The Intent, Implementation and Impact of Our Curriculum
At St. Mary’s we shape our curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive of every child and that it addresses each aspect of how a child develops, progresses and grows both academically, emotionally and within their faith.
The use of vehicles to drive the broad & balanced curriculum will expose the children to an education which has opportunities for them to develop skills and talents which may open doors for their future.
Through the use of vehicles, pupils will acquire the skills necessary to become fully integrated members of society. The skills they will acquire are:
· Metacognition and self-regulated learning
· Values (including Gospel values and British Values)
· Managing themselves
· Managing relationships
· Contributions to projects
· Cultural appreciation (including cultural capital defined as ‘the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’ (OFSTED, 2019)
· Managing time and resources
· Global awareness and responsibility
All of these skills are vital to form well-adjusted adults who are able to make a positive contribution to society and their own self-worth.
Our intentions are clear: to ensure all children make progress from their starting points; to ensure all children develop a love of learning and to ensure our community grows with us. We want our children to have the desire to and be able to evangelise the Gospel to those they meet in their actions and words and to be able to make a positive contribution to the society in which they live. In addition, we want our children to develop a vast array of knowledge and skills, which they have the ability to transfer across different subjects within the curriculum. With diverse families and different levels of socio-economic status, the staff at St. Mary’s ensure enrichment is at the heart of the curriculum we teach. Enrichment is woven into the very fabric of our planning, teaching and assessment process in each and every subject. Our children come to school with different life experiences, which impacts on their vocabulary, reasoning and understanding throughout all key stages. We intend to provide a wealth of trips and visits to improve learning outside the classroom and to create links between learning and fun for our children. We want to prepare all of our children for the next stages in their educational careers as well as allow them to develop their aspirations for adult life.
Our curriculum is carefully crafted to ensure all children have equal access to all areas of the curriculum, enrichment activities and extra-curricular learning too. Christ is at the centre of our curriculum and the Jesuit Pupil Profile is instrumental in the teaching of the values and virtues of our Catholic faith. We have devised our curriculum to ensure breadth and balance for all.
We shape our curriculum utilising features within our local area which has enabled us to develop our children’s music, science, art, and history and geography skills. We utilise our local area well, to help us build on experiences available for our children to thrive. We have good relationships with our parish church, shops and businesses, all of which contribute to our unique curriculum throughout the year.
As much as possible, we take our children out of the local area, to provide them with rich learning experiences which they are able to talk about with their friends and families and make links with their learning in school.
Poets, artists, governors, musicians and engineers work with our children regularly to enrich their experiences and help them acquire skills and begin to form their aspirations for their future.
Our multi-agency approach is implemented throughout our school and the utilisation of a range of agencies helps to close the gaps for some of our most vulnerable children. Sport is recognised as an excellent tool in enabling physical and mental well-being and as a result we employ a specialist PE teacher from the MAC who provides support to ensure that we deliver a robust and challenging PE curriculum. To complement this, advanced sporting opportunities are offered to all children in different year groups: Year 5 and 6 carry out their ‘Bikeability’ training which not only inspires them to ride a bike but teaches them how to do it safely and independently in readiness for their transition.
Alongside teaching of curriculum subjects and assessment of attainment and progress, we ensure that our children’s talents and successes are celebrated throughout the school. We hold weekly star assemblies which not only celebrate academic gains but personal ones too. Children and parents are invited and encouraged to bring in their ‘out of school’ certificates and trophies; this helps to inspire children to work hard in all areas of their learning as we embed a culture of celebrating all achievements for every child. High expectations of all our children leads to high aspirations and the belief that they can achieve in all they do.
With the understanding that some of our children enter our school with lower than national starting points, we believe that family and community engagement is key to break down the barriers of any possible, pre-existing negative school experiences and to welcome families in to our happy, vibrant school.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the curriculum but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points. In shaping our curriculum this way, progress can be measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs.
We teach our children to ensure we alter their long term memories and we define progress as knowing and remembering more. Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad and balanced curriculum which is expertly delivered to ensure a child’s entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life in whatever they choose.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a KS3 curriculum, they have a wealth of transferrable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment. We are proud that once the children from St. Mary’s Catholic Academy have left, they are faith-filled and ready to make a positive contribution to society; have been supported through their transition; have been exposed to rich vocabulary and have high aspirations and self-belief.
For further information about the national curriculum please click on the link below.