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St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School Chiswick

Curriculum

At St Mary's the curriculum comprises all the activities that are planned, taught and developed within the school to promote learning and personal growth. Through participating in these activities the children develop intellectually, personally, socially, emotionally and physically.

We place great importance on the development of our children as Independent Learners and believe that our creative approach in the classroom contributes very much to the achievement of that goal.

 

EARLY YEARS & FOUNDATION STAGE (EYFS) - NURSERY & RECEPTION

Early Years Foundation Stage caters for children up to 5 years of age and is divided into Nursery (age 3-4) and Reception (age 4-5) classes.

In the Foundation Stage, we aim to create a place where children can explore, meet new friends, be safe and adventurous. We value each child as a unique individual and provide a balance of child initiated and adult led activities.

Research shows that young children learn best through play, with skilled adults to talk to, think with and learn from. We offer a rich and varied curriculum covering the 7 areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design. These are all underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning which are:

Playing and exploring - engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to 'have a go'

Active learning - motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically - thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

Phonics and Reading

Children are taught phonics using the 'Letters and Sounds' programme. Please click here for more information about the programme.

Phonics in Reception:

  • Daily, fun phonics sessions to learn the 44 sounds or ‘phonemes’ which make up the English language.

  • Children need to recognise the sound/phoneme and know the letter name (26 letters) e.g. my name is M, my sound is ‘m’

  • Pairs of letters for some sounds – digraphs e.g. ck

  • Learning the corresponding graphemes e.g. S (writing the letters)

  • Mark making and letter formation – writing!

  • Learning to sound out – to segment or chop the letter sounds – spelling in other words e.g. log = l – o – g

  • Learning to blend the letter sounds in a word to read it.

  • Children are taught to recognise high frequency words e.g. the, I, up, it, me, at. Some of these are tricky or camera words i.e. non-decodable e.g. me, you, the. Others are decodable e.g. i-t  a-t   o-n. Please see the Reception class page for more information.

Reading in Reception:

  • Child will receive a reading book and have access to Phonics Bug books online.

  • Partnership with school - please read with your child at home. Please add a brief comment in the Reading Record to indicate that you have read with them. This will help us to know how your child is applying the reading skills they are learning at school.

  • Your child will be read to by an adult at least once a week and more often if they require more support.

  • Teacher comments will be a brief note on your child’s reading progress.

  • Children are encouraged to read a variety of books - comics, fiction/non-fiction, library books, magazines etc. 

  • Use phonics games - CBeebies, Phonics Play, iPad apps, Busythings.

    

KEY STAGE 1 - YEARS 1 - 2

Key Stage 1 includes classes in Year 1 and Year 2 and caters for children aged 5-7 years.

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Bug Club

Bug Club is a finely levelled, phonically based reading scheme, which ensures that each child can find a book at exactly the right level for them. Each child has a personalised homepage where they will find the eBooks they have been allocated by the teacher and motivating rewards. Please click here to find out more about Bug Club.

Writing makes a significant contribution to the development of children as thinkers and learners. For this reason, we aim to ensure all children are able to communicate in writing clearly, confidently and appropriately, demonstrating an awareness of a variety of purposes and audiences.

Learning phonics is an excellent foundation for children learning to read and spell.

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Mathematics

Mathematics teaching follows a programme called Maths Makes Sense and children have a 1 hour daily lesson. The approach is one of a lot of practical involvement by the children and the lessons are both stimulating and fun. To learn more about this learning approach please click here.

 

RE

In R.E. we use 'The Way The Truth & The Life' which is based on the Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic schools. The primary content of all religious education material is the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church and their implications for the lives of people today, and particularly for the lives of the pupils. Religious education material must, therefore, always present the three key elements of the Christian faith:

  1. that every human event is marked by the creative activity of God which communicates goodness to all beings;
  2. that the reality and power of sin limit and numb every person;
  3. that the life, death and resurrection of Christ, communicated by the Holy Spirit, give believers the hope of a definitive ‘fulfilment’.

Other faiths are addressed as a consequence of, and in the context of, Catholic teaching.

The syllabus incorporates attainment targets: learning about the Catholic faith (AT1) and learning from the Catholic faith (AT2). These are set out in the form of specific key learning objectives for each module.

 

KEY STAGE 2 - YEARS 3 - 6

Key Stage 2 includes classes in Year 3 -  Year 6 and caters for children aged 8-11 years.

English

In studying English, children develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. This enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and helps them to communicate with others effectively. Great emphasis is placed on developing children's spoken language, as this is crucial for learning to read, write, to be numerate and successful in all areas of learning.

The teaching of grammar allows for the expansion of children’s language and for deepening their understanding. We believe it is better taught using methods that allow fun to be combined with clarity, interest and improved skills. Our grammar teaching is incorporated into Literacy lessons and is mostly taught through understanding the genres.

 

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Mathematics

Mathematics equips children with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. Children are involved in a broad range of activities in order to learn mathematical concepts and develop numeracy. They are given practical experience, investigative tasks, regular practice of mathematical facts and procedures to develop mental skills.Mathematics teaching follows a programme called Maths Makes Sense and children have a 1 hour daily lesson. The approach is one of a lot of practical involvement by the children and the lessons are both stimulating and fun. To learn more about this learning approach please click here.

 

RE

In R.E. we use 'The Way The Truth & The Life' which is based on the Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic schools. The primary content of all religious education material is the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church and their implications for the lives of people today, and particularly for the lives of the pupils. Religious education material must, therefore, always present the three key elements of the Christian faith:

  1. that every human event is marked by the creative activity of God which communicates goodness to all beings;
  2. that the reality and power of sin limit and numb every person;
  3. that the life, death and resurrection of Christ, communicated by the Holy Spirit, give believers the hope of a definitive ‘fulfilment’.

Other faiths are addressed as a consequence of, and in the context of, Catholic teaching.

The syllabus incorporates attainment targets: learning about the Catholic faith (AT1) and learning from the Catholic faith (AT2). These are set out in the form of specific key learning objectives for each module.

 

OTHER AREAS OF OUR CURRICULUM

COMPUTING

Computer literacy is an essential skill in the modern world. All children at St Mary's have the opportunity to work with computers and digital equipment from age three to eleven. They are taught how to use ICT tools safely to find, explore, analyse and present information responsibly and creatively in order to advance their learning across the curriculum.

P.S.H.E

Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident and independent lives, and become informed and responsible citizens. They also learn basic rules for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well.

P.E.

All children are required to take part in Games, Gymnastics and Dance to develop physical skills and agility, and to develop an active and healthy lifestyle.

Every child from Reception to Year 6 must have a PE kit, in a draw string bag, on their peg every day.  PE kit must be a plain white t-shirt, plain blue shorts, leggings or tracksuit bottoms and a change of footwear (trainers or plimsoles). During the colder seasons the children may wear plain blue jogging bottoms. (School kit bags can be bought from the school suppliers). Long hair must be tied back for all PE lessons.

Every child throughout the school will have P.E twice a week.