Guide us O God to be the best we can be; in every thought, in every word and 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 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 is regularly reviewed:
- to ensure that it remains true to our core aims and values and is best suited to all of our pupils
- to ensure that our curriculum enables pupils to deepen their learning and make clear progress within all subject disciplines
- to ensure a transferring of knowledge and skills across and between subjects
- to ensure a solid foundation on which to build all future learning
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.
Rich texts are at the core of our curriculum with our aim being to create and nurture a reading culture in which children love reading, thrive academically through reading and become lifelong readers. Teachers read to their children every day 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 to future success.
Our curriculum is broad, valuing all subjects, and provides a wide range of opportunities for our children to become the best people they can be. New and exciting experiences, many delivered through extra-curricular activities, along with a rich variety of purposeful educational visits, including residential trips, and visitors are used to engage our children and further enhance our curriculum with the aim to build resilience, encourage independence and increase self-belief.
Working alongside our families, parish and local community, our curriculum is implemented by staff with strong pedagogy (the science of teaching) and pedagogical content knowledge (strong subject knowledge). The learning environment is stimulating and supportive for all children and provides a safe space for children to learn, make mistakes and learn from them. Providing children with coherently planned sequential learning opportunities to develop ‘sticky learning’ (long lasting knowledge); carefully informed assessment practices and the development of effective characteristics of learning drives our quality teaching and learning.
We endeavour to stretch and challenge all children at all times, whether through the questions we pose or activities we provide. For some children, pre-teaching of big ideas and vocabulary is necessary before learning is challenged and extended. Children who do not grasp the big ideas and key learning receive same day intervention support to ensure they are ready for the next lesson.
Our curriculum is connected by four ‘Golden Threads’ that weave throughout and across all subjects. Discrete subject specific knowledge and skills are taught with children’s vocabulary developed at every opportunity. Children are given the opportunity to revisit learning in different contexts which we believe is a key component in ensuring children retain knowledge.
Reading across the curriculum is of paramount importance. This is reflected in teaching and learning and on our working walls, all of which include subject specific key vocabulary. Children take part in a wide range of reading lessons on a regular basis. These include phonics, guided reading, 1:1 reading, independent reading for pleasure and listening to their class teacher read. Our aim is to create a reading culture in which all children make accelerated progress and develop into lifelong readers.
Our children’s progress and achievement will be rigorously monitored, highly valued and reflect the success of every individual. Explicit teaching and repetition of key vocabulary and subject specific concepts, knowledge and skills will provide a structure for future learning, ensuring that they are ready for the next stage of their education. Children will be supported to ‘be the best that they can be’ academically, personally, emotionally, socially and faithfully.
When our children leave us at St Mary and St Andrew’s, we aim to have helped to develop well-rounded, deeply-faithful young people who are confident and resilient when facing personal, academic and professional challenges. We want them to have enjoyed this formative part of their learning journey and take with them a sense of who they are, a belief in their capabilities and a resilience to go boldly onto the next stage of their education.
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