At St. Mark’s CE Primary School we are passionate about enthusing and encouraging our children to develop an enquiring mind through a creative, exciting, motivating and varied curriculum. 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. We have designed our curriculum so that it is both relevant and engaging for our children and their particular needs in order to prepare them for the future as well as being relevant to our local community, mindful of our heritage and celebrating global diversity. The statutory National Curriculum of 2014 is encompassed within this so that a broad learning experience is had by all. Underpinning our curriculum are the school values of Responsibility, Enthusiasm, Spirituality, Perseverance, Enthusiasm, Commitment and Trust. The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the necessary skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. We want them to aim high, work hard and to have high aspirations for the future.
The curriculum at St. Mark’s CE Primary School aims to be:
As a statutory requirement we teach the following subjects based on the 2014 National Curriculum:
Religious Education (RE) is taught in accordance with guidelines from the Lichfield Diocese, following Understanding Christianity and the Stoke on Trent agreed syllabus.
PSHE ( Personal, Social, Health and Emotional) is embedded through all our subjects to ensure our children have a moral, spiritual and cultural understanding of the world we live in as well as an understanding of British values.
We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident independent learners and successful adults. Children rapidly begin to read in the Foundation Stage by following a phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’. All children engage in a daily guided reading session where they develop their reading and comprehension. In addition, all children take part in a daily English and Mathematics lesson.
National requirements for all foundation subjects are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly. We follow the Learning Challenge Curriculum, which is a topic based curriculum. This enables our children to make connections between subjects and means that they can practise and apply the skills they learn across different subjects. The Learning Challenge Curriculum has either History or Geography as its main ‘driver’ and is presented to the children as one main overarching question with a different question to answer each week. Skills for all other foundation subjects are used as enhancers for the main topic.
The more able are challenged further in their learning and children with special educational needs and those new to English are appropriately supported so that they make the expected progress. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents, carers and other learners through class and whole school assemblies 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.
Each subject is led by a member of the teaching staff. Subject leaders are given training and opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so that they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Visits and visitors, themed weeks and whole school activities both within and outside school enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. The school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology.
Parents/carers are provided with a curriculum overview at the start of each half term so that they can see what their children will be studying and are encouraged to contribute to their children’s learning in any way they can. The half termly curriculum overviews and photographs of the Learning Challenge Curriculum display boards from each class can be found on individual class pages.
Each term we give parents/carers the opportunity to attend our parent/carer consultation evenings where they can discuss their child’s progress, achievements and targets. Parents/carers are also provided with a written report in the summer term.
Additional information about the statutory and non-statutory requirements can be found in the National Curriculum document (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum).