Generating a buzz and an excitement around learning is vital if children are going to develop their literacy and numeracy skills, their understanding of science and ICT, as well as develop their wider skills and knowledge. For many years at St Mary Magdalene we have used a cross-curricular topic based approach to learning which has been positively acknowledged by OFSTED (2013) and ARTSMARK (2013)
By adopting a whole school approach to teaching and learning across our school, we aim:
- to provide consistency of teaching and learning across our school
- to enable teachers to teach effectively
- to enable children to learn efficiently
- to give children the skills they require to become effective lifelong learners
- to provide an inclusive education for all our children
- to learn from each other, through the adoption of a collaborative, enquiry based approach to teaching and learning, where good practice is shared
A Broad & Balanced Curriculum
We believe that children should have the benefit of a broad and balanced curriculum. We are particularly keen to develop children’s interest in music, art, drama, theatre and dance. We do this by:
- Taking part in resident artist projects.
- Inviting visiting authors, theatre groups and actors to bring the curriculum to life.
- Inviting visiting musicians to perform to children.
- Taking groups of children to local theatres to see performances.
- Providing children with opportunities to be involved in productions at the school.
As the school develops, we want to continue to broaden the experiences on offer to children in these areas and to develop them as potential strengths of the school. Our commitment was recognised in 2013 by the Arts Council in the award of Artsmark GOLD.
Our curriculum has been designed to help children learn essential knowledge and skills which draw upon creativity and develop the ability to become independent learners. We want our children to always be ‘The Best That They Can Be’ and equip them to be successful citizens.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) starts in Nursery settings and continues for Reception children and is based on the seven areas of learning which provide a broad and balanced foundation for future learning and achievement.
Practitioners work towards and beyond the ‘Early Learning Goals’. There are constant opportunities for children to extend their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Children continue to access the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) as part of their transition into the National Curriculum in Year 1.
Throughout the Foundation Stage, pupils are exposed to regular Literacy and Numeracy sessions in preparation for Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily through a range of lessons and activities. These are planned using the DfE Letters and Sounds Publication.
Please click on the following link to view the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage document:
Key Stages 1 and 2
The School is obliged by law to follow the National Curriculum. The areas covered in the National Curriculum (September 2014) are as follows:
- Art and design
- Design and technology
- Languages *
- Physical Education
*Languages are only required to be taught from KS2 onwards however we teach Spanish from Reception.
Please click the link below to view the National Curriculum Overview:
Teaching & Learning
We use a variety of teaching methods including whole class, group work and individual learning. We have an interactive whiteboard and use of iPads and laptops in every classroom, which give teachers an opportunity to use interactive software and make greater use of the Internet in their teaching. To make learning more meaningful we aim to teach children much of the National Curriculum in an integrated way through TOPICS or THEMES. The curriculum gives us a framework within which we plan what we want the children to learn. This planning must also pay attention to how children learn. We believe that children learn best when they are actively involved. ‘Learning by doing’ makes the work more interesting, more meaningful and more likely to make sense to the children and be remembered. Problem solving and investigations are both important for primary children. This kind of learning helps children to think more clearly, to raise questions, try out ideas and to record their findings.
Children from Year 1 have a structured hour of numeracy and literacy every day. As of September 2014, children follow the programmes of study laid down by the DFE in the National Curriculum Key stage 1 and 2 framework. Phonics is taught daily in Reception, Years 1 and 2 using the DfE Letters and Sounds publication.
Keeping records and making assessments of the children’s progress is a vital part of the educational process. Two kinds of assessment take place in school:
- Assessments made by teachers:
Observations and samples of children’s work are kept over a period of a school year and form the basis of teachers’ records. A summary of your child’s progress is sent to you at the end of each school year in the form of a Progress Report.
- Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs):
These tests are carried out nationally and are compulsory. Children are tested at the ages of 7 and 11 and reports will be made available to you at the end of Years 2 and 6. In addition, a phonics screening check is carried out for the children in Year 1. This check is also carried out nationally and is compulsory.
R.E. Curriculum Overview