From Year 3 onwards, our pupils are taught by subject specialists for all of their lessons. This not only gives them access to incredibly knowledgeable staff whose enthusiasm and passion are passed onto the children, but it also prepares them for the transition to life at secondary school.
Our aim at every stage is to provide a nurturing and encouraging learning environment for our pupils; one where they are challenged to reach their potential in every subject, and given support in any areas that they struggle with.
As our pupils enter Year 4 we begin conducting cognitive ability tests (CATs) to assess each pupil’s level and identify the areas where they may need extra help as well as those where they excel. We want all our pupils to realise their potential and work hard to give them the attention and support they need to succeed.
In Years 5 and 6 we focus on preparing them for Senior School, with regular exam support sessions and tuition for the 11+ grammar school entrance examination.
Drama is an important part of the curriculum throughout St Mary’s and our older pupils are given the opportunity to shine on stage by taking on larger roles in our regular school productions, providing a boost for their confidence. Pupils in Years 3 through to 6 also have the opportunity to compete in sports fixtures against other independent schools on a weekly basis, developing their sporting abilities and team skills.
Bringing the curriculum to life is one of the challenges we relish, and we regularly take children on excursions to sites of interest, whether historical, geographical, literary or otherwise, as well as running collapsed curriculum weeks across the school to help our pupils engage more deeply with a particular topic.
At this stage we also introduce residential trips, beginning with a one-night stay in Year 3 and going through to a full week away in Year 6.