What are we trying to achieve?
As a Catholic school, our aim is to provide a caring community in which each child has the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith. We believe that the relationship with God should be developed through prayer and worship which are celebrated in classrooms, in the whole school and the within the wider community. All the staff, governors and children work hard to promote our mission statement by living as Jesus taught us, so that we can work, learn, play and grow together, by “walking in the footsteps of Jesus living and serving together”. In partnership with home and parish, we strive to accompany our pupils as they travel on their faith journey. Children will live their faith, always aware of the presence and love of Christ, guiding them through life.
Our curriculum is designed to be creative, inspiring and challenging, to provide opportunities for the children to develop as independent, resilient, confident and successful learners. They will have high aspirations and will know how to make a positive contribution to their community and in the wider society. Religious Education is a core subject which is taught for 10% of time, throughout the week. At St. Joseph’s, we follow the ‘God Matters’ scheme of work which meets the diocesan standards for primary Religious Education. We also use the Clifton Diocese planning and resources for each topic, which are in the process of being adapted by the Samuel Partnership into lesson by lesson planning.
Our lessons provide opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection. The children are taught about God’s love and their Christian responsibility. There is a high focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding. ‘God Matters’ gives us the language of religious experience through activities, stories, symbols, rituals and celebration. It promotes core Gospel values which underpin all aspects of school life. The children will be able to make links with their own experiences and it will enable them to explain their beliefs and values and ask questions of the Catholic traditions. We celebrate equality and diversity supporting the children’s social and cultural development, recognising every individual as special and unique in the image and likeness of God. The children will be taught to be respectful and understanding of people and traditions from other faiths, cultures and backgrounds.
The schools in the Samuel Partnership meet regularly to discuss changes to planning and assessment. We have started the process of lesson by lesson planning and we are able to call on them, as well as the diocese, for support to make improvements to our teaching and learning.
Through moderation of planning, lessons and books we can be sure that progress is being made throughout all year groups. If progress is not being made, immediate support and action will be taken to ensure pupils achieve their potential. Those who find learning difficult will be supported to develop at their own pace and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Evidence of impact will not necessarily always be found in books or planning. The children talk enthusiastically about their learning in RE lessons and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education. Children appreciate and participate enthusiastically in the Catholic life of the school. They have excellent behaviour both in the classroom, around the school and in the local community.
The Chaplaincy Team along with the Head Boy and Head Girl play a significant role in promoting and clarifying the meaning and the relevance of the Mission Statement; “Walking in the footsteps of Jesus living and serving together”. They meet regularly, which gives them the opportunity to put their ideas forward about how to develop the prayer life of the school and promote the Catholic character of the school. The Chaplaincy Team enjoy taking on responsibility and leadership of the Catholic life. They provide good roles models for the younger children. Through their caring behaviour they demonstrate a sense of pride towards their community and parish which reflects the school as a whole. Every year they raise hundreds of pounds for charities in Malmesbury, Swindon and even worldwide, creating events which welcome those of different cultures and backgrounds.
Good Friday Reflection April 2020