ST MARY'S Curriculum
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.
From September 2014 we have been teaching the new Primary National Curriculum
Our Reception class follow the statutory framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
At St. Mary’s Infant School we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
Some children may still be working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the Autumn Term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the Read, Write Inc. Programme and developing their fluency in reading through regular individual and guided reading sessions.
The National Curriculum is delivered ensuring coverage and progression throughout the school. Milestones at the end of Year 2 ensure that children are meeting expectations in their learning. As necessary, children are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. In all year groups there are small group interventions in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly. The curriculum is underpinned by the school’s Core Values and these are taught on their own and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils including Forest School.
All subject leaders are given training and opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. Breakfast clubs, After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
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, Computing and Religious Education. Mathematics and English are taught daily and Science, Computing 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.
The school aims to give all children a thorough understanding of number, geometry, measurement, statistics and algebra. A strong emphasis is placed on investigative and problem solving activities to achieve this. Individual mathematical concepts are taught in an extended series of lessons that aim to deepen and embed children’s understanding through a range of representations and routines. Children are taught to reason mathematically using appropriate vocabulary. Mathematical language is taught explicitly.
The ability for children to know and manipulate age appropriate number facts is a key focus of our Mathematics teaching. Daily mental recall sessions are delivered to ensure that children secure and retain number facts such as number bonds, repeated addition and times tables.
Great importance is attached to enabling our children to become fluent readers. The school follows the progression of phonics through the ‘Read, Write Inc.’ program. Reading comprehension skills are taught widely and children receive focused tuition in guided reading sessions each week. All the children are required to read independently on a regular basis. Their progress, as independent readers, is tracked through personal reading journals. The school predominantly uses the Project X and Oxford Reading Tree scheme to help emerging fluent readers. When children are confident and fluent they are encouraged to use the library regularly to change their books.
Children are taught to write in a variety of styles including prose, poetry and reporting, and to suit different purposes and audiences. The purpose and audience for children’s writing is central to our English program of study. As a child progresses, an increasing emphasis is placed on the correct use of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Spelling and grammar knowledge is taught each week and children are encouraged to apply taught spelling and grammar rules whenever they write. A whole school policy for handwriting is aimed at children progressing towards a cursive style and being able to write smoothly, legibly and neatly.
Speaking, listening and performing skills are promoted throughout the school through storytelling, discussion groups, drama lessons, and role play. Such opportunities, as well as whole school assemblies, provide a valuable means of building confidence and developing the ability to listen to, and appreciate the efforts of others.
Our school Science curriculum is taught through key concepts which have been carefully mapped. Children are taught to observe, discuss, classify, compare, set up fair tests and record and interpret their findings. Through their investigations children are given the opportunity to learn about life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Activities will take place in the context of the study of themes laid down in the National Curriculum.
These subjects, (history, geography, design and technology, art and music), are taught wherever possible through our thematic cross-curricular curriculum. Music- Children are taught to sing as well as play instruments. The whole school is taught singing each week in assembly, and children in Year 2 are introduced to playing the recorder and have the opportunity to play the piano through the 'Surrey Arts' program.
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.
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. We celebrate the major Christian religious festivals and Year R lead our nativity play at Christmas.
Participation in RE and worship is not obligatory and parents wishing to withdraw their children should consult the RE Co-ordinator or 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 competitive team and individual events, and is a fun morning 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 then 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 Assistant supports children with SEND needs throughout the week.
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). 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 Reception and MyMaths online homework for Years 1 and 2.
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.