Our school curriculum is created with our school vision at its heart, ‘Developing the whole child as created by God.’ For this reason, we take a holistic approach to educating and nurturing every child so that they thrive in our community and beyond.
Our inclusive curriculum is based around our Christian values. Everything that we teach enables our children to reflect upon and implement our agreed values:
We have planned our curriculum with the intention of promoting excellence and equality through high quality learning and the personal development of all our children. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, resilient and confident learners and encourages high aspirations for the future.
Our aim is to deliver a curriculum that provides engagement and encourages children to achieve. We provide a broad and balanced curriculum to help build cultural capital in our pupils. Subject leaders communicate effectively with year group teams to ensure that learning in all subjects is carefully sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build upon what has been taught and understood previously (The spiral curriculum). We recognise that children will be at different stages of their learning journey and teachers ensure that curriculum planning is tailored to individual needs. Some children will have additional requirements and will have an individual curriculum designed for this purpose.
At St Mary’s C of E (Aided) Primary school, we provide a broad and balanced curriculum.
Our core subjects of English and Maths are vital to ensure that children can access a wide range of learning experiences in all areas. This is why we ensure that every child is supported to make excellent progress in these areas. We also recognise RE as a core subject and as a Church of England school our daily acts of worship interweave with the learning in this subject to promote a Christian foundation with a growing understanding and respect of other cultures and religions.
Please see the information further down the page regarding how English and Maths are taught at our school. Further down the page, you will find examples of long-term maps and Individual subject policies that were written in January 2020.
Enrichment of the curriculum is a priority for St Mary’s C of E (Aided) Primary school as we believe that our children will flourish if the provision on offer ignites passion for and interest in the world beyond the school gate. For this reason, we have a strong commitment to hands on learning wherever possible.
Enrichment, responsibility and personal development
To achieve our vision of building lifelong learners with high aspirations, we invite experts and role models into the school, and deepen knowledge, skills and engagement across the curriculum with visits to places of interest. We encourage children to enter competitions and take part in competitive and collaborative events through our community learning programme. To encourage hope for the future, we nurture children to be courageous advocates for change or improvement through class debates, acts of worship and charity events.
It is important to our school community that our children understand the balance between rights and responsibility and to this end we encourage children to take on roles of responsibility and through our zones of regulation, personal development and wellbeing programmes we encourage self-regulation and resilience for life. Because our belief is that children have responsibility to themselves and each other, through our acts of worship and Christian vision and values we aim to provide children with a moral compass for life. We believe that excellent academic progress is less than effective if not accompanied by an ability to be a good friend, to demonstrate integrity and to be tolerant and respectful to all who we meet in life.
Empowering through a holistic approach
At St Mary’s we are great believers that a holistic approach to education is an effective one. Some children need additional nurture programmes to be in a good place to learn. To achieve this, we work in partnership with our nurture support team from St Mary’s Church to provide additional and timetabled support sessions.
At St Mary’s C of E (Aided) Primary school, we recognise the importance of regular assessment and review opportunities to reflect on the impact of our provision on all groups of children. Assessment is carried out through means of formative and summative assessments.
Formative assessments include on the spot observations through lessons and this may take the form of discussions with individuals and groups, self-assessment and peer assessments. Feedback by teachers both verbal and written forms an integral approach within this system.
Summative assessments which take place approximately every 13 weeks, take the form of standardised assessments and teacher assessments, culminating in a grade which allows us to judge individual and cohort achievement. Tracking systems are used to evaluate progress and inform next steps in teaching and learning.
Where assessments show the impact of teaching or provision to be less than it should be, the Senior Leadership team will review the curriculum and make necessary amendments.
Subject leaders alongside the leadership team carry out regular monitoring of subjects through book trawls, conversations with staff and lesson observations to inform evaluation processes and inform CPD processes for staff.
We believe that excellent teaching of the curriculum can only be achieved if teachers receive ongoing, high quality professional development and to this end we are great advocates of sharing expertise amongst staff and utilising coaching sessions to share effective practice.
The voice of the child is paramount in curriculum development at St. Mary’s as we recognise the need for learning and experiences to be meaningful, thought provoking, ambitious and engaging and it is only the children who can confirm if this vision is being achieved. A key role of the school council is therefore to seek opinions and feedback findings. Parents are also invited to comment on the school curriculum through questionnaires, parent consultation meetings and through comment slips.
We measure the impact of our curriculum on personal development through our SIAMS evaluation schedule and involve Governors, staff, parents and children in the process.
HOW TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CURRICULUM IN OUR SCHOOL
Here at St Mary's we have an exciting and varied curriculum that feeds a child's curiosity and prepares him or her with a skills base that prepares them for life. If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please contact Anne Strick, Senior Administrator in order to obtain examples of medium term and weekly plans.
The school is always open to visits so that the public or interested parents can come and see the school in action. In addition, the school holds an annual Open Morning at the end of September where members of the public can come and see lessons in action.