St Mary’s Curriculum Statement
Our school has been a presence in the local community for 60 years. The school was opened to serve local Catholic families who at the time were largely immigrant. Over the years, it has grown to be a thriving school serving a community of increasingly professional families, who have a desire to see their children achieve academic excellence and be very well prepared for their next stage of education. Parents who send their children to St Mary’s have very high expectations for them and these expectations are shared by our staff.
Our Mission ‘Faith in Education’ puts Jesus at the centre of our learning and development. At St Mary’s we live by the core value based on the message in the Gospel John 13:34 which is to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’. At the heart of our curriculum lie our values of Courage, Service, Justice, Compassion, Empathy, Tolerance Patience and Resilience which we interweave through the carefully planned progressive content by which we bring both the Early Years and National Curriculum to life. We believe that the knowledge and skills taught alongside these values, which we will embed throughout a child's journey through our school, will enable the children of St Mary’s live happy, fulfilled, purposeful and successful lives.
Developing Confidence and Resilience will enable our children to become independent in their learning and formulate their own views and opinions.
Exploring Courage, Service, Justice and Compassion will enable our children to make sense of the ever-changing world in which they live and help them to play their part in it as valuable members of society.
Understanding Equality/Equity and Rights and Responsibilities will enable our children to appreciate the impact their choices and actions can have on the lives of others in our world.
Empathy, Tolerance and Patience will enable our children to develop emotional and social intelligence so that they can always view things from the perspective of others.
Underpinning our school curriculum is our desire to make St Mary’s a place where adults and children together can enjoy learning. We aim to ensure this through our interpretation and delivery of the Early Years and KS1/KS2 National Curriculum through which we interweave our Core Values. We hope to develop excellent lifetime learning habits for our pupils by developing these values, alongside the core British Values to produce pupils who are not only ready to successfully transition to the next stage of their educational journey but, also have instilled within them the basis of the knowledge, traits and attributes of which will lead them to become the valuable, measured and successful citizens of the UK and the wider world of the future.
Acquisition of knowledge and development of skills is carefully planned to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child ensuring that milestones are met throughout their primary years.
Each area of the curriculum is broken down so that learning is mapped across key stages identifying the units to be taught in each year group. Each unit identifies the disciplinary and substantive knowledge and skills to be taught and clearly shows how this is progressive across year groups.
Subject specific skills are scaffolded so that each child, irrespective of their needs, is supported to access the curriculum at their level ensuring that all pupils have an inclusive curriculum offer and that aspirations are high for all pupils.
Our curriculum is planned to be coherent, picking out the clear connections that arise within a particular discipline, across a particular year-group or across a range of subjects. For example, a pupil should recognize that the recording of results from science investigations links directly to their work on data and statistics in Maths; similarly, a pupil will find map reference work in Geography far easier if they link this directly to their work on co-ordinates in Maths. Some History units are linked with English so that the historical knowledge gained can be used to achieve high quality report writing and narratives. We will try to avoid forcing a link or connection across a topic.
Progression in learning is a key aspect of our curriculum planning. We aim to vertically integrate the learning of knowledge where there is a clear linear direction, ensuring that curriculum plans clearly indicate how objectives taught at one point in time build on material taught earlier and feed into what is to be taught later. Children have time to rehearse and embed new learning and they receive feedback that enables them to know how well they are doing and what they need to do to further improve.
Through a mainly whole class teaching approach (although this approach is not exclusive) we aim to inclusively ensure there is an appropriate level of challenge for all pupils relative to their individual needs.
We aim to offer a curriculum which balances academic progress and the structured development of knowledge alongside offering many opportunities to promote the children’s spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development.
This is a rapidly changing world, and as a result, our curriculum will be ever-changing. We will see staff come and go and pupils will differ in their aptitudes and abilities year on year. Therefore, we will work tirelessly to ensure our intended curriculum remains relevant and the creativity and skills of the teachers and support staff will be vital and key our success.
Our long term plans reflect our intended curriculum. Senior Leaders, Subject Leaders and all other staff will have regular opportunities to monitor its implementation to ensure that what is intended is actually enacted remains relevant and is impactful in terms of both pupils’ development of knowledge and skills but also on their development of our core value attributes. The ongoing development of subject leadership and utilising the input of experts where required and regular planned reviews and feedback will, alongside changing internal and external priorities, continue to feed into our ongoing curriculum development.
By adopting this approach we believe we can prepare our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences they will encounter in the rapidly changing world they will face beyond their time in our school