Our Curriculum


For the children at St Mary’s, education lasts from the age of four to eleven years.  It is within this time that we see the most rapid development in an individual.  This is brought about by a large number of carefully interwoven experiences.  The two major sources of these experiences are home and school, working in partnership and understanding.  The aims and objectives of the governors and staff at St Mary's School are to provide a range of interesting experiences and learning opportunities which will enable a child to learn and grow, acquire skills and knowledge, find fulfilment and pleasure in the things he/she thinks and achieves and then eventually to be able to play his/her part in the adult world, having an embedded desire for lifelong learning.  The school places great emphasis on fostering the personal and social development of each child. As each child develops, greater responsibility, maturity and self-reliance will be encouraged.


The curriculum at St Mary's provides each child with broad, balanced and differentiated learning experiences, within the National Curriculum and beyond.  English, Mathematics, Science and Computing are at the core of this curriculum.  The philosophy of the school is based on our belief that each child is an individual.  Therefore, the teacher approaches teaching and learning in a variety of ways, ranging from class lessons to small groups or individual work, using appropriate materials and a variety of teaching and learning styles.  A cross-curricular approach to our skills based curriculum is used throughout school as exciting topics provide many opportunities to meet all the requirements of the National Curriculum.  We have re-designed our curriculum to ensure it is meaningful, challenging and relevant to our children in preparing them for life as citizens of the world.  Children access experiences that ensure there is progression and continuity in their development of knowledge and skills.


The curriculum is outstanding.  Pupils’ outstanding enjoyment mirrors a very strong commitment of everyone to broadening and enriching everyday learning through many exciting and memorable experiences. 

                                                                                           OFSTED Report June 2009


Healthy School

St Mary’s is a Healthy School, with healthy attitudes embedded in the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities.  Children are encouraged to be active and maintain healthy relationships with their peers and with adults, as well as making healthy choices about their lifestyle.


Building Learning Power Statement

At St Mary’s, we encourage all pupils to build their own learning power.  Building learning power emphasises the development of lifelong learning, values and skills.  We aim to ensure that all children develop persistence and curiosity for learning and become adventurous risk takers who are not afraid of the ‘don’t know’ state of mind.  At St Mary’s, children develop the ability to take responsibility for their own learning, self-assess and articulate their identity as a learner. They develop the ability to know what is worth learning, face confusion and select the best learning tool for the job.


Equality Statement

This policy and procedure is subject to The Equality Act 2010 which recognises the following categories of individual as Protected Characteristics: Age, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion and Belief, Sex (gender), Sexual orientation and Disability.

Learning Challenge Curriculum and Learning Coverage Maps

Please select from the documents below.


File icon: pdf Whole School Curriculum Challenge Map 2018-19 [pdf 298KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Reception St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 460KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 1 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 259KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 2 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 353KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 3 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 314KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 4 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 260KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 5 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 326KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 6 St Mary's Curriculum Coverage Map 2018-2019 [pdf 259KB] Click to download


Please click the link to access information about how Phonics is taught at St Mary's.


Please click the link to access information about how English is taught at St Mary's.


Please click the link to access information about how Maths is taught at St Mary's.


During Science activities, children are given opportunities to investigate, experiment, observe, predict, record and draw conclusions.  Work may be within the local environment and/or linked to other curriculum areas.  We have a scheme of work and also use a variety of published materials.  School participates in National Science Week and has visiting Science productions and workshops.


Computing is a foundation curriculum subject and our school has Internet facilities in all classrooms. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard and projector.  Computing is an integral part of all areas of the curriculum and specific computing skills are also taught.  Netbooks and iPads are available for use in classrooms at all times.  School has an ICT Consultant who keeps everything running smoothly!  School has an E-Safety Policy and Social Networking Policy that outline the steps we take to educate our about children keeping safe and behaving responsibly online.


Children have access to a  variety of experiences in music, ranging from singing together, playing a range of instruments, creating their own compositions and moving to music. Provision is also made by the Oldham Music Centre and a local guitar/ukulele teacher for those children who show an interest in playing a musical instrument.  However, this resource is limited and parents are asked to pay for this tuition.  Currently, we have groups of children learning to play guitar, ukulele, keyboard and brass instruments.  We also have a School Choir called ‘Spotlight’.  Each year we have groups which participate in the Annual Oldham Schools’ Music Festival and the Rochdale Youth Festival as well as playing or singing for different audiences in school and within the local community.  Year 4 pupils participate in ‘The Wider Opportunities Programme’ and receive a weekly hour-long lesson with brass instruments.  Annually, they perform at The Bridgewater Hall with the Hallé Orchestra.  Singing is high profile within school and is an important aspect of collective worship. School has recently been accredited with the Gold Award from SingUp! in recognition of the singing with takes place here.


History and Geography are promoted through a question based curriculum, providing opportunities to research answers, solve problems and develop historical and geographical skills.  The school is well resourced, has its own schemes of work and also uses published schemes to support both subjects. Exciting topics such as,‘What makes the Earth angry?’ and  ‘Why is Manchester such a cool place to live?’ engage the children and motivate them to learn.

Physical Education

St. Mary's benefits from extensive grassed and hard playing areas and a wooden trim trail.  Children enjoy games, gymnastics, dance, netball, rounders, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activities, tennis, cross country and cricket, both in and/or outside the curriculum.  School is proud to have achieved the Active Mark because two hours each week is spent on high quality PE, and we are committed to enabling all children have an increased participation in high quality PE.  In October 2016, St Mary’s was awarded The Sainsbury’s Gold Sportsmark Award for Commitment to the development of PE and Competitive Sporting Opportunities.  Children have the opportunity to represent school in some of the above sports and in addition, to take part in local sporting events and play competitively against other schools.  We have strong links with local sports clubs and children regularly benefit from coaching by local sports representatives.  In Year 5, children attend Saddleworth Pool for a weekly swimming lesson during the spring and summer term.  There is an annual sports day during the summer term involving all children.  School has a PE technician two days each week who trains the Sports Leaders at lunchtimes, leads PE sessions and runs after school physical activity clubs such as lacrosse, multi- sports and netball.

Art and Design Technology

We value children working with a wide range of media and they learn how to use tools correctly and safely.  Children are able to express themselves through two dimensional and three dimensional work, as well as being able to develop their own personal style and sense of aesthetic appreciation. Our Art scheme of work is related to cross curricular topic work and children’s art is displayed throughout the school.  We are very proud that throughout the year children take part in dedicated Design Technology projects, progressively developing skills, knowledge and techniques, including food technology, textiles and making a range of different models.  We hold Art Exhibitions of children’s work which is professionally displayed and available to buy.

Enrichment Activities

It is our belief that children should have access to a broad, balanced stimulating curriculum and so we endeavour to devise activities which will enrich and enhance the children’s school experience, equipping them for life as a citizen of the 21st Century.

Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend the breadth and balance of opportunities available.  These include Antibullying Week and Safer Internet Day, Creative Arts Week, World Book Day, Sport, Health and Wellbeing Days, Cultural Diversity Week, Religious Experience Days and more!

We also take part in a range of events inside and outside school.  These include Saddleworth Super Council Council meetings, Year 6 Business Project, Oldham Schools Linking Project, Oldham Schools Choral Speaking Festival, Eco-Schools Project, Year 6 Residential, The Animal Man, Healthy Schools and Environmental Projects, such as a termly Health and Eco-Action Day.

Extra Curricular Activities

As a school we offer pupils opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities after school and at lunch time.  At any time a wide range of clubs is on offer – our programmes of clubs and activities available is revised termly depending on the time of year and other commitments children may have.  Examples include ICT Club, Multi-skills, Football Club, Netball Club, Lacrosse Club, Brazillian JuJitsu and Art Club.

Educational Visits

School places great emphasis on the value of learning outdoors, educational visits and visitors to school. Your child will experience a number of educational visits throughout their time at St Mary’s, to museums, zoos, places of worship, theatres, local places of interest and an outdoor adventure activity residential in Year 6.  These are carefully risk assessed and managed.  For activities in the school grounds and walks in the local area, parental consent will be sought at the beginning of the child’s school life.  Written parental consent is required for more adventurous activities and particularly those involving a coach/bus ride.  Such trips and visits truly enhance the children’s learning experience.

Learning Challenge

Our curriculum is planned through a series of themes and topics, which each offer experiences in all areas of learning.  Some topics lend themselves to particular learning areas, but we ensure that we achieve a balance of curriculum areas across the year.  We put a daily focus on Mathematics and Literacy through whole class carpet sessions, focussed group work and child-initiated play opportunities reflected through the various classroom areas. We celebrate many festivals across the school year.  We also teach greetings in many different languages and put a greater focus on simple Spanish.  This allows the children to develop an understanding of multi-culturalism and teaches them to respect different languages, cultures and traditions.

School uses the Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme and a range of published reading schemes and books to teach children phonics and reading.


Religious Education

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Modern Foreign Languages

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Key Stage One Curriculum

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Lower Key Stage Two Curriculum

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Upper Key Stage Two Curriculum

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Phonics at St Mary's

Please click on the picture link to access the information.

Maths at St Mary's

Please click on the picture link to access the information.