Our curriculum ensures excellent coverage of the National Curriculum (Years 1-6) and Foundation Stage Early Years Curriculum (Reception Children). We have fully embraced the higher expectations set out in both curriculums and have devised our own units of work for each subject area so that we can ensure a sound progression of learning. We also have a core team of specialist teachers who are passionate about their curriculum area; these teachers work with different groups of children each year. Our team includes PE, music, art and computing specialists.
Our Reception pupils learn both indoors and outdoors, experiencing a range of adult led and child initiated activities. We value and incorporate the children’s interests as they develop. As children approach their final half term of reception, they start to prepare for their transition to year 1 and begin to experience key stage 1 learning. In years 1-6, we ensure that this ‘active’ and ‘engaging’ learning continues, with teachers maximising opportunities for talk time, active, visual, audio learning and the use of the outdoors. At all times, we focus on learning being challenging, engaging and enjoyable.
At St Mary’s we believe that children learns best when they are excited about their learning; for this reason, we teach a themed approach where possible. Through making strong links across curriculum areas, children begin to make connections and the learning experience is much richer. Each term, when children return to school after their termly break, teachers and children get dressed up in line with the theme of learning and get to experience their ‘WOW’ day. This is a day of immersive learning where children really get a good grounding in the new theme. Children in year 1-6 also take part in a project exhibition, where they get to showcase their project work that was completed over the termly holiday –this is always a great celebration.
In addition to everyday teaching, we have a range of learning opportunities that further enhance the curriculum. We arrange workshops both within and outside of school so that children get to learn in different ways. Workshops children have enjoyed include a chocolate workshop for a unit of work about the Mayans and a great fire of London workshop. Children also visit a range of museums, galleries and centres of learning where they will often take part in workshops led by the staff at the venue e.g. the Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum and Suntrap to name but a few.
The learning experience we provide is completed with the knowledge that each child is unique and special. As a Church of England Primary School, we place our Christian values at the heart of everything that we do; we live our values. We teach the Diocese programme of study for religious education and also place worship very firmly in our day to day lives. Assemblies take place each week where children learn from the stories in the Bible. Each week, we focus one of our Christian Values. We also attend Church each half term. Each day we aim to fulfil our mission statement: ‘Educating for Life’ by encouraging the whole development of each and every child as a person made in God’s image and deeply loved by their Maker.