We offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and meets the requirements of the National Curriculum, Religious Education and the Early Years Foundation Stage. We believe every child is unique and special and can achieve in some educational endeavour. We recognise that one of the most important contributions we can make to the lives of our pupils is to develop positive attitudes towards learning and confidence in themselves as learners. Therefore our primary curriculum is designed to be as broad as possible so each child may find their strengths, achieve and grow in confidence and self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- To provide a broad and balanced curriculum enriched with quality learning experiences. High standards and risk taking are promoted and learning made exciting and memorable* to promote a positive attitude towards learning and facilitate excellence.
- To support and develop pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- To actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- To build systematically on children’s existing knowledge and skills and for children to be able to apply these in relevant situations.
- To organise learning thematically, thereby making learning relevant and connected.
- To provide a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and high quality extended school services to further enhance provision.*
- To ensure that teaching and learning is inclusive and focused on individual pupil’s attainment, abilities and needs, thereby maximising success.*
- To prepare each pupil for life and work beyond school as responsible citizens in a multicultural and diverse, democratic society where prejudice and discrimination are not tolerated.*
(taken directly from the aims of the school)
Our main aim in the Foundation Stage is to ensure that learning is fun, effective and that the children are confident and socially settled with their peers by the time they progress to Key Stage 1. The learning in both the Nursery and Reception years occurs through child initiated activities and direct teaching. The classrooms are organised into areas of continuous provision e.g. water, sand, role play, writing, small world, small and large construction. It is in these areas that the children are given opportunities to explore the prime and specific areas of learning as identified in the Foundation Stage curriculum. The prime areas are: personal, social and emotional; communication and language; and physical development. The specific areas are: literacy (including reading and writing), mathematics, understanding the world; expressive arts and design. Learning also takes place in the ‘outdoor environment’ on a daily basis. Forest school practices are incorporated into outdoor learning, led by a trained member of the foundation stage.
Key Stage 1 is very much a transition phase where the children have opportunities to consolidate their learning using the principles found in the EYFS. The EYFS profile will usually be complete by the end of the autumn term in year 1. Most children will then be ready to start the National Curriculum. The mixed 1/2 classes are organised similarly to the Foundation Stage, with the transition model of teaching employed throughout the whole of Key Stage , building on the provision on the Foundation Stage. The teaching and learning becomes more formal by the end of year 2 when the children are prepared for the more formal style of education found in Key Stage 2.
We use a phonics first approach to teaching reading following the Floppy Phonics programme. Our school reading scheme comprises of a mixture of literature, some of which are specifically written to teach and reinforce phonic knowledge. We use a broad and varied range of schemes including: Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds, Floppy Phonics and Read Write Inc. Phonics is streamed by phase across Years 1and 2.
The school rightly prioritises reading and mathematical fluency as these are preconditions to achieving across the national curriculum. Interventions for reading, writing, mathematics and specific learning are appropriately delivered to enhance pupils’ capacity to access the full curriculum.
Individual subjects of the National Curriculum are implemented through appropriated sequenced, progressively demanding content linked to effective summative assessment. Where children have demonstrated an excellent understanding of part of the curriculum, teachers should broaden the children’s understanding further so they master the knowledge and skills being taught. Where possible the curriculum is taught as cross curricular topics with a specific bias of science, history or geography. At Key Stage 2, the topics are organised into weekly questions to engage the learner. Texts which relate to topics are used in English lessons to strengthen cross curricular links, make learning meaningful and allow objectives in English and history/geography/science to be taught efficiently and in context. Programmes of Study may have to be taught independently from the topic framework, if an area does not lend itself to natural inclusion in a topic. Although much learning is organised into topics, children should still appreciate how learning relates to individual subjects. Our topics take into account and use the school’s locality.
The curriculum is personalised by providing appropriate challenge to enable pupils to maximise their achievement. We encourage our pupils to take risks with their learning and always be willing to try new ideas or experiences. As the children grow we equip them with the tools for life so they can explore creativity across the curriculum. We expect our children to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.
Deliberate practise or intelligent repetition of content is valued where efficient retrieval of facts is required e.g. times tables.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Education (incorporating British Values) is implicit in the school ethos and is planned into all aspects of the curriculum. Christian Values are identified in teachers' planning to ensure our formal curriculum supports our ethos.
We seek to enhance the children’s emotional intelligence and understanding through our PHSE (Personal, Health, Social & Citizenship Education) programme which incorporates the SEAL (Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning) materials and Relationships Education.
RE is taught as a separate subject in line with Chester Diocesan guidelines and follows its scheme of work. Approximately two thirds of the RE curriculum taught is specifically related to the Christian faith and a third to other world faiths such as Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. The resource ‘Understanding Christianity’ is used to support the delivery of the Chester Diocesan Scheme.
The school’s Christian values of trust, hope, friendship, perseverance, forgiveness and peace are incorporated into planning and activities across the curriculum. We use one value each half term as a focus for worship. Every child individually responds to a value stimuli, these responses are displayed prominently in school.
Opportunities to develop speaking, listening, group interaction and drama skills are planned as an integral part of the delivery of the curriculum.
Computing is deployed to support learning throughout the school and its curriculum where it can achieve learning outcomes more efficiently than more traditional means or where it is the only means of achieving these goals.
P4C (Philosophy for Children) aims to encourage children to think critically, caringly, creatively and collaboratively. P4C is an invaluable tool to help children to cope with ambiguity and to formulate, justify and explore philosophical questions. Through exploring ‘big questions’, children are taught to reason and provide evidence for their ideas and 'learn how to learn' in the process (see also Socratic questioning).
Class councils are held regularly to raise issues for class representatives to discuss at School Council as part of the children’s citizenship education.
We educate our pupils in personal safety through: Safer Internet Day, Bikeability (safer cycling scheme), Crucial Crew (roadshow of emergency services) and Judo Education for Y6 (personal safety course).
We actively plan for progressive leadership opportunities and development. Examples include: School Council, Sports Council, Ethos Group, Friendly Listeners (pastoral mentors), Play Leaders (lunchtime assistants) Eco Council, My Money activities (independently generate money for charity), pupil led worship for other pupils and our older pupils run Sports Days for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
We build a cohesive community which extends beyond the school by: promoting a ‘language of the term’; incorporating non-Christian festivals into worship; producing cards for festivals including Mothering Sunday; Switch Off Afternoon where the school is plunged into darkness; Families for Lunch where we invite family members to share a school meal with their children; Stars in Our School where children write certificates of appreciation to school support staff; Thank You Tea Party for school volunteers where Year 6 prepare food, wait on guests and give speeches; School Linking both locally, regionally and internationally with contrasting schools. Our regional link school was chosen for its predominantly Muslim faith pupils and Joy School, Uganda for its contrasting ethnicity and international dimension to assist the children’s understanding of Christianity as a global faith.
Performance and public speaking are developed through: School Choir; School Orchestra; productions for Key Stage 1 and 2; Xmas Factor (like X Factor but with a Christmas theme), St Mary’s Has Got Talent (eclectic talent show), Year 5’s First Contact project with Trafford Music Service where all pupils learn a tuned instrument and perform with other pupils across Trafford and a professional orchestra / ensemble. Opportunities exist for children to perform for our end of term services in our local church and during Day School Sunday, a tradition going back over a hundred years to the founding of the school.
We encourage volunteering and charitable giving through supporting Comic Relief / Sport Relief, Children in Need, other charities chosen by School Council and Joy School, Uganda.
We promote an understanding of future careers by inviting specialists into school to discuss how their education has influenced their career choices.
We observe national events such as: Remembrance Day; Holocaust Memorial Day; Anti-bullying Week; Mental Health Week; Fair Trade Fortnight; World Book Day and Pancake Olympics on Shrove Tuesday!
At KS2, specialist teaching occurs in Music, Dance, Foreign Languages (Spanish) and at Key Stages 1 and 2 P.E.. Teachers usually teach all subjects to their own classes but sometimes may be timetabled to share a specialism with other classes.
Many disadvantaged pupils typically start school with a language deficit. Developing children’s vocabulary and reading is essential if these pupils are to achieve as other pupils. Teachers are right to emphasise the acquisition of vocabulary and the skill of reading for disadvantaged pupils. This is best achieved by a rich and broad curriculum. Where interventions are deemed appropriate, consideration should be given to the impact on the wider curriculum.
Offsite educational trips and visitors to school
Offsite educational visits and visitors to school, linked to the curriculum, play a significant part in the development of children. Visits and visitors enhance and bring to life the teaching of the National Curriculum and Foundation Stage through first-hand experiences which enrich the understanding of, empathy with and enjoyment of the curriculum.
Each class has one offsite visit per term. Visitors, such as, authors, poets, artists, musicians and historians are organised by individual teachers and the school as required. Year 4 take part in the School Linking initiative with a contrasting school to further develop the children’s understanding of diversity and difference. Year 6 enjoy an outward bounds and problem solving residential trip.
Extra-curricular clubs are offered before, during and after school to further enhance our broad curricular offering (see school website for current clubs).
Our distinctive Christian ethos and school systems nurture and grow confident pupils who exhibit excellent learning behaviours: they experience quality relationships, care and guidance; work well in teams; readily take on leadership roles and work well independently demonstrating good character and resilience.
Pupils apply their English, communication, mathematical and computing skills in a variety of contexts as a result of the cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. Our children have excellent vocabulary.
Children experience a progressive curriculum which allows all pupil groups to build knowledge, behaviours and skills that they can access to demonstrate cultural competence.
Our children are reflective, being able to debate points and reflect on their own learning well, demonstrating good meta-cognition skills.
The school’s broad curriculum with a strong tradition of performance both at school and in the community; achievements in the arts and sport means all pupils feel valued, and achieve excellence in a variety of disciplines.
If you would like an further information about the school's curriculum then please contact the Headteacher.
Below is our curriculum, organised by Year, Class and Subject.
Our curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6 (key Stages 1 &2) is founded on the National Curriculum.
Additionally, within the Early Years, you may find 'Developmental Matters in The Early Years Foundation Stage' and the 'Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework' useful information when understanding how we organise learning within the EYFS.
ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE (Nursery - Year 6)