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Curriculum

Our curriculum is

Child-centred – Recognising the unique nature of each child. As a small school, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of every child and their individual circumstances. We adapt our curriculum so that it reflects and values our pupils and is responsive to their needs.

Inspiring – Providing exciting and engaging learning experiences which cultivate pupils’ passion for learning.

Challenging – Delivering a broad and balanced curriculum that allows children to learn about subjects in depth. Subjects are planned to provide opportunities for pupils to acquire, practise and apply knowledge and skills. This ensures pupils become resilient, independent learners who are able to persevere and adapt their work in the knowledge that our mistakes are our opportunities.

Inclusive – Utilising the unique and diverse nature of our school community to allow all children to learn about themselves, the wider world and their responsibilities. Acknowledging the need to develop all children’s cultural capital to ensure equity.

Cohesive – Making connections between subjects and inspiring children to apply and develop key skills and attitudes across the curriculum.

Our curriculum includes

Exciting and engaging lessons that make learning purposeful and motivate our pupils.

Opportunities to acquire, practise and apply key skills and attitudes across the curriculum.

A range of topics which reflect the rich and varied nature of our school community and the wider world.

A diverse range of experiences inside and outside school.

Challenge for all pupils in order to develop their understanding, resilience and independence.

Collaborative learning that draws on the strength of our school community and utilises our strong home, school and parish partnership.

Time to learn in depth and nurture pupils’ curiosity and critical thinking skills.

Curriculum

Art and Design

Art plays an important role in allowing children creative expression and nurturing their social, emotional and spiritual development. Art and design encourages children to become creative thinkers, to take risks, and to express themselves through working both individually and collaboratively with others. We promote an appreciation for art and design and provide enjoyable, memorable learning experiences.

The art and design curriculum includes:

Lessons that develop key skills using a range of media to draw, paint, sculpt and explore other art, craft and design techniques.

Opportunities for children to learn about different artists using a range of sources, artefacts, and techniques.

Engaging and inspiring lessons that challenge pupils to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.

Opportunities to think critically, developing an understanding of art and design and giving pupils the chance to problem solve, review, and refine their work.

Creating striking whole school displays where children work collaboratively exploring the different styles and techniques of a chosen artist or theme.

The use of sketchbooks to record ideas and observations and encourage reflection and self-evaluation.

Art taught as an individual subject as well as incorporated lessons across the curriculum.

A classroom culture where children feel safe to express themselves and take risks and are worried about getting it wrong.

Chances for children to explore the potential of different materials, making independent discoveries.

Computing

At St. Mary Magdalen’s, we 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.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology offers our children the opportunity to engage creatively with the “made” world. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore and evaluate different products which they use in everyday life. They then use this information to inform their own designs and decisions they make inside and outside the classroom.

The DT curriculum includes:

Clearly sequenced lessons that allow children to learn, practise and apply their knowledge and skills.

Projects that involve the design, make, evaluate process encouraging pupils to be independent and reflective learners.

Opportunities to apply their learning from other areas of the curriculum to their work, particularly maths, art and science.

Clearly identified needs that relate to children’s interests and circumstances to give projects meaning and purpose.

Chances to work collaboratively, to explain their thinking to develop and adapt ideas and products.

Development of skills and understanding relating to sewing and textiles, cooking and nutrition, electrical and mechanical products ensuring that children can make safe and healthy choices.

Chances to select and use tools and materials with a developing understanding of how to use these safely and independently.

English

A confident command of the English language is crucial to ensuring children achieve the highest levels of success across a broad and balanced curriculum. At St Mary Magdalen’s, we 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.

Geography

At St Mary Magdalen’s, children are instilled with a deep curiosity about the world in which they live through our offer of a rigorous and dynamic geography curriculum. We are committed to providing a geography curriculum that builds upon children’s understanding and values of social, environmental issues and sustainable development in today’s changing world.  We believe pupils should have an understanding of their local heritage, the UK and the wider world and be able to challenge preconceptions and stereotypes about people and places.

The geography curriculum includes:

Topics which excite and stimulate children’s curiosity about their local heritage in Mortlake and in the wider world enabling pupils to make better sense of their place in the world.

A cohesive sequence of topics within each year which allow children to make clear progress in place-knowledge and develop their geographical skills and vocabulary.

Opportunities for children to learn from and develop geographical skills relating to a range of resources: maps, atlases, compasses, globes, and through use of geographical information systems including Digimaps.

Chances for children to become critical thinkers and take greater responsibility for their own safety and care for the environment.

The opportunity to raise awareness about key aspects of human geography and how global trade affects less economically developed countries during Fair Trade week projects.

The use of quality fiction and non-fiction texts to help encourage pupils to make links across the curriculum.

Chances for pupils to communicate their findings and express opinions.

Engaging and interactive lessons including undertaking exciting and engaging enquiry-led field trips to motivate and inspire pupils.

Developing an understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.

History

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. At St Mary Magdalen’s, our 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.

Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum builds fluency in key mathematical skills and understanding. It develops mathematical reasoning and problems solving. At St. Mary Magdalen’s these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and are developed consistently over time. We 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.

The use of 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.

Chances for children to believe in themselves as mathematicians and develop 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.

Broadening children’s knowledge and understanding of how Mathematics is used in the wider world by making rich and varied real life connections.

Modern Foreign Languages

We are very fortunate that many of our pupils and staff speak more than one language. Our MFL provision recognises the fact that we are preparing our pupils to become responsible, tolerant, global citizens. MFL not only teaches children to confidently speak, read and write a language but also develops a deep understanding and respect of other cultures and the diversity of our own community.

The MFL curriculum includes:

Specialist teaching from native speakers who convey their passion for their language and culture.

A focus on speaking and listening and developing children’s confidence and practical strategies to understand and communicate both in their own and in another language.

Clearly sequenced lessons that allow children to acquire and practise speaking, reading and writing skills.

Opportunities to challenge bi and multi-lingual children encouraging children to discuss how they use different languages and to share their strategies and strengths.

The chance to celebrate and explore the diversity of our community through lessons and whole school events and celebrations.

Visuals to support understanding and enable pupils to make links between languages developing independence and confidence.

Opportunities to explore and celebrate the culture and traditions of other countries recognising our similarities and celebrating our differences.

Digital resources to support and extend learning.

The chance to apply learning in real life both during lesson and on our Year 6 school journey to France.

Music

Our main goals are to engage students in the enjoyment of music, to promote music literacy and lifelong music making. Pupils have the opportunity to develop their ability to make, read and compose music. They explore a wide range of instruments in class and have the opportunity to develop an expertise in an instrument of their choice. Music within our school is an integral part of collective worship and supports pupils’ spiritual development and the Catholic ethos of the school.

The music curriculum includes:

Carefully sequenced lessons across the year and from year to year to build knowledge and skills.

An emphasis on rhythmic reading, writing and improvising.

Developing an understanding of melodic elements using solfege and note names.

A focus on singing skills using pitch matching, singing in rounds and making harmony in two or more parts.

Congregational singing of Catholic hymns in school Liturgies.

Participation in multicultural singing games and dances.

Performing in the Barnes Music Festival and other choir shares with local schools.

The study of orchestral instrument families with emphasis on individual instrument sounds, playing techniques and properties.

Opportunities for pupils to work with specialist teachers, learning instruments and sharing their musical talents in solo performance.
Playing classroom tuned and non-tuned instruments.

A rich range of performing opportunities within classes, for the school and for our wider community.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Our faith provides the basis for the personal, social and emotional education we provide our children. We are conscious of the diverse society that we live in and our PSHE curriculum nurtures our values whilst developing the behaviours and attitudes our pupils need to lead happy, healthy lives in school and beyond.

The PSHE curriculum includes:

A clear sequence of topics which help pupils develop their understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.

Engaging lessons that develop emotional literacy, self-regulation of behaviour, social skills and spiritual development.

Explicitly teaching strategies to support these concepts, skills, behaviour and attitudes.

Opportunities for children to express themselves in a safe and compassionate environment and to develop an understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe.

Time for self-reflection to encourage children to develop insight into their feelings and behaviours and develop independence and self-reliance.

Developing an understanding of each individuals’ rights and their responsibilities both within school but also the wider world.

Relationship and sex education that is age appropriate and reflects the school’s Catholic values.

Physical Education 

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. Our pupils participate in a range of team sports inside and outside school and we aim to develop their skills further as well as their ability to be team players, gracious in both victory and defeat. We recognise that sport and physical activity has a huge impact on well-being and self-esteem and seek to ensure that PE both inside and outside school is accessible to all our pupils.

The PE curriculum includes:

High quality PE and sport provision in games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming 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.

Chances 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.

Religious Education

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 its values of inclusivity and tolerance. This enables us to explore and celebrate the distinctive ethos of the school and the diverse nature of its pupils and their families.

The RE curriculum includes:

Lessons which have a distinctive nature that reflect 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.

Clearly sequenced whole school topics that ensure progression 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.

Science

At St Mary Magdalen’s, we increase our children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them through an engaging and inspiring science curriculum. We develop a deeper appreciation of the physical and natural environment, thereby promoting a life-long respect for all living things. Children learn 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 technology and by application of mathematical skills in the form of diagrams, graphs, charts and tables.

Opportunities to develop the scientific literacy of our students through which children can express their scientific understanding.

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.

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