At St John’s, our curriculum is designed and tailored to equip our children with the skills they need to develop into independent and inquisitive learners.
Through an enquiry and research-based curriculum, we take a student-centred approach to learning, enhancing the students learning experience. We believe research skills and student-centred learning are fundamental to developing students’ self-reliance, independence and ability to identify, investigate and solve problems.
We encourage this through a number of philosophical ‘big questions’ which are linked to six of the core concepts of the bible.
Creation – The Fall – People of God – Incarnation – Gospel – Salvation
The key questions we have linked to each biblical concept are:
People of God
Why are we here?
Where did it all go wrong?
How can we make a change?
How will we get to where we want to go?
Can we lead the way?
At the beginning of each topic, in each year group, the big question is applied to generate discussions around it. Whether this be simply as a question or in the form of a problem to solve or investigate.
As educators, we will facilitate a safe space, which will allow the pupils the opportunity to make mistakes in the lines or enquiry they pursue, and to understand how these mistakes are vital in our learning journey.
Pupil voice will then take a lead in the way the learning progresses, with pupil’s initial discoveries, findings and questions, used to map out how the learning for the rest of the topic should take place.
We believe that this initial research stage enables the children to engage actively and creatively with questions and problems, often in collaboration with other students or with staff. The research tasks enable the exploration and investigation of issues and are open-ended so that different responses and solutions are possible.
To ensure that pupils receive a full and balanced curriculum, we have created a long term plan in which units of work link in with our key questions and each class has three foundation subjects to over per half term. These are taught weekly and key concepts are recapped at the start of every lesson to ensure children remember more and the knowledge is embedded. Subjects such as art and DT can be taught over a few afternoons a week to ensure children consistently have the resources they need to achieve high quality outcomes. Our medium term plans and knowledge organisers are ready for teachers to use to support them in planning so each unit of work builds on the previous year. This means that children can talk about their prior knowledge within that subject giving them confidence in their learning and knowledge so that they are motivated and excited to learn.
Learners develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum, which are built upon every year as they move through the school. As a result, they become inquisitive and motivated learners, who ultimately achieve well. This is reflected in both internal and external monitoring and data, as well as in both pupil voice and parent feedback.
At the heart of research and enquiry is discussion. Through our curriculum, pupils are given the opportunity to discuss, debate and challenge one another, scientific theories and historical findings. Speaking and listening skills are constantly being developed and the children are immersed in a rich level of both subject specific vocabulary and vocabulary of which is needed to in order for them to express themselves appropriately to one another.
Due to the implementation of curriculum, our pupils will leave St John’s with strongly developed generic skills, as well as subject specific skills, such as strong communication, interpersonal, learning, numeric and self-management skills. They will leave us ready for the next step in their academic journey as individuals who work independently and who high quality, transferable research skills.
For further information about our curriculum please contact the school office on 02072264906 and ask to speak with the curriculum leader Mrs Slack, or the Head of School, Ms Khan.