St Michael’s CE Primary School is a large primary school, with 14 classes and a nursery. It serves its local area including local military bases as well as serving a number of pupils who travel to school from further afield. Due to the extensive military rebasing within the area, which started in 2018-19, the school has seen a recent period of rapid and significant pupil growth.
‘In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists’
- Eric Hoffer
The Curriculum Intent
Our curriculum is rooted in high-expectations and ambition for all our pupils. Our aim is to deliver richly connected knowledge and skills which are revisited and built upon, leading to high levels of long-term retention and automaticity. We also instil a growth mindset and the courage to take risks, with an understanding that we learn from our mistakes alongside plenty of successes to motivate children with their learning. This will ensure that all our pupils will leave St Michael’s with the knowledge and skills to be successful in the world they will inherit.
At St Michael’s we spark interest, ignite passion for learning and fire up ambition to inspire every child to realise and exceed expectations. We want our pupils to go out from St Michael’s and shine brightly, standing out in their communities. As a Church School, a spiritual dimension is planned and runs throughout our curriculum and learning. We nurture and celebrate each person within our school family promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical qualities of all pupils.
Our school values run through our curriculum and children know the positive impact they can have on their local community. We place great importance on making a difference to the local and world community through acts of courageous advocacy. Pupils will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their wider community. They will show tolerance, embrace differences, be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others.
We recognise that children cannot aspire to things they have never encountered. We work to broaden our children’s horizons, expanding their knowledge of the world by nurturing their interests through the carefully planned curriculum topics, as well as fostering curiosity and encouraging fearlessness of what is new or unknown. This is achieved through first-hand experiences, providing learning challenges outside the classroom and planning for visitors and experts to bring a breadth and depth to children’s experiences. For all children this is important but for our military pupils our curriculum supports their ability to adapt to uncertainty as well as develop the strong personal skills they need to succeed.
The future can be uncertain for many of our pupils; they need to have the skills to adapt and be resilient in new situations. Our knowledge rich activity led curriculum and learning outdoors supports and strengthens social and interpersonal skills, builds resilience, promotes risk taking and the ability to successfully solve problems, while also providing academic rigour in English, Mathematics and Science. We recognise the importance of communication and language from the very start and prioritise teaching children to read from when children start with us in Nursery.
This is discreetly but consistently achieved through all of St Michael’s staff having a good understanding of emotional literacy and the impact that experiences have on each and every one of our children. To understand how children can best adapt, we use the ‘Thrive’ approach strategies.
Developing a sense of belonging is important to all our pupils and we use places of local historical interest as one way to build cultural capital, as well as carefully chosen topics, resources, trips and experiences woven through our curriculum. This allows children to gain a sense of their perspective on the world in terms of diversity and be exposed to inspiring works in all fields.
With support and high expectations, we ensure that all children are given every opportunity to realise their potential in all aspects of development, whether social or academic, both inside and outside the classroom. They will go out into the wider world wanting to make a real difference in their own life and to that of others as well, shining brightly and standing out in their communities.