Christ the King CVA

 

our Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum which can be found by clicking the link below. We have developed our curriculum over recent years to ensure we not only meet but exceed the requirements of the national curriculum in providing our pupils with a knowledge-rich education to ensure their success as they move into KS3. The National Curriculum document shows the statutory objectives for the knowledge, skills and understanding that we teach at Christ the King from Year 1 to Year 6. 

National Curriculum 

At Christ the King, we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all our learners. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught using the EYFS framework with an emphasis on developing key skills, knowledge and understanding through direct teaching and structured continuous provision. 

"We are passing on the discoveries and work of the previous generations to the next whilst empowering them to add to this body of knowledge in the future."
Mark Enser, 2019

Our curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and understanding of the world.  The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more.  We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children not only have access to 'the best that has been thought and said' but are taught this in a way that ensures children can remember the curriculum content in future years.  We make use of knowledge organisers (which are sent home regularly) to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular subject.  One of the central aims of the curriculum is to ensure that our pupils are both "interesting and interested". We want them to be 'interesting' to talk to, because they know a great deal about the world and 'interested' in finding out more.  We understand that knowledge is 'sticky', in other words, the more pupils know the easier it is for them to know more.  This is why we place particular emphasis on children knowing by heart and building rich webs of knowledge as they progress through the curriculum.  Parents can support this work through quizzing children on the knowledge organisers according to the revision schedule provided on the back. For more information about knowledge organisers, please click here.

The school curriculum reflects the requirements to provide a broad and balanced curriculum as per the Academies Act 2010, and the National Curriculum programmes of study which we have chosen to follow.

It also reflects requirements for inclusion and equality as set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and Equality Act 2010, and refers to curriculum-related expectations of governing boards set out in the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook.

Further information on how we achieve this can be found in our statement of equality information and objectives, and in our SEND policy and information report. 

Blocked Curriculum

What is a blocked curriculum? 

A blocked curriculum is a way of timetabling Science and the foundation subjects into weekly or fortnightly blocks. Block teaching allows for these subjects to be taught in equal equity and have quality focused time. It allows us to ensure that no single subject or subjects are given reduced attention and that no subjects are missed from the curriculum. The blocked curriculum approach gives our children a more focused and immersive learning experience, one which enables their knowledge to become more deeply embedded as part of our knowledge-rich curriculum.  

Which subjects are taught on a weekly basis and as part of the blocked curriculum? 

Science, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Music, Art and Computing all form the subjects taught in the blocked curriculum. Some of our subjects are not taught as blocks due to them being provided on a weekly basis. These subjects are PE (including swimming), French (KS2), Maths, English, Phonics, Guided Reading, spelling, and RE.  

How does a blocked curriculum impact our staff and children? 

  • Allows for staff to focus on quality implementation, as the intent of each block is pre-determined.  
  • Staff spend time ensuring there is effective building of sequential knowledge, with short time periods between adding new knowledge to existing knowledge 
  • Allows staff to address misconceptions quickly 
  • Maximises learning time as there is little or no afternoon transitions 
  • Stronger assessment judgements as it allows teachers to focus on a pupil’s progress in one curriculum area at a given time 
  • Improvement on staff work-load and well-being as they can focus on fewer subjects in more detail, creating high quality learning experiences for our pupils 
  • More in-depth discussions during their Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time about the blocked curriculum area allows strong collaboration and equality of provision across the year group. By planning in this way, it enables those who have stronger knowledge to share it effectively at the planning stages with their colleagues.  
  • Children make quicker and stronger links with the blocked teaching time as there is more time for them to think about the lesson’s knowledge instead of moving on to another curriculum area within the same afternoon. 
  • Quizzing is deliberately planned in so that the children have plenty of opportunities to recall the key knowledge in the subject areas. . These quizzes occur throughout the year and is further enhanced by the teaching and learning strategies deployed in the classroom to allow children to recall the information frequently.

How does a blocked curriculum support memory? 

Science and the foundation subjects have been deliberately designed by CTK to progress and build on prior knowledge. The key knowledge has been identified by our expert subject leaders so that it is very clear to our teaching staff what the children must know by the end of the block. In doing this, it has improved staff subject knowledge in the blocked area as they have more time to invest into exploring the subject’s content.  This immersive teaching experience reduces the time between reviewing prior knowledge and introducing new knowledge which allows for stronger connections in the brain (referred to as a schema). When these neural networks become stronger, children can recall information quicker which helps them to access their learning and build on better. When designing the curriculum, overarching concepts across the school have been woven to support with stronger links within subject areas such as democracy in History and transport in Geography. Furthermore, our teaching staff are trained to deploy the best Teaching and Learning strategies which enable effective pedagogy to maximise knowledge recall.

How does a blocked curriculum enable us to teach disciplinary and substantive knowledge? 

Through external and internal expertise, disciplinary skills have been identified for Science and the foundation subjects. These are introduced from Year 1 and continue until Year 6. The disciplinary skills are posed to children as ‘What does a good (insert Historian, Geography, Scientist) do?’ Each lessons reviews the subject’s disciplinary skills and then homes in on one skill which is the focus for that lesson. Although the skills are explicitly taught from Year 1, the Reception children are given the opportunity to practise some of the skills implicitly such as fieldwork in Geography or observing in Science. 

Substantive knowledge is identified on medium-term planning so that teachers have clear expectations about the outcomes of the unit. Each lesson has a question for learning which aims to continue to teach the children about the disciplinary skill they are practising and the piece of substantive knowledge which is outlined in that lesson. The number of lessons in a block varies as it depends on the amount of substantive knowledge that needs to be taught in that unit.  The children have the opportunity to showcase all of the substantive knowledge from the block in a final piece called the 'reflection'.

What if a child is absent and misses an entire unit? 

The Knowledge Organiser for that unit replaces that child’s following weeks homework so that they can complete a mini project on that subject area. The parents are directed to the parental support for Knowledge Organisers on the school’s website.  The child will have a follow-up conversation about the knowledge on that knowledge organiser with the teacher and/or teaching assistant in the class. The child will take part in further quizzing on that subject; any gaps or misconceptions are then addressed as they are with any of the children within the class. 

How does a blocked curriculum support Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) learners? 

The immersive blocked curriculum reduces cognitive overload for our SEND learners as one curriculum area becomes the focus for the week or fortnight. If any of these learners are taking part in an intervention, the teachers carefully adjust their timetables so that key learning is not missed.  

How do we support pupils who do not have secure knowledge in place? 

  • Additional support within school will be provided to these children, designed to aid the practise of the learnt knowledge. 
  • Support is provided at home with Knowledge Organisers sent out the week prior to the subject being taught. 
  • Additional recall checker to ensure children have embedded knowledge. 

 EYFS

Our early years setting follows the statutory curriculum requirements as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that covers statutory aspects as well as having identified the key knowledge and skills we feel our pupils need to acquire through the year to ensured that they are provided with best possible start to their education. Direct teaching is engaging, language rich and high quality. The skills taught in these sessions consistently provide enrichment opportunities to engage learning. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. The knowledge and skills that children are taught in these sessions are then carefully planned to support children in practising them during child initiated and directed play. For more information about our Early Years provision, please see our policy.

Religious Education (RE)

Please click here to find out all about our RE curriculum. 

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

Please click here to find out all about our RSHE curriculum.

English

English is taught daily as a stand-alone subject, split into the strands of reading and writing, which underpins all other subject areas. This us to ensure that English as a core subject is given appropriate time in the timetable and is taught with rigour and practised and rehearsed in other subject areas. At Christ the King, it is vital that the English curriculum is inclusive and challenging for all pupils. Children coming into Christ the King have limited vocabulary with entry levels that are below those nationally, particularly in CLL. Therefore, teachers ensure that these experiences and resources form a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps - such as Talk for Writing, novel studies, practical lessons with cross-curricular links.  As there are increased levels of pupils with EAL and language barriers, vocabulary is also given a central focus.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for English in all year groups to enable children to make good progress from EYFS to Year 6.  Teachers make links to knowledge acquired in previous year groups explicit and adapt lessons so that all children can participate and reach end of year expectations. Reading skills, phonics, spellings and grammar are discretely taught through Guided Reading and English lessons, respectively, with ample opportunities for children to use and apply these skills across the curriculum. Development of speaking and listening skills are deeply embedded within and across all subject areas in order for children to communicate effectively and confidently.

Phonics

At CTK, use a systematic and rigorous approach to teaching phonics. We use a  combination of 'Letters and Sounds' and 'Read, Write, Inc' delivered daily to our EYFS and Key Stage 1 children.

Click on the below to view how our Phonics curriculum is planned and sequenced:

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Parents, for more phonics information, please click here.

Reading

Reading is at the heart of all we do at CTK and a love of reading and a rich diet of story, rhyme and song are central to children’s learning from their very first day. From Reception to Year 6, all children experience lively and engaging reading of high-quality texts daily. We aim for all children at CTK to leave having experienced a great passion for reading and are able to use and apply their rich reading skills throughout their life and their secondary education.

To view our Reading and Phonics policy, please click here.

Click on the below to view how our Reading Curriculum is planned and sequenced:

 

Writing

Please see our writing long term plans below:

Please see the progression documents for writing skills below:

 Spelling

 Please view our long term plan for spelling here.

 

Mathematics

Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy follows the National Curriculum for Mathematics. Our aim is for children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

When teaching mathematics at Christ the King, we intend to provide a curriculum which caters for the needs of all individuals. All children are encouraged to believe in their ability to master mathematics and are empowered to succeed through curiosity and persistence, while tackling the same concepts at the same time and progressing together as a whole class. We ensure all learners, including rapid graspers, are challenged and stretched in each and every maths lesson, encouraging resilience and an acceptance that struggle is often a necessary step in learning.

Teachers deliver daily lessons that are both creative and engaging using White Rose Maths Small Steps teaching sequences as a basis for Long Term Planning. Children are given time to develop a deep understanding of the mathematical concepts they are studying through unit-based learning sequences. Throughout a maths unit, teachers use Teaching for Mastery principles which enable pupils to make connections between prior knowledge and new concepts, leading to greater depth learning.

A wide range of mathematical resources are used when delivering the mathematics curriculum and pupils are taught to use practical equipment and pictorial representations before moving to more formal written methods.

Rich discussion during Maths lessons enhance the children’s vocabulary and ensures they become confident mathematicians who can explain both their reasoning and methodology when tackling problems.

We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge across the curriculum. We want children to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. Through real life contexts and cross curricular learning opportunities, we aim to ensure pupils understand that mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

As our pupils progress, we intend for them to develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics in the world around us, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

The long term plans for all year groups in Maths can be found here:

 

History

History is taught as a stand alone subject split into 5 themes taken from the National Curriculum; Within/Beyond living memory, Local History, Significant people and places, British chronology and international civilisations. The skills required for working as a historian are taught throughout each unit of work, allowing the children to understand the disciplinary knowledge needed to be a good historian. 

Children coming into Christ the King have limited access to museums, local history areas and literature, so teachers ensure that these experiences and resources form a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps - such as a visit to the King Richard III visitors centre in Year 3 and learning about school life in the Victorian times at Beaumanor Hall in Year 2.  Key vocabulary for the topics are explicitly taught. 

The History long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

The History End of Year Expectations can be found here.

 

Geography

Geography is taught as a stand alone subject split into 5 themes taken from the National Curriculum; Transport, Environment and Sustainability, Culture and Leisure, Infrastructure, Trade and Industry and People, families and communities. The skills required for working as a geographer are taught throughout each unit of work, allowing the children to understand the disciplinary knowledge needed to be a good geographer. 

The children will be able to explore the local area from the perspective of a geographer to explore the areas linked to the River Soar (Year 4), to map routes and risk assess (Year 2) and explore street names and addresses (Year 1). There are ample opportunities for children to use their reading skills in research and their mathematical skills when recording and analysing data, reading maps and when using compasses and coordinates.


The Geography long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

The Geography End of Year Expectations can be found here.

Science

Science is taught as a stand-alone subject, split into the strands of biology, chemistry and physics, with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong.  Children coming into Christ the King have limited access to animal parks, science museums and science books, so teachers ensure that these experiences and resources form a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps - such as a visit to the Space Centre.  Vocabulary is also given a central focus due to the low literacy entry points of the children to the school.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for science in all year groups to enable children to make good progress from EYFS to Year 6.  Teachers make links to knowledge acquired in previous year groups explicit and adapt lessons so that all children can participate and reach end of year expectations.  Working scientifically is taught throughout each unit of work with ample opportunities for children to use their reading skills in research and their mathematical skills when measuring, recording and analysing data.

The Science long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

The Science skills progression can be found here.

 

Languages

French is taught as a stand-alone subject, split into the strands of speaking and listening, writing and reading, with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong.  Children coming into Christ the King have limited access French as a language, so teachers ensure that exposure to French, and information about France, forms a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps.  Vocabulary is also given a central focus due to the low literacy entry points of the children to the school.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for French in all year groups in KS2 to enable children to make good progress from Year 3 to Year 6.  Teachers make links to knowledge acquired in previous year groups explicit and adapt lessons so that all children can participate and reach end of year expectations.  Speaking, listening and vocabulary is taught throughout each unit of work with ample opportunities for children to use their French skills verbally whilst developing written skills in upper KS2.

The French long term plan for KS2 can be found here.

Art 

Art is a taught as a stand-alone subject , split into the strands of drawing, painting and sculpture with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong.  In EYFS, children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to explore media and materials and develop their creative skills. This is built on throughout KS1 and KS2 via a more structured approach.  Vocabulary is also given a central focus due to the low literacy and EAL entry points of the children to the school.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for Art in all year groups to enable children to make good progress from EYFS to Year 6.  Teachers make links to knowledge acquired in previous year groups explicit and adapt lessons so that all children can participate and reach end of year expectations.  An Art progression chart has been devised to provide teachers with a more detailed breakdown of the National Curriculum skills for Art in order to support their planning. Working creatively is taught throughout each unit of work with opportunities for children to use their reading skills in research and their mathematical skills when looking at shapes and patterns. Children are explicitly taught the disciplinary skills of what makes a good artist as highlighted below:

The Art long term plan can be found here.

The Art End of Year Expectations can be found here.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology is taught as a stand-alone subject split into the three strands of mechanical, textiles and cooking with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong. Children coming into Christ the King have limited access to activities and experiences which promote and develop skills used within cooking and Design and Technology. On entry, children tend to have underdeveloped fine motor skills, which are significantly improved through the carefully planned and facilitated provision within EYFS. The children are discretely taught what makes a good designer and that the designing process is a cyclical sequence where designers are constantly looking for ways to seek solutions and improve their products further. They will also have the opportunity to test and refine their products by practising using prototypes. Children will have the opportunity to develop their textiles abilities during Christmas crafting and Year 6 will use computer aided design as part of their textiles unit. From EYFS all the way through to year 6, all children experience high quality cooking days which teaches them crucial techniques when preparing food.


The  Design and Technology long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

The Design and Technology skills progression can be found here.

Computing

Computing is taught as a stand-alone subject, split into the strands of computer science, digital literacy and information technology, with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong.  Children coming into Christ the King generally have a strong grasp of how to access and use electronic devices, though they often have minimal understanding of the processes involved and the appropriate use of equipment. Staff ensure that children have a sound understanding of how to stay safe online and the impact of their digital selves.  Children from EYFS to Year 6 have the opportunity to take part in engaging, relevant, and relatable lessons that they will be able to utilise in real life scenarios, from using spreadsheets to word processing. This ensures that firm foundations are in place so that the children are well-equipped to handle the evolving digital world. Computer sciences, programming and coding are taught throughout each year group and there are ample opportunities for children to build upon prior knowledge.

The Computing long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

Physical Education (PE)

Physical Education is taught as a stand-alone subject, with a specific focus on the development of fine/gross motor skills and general movement, and balance skills throughout Key Stage 1. This progresses to the application of these skills to team games which support the improvement of fitness and well-being in Key Stage 2. Children coming into Christ the King have limited balance and coordination skills with a lack of core strength and stamina. This impacts on children’s ability to participate fully in day to day learning so teachers ensure that their lessons suitability account for these to fill the gaps. 

At Christ the King, it is our aim to give every child the physical literacy, emotional and thinking skills to achieve in PE, sport and life. Our PE curriculum will give our children the tools and understanding required to make a positive impact on their own physical health and well-being. We ensure that all children experience a wide variety of sports and physical skills that will enhance life-long fitness and life choices. PE can challenge and promote good self-esteem through the development of physical confidence and problem solving. Our PE lessons will teach our children how to cope with both success and failure in competitive and team based physical activities, developing their resilience and reaching success. 

the schemes, coaching and outdoor resources form a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for physical education in EYFS and both key stages to enable children to make good progress throughout their time at Christ the King. We teach the National Curriculum through a certified scheme called 'Real PE'.  All children will have 2 lessons of PE each week with some lessons being led by our experienced coach. 

Please find the Real PE curriculum maps below:

Jasmine's Journey

This short video below explains the philosophy behind our child-centred approach to engage and challenge EVERY child through the Real PE program.

 

 

 

Music

Music is taught as a stand-alone subject with links being made to other areas of the curriculum where those links are strong.  Children coming into Christ the King have limited access to instruments, live music and a wide variety of music genres, so teachers ensure that these experiences and resources form a part of the school’s curriculum to fill these gaps - such as whole-class lessons in a musical instrument taught by a professional.  Vocabulary is also given a central focus due to the low literacy entry points of the children to the school.

Christ the King follows the National Curriculum for music in all year groups to enable children to make good progress from EYFS to Year 6.  Teachers make links to knowledge acquired in previous year groups explicit and adapt lessons so that all children can participate and reach end of year expectations.  Performance and appreciation are taught throughout each unit of work with ample opportunities for children to use their reading skills in research.

The Music long term plan for all year groups can be found here.

The Music End of Year Expectations can be found here.

The CTK Experience