Curriculum

At St Mary’s we have developed a skills based curriculum using the National Curriculum 2014 and the EYFS Foundation Stage Development Matters documents.  Where-ever possible, links are made across distinct subjects in the belief that children learn best when logical connections are made between different aspects of their work.   However, because subject leaders have planned clear skills progression across the school, this thematic approach is not to the detriment of subject specific skills and characteristics.

In addition to the National Curriculum and Religious Education, we also seek to plan in further opportunities to develop skills and understanding relevant to our local context.  An example of this would be our annual focus on “Healthy Choices”.

We believe passionately in giving the children ownership of their learning. We support our children in becoming ‘aspirational’ – encouraging them to aim higher than they believed was possible – in order to make the most of their learning opportunities.  We explicitly teach and encourage good learning behaviours.

As a school with a Church Foundation, we also have a whole school approach to our core values which are rooted within the Christian traditions.  These shape our termly Collective Worship themes, but also provide a focus for children and adults across the term as we seek to develop our spiritual and moral awareness and understanding.

Yearly overviews can be downloaded below,  however more detailed curriculum outlines are sent each half term and can be found on your child’s class pages. Parents/carers are welcome to speak to class teachers or subject leaders if they would like more detailed information.

English is taught through the Pie Corbett “Talk for Writing” approach which we believe has demonstrably improved fluency and vocabulary.  If you want to learn more about this approach, the best person to explain it is Pie himself!  His website clearly explains the three phases of imitation, innovation and invention(independent application); and is well worth a visit.  Pre-school also embrace story telling; and a collaborative project in 2013 saw us winning an “Outstanding Practice” award for Early Years.

Phonics is taught through the government scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’. The full document can be found here: Letters and Sounds . In Reception class, the children also use Jolly Phonics to learn their basic letter sounds. More information about Jolly Phonics can be found at http://jollylearning.co.uk/ .

Reading books are organised according to bands, so that your child can select freely from a range of books (both from published schemes and real books) at an appropriate level for independent reading.  Guided Reading sessions led by Teachers and Teaching Assistants use texts that are more challenging and are focussed on the teaching of specific skills.

We use the White Rose Maths Hubs resources to support our learning in maths. These help our teachers to deliver maths using a concrete-pictorial-abstract process, to ensure the children develop good mathematical understanding, using concrete resources and pictures (e.g. part-whole and bar models), before applying this to abstract calculations.

We also enable children to have real life experiences of using their mathematical skills, for example children in Lions and Otters regularly organise and run the school fruit tuck shop.

Outdoor Learning

Mrs Munro is our fully qualified Forest School Leader.  During the year each class has a six week Forest School block of learning in our dedicated Outdoor Learning Area.  The owners of Parish’s House also allow us to use their fabulous gardens and adventure trail.