The curriculum at St. Mary’s is planned and organised to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical developments of the school community. The National Curriculum is an ingredient in this but only part of a wider picture. Literacy, Numeracy and personal and social development form the foundations of our entire curriculum.
Our curriculum is alive – it changes and adapts to meet the needs of our children, to reflect what is happening in our wider world and to allow us to engage with our community. We aim to make learning accessible and fun. We teach children key skills including: analysis, evaluation and problem solving so that they can learn the facts and transfer knowledge. We promote resilience and teach children to see themselves as learners, to love learning, to be inspired and to be excited about the big questions in life. We teach children how to keep themselves safe and healthy through Sport, PHSE, visits from professional services such as the Life Education Van and most importantly, by building trusting relationships where discussion and debate is practised routinely.
Our curriculum is extended by an array of enrichment activities including day visits, cultural experiences and themed days. Extra-curricular activities also form an important part of the curriculum and we have an array of lunchtime and after school clubs, which are available for many children throughout the school year.
We present a number of different opportunities for pupils to embed fundamental British Values and focus on growing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We have a number of strategies to support this which may include workshops, educational visits, residential trips, assemblies, visitors and links with external organisations.
Assessments are integral to planning the next steps of learning, and individual progress is tracked in an abundance of ways. Various interventions are implemented and suitably tailored for individual needs, providing additional opportunities for pupils to succeed.
Please use the links below to access more information about our curriculum. Medium term topic planners can be found on the link titled Class Pages. Topic planners are distributed to families by the class teacher at the beginning of each term or half term. This encourages and enables parents/carers to discuss learning with their child; many of our families visit the local library or research information together. Sometimes families have things that they can share with school, for example, in 2018 we were visited by a parent on a 1930's tractor during our World War II topic.
English is taught primarily through children's books/novels. We are keen to establish a love of reading and writing. Our teachers are trained in Talk for Writing which enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular genre of writing before writing independently.
Our children are provided with opportunities to write for purpose in varying context, this develops their writing style and builds the 'writing stamina' needed to write at length.
Our English curriculum covers the national curriculum. Although we might dip into commercial schemes, we do not follow any. Our non-prescriptive English curriculum allows us to attempt our planning flexibly and provides children with some choice in which books they choose to study.
We use the Sounds-Write programme to deliver phonics throughout school. This is a highly structured, cumulative, sequential, explicit and code-oriented instructional programme for teaching all children to read and spell.
St. Mary's CE is working in close partnership with the the South Midlands Maths Learning Hub and is working with Leicestershire colleagues on a Maths Research project to develop a mastery curriculum. We follow the White Rose Maths schemes of work. Again, we do not limit our curriculum to using a single published commercial scheme but we do offer children the opportunity to develop their mathematical thinking by using materials developed by the government supported Maths No Problem! We encourage children to practise the rapid recall of number facts. All children in KS2 have access to the Times Tables Rock Stars website.
The main purpose of Physical Education within our curriculum is to develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes necessary for mental, emotional, social and physical well-being now and in the future. We encourage our children to:
• Make informed decisions in order to improve their mental, emotional, social and physical well-being.
• Experience challenge and enjoyment in a range of contexts - we encourage a 'have a go attitude' and provide wider curriculum opportunities for children to expand their thinking of what a physical activity is.
• Experience positive aspects of healthy living and activity for themselves.
• Apply their mental, emotional and social skills to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
• Take part in activities outside of school.
• Experience competition and have the resilience to compete.
Weekly PE lessons are taken by school staff trained to deliver key skills. Children also have other opportunities to be physically active in school including:
Art, Design and Technology and Music
Art, design and technology weaves through all subjects in our primary curriculum. Each subject is taught explicitly and links are made within other subject areas to allow children to practise their skills. Children are exposed to the arts in various forms and enjoy learning about different types of artists and forms of art; children enjoy exploring different mediums and thoughtfully consider the message that the artist is wishing to convey. During their time at St. Mary's children will experience: sculpture; textiles; cooking; photography; painting and drawing and modelling with different materials.
Our music lessons are supported by the Leicestershire Music Hub. Children all have the opportunity to compose, sing and listen to music. Our music curriculum is based on the minimum standards set by the Barking and Dagenham Music Hub. Children have the opportunity to take part in performances from EYFS to Year 6. Instrument tuition is inclusive and includes: recorders, singing; hand-bells and brass.
Modern Foreign Languages
We are very fortunate to have a French language specialist on the school staff. Children are taught rhymes and songs from EYFS and move to follow a more structured curriculum in Year 3. We follow the 'Lightbulb Languages' scheme of work. This scheme focuses on speaking and listening in everyday contexts. We are also fortunate to have a very strong link with a partner school in France (Ecole Saint Georges du Vievres).