What is the intent of our curriculum?
The intent of the curriculum at Ashford St Mary’s CEP school is based on one fundamental principle that every child will live life in all its fullness (John 10:10) and shine as lights in the world (Matthew 5:16).
At Ashford St Mary’s CEP school we carefully design, plan and implement a curriculum to provide balance for every pupil:
It is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through our curriculum we can impact on how children feel about themselves. We endeavour to instil Christian Values in all our pupils enabling them to find delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge in all areas of their life.
We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic, spiritual and personal development which means that in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects. Each subject area is underpinned by strong Christian values.
We place a high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental wellbeing is nurtured. We understand that children should be emotionally secure in order to flourish; therefore we carefully design our curriculum and adopt a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. This flexible approach enables pupils to come to a place of learning where their needs can be met to ensure that academic and social, emotional development can be built upon firm foundations. Children’s physical and mental wellbeing are as valued and important as academic development.
We carefully monitor children’s progress with their personal development and our well planned and thoughtful approach to SMSC helps to ensure that every child is treated with dignity and according to their individual needs.
Our full and rich curriculum, with its broad range of experiences, ensures that every pupil is given the opportunity to shine and flourish.
At Ashford St Mary’s CEP school we carefully design, plan and implement a curriculum which provides breadth for every pupil:
Knowing our pupils has helped us to design a curriculum underpinned by key performance indicators in every subject area. By focusing on the following key priorities our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education, developing skills for life.
Our curriculum priorities are:
- Communication and Language – we aim to offer experiences which help to develop effective interpersonal skills, enabling them to work collaboratively with others and communicate effectively
- Resilience – we aim to provide inspiring and creative learning challenges, which enable our pupils to be brave and develop the courage to take risks. To learn from failures and celebrate successes, which come from perseverance and hard work.
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our ethos and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and encourage them to play an active part in a diverse society. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by inspiring them to be aspirational and work with courage and determination towards their goals.
Our curriculum at Ashford St Mary’s CEP School is carefully designed, organised and planned for depth of learning:
Our definition of progress is the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.
Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise opportunities for essential knowledge, skills and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects. This is done at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order, deep level of understanding rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
How do we implement our curriculum?
When planning each topic we start by looking at the standard we expect every child to achieve and identifying what deep level learning looks like. Inspiring learning experiences are then planned to ensure that every child stands the best possible chance of achieving this. We prioritise development of “interest hooks” at the start of topics and then build upon these as the learning unfolds. These “interest hooks” are reviewed annually with the cohort so that we can ensure that the experiences we offer continue to resonate with children.
Our classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning. Explicit weekly and medium term planning is responsive to children’s needs; incorporating holistic approaches to teaching and learning. This ensures that every Ashford St Mary’s child is empowered, challenged and able to flourish as a unique individual. Peer coaching supports all staff to further develop curriculum pedagogy.
The curriculum is implemented through termly thematic topics, which are designed with progression of knowledge and mastery of skills at its core. As children move through the school, the knowledge they gain is revisited, consolidated and built-upon; taking them out of their comfort zone and building resilience. In that way they achieve mastery across the National Curriculum, which is rooted in a wide-range of interesting and imaginative contexts. This learning journey will culminate with a reflection task and regular parent and community events to celebrate their successes. This ensures learning is purposeful and gives children the opportunity to evaluate their understanding.
Our curriculum coverage is highlighted through the following knowledge progression documents.
Each year group chooses how, and when, to teach these objectives, delivering them through the following engaging topic maps.
We believe that children should have an enriching curriculum that goes beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum. Please see our Enrichment and Extension opportunities for pupils here.
How do assess the impact our curriculum?
At Ashford St Mary’s CEP School we have a rigorous monitoring and evaluation schedule, which ensures that all staff are involved in reviewing the impact that the curriculum is having on our children. Through drop ins, observations, book reviews and pupil voice, leaders ascertain the strengths in pupil’s knowledge and understanding; the strengths in teaching and identify next step development areas. Learning walks allow teachers to identify where staff CPD has had an impact and where further training and support is required. Class teachers evaluate each topic to ensure appropriate curriculum coverage and relevance to our school community.
Learning is measured through our implementation of Solo Taxonomy, which enables us to assess student’s learning in terms of quality and depth. Through reflective assessment for learning, pupils and teachers can discuss the content of the learning; the depth of the learning and the application of knowledge and skills. This approach puts children at the heart of the assessment process and makes it unique to the individual.
Performance management ensures that targets are pertinent to the individual. It forms part of a constructive professional dialogue that supports and empowers staff to take ownership over their own development.
St Mary’s is proud to welcome children with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and abilities. Careful curriculum design ensures all children make the progress needed to flourish in their learning and to meet the challenges that the curriculum demands of them.
The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of pupils is shown through our clear Christian values, which are intrinsically interwoven into daily life in our school community. This enables all pupils to develop academically, spiritually and socially. All stakeholders articulate with pride the inclusiveness and love within our school, through which staff and pupils are encouraged to thrive and prosper.