Our Curriculum Intent:

A child’s early and primary years are a time where children progress and grow at a rapid rate. They view the world with awe and wonder, are abound with questions and continually looking for answers. Life should be full of fun, laughter and learning. At St Gregory’s ALL staff aim to develop this exhilarating time and give our children opportunities to flourish by offering an exciting, challenging and empowering curriculum, equipping them for today and tomorrow.

Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Make learning a positive, engaging, adventurous and active experience
  • Enable our children to thrive in a Christian environment, where every child is given opportunities to experience all life has to offer in abundance
  • Equip our children with skills to enable them to be independent, resilient problem solvers and tenacious in facing next steps
  • Encourage curiosity, filling inquiring minds with information, answers and more questions
  • Build on prior knowledge / skills, allowing for progression of learning in a cohesive manner
  • Promote respect for all, allow for individuality and cultural diversity
  • Give children the experience of being part of a valued community

Curriculum Implementation:

In September 2023 St Gregory’s introduced an exciting new approach to teach the wider curriculum.  It follows the “Curious City” approach developed by “Lighting Up Learning”.
Our curriculum intent is to create a culture within the school of enquiry, curiosity and challenge that permeates everything we do. 

Enquiry-Based Learning

Fundamental to Curious City is the notion of “enquiry-based learning”.  So what’s it all about?
Young people are by their nature very curious about all things, the world around them being an obvious source of interest.  Children often ask questions about what they see and hear.  Curious City helps nurture this natural instinct with the aim of developing children’s ability to become independent enquirers and autonomous learners.  Enquiry-based learning (EBL) emphasises the pupils’ role in the learning process.  Rather than just sitting down and listening, EBL is all about asking questions and being curious.

Big Questions

EBL is often led by a question.  Examples of questions St Greg’s are asking through the Autumn term of 2023 include:
Y1&2 – Who am I?
Y3&4 – What makes a good friend?
Y5&6 – What makes our school special and safe?
Big questions such as these are not so large that the learners don’t understand but they are challenging to answer in one go.  Teachers will guide pupils through a scaffolded learning process, breaking lessons into manageable units, providing a tool or structure with each unit.  The aim is to answer the big questions through pupils asking questions, through purposeful talk, working together and then interpreting and analysing the results.  The end result could be in the form of a piece of writing, a performance or any other type of project which showcases the pupils’ learning and the answer to the overall question.

A State of Being

EBL empowers pupils.  Rather than doing Maths or doing History they become Mathematicians and Historians. Pupils develop a “state of being” in each subject, the children ‘be’ not ‘do’:

Authors – readers and writers

Engineers (Computing and DT)
Athletes (PE)
Philosophers (RE and PSHE)
Linguists (Modern Foreign Language)
Families may notice pupils saying today I was a musician rather than today I did music.  This is all a part of the progression towards an enquiry-led approach, they are being, not doing.
Historically in teaching we use subjects in isolation like boxes.  We taught grammar and punctuation in English so a child would pack up that box once an English lesson was complete and would open their science box for a science lesson.  Creating a state of being helps pupils’ apply these English skills in science also, they understand that scientists also need grammar and punctuation.  Think of how an Archaeologist draws on a range of subjects: Author, Scientist, Geographer, Philosopher and Historian.
A child’s time in school becomes a continuum of experiences rather than a set of lessons.  Sometimes experiences are short, sharp and immersive, other times they are light-touch events over a longer period of time.

Implementing the Curriculum: Seven Themes

The seven themes listed help to steer staff and give a particular flavour to an enquiry, learners seek answers to questions posed. The seven themes help teachers ensure that a broad range of perspectives are offered during a year, and that they understand the purpose of the enquiry. This helps create a balance of experiences each and every year and ensures a breadth of experience in every year group.

Curriculum Impact:

We believe our curriculum:

  • develops children to the best of their abilities
  • helps children to find their passions and interests
  • facilitates children’s acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding
  • helps children to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and morally
  • assists children in becoming independent, responsible, useful, confident and considerate members of the community
  • promotes a positive attitude towards learning
  • helps children to acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning
  • creates and maintains an exciting and stimulating learning environment
  • ensures that each child’s education has continuity and progression
  • enables children to contribute positively within a culturally diverse society.

How can Families Help?

  • Ask, “what were you at school today” rather than “what did you do at school today?”
  • Use the same terminology as the pupils – enquiry, challenge and the names of the state of being – Author, Scientist etc…..
  • Are you or do you know someone who might represent one of the states of being; do you know an engineer, an artist a musician who may be able to come in and talk to a class?
We look forward to sharing this curriculum not just with our pupils but also our families and local community.  It is through the new curriculum that we hope to build within the children the ideas, skills and knowledge to thrive in our ever-changing world.

Further Reading:

Please open the following links to understand assessments as per the National Curriculum:

National Curriculum Assessment for Schools

Assessment Principles for Schools