The children learn ICT skills and employ them throughout the curriculum. ICT encompasses the use of digital equipment such as cameras, iPads and desktop computers. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard and ICT is an integral part of teaching and learning.
The aspects of control, presentation, communication and research are taught from the foundation stage to year 6.
We have won prizes at the Noscars (North Somerset's stop motion animation competition) and every child will have the opportunity to create animations while at St. Mary's.
Our history curriculum promotes curiosity about people and places in the past. Children explore how the lives and experiences of people and civilisations of the past have shaped the world today. A St Mary's the history curriculum is firmly based in the aims and content of the National Curriculum and is linked with the termly topics of each class. The children develop an understanding of chronology, learn to ask questions and are taught to find answers from a range of sources. We are fortunate to have rich sources of history in our local area, including an Anglo Saxon burial ground on the school site, a standing stone and St. Mary the Virgin Church that dates from the 11th Century. The village and surrounding area offer interesting learning opportunities and the school has a collection of historical documents, pictures and maps relating to past events.
Here at St. Mary's we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a mix of countryside, woodland and residential areas right at our doorstep. Therefore Geography begins by studying our local environment; the people, places and habitats that surround us.
Using maps to locate cities, countries, rivers and oceans, we then extend our studies to the wider world. Children use atlases, photos and internet combined with first- hand experience through school trips, to explore different environments, issues and economics of all of the countries that they study. They then utilise the skills that they have developed in numeracy, literacy and ICT, to report and record their findings.
Benefiting from a conservation area within our school grounds, children can explore nature and natural habitats, as well as conservatories for growing our own seeds and vegetables. Through 'Connecting Classrooms', St. Mary's has a link with Zithulele school in South Africa. This allows children to learn about other diverse environments and to plan and carry out projects which link our partnered schools together.
Art at St Mary’s enables all our pupils to express themselves creatively using different mediums, tools and techniques, which develop as they move up the school through the topic-based framework for progression.
The curriculum is supported by a variety of first and second hand sources including the use of digital media. These sources support the children during the development of their ideas and techniques. Throughout the development stage of their artwork, the children enjoy adult led, self and peer evaluation of their pieces.
The school offers opportunities for the children to work alongside professional artists during our Arts week, which follows the annual theme for The Campaign for Drawing (The Big Draw). Children all across the school, and their parents, have opportunities during the week to experiment with a variety of mediums they may not have used before.
During North Somerset Arts Week, we hold a competition in school with which the successful artists from each year group have their work judged by a special visitor and displayed in the local village hall. After the event, the children have opportunity to view all of their creations in school.
Design and Technology
Our programme of DT provides opportunities for our children to engage in learning high quality DT by making something, for someone, for some purpose.
We teach specific skills and techniques and provide opportunities to develop thoughtful designs and solve problems, through paired or group work as well as individual work.
Projects cover the main areas of DT, including structures, mechanisms, control, food and textiles. Teachers plan projects to complement the topic themes of their classes.
Children's personal, social and emotional development is a high priority and is developed throughout the time they are at St. Mary's, but more specifically by teaching and learning using the SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) materials. Children learn about healthy lifestyles including the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet. Drug and medicine awareness is also part of the science curriculum. Sex education is taught at the appropriate level for their age group using the Christopher Winter materials approved by the Diocese. Parents are invited to view the materials before they are used in class. Personal safety such as road safety, fire safety and stranger danger are taught. E-safety is also a high priority and is part of the PSHE curriculum as well as ICT. We are very pleased that Years 5 and 6 receive first aid training from St. John's Ambulance service.
Music at St Marys is taught by a specialist music teacher using a cross curricular approach which allows for the varying cultural, historical and social influences to be linked to the learning. The curriculum here allows the children to develop technical skills and knowledge in performing, composing, listening to and appraising music. Personal and social skills are also promoted in the form of personal motivation, building self-esteem and independence, respecting the musical qualities of others and co-operative working with peers and professionals.
Children have opportunities for individual instrumental tuition and all children learn to play an instrument while at St Mary's (recorder at KS1 and currently ukelele at Key stage 2) through whole-class instruction by specialist teachers. A whole-school appreciation of these opportunities takes place during our celebration assemblies, services in the local church and communal events such as Woodspring’s MAWs Colston Hall concert. There are annual singing workshops for KS1 and Years 3 and 4 in which the children enjoy taking part.
In key stage 1 and the foundation stage the Leap into Life program is followed. This program encourages the development of the fundamentals of physical activity and general skills rather than teaching specific sports.
The key stage 2 programme includes the teaching of specific sports including football, netball, tag rugby, swimming, rounders, quicksticks hockey and athletics. Children also have the opportunity to take part in outdoor and adventurous activity such as orienteering and archery when they go to school camp.
We have specialist PE coaches for games and gymnastics and every child benefits from this coaching.
Whenever it is possible we take part in inter school sports competitions.
We are very fortunate to have a fluent French speaking member of staff who teaches French to all children in KS2.