KS2 Tests 2019
KS1 Tests 2019
Changes in the National Curriculum
In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum, with a great deal of fresh content and ambitious expectations of learning. It is designed to provide children with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding that they require as citizens of Great Britain.
In addition, the National Curriculum provides statutory programmes of study for each subject, stating which content which should be taught to pupils in each stage of learning.
The manner in which schools assess learning has also changed dramatically. Levels have been removed and will not be replaced. Partially this is due to a shift in perception about levels: that children should master the skills that they have been taught rather than merely racing through the curriculum without gaining a secure understanding of what they have learnt.
Although the content has been stipulated by the Government and Statutory Assessments will continue to be prescribed, schools are free to assess the skills acquired in each subject, at each stage of learning, in whatever manner they deem appropriate.
We have been urged to ensure that by the time children leave Holy Cross Catholic Primary school, they are ‘Secondary ready’. In other words, that they are equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding required for their next stage of learning when they leave our school.
At Holy Cross, we want to challenge our children to become independent, well-round individuals who take ownership of their learning and become deep thinkers. Moreover, we want our children to be able to apply their knowledge and skill set in a range of contexts within school and real life.
Religious Education at Holy Cross
Religious education in Holy Cross takes place within the context of the wider Catholic faith community, in partnership with home and parish. It is an integral part of the Catholic school, which is itself a community of faith. It is designed to assist children and young people to be increasingly able to make an informed and mature response to God in faith and to nurture that faith. It offers opportunities to proclaim the Gospel message to all and to deepen existing faith commitments among believers.
Learning through religious education enables children and young people to:
- develop their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith
- investigate and understand the relevance of the Catholic faith to questions about truth and the meaning of life
- highlight, develop and foster the values, attitudes and practices which are compatible with a positive response to the invitation to faith
- develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making moral decisions
- nurture the prayer life of the individual and of the school community
- understand and appreciate significant aspects of other Christian traditions and major world religions
- make a positive difference to themselves and the world by putting their beliefs and values into action.
Teaching British Values
Promoting British Values at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. We have a pupil council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Holy Cross. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. There are our Class Rules, Playground Rules and E-Safety Rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At Holy Cross Catholic School, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
As a Catholic School, mutual respect is at the heart of the gospel values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. We believe everyone in our school community is unique and loved equally by God and therefore we expect everyone to be treated with respect tolerance and kindness at all times.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Holy Cross is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our curriculum and our links with other schools, both local and global, illustrate our commitment to exploring our school community and local community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
The Curriculum at Holy Cross
At Holy Cross we follow the aims set out for each subject area in the National Curriculum for key stages 1 and 2. These are as follows:
The overarching aim for English in the national 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. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School we use the Read Write Inc Phonics and Spelling scheme.
We teach children cursive script and we also ensure our children know how to hold a pencil correctly; it is a life skill.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Art & Design
The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
- produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
- become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
- evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
- know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Design & Technology
The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Languages – French
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- are physically active for sustained periods of time
- engage in competitive sports and activities
- lead healthy, active lives.