The Curriculum at St Mary's
Our children will journey through St Mary’s Catholic Primary School as kind, resilient, and curious citizens with faith at the core of all they do. Their passion for learning will be ignited, with self-belief and well-being nurtured. Every child will have the chance to ‘Let your light shine’ and will leave us prepared for a future of possibilities.
Our approach to designing the curriculum is rooted in current research into creating the best possible conditions for all children to be successful. We recognise by designing a curriculum which provides exceptionally well for the lowest 20% of our pupils ultimately means that we will get it right for all pupils.
We aim to make sure that all children experience ‘expert’ teaching, where learning is deep and profound, allowing pathways and connections in the brain to be made and retained. Every member of staff is constantly looking for ways to develop in order to give the children the absolute best.
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. RE is taught discretely following the Come and See Re program but, through key concepts and themes, also provides the basis upon which the termly topics are built.
For history, geography and science, St Mary’s follows the carefully designed Ark Curriculum Plus programme. History, Geography and Science Mastery is a fully resourced, carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum . The programme is based on the best available research and evidence on what pupils need to know and retain as well as how they learn, memorise and practice what they have learnt.
What kinds of knowledge, attitudes and values should be prioritised?
Different authors have proposed different responses to this question, depending on what they conceive the purpose of education to be. However, it does seem that most of the justifications that have been made for education can be grouped into four broad categories.
- Firstly cultural transmission. A key reason given for educating young people is, in Matthew Arnold’s words, to pass on from one generation to the next: “the best that has been thought and known in the world. Those who do not know what people are expected to know are regarded as ignorant – not stupid, but simply lacking the knowledge expected of them.
- Secondly, personal empowerment. Arguably the most important aim of education is to allow young people to take greater control of their own lives. The idea is that rather than simply enculturating young people into the existing systems, education is the means by which people: ‘deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.’
- Thirdly, preparation for citizenship. Democratic citizenship arguably works only if those who are voting understand the choices they are given, and so education therefore has a vital role to play in preparing citizens so that they can make informed decisions about their participation in a democratic society.
- Fourthly, preparation for work. As a number of reports from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have shown, educational achievement is inextricably linked with economic prosperity. Those that do better academically, tend to go on to get better paid jobs.
We place emphasis on knowledge and skill utilising the staffs’ skills as well as utilising educational visits and welcoming visitors into school. Further skills are mapped to each term and are developed as a result of the curriculum we plan.
The curriculum is implemented through themes mainly in a cross curricular approach and Art and Design and Technology are closely linked to the Ark Curricum Plus units. However, maths, English, RE and other subject specific skills for science, computing, MFL and music are taught discretely to ensure a mastery of skills and depth of teaching to make links to topics.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their age related expectations when we consider the varied starting points of children. The children will be academically, emotionally and physically prepared for the next phase of their education, in Britain and the world.
The children at St Mary’s are resilient, they don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve, and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this. This is seen by how the children approach challenges every day: on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge.
Our pupils will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, in the corridor, in the many roles we give them and in the daily interaction of all members of our school and faith community
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others. They will go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others.
Please click below for our Long term curriculum plans for the
school year 2021-2022.