St. John’s CE Primary School: A HUMANS Curriculum
What and Why?
We have amazing children at St. John’s who we welcome at various stages in their educational journey and who come from a diverse range of backgrounds bringing with them a range of cultures and experiences. We recognise the immense capabilities of our children; however confident or curious, empathetic or articulate; they are unique individuals with high aspirations. These aspirations are encapsulated in our school vision for every child to ‘Together, Fly High Like an Eagle’. This ‘flying high’ is applicable to every aspect of each child’s life so that they can live life in all its fullness.
In order to achieve this, our curriculum is centered around what it means to be HUMANS. As a Church of England school, we want to give children time and space to reflect on their views and those of others, to find and consider their place in their community, the world and beyond. It is a curriculum that recognises and explores the varied experiences of HUMANS, what drives us as HUMANS and what we can learn about ourselves and others based on these experiences irrespective of physical or time boundaries. This breadth is referenced through the HUMANS framework:
Happiness – What does it mean to be fulfilled? How do different people achieve this?
Unlimited – Are there limits to humans’ potential? How might we overcome these?
Moral – What is right and wrong? Who decides? How does faith affect this?
Adventurous – How can experimentation and making mistakes lead to success? What can we learn from those that have come before us?
Nurturing – How do we show care for each other and the world around us?
Society – What does it mean to belong? Why are our relationships important to us and others?
This framework provides a structure for the content of every subject area and we pride ourselves on delivering a truly broad curriculum that enables children to be musicians, artists and programmers as much as it does mathematicians and writers.
By exploring HUMANS within our nurturing school environment and ethos, we support children’s empathy and care for each other and encourage them to reflect on and challenge inequality. This strong focus on supporting the development of the whole child, allowing them to delve deeply into the subject matter to learn about HUMANS ensures that when they leave us, St. John’s children are well rounded, confident, independent young people who love to learn.
How we teach is as important as what we teach. At St. John’s our curriculum is designed to develop core skills through essential knowledge across subjects and incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Rich content and learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom, help to engage and fascinate pupils with the subject.
We ensure our children make connections with the real world through learning that is relevant and purposeful, and utilises links with the local, national and global community. Subject specific staff training is key to delivering the curriculum effectively. Developing pupils’ collaboration and independence is critical to what we do and our school values are threaded through our work.
Children explore big ideas based on HUMANS as part of their learning such as ‘Is it ever justified to fight?’ or ‘Should we accept our place in society?’ These provide cohesion to the work they do, enables all children to connect emotionally with their learning so that it ‘matters’ to them and we give them a voice to share what they think. We also use high quality books to add a further human quality to challenging subject matter.
It is an approach that both recognises and develops children as individuals and where we adapt what we do to meet the children’s varied needs, but also one which teaches collaboration, recognising it as a future skill for life.
Our curriculum offers quality learning experiences and ambitious challenges. Ultimately, we want to give every child the opportunity to shine so that all children are able to fulfil our vision to fly high like an eagle.