At Holy Apostles’ we aim to offer a well-balanced, broad-based curriculum that is not only academic, but also includes cultural, social, spiritual and physical development and growth. Our school’s Christian ethos is at its heart and all learning is linked to our core school values: love, happiness, friendship, determination, honesty, equality and forgiveness.
While English and mathematics are central to our curriculum, the development of essential life skills to enable all our pupils to be independent learners is also of central importance. In combination, these attributes ensure pupils’ ability to access future learning.
We aim to provide our pupils with practical, hands-on learning opportunities that enable them to experience learning in a meaningful way that reflects their interest and needs. We tailor learning to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop skills and explore concepts. These will allow them to build their knowledge and understanding through topics that will capture their interest and stimulate their imagination. Our curriculum reflects life in Modern Britain and encourages our pupils on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world.
At Holy Apostles School the English Curriculum follows the objectives from the National Curriculum.
The aim of the English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. In the early years and KS1 our children follow the letters and sounds phonics programme. The follow reading schemes are used throughout KS1: Ginn Lighthouse, Project X, Treetops (OUP), Ginn Reading 360, Collins Big Cats and Storyworlds (Heinemann)
At Holy Apostles School the English Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
We aim to give all our pupils a deep and secure understanding of Mathematics, through work that develops our pupil’s skills in line with the aims of the National Curriculum – fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Key concepts of number and place value, four operations, fractions, decimals and percentages, measurement, geometry and statistics are taught through carefully planned lessons. Each concept is broken down into small steps to ensure all children are able to access the learning. A strong emphasis is placed on reasoning and problem solving activities and there is a strong commitment to using a range of resources, including concrete and visual resources. This enables children to gain a deep mathematical understanding and build on their prior knowledge.
We believe that all children can achieve in Mathematics and encourage all of our pupils to have a ‘Growth Mindset’, believing that they can do it. This links to the GLOWMaths message #YesUCan.
In addition to daily Mathematics lessons, the children also receive daily ‘arithmetic’ sessions. These sessions provide an opportunity for practising key number, place value and calculation skills.
This is an important subject in our Church of England School. It is systematically covered from Foundation Stage through to Year 6 and monitored in a range of ways. As well as Christianity, children learn about Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Non-Religious beliefs and how to respect the faith of others. They learn about sacred writings, places of worship, beliefs and traditions as well as many other faith characteristics. The school is able to meet daily for collective worship as a whole school. This builds a real sense of family and community.
According to the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus, adopted by the school Governing Body, the principal aim for RE is, ‘to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.’ We embrace this aim and take every opportunity – across the curriculum – to put it into practice. Additionally, our provision in RE aims to enable pupils to:
Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can:
- identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary
- explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities
- recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation
Understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can:
- examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways
- recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world
- appreciate and appraise the significance of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning
Make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied, so that they can:
- evaluate, reflect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses
- challenge the ideas studied, and allow the ideas studied to challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response
- discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding
Our Science curriculum is centred on enabling our pupils to develop a sense of enquiry and to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We use a range of teaching methods in science lessons that are intended to develop pupils’ scientific concepts; enable them to be curious about the world; and lead them to work as scientists, planning and undertaking practical investigations.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, activities are planned in relation to the “Understanding the World” area of the Foundation Stage curriculum. Pupils’ progress and achievements are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year. The activities are planned in a cross-curricular way through topic areas that are interesting and enjoyable.
During Key stages 1 and 2, science is taught through specific subject lessons and wherever possible, links are made between science and other subjects, particularly English, mathematics, DT and computing. Activities are planned to cover the relevant key science skills and knowledge for each year group, with particular importance placed on pupils working practically so that they can make discoveries for themselves. Work is recorded in a variety of ways including the use of drawings, charts, graphs and photographs. Pupils complete at least one science investigation per half-term, with an emphasis on assessing particular investigational skills and working scientifically. In Years 5 and 6, pupils are able to plan, carry out and then write up their full investigations. They communicate conclusions and carry out repeat tests to check results.
Every year we attend the Cheltenham Science Festival as part of our Science Week and invite visitors into school to provide exciting and ‘hands on’ activities to enhance our learning about and enjoyment of Science.
ART & DESIGN
Key Stage 1
Pupils use a range of materials creatively in drawing, painting and sculpture. They begin to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Pupils are taught to share their ideas and experiences and to develop their imagination. They will look at the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and making links to their own work.
Key Stage 2
Pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including control and use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. All pupils have a sketch book to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas. They will continue to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials. Great artists, architects and designers in history are included as a part of lessons.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
Key Stage 1
When designing and making, pupils are be taught to:
Cooking and Nutrition
Key Stage 2
When designing and making, pupils will be taught to:
Cooking and Nutrition
All pupils have the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of music from different cultures and times. Pupils also learn to compose and refine their own compositions. Here at Holy Apostles’ School, we offer increasingly broad opportunities for children to engage with music. Pupils have the opportunity receive individual tuition to learn to play an orchestral instrument; to join the infant or junior choir; and could be invited to join the school orchestra. These groups perform at a number of events throughout the year including the Cheltenham Performing Arts Festival as well as many others.
Our curriculum coverage is as follows:
Key stage 1
Pupils are taught to:
Key stage 2
Pupils are taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They are encouraged to develop their understanding of musical composition; to organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures; and to reproduce sounds from aural memory.
Pupils are taught to:
In an increasingly technology-dependent world, it is crucial that our pupils are prepared for what they will face in the future. At Holy Apostles’ School, our pupils are taught to develop a high level of computer literacy. This includes being able to code. All pupils are taught how to code and program and to use these skills for special projects, for example, during Science and Technology week. Becoming increasingly confident when using technology comes with its own risks and our pupils have a solid understanding of how to stay safe online. Internet safety is taught alongside Traditional British values to help tackle issues such as online bullying.
Our Curriculum coverage:
Key Stage 1
Pupils are taught to:
Key Stage 2
Pupils are taught to:
At Holy Apostles’, the children are very keen to learn about the past and they love their history lessons.
We are teaching the 2014 Curriculum; studying a range of historical periods, such as the Stone age, the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, the Romans and Saxons and Vikings. Generally speaking, the curriculum is arranged in chronological order so that the younger children learn about ancient civilizations of the past and older children study more recent times. We believe that it is important to build historical knowledge so that children learn about the famous people from the past, for example, Florence Nightingale and Edward Wilson, in KS1. We also find out all about famous events from a period in local history; last year we looked at the First World War in Cheltenham, we linked this to Remembrance Day as it was also the centenary of the end of the war. However, we are also very keen to ensure that children develop historical skills. Therefore, teachers will also organise various activities so that children can compare and contrast the past and the present, or between different periods and develop a chronological awareness. For example, pupils may be asked to compare and contrast an Anglo-Saxon dwelling or Stone Age cave with a modern-day home.
Teachers make learning interesting and fun. For example, they may provide opportunities for pupils to work as real historians by handling objects from the past to encourage children to ask questions, carry out research, consider possible answers and share their findings with their classmates. At Holy Apostles’, we have an outdoor classroom where we have organised archaeological digs to engage children's interest. We have arranged various other special events such as ‘Class History Days’ such as Egyptian or Medieval day. The children and staff all dressed up as people from the different periods in History and took part in a special timetable for the day. We also have visitors to bring the subject to life, like Professor McGinty who is an Amazing Time Travel Detective who shares his tales and 'Mobile Museum'. Such events ensure that children truly enjoy their learning.
We also encourage educational visits as we believe that trips to places like a Roman villa or Warwick castle serve beautifully to bring history to life. The photographs of children, in each class learning journey, actively participating in historical activities hopefully helps to explain not only why so many pupils enjoy the subject at Holy Apostles’ but why history plays such an important role in their education and personal development and why the children do so well.
At Holy Apostles’ we are teaching Geography according to the 2014 Curriculum. We believe that high-quality teaching of geography should inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its inhabitants that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. In order to achieve this, we strive to ensure that our approach to teaching Geography enables all children to develop their contextual knowledge as well as a competence in geographical skills.
Children at Holy Apostles’ start learning Geography in Foundation Stage when they start building their understanding of geographical enquiry. Which at this stage involves practical and investigative learning, focusing on exploration and expression of ideas about both physical and human environments with which young children interrelate. Children start developing their geographical understanding by the study of place - their immediate locality and more distant places, moving eventually (at the end of Reception) to the study of the wider world. Throughout the Foundation Stage, children are introduced to the study of Geography through small-scale trips (e.g. to the school's Church and local park), studying maps, globes and atlases as well as creating their own simple maps (for example by drawing the route the wolf had taken in "The Three Little Pigs") and investigating the weather processes.
In Key Stage 1 children focus on developing their knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their own locality - they learn to locate the seven continents and five oceans while studying about the countries of the United Kingdom and their capital cities. Children develop their knowledge of the human and physical geography of the United Kingdom by comparing it to a contrasting non-European country. ‘Wilson Bear’ the Explorer accompanies year 2 on their travels.
When children move to Key Stage 2, their learning extends beyond the local area and they develop their knowledge and understanding of the United Kingdom, Europe, as well as North and South America. Their learning at this stage focuses in the environmental, physical and human features of regions, countries and major cities.
Teachers at Holy Apostles’ strive to ensure that learning Geography is always involving and fun. For example, when investigating rainforests in Year 3, children plant their own tropical plants, a model forest. We also believe that fieldwork is at the core of geographical investigation, so we make sure that children are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge to observe and record their findings about features studied. When studying rivers, Year 6 children took a trip to the River Chelt to develop a better understanding of the topic.
Throughout the school, we ensure that children are encouraged to ask and answer questions about the natural and human world. By providing a stimulating and rich Geography curriculum for all Key Stages we promote the development of knowledge of places and environments on a local, national and global scale.
We teach French through a fun, multi-sensory approach which offers many valuable learning opportunities. These include the development of language and language-learning skills and the ability to understand and communicate in a new language. Throughout Key Stage 2 pupils have weekly lessons based on the scheme ‘Salut’ delivered by Mrs Gifford, our Modern Foreign Languages Subject Leader, who is fluent in French. The school openly values languages through holding an annual International Day of Languages. Bi-lingual parents are a valuable resource and, from time to time, are invited in to share their languages with the pupils.
At Holy Apostles’ School, we believe that physical education is an essential part of a child’s education, helping them to become healthy and active members of society. We aim to develop a balanced programme that helps children to develop the fundamental movements need to live an active life, as well as offering a wide variety of activities and sports to enhance their skills in physical education. We believe that positive participation in physical education will enable our pupils to build self-esteem, team work and positive attitudes which can be translated into all areas of life.
We aim to:
You can use the link below to see how we use our Sports Premium funding and the impact it has on the children at Holy Apostles’
We promote British Values through our daily teaching and learning.
Through our provision of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, we aim to:
We currently use ‘The Cambridgeshire Scheme of Work for PSHE for our teaching of Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education. Alongside this, we use the People in the Know (PinK) Curriculum for resources linked to areas of CPSHE, including British Values.
Collective worship and our values curriculum support quality teaching and learning, whilst promoting the development of a positive society. The values we have chosen to adopt include friendship, happiness, respect, forgiveness, determination, equality and love and relate strongly to the promotion of British Values.
Through our School Council, we ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to. We actively promote democratic processes. Our School Council is run by pupils and Council members are voted for by the pupils.
If you require further information on our curriculum, please complete the form below.