At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we are passionate about giving children the best possible to start to life, and enabling them to ‘Let Their Light Shine.’ We prepare the children to be life-long learners who achieve their unique God-given potential. Our dedicated teachers work hard to inspire children with a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, matched to their needs and interests. In this way children develop a thirst for learning and become independent thinkers – key skills for life in Modern Britain.
As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all we do. The gospel values underpin every aspect of school life. A minimum of 10% of the teaching timetable is dedicated to RE. Throughout the school week, children are involved in daily worship within the classroom and come together regularly for collective worship with the whole school community. We have our own Chaplaincy Team who lead the spiritual life of the school.
St Mary’s offers a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which ensures children acquire the key skills in reading, writing, mathematics and computing and develop these in a range of contexts. In line with the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, children are encouraged to develop mastery of concepts and deep, sustainable learning. We have a whole school mastery approach to the teaching of phonics and early reading, and use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme throughout school. Our ‘Challenge’ curriculum uses a cross curricular approach where learning is based around a key question. With this approach, our children have the opportunity to follow their own lines of enquiry and pursue their own interests.
We are a Kagan school. This means we use Kagan structures to develop co-operative learning, active engagement and equal participation by all children across the curriculum. This makes learning fun and develops children’s social skills.
We use ‘Thinking Maps’ to help children visualise their thinking and create concrete images of abstract thoughts. This enables the children to reach higher levels of critical and creative thinking. It helps them to organise their thoughts and structure their writing across a range of subjects.
We sought the views of all stakeholders in designing a relevant curriculum. Together, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 opportunities that parents would like their children to experience whilst at St Mary’s. For example, visit the capital city or go to the theatre. This has been built in to learning opportunities throughout the curriculum.
We are determined that every child succeeds and fulfils their God-given potential and so we instill in children a belief in a Growth Mindset. This is the idea that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, as opposed to a Fixed Mindset where people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. The Growth Mindset idea creates a love of learning and a resilience that helps children achieve highly. We have developed a series of ‘Learning Hero’ characters that embody the Growth Mindset principles such as resilience and curiosity.
At St Mary’s we place high priority on preparing children for life in Modern Britain. We believe that our Catholic Christian identity plays an important role in upholding the British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. These values are taught throughout the curriculum and are underpinned and reinforced in many ways for example:
Our curriculum addresses all the requirements of the new 2014 National Curriculum and is designed to allow children to live out our mission statement, ‘Let Your Light Shine’.
St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Cross Street, Chesterfield, S40 4ST