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How is The Curriculum organised and why have we planned it this way?


United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) articles supported by our curriculum:

The Federation of St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s provide pupils with a global curriculum based on knowledge and skills that are relevant to the diverse and every-changing world we live in. Pupils need to learn the global skills that are critical for lifelong learning and success. Our curriculum enables pupils to think critically about local and global issues and to develop an awareness of the impact our own actions can have on others.


Children are exposed to six themes across all year groups:

  • Social justice and equity

  • Identity and diversity

  • Sustainable development

  • Peace and conflict

  • Human rights

  • Power and governance


These themes are explored through all areas of the curriculum and are broken down into knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes. Our curriculum provides rich opportunities for children to explore global goals, rights and real-life world issues, which at times in-depth discussion will be required to gain a secure understanding. This is facilitated through Philosophy for Children led discussions and links to our Catholic faith and school mission statements. This, enabled through our Growth Mindset approach, helps pupils to develop skills such as collaboration and communication.


Across each year, a number of high-quality core texts are used to bring the themes to life for our children and promote a connection with learning.


The Federation of St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s core curriculum aim, led by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical, is to educate our pupils and community about the planet we live on, its past, its challenges and the future we want for all. We want all pupils to be passionate about subjects across the curriculum and develop a love of learning that encourages them to develop their critical thinking, problem-solving and oracy skills.


The curriculum consists of planned activities that we as a school organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. We believe it is important to nourish our children’s learning by giving a range of hands on, real life experiences that go beyond formal requirements. We endeavour to cultivate children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning in all areas whilst also teaching children how to grow into positive, resilient and responsible people, who can co-operate with others to achieve their full potential. This is why cooperative learning, and the use of a Growth Mindset, is key to our children’s learning.

At St Mary’s School we offer an exciting, deep, rich, challenging and experiential curriculum which inspires learning, identifies talents, promotes achievement and celebrates personal achievement.

Our curriculum offer ensures that all our children become engaged, active and responsible citizens who recognise and value their contribution to British society and its institutions and that they gain a perspective of themselves as both local and global citizens.

We endeavour to fulfil the potential of every child academically, socially, morally, spiritually and culturally in order to prepare them for the next stage of their education and their life beyond school and help them to look after their own mantle health and well being. Religious Education is the core and we plan our curriculum so that we can take every opportunity to view, with awe, the wonders of all elements of God's world.


Our curriculum has been designed around the requirements of the National Curriculum and the needs of our children. We work with lots of external partners and are influenced by educational research, for example the work we have developed around learning to learn and Growth Mindset. We also model what we say  to the children about continuous self improvement and work closely with Manchester University on evaluating the impact of our work. 


Each year, staff from each year phase get together to plan review the year and  the long term topic plans. Here we will look at National Curriculum objectives and the children that will be taught in each year group. With this in mind, topics and themes are adapted to take into consideration children's interests and individual needs. During this time we ensure that there is a range of creative and active themes planned to allow all types of learners to be catered for. Subject leaders then revise these plans to ensure the children at St Mary's are receiving a broad and balanced curriculum that is innovative and creative.


To allow children to become immersed in themes and subjects, as well as being able to create a whole school approach to teaching subjects within topics, each subject is taught during the same half-term across the school. This can be seen on each year groups long term plans.


R.E, English, Maths and Science, being core subjects are taught every week across the year, with Computing having a stand alone theme for one half-term and  integrated into other subjects and themes each half-term throughout the year.


Music is taught both through the themed units and as instruction - in Key Stage 2 all pupils learn at least one instrument and have the opportunity to perform.


In Key Stage 2 the children learn Spanish and this is taught by a languages specialist on a weekly basis.


PE is a taught discretely and all children have two hours of PE a week and from Year 1 upwards we have ‘The Daily Mile’


Any questions you have about the Curriculum can be addressed by Class teachers or Senior Leaders on request.

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