Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is at the heart of all we do

Our intent is to teach a broad and balanced curriculum meeting the demands and challenges of all areas of the National Curriculum.  At St.Mary's we aim to develop happy and confident individuals with a secure foundation in learning that will last throughout their lives. We believe that it is important that our pupils have an enriched learning experience. Therefore we place great emphasis on providing opportunities for our pupils that they might not otherwise have.


Our curriculum is designed so that subject coverage is planned sequentially and enables children to make connections to prior learning. Explicit vocabulary instruction strengthens cognitive connections.  To help children to learn and remember new knowledge, opportunities for recapping and knowledge retrieval are key features of our curriculum to ensure children store knowledge in their long-term memory and can recall this with ease: transferring their knowledge into different situations and applying it to a range of contexts, whilst freeing up their working memory to learn more.


We provide a wide range of rich, first-hand learning experiences:  exploiting the educational opportunities in Malton and beyond. Through teaching the full national curriculum we aim to spark the children’s curiosity; ignite within the children a passion for learning; and uncover and build upon their individual talents. 


Our St Mary's character has been designed by all stakeholders to support our pupils to be global citizens by;

  • Confidently challenge in a respectful way 

  • Promote debate

  • Being ambitious for our pupils. 

  •  Impart powerful knowledge

  • Risk takers   

  •  Build resilience

  • Celebrating challenge   

  • Become creative, critical thinker



Our Pedagogy

Our lesson structure and sequence is based on Rosenshine’s principles for Effective Classroom Practice. These principles enable us as teachers to engage with our practice at a forensic level, reflect on our practice and achieve the best possible progress and outcomes for our children. Rosenshine’s principles are based on three sources of research:

  1. Research on how the brain acquires new information (the science) 
  2. Research on the classroom practices of those teachers whose students had the highest gains 
  3. Findings from studies that taught learning strategies to students




Our lessons at St Mary's are structured in the following way:


1. Connect to prior learning

2. Explain the intent knowledge

3. The teacher gives an example of the learning

4. Pupils attempt the learning.  "Our turn or your turn"

5. Record (apply) the learning, to ensure learning is consolidated, connected and embedded.

6. Challenge is provided for deeper thinking



Our curriculum plans are well structured and set out in a way which builds on prior learning, ensures high expectations and supports teacher workload. Teachers demonstrate a high level of ambition for their pupils and the ongoing use of questioning; vocabulary building and application are features of agreed pedagogy.


We place a strong emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and understanding when delivering our curriculum. We explicitly teach vocabulary and unpick word meaning. We have adopted a tiered approach to teaching vocabulary across subjects. Tier 1 is basic vocabulary needed to function in everyday life, e.g book, girl, run. Tier 2 vocabulary focuses on high frequency and multiple meaning words, e.g society, absorb. Tier 3 vocabulary is associated with low frequency and context-specific words, e.g Paleolithic, oesophagus.  Children will hear and often be able to read many of these words, but we also ensure that they have a good understanding of them too. 


Additional Opportunities for Our Children

In addition to our curriculum, regular opportunities are provided

  • to share achievements in assemblies and other whole school events
  • hear ‘pupil voice’ and be involved in decision-making that effects the whole school, e.g. through School Council, Eco-Warriors, St Mary's Samaritans, Mini Police and through pupil surveys.
  • represent the school through sporting events and musical/dramatic performances
  • join in a wide range of clubs and extra-curricular activities both after school and
    during lunchtimes, e.g. IT Club, Football Club, Arts and Crafts Club, Music Club, Gardening Club etc
  • to perform in plays and other dramatic and musical performances
  • playing in Malton Sports Partnership sports tournaments across the year
  • to learn through practical, hands-on, investigative activities, e.g. growing fruit and vegetables, cooking, Forest School etc.


Visits and Visitors

To enhance the curriculum the children should benefit through a range of experiences, e.g

  • Hearing from a range of professions in order to spark their curiosity and aspirations – EYs – Y6
  • Seeing performing artists in residence during their primary schooling – EYs – Y6
  • Visiting a theatre – Y1 – Y6 (e.g. Panto)
  • A residential visit – Year 6
  • Visits that are sometimes linked to topics – (where possible we aim for 1 per term) – EYs – Y6
  • Regular opportunities to work alongside parents
  • Hearing from past pupils who have excelled and can share their achievement pictures on Wall of fame.
  • Regular visit from community police officer to speak to children about local issues.
  • Team building day at the beginning of the year.  Sept 22 - Den building.



  • Inspiring a passion for faith and learning
  • Every pupil knows they are unique and have individual talents and skills
  • Every pupil is able to display our St Mary's Character in their everyday conduct.
  • Every pupil acquires knowledge and skills preparing for their next phase in education.
  • Every pupil, regardless of background or barrier to learning reaches their full potential.



If you would like more information about the curriculum we are following at St Mary's, then please contact the school office and ask to speak to Curriculum Lead Mr Deakin.


If you would like more information about our long term plans, please speak to the class teacher or contact the school.

Public Consultation for Nursery Provisions. Please visit to find out more