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The Curriculum

The National Curriculum is a programme of learning followed by children working at the National Curriculum level, usually from Year 1 upwards.  It clearly identifies skills and levels by which every individual child is ensured to make progress.

We seek to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that guides the children on a learning journey through a range of subjects.  Our curriculum is continually evolving in response to pupils’ needs to ensure all children are helped to achieve their potential.  We strive to develop child centred learning through enriching and challenging experiences that allow individuals to increase their knowledge of the world around them.

The National Curriculum subjects are: English; Maths; Science; ICT; History; Geography; Music; PE; Art; Design and Technology; PHSE; Music and Modern Foreign Language.  Details of the National Curriculum can be found at

As a Catholic school Religious Education is the centre of the curriculum, ensuring practice and actions are based on gospel values.

Our aim is to create an environment in which children are confident to explore, evaluate and sometimes fail in order to understand and grow.  We are currently in the process of examining the curriculum and how it is to be taught throughout our school.  Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum with adaptations to cater for the needs and interests of the learners at St Mary's school.

We aim to allow the children to embark on a wonderful adventure of learning, where learning styles and varying intelligences are at the heart of teaching and learning. The approaches and strategies incorporate visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.

It is our belief that children’s learning will benefit from this more thematic approach by encouraging them to transfer their skills and apply their knowledge across the curriculum.  Children will be empowered to take responsibility for their own learning.  Their outlook will not be confined to discrete subject knowledge but instead will enable them to understand and make sense of the world in which they live and promote an awareness of their influence on the environment. This holistic approach to learning and teaching seeks to create an opportunity for each child to equip themselves with the appropriate life skills to help them take up their rightful place in society.

Foundation Stage/Reception

When children start school they follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum until they reach the Early Learning goals, usually by the end of the Reception Year. This Curriculum covers children in both Nursery Schools and the first year at Primary School. The Foundation Stage Curriculum is a play centered curriculum which recognises the importance of structured play in the development of the younger child. There are seven areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Mathematics; Literacy; Understanding the World; Physical Development and Expressive Art & Design. These are recorded in a Foundation Stage profile.  To view the topic information for our Early Years Foundation Stage please click here.

Key Stage 1 & 2

From the beginning of Year 1 children follow the National Curriculum. This stage of their education is known as Key Stage One (KS1).  At the end of Key stage 1 (Year 2) children are assessed against national standards by the class teacher. From May 2016 this will no longer be recorded as a National Curriculum level but whether a child has reached the expected standard for Key Stage 1

The children then enter what is known as Key Stage Two (KS2). This lasts until the end of Year 6 when once again children take part in some standardised assessment tests. Again, from May 2016 this will be recorded as attaining the expected standard rather than National Curriculum levels.

The curriculum is designed to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to meet the five outcomes from the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda:
• Being Healthy
• Staying Safe
• Enjoying and Achieving
• Making a positive contribution
• Achieving economic wellbeing

The older children are given the opportunity to learn a modern foreign language. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship are taught throughout the school.   Children are given first hand experience of what they have learned about democratic processes through participation in the School Council. The formal curriculum is also enhanced by educational visits. 


A copy of the new curriculum plan for each year group is available to view here.  Key Stage 1

                                                                                                                              Lower Key Stage 2

                                                                                                                              Upper Key Stage 2      


When planning themed work, staff make links across subject areas to give pupils opportunities to apply key skills in different learning situations.  Much of the curriculum can be taught in this way but some aspects need to be taught discreetly. Further information is contained within the school prospectus.


'Talk for Writing', 'Letters and Sounds' and a variety of reading schemes (including Collins Big Cat series, Bug Club and Project X) are used to develop literacy skills, whereas the National Strategy units form the basis for teaching key skills in maths through the White Rose materials.  Only aspects that link to the termly themes are listed on the curriculum plans as basic skills will be revisited continuously throughout the year.