Our Curriculum Intent and Core Purpose
“Growing in God’s love.” St Patrick’s school motto
“A creative and rigorous curriculum which inspires and motivates.”
from St Patrick’s Vision and Values 2021
Our approach to curriculum design at St Patrick’s is inspired by our vision for the young people who their parents have entrusted to us.
‘Creative’ and ‘rigorous’ are the key adjectives describing the curriculum in the Vision Statement. Creative because we want the learning to be engaging and enjoyable and rigorous because we want it to be sustained, to make a difference to the children’s life chances and open up exciting possibilities for them.
There are four core purposes running through the curriculum we are designing. All are linked to the Christian virtues at the heart of our values.
1. Developing knowledge of the world for the children in our care – there is an emphasis here on God’s abundance and a link to the virtues of justice and self control so that the resources of the earth are not squandered.
This core purpose gives rise from time to time to moral questions.
2. Developing the children’s knowledge of the traditions, environments, scientific phenomena and discoveries which give shape to communities and characterise them. We want the children to begin to understand fundamental ideas, underlying principles, scientific laws.
There is a link here to the virtue of faith and the broader idea of trust which binds communities together.
This core purpose gives rise to social questions among others and means that the learning must be deep.
3. Developing the children’s knowledge of how people begin, belong and contribute to communities. There is a link here to the virtues of courage and prudence. This core purpose gives rise to cultural considerations among others. It will only happen if the teaching ‘speaks’ to the children’s interests and if the topics are meaningful* for them.
4. Developing the children’s knowledge of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their gifts and aspirations.
“Children will leave St Patrick’s happy with who they are…and ambitious for their future growth” says the Vision Statement. There is a link here to the virtue of hope. This core purpose gives rise in particular to spiritual considerations and means that the learning must be broad and active. A diverse group of children will only discover their many gifts if they are introduced to a wide range of memorable learning experiences, some practical, some participatory, and some reflective.
So we intend Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural education to be central to our offer and want it to be broad, deep, active, meaningful and memorable.
“Children will leave…polite and articulate.” Vision and Values 2021
Oracy across the curriculum will be a constant characteristic of what we offer. We want the children to be able to express themselves, to listen to other points of view and form their own. Through courteous listening, talking and debate they will lay the foundations for being citizens of a modern Britain where tolerance and the rule of law prevail.
“The school will have achieved …through the nurture of dedicated staff” Vision and Values 2021
We recognise that some of our children face very substantial challenges and do not have access to life experience which supports the delivery of the curriculum. We are determined to give support to such children, to make up for deficits in cultural capital, so that they can achieve as well as their peers.
“And above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony” Colossians 3 verse 14
In each of our core purposes and through every topic, we will emphasise the importance of the virtue of Charity- defined as thinking the best of others and doing the best for them. We will promote that in every year group and through all our studies.
*There are lots of different ways of being meaningful. Topics may be directly relevant to the children’s lives now- or they may just be inherently intriguing and interesting.