THE SCHOOL’S CURRICULUM.

The school has introduced the new primary curriculum and are committed to ensuring pupils learn key knowledge and concepts for all subjects in greater depth by carefully planned learning progression. On some occasions there is enhancement of subject teaching by planned cross curricula themes and topics.

Our curriculum threads SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) across all subject areas and school life and ensures pupils are aware of the history and values of Britain and prepares pupils for life in modern Britain.

We teach children how to keep safe; this includes assemblies and teaching through PSHE and sessions from specialist support agencies- for example related to internet safety and sex education.

There is high expectation for all groups of pupils with challenging learning for all; our aim is ‘pace with depth’. High quality AFL (Assessment for Learning) is used to personalise learning for all groups of learners maximising their rates of progress.

Pupils are encouraged to learn from mistakes developing resilience and good learning behaviours:

“I was only able to improve my writing by learning from my mistakes, getting feedback from my colleagues.” Steve Jobs.

“Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.” “Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

Dialogic teaching methods are developed across the school to ensure pupils are able to confidently employ questioning skills to deepen their learning. As a result pupils develop independent learning skills. 

Our learning ethos is built upon intrinsic reward systems and as a result learning and resilience are praised and stickers etc for results are avoided. 

Pupils build learning power to establish life-long learning skills and many of the school’s principles are built on Guy Claxton’s strategies for a “Learning Powered School” and John Hattie’s focus on “Visible Learning and impact”.

Pupils are provided with a meaningful, inspiring and interesting curriculum that is enhanced by visits, visitors and cross-curricular links. 

We have developed our new school curriculum and assessment system with the following principles:

  • Formative and summative assessment is used to improve teaching and learning and raise achievement.
  • Accurate and moderated assessment drawing upon a range of evidence with baseline.
  • Evaluates how well pupils are doing against age related expectations and identifies pupils falling behind ensuring there is aspirational challenge for all groups of learners.
  • Reporting to parents will make sure parents understand how well their children are doing against national standards and the progress being made. Feedback on reporting will be sought from parents during 2014/15.

At St Mary's School children are taught to read using systematic synthetic phonics within Early Years and Key Stage 1. They are taught to decode and blend words using the sounds they have learnt in Phonics and to use picture clues to help them when reading books.

Throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 the children will read our school Reading Scheme; this is a combination of fiction and nonfiction books placed into bands appropriate for a child’s reading development. Once a child is a competent reader and they can show fluency and a deep understanding of what they have read they move off the reading scheme books.

Reading schemes used at St. Mary's: Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds, Pearson Bug Club.