Our curriculum is varied, broad and rich. We believe it represents the world we live in and provides our children with the experiences, skills and knowledge they need to function and flourish as young people and adults in the 21st Century.
Our curriculum is carefully linked to the latest national curriculum and every pupil is taught in line with the national curriculum expectations. We assess using Pilgrim Progress as designed within our Multi Academy Trust.
There are also aspects of our provision which we feel enhance learning for our pupils and make for a unique St Mark’s experience; these include our provision for:
- Forest School
- Outdoor and residential learning
- Physical Education
We teach the curriculum using the structure of the new National Curriculum as a basis for teachers to plan a broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs of our children while at the same time offering a comprehensive curriculum, with a clear progression of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. Teachers use a range of planning and teaching resources to support this.
We believe that our children should learn about significant events and people in History so that they can develop an enquiring and questioning mind. Through following the National Curriculum we develop a sense of identity and place, give children the opportunity to reflect on their school, community and local area and encourage all our children to be historians who see how the past has impacted on their lives.
In science we follow the National Curriculum, exploring Chemistry, Biology and Physics to foster children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. We teach essential aspects of the knowledge, skills, methods, processes and uses of science. We are inspired by famous scientists and believe all children are scientists. We encourage children to use their science skills to think about how to improve our environment and the world around us for all of our futures.
In order to teach RE we follow the Kent/Medway syllabus incorporating ‘Understanding Christianity’ and the Diocesan units for other faiths. This ensures a progression of knowledge and skills as children move through the primary phase. An emphasis is placed on enquiry led learning in order to develop the whole child’s ability to make connections on their own lives.
Through the PE curriculum we ensure that all children are physically active for sustained periods of time. We implement the NC through both knowledge and skill based activities and promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Children are given the opportunity to engage in competitive sports and activities both inter and intra schools which builds character and helps to embed our Christian Values.
Our mathematics teaching follows the national Curriculum, which ensures that the children are fluent in the fundamentals and have conceptual understanding so that they can reason mathematically. The intent of our curriculum is to allow children to flourish with their knowledge and understanding in mathematics throughout their school life, enriching their passion and enthusiasm for this subject. We believe giving all children a secure knowledge base will enable fluency across maths, science and technology, allowing them to be financially equipped for everyday life.
We believe that our outdoor environments provide the opportunity for children to explore their surroundings, confidently taking risks as they enjoy building relationships, developing physical skills and learning about the natural world and how to care for it.
In our MAT, with the children, we develop an excitement for English through building a knowledge and skills based toolkit which, together, we personalise through creative application. The expectations for every year group are underpinned using the National Curriculum for each of the elements of English. We use our Review, Teach, Practise and Apply process to establish the next steps for progress in each child’s learning Journey. We invest time and prioritise English learning in order that it may be applied to enhance every other aspect of the curriculum and in daily life.
We want our pupils to become responsible, global citizens, who have a solid understanding of place, and appreciate and respect the diverse cultures and traditions of our world. Starting by developing a sound knowledge of locality and community, our learners develop their understanding of their effect on the wider world and their responsibility to protect it. Pupils are taught about the physical features of the Earth and about human activity, including populations, politics and economics. We use our outdoor space and opportunities to compare and contrast locations, settlements and societies. Global facts and subject specific skills combine to produce well rounded Geographers.
We want our children to appreciate Art as a subject for the rest of their lives. We do this by offering a range of opportunities that develop our pupils' skills in the subject, further their knowledge of art and artists and allow them to see links to other subjects within our curriculum. We equip our pupils with the skills required to have an understanding of the language of art and design and to understand its value when exploring other cultures and times in our history.
Our children have opportunities to work in exciting projects and with our MAT schools which enhance our whole school environment.
We provide a music education that emboldens pupils and allows them to enjoy soaring confidence and self esteem. We do this through providing opportunities for appreciation, composition and singing, alongside new opportunities and chances to showcase talents within and beyond our school community. We offer lessons in cornet and keyboard and fully celebrate those children who choose to take these opportunities in our school.
At St Mark’s we strongly believe that the use of ICT and the development of computing skills are crucial for our pupils’ education and as a part of their everyday life skills. In order to equip our children for the modern world, we will use technology to develop their critical thinking, collaborative skills, communication and creativity, not just in our computing lessons, but throughout the curriculum. To ensure that our pupils receive the highest level of Computing and ICT education, we are teaching the latest National Curriculum guidelines.