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St Mary's Catholic Primary Schools Trust

Curriculum

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Our Faith is at the centre of everything we do, and our aim, is to foster and deepen the children’s faith, to help them to enter into a personal relationship with God and to respond to Him through prayer, worship and Christian living. We try to live as Jesus would want us by showing the personal qualities of caring, sharing, love, trust, honesty and mutual respect. We strive to make our school community one in which everyone is valued and seen in the image of Christ.

We aim to be a welcoming school and part of the wider community. We have strong links with our parish church, and our children visit our church regularly. We have a rich timetable of worship that encourages our children to explore and celebrate our shared Catholic Faith.

Religious education in each class is based upon the Diocesan supported programme, ‘Come and See’. We support parents through our sex education programme which is approved by the Diocese, and books and other materials are freely available for parents to help them in this task as part of the personal and social education of children.

We also teach our children about other faiths because we live in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic world and we value the contributions these groups make to our society. We strongly believe in the tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

English

We believe that talk is key in helping children to become more engaged and effective in their learning and so teach the children to express themselves confidently and coherently through drama, role-play, presentations, discussion and debate.

Each classroom has a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry available to support children’s acquisition of knowledge and encourage reading for pleasure. We have a well-equipped school library and ICT facilities to help children research their schoolwork and personal interests. The children are taught to read using a range of strategies that we have developed ourselves and that are designed to stimulate and challenge children’s thinking and create enthusiastic, life-long readers and writers. Our shared and guided reading sessions begin from Reception and continue all the way through to Year 6. Our aim is for all children to develop a love of reading and we promote and encourage this through many of our school initiatives.

We aim to establish close partnerships with parents and guardians, and particularly value the help and support they give by sharing books and stories with their children at home.

We encourage the children to write on a wide range of topics and for a variety of audiences. We understand the importance for children to write for a purpose and therefore our lessons are planned to stimulate and engage their imagination. We are also keen to engage the children in local and national issues and events, which they always find particularly enjoyable and interesting to learn and write about. The children are taught to use accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout their written work. We teach the children to learn a basic handwriting script from Reception, developing into a fully cursive style by the end of Year 2.

Maths

We aim to give the children a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts and the confidence to apply skills and knowledge in a variety of situations. There is a strong focus on mental mathematical skills that we can apply to a range of problems.

We employ a practical approach in order to develop a concrete understanding which is needed for progress in mathematics. We try to develop in the children, a positive attitude to this subject by making the learning as interesting and enjoyable as possible.

In the Early Years of school, mathematics is learned through direct experience. As they progress through the school the children will be presented with opportunities to use and to apply the mathematical skills that they have acquired.

We aim to develop the use of Maths in other cross curricular subjects. Computing is used to enhance the teaching of mathematics especially through the handling and presenting of data.

Science

Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world.  We aim to develop children’s understanding of the world around them through systematic enquiry, using both first hand and secondary sources as appropriate.

They will be encouraged to ask questions about what they observe, devise experiments to answer these questions and find a variety of ways to communicate this information.

The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically (National Curriculum 2013). Therefore, children will be taught to use scientific vocabulary in verbal explanations and taught to spell scientific vocabulary when completing written science work. 

The teaching of science involves the children in practical work through whole class activities, through small group work and individual work.

Music

Music has a very special place in our schools and is linked closely to the daily Practise of our Faith. Throughout the day all our pupils are encouraged to sing together whether it be through hymns or sung prayers.

In EYFS and KS1, the children are encouraged to develop a love of music through listening to a range of music as well as participating through song, dance and  experimentation with a variety of musical sounds and instruments and will be encouraged to sing and appreciate different styles of music.

The infant classes use their musical skills in our Nativity performances and also through the singing of popular children’s songs and rhymes throughout the year.

At Key Stage 2, the children will not only focus on compositional skills and sound experimentation, but will also look at music in a historical context.

Individual and group tuition is offered for a range of instruments and our pupils are given the opportunity to perform publically throughout the year.

History

Geography

Pupils will taught to develop curiosity and knowledge about the world around them. They will learn subject specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness. Children will explore seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom; North and South Poles; Mediterranean region; volcanoes and earthquakes; Brazil and environmental studies with through rainforests; water cycles and the geography of the local area. They will be using geographical equipment and study geography through concrete experiences throughout the year. 

Computing

At the core of the computing curriculum is Computer Science in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. The aspects of computational thinking are taught throughout the curriculum and can be applied to problem solving in mathematics, science and design technology.

The children are taught how to create programs and a range of content to express their understanding and to enhance the learning of others. The children also learn how to be digitally literate, to communicate and collaborate effectively using web tools and to search and interrogate information. Each year group also study a significant individual who has made an impact in the development of computing.

At the heart of our curriculum is the importance of online safety. At our school, we deliver a rigorous online safety programme from Reception to Year 6 which is supported through our involvement in national events such as Safer Internet Day.

Computing is embedded in teaching and learning across the school and supports our home-school partnerships through the MLE and LGfL programmes which are accessible anywhere.

PE

Our PE curriculum promotes teamwork, co-operation, leadership and how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their personal, social, cognitive and physical skills through school sport and our extra-curricular program. Children develop these skills as individuals and as a participant in group and team activities.

We deliver high quality PE lessons that are delivered by specialist coaches as well as teachers, concentrating on Physical Literacy through gymnastics, dance and multi skill activities during curriculum time. Children are provided with the opportunity to use specialist equipment is each lesson. Athletic activities and swimming are experienced at Key Stage 2.

This is complemented by active playtimes and after school extra-curricular activities including dance, cross country, fitness, tennis and football.

Our schools compete in many competitions throughout the year including, athletics, cross-country, swimming, football and netball.

PSHE, Citizenship and British Values

Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society.

We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community, and teach them what it is to be a British Citizen.

In so doing we help develop their sense of self-worth. We teach them how society is organised and governed. We ensure that they experience the process of democracy in school through the School Council.

The aims of personal, social and health education and citizenship are to enable the children to:

  • know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle;
  • be aware of safety issues;
  • understand what makes for good relationships with others;
  • have respect for others;
  • be independent and responsible members of the school community;
  • be positive and active members of a democratic society;
  • develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues;
  • develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community.

    As a Catholic School, this framework will be implemented in the light of our mission statement with Catholicism at the centre of our approach.

    Art and Design

    We believe that creativity, challenge and inspiration are fundamental to the development of every child. Our Art and Design curriculum aims to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the role creativity has played culturally and historically, through an exploration of key artists and craftsmen through time.

    We provide high quality teaching and learning in drawing, painting and sculpture to enable children to invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. In addition, children will have regular opportunities to explore a wider range of skills and techniques to express ideas creatively across the curriculum