Curriculum Rationale

English Martyrs’ Curriculum

We are exceptionally proud of the curriculum offered to all of our children at English Martyrs’. It is unique, rich, ambitious and successful and exceeds the expectations of the National Curriculum. Please watch our Curriculum video to find out all about it from the children!

It has been designed to be fully inclusive to ensure that all of our pupils gain a sustained thirst for rich knowledge and understanding, and an intrinsic love of learning.

Our curriculum is further enhanced through a wide-ranging and carefully considered bespoke programme of enrichment and extra-curricular activities which have included recently: The Centre for Excellence Upholstery Project; the publication of four books, written and illustrated by our pupils; the child-led installation of our own water Borehole, Garden water pump, and yearly badge project – all of which enrich the cultural capital gained by our pupils.  Core subjects, particularly Early Reading which follows Little Wandle, are used skilfully to embed increased cultural knowledge to ensure nobody is left disadvantaged: a love of reading and supporting children to be lifelong readers is at the heart of everything we do.  The school’s values, taken from the Gospels, are the cornerstone to the curriculum and the driving force to ensuring every pupil thrives in our school and is more than ready for their next stage in education.

Our spiral curriculum, designed from EYFS through to Year Six, systematically builds on previous knowledge and skills to ensure that all pupils and especially disadvantaged and pupils with SEND move onto secondary education and beyond with an in-depth knowledge and skills base across the curriculum. They achieve well and are more than well prepared for the next stages of their education. Systematic checking of prior knowledge, regular re-grouping of children within sequences of learning and thorough formative assessment ensure that misconceptions are corrected within lessons and across the course of study.

Our pupils learn the core concepts of knowledge and skills through our cumulative, spiral curriculum model: a model which reintroduces children to core themes time and time again as they progress through school to ensure children are learning more and remembering more (Cognitive Load Theory, Sweller, 2011). This system secures the basic skills through robust, systematic review and practice sessions, as a result, these daily sessions ensure the pupils are fluent in reading, writing, number knowledge and each strand of their foundation subjects. The curriculum for each subject is planned in the same systematic manner and is firmly grounded in the systematic development of knowledge, skills and vocabulary and from Y1 upwards, is delivered through our English Martyrs’ Progress Pathways. Our staff are skilled and access high quality weekly CPD, informed by both external and action research for example in retrieval practice, EYFS communication and language reforms, Pupil Premium interventions, the value of feedback, staff wellbeing and workload reduction to ensure that they are confident in identifying any gaps in our pupil’s knowledge as well as identifying best practice for supporting pupil’s cognition whilst taking care to avoid cognitive overload.