St. Mary’s Primary School Curriculum Vision
Founded in hope St. Mary’s CE (VA) Primary School is a place where all can find their voice, grow in wisdom and live well in community and service.
St. Mary’s serves a rich, ethnically diverse, inner-city community with significant location deprivation. We welcome children and families from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds resulting in a high proportion of children having English as an Additional Language (EAL) across school. For many children the absence of strong English language role models, particularly in early language development, results in low levels of speech, language and communication skills on entry to school. Low levels of communication skills have a negative impact on the social interactions that are essential in cementing and strengthening speech and language.
Social and economic challenges often result in children not having the opportunity to benefit from a broad range of concrete experiences (visiting museums, galleries and trips to different environments) that are essential to the acquisition of a broad and rich vocabulary.
What is taught
Curriculum Leaders use The National Curriculum as a benchmark to ensure a broad and ambitious scope for curriculum coverage. Conceptual pillars and careful sequencing ensures that learning is systematically developed over time, building on what the children already know and feeding into future learning.
Curriculum coherence is developed through an ongoing focus across the curriculum on:
• The development of oracy and vocabulary development. Children are explicitly taught how to speak so that they have the skill and knowledge to learn through talking (Talk for Learning).
• Providing concreate experiences and models to provide a firm foundation for learning over time.
• The importance of spirituality, social and emotional development and wellbeing to ensure children are ready to learn.
• Valuing and celebrating the rich diversity of our community.
How it is taught / Pedagogy
At St. Mary’s we believe that achievement is likely to be maximised when teachers consistently:
• Share overviews of learning and sequences of learning so that links can be made (within a unit, and across units over the year).
• Call attention to and regularly review main ideas
• Recognise that learning need to be built on secure practical and concreate experience.
• Use high quality modelling effectively to demonstrate expected outcomes
• Use effective scaffolding materials to support learning
• Introduce, teach and use appropriate subject specific vocabulary
• Build in independent enquiry based over learning and practice to cement deeper learning
• Carry out regular checking to enable children to recall material thus demonstrating learning embedded in long term memory.
• Build in opportunities for time to stop, wonder, question, think and reflect.
• Ensures planning reflects that deeper learning takes place when small steps of new information build on concrete experiences and clear models followed by opportunities for independent practice to embed learning into long term memory.
‘If nothing in the long-term memory has been altered, nothing has
been learned’ Sweller et al (2011)
• Plan for regular opportunities for oracy throughout to learn through talk and to learn to talk.
Subject leaders work collaboratively across the curriculum to develop a programme of education, including the knowledge, understanding and vocabulary to be gained at each stage of a child’s journey through school, along with how learning will be embedded through independent practice. Programmes of learning are set out within individual Subject Knowledge Maps.
Conceptual Pillars bridge and link year groups, systematically building knowledge, concepts and vocabulary over time. This ensures understanding is deepened as structures of knowledge stored in long-term memory become increasingly complex.
Inspired by hope for the future we want the children to:
• Leave with a broad wisdom and an articulate voice.
• Grow in confidence, both in their skills/abilities and in their voice/ opinions/ whole self.
• Have hope and resilience to overcome challenges
• Apply their skills and abilities to contribute to their community locally, nationally and globally both now and in future challenges.
• Be ambitious about what they can achieve.