When children join us at 3+ or 4+ (Nursery and Foundation Stage) they follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Four guiding principles shape practice in early years’ settings.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and selfassured;
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
There are seven areas of learning and development:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
We are very proud of our exciting indoor and outdoor provision and high quality resources for both the Nursery and Foundation Stage classes. Our children make very good progress from their starting points and leave ready for the next stage of their journey.
Following the Foundation Stage, children spend two years in Key Stage 1 (5+ and 6+ Years 1 and Year 2) and then a further four years in Key Stage 2 (7+ to 10+ Years 3-6) where we implement the National Curriculum and make meaningful cross-curricular links wherever appropriate to ensure a creative, holistic curriculum.
The KS1 and KS2 curriculum includes:
Art and Design
The curriculum is further enhanced by many opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, including visits to places of interest ie local businesses, museums, galleries and residential visits. Visitors to school help to inspire and motivate the children further: dance workshops, visiting artists and talks by authors are just some of the activities we arrange.
Our curriculum is a mixture of whole school topics, projects and themed weeks to motivate the children and give them an enthusiasm for their learning. Over the last year we have worked with artists and relevant professionals to support our teaching and enabled staff to develop their own knowledge and skills to enhance delivery of the curriculum. It has also given the children access to an extensive range of specialist adults and a while host of new skills. This has helped the children develop a broader outlook on life and it has raised their own aspirations.
Religious Education at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School
Religious Education at St Mary Magdalene enables our children to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, and to know that God loves each one of them. We ensure Religious Education develops all aspects of their faith, spiritually, morally, culturally and socially. We also endeavour to encourage awareness and respect for other faiths.
We seek to guide children to live a Christian life, rooted in gospel values. We aim to enable children to integrate their life experiences and learning into an appreciation of their faith, in Jesus Christ. Religious Education enables reflection on life whilst presenting them with the same challenge and demands of other curriculum areas. We will offer the children a sense of their own self-worth through the experience of belonging to a caring community and an awareness of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.
The Religious Education Curriculum
To fulfil our aims we use ‘Come and See’ programme of Religious Education as recommended by the Diocese of Northampton. This programme encourages the development of skills to explore, investigate, interpret and communicate. In addition to this the Christian ethos is created by the example set by all adults in the community. This ethos permeates all aspects of the school and provides a model for the children to follow.
‘Come and See’ is developed through three themes which are gradually explored year on year at greater depth. These themes are Church, Sacrament and Christian Living.
Each year there are nine topics, three topics are taught each term.
The process for delivering the topics in ‘Come and See’ has three stages, ‘Explore’, ‘Reveal’ and ‘Respond’:
‘Explore’ is the introduction to the topic where the children’s life experience is explored. The questions it raises are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected upon.
‘Reveal’ is the heart of the programme where knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith is revealed through the Word, in Scripture, tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian Living.
‘Respond’ is where the learning is assimilated, celebrated and responded to in daily life.
During the Autumn term every class participates in a Judaism week. Every Summer term the children spend one week learning about Hinduism.
The Religious Education Curriculum
Assessment of learning establishes what the children know and understand about the Catholic faith. We do not assess in any way spiritual growth. Records of attainment are used by each class teacher to assess children. All topics are teacher assessed with one topic per term being formally assessed. An assessment book is kept for each child in which formal assessments are kept after marking. This book follows each child through their years at St Mary Magdalene, thus giving an excellent insight into a child’s progress and attainment in Religious Education.
Prayer and Liturgy
Prayer is part of the fabric of our school. Children are guided and encouraged to actively participate in all forms of prayer and liturgies. We also endeavour to include parents in our prayer life by consistently reaching out to parents to join us in prayer and liturgy and to pray as a family in the home. We are a worshipping community. We foster links with our serving parishes. Father Bernard Barrett, parish priest at St Francis de Sales and St Mary Magdalene, is a regular visitor to the school and helps the chaplaincy team formulate a liturgy plan for each academic year. Children learn formal prayers but also are given frequent opportunities to pray privately, attend prayer groups, participate in guided meditations and create their own unique prayers. Children participate and help plan liturgies and assemblies.
Relationship, Sex and Heath Education at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School
We acknowledge that Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship, as well as Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), are all underpinned by a theology of relationship and are all encompassed in the title ‘Relationships and Sex Education’ (RSE).
Our belief in the unique dignity of the human person as made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in our school. Our approach to relationship and sex education therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and is presented positively and prudently.
A Journey in Love is a resource created by Sister Jude Groden of BRES. It is the recommended programme of study for Catholic schools for Sex and Relationship Education, and has been written as a progressive scheme of work that supports the Religious Education, PSHE and Science curricula taught within the school.
As children progress through school, they discover more and more about themselves and the wider wold. This thirst for learning new things in all aspects of life is fostered by the school, who attempt to create a safe, stimulating environment for learning; supporting all children in their development. Our mission statement which drives the school, attempts to achieve this goal following the Gospel values of truth and respect, understanding our journey as children of God, both special and unique.
Central to our work within the school is learning about our faith, including understanding ourselves, our position in our community and how we develop as human beings – our spiritual, social, emotional and physical development. This is how A Journey in Love fits in to the school’s curriculum. The scheme permeates through all levels of learning throughout the school. It focuses on friendship, family, community, relationships and spirituality; a guide to the children’s development as young Catholics.
As you would expect, not all issues related to personal development are covered by the end of Year 6. The content is age appropriate and is taught with sensitivity, taking into account the children’s level of maturity in regard to the delivery of the lessons. Our teaching sensitively recognises that some children may have a different structure of support around them.
Journey in Love Overview for Parents
The wonder of being special and unique:
To explore the wonder of being special and unique.
We meet God’s love in our family:
To focus on families especially growing up in a loving, secure and stable home.
We meet God’s love in the community:
To describe how we are growing and developing in diverse communities that are God-given.
How we live in love:
To describe and give reasons for how we grow in love in caring and happy friendships where we are secure and safe.
God loves us in our differences:
To make links and connections to show that we are all different. To celebrate these differences as we appreciate that God’s love accepts us as we are now and as we change.
God loves us in our changing and developing:
Show a knowledge and understanding of how we grow in awareness of the physical and emotional changes that accompany puberty – sensitivity, mood swings, anger, boredom etc. and grow further in recognising God’s presence in our daily lives.
The wonder of God’s love in creating new life:
To develop a secure understanding of what stable, caring relationships are and the different kinds there may be. Focusing on Catholic teaching, children will also know and understand about the conception of a child within marriage.
Journey in Love materials are shared with parents at our annual 'Meet the Teacher' meetings which take place every September.
Detailed information about individual subjects can be found in the School Prospectus.
You can also look at our class pages for curriculum newsletters and topics to be covered for each year group.