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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Our faith is unique.

Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School our expectations are limitless! We believe that all pupils can achieve excellence and that a quality primary education provides the platform for lifelong learning and success.

Pupils in our school come from a diverse range of backgrounds and face many challenges. They live in a changing world, and need an education which equips them with the knowledge and skills to make sense of their world. We aim to equip children to be critical thinkers, capable of thinking ethically and morally about the issues they face.

We believe that St Mary’s is a caring school where the children feel safe, valued and can achieve their very best. Through the curriculum, we aim to prepare pupils for the opportunities, experiences and responsibilities of adult life and to lay a firm foundation for future learning.

Our Catholic values help children to develop their social and moral ethos, as they build their sense of uniqueness and self-worth as an individual. We believe all children deserve the opportunity to nurture their individual talents and to achieve their true potential. We aim to encourage the children to develop their understanding of their local and national heritage and their role in modern Britain today. We encourage them to embrace all that multi-cultural Britain has to offer them and develop their understanding of the global world, within which they are a citizen of the 21st Century. Through our curriculum, children develop the British values of democracy, respect for the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

It is important to us to provide a broad range of exciting, relevant and creative opportunities that enrich our children’s learning, such as: special events, trips, visitors, outdoor learning in our school grounds and links with our parish church. Our school also has specialist teachers for Music and MFL.

We give high priority to teaching the fundamentals of reading, writing and mathematics every day, to ensure that all pupils acquire the basic skills for learning and life. These skills are used and practised across other subjects, through planned themes. We teach the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, using a wide range of strategies. We give children opportunities to work on their own, in pairs and in groups. We value the importance of talk as a tool for learning and invest time in this.

The children are taught a planned programme of work throughout their years in St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.  Opportunities are planned to cater for a range of different learning styles to ensure that all children can access the curriculum and learn in a way that is best for them. We enhance this with planned opportunities that make up the wider school curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS curriculum covers Nursery and Reception and is split into seven areas of learning, three prime areas and four specific areas

The EYFS curriculum is underpinned by a play-based approach where children have access to all areas of learning within the classroom and in the outside learning area. Children will engage in self-chosen activities as well as carefully planned adult-directed sessions, including phonics and mathematics.

The children are continually observed and assessed by teachers and support staff so that they progress rapidly towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’.

Some pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1.  Throughout this period and beyond all children are still developing their phonic knowledge. The use of the Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the National Curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child’s progress.

Key Stage 1 and 2

At Key Stage 1 and 2, children have a daily English and Mathematics lesson, and a daily lesson in reading.

As a school, we recognise the importance of reading for all children and therefore, have a comprehensive and thorough approach to the teaching of reading across the school including, daily Read, Write Inc phonics lessons in Year 1 and Reception. Reading is developed through Guided Reading in classes which is taught daily from Year 2 – Year 6, giving children the opportunity to read texts which are pitched at the right level to develop their fluency and understanding. In addition, the school promotes reading for pleasure and uses Accelerated Reader to encourage, support and help track children’s reading. Reading is at the core of most lessons. Through rewarding reading behaviour, assembly challenges, reading and book weeks, use of reading journals and parent workshops, parental engagement with reading is strongly promoted.

Writing is taught through a topic-based approach or planned around a rich, stimulating text. This provides a context and purpose and audience for the children. Grammatical accuracy is embedded in the teaching of writing but also as a discrete element of the English curriculum.

We are a ‘Mathematics Mastery’ School. This is a programme of mathematics teaching that will be built on year by year as children progress through school.

The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics including the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.  Children at St Mary’s are taught to reason mathematically, solve problems and apply their mathematical skills in a variety of real-life contexts.

In addition to English and Mathematics, children are taught to develop their skills, understanding and creativity in Science and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum. History, Geography, Art and D&T are delivered using planned themed topics of learning. This ensures full curriculum coverage linked to national curriculum objectives and includes ‘essential knowledge’, along with ideas for ways to ‘launch’, ‘explore’, ‘energise’ and ‘celebrate’ the themes. Science is taught discretely but integrated into topics where possible. Over-arching school-wide themes are being developed to provide cohesion and ensure the curriculum is relevant to the local context.

The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science.

To help the children develop their knowledge of their faith, the school uses the Dr Margaret Carswell Framework Model for Religious Education, which is taught in a three year cycle and links to the liturgical year. The content of this model offers a systematic programme of study which comprehensively covers all the strands and requirements of the Curriculum Directory.  Each topic plan ensures progression and depth of provision in focussed areas.

 

If you would like a further break down of the curriculum for each year group, please go to our class pages.

 

 

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