Guide us O God, to be the best we can be: In every thought, in every word and in every deed.
Our curriculum demonstrates a thematic approach to learning; where appropriate, subject specific knowledge and skills are taught within an over-arching, exciting theme. We believe this approach to be most effective in supporting our children to build on their prior knowledge and to apply that knowledge meaningful learning experiences.
Here at St Mary and St Andrew’s, we have mixed age classes and our curriculum is taught on a rolling two-year programme, ensuring all knowledge and skills are covered throughout the Key Stages. We have designed our curriculum to suit the needs of our school and community.
Our curriculum is built around four main drivers - our Golden Threads:
- Our Gospel Values -Be Appreciative – Be Forgiving – Be Loving – Be Generous – Be Honest – Be Bold - we want our children to be guided always to be the best people that they can be.
- Resilience - we believe, resilience, determination and belief to be key ingredients of success across the curriculum and beyond the classroom.
- Diversity and Inclusivity - our curriculum allows us to share our similarities, celebrate our differences and ultimately prepare our children for life in modern Britain.
- Success - we are passionate about delivering a curriculum that will support, stretch and challenge our children at all times ensuring everyone achieves their true potential.
Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure each and every child can ‘be the best people they can be’ by offering stimulating and awe-inspiring learning experiences with our Catholic values at its heart.
It is designed to meet the needs of the pupils at St Mary and St Andrew’s, not only by focusing on appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, but by modelling the virtues given to us by Christ. Our aspirational curriculum intends to develop individual and collaborative learning experiences; a positive growth mind set; a sense of responsibility and provide challenges that take learning beyond the classroom.
We intend that every child will be a reader. Rich texts are at the core of our curriculum with our aim being to create and nurture a reading culture in which children thrive academically and become lifelong readers. Teachers read to their children every day from carefully chosen books that we believe will bring the curriculum to life - make learning experiences meaningful and memorable and will ultimately expose our children to the richest vocabulary. Learning environments are vocabulary rich and are used daily within our teaching and learning. We are passionate about imparting to our children words that will propel them into future success.
Our curriculum is broad and ambitious, valuing all subjects, and provides a wide range of opportunities for our children to become the best people they can be. We look to reflect their interests by listening to the voice of all pupils and enhancing learning experiences from local to national and global arenas. We will work tirelessly to forge effective relationships with parents – the first educators – for the good of our pupils and of all the school community. We intend our curriculum to develop outward looking pupils who are able to engage in learning about themselves and have an understanding of the wider world and its complex cultures.
Working alongside our families, parish and local community, our curriculum is implemented by staff with established and growing strong pedagogy (the science of teaching) and pedagogical content knowledge (subject knowledge).
With a curriculum designed by teachers and leaders that know our children and community well, four 'Golden Threads' are woven throughout all subjects: Gospel Values; Inclusion and diversity; Resilience and Success. These are the platform from which we begin our implementation.
Growing in expertise, our subject leaders collaborate effectively to provide our children with coherently planned, sequential learning opportunities to develop ‘sticky learning’ (long lasting knowledge). Long term planning, building on prior learning, leads to thorough medium-term plans and carefully considered assessment practices informing teachers of necessary next steps. Individual lesson plans are created for core subjects. Ambitious vocabulary is modelled, explicitly taught and is visible throughout the environment; we believe this is critical in unlocking deep understanding and knowledge.
Through quality first teaching and the activation of metacognitive strategies we stimulate learning within our children so they can acquire, build on and retain knowledge; where children have not learned a concept securely, we effectively address their needs through rapidly responsive interventions and careful use of adults. Throughout their time at our school, children are given the opportunity to revisit learning in different contexts which we believe is a key component in ensuring children retain knowledge.
We commit to presenting a stimulating, pupil-focussed learning environment to aid developing independent learners and one which provides a safe space for all children to make mistakes, celebrate and learn from them.
Leaders of the school commit whole-heartedly to ongoing CPD for staff at all levels so that teachers are well-equipped to implement our curriculum effectively and children make great progress as a result.
Our children’s progress and achievement is rigorously monitored, highly valued and reflects the success of every individual. Explicit teaching, repetition of key vocabulary and subject specific knowledge provides a structure for future learning, ensuring that our children are ready for the next stage of their education. Children are supported to ‘be the best that they can be’ academically, personally, emotionally, socially and faithfully.
A curriculum rooted in positive behaviour for learning
For our curriculum to have maximum impact on our children, our children must be ready to learn and understand what great behaviour for learning looks like. It starts the very moment your child joins our school through the relationships they form with adults, other children and the high expectations we uphold for a safe, calm, orderly and positive environment.
“High expectations for behaviour and attitudes should include the development of core values such as respect for self and others, resilience and motivation to succeed.” Positive learning behaviour is about creating an environment where students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Ofsted 2019.
Good behaviour must be taught, just like any other area of the curriculum. In our recent inspection from the Catholic Schools Inspectorate (June 2023), behaviour was noted as outstanding and we are proud of this judgement. It is critical that we work closely with parents so that children are given every opportunity to be the best that they can be.