order to motivate our pupils to achieve, inspire them to excel and encourage them to realise their own aspirations.

Impact

At St Columba’s, our curriculum is monitored and evaluated to ensure that children are ready for life after primary school. We work together to develop well-rounded individuals who have the knowledge and skills to serve the wider community.

Our children leave St Columba’s knowing more, engaging with learning experiences and are ready to think critically, problem-solve, make connections and are prepared for KS3 and beyond. They are equipped with the necessary skills to articulate their thoughts, ideas, and opinions effectively, empowering them to have a voice and the ability speak up confidently.

At St Columba’s, we ensure there are positive attitudes towards learning, attendance and behaviour; these are valued as part of pupils’ success. We are committed to continuous improvement, ensuring that pupils’ learning experiences are of a high standard.

By encouraging our pupils to read widely and often, they develop a broad and rich vocabulary, increase their knowledge and gain a greater understanding of the world around them.

Through daily interactions within our school community and beyond, our pupils demonstrate confidence, strength of character, and a readiness to take pride in their achievements. As they progress to the next stage of their education, they do so with the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in an ever-changing world.

To find out more:

To find out more about our curriculum at St Columba’s, please explore the links below or view our year group pages from the right hand menu.

Parents are always welcome to ask staff for updates through SeeSaw or year group email addresses. Annual curriculum evenings and biannual parents evening appointments are also offered where parents can learn about a specific year group’s curriculum.

Our School Day

School is open to pupils from 8.45am.

Morning registration for all pupils is 8:55am.

School ends at the official time of 3.30pm for all pupils.

This equates to 6 hours and 35 minutes per day or 32 hours and 55 minutes per week.

Breakfast Club is open from 7:30am to 8:55am

After School Club is open from 3:30pm to 5:45pm