At St Mary’s we provide rich and varied experiences specific to our school and the needs and interests of our children. An exciting and ambitious curriculum enables us to develop a love of learning and enjoyment across all subjects; encouraging creativity, independent thought, collaboration and a Growth Mindset. We offer a values-led curriculum founded in a Christian ethos where links to prior learning are revisited and built upon to ensure ‘sticky knowledge’. An overview of our curriculum topics can be viewed here.
We recognise that all children arrive at St Mary’s with different starting points. We have high expectations for all of our learners and our curriculum design encourages pupils to make the best possible progress and achieve to their highest potential. Through our carefully designed curriculum we provide opportunities for all pupils to experience success.
We believe our children need to develop an understanding about where they live and the wider world; in order to both understand their role in society and develop respect and for different communities, cultures and religions. We celebrate diversity through: actively seeking out opportunities to engage with visitors and organisations; providing opportunities within the curriculum; our diverse, well stocked library and class reading corners and thoughtfully chosen materials.
We believe our children need to develop the skills to work well with other people. Children need to learn how to speak and listen with respect in a variety of different situations. We believe in taking responsibility for our actions and owning our own behaviour (YOYOB). We promote emotional regulation, self-awareness and expressive language to enable children to communicate effectively in all situations.
Our children need to be resilient to be able to deal with different challenges across the curriculum and in the wider world. A thoughtfully designed curriculum with carefully chosen activities develops our pupils’ resilience, wellbeing and self-esteem. Children are encouraged to celebrate mistakes as part of the learning process and to recognise the importance of effort as part of the learning journey.
We believe our children need to understand the challenges facing our local and global environment and stand up to make a positive change. Our pupils lead by example, taking ownership of our local environment by raising awareness of issues, recycling and litter picking. We link with local organisations to reduce waste and promote sustainability.
At St Mary’s, we are passionate that all children will become fluent readers with a genuine love of reading. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, we follow the Read, Write Inc programme to support their phonic progression and build confidence and fluency in reading. Throughout Key Stage 2, this focus on reading is further developed with exposure to different authors and genres. Both reading and writing skills are developed throughout the school with lessons focusing on spelling, punctuation, grammar and reading. Children are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes, to plan and edit their work and most importantly, to enjoy the process of writing.
At St Mary’s we have adopted a mastery approach in order to deliver the three aims of the National Curriculum, fluency, reasoning and problem solving. These skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, developing independence, confidence and competence.
At St Mary’s Primary School, we aim to equip our children with the knowledge and skills to navigate our world and to understand and explore further the nature and technology of that world through Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Opportunities to learn through our local environment are exploited throughout the curriculum.
At St Mary’s School our intent in Religious Education is for all children to develop a personal connection to St Mary’s Church and have respect for people who hold different views to them. We believe that it is important that children learn from and about religion so that they can make decisions and choices that will impact positively on the community and their own lives.
Our History curriculum is designed to help pupils gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. In addition, we want them to recognise the importance of local historic sites such as Berkhamsted’s castle, the WW1 trenches and the canal. We use History to inspire the children’s curiosity about their ancestors, in order to know more and remember more about the past and consider how that has shaped our lives in the present.
At St. Mary’s we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Through our Geography teaching we promote the children’s interest and understanding of our own rich geographical locality and of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
At St Mary’s, physical education and sport develops children into physically confident, skilful and healthy pupils. Our PE curriculum supports pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sports as well as enjoy non-competitive fitness based activities. We focus on the whole child to develop values such as teamwork and fairness. We encourage children to develop good habits so that they continue to maintain healthy and active lifestyles beyond their time with us.
Art at St Mary’s sets out to inspire creativity in every child with a curriculum that develops and celebrates resilience, confidence and practical skills. Children explore different mediums such as drawing, painting, collage, modelling and textiles and study a range of local and international artists.
Our D&T curriculum allows children to become creative problem solvers. Children develop the knowledge and skills to design, make, evaluate and improve products. They learn how to work safely and effectively with materials and tools to create shell structures, levers and mechanisms, textiles and food.
We aim to prepare our children for a rapidly changing digital world. Our computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills, knowledge and understanding in digital literacy, computer science, information technology and online safety to ensure that children become safe, responsible and competent digital citizens. Creativity, resilience, problem solving and critical thinking mindsets are boosted through high quality computer science provision, enabling children to adapt and flourish in an ever-evolving technological society.
At St Mary’s we want to make music an enjoyable, accessible and engaging learning experience for all our children, whatever their learning needs may be. Children participate in a wide variety of musical experiences throughout the school including singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments as well as composing and performing for each other and wider audiences.
Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. MFL contributes to a mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. All pupils in KS2 study French and will gain systematic knowledge of key vocabulary and structures, grammar and phonics of the new language and a better understanding of how these are used by French speakers.
At St Mary’s, Personal, Social and Health Education is fully underpinned by our Christian values. We support our children to develop the necessary skills to live life fully as responsible citizens. We use the Jigsaw scheme of work to support and prepare our children for the challenges they will face as they move on.