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We believe that children and staff learn best when they feel safe, relaxed and happy so we put great emphasis on having fun and making learning enjoyable. Our dedicated and committed team work together to create a stimulating learning environment and an engaging curriculum, developing independent thinkers who are actively engaged in their own unique learning journey. Our core Christian values, Love, Respect and Hope, are central to the life of our school and our curriculum learning quests.
Design and Technology
At St Columba C of E Primary School, it is our belief that by offering children an inspiring, stimulating and challenging design technology curriculum, we can equip them with the skills and knowledge they will need, to thrive in a rapidly advancing technological world. Nobody can predict the changes in technology which will occur during the lives of our children. However, what we do know is that the skills which they will need to be successful in their futures will remain the same. With this in mind, our design technology curriculum presents our children with experiences which develop their interpersonal skills. We teach them the language skills they will need to be effective communicators. We present them with challenging, relevant quests, which promote, encourage and develop their creativity. Through a diverse range of experiences, we actively encourage our children to be critical thinkers, forward planners and effective problem solvers. We also teach our children to be able to work as capable individuals and valuable, productive team members. Through our design technology curriculum, we teach our children about the impact of design and technology on the lives of people from all walks of life. From the very first tool makers, to the most up to date advancements in technology, our children learn to value the significance of this curriculum area in real terms.
Art and Design
Within our curriculum we engage, inspire and challenge pupils through Art and Design experiences. Children will have visual, tactile and sensory experiences which enable them to understand and respond to the world around them. Children are encouraged to think critically in order for them to develop a rigorous understanding of Art and Design. Children use colour, form, line, texture, shape, pattern and space to communicate what they see, feel and think. They explore ideas and meaning in the work of artists as well as learning how to understand, appreciate and enjoy art. Art and Design is taught within our Learning Quests.
Geography provokes and answers questions about the natural and human worlds and is taught through our Learning Quests within our curriculum. Geography enables children to develop their knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, have an understanding of maps, make comparisons between localities, and use a range of investigative and problem solving skills both inside and outside the classroom. Visits may be made to the area surrounding the school to support work in Geography.
History is taught as part of our curriculum where the children explore the past in Britain and the Wider World. Children will develop a chronological understanding and will learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, consider arguments, and develop personal judgements. This is achieved through lessons about people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity around us and relationships between different people. At both key stages children study local history which can be supported by visits in the local area. History is taught within our Learning Quests.
At St Columba C of E Primary School, we provide a music curriculum that is fully-inclusive, enabling a universal language to be spoken by all our pupils. We provide a music education that empowers individuals to partake in one of the highest art forms, that promotes self-confidence, self-esteem and gives all pupils a sense of achievement. We do this through providing opportunities for appreciation, composition and singing alongside new opportunities and chances to showcase talents within and beyond our school community. We are committed to inspiring children to develop a life-long love of music, develop creativity, imagination and fostering talents.
Modern Foreign Languages
At St Columba C of E Primary School, our aim is to enthuse pupils to participate fully and develop a love of learning about all modern foreign languages. Our children learn French from Year 3 onwards, through songs, games, speaking and writing the language. It is important that children learn about different cultures to broaden their understanding of the World.
Within the Learning Quests taught across the School Computing equips children with the skills to understand an ever changing technological society. Children will learn the importance of staying safe online, along with developing key skills from creating simple documents to debugging programs. Children have access to a range of tools and devices which enable them to explore technology and advance their skills within lessons.
‘Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known’ (Carl Sagan)
At St Columba C of E Primary School, an enriched science curriculum that provides many opportunities for practical lessons is key. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. As one of the core subjects, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it requires. The children are exposed to a wide variety of topics that support their natural curiosity for learning. Our curriculum aims to broaden the children’s scientific view of, and respect for, the world around them, whilst promoting a love for enquiry and wanting to explore new things. We want our pupils to develop a love for science that carries through into later life, instilling in them an awareness of how science is relevant in today’s society. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their time here, so that they can independently plan and carry out investigations to answer questions that puzzle them; competently use scientific equipment to measure and record data accurately and have the necessary skills and vocabulary to confidently explain concepts and articulate their findings.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
Speaking and Listening
At St Columba we strive for children to become successful speakers as well as confident readers. Oral communication and creativity is interwoven throughout our English curriculum. Speaking and listening is fundamental across the whole curriculum and we strive to enable children to have a broad vocabulary which reflects their learning.
At St Columba Academy, we know that reading is key to a child’s learning. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places , meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Reading is a key life skill and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do, providing opportunities for children to read both independently and aloud as well as allowing them the chance to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers. Reading and quality literature is interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our children to various genres and famous authors. We want to foster a lifelong love of reading by exposing our children to various literature across all curriculum areas.
To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, at St Columba Academy we have adopted the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to English. It is vital that our children are exposed to a range of exemplar texts, from across different genres and subject areas, to embed ambitious vocabulary choices and secure expectations of writing across the curriculum. Writing is a crucial skill that is embedded across all year groups. We want our children to leave us effectively communicating in writing – and being able to enjoy expressing themselves in this way.
At St Columba, our Physical Education (PE) inspires children to improve existing skills in order to succeed and excel in a variety of sports and physical activities. Our PE Curriculum instils key skills such as teamwork and healthy living in our children which equips them for life. Our PE covers Dance, Gymnastics, Games, Athletics, and Outdoor Adventurous activities. We are supported by CM Sports coaches to deliver high quality PE sessions linked to the National Curriculum requirements. At St Columba C of E Primary School, we engage in sports activities offered within the local area, attending both team and individual events.
We believe that, as a Church of England School, RE should be seen as an important integrated part of our whole curriculum. Children are taught about festivals, events, symbols and stories from Christianity and other major faiths, so that we can learn to respect one another and live together peacefully. We encourage children to think about their own ideas and beliefs about life, and what is right and wrong, while responding sensitively to the feelings and beliefs of others. (please also see the RE tab under teaching and learning for more information)
The basic skills of mathematics are vital for the life opportunities of our children, therefore at St Columba C of E Primary School, our aim is for all our children to think mathematically: enabling them to reason and solve problems in a range of different contexts. Our Mathematics Mastery curriculum has been developed to ensure every child can achieve excellence in mathematics, allowing the children to experience a sense of awe and wonder as they solve a problem for the first time, enabling them to discover different solutions and make links between different areas of mathematics. It provides them with a deep understanding of the subject through a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. This ensures they fully understand what they are learning.
Key features of our Maths Mastery curriculum:
At St Columba C of E Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier.
Daily synthetic phonics lessons begin in Reception and continue throughout Key Stage One. We follow the Department of Education approved document “Letters and Sounds” and we are currently working alongside the Springhill English Hub to develop our phonics.
During phonics sessions children practice speed sounds, oral blending and segmenting, and then have the opportunity to apply these skills in reading and writing. Lessons are fast-paced and repetitive in order to introduce, recall and embed learning. Children are regularly assessed and re-grouped according to their next steps so that they always receive targeted teaching. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.