St Mary's Church of England Primary School

Our Curriculum

At St Mary's we use a highly ambitious curriculum to give our pupils the foundations required to flourish at all stages of their formal education and in their life beyond. Developing character is a deliberate and integral part of the St Mary's curriculum. This DNA is the golden thread running through the cohesive curriculum from the first week in Beech Class to the final day in Oak Class.

At St Mary's, we are committed to providing each child with an entitlement to an enriching and aspirational curriculum that not only inspires but also acts as a catalyst for social mobility. Our dedication to this principle transcends all socio-economic backgrounds. To achieve this mission, we have joined forces with Unity Schools Partnership (USP), collaborating to deliver the Curriculum of Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP). This partnership ensures that every child, regardless of their background, benefits from the transformative power of education.


Our partnership with USP provides the resources of a wide range of curriculum experts to ensure that our curriculum design is robust, coherent, well sequenced. Each decision regarding our curriculum is grounded in evidence-informed practices, enhancing the retention of knowledge for children and improving the effectiveness of teaching. This approach to curriculum development empowers teachers to focus on the craft of teaching, utilising their expertise and creative talents to effectively deliver learning to their unique cohorts.


Our pedagogical approach grounded in three key facets of cognitive science:

  • Long-Term Memory: This encompasses comprehension of schemata and Cognitive Load Theory (CLT), encompassing strategies aimed at aiding students in embedding knowledge into their long-term memory effectively.

  • Principles of Instruction: These entail methods designed to enhance the efficiency of teaching. This includes techniques such as revisiting previously learned material, employing direct instruction, and employing adept modelling and practice exercises.

  • Generative Practice: This emphasises the development of impactful instructional techniques and task designs, ensuring that pupils engage in rigorous thinking and can actively assimilate new information into their existing knowledge framework.


The sequence of learning in each curriculum area is meticulously planned to establish a strong foundational base of knowledge upon which subsequent learning can progressively develop in complexity.


An integral element within the St Mary's curriculum involves the intentional and explicit instruction of vocabulary. We regard this as a moral imperative and a means to enhance social mobility. Within the learning modules, Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary is pinpointed to guarantee that our children cultivate refined language skills and can employ it with growing precision and accuracy.


The St Mary's literature curriculum (adopted from CUSP)  is expansive, diverse, and agile. Its central aim is to introduce students to a wide array of top-tier literary works, providing each child with a reflection of themselves and a glimpse into a world outside their own. This commitment is also evident in the supplementary texts, and the thematic mapping serves to highlight instances where particular moral, social, and ethical issues are either referenced or explored.


Most schools within the Trust adopt this shared curriculum approach, fostering enhanced collaboration and valuable inter-school support.


More detailed curriculum information can be seen in the document below.