At St Matthew's our curriculum is designed to build upon prior learning, improve communication skills, promote creativity, broaden knowledge and prepare pupils for life beyond school. We embrace our diversity as individuals and celebrate our unity as a caring, Christian community.
Our Curriculum - Intent, Implementation and Impact
In September 2017 we began the process of reviewing and revising our curriculum to ensure it is broad and balanced and reflects the needs of our pupils. The document below outlines our journey so far and explains how we built upon good practice and expertise from within our team. We are continuing to fine-tune provision; developing the role of subject leaders and building up banks of resources and key vocabulary linked to each curriculum area.
Science is a very popular subject at St Matthew's and we have worked hard to ensure that teaching is practical, purposeful and engaging. We use the Science Bug scheme of work to ensure progression of skills and knowledge across all year groups. Mr Ridsdale regularly plans whole school investigations, such as Rocket Mice, DNA, Our Senses and a seed dispersal experiment. The latter included a competition across all year groups to design and make a seed that will travel the furthest distance when dropped from a high place. We have also been working hard to make sure the work in our Science books is of the highest standard. We received the Primary Science Quality Mark in recognition of high standards across the school.
Art and Design
Art and Design forms an integral part of the curriculum and often ties in with topic themed work. For example, the children in Year 1 develop their sketching and mark-making skills by drawing pictures of toys. The whole school follows the Suffolk Scheme of Work for Art and lessons focus on collage, drawing, painting, printing, 3D and textiles. Every pupil has their own Art Book which is used to build up a portfolio of work. Mrs Furniss organised lots of visitors and activities for our Arts Week.
At St Matthew's we have a wide range of devices that we use for Computing and within other subjects. The children regularly use laptops and iPads to support their learning and to discover more about programming. In KS1 we use Scratch Jnr, which is a free app on iPads, where the children use simple coding to design and create their own games. In KS2 pupils use Scratch on the laptops to develop their coding skills at a more advanced level. These programs are free to use at home too!
Currently the programme of study for Design Technology is incorporated into other curriculum areas. Pupils learn to design, make and evaluate in some art and topic lessons, and there is a focus on developing their technical knowledge and skills. Cooking and nutrition content is covered in Science and PSHE lessons as well as practical sessions where pupils prepare and cook different types of food. Long term plans to develop a discrete Design Technology curriculum are in hand.
Humanities (Geography and History)
Historical themes often lie at the heart of our curriculum topics, with pupils enjoying learning about Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, World War Two and so much more. In Year 2 the children researched 'The Great Fire of London'. They made model houses and actually set them on fire! Have a look at their year group page for photographic evidence. There are timelines in every classroom and there is a focus on developing a sense of chronology.
The Geography curriculum reflects our multiculturalism and diversity as a school, whilst including lots about Great Britain too. The book 'Maps' by Mizielinska and Mizielinski is often used as an introduction to new areas of study. World maps are displayed in every classroom and used as an ongoing point of reference. For example, identifying the birth place of authors, scientists and artists. This helps pupils make connections with their learning.
Modern Foreign Languages (French)
Pupils in Key Stage 2 learn about French language and culture. They have a discrete weekly lesson and French vocabulary is incorporated into other aspects of the day such as registration and singing. We have received the Bronze Linguamarque in recognition of good quality teaching of MFL. Pupils in EYFS and KS1 explore other languages through songs, stories and talking to each other!
Music is another popular subject at St Matthew's and the children love learning new songs from the Charanga scheme as well as singing in assemblies. All pupils in Year 5 are learning to play the flute and in Year 2 they learn the recorder. In addition, we use a range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments throughout the school. 60 pupils in Years 5 and 6 regularly take part in the 'Young Voices' event in London and we look forward to the return of the Samba Band in the summer term. Mr Warren, our Music Leader, has written songs for our school and the Performing Arts group, some of which are available on iTunes.
PE (Physical Education)
Our Sports Coach, Mr Andrews, is employed by the school on a full time basis and he works closely with staff to ensure our PE teaching is top notch. Alongside the weekly lessons he runs football, netball and multi-sports clubs. Pupils compete regularly in inter-school competitions and we hope to continue our links with DanceEast in the future. We have a gifted and talented football team who train once a week at the Portman Road training ground. Gym Trail sessions are organised to support those pupils who need a little extra help. Lots of children enjoy attending Sarah's Dance Class on Thursdays after school and will be performing for parents in due course. Thanks to the hard work of Miss Cooper (PE Leader) and Mr Andrews, we recently received the School Games Gold Mark!
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
PSHE is taught as a discrete lesson throughout the school, often responding to current events in the news or to situations in class as they arise. The PSHE leader is currently working with our Multi Academy Trust to prepare for the introduction of RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in September 2020. Parents will be fully consulted about this in due course. Each year group keeps a PSHE scrapbook to show what the children have been learning.
RE (Religious Education)
RE is taught throughout the school, based on the Suffolk Agreed Syllabus. As a Church of England school we follow the recommendation that greater emphasis is placed on Christianity. We also enrich our curriculum by celebrating Eucharist, Easter, Pentecost, Harvest and Christmas, which often includes services in St Matthew's Church.
In Reception, RE is taught as a discrete lesson and the children learn more about Christianity. In Key Stage 1 the children continue to study Christianity but are also introduced to Judaism as well. In Key Stage 2 lessons focus on Christianity, however pupils also develop their understanding of other beliefs including Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Humanism. This gives the children an opportunity to ask questions and compare religions. Much of the learning undertaken is evidenced in RE scrapbooks. You are welcome to look at these any time. Just ask the class teacher.
Pupils in the Church School Council help monitor RE provision and meet regularly with the RE Leader and Headteacher to share their thoughts and opinions.