At St Mary’s we have an enriching and varied curriculum where knowledge, skill progression and deepening of understanding are key. Our topic-driven curriculum focuses on learning through research, practise and experiences. We aim to allow children opportunities to find their interests and develop a passion for their favourite subjects.
We focus on creating enjoyable, yet challenging topics, which immerse children, for a full term, in a unique subject. These topics are centred on history, geography or art. Each term across school, all pupils engage in activities, lessons, trips, special visitors and homework on the same foundation subject. This allows school to work collaboratively, share resources and transform the school for a term. This also allows us to focus on the progression of ‘key skills’ in each subject throughout the year groups. The subjects of history, geography and art are key to our curriculum. They form the core of each of our termly topics, but are also taught throughout the year in various forms. All other foundation subjects are taught throughout the year, usually on a weekly basis.
Our core subjects are connected to our topics where fitting and beneficial. Literacy is especially linked to our topics. Our (whole class) reading lessons are centred on a text which complements our topic’s themes. Similarly, our writing supports our topic learning. At St. Mary’s, we often have special maths projects linked to our topics. For more information on our core subjects, please refer to our English, Maths and Science policies.
St. Mary’s is a Catholic school with the Spirit of God at the heart of all we do. Religious Education is central to our learning and we value faith, community and kindness. We celebrate diversity, learn about different faiths and study our local area, as well as the wider world. We study ‘British Values’ which are common values in both our faith and our view of the world. Respect for all is a crucial part of our ethos and the theme of many lessons, assemblies and projects in school.
Anti-bullying is a fundamental component of our curriculum. We have ‘Kindness Cadets’ in school to help us all be happy, healthy and to be an ‘up-stander, not a bystander.’ We aim for pupils to have a clear understanding of what bullying is and how to prevent it. We partner with the Anti-Bullying Company and have won awards for our work.
We are a Rights Respecting School. This means that pupils know their rights and that they respect the rights of others. We also value our planet. Several of our topics include learning about sustainability, being green and the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). Our curriculum also covers aspects such as healthy eating, wellbeing, online safety and relationships.
At St. Mary’s, we aim to provide an education to captures pupils’ imaginations and help them to discover their own interests, strengths and successes. The purpose of our curriculum is to open children’s eyes to a world of possibilities, while building on their skills and knowledge for their current learning and for their futures.
We do this through ‘Key Skills’ which are built upon in each lesson. Lessons are sequenced carefully to ensure maximum progress takes place and learning is retained, as prior learning can be called upon. Teachers intentionally make connections between topics and prior learning. Repetition, memorable experiences, context and different types of teaching and learning are highly valued in our curriculum.