To be a learning community that promotes the unique gifts, wellbeing and potential of every person. Our work is founded on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, building on His message of equality, peace and justice, guided by His words ‘As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34)
At St Mary’s we encourage children to develop an enquiring mind and a love of learning. We aim to help them realise their full potential and become confident, happy members of our school community. The children in the Foundation Stage (Reception and Nursery) follow the seven areas of learning and development from the Early Years Foundation Stage. The children in Key Stage 1 (Years 1-2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) follow the National Curriculum.
ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK POLICY
Please click on the policies below to find out more about teaching and learning in each subject:
A Thematic Approach
We want pupils to feel confident to make links between the knowledge they are acquiring and to be able to use their skills to develop their understanding of key concepts and ideas. To this end we have designed a curriculum based around cross-curricular topics that change each half term. The thematic curriculum promotes high quality learning through engaging topics and it is sequenced to provide a clear framework of progression in skills and knowledge to equip children for the next stage of their education.
There is good evidence that teaching subject knowledge and skills as part of a wider topic-based curriculum allows pupils to make useful links between subjects and different areas of learning and also consolidate skills. Children are also likely to be more engaged in their learning if it has an exciting context. Topic links are also made to Literacy and Maths learning.
A curriculum for OUR school
We have carefully designed the thematic curriculum to ensure there is appropriate coverage of the National curriculum subjects, in a way that reflects our school community and supports our values and ethos as well as covering the programs of study in the National Curriculum.
Review and development
We review and update the Curriculum Framework at the end of each school year, taking into account feedback from staff and pupils. This keeps our curriculum fresh and up to date, and allows us to link projects, outside initiatives and national developments etc. into the learning.
Planning in Phases
We have chosen to share the same topic across each phase: Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and 6). This enables classes to make links with their learning, and allows staff to plan and share ideas as a team. Work in each shared topic is carefully planned and differentiated to ensure that each year group is working at the appropriate level of progression.
Two-year topic cycle
The sharing of topics across two year groups means we have a two-year topic cycle – Cycle A and Cycle B.
- The academic school year 2019-2020 is Cycle A
- The academic school year 2020-2021 is Cycle B
Thematic Curriculum Maps:
Pupil Topic Maps:
Subjects taught thematically
The Thematic Curriculum topics include the National Curriculum programs of study for:
- Design Technology
As a Church of England School, this is a core subject. We follow the Southwark Diocese Board of Education Units of Work. These include 2/3 of units focused on Christianity and 1/3 on other major World Religions. In November 2018 the school received the Gold Religious Education Quality Mark and in June 2019 Religious Education at St Mary’s was rated as Excellent as part of our SIAMS inspection.
The following subjects are taught discretely, using specialist schemes of work based on the National Curriculum:
- Computing: We use a bespoke scheme of work devised by the computing subject lead in consultation with a Computing consultant. This is supported by an E-Safety scheme of work which teaches the children how to be safe on-line, as part of our Safeguarding procedures.
- PE: A Fit for Sport Coach delivers PE lessons
- Music: We follow the Charanga digital scheme of work
- PSHCE: Pupils follow the Jigsaw PSHCE programme in Key Stage 1 and 2
Please click here to see the most recent Newsletters, which contain further details of the curriculum for this term:
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
Children in the Nursery and Reception classes follow the guidelines for teaching and learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. This includes the following guiding principles:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The curriculum is split into 7 areas of learning which are defined in ‘Early Years Outcomes’:
- Communication and Language (listening and attention, understanding and speaking)
- Physical Development (moving and handling, health and self-care)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour, making relationships)
- Literacy (reading, writing)
- Mathematics (numbers, shape, space and measure)
- Understanding the World (people and communities, the world, technology)
- Expressive Arts and Design (exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative)
Planning reflects how each child learns, as reflected in the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and Thinking Critically
Planning provides opportunities for adult and child initiated activities, with the majority of learning planned through child initiated activities, where staff join children in their play. The children are encouraged to be independent learners who explore, investigate and take risks. Learning opportunities are provided to reflect all areas of the curriculum both indoors and outdoors and children have access to the outdoor space throughout the day.
The children are encouraged to build their own learning, with opportunities provided to self-select the resources they need. Areas of the learning environment provide opportunities for role play, writing, reading, maths, reflection, snack table, technology, investigation, small world, construction, creative, tactile, gardening, music, dance and physical development.
The children in Reception class begin to have more structured learning times added to their day as the year progresses, these include a phonics program of learning, group reading, focused writing groups and focused maths activities. Parents are welcomed into class to support the children’s learning, either for a few minutes at the beginning of a session or as a volunteer. Parents support children by hearing them read and share skills such as cooking, story-telling, sports, music and art.
Planning is cross-curricular, topics provide starting points for the children’s learning, but these remain flexible and through careful observation of children’s play staff reflect each day and plan as a team to follow areas of interest generated by the children.
Please click here to see the most recent topic webs:
We offer our children a rich variety of additional learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Below, you can see just a few examples of the extra-curricular activities that promote our children’s unique gifts, in sports and the arts. These support the children’s learning across the curriculum and provide them with experiences that will live long in their memories and could prove to be the first step in a life-long interest in this area.
Children from Year 5 and Year 6 enjoyed taking part in an athletics festival, competing alongside 4 other local schools. There were a range of throwing and jumping events, followed by some exciting relay races, where our children won several medals! It was a great event and held in an atmosphere of respect and good sportsmanship.
The children and families at St Mary’s have been fully involved in this exciting inter-generational project. The school choir performed to a packed St Mary’s Church alongside a Generation Choir, an adult choir, a Recorder Orchestra and two other choirs from local schools in a spectacular concert, celebrating ageing and youth. Additionally, many children submitted pictures and writing about their families and what makes them so special. This was work was displayed in the Church as part of the Generation Project, you can see the work on the following website:
Working in partnership with a local charity, we are delighted that the children of St Mary’s will be able to enjoy a whole year of African drumming workshops. These will be offered to our Year 3 children and also to all children in KS2 as an after-school club. The children will be learning from an experienced and talented performer. Concerts in partnership with the local community (including a local centre for elderly people) have been planned for the Summer Term.
Times Table Challenge
St Mary’s enjoyed an amazing Maths Times Tables challenge. All of our children practised their times tables and took part in class heats – well done everyone and keep practising! The 2 highest scorers from each class faced off against each other in our exciting finals! Over 15 questions, the champion from each class were crowned. In many cases, despite the most challenging quickfire questions, both players scored 100% and a sudden death round was required.
Turning of the Year
Our School choir took part in a memorable concert at Blackheath Halls. They performed two songs to a packed audience of hundreds. Their singing was of an excellent quality and the children sang with joy. In addition, our choir, composed of over 40 children, joined with eight other schools for several massed performances.
Maths Problem Solving
This half term, in Maths, Year 3 learnt how to problem solve using trial and improvement. We worked in pairs to put back together the pieces of a 100 square that Miss Egunjobi accidently muddled up. However, the 100 square did not have numbers on it. It had symbols! Therefore, we had to use our knowledge of patterns to solve the puzzle. It took lots of collaboration!
For Black History Month, every class in the school took part in a Steel Pan workshop. The Steel Pan Agency told us how steel pans are made, their history and how to look after them. We also played a tune together as a class.
Year 2 and Year 2 enjoyed a morning of cookery linked to their topic of China. They created delicious salads including some traditional Chinese ingredients, as well as some other flavours from around the world. Andrei said he hadn’t tried spinach before but now he liked it and he was going to ask his mum to buy some! Lots of us liked the cajun seasoning too.
Click on the link below to learn more about the fantastic learning.