At St Mary's Catholic Primary Schools Trust we embrace the principles of "Every ChildMatters."
We want every child at our school to:
- Develop a life long love of learning
- Celebrate their achievements and embrace new challenges
- Be independent, self-confident and motivated learners
- Develop the ability to communicate effectively
- Value themselves and others in the whole community
- Develop an understanding and concern for the world in which we live
- Be healthy and stay safe
- Understand their responsibility for themselves and others.
We want learners who:
- Can organise themselves
- Can make choices and decisions
- Can select resources
- Can look after their environment
- Are willing to have a go
- Are excited about what they are doing
- Enjoy sharing their ideas
- Like working with others
- Are skilful
- Have lots of ideas
- Can investigate and solve problems
- Know a lot about their world
Teaching and Learning
We believe children at our school should have the opportunity to learn through a rich curriculum that gives a wide range of first hand experiences, the opportunity to develop skills for life and to develop a positive self-image. We work to achieve this through our Teaching and Learning Policy which has been written by the whole staff and identifies how teaching and learning will be achieved throughout the school.
At St Mary's we have developed our own core curriculum based on the basic skills that we know our children need to progress and flourish. The curriculum we teach meets the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance and the Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum in Key Stage One and Key Stage 2.
The context in which the curriculum is delivered places a strong emphasis on pupils' starting points, interests and talents.
In order to present the curriculum in the most appropriate and creative way for young children, the learning objectives have been reviewed and links established between subjects. A thematic approach is used in each year group which provides a structure which is meaningful and interesting to the children.
A curriculum map has been devised which identifies the learning objectives to be covered for each area of learning within each year group as part of a theme.
Planning, Delivery and Evaluation
The school aims to provide a challenging environment with planned opportunities for children to learn through a wide range of experiences.
There is a balance of self-initiated play, focused enquiry, directed activity and direct instruction. The balance will change depending on the age and academic, social and emotional needs of the individual child but for most children the focus on directed activity will increase as the child progresses through the school.
All teaching is carefully planned to provide the teacher with opportunities for observation, shared engagement, focused input and instruction, feedback and guided discussion.
Class timetables are flexible, varying on the differing needs of the children and to allow for more depth of learning.
Assessment for Learning
We believe that assessment must always lead learning and opportunities are developed from knowledge of where the children are. Their level of knowledge and areas of interest are assessed at the start of a theme, and then reassessed at the end. Formative assessments are ongoing and approaches to learning altered to match the needs of the children.
All teachers keep detailed assessment folders that contain the following information:
- Class list - context and tracker children
- Baseline and targets
- Progress towards targets
- Reading data
- Writing data
- Maths data
- Vulnerable groups data
- Interventions in place
- Tracker children
- Historic data
- Evidence of progress and attainment for each child in basic skills or key EYFS learning.
We believe all children should have equal opportunity to learn so ensure we take into account any barriers which may hinder their learning. We use a variety of teaching styles and have a creative curriculum where all children can be included and can achieve.
We believe that it is important that children receive a wide and rich reading expereince. We therefore encourage children to read and enjoy books of their choice from our well stocked, age appropriate library alongside our own leveled books which link directly to their level of progress.
Both Schools use a bespoke colour coded reading scheme.
At St Mary's Catholic Infant School we aim to provide a positive and encouraging environment for quality learning to take place where children are given opportunities to talk and listen, and to develop confident phonics skills to support their reading and writing.
Children work within their own class as the class teacher is aware of phonics levels and specific practice needed to be applied in class. Phonics planning comes from within the structure of ‘DfE Letters and Sounds' and is supported by the ‘Jolly Phonics' Scheme.
Taught Phonic sessions are 15 minutes daily in every year group:
Nursery: Phase 1 Letters and Sounds
Reception: Autumn term: Phase 1 Letters and Sounds revision
Reception Spring term: Phase 2 Letters and Sounds
Reception Summer term: Phase 3 Letters and Sounds
Year 1 Autumn term: Phase 4 Letters and Sounds
Year 1 Spring term Phase 5 Letters and Sounds
Year 2 National Literacy Strategy.
Any child falling below the identified average for each year group is given additional daily 1:1 support:
Reception: 1:1 revising sounds of the week
Year 1: 1:1 5 minute box
Year2: phonics revision with daily reading