In accordance with the 1993 Education Reform Act, all children now study the National Curriculum. This comprises of:
- Religious Education
- 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.
Curriculum Delivery- Curriculum Vehicles
Here at St Mary’s the curriculum is more than the National Curriculum alone: it is everything that our school does to contribute to the development of each and every child from the time it opens to the time it closes each day.
We have developed a rich, engaging and exciting school curriculum that seeks to serve our vision of readiness for the future and ensuring our children become the very best they can be through 'Curriculum vehicles'. Every child learns the foundation subjects through these “Curriculum vehicles.” A vehicle does not use a national curriculum subject as its starting point. It is the vehicle to drive learning; we always know the desired destination (ie outcome) prior to starting the vehicle.
Vehicles have no national curriculum relationship at all. A teacher may choose 'running a museum' as a vehicle, to emphasise teamwork or another aspect of the school curriculum.
The 'Curriculum vehicles' go beyond the National Curriculum in order to equip our pupils with essential skills.
They also incorporate the following key values:-
- metacognition and self-regulated learning
- Gospel values and British Values
- managing feelings and behaviours
- managing relationships
- cultural appreciation
- managing time and resources
- global awareness and responsibility
These key values are assessed as part of the process.
Vehicles replicate life in the 'real world' which gives context to the national curriculum.
- uses an outside client wherever possible, to give the vehicle a purpose. For example, an internal newspaper is not as exciting as one that is made and distributed in the local community.
- includes exciting milestones along the way to maintain enthusiasm, particularly for younger pupils.
- draws on expertise from the community, including specialists, outside visitors and out-of-school visits wherever possible and relevant.
- aligns with the teacher's passions and enthusiasms
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 "Read Write Inc" phonics programme and children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 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 Book Band 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.
Maths is an adventure for children (and adults) to immerse themselves in, get creative with, make mistakes, and conquer!
Much work has been done at St Mary's to develop an enriched mathematics curriculum. We have implemented the Power Maths scheme which is a whole-class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and help all puils confidence nurture confidence in maths.
- a world-class and unique mastery teaching model created by leading educational experts from the UK and China.
- It uses an exciting growth mindset and problem solving approach which helps spark a curiosity and excitement for maths and equips children with deeper understanding.
- It uses an enriched approach that cleverly combines interactive teaching tools and quality textbooks
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 sports 4 Schools and the Wolves Foundation work in 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.