Our curriculum

 

Learning to read

 

Our school curriculum has a strong focus on Christian values. It is founded on four basic principles which underline what we teach and the way we teach at St Eugene’s. They are:

Broad

It introduces pupils to a wide range of knowledge, understanding and skills.

Balanced

Each part of our curriculum is allocated sufficient time relevant to the children’s age and experience.

Relevant

Subjects are taught in a way that relates to the children’s lives and experience, now and in the future.

Differentiated

What and how the subjects are taught matches pupils’ individual needs, abilities and aptitudes. Children may be taught as a whole class, in smaller groups or on an individual basis.

To see the specifics of our child's learning this term, click on the link to the curriculum overviews, which outline what your child will be learning this term. Follow this pathway on the website.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS -> What is your child learning this term?

English

English is a core curriculum subject and is taught every day. We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to teach English skills. We aim to develop children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. We do this through daily English lessons in which children experience whole-class reading or writing activities, guided group or children independent activities, and whole-class sessions to review and assess progress and learning.

Reading

See the separate information on reading... Follow this pathway on the website.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS -> Learning to read at St Eugene's

Writing

Children  complete a complex extended piece of writing each week.  In order to do this they plan, write, edit and rewrite during the week.  We want every child to leave school as effective and confident communicators who love writing. We choose and read high quality texts as models for the children’s own writing. Where appropriate, writing is linked to topics.  For example Year 4 children write their own non-fiction texts about Tutankhamen while learning about The Ancient Egyptians. Children also take part in drama and other speaking and listening activities to help them think carefully before they write. We teach the children to plan out their ideas: thinking about the task, structure, audience and purpose.

Children are taught to write in a variety of genres in context such as narrative (story), persuasive, journalistic, recounts and reports. Children learn how to vary sentences, make interesting and ambitious word choices, and use grammar and punctuation correctly. We share the success criteria each time we teach writing.  This contains the steps needed in order to write well e.g. I can use 3 powerful adjectives.  Each piece of written work is then marked by highlighting in yellow where the child has written particularly well (yellow for sunshine) and areas for improvement or corrections are marked in green (green for growth).  We value clear, neat handwriting and expect a high standard of presentation in written work.

Children are taught explicit grammar skills. These grammar skills are then practised during the weekly writing lessons. Children also have weekly spelling lessons, where they are taught spelling rules and conventions. The children are then given spellings to learn for homework which they are tested on the following week.

Poetry recitation

Each  half-term, every class from Reception to Year 6 reads, discusses and learns by heart a poem, or part of a poem, that they perform in an assembly to the rest of the school. We choose classic, high-quality poetry, from nursery rhymes in Reception to Shakespeare in Year 6.  In learning a poem by heart, the language of that poem will stay with your child into adulthood.  It is only in learning by heart that a poem can be really understood and hopefully enjoyed and appreciated.  The children also love to show off their acting and presentation skills when they perform.

Mathematics

Mathematics  is one of the core subjects and is taught every day from Reception to Year 6. The children are taught the most efficient methods of calculation: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They are also taught the other areas of mathematics: number, fractions, geometry, measures and data in a structured and systematic way. There is a daily mathematics lesson and a dedicated part of this lesson is given to mental maths where children are taught number facts such as number bonds and times tables. The children practise how to recall the number facts quickly. There is a strong focus on children being fluent in maths and being able to problem solve and reason so that children are able to apply the maths they have learnt to a variety of real life scenarios.  

Science

Science is part of the cross curricular work on “Understanding the World” which takes place in Reception and is taught through exploring real objects and experiments e.g. looking at which of a series of objects might float or sink. 

Science is taught for one term a year from Year 1-6 in depth.  The children work through topic based lessons, where they learn the theory of the science and the practical application too.  The internet is used for research and also to look at virtual experiments or give access to learning which can’t take place in school, such as watching experiments in the NASA space station.  In each topic the children plan and carry out a scientific experiment.  They record their results and are encouraged to learn through these experiments and their observations of them.  They also study the life of one famous and noteworthy scientist linked to their topic e.g. when studying the topic “Evolution” the children will learn about the life and work of Charles Darwin.

Religious Education

As  a Catholic school, our main emphasis is on Religious Education as part of our curriculum.  St Eugene’s is a multi-cultural school with the Catholic faith underpinning everything that we teach. 10% of curriculum time is devoted to the teaching of RE. We teach the children through stories, drama, looking at the Bible and discussion in class about: the life of Jesus; Christian ideas about God; the role of the church and also about other world faiths.   We visit the Church of the Sacred Heart during the school year and send a groups of children to represent the school to Westminster Cathedral for the Good Shepherd Mass.  

Collective Worship

We celebrate a daily act of collective worship in classrooms, in key stage groups or as a whole school in the hall or the Sacred Heart Church.  We say a morning, lunchtime and evening prayer together daily in order to talk to God.  We hold a Christian Meditation session daily for one or two minutes where we listen to God. We celebrate Mass in classes and collectively to celebrate important events in the school and the Church calendar, e.g. Advent. Every week from Year 1 upwards, we have an act of worship which is planned and led by children. We hold assemblies to reflect on the Gospel stories, share songs and reflect on spiritual, moral and social issues.

Our curriculum

PE and Swimming

Children take part in two hours of Physical Education each week.  This is covered through lessons on gymnastics, dance, athletics, indoor and outdoor games.  The lessons are taught by a skilled and qualified PE coach. The children in Year 2 are taught to swim at a local pool by qualified instructors.  We have a Sports Day annually, which is held at Grange Park.  We run Sports Clubs after school which are open to all children.  We also have boys’ and girls’ squads who compete in inter-school competitive sports events e.g. cricket and football.  We also hold a “Healthy Heart Day” annually where the children take part in activities designed to boost their heart-rate as well as learning about how to keep healthy.  Some examples of Healthy Heart Day activities are: having a zumba lesson, circuit training, a lesson on how your heart pumps your blood and making a healthy fruit salad.

Cross Curricular Topics

We  teach the subjects of Art, Design Technology, History and Geography through Cross Curricular Topic lessons.  These lessons also teach children the skills linked to each subject e.g. in a historical topic the children are taught the chronological skills needed to understand time-lines. The children explore and learn through one topic a term and the work is planned to link together, to make the learning relevant and meaningful.  The children take part in out of school visits to places of interest linked to their topic e.g. Year 2 studying Hidden Treasure visit the ship HMS Belfast to learn about life on board or the London Aquarium.  We also book visitors to come into school to share their expertise and give the children a fun, real and memorable learning experience e.g. Building a Viking longboat, or hosting a Tudor banquet.  By the end of their topic, children become “experts” and we invite parents from every year group to a “Presentation”  where the children can showcase their learning.

Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship

PSHE and citizenship is underpinned by our school’s values and aims:

St Eugene’s Catholic Primary School aims to provide a caring, stable, stimulating environment for learning.

Staff are committed to ensuring that the children’s time at school is productive and successful.

We aim to raise achievement through all aspects of the curriculum; developing self-confidence, motivation, self-reliance and co-operation.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and serve the local community by welcoming children from all backgrounds and faiths. Whilst our ethos is positively Christian, we value and respect the diversity of our community and aim to set all children on life’s path through compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding of one another’s differences.

We believe that parents and teachers have a responsibility to ensure that children leave primary school with:

  • good basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics and computing
  • a love of learning
  • good social skills
  • a sense of responsibility towards society
  • the confidence to stand up for themselves
  • the knowledge that they are special in God’s eyes

So that they are well equipped for a successful future.

We structure our PSHE and Citizenship around the aims set out in the framework for PSHE and Citizenship to help pupils:

1. Develop confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities

2. Prepare to play an active role as citizens

3. Develop a healthy, safer lifestyle

4. Develop good relationships and respecting the differences between people

We want pupils to gain knowledge and information, explore attitudes and values and develop skills to help them live healthy, safe, fulfilling and responsible lives.

In particular the outcomes of our PSHE and Citizenship scheme of work aim to help our pupils:

  • Understand and manage their emotions
  • Make and maintain effective relationships
  • Value and respect themselves and others
  • Get on with one another and not bully others
  • Respect equality and diversity and be sensitive to the needs of others
  • Appreciate the range of religious and ethnic identifies in the UK
  • Contribute to the school and local community
  • Be responsible for their behaviour and learning
  • Feel confident about themselves and their abilities and be positive about learning
  • Make informed decisions that lead to a safe and healthy lifestyle
  • Deal with problems positively and know where to get help
  • Be resilient and able to resist pressure
  • Be assertive and keep themselves safe
  • Take responsibility for themselves and the environment around them
  • Know the importance of managing money
  • Develop enterprising skills
  • Understand the importance of rights and responsibilities

 

Relationships and Sex Education

St Eugene’s Primary School is a Catholic community where children are taught to view and respect each other as individuals made in the image and likeness of God, with an immeasurable dignity. All teaching of Relationships and Sex Education ("RSE") at our school reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church and is rooted in family life, in its widest sense. It promotes respect for the human person, and focuses on children being able to form loving and lifelong relationships.

Definition of RSE

RSE is about enabling children to make and maintain healthy relationships with others, to understand issues around gender and to feel good about themselves and the choices they make. It also covers learning about growing up, changes and reproduction.

Please check in the policies section of the website for more detail 

Computing

Computing is taught in two different ways. The first is in discreet lessons when children are taught a variety of computer based skills ranging from programming to editing photography. These lessons are led by a specialist computing teacher.

The second is when children use computers as tools to either research or enhance the presentation of their work e.g. year 2 designed posters about pirates in their cross curricular topic “Hidden Treasure,”  and year 3 consolidated their times tables learning by playing online times tables games. We further help pupils develop their computing skills at home by setting homework which involves them accessing Bug Club, an online reading and comprehension resource and Purple Mash. We are in the process of compiling a suite of apps which we can recommend to children for home and school use. We also offer coding lessons in after school clubs.

Music

We  save a specialist music teacher who teaches each class once a week.  He also teaches the school choir. Through the Wider Opportunities scheme the year 4 class is taught to play the guitar and recorder by two specialist music teachers.  This scheme runs throughout the year and the children perform the pieces they have learned in music concerts, to which parents are invited.  We also offer individual instrumental lessons to pupils wishing to learn.  These lessons are taught by skilled music tutors.  We currently teach pupils: guitar, violin, flute, recorder and piano.  There is a cost for these individual lessons, with concessions for pupils who have free school meals.  We showcase children’s music at three school concerts a year.  We also take part in other events e.g. the Camden Music Festival bi-annually at the Royal Albert hall, and choir cluster festivals.

Spanish

Children from year 1 to year 6 are taught Spanish weekly by a specialist Spanish teacher. The children learn Spanish through mostly oral work and through fun interactive games that they play in pairs and in small groups. Where necessary some written work is done to consolidate their learning. Children learn the common everyday language and key vocabulary used in Spain e.g. numbers, greetings and emotion words. 

Extra-Curricular Clubs

We  offer a range of extra-curricular clubs at St Eugene’s.   Breakfast club is open to all children and starts at 8:00 am.  The after school clubs vary from term to term.  Some are offered to all children e.g. Arts and Crafts & Sports.  Others, Maths Club, for example, are offered to children who the school decides would most benefit from them.  Parents are sent a letter with all of the details of clubs in the term before they start, so that they can decide which clubs they would like their children to attend.  If there are more children applying, than there are places available, names are randomly drawn to fill the places.  The remaining names go onto a waiting list and these children are offered the first places in that club for the next term.