Curriculum Statement and Rationale
Lumen Christi Curriculum Statement
Outcomes in each school enable our children to reach their full potential as a child of God
Birmingham Archdiocese Catholic Multi Academy Model Scheme of Delegation (2013):
The purpose of a Diocesan Catholic academy is to provide a broad and balanced Catholic education inspired by a vision of life with God, the creator, at its heart as the source and destiny of all human life.
The ‘object’ roots the Academy in its Catholic character and distinctiveness which gives rise the fruits evidenced in the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth and development, as well as their attainment and achievement as they grow and learn as a human person.
A diocesan Catholic multi-academy is also required to work as an ecclesial communion, in harmonious relationship with other Catholic schools and academies and local schools based on the call of the Gospel to serve those in need and contribute to the common good.
Lumen Christi schools strive to provide the highest quality Catholic education to all of the children in our communities. Lumen Christi schools are mostly located in the Northfield Constituency of Birmingham however St Thomas More is located to the East of Birmingham where the IMD Rankings by Birmingham Ward showed a seven point drom from 2015 to 2019.
St Thomas Aquinas school launched their Knowledge Curriculum in September 2018. Extensive reflection and discussions around our primary curriculum offer began, following visits to St Thomas Aquinas and the Midlands Knowledge Hub. Principal discussions helped to shape our curriculum intent and our guiding principles. A close collaboration with the West London Free School began, including a pilot of resources based on the Core Knowledge Curriculum. A sustained period of research and planning across all primary schools with input, where possible, from secondary colleagues, followed.
‘Only a well-rounded, knowledge-specific curriculum can impart needed knowledge to all children to overcome inequality of opportunity’ E.D.Hirsch. Core Knowledge Chairman (2016)
Our intention is that the curriculum is ambitious and aims to give all children, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, cultural capital and experiences they need to fulfil their potential and succeed in life. This is to avoid the temptation to narrow the curriculum and focus disproportionately on the basics and narrow subjects driven by external accountability.
Careful planning has ensured that our schemes of work are coherent and sequenced and designed to support all learners and equip our children with sufficient knowledge and skills for their transition, future learning and employment. The content is carefully focussed on our locality and dialogue with Diocesan advisors has ensured that our rich Catholic ethos and heritage is reflected.
The decision to align staff meetings across all schools helps create regular opportunities for training and joint planning. This has facilitated consistency, enabled future resource preparation and consequently reduced staff workload.
Opportunities for reading and research, learning walks and joint work scrutiny help to build collaboration, communicate expectations and raise standards. Reference to cognitive development theory and pedagogical processes are encouraging evidence based practice and plans for mapping genuine and relevant enrichment activities are in hand.
Although the knowledge goals are the same across all schools, we personalise our curriculum so that the tasks get the best out of the particular cohort. We are very proud of our curriculum for all as it is ambitious for all.
"It's not the filling of the bucket, it's the lighting of the fire," William Butler Yeats
At Saint Thomas More, we offer many additional, enriching opportunities both during the day and after school.
During the day, we offer, for example: chess club, forest school, sewing, homework club, reading sessions and leadership opportunities.
After school, we offer clubs in: dance, art, cooking, STEM, Gaelic football, writing, Geography, History, cricket, football, dodgeball, multi-skills, Y6 Booster sessions, gardening and choir.
We take our curriculum very seriously and continuously strive for both excellence and fun! We know that every family who joins our STM family will have their own knowledge and experiences that will link to their culture and wider family. This might include: languages, beliefs, traditions, cultural and family heritage, interest, travel and work. Although Lumen Christi has designed its own curriculum, each school has made it their own, and at STM we are constantly redesigning and tweaking to cater for the children we have in front of us. This is what helps create our wonderful vibrancy and buzz around school!
Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours and skills that a child can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a pupil will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work.
Cultural capital gives power! It helps children achieve goals, become successful, and rise up to be the best they can be, Cultural capital is having assets that give children the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.
At STM, children benefit from a curriculum that builds on what they understand and know already. It revolves around the coherent cycle of learning from the past, living in the present and looking to the future. This means our children have a deep and connected knowledge and understanding of where they came from, who they are and what they might become. We believe that exposure, not only to culture but also to situations in which the children might not have previous experiences of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes.
The children, wherever possible, learn from experts. Why do we enrich the learning in this way? because we believe that learning from experts inspires the children and exposes them to the rich and diverse world around them. It is a way to prepare our children for life beyond STM. So what do we mean by 'experts'? Here are a few examples of what our children experience at our school:
STEM lessons delivered by The Royal Air Force
Writing lessons delivered by Pie Corbett
Cricket lessons delivered by professional cricket players
Dance lessons delivered by a male ex-West End dancer
Politics sessions with Jess Phillips
Science lessons delivered by scientists currently working in the field
Engineering sessions delivered by women engineers and lessons looking at product design by Dyson
Sustainability sessions delivered by Enzen
During vocations week, the children hear from a variety of professionals and get to 'take over' the school, shadowing adults in their role.
Gradually widening children's experiences as they progress through school is an important step in providing rich, engaging, hands on learning. We plan carefully for our children to have progressively rich experiences from their first day to their last. It must feel like a little bit of magic.