Curriculum Statement 2020-21
At St Mark’s Primary School we nurture all our children to demonstrate: 'Achievement, respect and care in a happy Christian community'.
Underpinning our vision statement is our bible quote: “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth” (Psalm 15 v2), which sets an expectation for behaviour which we explore with the children through worships and class work.
At St Mark’s Primary School we aim to help all our children to:
As a Church of England school, faith and belief play a key role in the life of the school. Gospel values permeate the ethos of the school and we have close links with St Mark’s Church. Children in KS1 & KS2 would usually take part in leading worship at the church (Y1 lead worship in the school hall and EYFS take part in the church Christmas service), but due to social distancing, we are unable to meet in larger groups for worship. Currently, there is a daily act of class worship, supplemented with a fortnightly year group worship with the Headteacher and weekly virtual whole school worship on Teams, led by the Deputy Headteacher.
We consider Religious Education a core subject and encourage an enquiry-based approach to learning about Christianity and other faiths.
Promoting fundamental British values
We believe that our school aims and values underpin fundamental British values, where citizens of the UK are encouraged to:
At St Mark’s Primary School we promote fundamental British values throughout our curriculum, Collective Worships, School Council discussions and our emphasis on RE and moral, social, spiritual and cultural development.
At St Mark’s Primary School we have developed a broad and balanced curriculum which is inspiring and relevant to our pupils as well as directing them to future professions and future study.
We teach the National Curriculum subjects, Religious Education and Personal, Social, Health Education (Jigsaw) through a variety of approaches which we believe further prepares our children for life in modern Britain.
Our curriculum for Religious Education uses units from both the 'Discovery' and 'Understanding Christianity' schemes of work which are adapted to reflect the religious representation of our community.
Our curriculum is continually evolving to meet learners' needs, so some details may be subject to change.
Examples of how each Key Stage and subject promote these values and prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain can be seen in this brief overview:
In the Early Years Foundation Stage: We learn about our local community and environment through topics such as ‘Autumn Explorers, ‘Splish, splash, splosh’ and ‘People who help us’. We actively encourage the children to listen to each other, take turns and treat each other with respect and to value the differences we all have. We do this as an integral part of our continuous provision and particularly through our choice of stories, circle time activities and our adherence to the school behaviour policy and class charters.
In Key Stage 1: We learn to value ourselves and others. We learn about the importance of respect and valuing our environment through topics such as ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and ‘Home sweet home’. We encourage the children to understand the importance of looking after each other, through local activities. We promote our feeling of belonging through developing a growing understanding of the importance of always respecting the rights and beliefs of everyone in our school community and beyond. Whist developing independence and a more formal approach to learning, we still value the importance of child-led play in KS1.
In Key Stage 2: We explore our differences through our local geography and history studies. PSHCE and Religious Education are taught explicitly and allow exploration of strategies for embracing difference can exercising tolerance. We encourage our children to value and respect each other and the environment by promoting our school aims and to have high expectations as part of our daily life. This, and an emphasis on Christian values, provides a firm basis for our children’s futures as good citizens, able to make a valuable contribution to society.
The importance of mental health, sport, the arts and the whole child
We ensure that all children at St Mark’s engage with two curriculum lessons of Physical Education per week. Over the course of the year, all children have the opportunity to experience at least 6 lessons of swimming in the school pool. In addition to the curriculum PE provision, we also ensure children have access to a variety of sporting and other extra-curricular clubs, run by school staff including activities such as cheerleading, choir, musical theatre, athletics and chess.
We are continuing to embed our mental health initiative, Trick Box, across the school, teaching children how to use the ‘tricks’ to support resilience and problem solving with everyday worries and issues. We are also running Trick Box workshops for parents, to share these skills to positively impact family life.
To support improvement, particularly in writing, we have embarked upon using the Literary Curriculum in 2020-21 - this is a book-based approach to English teaching. For more information, click the English link below.
New for 2020-21, we are using the White Rose Maths scheme of work, which included catch-up learning to support children in the wake of lockdown. See Maths below for more information.
Supporting Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities
We also understand that not all children can easily access all aspects of the curriculum, so we ensure that through effective differentiation and support, all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
If you have any further enquiries regarding our curriculum, please either contact the school office (see contact details on the home page), parents can speak to the class teachers or Deputy Headteacher.