We follow the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum for England as well as the 2009 Locally Agreed Religious Education Syllabus. However, we are able to tailor this curriculum to the needs of the children in our school. This is done through a thematic approach to learning – teaching through ‘topics’.
Thematic Curriculum at St Mary’s
The best learning contexts enable everything we teach to centre around a common theme and to be experienced first hand by the children. These contexts are set in the ‘real world’ and aim to motivate and inspire children, developing their thirst for learning around the topic. Thematic learning covers all areas of the National Curriculum, including literacy, numeracy, art, music and science.
There may be times when subjects are taught in isolation, but we know that children learn best when links can be made between what they know, what they understand and what they can do.
Child-Initiated & Child-Led Learning at St Mary’s
A typical unit of work, lasting two-four weeks, will start with children’s ideas of what they would like to learn about, followed by a period of planning where teacher and children together generate the planning for the unit, followed by the period of learning. This is good, widely-accepted practice in the UK and further afield.
- Children’s discussion and ideas are at the heart of learning
- We expect to teach 3-4 mini-topics per term
- As many of the subject areas that are relevant are included in the topic; others are left for later topics, which may then be more directed by the teacher to ensure full curriculum coverage.
- Skills development is at the heart of these topics; teachers need to identify the skills learnt by children in each subject and keep a close record of these.
- Maths is taught throughout the curriculum but also independently when needed.
- Design Technology is focused within one of the topics.
- English language teaching is centred around the topics.
We are committed to putting children’s interests at the heart of the curriculum!