At St Mary’s we believe in providing an inclusive curriculum which enables all children to reach their potential. This curriculum is inspired by the example of Christ, underpinned in the school’s vision and values and encompassed in our motto of; Learning together in God’s love. We believe that our curriculum should be broad, balanced, creative and relevant and should meet the needs of all, regardless of ability, ethnicity, gender, faith, language or social class.
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and our religious education syllabus, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the wider curriculum, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential. This curriculum is promoted through our Christian values, vision and motto, and these give children the skills they need to become responsible members of the community. Our curriculum meets all statutory requirements.
We plan our curriculum in three phases, EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Using the frameworks for each phase, we make decisions about which topics are to be taught in which year group. These are then divided up into six half-termly curriculum webs. From these webs, year group teachers write short-term/weekly plans which set out the learning objectives and success criteria for each session alongside the lesson activities including differentiation and resources for different groups of children. After each week, lessons are evaluated in order to plan appropriately for future learning and to build upon children’s attainment. As a school, we plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum and EYFS development matters framework.
For our systematic phonics we follow the Letters and Sounds programme. This teaches the children their phonic letter sounds and begins in the nursery continues to Key Stage 1 and is followed in Key Stage 2. This also focuses on securing word recognition skills as these are essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words correctly and with ease so that later they can concentrate on comprehending and composing texts.
We also ensure that there is suitable progression of curriculum knowledge and skills throughout the school we use our subject-based progression of skills documents to formulate our lesson objectives and we assess children’s progress against these. From our assessments, we ascertain whether a child is working at age-related expectations in each area. For those who need additional support or challenge, we provide scaffolded and extension activities related to the specific learning objective. For children who do not make the progress that is expected, we implement focussed intervention and in-class support. As a result, the vast majority of children make good progress and achieve high standards in all aspects of their work.
Key Stage 1 Literacy
We follow the phonics programme Letters and Sounds. This is supplemented for guided reading with decodable books. For home practice your child(ren) will be set appropriate reading work on Bugs club and also lent books from the school library.
To find out more about the Curriculum we teach please speak to your class teacher.
Remote Learning Offer
Our remote learning offer is effective in meeting the learning needs of those children who are not currently in school. There is a wide range of activities available to ensure that children receive high quality education, which will enable them to continue to progress at a good rate. Children are keen to take part in the live online lessons and attendance is excellent.
Remote Learning in the Early Years at St. Marys’
Our remote learning offer for the children in Reception Classes at St. Mary’s is as follows:
- A daily home letter uploaded onto Google Classroom and Tapestry, which outlines the tasks in phonics, literacy, maths, PE, PSHE and the foundation subjects, for parents.
- 30 minute online lessons in phonics and maths four days a week
- Weekly interventions to support identified children in both phonics and communication and language
- Weekly pre-recorded activities / videos on Tapestry for RE, storytelling, and art.
Remote Learning in Years 1-6 at St. Marys’
Children at home and those who come to school receive the same curriculum, lessons and tasks. Home learning includes the following:
- Teachers send a letter explaining the day’s work
- Daily Maths and English live lessons delivered twice in most instances, to ensure that numbers are kept to about 15 or less. A weekly live Religious Education and Science lesson
- Daily 'catch up' interventions and regular interventions aimed at identified pupils.
- Daily foundation and other core subject tasks, or signposting to longer term research projects
- Music and PE challenges
- Weekly acts of worship (currently four live or recorded sessions per week)
- Work related support in live lessons
- Signposting to a range of websites and other learning activities
Remote Learning for SEND pupils at St. Marys’
- Staff make learning accessible and relevant to all pupils, including through differentiation, taking into account the ILPs of SEND pupils.
- LSAs provide Live 1:1 video sessions for some EHCP children at home, either because they can't access the level of whole class teaching or in addition to this.
- Support Staff lead live video and/or small intervention groups session for specified children, which include those with SEND
- Weekly phone calls to parents of EHCP pupils who are not able to access live sessions due SEN needs, and providing help with learning.
- Laptops available to SEN pupils if they are at home.
- Learning packs available to identified SEN pupils either delivered or sent online.
- 1:1 LSAs provided for EHCP children in school.
'Catch Up' Provision
Despite the current lockdown, we continue with online catch up intervention and other small group teaching for identified children. We deploy additional staff for this purpose. The school’s catch up strategy had a positive impact on pupil attainment so far and, especially in KS 2, outcomes are higher than we expected. In KS1, where the basic skills in the core subjects are not yet established, there is a greater need for catch up, and more children will require intervention.
Our strategy consists of three tiers which are explained below with some further details provided:
Tier 1: Whole class teaching, providing a focus on catch up intervention based on the needs of the cohort. The actions so far were:
- Sample testing in July 2020, providing us with areas for development in the core subjects for each cohort.
- Designing a catch up curriculum based on the question level analysis of the July tests, addressing the weaker areas. This was delivered in the first six weeks of the autumn term.
- Testing all pupils in Reading, Writing and Maths at the end of the first half of the autumn term. This was used to establish a baseline and to plan further intervention for those who are not at the appropriate level based on their prior attainment
Tier 2: Plan and deliver a series of prescriptive and tailored interventions based on the individuals’ test analysis or other needs. These will be delivered as appropriate during the course of the year. Interventions continue remotely in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 during Lockdown 3, and includes identified children currently at home and those in the Key Worker/Vulnerable Pupil provision.
Tier 3: This is aimed at those who need further intervention to achieve their targets based on their prior attainment. These will commence in January and will consist of 1:1 or small group tuition either by teaching assistants or qualified teachers. This will focus on the core subjects.
Use of the Government’s Covid Catch Up Grant
The school will receive a government grant of £32,960 for this purpose. This will be used as follows:
- Baseline assessments to identify those in need of this provision: £2000
- Reception equipment for intervention, particularly for Physical Development (lowest area in EYFS Baseline Sept 2020): £3500
- Amount available to employ an additional teaching assistant to support year 1 and 2 interventions: £10,626
- Amount available to employ an additional teacher(s) to support year 3-6 interventions: £16,834