Cwricwlwm ~ Curriculum
The National Curriculum
At St. Mary’s School our teaching is in accordance with the requirements of the Foundation Phase and National Curriculum in Wales. We are also in the process of implementing the new Curriculum for Wales 2022, inspired by Professor Donaldson. We will keep you updated on changes as and when they happen.
The Foundation Phase Framework sets out the curriculum and outcomes under seven areas of learning.
These areas of learning are:
• Personal and Social Development, Well being and Cultural Diversity
• Language, Literacy and Communication Skills
• Mathematical Development
• Welsh Language Development
• Knowledge and Understanding of the World
• Physical Development
• Creative Development
When the young children enter school at the age of three until the age of seven they are taught through the Foundation Phase.
The Foundation Phase is about enhancing the learning experiences which enable children to be creative, imaginative and to have fun whilst learning.
Children are given opportunities to explore the world around them and to understand how things work through engaging in relevant practical activities which are fun and enjoyable and relevant to their developmental stages.
The Foundation Phase places greater emphasis on experiential learning, active involvement and developing each child’s skills.
We are currently making big changes to our outdoor classroom. This will provide the children with even more opportunities to explore, take risks and be creative.
Key Stage 2 Curriculum
At the age of seven the children enter Key Stage Two.
Children are taught and encouraged to work both independently and in groups. Through the use of Talking Partners, which are changed weekly, we aim to instill the valuable skills of collaboration, empathy and creativity.
Religious Education is taught as a core subject at St Mary’s School. 10% of curriculum time is spent teaching Religious Education. The ‘Come & See’ programme of work is followed in the school, in line with all the other schools in the Wrexham Diocese. The programme also provides learning experiences of different faiths including Judaism and Islam. One of the learning aims in RE is to allow children the freedom of expression and develop their emotional wellbeing.
In Key Stage 2 we teach the following subjects in a cross- curricular way using relgious education topics. Each topic covers a four week cycle.
- Languages, Literacy and Communication (English, Welsh)
- Mathematics and Numeracy
- Science and Technology
- Health and Wellbeing
- Expressive Arts (digital media, dance, art, music, drama)
We place a heavy importance on literacy, numeracy and digital skills across the curriculum. We use the Literacy and Numeracy Framework and Digital Competency Framework to do this.
We have 24 iPads in the juniors and 7 in the infants. We also have a Google Chromebooks and laptops. The children use these digital technologies to support their learning in all subjects. We use many different iPad applications, including Kahoot, Seesaw and Padlet, and the Hwb Learning Platform to support pupil collaboration and communication. We are constantly developing our methods of teaching digital skills. Soon, we will use Google Classroom as another learning platform.
We are thrilled to be part of the Art's Council for Wales 'Lead Creative Schools Project'. Under the guidance of external creative practitioners, the children undertake a 12 week activity. The focus of the activity is on a curriculum subject with the aim of teaching it through a creative approach. We are now in the third year of the project.
The children will go on many different types of trips through the year. Visit our Class Pages for more information on specific year group trips. We believe that an educational visit can enhance the work done in the classroom setting.
Here are some examples of trips we have either been on or are upcoming:
- Residential- a 2 night stay for the Year 6 children to the Kingswood Colomendy Centre
- Rewards- Venue Cymru Christmas Pantomime, Gulliver's World, Wrexham Cathedral,
- Educational- Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Sea Zoo, Conwy Castle, Penrhos Nature Reserve, Colwyn Bay beach, Colwyn Bay Zoo, Beach clean-ups, Community projects, STEM events