St Mary's RC Primary School

Live, Learn, Love.


Curriculum Intent for St Mary's Catholic Primary School


At St. Mary’s Primary School, our overarching curriculum intent is to provide ambitious learning opportunities that foster achievement across all domains while nurturing the social, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our students.


Foundations and Progression:

Our curriculum is designed to equip children with the knowledge, skills, and cultural capital necessary for success in life. Beginning with the Early Years and progressing through Year 1 to Year 6, we adopt a knowledge-led approach. We ensure our curriculum is accessible to all, complying with the Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.


Structured Learning and Pedagogical Approach:

Our curriculum map and subject-specific units are meticulously crafted to identify essential knowledge and skills, promoting sequential, layered acquisition. This structured approach facilitates the induction of new staff and supports our pedagogical strategy, based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Direct Instruction. Daily review, small-step progression, questioning, modeling, and scaffolding are integral to our teaching methodology.


Focus Reading and Vocabulary Aquisition:

We prioritize the development of vocabulary throughout our curriculum, and recognize the gateway role of reading in pupil learning. Our focus on early reading and vocabulary development ensures all pupils can access the full curriculum from the outset.


Inclusive Provision and Support:

To address disparities, our Pupil Premium Strategy targets reading (including the teaching of phonics),  vocabulary. Similarly, provision for SEN pupils is carefully mapped to ensure they gain the knowledge and skills needed for success.


Broadening Life Experiences:

We enrich our pupils' lives by exposing them to diverse cultural experiences, helping them appreciate human creativity and achievement. This exposure widens horizons and builds confidence for future educational phases.


Active Citizenship and British Values:

As children gain confidence and skills, our aim is for them to become compassionate, well-balanced life-long learners. We support their integration into society as active citizens, economically independent, and exemplifying British Values.


Trips and Experiences:

Our central London location allows us to utilize the city as a classroom, enhancing learning through a variety of off-site visits and guest speakers. We organise a range of experiences and visits to ensure there is a good balance. School trips and visits are essential for enriching learning by providing real-world application and experiential learning. They broaden students' horizons, build relationships, develop life skills, inspire interest, contribute to well-being, extend classroom learning, and serve as rewards, fostering a holistic and motivating educational experience.


Continuous Monitoring and Review:

We continuously review our curriculum through subject-based monitoring, ensuring sequential knowledge acquisition and maintaining high pupil outcomes. Our retention of high-quality pupil work facilitates effective staff induction and underscores our commitment to exceptional standards.


Impact on Pupil Progress:

Children consistently demonstrate excellent progress as evidenced by pupil achievement data, the quality of work in their books, and their positive attitude towards learning. Our approach ensures that children not only retain knowledge but are also enthusiastic learners who take pride in showcasing their capabilities.


Curriculum Implementation


At St. Mary’s Primary School, our curriculum implementation is founded on a consistent strategic approach that ensures meaningful learning experiences for our students.


Structured Plans:

Our curriculum is scaffolded by carefully crafted plans, strategically leading students from component knowledge and skills to the synthesis of comprehensive understanding in all subjects. These plans serve as a roadmap, guiding both teachers and students through a deliberate progression of learning.


Pedagogical Approach:

Central to our teaching philosophy is the adoption of Rosenshine’s Principles of Direct Instruction. This pedagogical approach, characterized by its brilliant clarity and simplicity, forms the backbone of our instructional strategies. This equips teachers with effective tools based on proven scientific research and creates consistency in lesson delivery.


Guiding Principles of Direct Instruction:

Our curriculum implementation aligns with the following principles of Direct Instruction:

  1. Daily Review: Regular revisiting of previous learning ensures a strong foundation and aids retention.
  2. Present New Material using Small Steps: Complex concepts are broken down into manageable increments, facilitating understanding.
  3. Ask Questions: Encouraging active student engagement through questioning promotes critical thinking and participation.
  4. Provide Models: Clear and explicit modeling of concepts sets a standard for student understanding.
  5. Guide Student Practice: Teachers play a pivotal role in guiding students through practice, offering support and clarification as needed.
  6. Check for Student Understanding: Continuous assessment ensures comprehension and identifies areas requiring additional support.
  7. Obtain a High Success Rate: Success builds confidence and encourages a positive attitude toward learning.
  8. Provide Scaffolds for Difficult Tasks: Support structures are in place to assist students in tackling challenging material.
  9. Independent Practice: Gradual release of responsibility empowers students to apply their knowledge independently.
  10. Weekly and Monthly Review: Regular reflection and review sessions consolidate learning and identify areas for reinforcement.


Our commitment to this approach is grounded in the belief that a systematic and structured implementation is key to fostering a deep and lasting understanding of the curriculum content. Through the application of Direct Instruction principles, we empower our teachers to deliver high-quality education that nurtures both academic excellence and a love for learning among our students.


Curriculum Impact


At St. Mary's Primary School, the impact of our curriculum is a testament to our unwavering commitment to nurturing each child to achieve their fullest potential. Our intentional and structured approach, rooted in a well-defined curriculum intent and meticulously implemented strategies, manifests in several key dimensions.


Exemplary Work Induction for New Staff:

The retention of banks of high-quality pupil work serves as a powerful tool for inducting new staff into the ethos of our schools. These exemplary works not only showcase the high expectations we uphold but also provide practical illustrations of the success our students achieve through our curriculum.


Demonstrable Progress and Achievement:

Our students take pride in demonstrating their knowledge and skills, actively showcasing what they know and can do. This enthusiasm for showcasing their learning is a clear indicator of the positive impact our curriculum has on their attitude towards education.


Consistent Pupil Achievement Data:

The impact of our curriculum is evident in the consistent and positive trajectory of pupil achievement data year after year. Our commitment to a knowledge-led approach, structured unit plans, and the Principles of Direct Instruction results in measurable success, reflecting the continuous progress our students make across various subjects.


High-Quality Work in Student Books:

The work showcased in student books stands as tangible evidence of the effectiveness of our curriculum implementation. These books become a repository of the students' intellectual journey, demonstrating the sequential acquisition of knowledge and skills as they advance through the curriculum.


Positive Attitude Towards Learning:

A fundamental aspect of our impact is the fostering of a positive attitude towards learning among our students. The curriculum is not only a means of academic development but also a tool for instilling a genuine love for learning, encouraging curiosity, and nurturing a growth mindset.


Achievement Beyond Academic Excellence:

Beyond academic success, our curriculum aims to foster holistic development. The impact is reflected in our students' character, resilience, and inner discipline. The exposure to diverse cultural experiences and character-building opportunities ensures our students are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that life presents.


In summary, the impact of the curriculum at St. Mary's Primary School is multi-faceted and far-reaching. It is evidenced in the achievements of our students, the quality of their work, and their positive attitudes toward learning. As we continue to refine and enhance our curriculum, guided by our intent, we are confident that our students will not only meet but surpass their potential, becoming compassionate, well-balanced life-long learners poised for success in all aspects of their lives.