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Our ARCHES Curriculum has been designed by the Federation of St Mary's Catholic Schools to develop the whole child by providing a broad, balanced and challenging education that is rooted in our Catholic faith.  We aim to create ambitious, resilient and well-rounded learners who place Christ at the centre of their lives.  We strive for excellence in all aspects of our teaching and learning, recognising that each child is unique and has individual needs. Our curriculum is designed to be inclusive and to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to succeed.  We provide a range of experiences and opportunities for our children to develop their knowledge and skills, whilst encouraging them to be curious, creative, and independent learners who are confident and prepared to be successful for the future.  Within this broad and balanced approach, we place an important emphasis on promoting health and wellbeing.


Our ‘knowledge-engaged’ approach to subject disciplines, provides opportunities to build upon both knowledge and skills and ensuring that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Subjects are discretely taught and focused to ensure adequate time is dedicated to high quality teaching and learning in these subjects. The EYFS Statutory Framework and National Curriculum were used as a basis and enhanced by carefully selected pedagogical research. We have focussed upon progressively developing pupils’ knowledge, skills and key vocabulary in each subject area, with a robust system for retrieval practice embedded within all subjects to ensure learning ‘sticks’ and stays in the long-term memory. Our ARCHES Curriculum is ‘three-dimensional’ with horizontal and vertical links across year groups and subjects.


All subjects are centrally driven by our six ARCHES principles, which are instilled in everything that we do. Our principles are underpinned by our Christian Values which promote our Christian distinctiveness.

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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools is 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.


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.


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We value vocabulary in every subject and in everything we do.


Vocabulary across subjects is identified by Subject Leaders and is explicitly planned for. Vocabulary is identified in each text within lessons


Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson: exploiting grammar opportunities, word classes, context, definitions, synonyms and antonyms.


Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes.


Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory.

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