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Foundations of our Curriculum

  • We use the 2014 National Curriculum as the basis for our curriculum in KS1 and KS2 to ensure a sufficient level of challenge. This is subsequently adapted to fit with our own school vision at St Mark’s and the particular needs of our learners. Consideration has also been given to the additional challenges posed by disruption to pupils’ education during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Our Reception class curriculum is built around the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. We know how important early learning is and have planned our KS1 and KS2 curriculum so that it carefully builds on these early experiences at school. Further information about our Early Years (Reception) class and its curriculum can be found here.
  • Early reading and phonics are taught through the Essential Letters and Sounds programme.
  • Our RE Scheme of Work is based on the agreed Pan Berkshire syllabus.
  • Our chosen MFL (Modern Foreign Language)  at KS2 is French.

We do our best to make the most of resources locally available to us to help enrich our curriculum at St Mark's. We are keen to make use of learning opportunities offered by our beautiful grounds, the nearby woodland and from local history (such as Jack of Newbury). We also have well established links with local secondary schools, theatres and churches  and a longstanding commitment to taking the majority of our Y5/6 children to Rhos y Gwaliau Outdoor Activity Centre in Wales in order to consolidate aspects of PE, Geography and PSHE in particular. During 2022, we had great fun learning about the past 70 years as part of Platinum Jubilee celebrations. During 2023, our school will be 150 years old which will give us lots of opportunities to learn more about the history of our village.

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Elephant toothpaste demonstration at Downe House.

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Willow Class outdoor learning with Y6 buddies.

Y2 music

How we Teach

We promote enquiry based learning. Titles of units of work are often posed as questions to stimulate thought. Pupil voice is also central to this approach: at the start of a topic, children pose their own questions about what they want to explore; where possible, these questions influence the direction of the investigation to ensure children are fully engaged in the learning journey so that they build and retain knowledge that they consider relevant. Our policy for Learning and Teaching can be found here.

We recognise the importance of Reading for Pleasure in the development of confident lifelong learners and work hard to develop this ethos alongside our taught curriculum.

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Enjoying reading together.

Curriculum Overview

Across the school, we have an overview to summarise the content covered across the curriculum. To complement this, we also have Schemes of Work containing suggested medium term plans and a ‘Progression of Skills’ documents for each subject. These curriculum documents provide a framework which ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately. They also give teachers awareness of what children have already learned across the curriculum so that it is possible to build upon prior learning and exploit cross-curricular links whenever possible. Units of work are kept constantly under review. Documents below are a guide. Further information can be found in the Curriculum Subjects area of our website. Should you be unable to find the information you require on our website, please contact the school office (office@coldash.w-berks.sch.uk) who will pass your enquiry on to the relevant member of staff.

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Outdoor maths.

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