The National Curriculum
At St. Mary Magdalen’s R.E. is the core of the core curriculum. The Governors, Headteacher and staff work closely and harmoniously together to create an environment where high expectations and careful pastoral care unable pupils to reach their full potential both academically and spiritually. The aims of R.E.at school are to promote knowledge and understanding about the Catholic faith and life that other principle religions represented in Great Britain. At St. Mary Magdalen’s we follow the ‘Come and See’ programme which is taught in many schools across the country. This scheme also provides the children with an introduction to some to the Other Faiths that are part of our multi-cultural society.
Our home-school-parish link is a prominent feature of the liturgical life at St. Mary Magdalen’s. Father Richard is a frequent visitor to our school. The children attend mass in the church regularly and the school is fully involved in preparing the children for their First Holy Communion. Parents and carers are always encouraged to join us in our celebrations.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School we believe that all children should have access to a high quality art education which stimulates their interest and enjoyment of the subject.
Assessment and Record Keeping
In order that each child reaches his or her full potential we work hard at assessing the pupils as they move through the school. This is carried out in many ways both informally and formally. This information feeds into progress tracking systems which are robust. This information is also used to inform parents of areas to work with their children on at home.
Design and Technology
At St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School we believe that Design and Technology can offer the children the opportunity to engage creatively with the “made” world.
Geography focuses upon building children’s understanding and values of social and environmental issues in today’s changing world. As a subject it helps children to challenge preconceptions and stereotypes about people and places. It is of great importance to us that geography is physically experienced by the children. Throughout the school we place a large emphasis on local exploration and ‘hands on’ research to inform the children’s classroom thinking.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School we believe that all children should have access to a high quality and diverse history education which will stimulate their interest and enjoyment of the subject, whilst building on and enabling the children to behave and think as historians. We take advantage of the rich historical venues local to us to create deeper learning experiences for our children, such as Kew Gardens, The Wetlands Centre and Richmond Park.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils will be able to use technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
All pupils have access to a class Interactive Whiteboard, with some classes having the state of the art Cboards, allowing teachers to meet different learning styles in an engaging way. The school also has a Computer suite containing a set of class laptops as well as a class set of LearnPads. With the continual progress of the technological world, we are able to offer personalised learning which enhances cross curricular links to other subjects.
We follow the National Curriculum to deliver a daily numeracy session. Our aim is for all children to feel able and confident in mathematics and to take enjoyment from the subject, gaining the skills necessary for everyday life. The children are introduced to a number of different calculation methods throughout their time at school. This will enable them to identify methods of calculation which they can complete accurately and with increasing efficiency. We use a range of strategies and activities when supporting the children as well as encouraging children to think of different ways to solve mathematical problems.
We aim for the children in our care to know and value the teachings our Faith. We aim that each member of our school community appreciates that life is a gift from God and is precious and worthy of protection and care.
Through our P.E. programme we aim to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles by teaching children to be physically active and to engage in activities that develop cardio-vascular health, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s we recognise that the acquisition of language skills is of vital importance in a child’s education, as it is through the use of language that all learning takes place. Language permeates the whole of the curriculum and its effective use is crucial to the development of every subject in the curriculum. Our state of the art library is at the hub of our school, further promoting in our children a passion for reading.
Reading is taught through the delivery of daily phonics sessions in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. During these sessions, the children are taught phonics and they learn to develop their skills in decoding and blending. The children read books at home with parental support to develop their skills in decoding phonics and building up recognition of key words. The children are regularly assessed in their ability to recognise key words and decode phonetically and are supported in small group work as necessary.
In both Key Stages, teachers work with small groups of children in guided reading groups. These groups enable children to develop their reading skills, providing valuable opportunities to discuss texts, recall the main points of a story, pinpoint differences between different genres and develop inferencing and deductive skills.
We are lucky to have a vast supply of reading books to support children as they begin to read in the Foundation stage. These early reading books support the children as they learn initial sounds and begin to blend phonemes to make simple words. Children in Key Stage 1 read books from the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme and the Pearson phonics books scheme. Children in Year 1 also have the opportunity to borrow from a supply of “free reader” books as they become more competent readers.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s we understand the importance of developing children’s scientific knowledge so that they can understand the world around them. In our teaching we aim to spark our pupils’ curiosity and help them to grow in understanding through the use of exciting, practical investigations which take place in real life contexts, and which help children to develop skills such as questioning, predicting, testing and drawing conclusions.
The purpose of music making at St. Mary Magdalen’s is to provide pupils with an enriching and enjoyable experience using a practical approach.
As a fully inclusive school St. Mary Magdalen’s ensures that identification and action is taken to meet the needs of all children including those with S.E.N.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s all children from Reception to Year 6 learn how to speak French. The acquisition of a language is very important to us. In Year 6 the children have an opportunity to practise speaking French and learn more about the culture of France during their annual school journey to Chateau Du Broutel near Bologne.
At St. Mary Magdalen’s all children from Y1 to Y5 also learn how to speak Italian. Our teacher comes to us directly from the Italian Consulate.