In accordance with the 1993 Education Reform Act, all children now study the National Curriculum. This comprises of:
A - Core Subjects
- Religious Education
B - Foundation Subjects
- Physical Education
- Art Design/Technology
- PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education)
Pupils from Reception work on the Early Years/Foundation Stage Learning programme, Year 1 and Year 2 will be working on Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum, while those in Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 will progress through Key Stage 2.
The content of the National Curriculum is prescribed in the Programmes of Study contained in the statutory orders. To ensure that these are adequately covered St Mary's has devised a Whole School Plan consisting of a series of topics spanning the whole of the primary age range. Planning Each half term a new topic will be in operation. This will be a Science/History/Geography based topic. Cross-curricular teaching is very much encouraged, particularly with the younger children in Key Stage 1.
Language development is regarded as central to children's learning. Much time is spent on the acquisition of skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening and drama. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and children in the learning stage of phonic recognition have daily phonics lessons. A variety of reading schemes are used throughout the school such as Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree. These are supplemented by many additional schemes to broaden reading horizons and encourage reading for pleasure. Readings books are book banded according to National Curriculum levels. Each class has a selection of fiction books and this is supplemented by class bulk loans from the School Libraries Service. Our school library houses both non-fiction and fiction material. Children are encouraged to visit the library regularly and select information books to support topics and personal research.
Much work has been done at St Mary's to develop an enriched mathematics curriculum. We have implemented the Primary Strategy for Mathematics throughout the school and are focussing greatly on using and applying maths. Problem solving in maths is a high priority and we encourage all members of the school community to aid us in teaching real maths to our children.
Science is organised on a topic basis. The emphasis of our science work is based on practical investigations. Children will be required to communicate and record their findings and develop scientific concepts in the form of fair testing. A close link with science is the use of our locality and environment
Computers are used throughout the school to promote better learning and understanding and to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum. Equipment is being updated and supplemented all the time. We have a range of equipment, including scanners, digital cameras and roamers. We are fortunate to have laptop trolleys which house machines for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes; we have a timetable in order that each class of children has equal ICT opportunities.
Physical Education is a Foundation Subject. All children are expected to join in Physical Education which comprises gymnastics, dance, games, athletics and outdoor pursuits. They must change into suitable clothing (see uniform policy). All children are encouraged to enjoy sport and to increase their own personal performance. Children usually play football, netball, rounders, cricket and smaller team games to increase the acquisition of skills. We have a large field which is ample for sporting activities and is used all year round. Sport specialists from the Staffordshire and Stone Partnership visit school to promote sport on a regular basis. We take part in the Inter-Catholic Schools tournaments for cross country, football, netball and athletics which are co-ordinated by the staff and pupils of Blessed William Howard Catholic High School.
Your child will have the opportunity to swim at Wolgarston Swimming pool in Penkridge during their time at St Mary’s.