Do you have a child due to start Reception in September 2023? Do come and visit St Mary’s on a Monday morning. Open Mornings: 9:30am on 3rd, 10th, 17th of October
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Curriculum Overview

Here, at St Mary’s, our curriculum is based upon the skills our children need, so that they may lead full and successful lives, both now and in the future. We incorporate academic, creative, emotional, social, physical and moral qualities into our teaching and learning encompassing our Gospel values within a Catholic setting.

Our pupils learn through a variety of different strategies and techniques involving individual or group activities through practical, spoken and written tasks tailored to the strengths and needs of each child.

In all lessons, we aim for the children to be actively engaged with their learning and involved in their individual progress and achievement in becoming ‘global citizens’

Where possible, our curriculum is organised with a cross-curricular approach supported by our local community, parish and parents with opportunities throughout the year to maximise and maintain the pace of learning.

Our topics involve activities which challenge, question and enthuse the children to remember, understand, apply, create, analyse and evaluate ideas, therefore building upon their independence and creativity.

Religious Education

St Mary’s is a Catholic school and thus we are committed to the Catholic Faith, recognising and valuing every individual as special and unique and made in the image and likeness of God. We see RE as the core of the curriculum through which we develop each child’s innate capacity for awe, wonder, reverence and spirituality.

Our intent is to inspire our children, not to have more but to be more. We equip children with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore beliefs, values and traditions in the Catholic and in other faiths. Our Religious Education curriculum is planned and delivered using the ‘Come and See’ programme. Children are taught about God’s love; they learn about Christian responsibilities and are provided with experiences of Church, Catholic traditions, as well as being taught to be respectful and understanding of people and traditions from other faith backgrounds. Through Religious Education our children learn about their unique place within the home, school and parish community.

English

Our inspiring and exciting English curriculum here at St Mary’s will enable our children to be avid readers who read fluently and widely and are able to express preferences and opinions confidently. Learning will be supported with a wide range of high quality reading texts. We believe that ‘reading is the gateway to learning’. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites. We want to develop children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst using a rich vocabulary and developing their own individual style. We expect our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a cursive handwriting style

See our Phonics and Reading tab for more information.
 
Mathematics
Our aim at St Mary’s is to instil a love of maths in all children, and support them to achieve their potential. We structure our maths curriculum so that children learn the required skills for their year groups, and give them opportunities to apply these skills in a variety of contexts including web-based practice through ‘IXL.com’, which we also use for our homework.

Due to the interconnected nature of mathematics we aim to teach maths in a cross-curricular manner as well as discretely, through the use of Power Maths, to teach the practical application of mathematical skills. We focus not only on the mathematical methods but also focus on mathematical vocabulary and applying the skills to real life situations to help prepare the children for the wider world.

Science
Science at St Mary’s stimulates and excites children’s’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. Because Science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage all children at many levels. Science is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling which drives critical and creative thought.

Through Science, children understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. Children are encouraged to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

Our Science curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 as well as running alongside the STEM learning scheme. Wherever possible, lessons are practical and creative, with considerable time allocated to the discussion of ideas.

History

Our intention is to teach about events and people from the past putting these into the context of our modern world. The learning of history in St Mary’s is relevant to current events unfolding in our children’s lives today.

We bring all these events to life through our whole school topics like Peering into the Past and Great Britain where a visit to the Houses of Parliament in London brings the history of our country and how it is governed to the heart of the school. Visits from the local MP and historians of the local area put learning about the past into the context of our children’s lives and locality. A visit to Brownsea Island not only inspires thinking about pirates and smugglers from the past but also how could people govern themselves on an island? This knowledge is built on from the very youngest age through questioning that encourages the children to connect different aspects of their historical learning – so that a question in Year 1 about how do we find out about the past has evolved into how can we recognize if a source is reliable by the time the children have reached Year 6. History at St Mary’s runs through the whole curriculum overlapping with geographical features that change through the centuries and famous people in science and music to name just a few.

The impact of learning History at St Mary’s is that the children understand that it is a “living “subject that is based in the past but affects the way we all live today.

Geography

Our intention is to promote an enquiring and knowledgeable curiosity about places and people from around the world in order to create a geographical context of our own place in the world today. The importance of a global geographical understanding is consistently referred to across all areas of the curriculum.

Our whole school topics include a specific stimulus for geography learning so that it is a constant theme running through a child’s learning at St Marys. For example the topic It’s a Wonderful World inspires not only awe and wonder for our world but also a jumping off point for exploration of specific areas of the world and its geographical features both physical and human. We are so lucky to live near the famous Jurassic Coast to explore the coast on school trips and the River Stour is within walking distance as we discover the ever changing course of a river. An integral part of our geography learning is to respect and preserve our planet Earth and this links closely to our science learning too.

The impact of our geography teaching and learning is to understand that it is a subject that has a relevance to our children’s past, present and future that is all around us from fieldwork in our school grounds to the polar regions. The use of technology is a key part of bringing the further reaches of the world right inside our classroom

Computing

Our intention is to teach children how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. In doing this we will develop children’s computational thinking. Children who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.

Design Technology
Our intention at St Mary’s is to encourage creativity and develop transferable skills. Children are given opportunities to design and make products, considering the product, purpose and user. They will learn technical knowledge and develop their skills when using a range of tools. We support the children to build on their resilience and to persist with ongoing projects, making changes to their original ideas whilst considering accuracy and safety. Our focus is to develop the children’s skills in designing, planning, making and to evaluate their creations using a variety of tools and materials.

Art

At St Marys, we recognise that Art stimulates creativity, imagination and encourages children to express themselves and their ideas through a wide range of medias. Art enables children of all abilities to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of materials, colour, texture and form. We provide all of our children with opportunities to develop and build on their skills and to explore and evaluate different creative ideas and influences.

Music
At St Marys we appreciate that music promotes wellbeing for individuals and as a whole school community. Music weaves its influence through many subjects as an emotional and historical touchstone that combines physical and mental stimulation in all areas of school life. Music is an important factor which contributes to our daily school life and community, particularly singing which brings us together as a class, school and parent community. Our yearly Christmas and summer productions are an exciting time to bring us together and for children to share and celebrate their musical skills, talents and voices, both individually and collaboratively.

We have close connections with Dorset Music Service who work alongside us to provide children the opportunity to learn a tuned instrument either on an individual 1:1 tuition, and/ or as a whole class session. So far our children have learned samba, guitar, violin, recorders and ukulele. The children relish this opportunity to learn a new skill and play amongst and with their peers.

Physical Education
Children are encouraged to keep fit as part of their education for a healthy lifestyle. Gymnastics, games, dance and swimming are taught in each year group.

We have school teams for football, netball, and cricket which regularly take part in matches with local schools. We offer an extensive range of after-school sports clubs.

Relationships and Health Education – PSHE

As a Catholic school, our mission is to support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all of our pupils, rooted in the wisdom and teaching of the Church. The education of children in human sexuality is an important, precious and privileged responsibility. The Church teaches us that this is very much a partnership with parents, in which parents are the ‘first educators’ of their children on these matters. We teach Relationships and Health education using Ten Ten’s programme for Catholic primary schools, Life to the Full. The framework for the programme is taken from the Model Catholic RSE Programme by the Catholic Education Service, which has been highlighted by the Department of Education as a work of good practice.

Assessment

Teachers use the outcomes of our assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils and classes. Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched. The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils at parent consultation meetings.

We celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art and performance, behaviour, and social and emotional development.

Homework

We expect all children to spend an age-appropriate time each evening completing homework, and we ask all parents to co-operate with this policy. The expectation is that all children will read at home at least four times a week and complete a set piece of literacy and numeracy homework weekly.

To find out more about the curriculum our school follows please Contact Us.