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.
At St Mary’s, we believe that the purpose of education is to bring about goodness: human flourishing. We believe that to do this, our curriculum should develop both propositional knowledge and procedural knowledge; it should encourage independence, curiosity and creativity; produce collaborators, innovators, leaders and, above all, it should help our children to understand what it means to be human.
We believe that our children deserve inspirational learning opportunities. Curriculum planning ensures that children are immersed in exciting projects with authentic outcomes. They are challenged to work creatively whilst deepening their knowledge and understanding through highly engaging and enriching experiences.
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.
Our curriculum is organised into three areas, ‘Discover’, ‘Explore’ and ‘Create’. Working across three terms allows us to explore areas of the curriculum in greater depth. In the autumn term, the main theme is History; in the spring term, it’s Geography, and in the summer term, we focus on the Arts. 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, 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.
Using a concept-based learning model, we begin by identifying the curriculum content to be covered. We then identify key concepts that can be drawn out to allow different areas of the curriculum to be threaded together. The concepts are then framed with an enquiry question that provides a starting point for the projects. Throughout, children are encouraged to think deeply about their work, expand their horizons and take responsibility for their learning.
All our projects are contextualised, culturally relevant and purposeful. Children work towards authentic outcomes and engage with critical audiences. Projects frequently involve the children dealing with complex issues, and, as a result, they develop an understanding of what is possible and a belief that they can make a difference.
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.