Children at the heart of the curriculum
We offer our bespoke curriculum which we have tailored for our children here at St Mary’s. We encourage children to take responsibility for the choices they make and to reflect on how their choices make them and others feel. These core beliefs are a key part of our learning when exploring the teaching of the Gospels. We believe that the primary years are a very important time for each child to develop a love of learning. Our curriculum follows a thematic approach, which is often centred on a class book. This ensures engagement, enrichment and enjoyment resulting in creativity and inspiration to learn.
Living Our Values
At St. Mary’s a fundamental aim of the school is to offer a curriculum that develops children, not merely imparting knowledge. Our aim is to offer a curriculum with the development of children at the heart, so that they will grow into young people who will take an active and positive part in the communities in which they live. We endeavour to develop all children so they become closer to God, but also to develop them so that they live and work in a multi-cultural society, respecting and valuing all aspects of it.
Our Catholic Mission is to live our values in everything we do and say; these values are based on forgiveness, respect, tolerance, love. We recognize that we are all God’s children and that the spirit of the Gospel is reflected in our school community and we share our values within our wider community. Through our school vision and mission statement, our ethos, curriculum, rules and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures, faiths and communities. We take opportunities to actively promote British Values through our collective worships and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running School Council. We also actively promote British Values by ensuring our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values.
COVID-19 Curriculum Recovery
Nobody quite knows how adversely affected our children have been by the absence of daily routine which schools provide. From the evidence available, we can assume some will have felt acutely the anguish caused by the lack of social interaction or feel loss from not being able to undertake the informal rituals of school life – the missed school journey or end of year production, we are talking about rites of passage for young people transitioning into the next phase of their lives.
It underlines that schools are so much more than places which provide education – they are about people. Our schools are communities; we embody values; we model relationships required for modern life to function: collaboration, getting on with others, friendship.
As we support all of our pupils as they return to school in September, our attention shifts as much towards helping children come back to us and each other as it necessitates considering the formal curriculum.
Our recovery curriculum needs to balance how to learn best with what to learn.
Professor Barry Carpenter developed a model for a Recovery Curriculum, recognising that children and families have been dealing with a loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. It is a way for us to welcome children back to school life and acknowledge the experiences they have had. Our aim at St Mary’s is for children to be happy, feel safe and to be engaged in their learning. As a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting the flame of learning in each child. Many children will return to school disengaged. School may seem irrelevant after a long period of isolation, living with a background of silent fear, always wondering if the day will come when the silence speaks and your life is changed forever. Our quest, our mission as educators, should be to journey with that child through a process of re-engagement, which leads them back to their rightful status as a fully engaged, authentic learner.