At St. Mary’s we believe that the purpose of education is to bring about goodness: human flourishing.
We believe that to do this, our curriculum should encourage independence, curiosity and creativity; produce collaborators, innovators, leaders and, above all, it should help our children to understand what it means to be human.
With high expectations, nurture and high quality teaching, we shape the children to be good citizens that leave with the skills required for the wider world. We encourage children to enquire, self-reflect, and make connections in order to give them the confidence to make decisions, try new things and enhance their cultural capital.
We believe that our children deserve inspirational learning opportunities. Curriculum planning ensures that children are immersed in exciting, knowledge rich topics. They are challenged to work creatively whilst deepening their knowledge and understanding through highly engaging and enriching experiences.
The curriculum is implemented through themes mainly in a cross- curricular approach however, main maths lessons and some skills will be taught discretely in order to reach mastery and not weaken the depth of teaching to make links to topics. An emphasis will be on knowledge and skills utilising staffs’ skills as well as educational visits and inviting visitors into school.
At certain points throughout the year, children will experience Enterprise Weeks that develop their knowledge of the wider world, money and business in order to build their cultural capital.
For history, geography and science, St Mary’s follows the carefully designed Ark Curriculum Plus programme.
What kinds of knowledge, attitudes and values should be prioritised?
Different authors have proposed different responses to this question, depending on what they conceive the purpose of education to be. However, it does seem that most of the justifications that have been made for education can be grouped into four broad categories.
1.Firstly cultural transmission. A key reason given for educating young people is, in Matthew Arnold’s words, to pass on from one generation to the next: “the best that has been thought and known in the world. Those who do not know what people are expected to know are regarded as ignorant – not stupid, but simply lacking the knowledge expected of them.
2.Secondly, personal empowerment. Arguably the most important aim of education is to allow young people to take greater control of their own lives. The idea is that rather than simply enculturating young people into the existing systems, education is the means by which people: ‘deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.’
3. Thirdly, preparation for citizenship. Democratic citizenship arguably works only if those who are voting understand the choices they are given, and so education therefore has a vital role to play in preparing citizens so that they can make informed decisions about their participation in a democratic society.
4. Fourthly, preparation for work. As a number of reports from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have shown, educational achievement is inextricably linked with economic prosperity. Those that do better academically, tend to go on to get better paid jobs.
Our children will be able to discuss their learning with good level of knowledge using technical vocabulary across all subjects. By the time they leave school a vast majority have sustained mastery with some greater depth. Summative assessments as well as standard tests will help us monitor children’s development of mastery however Teacher’s Assessment will be the main evidence of academic attainment. Pupil, staff and parent surveys with a big focus on pupil’s voice will aid us knowing the children’s social and emotional well-being.