Like all schools in England, we must follow the National Curriculum – it sets out subjects and content which we must teach. Within this, however, there is flexibility so that we can interpret and plan to meet the needs and interests of our children now and for the future. The key aim for all our teaching and learning is to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn, to enjoy and to achieve.
The core subjects of English, Maths, Computing, Science and RE are taught discretely.
To meet the requirements of the National Curriculum foundation subjects, all classes follow a topic (see Topic timetable in each class section). The ‘topic-based’ approach to the curriculum which we follow at St Mary’s means we group certain subjects around a broad theme. We have created a skills and knowledge based continuum which includes coverage of the new National Curriculum, as part of a broadly balanced curriculum which meets the needs of St Mary’s pupils, taking regard of the school setting and local, national and international developments.
Teaching staff broaden the experience of the topics for the children through promotion of the outdoor curriculum, off-site visits and visitors into school and shared experiences with the wider school community.
Music & PE specialists work alongside class teachers to develop teachers’ skills and subject knowledge and provide further enrichment activities.
Pupils develop knowledge in a structured way, progressing through the curriculum in a way that ensures that knowledge is transferred to the long-term memory. This is achieved by teachers regularly checking pupils’ understanding and the recognition that the more children know, the more they can learn. Teachers look at where links between knowledge can be exploited so that new knowledge becomes ‘sticky’ in the mind of the pupil.