St John's Church of England Academy

I Will Shine

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Curriculum- Our Approach

St. John's is a nurturing school with a bespoke, holistic and exciting curriculum that enables all children to shine. Each child is inspired, through our school values, to strive for excellence- academically and pastorally. As a Church of England school, Christian values remain at our core. 


We follow the National Curriculum and Christian values remain at our core, inspired by our vision and motto 'I Will Shine!' This is taken from Matthew's Gospel (5:14): "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Our school community believes that our vision, motto and associated values make our school special and empower children to learn, to shine and to grow into respectful global citizens. 


Our values are at the heart of our curriculum and lived out through all of the topics taught within the wider curriculum- from Reception's 'Twinkle, Twinkle, We Are Stars' to Year 6's final topic 'I will shine!' Our curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for challenge and through a range of enrichment opportunities. We always strive to give children a vast array of opportunities to develop as leaders as well as learners. Promoting healthy lifestyles is also important to us, so physical and mental fitness is covered within topics throughout our curriculum, as well as environmental links and current issues.


The St. John's curriculum fosters positive partnerships with parents through half-termly interactive 'Come and Shares' (where parents join their children in a lesson) and 'Time to Shines' (where children share their books and learning in a conversation with their family). We also have parent volunteers who support enrichment and positive wellbeing opportunities.  


Not only is the school community positively influenced by our curriculum, but our curriculum design and implementation makes a positive contribution to schools on a local and National level. In January 2022, our team presented our curriculum to the National Whole Education conference. Following this, we have had lots of positive feedback and requests:


To the team at St. John's,

I wanted to share a heartfelt thank you for the amazing day you led with us last week - all that work that went into bringing your school to us!  Even though we weren't able to make it in person, the amazing videos, the passionate talks led by your staff team and the pupil voice shone through - showcasing all your wonderful work and practice.  I was in awe throughout the day and the benefit of the school visit being online was that I was able to adapt my staff training schedule and school development review at the same time - totally inspired by all that you had to share.

You have the most amazing school - it's truly a beacon of excellence, joy and a wonderful sense of hope and aspiration for every child.  I made so many notes/actions during the day and if I can lead our school to just half the place of where you are, I will be very happy!! A wonderful inspiration to us all and it truly felt like we were in the same building as you all for the day.  Thank you to all the team for all the work that clearly went in to the preparation, enabling us to feel a part of your school and to see at first hand, without having to step into the building, how special St. John's is.  

You have given us the most wonderful vision to aim for - and I feel so thankful to be part of such an amazing network.😊

Carmella- Headteacher at St. Peter's School-  Farnborough

Our Curriculum Journey and Rationale

In the Spring of 2019, we reviewed our curriculum. In line with our vision and values, we sought the views of all stakeholders. This included questionnaires to all children, parents, staff and governors. The results of the questionnaire supported us with further developments to all areas of the curriculum. See below the outcomes of the individual questionnaires.

Following the individual stakeholder analysis, we complete a more detailed analysis, pulling together shared views from across the St. John's community. Please see below a snapshot of the combined views, which we used to create our curriculum vision.

Our Curriculum Vision- May 2019

Using the stakeholder views, we created the vision below with staff and shared with parents and governors.

How our curriculum is implemented

We offer a full, broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum at St. John's. All subjects have been designed using the National Curriculum's end of key stage expectations and programmes of study, alongside statutory and non-statutory Early Years documents. 


All subjects have a clear rationale and routeway, from Reception to Year 6, which the teachers follow to plan sequences of learning. Each routeway shows clear progression in knowledge, skills and vocabulary, within and across year groups.


How often are lessons taught from Year 1 to Year 6?

  • Reading, Writing and Maths is taught daily.
  • Science, Computing and R.E. are taught discretely for an hour each week
  • French and Music is taught discretely in KS2 for 40 minutes each week.
  • RHSE is taught for 30 minutes each week.
  • P.E. is taught for 2hrs each week.
  • Geography, History, Art, Design and Technology are taught within topics- for approximately 30 hours for each subject each year. These taught lessons may be grouped together within a topic or taught weekly over a period of time. This dependent on the overall learning journey.

How is learning captured?

Learning across the school is captured in a variety of ways. 


In Reception, children have an individual Learning Journal, which records a sample of learning across the year and tracks progress. There are also class portfolios for wider curriculum subjects. As the year progresses, each child's begin a Writing book. Phonics booklets are completed in line with phonics expectations.


For the rest of the school, learning is kinaesthetic as well as outcomes recorded in books. Children have discrete books for English, Maths, Science, RE as well as a topic book combining History, Geography, Art and DT learning. 


Whole class curriculum portfolios are used as a teaching and learning tool to to support children with embedding knowledge within RHSE, Music, Computing, P.E. lessons.


Whole class reflection portfolios provide children with an opportunity to reflect on enrichment opportunities and special curriculum and fundraising days.

How the children use their class portfolios to embed their knowledge, skills and vocabulary:

How Knowledge, Skills and Vocabulary are embedded

Within teaching and learning, we use a range of strategies across the school to embed new, recent and longer acquired knowledge. See below some of the strategies the staff use, within and across lessons.

Our Topic Curriculum- A vehicle for teaching History, Geography, Art and DT

Following stakeholder views, we decided to create bespoke, relevant topics for all year groups within school. The topics are intended as a vehicle to engage and excite the children's learning within History, Geography, Art and DT, whilst enabling them to make links to between different subjects and recap prior learning. 


Topics for each year group have been carefully considered to ensure the knowledge, vocabulary and skills learnt by children throughout the school are logical and progressive, with regular opportunities to re-visit prior knowledge and learning. 


From Reception to Year 6, each topic focuses on at least 3 of the subjects identified. Most topics focus on all 4 subjects. Our school values, alongside the key curriculum drivers agreed by stakeholders 'Discover, Captivate, Excite, Challenge and Flourish' are the golden threads which stitch our curriculum seamlessly together.

We recognise the importance of children learning about their local area, as well as areas nationally and globally- from Allesley Park to Coventry to the West Midlands and surrrounding areas. There are lots of opportunities for children, as they journey through the school, to gain further knowledge of the area around our school and understand the impact of local historical events and people on our lives today.

Knowledge Organisers and Curriculum Maps

At the start of each term, 'Knowledge Organisers' and 'Curriculum Maps' are created by teachers and sent home with the children.


These documents aim to do the following:

  • Provide parents and children with an overview of the learning the children will be completing.
  • Provide parents and children with the key knowledge the children will be unpicking. 


These documents support with focused learning at home and help knowledge to be retained within the children's long term memory. See below a link to the year group pages containing these documents:

Curriculum Enrichment

Our school community values purposeful learning and fun 'WOW' moments so we include a variety of enrichment opportunities within and beyond the school day.


Within the school day children have the opportunity to:

-Learn how to play a range of Musical instruments as part of Music lessons

-Receive extra paid music tuition from specialist tutors

-Attend purposeful school visits

-Visit the local church and other places of worship

-Learn with expert visitors


Where possible, children attend Sporting and Musical competitions.


After the school day, children have the opportunity to:

-Attend sporting fixtures

-Sign up to private music tuition

-Attend a range of after school clubs- led by internal staff, external providers or experts in the local community.


We also have taken full advantage of the National School-led Tutoring Programme. Children receive additional tutoring weekly, in order to assist their recovery following Covid-19.


Our curriculum enrichment actively promotes child leadership. Children have regular opportunities to be a member of child-led teams. See here for more information:


These teams include opportunities for children to work with each other, lead on an area within school and support members of the wider community.


Previous task have included: 

  • Raising money for a variety of local, national and global charities
  • Planning, leading and evaluating worship
  • Sharing learning with contrasting schools
  • Leading House Points and positive praise
  • Engaging children with prayer writing


Children within our school have also been selected to be Young Ambassadors for the City of Coventry. They have helped lead community events including the naming of a new 'Lady Godiva Train'- they appeared on the local news and radio as part of their role for this!

Read our Curriculum policy by clicking on the link below:

Click on the link below to find out more about each subject in the St. John's curriculum, as well as an overview of the Early Years curriculum: