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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in computing.  

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Through the ‘ambitious’ curriculum driver we want our children to relish challenges that being a computer scientist can bring: asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments, and developing perspective and judgement.

Our computing curriculum is to prepare our children for a rapidly changing world through the use of technology. Our high-quality computing curriculum is designed to enable them to use computational thinking and creativity to further understand the world.

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Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we promote optimism and determination in computing. Not only do we want our pupils to be digitally literate and competent end-users of technology, we also want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving as well as critical thinking skills. A selection of carefully chosen challenges are embedded within our computing curriculum to promote resilience. Children are encouraged to be resilient and good at problem solving using key computational thinking skills such as abstraction, decomposition, generalisation and pattern spotting.

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As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all that we do. We aim to provide a Computing Curriculum that empowers our children with the knowledge, skills, and values required to thrive in the digital age. We aim to foster a deep understanding of technology whilst promoting responsible digital citizenship with our core value of compassion at the forefront of our computing teaching.

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At St Mary’s, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. In computing, children can discuss and reflect upon the impact that computing has on their learning, development and their wellbeing. Pupils are able to find a balance between their online and offline life and understand why this balance is essential.  Our computing curriculum inspires confident users of technology who are competent digital citizens of the future.  With ‘wellbeing’ as a curriculum driver, we give children the confidence to thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.

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The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

Apply the skills from the close cross curricular links with mathematics, science, and design technology.

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Through ‘success’, we raise aspirations to broaden our children’s horizons – opening their eyes to the myriad careers they might pursue. We have carefully planned and incorporated visits from guest speakers within the local area who have careers in computer technology. Our children aspire to work towards careers in the field of computing. These tangible role models have the effect of raising the aspirations of our pupils to inspire them to work even harder to be the best that they can be. We want our pupils to have a clear understanding of the link between achieving well and having goals for the future.

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Computing at the Federation of St. Mary’s Catholic Schools has its foundations set in the three strands of the Primary National Curriculum: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science.

Being a computer scientist means that children will have developed the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them access and use a range of technology in a safe and creative way. Our approach to online safety cross references Teaching Online Safety in Schools (DFE 2023) and Education for a Connected World (UK Council for Internet Safety 2020). It is delivered via our RSHE and Computing curriculum, alongside stand-alone online safety lessons.

Children will have developed skills that equip them to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.


Our Computing curriculum aims to instil a sense of enjoyment around using technology and to develop pupil’s appreciation of its capabilities and the opportunities technology offers to, create, manage, organise, and collaborate. To support our teaching of Computing, we have chosen to use a scheme from Kapow Primary, from this resource we have selected a series of units of work to enable pupils to meet the End of Stage Attainment targets outlined in the National Curriculum.

Through using the Kapow Primary resources and adapting them for our children’s needs, we intent for pupils not only to be digitally competent and have a range of transferrable skills at a suitable level for the future workplace, but also to be responsible online citizens.

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A comprehensive set of progression documents are available from Kapow Primary.  These are all accessed by staff through Kapow (and are not published here due to copyright reasons).

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in computing and it underpins everything we do. 
IDENTFIED - Computing vocabulary is identified by the computing subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key computing vocabulary and the computing medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in computing.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key computing vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest computer scientists are exposed to the foundations of their computing learning. Computing knowledge, skills and experiences are provided for through play-based, unplugged (no computer) activities that focus on building children’s listening skills, curiosity and creativity and problem solving. High quality, carefully selected books, stories and rhymes are the beating heart of our computing curriculum in EYFS. Computing vocabulary is planned for. Staff are role models in demonstrating computing vocabulary and this is further enhanced in our excellent provision. Children take part in a variety of tasks with digital devices, such as Bee Bots, tablets, laptop and the interactive whiteboard. This develops their understanding of a technologically diverse world and gains familiarity with the foundations of computing learning in EYFS which are linked to Year 1 and beyond.


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about computing. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the computing they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they are able to be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently.

Our ‘St. Mary’s Quality First Teaching’ model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.

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We understand that we may not see the true impact of our computing curriculum on our children as it is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Our well-constructed and well-taught computing curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At St. Mary’s, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts from their semantic memory.

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.

We ensure all our children read to a stage appropriate level and fluency. Reading is the beating heart of our computing curriculum. Through disciplinary literacy in computing lessons, the impact of reading on the children’s computational learning is paramount.

The impact of St. Mary’s computing curriculum is measured through the following:

  • Assessment at the end of each unit of work
  • Vocabulary and knowledge are assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence
  • Pupil voice
  • Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences
  • Seeking views of parents where appropriate.

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