Our curriculum has a clear purpose, an intent.
Intent - What are we trying to achieve here at St Mary’s. We refer always back to our mission statement,
‘St Mary’s is a place of educational excellence with Christ at its centre.’
With all planning and teaching we start with the National Curriculum, we develop this further through the use of ‘Inspire’ curriculum plans and by providing the children with quality experiences and lessons with a large element of choice and need for independent thinking.
Learning logs set as homework based on what the children have been learning about in class enables the children to immerse into experiences with their families, sharing in their learning and finding a variety of ways to demonstrate their new found knowledge.
Parents coming into school to help at regular opportunities increases the learning as it enables children to receive immediate support and feedback. We have volunteer helpers that listen to readers and those that partake in the Read Write Inc sessions. Volunteers are provided with support materials and a code of conduct.
Children can see the class topic journey on the topic wall and can reflect on work completed in the topic journey book. There is an argument that one book for the wider curriculum strengthens the message that our curriculum is 'built in' and not 'bolted on' however we found that it made it difficult to see the different subject areas nor the demonstration/progression of the different skills. The foundation topics are not weaker relations to the core subjects because they only happen in the afternoons. We dive into a topic and seek cross curricular links which are evidenced in the curriculum maps that each class produce and can be found on the website.
Impact - What difference is this curriculum making to our children?
We have reflected on much this year and introduced a new way of teaching reading, a new music scheme and a language programme which gives the children an opportunity to learn more than one language. Other subject areas have been developed through exciting visitors in Science; STEM workshops, links with Warwick University and Atomic Tom. In Maths we have developed our reasoning resources and focused on supporting the learning of tables through the Multiples Marathon pack (available on the website). Our SENDCO has overhauled the provisions we have in place to support the children on the SEND register and further strive for an inclusive curriculum. In Art we have taken opportunities to enter competitions to excite the children and have linked these to many subject areas such as RE. Please read the news real for weekly updates.
The Read Write Inc approach filtrates through to all our teaching and the children recognise the mannerisms in every subject taught.
We recognise that reading opens the door to all learning and the more a child learns the more a child wants to find out. With this in mind we have reviewed our current phonics programme and reading scheme and made the decision to improve it!
Our aim for our school is that: ‘Every child can read’
What is RWI phonics?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics based programme which helps children learn to read whilst also developing a wide range of vocabulary and encouraging a love of stories. It was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at www.ruthmiskinliteracy.com .
Read write Inc is a teaching programme which means:
- Children in the early years learn to read confidently and fluently.
- Older children with reading difficulties make fast progress.
- Children with specific learning difficulties learn to read.
Who is Read Write Inc. for?
The Read Write Inc. programme is for primary school children learning to read. It enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader at the first attempt. Children will begin the programme in Year R and will remain on the programme until they become skilled, confident and fluent readers.
We also have another programme, Read Write Inc. Fresh Start, for upper primary school children learning to read. This uses exactly the same method but uses age appropriate texts.
Why does it work?
· The systematic and lively programme is organised by an in-school reading manager (Mrs D Morgan).
· All staff (teachers and assistants) are trained to teach a group.
· The children read and write for an hour each day, grouped according to their reading level.
· Children do not struggle because the work is too difficult or get bored because the work is too easy.
· A few children who need extra support to maintain progress work with a reading tutor (teaching assistant) for 10 minutes in the afternoons to ensure that they do not fall behind their peers.
What will my child bring home?
Children taught in RWI groups will bring home a text which they have learnt to read in school during the RWI sessions. They will also bring home a Book Bag Book. This book builds upon the ideas and many of the words in the Storybook he or she has just read. Your child will need more support in reading this book. Explanations of how to use the activities are included in the books.
In addition to these books the children will bring home a class ‘book banded’ book which they can have changed regularly; however the class teacher will not hear your child read this book as they will be hearing your child read the RWI book in sessions.
Children who are not grouped to be taught in the RWI groups will have guided reading lessons in class. They will bring home a class reading book to enjoy.
Library Loan Bags
Children can also choose to attend the school lunch time ‘reading club’ where they can select and bring home a ‘Library Loan’ bag to enjoy. Details of this are on our school website.
Our approach to teaching our curriculum through our chosen topic enables us to excite the children through enriching trips and focused resource spending.
Maritime Museum trip.
Artist in resident.
Within St Mary’s Primary, the guiding principles are evident and becoming deeply embedded. Our teaching staff are committed to teaching children vital skills and necessary knowledge from the National Curriculum but allowing them to express and evidence their learning in formats and means that suit their individuality – playing to their individual strengths.
The culture of learning together is a promoted daily and the children are excited about new topics. We have a WOW in every topic this could be the building of an object, a trip or a visitor. Each subject lead keeps a deep dive folder to evidence the exciting opportunities/developments that they are making to make the delivery of their subjects more enriching and exciting. The children can look back and comment their progression of skills throughout the year.
Below are our year group's "long term plans" - a brief overview of the year's learning for each term and the Topic cycle for the school.