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School Curriculum

English Mathematics Science
Design & Technology ICT History
Geography Creative Arts
Art
Music Physical Education Religious Education
PSHCE Early Years  

The schools in this area support each other to produce a continuous educational experience for children from 4 to 18+.  There is a sharing of principles, and a very comprehensive system of liaison, particularly subject liaison.  The 3-tier system was designed specifically to meet the changing needs of our children as they grow.  We at  St. Mary's seek to lay good educational foundations for the Middle and Upper Schools to build on.

The aim of the school is to help each child develop their full potential as an individual and to become an active participant in, and a responsible contributor to society by developing their knowledge, experience, imaginative understanding and awareness of moral values.

At this, the first formal stage of the child's education, we aim to provide a stimulating and purposeful atmosphere in which learning skills can be acquired and to present a curriculum which:
  1. is broad enough to provide all children with a good general education in preparation for transfer to Middle School;
  2. is flexible enough to respond to the need for change;
  3. helps children to acquire knowledge, skills and practical abilities, especially those of problem solving and decision making and the effective use of language;
  4. helps children to begin to understand the world in which they live and the inter-dependence of individuals, groups and nations;
  5. encourages respect for religious and moral values of other races and cultures;
  6. ensures equality of opportunity for each child.


English

This key subject of the curriculum is usually divided into three distinct areas: speaking and listening, reading and writing.

Speaking & Listening

Children are encouraged to recount their own experiences clearly, concisely and fluently, and to converse with children and adults in a variety of situations. They are also encouraged to listen attentively to instructions, stories and conversations. Ways in which this is achieved include Class Assemblies and concerts, class discussions, imaginative play and drama.

Reading

We believe that the development of reading is much more than a de-coding exercise. We view reading as a pleasurable activity and give children a very wide range of books to read. We employ a variety of strategies to teach reading and we believe that the home/school work is of vital importance to a child's progress. We hold regular meetings for parents to explain and discuss our strategies, which enables the home/school partnership to be an effective one.

Writing

Children write for a variety of purposes; in recording experiences and events, in relating thoughts and feelings and in prose and poetry form. The development of legible writing, correct letter formation and presentation of work is encouraged, with children able to use a range of techniques and styles where appropriate. Each week the children have a 'Big Write' lesson, where specific writing skills are taught and the children have the opportunity to complete an extended piece of writing.

Mathematics

Mathematics provides a means for exploring and making sense of the world. It develops logical thought and the ability to analyse and develop the numerical skills needed for everyday life. A variety of teaching and learning styles are used, providing opportunities for practical activities, discussion, investigation and problem solving. Key Stage 1 & 2 children work in ability groups (sets) once a week.

Science

It is our belief that, through the study of science, children can increase their knowledge and understanding of the world. The children are given opportunities to carry out observations and investigations and make comparisons and classifications of their first-hand experiences. The school is well resourced and has a wonderful natural resource in the meadow and river adjacent to the school.

Design & Technology

Children are encouraged to design and make objects, developing their practical skills, knowledge and understanding. They use a variety of tools and techniques, they plan their work carefully and begin to adapt and improve their designs.

Information & Communication Technology / Computing

The new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. The school has an ICT Area equipped with 16 additional computer systems.  Every classroom and the library are fitted with interactive white boards which can access internet, audio-visual and multi-media resources.

History

Children are encouraged to develop an awareness and understanding of the past and gain a sense of identity through learning about the past. An important aspect of our work is the study of the local area, with frequent visits around Stotfold.

Geography

We believe that children should be encouraged to develop an awareness of themselves in a local, national and global context. They study seasonal weather patterns, develop an understanding of maps and plans and observe and talk about locations within the local area. They communicate their findings in a variety of ways.

Creative Arts

St Mary's has long held a reputation for excellence in the Arts.  Apart from the individual subjects we hold many special Arts events.  We organise a Creative Arts Week each year involving Art, Craft, Drama, Dance and Music activities. Our Class Assemblies, Christmas and Summer Concerts give further opportunities for children to develop their skills. We are an Arts Council ArtsMark Silver school.

Art

Children are given opportunities to explore the use of different materials, tools and media. They use clay, textiles, collage, printing, painting, drawing, papier mache and computers to produce two and three-dimensional work. We make use of visits and invite artists to support the work of the children.

Music

Music has long been regarded as a particular strength of the school. Children are able to explore and control sounds made by the voice and by a range of musical instruments. All children compose and sing and older children are given the opportunity of playing the recorder and for some, the violin. Visiting musicians,  local musical events and our concerts each year give further opportunities for children to develop their musical skills. Our musical clubs include choir, recorders, ocarinas and violins.

P
hysical Education

Children are encouraged to participate in PE activities, developing
competence and confidence in physical skills. Programmes of study encompass gymnastics, athletics, movement, dance, games and swimming. Great importance is attached to working co-operatively and safely. We have an extensive range of sporting clubs, which have been further enhanced by our work with the local Sports Partnership. PE lessons in KS1 & 2 are led by specialist coaches, working alongside the class teachers.

Gary Athow, Conor Smith, Andy Stevenson, Andy Smith & Amy Jack

Religious Education

In common with other Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire schools we follow an Agreed Syllabus that offers teaching about the Christian Heritage and about other cultures and faiths. Through class work and through Assemblies we celebrate major Festivals and develop a sense of community both locally and in a world-wide context. We have close links with St. Mary's Church and the other churches in Stotfold and these are a valuable resource in developing our RE curriculum.

Personal, Social & Health and Citizenship Education

Children are involved in both formal and informal programmes of work that help them to develop positive attitudes towards themselves and others.  Class work and Assemblies seek to develop their personal and social skills. A PSHCE Day is held every year. A School Council has run very successfully since 2002. Our work has led to St Mary's becoming a "Healthy School". Values, incorporating British Values, are an integral part of this curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The school is very committed to giving our youngest children the best possible start to their school careers by providing high quality Early Years Education. The curriculum offered is a good balance of teacher-focused tasks and independent learning. The low adult/child ratio enables a high level of individual teaching, particularly in reading. Children settle very quickly into school life and gain in confidence throughout their time in the Foundation Stage Classes.

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Keeley Etere,
18 Sep 2017, 11:55
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Keeley Etere,
18 Jan 2017, 15:57
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Keeley Etere,
9 May 2017, 15:51