At Plympton St Mary Infants and Old Priory Junior Academy , we aim to provide a broad and well-balanced curriculum that will inspire our pupils and motivate them to learn.
Our curriculum follows the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum supplemented by opportunities to provide enrichment, inspire curiosity, and support the development of every child’s academic, social, communication and wellbeing needs. We believe that we have a responsibility to educate for the whole child, preparing children for their futures as flourishing members of the community.
As schools in St. Christopher’s Trust, we are committed to building flourishing communities. To ensure that our curriculum meets the needs of our community, our staff body collaborated to design five anchors which take into account the curriculum that we want to offer our children, gaps for pupils in our locality, and our vision for an inclusive, inspiring curriculum.
Within Early Years the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home. We respect that children have different starting points and strive to provide a nurturing environment for all. We do this through providing a range of child-led, hands-on learning opportunities. We provide many first hand experiences to underpin the children’s knowledge, with the aim of broadening their understanding of the world around them. We believe that first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling a lifelong love of learning. In order to provide this climate we use positive language to build a positive sense of self. We provide an environment which will enable children to trust in themselves and in their peers, building resilience, ambition and integrity.
In addition to providing an exciting curriculum for our children, we place a high value on the core subjects and weave our work in reading, writing and maths, across our teaching. We ensure that children become effective communicators and are confident with numbers.
We use a number of schemes of learning to enable us to deliver the National Curriculum in ways that will achieve our curriculum aims. Our foundation curriculum is based around a Geography or History topic each term with links being made to other foundation subjects where appropriate. Subjects are taught discretely, following our curriculum progressions. Teachers will take advantage of opportunities to explore particular current topics of local, national or global interest where this is appropriate. Whilst most subjects are taught each week, for some subjects, such as Art and DT, we recognise the value of giving children a block of time to produce a final outcome.
We are inclusive schools and value the many opportunities for learning that working with a diverse range of pupils brings. We aim to provide high quality teaching that is differentiated to meet the needs of the majority of pupils. Some of our pupils will require provision that is additional to, or different from, our core offer. Provision for our children with SEND is outlined in our SEN Information Report and Policy.
In both of our schools Collective Worship plays a central role in bringing our community together, and embedding our ethos and values. Parents have the legal right to withdraw their children from daily acts of worship, but are asked to discuss the matter first with the Headteacher. We hold a weekly Celebration Assembly, including parents, across both schools to recognise achievements throughout the week. Our values focus on ensuring that children develop as rounded individuals. At St. Mary’s our Christian values are Friendship, Thankfulness, Respect, Forgiveness, Perseverance and Trust. Our core value is Love, reflecting our overarching ethos ‘Love in all we do’ (based on 1 Corinthians 16:14)
We believe that knowledge underpins the application of skills. Our curriculum is designed to enable children to develop knowledge and skills together throughout their learning experience. We have designed our curriculum to create sequenced progression so children are building on their knowledge and skills each year. We aim to create a curriculum where children can know more and do more.
Reading skills and the ability to communicate effectively are key to successful learning. The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance to us and therefore the teaching of all aspects of English is given a high priority in our school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond. Children need to be able to widely, across the curriculum and for pleasure. Our intention is to promote a life-long love of reading for all of our pupils and we practise and celebrate reading daily throughout the school.
Using our curriculum, we intend to instil a sense of exploration and discovery in all learning opportunities. Learning will be varied and interesting including activities that provide the children with concrete experience.
We believe ‘memorable’ experiences provide a solid foundation in which to hang learning on; this helps knowledge and skills transfer to the long-term memory.
We want our children to leave us knowing they belong to a community, both local and global, and to understand their role as responsible citizens and how British Values supports this.
Children will be accepting of diversity and view the differences between us positively. Our pupils will see and treat each other as equals and will hold the belief that everyone matters and should have every opportunity to succeed.
We believe that children can only be successful learners and citizens if they are able to get on well with others. To support this we teach children about our school values to enable them to interact with others and the world around them. We believe that teaching and promoting values helps children to create their own set of values, which in turn supports their wellbeing. Our school values are Respect, Honesty, Collaboration, Resilience, Ambition and Individuality.
In our ever-changing world, and particularly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, personal wellbeing and mental health are vitally important. We intend our children to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to ensure positive wellbeing now and in the future. We also teach children how to be members of a diverse community, recognising struggle in others and learning how to be proactive in providing support to one another. Learning goes far beyond just academic success and we believe strongly that children become the most successful learners when they have developed and can apply their own set of values.
Further information about our curriculum can be provided on request to the school at:
The school follows the National Curriculum. Further information can be found here.
We use Read Write Inc Phonics. A parent guide can be found here.
Our school follows White Rose Maths. Parent information can be found here.