Organisation of Classes
There are three stages to primary school education:
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): 4– 5 years old, infants in their first year at this
school, Foundation Stage is sometimes known as ‘Reception’.
Key Stage 1 (KS1): 5-7 years old, infants, Year 1 and Year 2
Key Stage 2: (KS2):7-11 years old, juniors, Year 3 to Year 6
At St Mary’s there are two mixed ability classes in each year. In all situations, classes will be
organised to ensure the most effective use of the school’s resources in meeting the needs of the children and will be given careful consideration. Children are organised into classes which enable them to learn most effectively. In some circumstances, this means that children are grouped according to ability for certain subjects (usually maths and English), but this varies from year to year and is a decision made by the school based on continuing assessments.
For the majority of time children are taught by their class teacher, however for some of the time they will be taught either by another teacher or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, in order to meet the legal requirement for all teachers to undertake Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time. There are a number of Higher Level Teaching assistants at St Mary’s.
The School Curriculum
St Mary’s provides a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum with due regard to the
ability of every child. Our expectations are high and at all times pupils are encouraged
and expected to produce their best efforts.
The school has been awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark for its approach to the basic
skills of reading, writing and mathematics. We firmly believe in the development of the
key skills of literacy and numeracy and a significant amount of time is spent on learning these, not only in English and maths lessons but across all subjects. Parents are expected to support the school in teaching children to read by overseeing their child practise each day.
As St Mary’s is a Church of England school religious education is given relevant prominence. Religious education is taught in accordance with the local Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. At St Mary’s children’s religious education is considered as a core subject. It is taught weekly and our curriculum is designed to be continuous and progressive in the development of spiritual understanding within a
The children are supported in their questions about faith and learn to value those whose
commitments and ways of life differ from their own. The curriculum for RE also includes studies of major world faiths. In accordance with the law the school will make arrangements for parents to exercise the statutory right of withdrawal of their children from religious education.
History, geography, computing, design and technology, art and design, music, physical education,
personal, social and health education and a variety of cross-curricular themes make up the rest of the school curriculum and are taught separately or as part of carefully constructed ‘theme work’. Children also learn French, starting with simple words and phrases in key stage 1 and building up to conversations in key stage 2.
To ensure the individual learning needs and styles of all children are met, the curriculum is delivered in a huge variety of ways using a range of multi-sensory experiences. We want to inspire children to learn and some methods may be very different to those you experienced yourself at school. We are more than happy to talk to you about the way we teach – just contact the school and ask to speak to your child’s teacher.
Educational visits form a key part of the curriculum.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The first year of schooling is extremely important. Our foundation stage area is large and well resourced with an irresistible outdoor area which has a large safety surface. Details of the EYFS curriculum and organisation are contained in our Foundation Stage Booklet. The school follows the statutory EYFS curriculum.
Phonics is the main way that reading is taught at St Mary's in Foundation Stage and KS1. 'Jolly Phonics' and 'Letters and Sounds' resources are used to provide a structured phonics program.
Our reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree.
Please find below more information on specific subject curriculum.