Introduction to our curriculum at St Mary’s 2018-19
At St Mary’s we consider our curriculum to be the whole entitlement of children within and beyond the timetabled day, whilst they are at school, and hope that this extends beyond into their homes and lives outside school.
We work to foster a life-long love of learning and ensure that learning with us builds long-term knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes, through our curriculum and the approaches we take to this, in a safe, stimulating environment that meets the needs of each child and offers equal access to all aspects of the curriculum.
Our large urban highly multi-cultural and multi-faith school was founded in 1863 to by St Mary’s Church, Slough to offer a ‘good education to the children of the parish’. 150 years on, this is now a diverse and vibrant area with some economic challenge too; we serve to meet the needs of our children and work hard to have a curriculum characterised by emphasis upon core Christian values, children’s rights, respect and equality of opportunity, strong basic skills, confident pupil voice and development of a sense of contribution, use of every available resource for learning outside the classroom to share the resources of our town and the south-east UK, broaden ambitions, interests and offer wide experiences, musical, creative and ‘arts’ opportunities, outdoor learning and participation in activity to offer less sedentary lifestyle choices and access to PE and sports. We want our children to ‘get out there’ and take advantage, represent themselves well and be equipped to manage themselves in the world.
We have always striven to ensure all our children have access to a full broad curriculum, not led by a response to tests and statutory assessment, but as a means for achievement and development of skills across many subjects.
Curriculum Update – summer 2019
Lately we have reviewed our website information, making our information more user-friendly and accessible to children, parents and visitors. This and last year, we have been updating our Curriculum Policy, fully acquainting ourselves with the new September 2019 ‘Ofsted Framework for Inspection’ expectations for the new judgement ‘Quality of Education’ with regard to our curriculum, self-evaluating our progress towards our aims and updating our subject 5PPs (5-Point Plans) for curriculum and all related areas. All subject policies are being checked ahead of the end of the summer term 2019 and ‘curriculum maps’ for subjects have been under review during 2018-19 and continue to be developed alongside consideration of assessment for foundation subject progress. Art is the latest subject to have been revisited.
The plans for staff professional development and appraisal in 2019-20 are beginning to be considered and subject direction to ensure that we are clear on our intentions, implementation and impact in our teaching and learning are clear across our delivery of the National Curriculum. Several curriculum visits have taken place this year, as usual, by governors and our Subject Leads continue to present standards updates to the leadership team and Governing Body. We continue to share curriculum events and celebrations weekly on Twitter and ‘Our Recent Events’ on the website.
Our curriculum remains thoroughly planned, with no major immediate alterations intended to content. It is comprehensive, very soundly resourced and cohesive, with successful links and secure knowledge held in each year group.
The direction that is intended to be developed in 2019-20 is in further exploring planning based on ‘The Big How’ ~ question-led presentation of challenges to children and also informing teachers’ plans too, e.g. ‘How do I know that friction is a force that acts upon a moving object?’, ‘How can I tell what this character if feeling?’, ‘How will I know if I have achieved this objective?’, ‘How can I ensure that my class best remember this key fact?’.
Still under consideration, this approach will build upon current schemes of work in several areas and foster further reflection on staff and children’s learning.