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Curriculum 2020 - 21

Curriculum Principles

At St Mary’s we believe in providing a knowledge based curriculum which is in line with National Curriculum expectations, but has a focus on skill progression to drive questioning, exploration of ideas and challenges children will face. Starting with children's own local experience it develops to a wider national and global aspect as children move up the school. It is also creative, in order to encourage children to express themselves and develop their talents.

At its heart we have 6 core Christian Values which permeate through all areas of school life:

Hope, Community, Justice, Courage, Joy, Peace.


A broad and balanced curriculum that enables children to have the deeper learning necessary to allow them to embed their knowledge and understanding to use and apply to both school and life challenges they will meet in coming years. 


St Mary's Curriculum Principle statement

New Curriculum 2020 - 2021

In an exciting development for the school we are currently working on a new curriculum and will be publishing this in the new year.

Meanwhile you can read about our current writing, reading and mathematics curriculum intent below.

Maths working walls are one of the strategies we use to embed mathematics knowledge..

History enquiry and research at St Fagans. Children discuss what this was used for? how did it work? Was this the only water source for the village? Is it hot or cold? How do you empty the water? What is the pump made of? Is there a makers name on the pump? (some of the questions they came up with)

Curriculum Intent 2020

Through our Christian Faith at St Mary’s we acknowledge our responsibility to all, to enrich lives and show love and respect within our school community. We believe in lifelong learning aiming to equip our children to live life today and for tomorrow rooted in Christian love.

For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37)  

Our Christian vision states

We live and learn by our Christian Values in an inclusive, supportive and caring environment.

The aim at St Mary’s is to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. We do this with our Christian values at the heart of everything which includes a high focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding.  St Mary’s strives to ensure children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

St Mary’s provides an inclusive environment where learners enjoy their education.  Pupils at all levels are helped to flourish and develop their knowledge and understanding to become confident learners.  Those who are most able are challenged, encouraged to expand their skills and knowledge through varied curriculum opportunities.  Those who find learning more difficult are supported and given targeted interventions to embed skills, to develop at their own pace and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.


St Mary’s focus on curriculum development is always carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression.  As a school we have looked at all subjects and with the aim that skills are developed and repeated to embed deeper learning.  The intent here is to ensure children as they move up the school can automatically apply skills to challenges, problems, new concepts they will face. Where possible we look for links to give the learning purpose and relevance eg Money Sense project or Enterprise week. It provides pupils with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. We do this by looking to use the local environment as a resource; from studying the high street, using Thornbury Castle for Tudor research to visiting the mosque in Gloucester and River Severn as a study on rivers.  A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, provide a purpose and relevance for learning and ultimately to help every child to find strengths and interests they can develop and excel at.


Teamwork and responsibility are an essential part of our curriculum and we enable children to take on key roles, becoming involved in the community eg Thornbury Eisteddfod, Thornbury in Bloom; they have opportunities to lead and plan worship by learning new skills and enabling them to take an active part in events throughout the year. They will have opportunities to compete against other schools both locally and more widely in area tournaments eg athletics at Yate athletics stadium and Ashton Gate in Bristol at a standard of Gold PE Arts Award achieved in 2019.

Children leave St Mary’s with a sense of belonging and are proud that they have developed the confidence and skills needed to be learners for life.





Developing a culture of love of reading in the early years

Year Group Reading expectations

Year Group Writing expectations

We enjoy reading and writing across the whole of our curriculum

Mathematics Intent

In Science Year 3 pupils made edible soil to show the different geological layers underground.

For further details about the National Curriculum please follow the link:

Using history and art to develop literacy skills.

Working walls