At St Mary’s our curriculum is key to us achieving our whole school vision. We strive for successful, determined, imaginative learners and our unique curriculum is planned and delivered with our vision and values at its core.
We believe that all children have the entitlement to a broad, balanced, creative and coherent curriculum which should prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century. They should be equipped with the skills, attitudes and dispositions they need to become well rounded individuals and life-long learners whilst instilling the love of learning.
The curriculum aims to:
- Contribute very well to children's social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
- Promote inclusion, diversity and community cohesion.
- Help to make children socially responsible.
- Develop emotional intelligence and raise aspirations.
- Ensure that all children realise their potential and achieve high standards.
- Promote and sustain a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning.
- Create a sense of wonder.
- Keep up with technology.
- Encourage children to work independently and cooperatively.
- Ensure that children are taught to become enterprising.
- Ensure that children achieve high standards across a variety of subjects.
To achieve our curriculum aims, we use a topic based approach with each class learning six topics per year. Throughout the topics, we give the children a variety of experiences which will bring learning to life. Each topic begins with an ‘Engage Event’ such as an educational visit or visitor to inspire children and support them to put their learning into a real life context. Each topic also includes some form of enterprise to encourage children to work cooperatively and use what they have learnt. Wherever possible, learning is then shared with the school community to ensure that it is relevant and purposeful. We are constantly thinking of new ways to share what we have learnt.
Early Years Foundation Stage
We use a play based interactive approach to deliver the Early Years curriculum which focuses on seven key areas of learning. Our pupils use the indoor classroom and outdoor areas choosing from a range of activities throughout sessions. Reading, writing and maths are taught using a structured approach with whole class and small group adult lead activities.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Morning lessons focus on the teaching of basic skills, reading, writing and maths.
Across school reading is taught using whole class and individual reading sessions with adults. All pupils use their reading skills across the curriculum to develop their understanding and to promote their enjoyment of reading. In Key Stage 1 (and when required in Key Stage 2) the teaching of reading is supported through the use of the 'Read Write Inc' phonics programme.
Writing is taught daily, with opportunities in other curriculum areas being provided for pupils to write for ‘real ‘ purposes eg/ letters, newspaper articles, posters. We have a strong emphasis on handwriting using Penpals.
Maths is taught using in daily maths lessons and fluency is developed throughout the day in short bursts.
Religious Education Collective Worship
Children take part in an act of Christian worship every day. This comprises of one whole school worship (delivered by a member of the clergy), two acts of key stage worship, one Family Worship (where parents and carers are invited to join us) and one act of class worship.
The acts of Christian worship are in accordance with the Education Act 1988. Parents have the right to withdraw children from religious assemblies and religious education lessons, pursuant to their rights under the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1988. Children of other faiths who are withdrawn from assemblies and lessons are given alternative work by their teacher.
Teachers use the Leeds Agreed Syllabus to support the teaching of RE. To achieve a broad and balanced curriculum, the syllabus is built around three aims. RE should ensure that all pupils:
- Investigate the beliefs and practices of religions and other world views;
- Investigate how religions and other world views address questions of meaning, purpose and
- Investigate how religions and other world views influence morality, identity and diversity.
Parents who wish to withdraw their child from Religious education and the act of worship should consult with the Headteacher.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. These skills and attributes help pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain.
At St Mary’s we use the ‘You, Me, PSHE’ scheme which provides a clear and progressive PSHE curriculum which is adapted to fit alongside each year group’s curriculum map.
As part of the PHSE curriculum this year we will be teaching pupils about Social, Emotional and Mental Health. We will do this using the MindMate lessons which have been developed here in Leeds by teachers and mental health experts working together.
The lessons are contemporary and interactive and will help pupils:
- understand their own feelings
- understand the emotions and mental heal needs of others
- ask for help when necessary
- support their friends and families to be mentally well
- reduce the stigma associated with mental health
In 2011, the government defined British Values as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We promote these values through our own school values, curriculum and enrichment activities.
Our curriculum supports the understanding and importance of celebrating British values
Whilst the Arts, sports and enrichment are embedded in the curriculum, we also have many opportunities for children to take part in extra-curricular arts activities.
- gardening club
- running club
- tennis club
- cooking club
- lego club
Each Curriculum subject is led by a teacher who is supported by one or more members of teaching staff or a HLTA. These curriculum teams meet regularly to review their on-going action plan, delegate responsibilities, monitor the impact of teaching on learning across their subject across school and evaluate the impact of their actions as leaders.