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 At St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, we have designed a bespoke, intentionally sequenced curriculum, rich in knowledge and experiences, that enables children to make a confident and accomplished start to their lives. Using extensive research and collaboration with the wider education community, our bespoke curriculum ensures clear, well understood end points in order to meet the needs, interests and ambitions of our children and their families. We set out the knowledge and understanding that children will acquire in their time at St Mary’s, which are necessary precursors to critical thinking, analysis and creativity.

Our curriculum is planned to ensure all children have the opportunity to build their vocabulary, knowledge and skills in all subjects so that they reflect thoughtfully, learn eagerly and apply these wisely.

Alongside the academic learning that is essential for children’s future success, our curriculum develops children’s social, emotional and creative skills. Reading is also at the heart of our curriculum, and we are relentless in our aim to ensure that all children have the best chance of becoming fluent, confident readers.


Our curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of our programme of education, including:

  • The knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage (intent)
  • Translating that framework over time into a structure, narrative and with subject specific pedagogy (implementation)
  • Evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (impact)


Our aim is for every child to flourish so underpinning our curriculum are the following key drivers:

  • The pursuit of knowledge
  • Doing the right thing
  • Leadership and team


As a Church of England school, our distinctive set of Christian values are embedded throughout all areas of our school:


These values can be seen embedded through our school curriculum.

Curriculum ambition

The curriculum enables children to deepen their understanding of the big ideas within each curriculum area through carefully thought-out units of work. These big ideas are informed by the work of subject associations.  The analogy of a narrative is used to illustrate the intent of the curriculum. As a narrative’s events build over time to enable the reader to make sense of seemingly unconnected events, the reader’s understanding is deepened and through that understanding comes the joy and appreciation of the narrative – those subtle hints at the beginning hold more importance with hindsight and are vital for understanding the later twists. Similarly, as children move through school and study the curriculum, they develop an iterative understanding of the key concepts in each subject area and how they are interlinked through internal using a rich knowledge base.

Children are taught key language patterns to think and in turn speak and write like a historian, a scientist, a theologian or an artist.  The curriculum is enriched through carefully chosen trips and workshops, which give children the experiences that bring knowledge to life.

Realising the ambition

We are committed to high quality professional learning that focuses on what makes great teaching, subject knowledge development and sound formative assessment practices. Curriculum design is driven by a curriculum team which supplements the traditional subject leader roles. Subjects are taught discretely but links are made where there is natural alignment to ensure that children develop an interconnected web of general knowledge. It is the non-core curriculum that is a key driver in developing reading comprehension.

Explicit instruction enables children to see expert modelling and hear expert explanations.

How we know if the curriculum is being learned

The curriculum is the progress model – if children are keeping up with the curriculum then they are making good progress.  Progress means knowing more and remembering more. Knowledge that has been learned and retained in long term memory is necessary for analysis, creativity etc.  We ask: has the child gained the knowledge to understand the key concepts and ideas? Is this enabling them to develop the skills they need to master?  We set regular low stakes quizzes as well as cumulative quizzes on old topics.  An end of unit written task is set where children demonstrate their knowledge gained by communicating in the language patterns that they have been taught.  Old units of work are used as prompts for independent writing, giving further opportunities to assess what has been committed to long term memory and can be retrieved easily.