At St Mary's we aim to provide a curriculum that recognises all children as unique with individual learning styles and needs. We have developed an exciting and engaging progressive curriculum that builds on prior knowledge, skills and the children's interests. A spiral curriculum that is ever evolving to the meet the specific needs of St Mary's children. An overview of our curriculum topics can be viewed here.
We are passionate about our aim that all children will become fluent readers with a genuine love of reading.
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 we use the Read Write Inc programme. Children are provided with reading books that support their phonic progression and build their confidence. In addition, they are encouraged to choose interest books from the school library.
In Key Stage 2, children begin are introduced to a wider range of genres and authors. Daily reading continues. In addition to this, adults share books from our 'Reading Spine' every day.
Children are given opportunities to write for many different purposes and acquire the necessary skills to achieve this. Handwriting, Spelling and Writing progression are carefully structured throughout the school and we work towards all children achieving fluent cursive writing by year 6.
The children learn to express themselves in a variety of situations, not only to each other, but also to adults and groups. Drama is used to explore the curriculum and widen their understanding and personal experience.
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, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. We understand that young children are naturally curious of the world around them and we want to continue to build on this natural curiosity by encouraging talk and questioning. We want to provide experiences that bring a real sense of ‘awe and wonder’ in order to keep the Scientific flame alive.
We use an enquiry-based approach to learning which supports children in answering their scientific questions of the world around them. These enquiry and investigative skills are explicitly taught. They are further enhanced in the use of our Forest School area and semi-rural environment.
By the time our pupils leave St Mary’s, we want them to have developed an enthusiasm for Science which will give them the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their Scientific knowledge and skills into the next stage of their education.
At St Mary’s, 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 and events such as Berkhamsted’s castle, the 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 shapes our lives in the present. We want our children to have access to a chronological framework to assist them in making sense of the new knowledge they acquire. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to help children understand the complexity of people's lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
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. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. It is our intent to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to 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. We provide a high quality, varied curriculum that develops physical skills and knowledge of different sports over time. Our curriculum is specifically designed for the needs of our pupils and ensures children are physically active for a sustained period of time to support their health, fitness and wellbeing. It exposes them to vocabulary associated with health, fitness and sports science.
Our PE curriculum supports pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sports and other physical activities inside school and in the local community.
We aim to provide all children with opportunities to represent St Mary’s in extra-curricular activities, promoting healthy competition and values such as teamwork and fairness.
Children will collaborate with their peers, developing them into respectful and resilient sports people who set themselves aspirational challenges. We know that if children are exposed to a high quality physical education curriculum it will enable them to succeed and continue to have a physically active life.
Our Art curriculum develops creativity, sets challenges, engages and inspires children and equips them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. The curriculum has appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding to explore and investigate, create and evaluate artwork as set out in the National Curriculum. It will enable pupils to create art work with a real purpose when displaying and sharing the work they create and showcasing the skills and progress they have made.
At St Mary's Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical subject. Children use creativity and imagination to design and make products. We draw on disciplines such as reading, mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Our children learn how to take risks through high-quality design and technology experiences. We want children to enjoy cooking and, as importantly, understand the principles of nutrition and know how to follow recipes. Children will leave St Mary's being able to design, make and evaluate a range of products.
At St Mary’s, we aim to prepare our children for a rapidly changing world. We want the use of technology to support learning (including remote and blended learning) across the entire curriculum and to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child.
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. These strands are revisited repeatedly through a range of themes during children’s time in school to ensure the learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed.
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.
Pupils play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating compositions. All children in Year 3 have the opportunity to learn the recorder and Years 2 and 6 learn the ukulele. Children perform to the school and wider community and some children take part in local school music events. There is also the opportunity for specialist music tuition in guitar, piano and drums. (Fees apply)
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 (in line with Ashlyns School) 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, our MFL curriculum enables children to practise their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and lay the foundations for life-long language learning.
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.
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. PSHE lessons develop the children’s emotional intelligence, equipping them with the ability to articulate their feelings in order to maintain good mental health. The PSHE curriculum at St Mary’s develops our children’s awareness of diversity and different life choices; supporting them to develop as tolerant and respectful citizens.
Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work, aiming to prepare children/young people for life, helping them really know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.