The National Curriculum
Religious Education Curriculum Intent Statement
As a Catholic school Religious Education touches all aspects of school life and supports the Catholic Life of the school. The RE curriculum reflects the Catholic identity of the school and the diverse nature of its pupils and their families.
The Religious Education curriculum includes:
- Lessons which have a distinctive nature that reflects the importance and significance of Religious Education and that cultivate a sense of awe and wonder.
- Tasks that allow children to develop the skills to examine and reflect on religious belief and practice.
- Whole school topics that ensure clear progress and allow children to revisit key themes enabling pupils to develop a sound knowledge of Catholic faith and life.
- The use of a range of scripture and other religious texts that support pupils’ understanding of their faith and allow them to make connections and explain their understanding.
- Opportunities for pupils to learn about other faiths and develop their understanding of the rich diversity of the wider world.
- Chances for children to think about how they can live out their faith and put this into action.
- Clearly structured relationship and sex education which reflects the school’s Catholic ethos and values.
Art and Design Curriculum Intent Statement
At St Mary Magdalen’s School, we understand that art plays an important role in nurturing the whole child. We believe it allows each child to use their imagination to inspire their creativity, take risks, and express their ideas and understanding and to work both individually and collaboratively with others. This will promote enjoyable, memorable learning experiences.
The Art and Design curriculum includes:
- Art lessons which aim to ensure that children are able to develop key skills using specific media.
- Opportunities for children to learn about different artists using range of sources, artefacts, and techniques.
- Engaging, inspiring, and challenging pupils to experiment, invent and create their own works of arts, crafts and design.
- Think critically, develop an understanding of art and design and giving them the opportunity to problem solve, review, and refine their work.
- Becoming skilful in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
- Whole school displays where children have the opportunity for collaborative working and exploring the different styles and techniques of chosen artist/topic.
- All children using a sketchbook to record ideas and observations.
- Art taught as an individual subject as well as incorporated into other curriculum lessons.
- Providing an environment where children feel safe taking risks and not intimidated by getting it wrong.
- Offering chances for children to explore the potential of different materials, making independent discoveries.
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.
History Curriculum Intent Statement
We recognise that an understanding of our personal and collective history is fundamental to our pupils developing a positive sense of self and an understanding of the wider world and their roles and responsibilities. The history curriculum reflects the diverse experiences of our pupils and their families. It takes advantage of the rich history of our local area and historical sites and museums in London.
The history curriculum includes:
- Topics which reflect our school’s context and help children understand themselves, their local area and the wider world.
- A clear sequence of topics within each year and from year to year which allow children to acquire and apply historical knowledge and skills.
- Opportunities for children to learn from a range of sources and artefacts and to understand ideas relating to reliability.
- Chances for children to ask questions about what, why and how events occurred and to understand change and cause and effect.
- The opportunity for pupils to reflect on how the past impacts us today and what we can learn from it in order to become responsible global-citizens
- The use of quality fiction and non-fiction texts to help bring the past to life and encourage pupils to make links across the curriculum.
- Visits to museums and historical sites to enthuse and inspire pupils.
Computing Curriculum Intent Statement
At St. Mary Magdalen’s, we intend to prepare our children to be confident and competent within a world that is heavily shaped by technology. We recognise that our children, like many others, are using technology on a daily basis at home and at school therefore, within our curriculum, we aim to develop knowledge, understanding and confidence to ensure our children go through education and beyond being able to apply the computing skills they have learnt in everyday situations.
The computing curriculum includes:
- A clear sequence of units within each year and from year to year to develop digital literacy skills and develop ideas through information and communication technology.
- The opportunity for children to develop their speaking and listening skills by using a range of different software where children of all ages can find, analyse and present information and further evaluate their presentations.
- The use of a range of programs to develop independent learners who are fluent in their understanding of computer science by teaching them to design, create and evaluate their work using specific vocabulary.
- Opportunities for children to know and understand the importance of safe internet use.
- Chances for all children to take part in local, national and international computing events across the curriculum and have opportunities to apply their knowledge skills and understanding through digital literacy and computing skills.
Mathematics Curriculum Intent Statement
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent, can reason mathematically and solve problems. At St. Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and are developed consistently over time. We aim to develop confident, enthusiastic mathematicians who have a deep understanding of the key areas of the subject.
The Mathematics curriculum includes:
- Creative and engaging lessons that will give children a range of opportunities to explore Mathematics following a mastery curriculum approach.
- A clear sequence of topics where concepts are built in small, logical steps. This ensures children have enough time to learn and master a skill. Our lessons provide opportunities to review and consolidate previous learning as well as time for new learning.
- Ensuring children are able to recall key number facts with speed and accuracy.
- Using concrete-pictorial-abstract approaches in lessons so children experience three representations of a mathematical concept. This begins with a ‘hands on’ component using real objects, then moves to relating the idea to pictures and finally encourages children to represent the concept using mathematical notation.
- A chance for children to believe in themselves as mathematicians and develop the power of resilience and perseverance when faced with mathematical challenges.
- Opportunities for all children to become problem solvers, who can reason, think logically, work systematically and apply their knowledge of Mathematics using suitable mathematical language to communicate their thinking clearly.
- Broadening children’s knowledge and understanding of how Mathematics is used in the wider world by making rich and varied real life connections.
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.
Physical Education Curriculum Intent Statement
We recognise the importance of PE and the crucial role it has to play in developing healthy lifestyles and a lifelong habit of physical activity.
The Physical Education curriculum includes:
- High quality PE and sport provision in games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimmming and outdoor activities, so that children can develop confidence and competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- Opportunities for children to remain physically active for sustained periods of time.
- Fun, engaging, physically – demanding activities which are enjoyable, challenging and accessible to all.
- Opportunities to take part in competitive sporting events and activities, both internally in inter-house games and activities and also externally, representing the school at sporting events.
- Options for children to engage in additional extra-curricular activities before and after school.
- Opportunities for pupils to develop values and transferrable life skills, such as fairness and respect, cooperating and collaborating with others as part of a team, a positive growth mind-set and the resilience to persevere with activities that may at first feel difficult.
English Curriculum Intent Statement
The effective teaching of English is crucial to ensuring children achieve the highest levels of success across a broad and balanced curriculum. At St Mary Magdalen’s, we aim to deliver an English Curriculum which inspires our children and fosters a love of reading, writing and performance that will last for a lifetime. Built around varied, high quality literature that is rich in vocabulary, our curriculum supports children from all cultures and socio-economic backgrounds while reflecting pupils’ interests and promoting an appreciation for our Literary heritage. The texts we choose provide relevant, meaningful and creative opportunities for children to read, write, perform and speak publicly; giving them the Cultural Capital they need to participate fully in society and equipping them with skills that allow them to think critically and creatively.
The English Curriculum includes:
- The rigorous, clear and sequential teaching of phonics alongside comprehension skills from Early Years, to develop fluency and understanding.
- Exposure to high quality Classic and Modern texts including Poetry and Non-Fiction which encourage exploration of ideas such as character, language, genre, audience and purpose in a variety of contexts.
- The study of texts which allow children to develop an understanding of the world around them and encourage their emotional, cultural and social development.
- A strong emphasis on cultivating reading and oracy skills as well as writing through the use of whole class guided reading, readers’ theatre and recital.
- Tasks that encourage creative responses to texts through art, debate and performance.
- The promotion of reading and writing for pleasure through visits to the school library, free writing Fridays, competitions and listening to texts being read aloud.
- Opportunities to plan, edit and evaluate writing so that children see it as a creative process which is ever evolving.
- The teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar skills in context and a strong focus on the acquisition of high level vocabulary.
- The use of model texts, shared and guided writing as scaffolds to support children with crafting high quality Narrative, Non-Fiction and Poetry.
- Visits to theatres and local literary festivals where children listen to well- known authors and illustrators speak about their craft.
- Opportunities to create purposeful texts that are published for real audiences in both English lessons and the wider curriculum.
- A clear progression of knowledge and skills across year groups which allows children to build upon and review prior learning.
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.
Science Curriculum Intent Statement
At St Mary Magdalen’s, we are committed to increasing the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them through an engaging and inspiring science curriculum. We aim to develop a deeper appreciation of both the physical and natural environment, thereby promoting a life-long respect for all living things. We encourage the children to appreciate their place in an ever-changing world, the contribution they can make to it and their responsibilities towards its care.
Our Science Curriculum includes:
- clearly sequenced topics which build upon and extend previous learning, introducing new vocabulary and increasingly challenging concepts when appropriate
- frequent opportunities to engage in scientific inquiry which allow the children to develop their intellectual skills, plan investigations, consider and evaluate ideas, ask questions, explain and challenge evidence as they continue to deepen their scientific knowledge
- opportunities to communicate scientific information in a range of different ways including through use of I.C.T. and by application of mathematical skills in the form of diagrams, graphs, charts and tables
- opportunities to promote scientific literacy by developing a precise and scientific vocabulary through which children can express their scientific understanding
- participation in practical activities, educational visits, regular science days/weeks and workshops to enthuse and stimulate the children’s natural curiosity and which take advantage of our rich outdoor local and school environment.
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.