We offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a focus on lifelong learning. Our curriculum is not only designed to prepare children for examinations at 11+ but also nurtures a real desire to learn, an ambition to achieve and an awareness of one’s own values, responses, strengths and areas for improvement both at school and beyond.
The curriculum at St Joseph’s is therefore three-fold:
Our family environment and one form entry ensure all staff and children know each other. We recognise that each child is unique and needs to learn through having positive relationships and a stimulating and enabling environment. We are also aware that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. During these developmental years, we aim to teach children about the ‘tools’ they will need in their first toolbox so they can begin their learning.
The children follow the seven areas of learning which are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.
Three of these are known as ‘prime’ areas:
They are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning as well as building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
All seven areas are interlinked and the curriculum therefore also provides another four ‘specific’ areas of learning through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are:
In the Pre-Prep, the National Curriculum framework is used to consolidate learning and build on the foundations established in the Early Years. Naturally, there is a focus on English and Mathematics but learning across the curriculum begins to open minds to future learning.
Some of our subjects are taught by class teachers and some by subject specialist. There are many opportunities throughout these years for your child to develop their learning skills and talents.
Tailored, learning experiences and practical work are used to extend and support each child as they learn. The children begin to understand the benefits of learning by collaborating with others, staying focused for longer periods, and becoming more independent and braver at asking questions.
There is also a wide variety of extra-curricular activities available for your child to enjoy.
Our aim, in the Prep years, is to develop self-assured children who are well-prepared for the challenges of secondary school and beyond.
All pupils follow a curriculum which includes English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Computing, Design Technology, Art, Music, PE/Games, French and PSHE. As well as academic subjects, the children begin to develop the life skills, values and learning techniques to help them achieve their learning goals and extend the range of possibilities open to them both at St Joseph’s and beyond.
The children also benefit from a wealth of trips and visits which enhance learning and extra-curricular activities which are designed to suit their strengths, broaden their horizons or simply add fun to the school day.
In Year 6, following preparation for examinations and challenges ahead, the children take part in an Opportunities week. The week allows for serious messages to be delivered in a fun and stimulating environment and gives our students the opportunity to understand the support our local community gives to those in need as well as providing preparation for life beyond St Joseph’s.
Woodlands is a centre of excellence in Learning Support for children who have some difficulty with English or Maths because of either a general need for support or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Children are generally able to join Woodlands from Year 3 onwards. The children have all their English and Mathematics lessons within their own well-resourced classroom. As well as English and Mathematics, study skills, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are also covered in the Upper Juniors.
To support the ethos of ‘togetherness’ at St Joseph’s, the children have all their other subjects taught in the main school and are fully integrated with their year group.
In order to make learning more accessible, the children are taught in a variety of ways and far more attention is placed upon broader experiences and tailoring the curriculum very specifically to the individual’s needs.
With a favourable ratio of staff to children, we find that children in Woodlands have the support and time to work at their own pace, develop in confidence and achieve academically.