We aim to provide the children in our care with an education that is rich and varied, which places a strong emphasis on high academic achievement and which meets both the National Curriculum and the Independent Schools Examination Board requirements.
We endeavour to deliver our curriculum in a way which takes account of the children’s individual needs and which will encourage them to develop and discover their full potential.
The St Mary’s School curriculum encourages every child, at every stage of their learning, to develop their individual talents and abilities. Teachers plan the curriculum on a half termly basis, breaking it down into weekly plans which ensure a broad and balanced curriculum. Their plans reflect the curriculum attainment targets and also take account of the varied ability levels within the class.
Language and Literacy
We believe language to be central to all aspects of learning across the curriculum. In our teaching we endeavour to initiate and foster confidence in all areas of the English curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop fluency and skill in speaking, listening to points of view, sharing ideas and recounting. In an environment that develops literacy through providing a wide selection of reading material within every classroom, children are given the opportunity to become confident and interested in their approach to books and reading.
With regard to written skills, children are encouraged to write independently from a very early age. Writing is encouraged for a variety of purposes and audiences. We aim to help children become confident writers, enjoying the opportunities given to them to share their thoughts and ideas.
Handwriting and spelling are taught at St Mary’s. Children are taught to form their letters correctly and joined-up writing is introduced when the children are ready. Particular attention is given to spelling, punctuation, grammatical practices and the selection of appropriate vocabulary.
Mathematics and Numeracy
We attach great importance to the teaching of Mathematics and we aim to develop children’s understanding of number, shape, space, measurement, graphical representation and problem solving techniques; to make maths an enjoyable experience; and to provide opportunities for children to utilise their understanding in everyday situations.
Through a broad range of activities and experiences appropriate to the age and ability of the children, we aim to ensure that each child leaves the school with a high degree of competence in mathematics.
We encourage a practical approach to teaching and learning, enabling children to work both independently and co-operatively, becoming more competent with the use of mathematical ideas by talking, listening, reading and writing.
Science and the Environment
Our goal is to enable children to observe and investigate aspects of their physical environment, to investigate the world around them and to record their observations with accuracy and precision.
Children are encouraged to acquire scientific skills, concepts and attitudes through scientific activities and to develop positive attitudes towards Science.
Through practical work and investigations children will be introduced to topics and activities that will benefit them in their senior school and adult life.
IT and Technology
Computing and digital literacy is a necessary skill in the modern world and for this reason great emphasis is placed on the children becoming skilled in this area. All children at St Mary’s School have the opportunity to work with computers and other technological equipment, such as interactive whiteboards and digital cameras, from the Nursery through to end of Year 6. The software used is age appropriate and some programmes are used throughout the whole school to promote continuity and progression.
ICT is not taught in isolation; it supports and enhances all other curriculum areas and learning. We currently have interactive whiteboards, laptops, iPads and programming and coding equipment in the school and have a rolling programme for the continued development of ICT across the school. The school has a Service Level Agreement with Camden Learning Centre and children from Yr 3 to Yr 6 spend time there involved in coding activities and accessing other parts of the Computing and Digital Literacy curriculum.
We have a wonderful local historical and geographical resource and St Mary’s School makes use of the immediate local area as well as London’s enormously rich historical and geographical resources. Visits and outings extend our children’s experience and knowledge, giving an important stimulus to work in all areas of the curriculum.
These visits gradually introduce the children to the wider world and teach them about the variety and richness of environments, as well as how people change and adapt to them in providing for their needs.
All children at St Mary’s School are encouraged to draw, paint and create three-dimensional work using a variety of media and stimuli. A carefully planned and thorough Art and Design curriculum encourages all children to develop their skills and also allows special artistic talent to shine.
Children are taught to observe carefully and record what they see, using different media. During their time at St Mary’s School children are introduced to a variety of creative activities including drawing, painting, printing, modelling and needlecraft and taught to use materials with precision and care.
Children participate in art exhibitions and are able to discuss their work and the work of others using appropriate vocabulary. Artwork is displayed around the school and portfolios of work are available to view on the website and also in the school entrance hall.
French is taught from Reception to Year 6. Our aim is to develop in the children a love of the French language so that when they reach Senior School, they are enthusiastic about French and have a secure grounding in the language. We teach French through conversation and classes involve much speaking and work with peers. Written French and grammar exercises do not form the main focus of the lessons. Year 6 girls use their French speaking skills in their end of year trip to Le Touquet.
The teaching of Spanish is offered at club level. A specially trained teacher runs this very popular club and uses a variety of exciting and stimulating material.
At St Mary’s we believe that personal, social, health and citizenship education is crucial to the children’s understanding of human development and growth. It is this understanding of ourselves and others which will help our children to become responsible, caring people, able to live full and mature lives within their family, their school and society as a whole.
Children are taught to take care of their bodies and they learn strategies which promote good health. Many PSHCE topics are covered in other curriculum areas such as Science, Physical Education and Religious Education.
Year 5 and 6 girls are given sex and relationship lessons, set within the context of Christian living, family life and caring loving relationships. The aim of this programme is to provide an education which is about the development, growth and journey of the whole person towards becoming fully human and fully alive as a unique creation made in God’s image.