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, MFL, Art, Computer Science and Physical Education
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 units of learning. 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.
We aim to provide every child with the key skills they require to achieve in all subjects and develop a love of learning that will be with them for their whole life, through high quality teaching and learning experiences. To achieve this we use the Essentials Curriculum by Chris Quigley. This sets out the essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects alongside progress measures. This curriculum enables us to plan for breadth, progress, assess and record progress.
The curriculum builds progressively from EYFS to Year 6 and aligns to the National Curriculum. This is done through Milestones. There are three milestones - Milestone 1 (Years 1 and 2), Milestone 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Milestone 3 (Years 5 and 6). Within each Milestone, children develop the knowledge and transferable skills which allow them to access all areas of the curriculum. Children work through three developmental stages : Basic, Advancing and Deep, this is dependent on their cognitive development and confidence.
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. Reading is at the core of most lessons. We promote reading for pleasure through classroom teaching, homework, book weeks, use of reading journals and parent workshops. Parental engagement with reading is strongly promoted.
Writing is taught through the 'Talk for Writing' approach and 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.
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.
How are pupils with SEND ensured access to the curriculum?
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class. High-quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEN. This will be scaffolded for individual pupils. We ensure that all the children with SEND have full access to the curriculum that we offer. This is completed through personalised learning to match the children’s levels in more academic subjects and small alterations to activities in more physical subjects such as gymnastics and dance. We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:
The outcomes of the curriculum are measured by the attainment and progress made by the children. Teachers continually use assessment of the children’s responses and the work they produce to measure impact. Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. This includes book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations to measure the impact of teaching and learning. The SMT use data from all areas to make comparisons across groups, and within groups as well as keeping track of children’s progress and attainment from point to point to see they are keeping on track. We also use pupil interviews to gauge children’s engagement and enjoyment of the curriculum. Staff complete a topic review at the end of each topic and this is used to inform future planning and improve teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders also have the school’s curriculum assessment data to support judgements on the impact our curriculum is having.
For children with SEND We follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review. Each child on the SEND register has their own personalised targets. This will draw on:
• The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
• Their previous progress and attainment or behaviour
• Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
• The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
• The views and experience of parents
• The pupil’s own views
• Advice from external support services, if relevant The assessment will be reviewed regularly.
A review is completed once a term with all the adults who work with the child to assess if they have been met and what interventions are working and what the child may benefit from moving onto next. A meeting is then held with the parents and child to discuss the review and also to then work together to prepare the next targets. Here the pupil’s voice is heard and both the child and the parent work with the class teacher to form their text targets.
Interventions that happen in school are also reviewed at their finishing points and fully evaluated. These are then looked at for planning of funds and effectiveness of the intervention. Children may be taken off the SEND register when they have made sufficient progress against national expectations. If the child does, then later fall back behind national expectations they may be placed back onto the SEND register at a later date. If targets are not met, then the support is changed and the Graduated Approach is followed.
If you would like a further break down of the curriculum for each year group, please go to our class pages or contact the Deputy Headteacher: Mrs S Marland
History and Geography
Our curriculum for humanities is underpinned by the Essentials Curriculum by Chris Quigley. The Essentials Curriculum sets out the essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects as stated in the National Curriculum. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development.
One of the primary reasons we chose this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. In essence, this means providing children with increased cognitive challenge, allowing them to apply the skills which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them onto the next skill needlessly when they have not truly mastered it.
We feel this curriculum provides us with a coherent, progressive and appropriately sequenced curricular structure to enable our pupils to develop subject specific knowledge and skills to prepare them well for the next stages of their education. The curriculum, builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. The milestones are covered across 2 yeargroups (Year 1&2, Year 3&4, Year 5&6). The curriculum is aligned to the National Curriculum and goes beyond National Curriculum requirements in each milestone to ensure repetition of skills and knowledge.