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The Curriculum at St Mark's

Our Curriculum Intention

St Mark’s CE Primary School offers a broad, balanced and fully inclusive curriculum.  We ensure that reading and language acquisition play a central part and that every child has the opportunity to leave us with confidence and independence, knowing that their opinions and ideas matter.


Our curriculum is ambitious and progressive.  It is well planned and sequenced towards clearly defined end points for each pupil, in each subject.  It provides focused opportunities for all children to have rich, memorable, awe inspiring experiences that are developed around the needs and interests of the whole child.  The mental health and wellbeing of our children is a priority.  This is supported throughout the whole curriculum in the way in which it is delivered and by making good use of extra-curricular opportunities.


We aim to equip our children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed as educated, responsible citizens within an ever changing world.  Our CIRCLE values enable them to thrive, be safe and do the very best they can in all areas of school life.  Our curriculum promotes positive behaviours and relationships and a love of learning, allowing children to take an interest and appreciation in the world around them, whilst contributing positively to our local community and beyond.


Curriculum Implementation

Our integrated curriculum is unique to St Mark’s CE Primary School.  It puts learning at the centre of everything.  Leaders at all levels ensure that our curriculum is child centred, fluid and personalised.  It is adapted each year to address the needs and gaps in skills and knowledge depending on each new cohort.  It embraces a number of different approaches ensuring our children acquire and build their knowledge through easily transferrable skills.


Our children begin their integrated curriculum journey in the Early Years and embark upon a trajectory towards expertise and success.  A cyclical curriculum is integral to the success in monitoring whether knowledge has been retained in the long term memories and joined up thinking of our children.  Over time, all pupils embed and use knowledge fluently from a range of subjects.


Our curriculum is planned through projects that integrate subjects to ensure it is meaningful and purposeful, with first hand experiences.  These projects enable children to make connections and links over and over again.  Some subjects are taught discretely, e.g. Maths, RE, PE, Music, Computing, Spanish and Phonics/Spelling, however, we endeavour to integrate knowledge and skills where possible. 


Due to our mixed year group classes, our curriculum is taught over a two year rolling programme (except the EYFS), which ensures the long term objectives from the Early Years Framework and the National Curriculum (KS1 and KS2) are coherently planned to ensure broad and balanced coverage, as well as progression across all year groups.


Teachers know what key vocabulary, knowledge and skills the children need to learn in order to achieve success and progress across a range of contexts.  Leaders use pupil conferencing, action planning, book looks, learning walks, data and planning analysis and summative/formative assessment to check on understanding and inform further teaching.  This information is also used to plan for enrichment, cultural experiences, interventions, additional support, challenge and mastery for all groups of children.  We have high expectations for our children to achieve expected end of year outcomes or beyond.


Our Curriculum Learning Values

Our curriculum is underpinned by the promotion of five Learning Values: thinking, independence, creativity, interdependence and spirituality; which are carefully planned into our projects.  Thinking is an essential core Learning Value and is a focus in every project, alongside another Learning Value.


We believe these values develop crucial lifelong skills, enabling our children to grow in confidence and independence.  They learn to work effectively with one another, develop their originality and lateral thinking skills, individual and co-operative expression, learn about their emotions knowing how to respond positively and respectfully to others, whilst appreciating the wonder of the world around them.  We embed the idea that mistakes are viewed as an opportunity to improve, develop resilience and increase success through nurture, care and high expectations.


Different audiences, including parents/carers, are often invited to project ‘outcomes’ and have the opportunity, as do the children, to feedback which supports the planning and review process.


Mental health, wellbeing and spirituality

St Mark’s CE Primary School prioritises mental health and wellbeing of the whole school community.  Staff and children are taught ways to ensure they keep themselves healthy in both body and mind.  The children have time to discuss their worries and time for relaxation, mindfulness sessions for thinking deeply and time to ‘just be’.


In addition to our SCARF PSHE curriculum, we have a trained ELSA and make good use of services and support offered by other providers, including the Mental Health Support Team and Primary Behaviour Service.  As a school, we recognise that securing positive emotional development is key to success for both educational and pastoral outcomes.



Our pupil’s attainment and achievement has consistently been above national expectations.  Our children become confident, knowledgeable learners who are well prepared for their next step in learning.  Children leave St Mark’s with a rich and wide range of experiences and happy memories, which will impact on their future enthusiasm and motivation for lifelong learning.

If you have any queries regarding our curriculum, please feel free to contact your child's Class Teacher.