Our curriculum has been designed to be connected and support children’s learning in a variety of ways, thereby, consolidating and developing their understanding at greater depth. It is based on first hand experiences and links to everyday life. It aims to prepare children for life in the future, in a safe and supportive manner enabling them to be inquisitive, to communicate to a range of audiences confidently and be proud of themselves for who they are. Homework is linked to their learning and allows the children to be creative whilst demonstrating their learning. The curriculum is carefully planned to ensure progression and continuity throughout the school and ensures children can access learning through a variety of styles and media.
Please see the class blogs for our topics and learning throughout the year. These are added termly or half termly and detail what the children will be learning throughout that term.
Please click on the link below for an overview of the National Curriculum for Years 1-6. Depending on our class arrangements these are adapted to suit the needs of our children and their year group.
Further information on our handwriting style and support resources can be found on:
Each class has a termly medium term plan setting out what the children will be learning throughout the term. These can be found in the class blogs.
The school aims to create a happy and stimulating learning environment. This will assist children’s physical, mental, social and aesthetic development and enable them to achieve their full potential.
The curriculum is structured to give a broad and balanced education. Children’s learning activities are planned to comply with the requirements of the National Curriculum. These include the teaching of English, Maths, Science, Computing, Religious Education, History, Geography, Physical Education, Music and Art. These are taught as separate subjects as well as through topics or themes.
Teachers vary the style of their presentation and class organisation to suit the needs of the children and the particular curriculum area. Children work as a class, in a large or small group depending on the activity. Each class is supported by a learning assistant who works with groups and individual children.
All schools are required to demonstrate that they actively promote fundamental British values. These are listed below. Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values.
- Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
There are many ways within school that we involve the children in developing their understanding of British values which include: Assemblies, topics, such as the democratic approach in Roman times ; School Council, Eco-Warriors, Sports Ambassadors, School Rules, links to the school Christian values, Religious Education, Personal, Social, Emotional, Health and Citizenship Education and celebrations such as Harvest. Focus areas are posed as questions to develop the children’s critical thinking.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years framework follows a child centered approach and allows children to develop at their own pace. The curriculum is split into Prime and Specific Areas and the children engage in active and hands-on learning, gaining first hand experience in order to develop their understanding and interests.
Prime Areas we focus on;
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
These areas are given precedence and encompass the fundamental skills that children need to develop in order to access the wider curriculum. Particular focus is given to children’s large and small motor movements and the children are offered daily access to the Big Moves programme which aims to develop these skills.
Specific Areas that we focus on ;
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The children gain access to literacy through daily phonics lessons (Letters and Sounds) which will develop their ability to read and write. Children also participate in daily maths lessons, developing their understanding of basic number skills. The last two areas are accessed through topic work with the content largely lead by the children’s own interests in learning.
The children’s learning is conducted through whole class and small group work and the children are also able to direct their own learning by accessing the different activities that are set up both indoors and outdoors. In addition, their learning is supported by regular visits to our wildlife garden, visits around the village, visitors and visits.
Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Leicestershire agreed syllabus, Religious Literacy for All. This is the syllabus devised by the Diocese of Leicester and reflects the major religious traditions and worldviews in Great Britain today which are mainly Christian whilst taking account of other principal religions. It is recognised that children live in a multi-faith society and opportunities are taken to celebrate diversity and to promote the understanding of other faiths. In addition to this the RE curriculum also covers the school’s Christian values of trust, peace, thankfulness, hope, compassion, forgiveness, humility, justice, togetherness all underpinned by love.
‘The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as developing responses of their own.’
The syllabus is also supported by the recent implementation of ‘Understanding Christianity’ which focuses on understanding the Big Bible Story through 8 Christian concepts.
Leicestershire Agreed Syllabus 2016
Each school day begins with a daily act of collective worship. Staff and pupils contribute to this through drama, writing and music. This enables the whole school community to come together in a quiet and thoughtful way. Parents are invited to join the Family Assembly at 9.00am each Friday.
Throughout the year services are held in St Mary’s Church, Bitteswell. Parents are very welcome to attend. We also have services led by members of Lutterworth and Bitteswell churches throughout the year to support our Collective Worship.
Parents have the right to withdraw children from Collective Worship and Religious Education.
The school follows the New National Curriculum (2014). This includes Spoken Language, Reading, Writing and a clear focus on Spelling, Vocabulary and Grammar. Children have at least one hour of literacy teaching each day. Links are also made between curriculum subjects and areas of learning. This strengthens children’s understanding and enhances learning.
The National Curriculum 2014 includes a wide range of key areas across all key stages including:
- Listening and Responding
- Group discussion and interaction
- Word recognition: decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling)
- Word structure and spelling /transcription
- Understanding and interpreting texts / comprehension
- Engaging with and responding to texts
- Composing and shaping texts
- Text structure and organising
- Sentence structure and punctuation
Reading is a high priority and the school strives for children to learn the love of books and the joy of reading. Children are taught fluency, accuracy and understanding.
The key Reading Scheme that is followed until children are ready to access alternative genres and authors is the Rigby Readers.
Phonics teaching is daily and based on the Letters and Sounds scheme. Spellings taught in KS2 follow on and are linked to the new curriculum.
Through reading and writing, children are taught the skills to enable them:
- To explain and describe thoughts and ideas clearly and accurately.
- To listen carefully and with understanding.
- To construct language correctly; to spell and to punctuate.
- To develop a neat, legible style of handwriting.
- To learn how to acquire information from a variety of sources.
- To know how to record information and thoughts in ways appropriate for various occasions and purposes.
We use the national curriculum for mathematics which aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Key Areas of study
- Number and place value
- Number – addition and subtraction
- Number – multiplication and division
- Number – fractions
- Geometry – properties of shapes
- Geometry – position and direction
- Number – fractions
As a school we have a great emphasis on mental maths and use concrete, pictorial and abstract examples in our teaching. We believe in making maths real for the children and encourage parents to involve their children in real life maths at home. Children learn how to master each concept in depth enabling them to manipulate the ideas in a range of situations.
Science is divided into the following knowledge based categories: Life Processes and Living Things, Materials and their Properties and Physical Processes. Embedded into each of these is Scientific Enquiry (investigating). Science lessons are planned in line with the new National Curriculum 2014.
Through enquiry, simple experiment and prediction children are encouraged to master scientific ideas and to plan and set up their own experiments.
Using ICT wherever appropriate, children develop ways to solve problems in a practical way, often working collaboratively.
Design and Technology
The importance of technology in our modern world is reflected in the opportunities offered to children to work individually and collaboratively in planning, designing and building a range of items.
Children have the opportunity to investigate and develop their skills in textiles, cooking and resistant materials as part of their topic work and as stand alone taught sessions.
Children also design and create products for the end of year productions, the outside area and competition or displays.
The school uses Information and Communication Technology to teach computing skills and to enhance the curriculum. The school’s computing curriculum is linked directly to the new National Curriculum 2014 and features the Rising Stars Computing Scheme of Work.
The school has at least two computers in each classroom which are linked to the school server and the Internet. Each class has access to trolleys with wireless laptops connected to the school server/Internet. Interactive Whiteboards have been installed in all classrooms and the hall providing added visual, auditory and sensory stimulus for learners. Children are exposed to a wide range of technology including iPads and other electronic devices.
Children are taught a range of skills which they use for design, desktop publishing, presenting work, control and modelling, data handling (spreadsheets and databases) and research.
The Internet provider that the school uses screens all of the information that the children can access, filtering any inappropriate content. Children are always supervised when using the Internet.
All classes have regular music lessons and group singing lessons.
Children are encouraged to appreciate and understand music from a range of eras and cultures. There are opportunities to develop technical and creative skills through a wide range of activities, including instrumental and ICT based composition. Specialist musicians are invited into school to provide stimulating workshops.
Children in Years 3 & 4 are taught the djembe by a specialist as part of the Leicestershire Music Scheme
A school choir and band perform in school concerts and services throughout the year.
Additionally, keyboard, guitar, brass and woodwind instructors provide tuition in school for groups of interested children. In order for these instrumental lessons to take place, some English, Mathematics or Science lessons may have to be missed. Parents are requested to pay the full fee for these additional music lessons.
We have been awarded the much sought after Gold Music Mark of which we are very proud.
History and Geography
Children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the world, of their own place in it and how people live and work. The subjects are taught in a cross-curricular way, linking to literacy and numeracy wherever possible.
Opportunities are provided for mapping, making models, reviewing home areas, studying old photographs and materials loaned from museums, looking at films and studying different ICT and written sources.
Visits are organised to museums, residential field study centres and to other places of interest as needed. Groups are invited into school to support areas of study.
Children are shown the many different ways of recording and presenting their topic work, through art and craft, writing, music and short plays.
We have already attained the Foundation Level International School Award and are awaiting the outcome of our Intermediate level application.
Art, Craft and Design
Art, craft and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. The school aims to awaken and develop each child’s creative and enquiring skills. Our dedicated afternoons promote knowledge and skills about great artists, craft makers and designers, and develop children’s understanding of the historical and cultural development of various art forms. Children have a variety of experiences in pattern and design, printing using a range of techniques and materials, 3D work, collaborative projects and evaluating their work.
Children use their creative abilities to communicate visually their thoughts and ideas in all aspects of their school work from small individual pieces of work to whole school projects and competitions linked to RE and the Royal Horticultural Society.
Physical Education and Games
Children are offered a high-quality physical education curriculum that aims to inspire all children to participate in physically demanding activities. It will boost children’s competencies through a skills based approach and promote life-long health and fitness.
The Curriculum will ensure that all pupils:
- Develop confidence to excel in a wide range of sports
- Are physically active for sustained periods of time
- Engage in competitive sports and activities
- Lead healthy and active lives
In order to achieve this, children will have both indoor and outdoor PE lessons. These are lead by both teachers and Sports Coaches and will allow children to develop fundamental movement skills that can be applied to individual and team competitive games.
Children regulary compete with other schools in a whole host of sports as a part of the Sainsbury’s School Games Programme. In Years 3 and 4, children have weekly swimming lessons at Lutterworth Leisure centre throughout the Autumn. Children in Years 1 and 2 swim weekly, throughout the spring term.
In addition to this, a high quality extra-curricular programme is offered and provides children with the opportunity to participate in sports and activities ranging from football and running to dance and basketball. It is necessary sometimes for parents to contribute to these sessions when we are using external coaches.
St Mary’s has been awarded the prestigious Gold School Games Award. In addition, Sporting Ambassadors are given the opportunity to promote sport within the school and develop their responsibilities.
Sex and Health Education
The sex education programme reflects the school ethos which demonstrates and encourages the following values:-
Respect for self, others, responsibility for their own actions and responsibility for their family, friends, school and the wider community.
The school nurse offers a programme of health education to all classes. Parents are consulted and may view all the resources used. The annual visit of the Life Education van promotes health awareness.
The school has a Healthy School Team, their role being to help the school become a ‘healthier school’ and achieve the Healthy School Award.
The school promotes moral, cultural, mental and physical development of the children both at school and in society. The aim is to prepare children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The school promotes these aims in partnership with parents and carers.