The enjoyment of Learning
The curriculum of St. Cuthbert Mayne School is designed to facilitate the development of every child’s talents and abilities, within a well-disciplined, structured Christian community. The curriculum includes Core and Foundation Subjects at Key Stage 2. Programmes of work are provided which offer study at varying levels, according to the child’s aptitude and ability. Teachers prepare termly and weekly forecasts of work and monitor children’s progress. Internal assessments are given regularly and Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) are administered towards the end of Year 6.
Religious Education permeates the whole curriculum and is not a subject studied in isolation. Every aspect of the child’s experience in school should be consistent with the aims of a Catholic education. Therefore, the removal of a child from the teaching of RE would be impossible to achieve and parents wishing to exercise this legal right are discouraged from making application to this school. Through the RE programme, the governors and staff aim to develop:
- a knowledge of the Catholic faith
- attitudes of mutual respect, care, love of one another, of life and of God
- prayer, worship and liturgy, as living educational experiences
- the Catholic faith, integrated into all aspects of the curriculum
- the school ethos as a lived out experience.
The components of our work in English are:
In all areas of the curriculum, and in school generally, we stress the importance of clear and accurate articulation. Opportunities for self-expression are given in class, group work, drama, assemblies and school productions. Children are expected to be attentive when such opportunities arise for others, and through the skills of speaking and listening, children can affirm each other.
A variety of reading skills are fostered, enabling children to read for pleasure, retrieve information, develop comprehension skills and carry out independent research. A centrally stored colour-coded reading scheme enables children to exercise some element of choice within a carefully monitored reading structure. Children also have access to class and school libraries, and are encouraged to show responsibility and respect for books. We urge parents to exercise similar expectations when books are taken home. Parents are asked to read regularly with their children and sign record books accordingly.
Children are required to write factually and creatively in a variety of ways in each year group. English grammar is taught and emphasis is placed on the development of good style and use of language. Clear, well-formed handwriting is encouraged and expectations of general standards of presentation are very high.
Each child is expected to learn set spellings, which are based on the phonics patterns being studied and on the National Curriculum spellings for each year-group. They are tested on a weekly basis. Parents are notified if children are considered to be underachieving in these tests.
The teaching of formal grammar is now part of the English curriculum and all children are expected to study language and the related rules of grammar. This forms part of the SATs assessment at the end of Year 6.
The programme in mathematics reflects an emphasis on mental calculation and strategies, with substantial work on the four rules of number and their implementation in a variety of applications. Other areas of study include measure, algebra, geometry, statistics, problem-solving and reasoning. Children are encouraged to explore mathematical investigations practically, and are taught to check answers through a process of approximation and estimation. Neat and accurate recording of work is expected at all levels. Children are required to learn multiplication tables, both at home and at school.
Pupils are encouraged to develop the intellectual and practical skills of working scientifically. They are expected to question, set up fair tests, predict outcomes, make observations and interpret results. Programmes of study fall largely into the areas of scientific investigation, life and living processes, materials and their properties and physical processes. A programme of health education forms part of the Science scheme and is linked with Religious Education and Personal and Social Health Education. In Years 3, 4 and 5, it includes Alcohol and Tobacco Education and in Year 6, Drugs and Relationships and Sex Education.
Children have access to computers and other technology and work on a variety of themes, including word-processing, data-handling, control, modelling, monitoring, graphics, robotics and systems, digital filming, on-line technology and programming. Skills are used across the curriculum.
The school is committed to a full programme of sport. We encourage children to participate to the best of their ability. Through competitive sport, we aim to teach our children to win with humility and lose with dignity. We believe that the value of sport is in allowing the children to learn to lose, as well as providing opportunities for success. Sports offered include netball, football, tennis, cross country, rounders, swimming and athletics.
Swimming is taught to Year 3-5 with each child receiving 10 swimming lessons at Hemel’s Sportspace pool. This forms part of the requirements of the curriculum and is not, therefore, optional. Swimming kit, including hats for all children, is required at the specified times.
The school has a very strong tradition in music, with specialist teaching in all year groups. Instrumental tuition forms part of the curriculum for Year 3 and continues on an optional basis, as children progress through the school. The orchestra plays at assemblies and Masses.
We have had a very successful programme of French for a number of years. Children enjoy developing conversational skills and learning about French culture.
Other Foundation Subjects
History, Geography, Art and Design Technology and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) are taught through the exploration of key topics. Workshops, visits and field studies form an important part of children’s learning in these subjects.
Year 6 children undertake the full range of National Curriculum Assessment each year; Teacher Assessment (TA) and Standard Assessment Tests (SATs). The finalised assessment information is made available in July and is conveyed in writing to parents of Year 6 children.
This information includes Teacher Assessment results, which give a picture of the child’s overall ability, knowledge and skills, together with test results, which give information about a child’s performance in specific areas on a given day. The results of statutory assessment, along with national results are made available to all parents in the Autumn term.