At The Oratory, our curriculum has been developed with a clear intent. Each subject is developed around our Mission to “Shine as to be a light to others” and our Golden Threads of spirituality, diversity and ambition which are drawn from the Catholic vision for education of developing the human person. These are then used as basis to develop our curriculum that builds knowledge and skills throughout a child's time in our school.
We are an inclusive Catholic primary school and nursery and welcome families from all and no faiths. We ensure our curriculum is accessible to all pupils who attend our school.
At The Oratory, our curriculum has been designed to allow both our pupils and staff to be active engaged learners; we create opportunities for the children to consider their learning, their choices their thoughts and opinions. Also, to marvel at the wonderful world that God has created. Through a diverse and inclusive curriculum, we strive for all at The Oratory to be tolerant, proud, and excited to celebrate and learn about the wonderful cultures and religions that we have in our school, our community and globally. We want everyone to explore the world around them have a greater understanding and appreciation of the lives of others. Cooperation is an essential life skill and throughout all our learning we provide opportunities for the children to work with different people and organisations in different situations and with different age groups. We want our children to learn and retain a wealth of knowledge that will enable them to understand the world around them, to be independent and access further learning, building a future using a wide knowledge base that will open doors for them in their life. We promote the importance of perseverance in life, learning from taking risks and holding our heads high regardless of how hard something has been. To keep going and keeping a growth mindset remembering that we can’t do things YET. We just need to practice more. To get the most out of every experience in life we need to be engaged and present taking an active part in our own learning journey; asking pertinent questions and understanding the answers. Tackle issues that are important to the community and the world, consider the impact of our and other’s actions, looking at how the world has changed and learning how we can leave a positive lasting impact on the world.
In all areas of our learning we will strive to be the best we can be, setting high expectations for ourselves and others so that we can be proud of everything that we do. The Oratory is a place where we hope all our staff and pupils will learn a great deal, experience a diverse range of events, and have fun through an enthusiastic approach to learning and life.
It is our intent that through the Catholic ethos and values we hold dear we:
Hold Christ at the centre of all we do and “Shine as to be a light to others.”
At the Oratory we are moving towards a correlated curriculum, where what we cover in different subjects is linked, including the class reading book. This will give our children a deeper emersion into topics and a greater understanding. Many aspects of the curriculum are underpinned by a range of texts, vital in our promotion of a language rich environment to support the increasing communication needs of the children in our school.
The primary purpose of our curriculum is to guarantee a successful learning experience for every child. We are committed to ensuring that every child is developed to their full potential:
Every child will be educated to the highest possible standard that meets their needs.
Every child will be provided with challenging, engaging activities that fuel a thirst for learning.
Every child will be provided with opportunities to increase their self-esteem, motivation, and aspirations.
Every child will embrace the school mission statement and contribute to the life of the school.
Every child will feel valued and their contribution to the school community acknowledged.
Every child will be well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Our broad and balanced curriculum is designed to:
Develop strong characters to be resilient and cope with challenge and adversity.
Develop individuals who can both collaborate and co-operate with each other, and work independently.
Develop pupils who are ambitious and love learning, so they always do their best.
Develop pupils who care about their role as part of our school family, community and the wider world; encouraging them to value other views, cultures and values.
Build confidence and motivation within our children and develop their understanding of the importance of perseverance and resilience.
Embed basic skills to prepare children for further learning.
Take learning beyond the classroom.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide opportunities for guided and independent practice. Opportunities are built into subjects to revisit and embed what they have previously learnt.
Our foundation subjects are blocked across an academic year, to enable the children to experience subject immersion and enjoyable, memorable activities e.g. foreign language day at the local secondary school.
Pupils are supported in school with extra support/resources deployed as necessary to help close the individual learning gaps.
Key skills such as evaluation, reflection and investigation are developed across our curriculum. Lessons are planned in such a way that children can apply their knowledge in thinking/problem solving contexts.
Termly Themed Weeks/Days
We are developing several themed weeks/days to enrich and enhance the curriculum and to ensure that it is broad and balanced. These provide exciting learning experiences for the children and opportunities for families to get involved.
Educational Visits and Visitors
Visitors into school and visits outside of the school; in the immediate locality, are seen as an important and valuable part of school life. They widen the children’s horizons and motivate the children to learn fostering ambition in them for their future lives.
Special Educational Needs / Disability (SEND)
To ensure that all children achieve their full potential, arrangements are made for children with special educational needs across the whole range of abilities to be supported, both in the classroom and in intervention groups. Our Special Educational Needs policy is regularly reviewed in the light of national changes to SEND legislation. We have recently made significant changes to our building to further enable the school to meet the needs of children with special educational needs.
Lesson Design Principles in our Curriculum
Teaching Principle Implementation
Review Review prior learning with the use of retrieval practice e.g. questions, summary activities.
Small steps Present new learning in small steps, linking to prior learning and moving on when new content is mastered.
Sequencing Activities build on prior knowledge and are incremental in challenge and application, so and Progression that children can be moved onto the next challenge once the current one has been mastered.
Model Teacher shares model worked examples and teacher thinking to ensure learning and activities are clear.
Questions Use a range of question types and activities to determine how well content is learnt and remembered.
Check Check what pupils have learnt by demonstrating application in reasoning and problem- solving questions.
Scaffold Use supports and structures to assist learning including modelling, cue cards,
Challenge Pitch expectations and content to challenge all learners to make good progress.
Visual Prompts Learners use these to support their understanding of written and spoken instructions
e.g. classroom washing line, topic boards.
In their first year in school our nursery and reception children follow the Early Years Curriculum and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding through a combination of both play-based learning and more focused teacher led sessions. Pupils learn to share, work independently, and play with others. Our intention is for our curriculum to prepare our children well for their secondary education and has inspired them to find out more about the world and local area around them.
Curriculum schemes and resources overview
We utilise published curriculum materials to support our planning – all based on the Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum and the National Curriculum (2014). All aspects comply with legislation and national guidance, including the teaching of Sex Relationships Education (SRE).
We use a variety of published schemes to support us in school, these include:
Phonics - Read Write Inc
We group our children by phonic phase and deliver interventions to those children who need further practice in their phonics learning.
Reading - Book Banded Readers
Once the children have progressed past the need for phonetically decodable books they progress through the book bands. We assess the children's fluency and word count rate regularly to ensure they are making progress.
English - Corelated Curriculum texts and stimulus
The resources and planning we follow for our English learning is correlated, where possible, to our wider learning in the curriculum.
Maths - White Rose Maths
We follow the progression of the white rose scheme and supplement the children's learning experiences with additional resources offering further opportunities to reason and problem solve.
• Charanga (Music)
• Jigsaw (PSHE)
• Birmingham Diocese Scheme of Work (R.E)
We evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that the pupils have gained against the expectations agreed and evaluate our teaching from this. This ensures that we are constantly striving for improvement and ensuring that our curriculum is the best it can be.
The outcomes of the curriculum are measured by the attainment and progress made by the children. Teachers continually use assessment of the children’s responses and the work they produce to measure impact and termly national assessments (NTS) are used to compare our children’s attainment with how they are doing nationally. These are shared with parents/carers and subsequently children are set improvement targets.
For those children who have not made expected progress ‘catching up plans’ are agreed with the teacher. Parents/carers may be involved to support closing the gaps.
We regularly conduct pupil questionnaires to gauge how well our children think we are doing. We also engage with parents/carers through coffee mornings and questionnaires.
Mrs. M Lynch, Executive Headteacher
Miss J Lowe, Office Manager - for enquiries from parents and the public
Ms S Yaman, Administrative Assistant - for enquiries from parents and the public
Please make contact via the school telephone number.
Father David Sprong, Chair of Governors
To write to our Chair of Governors, please send your letter to the school address above and mark the envelope 'confidential'.
For further information about our school, or to request any information in paper format (free of charge), please contact us at school.