At St Mary’s we deliver a rich and engaging, thematic curriculum which provides the children with a variety of different learning opportunities. Every child experiences a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural and physical development. Pupils are stimulated and challenged so that they can make good progress across our curriculum and achieve age related expectations. Pupils will leave St Mary’s prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the next stage in their education and future life.
Our core Christian value of love, in the form of One Family, underpins everything we do in school. Whilst we believe in excellence in all aspects of school life and individual excellence is recognised and valued, we believe that through a focus on love by working together as part of a strong and supportive family, we can all achieve more – socially, emotionally and academically.
As pupils progress through the school they will develop high expectations of themselves in terms of their learning behaviours; they will be encouraged to develop growth mindset attitudes, including resilience and perseverance and increasingly become more independent learners.
At St Mary’s CE Junior School, we are committed to providing relevant, first hand learning and purposeful experiences for all of our pupils. We aim to allow the children to develop good interpersonal skills and become creative, critical thinkers. We want children to really enjoy their learning and help them become team players as well as valuable members of society as they grow older. Our whole school motto ‘One family, achieving more together’ articulates this vision.
The curriculum at St Mary’s offers opportunities for all children to learn creatively, explore and enquire, encouraging them to think deeply about their learning. Children will enjoy the richness of learning in many different ways: from each other, from adults, through visits, using our grounds and through art, music, drama and sport.
Staff work hard as a team, reviewing progress and exploring new strategies to capture the energy and enthusiasm of young learners in order to inspire them to develop a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
St Mary’s provides a highly inclusive environment. Pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their learning goals. All of our children are challenged and encouraged to develop their skills and knowledge through rich and varied curriculum opportunities. Those who need more support with their learning are given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. To help us achieve these aims we deliver the 2014 National Curriculum through topic themes which appeal to the children and capture their interests. We ensure that this learning is tailored to individual needs. Cross curricular planning allows the application of basic skills across all curriculum subjects.
The breadth of the curriculum at St Mary’s ensures that all subjects are valued. Sport, music and MfL (modern foreign language) continue to be given a high profile so that children are introduced to a wealth of experiences, including opportunities to work alongside children from other schools through competitions and performances. We continually look for ways to expand these experiences, for example through the introduction of new sports, including lacrosse and the inclusive sports of sitting volleyball and goal ball. Our provision for music enables pupils to learn a variety of instruments both within curriculum time and beyond. Choirs, orchestra and music ensembles enable children to apply their music skills and develop a real love for the subject. These opportunities engage many children, including those with SEND and those from disadvantaged backgrounds
The school works with our linked infant school to provide the full core offer of extended school provision. To promote physical health and wellbeing a range of clubs, from sugar craft, judo to book club, gives learners an opportunity to access a wide variety of activities after school hours and during lunch times.
Leaders at all levels play an important part in the success of our curriculum by undertaking a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. As a school we are continually evaluating the curriculum to ensure that it is tailored to meet the needs of individuals, groups, and cohorts.
Pupils will be taught by teachers and Learning Support Assistants with high expectations, who will plan and deliver a curriculum that is stimulating, pertinent, extends pupils’ understanding of all of the subject areas and ensures high quality learning and outcomes.
Children leave St Mary’s equipped with the values, skills, knowledge, attitudes and experiences that form our curriculum, enabling them to succeed in life.
The curriculum design at St Mary’s ensures that the needs of whole cohorts, individuals and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate.
Our schemes of work follow a cross curricular approach enabling children to make real links between subjects. This gives them opportunities to apply English and Maths skills across all curriculum subjects and build on previous knowledge.
We have planned our curriculum, both core and foundation subjects, through a topic approach. Where possible, enrichment opportunities are planned in to allow learning from direct first hand experiences. These opportunities include visitors and visits to the local area and beyond. In addition, we have whole school focused days and weeks to enrich our children’s curricular experiences further. These include a focus on science, books, aspirations, friendships, our school values and HeartSmart themes.
The skills of, and a love for reading is prioritised at St Mary’s through:
- time set aside for independent reading.
- carefully planned reading activities in lesson times.
- selection of high quality texts, including classic and modern texts and poetry.
- targeted intervention and support for identified pupils.
- providing a wealth of opportunities to apply reading across the curriculum.
- support for pupils joining Key Stage Two with gaps in their phonics knowledge.
- ongoing assessment to ensure gaps are addressed quickly and effectively.
- a commitment to restocking the library and class reading material.
- working closely with the School Library Service to widen the range of texts used in lessons and to bring in new titles for pupils’ independent reading.
- staff and pupils sharing a love of reading with others.
The school’s curriculum is shared with parents through year group meetings, newsletters and termly curriculum overviews that are available on the school’s website. Parents are given further opportunities to share in their children’s learning and our curriculum through open days, class assemblies, end of unit performance’s, and exhibitions of work outcomes.
At St Mary’s we believe that high quality teaching and learning is achieved by:
- having consistently high expectations of all pupils’. Inspiring pupils to love the challenge of learning and are increasingly resilient to failure.
- planning lessons effectively, making maximum use of lesson time and coordinating lesson resources well.
- checking pupils’ understanding systematically and effectively in lessons, offering clearly directed and timely support.
- providing adequate time for practice to embed the pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills securely.
- providing high quality continuous professional development for all staff to ensure deep knowledge and understanding of the subjects they teach.
- using highly effective questioning which allows pupils to demonstrate understanding of subject content and to misconceptions upon which to act.
- providing pupils with incisive feedback, in line with the school’s assessment policy, about what they can do to improve their knowledge, understanding and skills.
- setting home learning, in line with the school’s policy and as appropriate for the age and stage of pupils, that consolidates learning and prepares pupils well for work to come.
- challenging stereotypes and encouraging pupils to value the diversity of pupils’ experiences and provide pupils with a comprehensive understanding of people and communities beyond their immediate experience.
- providing parents with clear and timely information on how well their child is progressing, how well their child is doing in relation to the standards expected and providing guidance about how to support their child to improve.
At St Mary’s we strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with, or exceeding national expectations when we consider our children’s varying starting points. We measure this carefully using a range of strategies. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically, physically, as well as emotionally prepared for next part of their learning journey and for their future life.
Our children develop behaviours and habits to become effective learners. The impact is seen through their development of growth mindset so that our children do not give up until they are proud of what they have achieved. Pupils understand that making mistakes are part of the learning process and they are highly motivated to succeed and achieve.
Our learners will be confident and happy citizens with a clear understanding of our central concept of ‘One Family’ supported by the values of Hope, Curiosity, Perseverance, Respect, Responsibility and Compassion, enabling them to live in the wider community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the learning our children demonstrate, but in the learning behaviours we see each and every day in all pupils in classrooms, on the playground, in our corridors, when they are representing our school and in the many roles we give them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our community, including staff, governors and children from other schools too.
Pupils will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their wider community. They will show tolerance, embrace differences, be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others. Pupils will have an understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation enabling them to reflect on their actions and come to the realisation that a different more ‘loving choice’ can be made in the future.
They will go out into the wider world wanting to make a real difference in their own life and to that of others as well.
Please see the links on the right for an overview of each year group’s curriculum. Each year group also sends out a termly newsletter giving parents more detailed information about their child's learning for that particular term.