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The Education Act requires that every state funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broad and which;

The school curriculum comprises of all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. Other parts of the curriculum here at St. Mary's include our strong Christian ethos and values which are lived out by our staff and children, with a strong link to our local church, parishes and vicars; the development and nurturing of the whole child through their social, emotional and personal development; the wide variety of sporting opportunities that we offer within the curriculum, as after school clubs and through participation in many city-wide competitions; a range of regular music opportunities through children learning drumming and recorders, our Music Concert, Harvest and Easter Services and Christmas nativity performances, along with our annual Big Sing Competition.

In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills linked to curricular subjects, the delivery of our curriculum supports and develops life skills such as perseverance, resilience and problem solving so that our children become confident and adaptable individuals, well prepared for the next phase in their learning journey.

All state schools are required to make provision for a daily act of collective worship and must teach religious education to pupils at every key stage. All schools should also make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PHSE), including relationship education, drawing on good practice.

Maintained schools are legally required to follow the statutory national curriculum which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, and subject content for those subjects that should be taught to all pupils. Schools are free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education. As well as the published curriculum on our website, a summary of each term’s curriculum is sent out to parents in the form of a Class Newsletter. Copies of the National Curriculum are available to read on the premises.

The National Curriculum for Primary Schools (revised 2013) consists of three core subjects: English, mathematics and science. There are eight foundation subjects: art and design, computing, design and technology, geography, history, languages (KS2 Foreign Language), music and physical education. These subjects are taught throughout the school to children aged five to eleven as discrete subjects or in cross-curricular topics.

Our curriculum is mapped out in long-term plans, which can be viewed on the relevant class pages under the curriculum. These long-term plans follow a two-year rolling cycle.

To view the National Curriculum for Primary Schools, please click on the following link.

Please refer to our Assessment Policy for full details on how we assess, track and report progress and attainment. 

The children in the Foundation Stage follow the 2017 Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines. Play, indoors and outdoors, is the key to this learning. The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning and development, of which there are three prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and four specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design.

Key Stage 1 Phonics Scheme: We have a phonics approach to reading and use Jolly Phonics combined with Bug Club. Our reading scheme uses both Bug Club and Big Cats resources.


Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum is driven by our desire to develop our children as individuals and part of wider society, as well as developing them as learners prepared for lifelong learning.  At St. Mary's, we offer a rich, vibrant, broad and balanced curriculum which is ambitious for all learners.  Through our curriculum, we develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life.  Our curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide.  Our aim is to enrich every child's school experience by creating an environment where they are encouraged to succeed and be the best they can be.  At St. Mary's, cultural capital prepares children with the essential knowledge and skills for their future.  The exploration of new skills and experiences help to nurture resilience, curiosity and creativity.  The curriculum is further enhanced by our commitment to Values-based Education (including British Values) and, through this, we provide learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated pupils, eager for lifelong learning.

In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills linked to curricular subjects, the delivery of our curriculum supports and develops life skills such as perseverance, resilience and problem solving so that our children become confident and adaptable individuals, well prepared for the next phase in their learning journey.

The aims of our school curriculum are to:

Ultimately, we want all of our children, to be the best they can be, making a positive contribution to the world they live in.


Curriculum Implementation

Children are expected to work hard and demonstrate positive learning behaviours to both maximise their own individual learning potential as well as contribute to the school and wider community.  We have high expectations of attendance, academic achievement and pupil behaviour.  We are committed to working in partnership with parents as we believe that when home and school work closely together we get the best outcomes for our pupils.  Our Christian values lie at the heart of the curriculum we deliver which closely meets the needs of all our pupils.  Our pupils have access to a wide range of opportunities which promote their development as individuals as well as life-long learners.  Our curriculum recognises the importance of pupils’ physical and mental well-being in shaping their long term life-style choices.  Children from across the school have access to a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities sporting activities.  Musical activities, events and performances are undertaken throughout the year too.  Sporting and musical opportunities both support the work in classes on managing our mental health.  Of great importance to us here at St. Mary’s is for our children to speak clearly and articulately and to read and write effectively.  Reading is embedded across all curriculum areas to extend and deepen pupils understanding and use of vocabulary.  We want pupils to develop a love of reading during their time at St. Mary’s and be exposed to a range of classic, contemporary and diverse literature.  The use of the school library, class libraries and class shared texts are pivotal to this.  In order to raise aspirations and equip children with a real belief that they can achieve anything if they are prepared to work hard, it is imperative that we prioritise experiential learning within our curriculum.  Visitors are regularly invited into school, educational and residential visits are carefully chosen to deepen understanding and we make the most of our beautiful outdoor learning environment to enhance hands-on learning experiences.  Music, art and sports specialists work alongside teaching staff to enhance curriculum delivery.  Subject Leaders have the necessary expertise to play a pivotal role in both the design and delivery of their subject area, ensuring a clear progression of both skills and knowledge across all year groups.  Each subject area has an annual action plan which highlights outcomes and areas for development for the coming year.


Curriculum Impact


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St Mary's CE Primary School
Askham Richard, York,
YO23 3PD
Tel: 01904 552540