Our teachers and assistants are chosen for their experience, skills and personality, so that our children are taught in a stimulating, structured and encouraging environment. Boys and girls are grouped in classes according to age. A mix of whole class, group and individual teaching methods is used as appropriate. We cater for all pupils and seek to meet their learning needs, whatever they may be. We use Surrey County Council’s various ‘support teams’, including educational psychologists and speech and language therapists, when needed.
Please click on this link to see how we support children's learning needs.
Foundation Stage (Goldfinches)
We teach the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum in our Goldfinch class of 4 and 5 year olds. Children learn through purposeful and structured play through the seven areas of learning:
personal, social and emotional development
communication and language
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Early literacy and mathematical skills are taught in short more structured sessions and practised informally through planned play. We provide a thorough induction for our new entrants, details of which can be found in our New Parents Induction section.
Key Stage One (Kingfishers and Woodpeckers)
Our Key Stage One classes are Kingfishers (Year 1) and Woodpeckers (Year 2).
The core subjects are Mathematics, English, Science, ICT (Information Communication Technology) and Religious Education. Mathematics and English are taught daily and Science, ICT and RE are taught weekly. Computer technology is also used as a learning tool across the curriculum. Parents are sent details of their child’s curriculum each half term along with the term’s themes for worship.
We aim to provide our pupils with a strong foundation in mathematics in their attitudes, skills, understanding and application. We use the National Numeracy Strategy as the basis for our teaching. Whenever possible we help children learn to apply their skills and knowledge to problem solving in everyday life.
In March 2014 we introduced the English programme 'Read, Write, Inc.' across the school. This programme includes phonics, spelling, reading and writing. Children are assessed and then taught in groups according to their level of development.
We teach a range of strategies to help children learn to read. Children are taught through daily Read Write Inc groups, and individual reading with the class teacher and other adults, using books which are shared between home and school. We do not use one particular reading scheme but draw on a variety of children’s books which we grade using the Nelson’s Book Bands Reading Scheme. Our School Library provides for a wide range of interests.
Children begin forming their letters using a print style, starting at the top of each letter. They learn to join their letters as soon as they have learnt to form individual letters. We use the Read Write Inc English programme to teach phonics and writing. In Year 2 children learn phonics and grammar skills through the Read Write Inc spelling programme and reading and writing through their Literacy and Language programme. We encourage children to become independent writers from the time they start school: to ‘have a go’. The skills of handwriting, phonics, spelling and grammar are taught at other times so that when children are writing a story, for example, they know that the emphasis is on the content of the story. Editing skills are also developed.
These subjects, (history, geography, design and technology, art and music), are taught wherever possible through our thematic cross-curricular curriculum. Music is taught through whole class recorder teaching in Year 2.
Educational visits and visitors are arranged to enhance the children’s learning. All children have the opportunity to participate. We are fortunate in being adjacent to Frensham Common which we use for a range of educational purposes, often with the help of the Countryside Rangers.
Our Friday Afternoon Clubs introduce our children to a range of activities over the year, mixing in small groups with children from other classes. Lunch-time clubs such as recorder, chess, basketball, soccer, French and skipping, add to the breadth of opportunities.
We are a Church of England school and the emphasis is upon teaching Christianity. We follow the Guildford Diocesan Board of Education’s Guidelines for Religious Education at Key Stage One. Our aim is to help children learn about religious faith in practice. We do this by exploring themes concerning God, Jesus, The Church, The Bible and Christian ways of life as well as developing an awareness of other faiths, for example Judaism and Islam.
The focal point of the school day is our worship together. Four days a week it is held in our hall with all our pupils. One day each week the worship is held within each class. We celebrate the major Christian religious festivals and involve every child in our nativity play at Christmas. The policy for worship is available to read here.
Participation in RE and worship is not obligatory and parents wishing to withdraw their children should consult the Headteacher.
We aim to instill in children:
a love of sport
a sense of achievement to enable them to take part with confidence
a positive attitude which will help them now and in the future to lead happy, healthy lives
a healthy competitive spirit, balanced by a team spirit and a sense of self-discipline,
co-operation and respect for others
At St Mary’s all children are taught skills in movement and co-ordination through Gymnastics, Games and Dance. Our annual Sports Day is a mixture of team and individual events, and is a fun afternoon for all the family.
Our PE curriculum is taught by both our class teachers and games coaches.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
We want all our pupils to do as well as they possibly can and to achieve their full potential. From the time children join St Mary’s School to the time they leave, we work closely with parents to make sure that their children have the support they need to learn. When children start school their teacher makes a thorough assessment of where they are in their development and after that we track their progress carefully. In this way we can identify any special educational needs early and provide appropriate support.
The Headteacher is the school’s SEND Co-ordinator, and there is one nominated Governor with responsibility for SEND. St Mary’s SEND policy is available in the school office for those who wish to read it. Our experienced Special Needs Instructor supports children with SEND needs.
Sex and Relationship Education
The Governors of St Mary’s have decided that Sex and Relationships Education should form a part of the curriculum at St Mary’s. This is taught through Science and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education).
The school’s Sex and Relationship Education policy is available to read here. You have the right to withdraw your child from any part of the Sex and Relationships Education, but should you have any concerns, we hope that you will contact the school to discuss them.
During the first year of school the children will take home a reading book. We expect parents to support their child’s reading for about 10 minutes daily. During this time children will also start to take home words to learn to read which progresses to spellings. From time to time there might be further homework: for example, finding information concerning a particular topic that the class is studying. There is also an optional mathematics game homework scheme for each class.
Suggestions are also made regarding how the mathematics for a particular term may be supported through games at home. At all times homework is there to complement the curriculum at school and should not interfere with the quality of children’s time at home.