Arches simple banner.png

EYFS icon.png

Our School Vision 2.png

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.

Purpose 2.png

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 are committed to providing the best possible start to our children’s school life, teaching them skills and giving them experiences and knowledge which will ensure their well-being now and success in the future. We recognise that all children have varied life experiences and so begin their school life with different starting points. Our aim is to plan rich teaching and learning opportunities to address this.


Ambitious simple(1).png


Through our ‘ambitious’ curriculum driver we are creating children who are independent, not only in their organisational skills but also in their learning, is a high priority for us. We believe that our children are capable of amazing things and we develop this through having high expectations of all children. We pose challenges, build confidence and self-esteem, show children how capable they are and support them to reach their potential. We take time to teach independence skills explicitly and support children to develop into well-rounded, ambitious learners.

Resilience simple.png


Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we promote optimism and determination. We teach children to understand mistakes are valuable learning experiences. Through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, we develop children’s active learning skills and help them to understand and respond to feedback. Resilience and perseverance is highly valued and praised. We strongly believe that in order to develop resilience, we must teach children to be independent learners who problem solve for themselves and know to keep trying and how and when to access help.

Christ at the heart simple.png



As a Catholic school, we place Christ at the heart of all that we do. We encourage our children to open their hearts and minds to learning about things in the past and how these people or events have impacted on our world today. With Christ at the heart, we give children the confidence to thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.

Health and W simple.png 

At The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. 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. All staff deeply care about the children in our school. We treat all children as individuals and promote positive relationships and secure bonds. We make it a priority to form close relationships with families and the wider community to promote the best outcomes for all children and develop their wellbeing. We recognise and value individual’s strengths and talents and believe in praising effort and valuing the little steps that really make a difference to a child’s progress. We know that by doing this, we are building happy and secure children, who feel emotionally and physically safe.

Excellence simple.png



Through the ‘excellence’ curriculum driver, we raise aspirations to broaden our children’s horizons – opening their eyes to the myriad careers they might pursue. We strive to provide our children with opportunities and experiences that are new to them and will enrich their knowledge. We guide the development of children’s capabilities with a view to ensuring that all children are ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them and are able to fully exploit all learning opportunities.

Success simple.png


Through the ‘success’ curriculum driver, we encourage our children to be resourceful learners. It is uniquely challenging and coherent to our children. Excitement and motivation for learning is developed through planning fun, engaging and challenging lessons based on the needs for the children. As well as teaching skills through quality texts we follow the fascinations and interests of the children and teaching and learning is fast paced to respond to the changing needs of individuals. We provide new and interesting experiences, building on and adding to the range of activities children will have had at home or through pre-school experience. We make learning purposeful and rooted in real-life contexts, where possible, so that children have motivating reasons to learn and to help them to apply their knowledge to a range of situations.



The curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFS). There are seven ‘Areas of Learning and Development’ which consist of three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas:

  • Communication and Language – Speaking and Listening, Attention and Understanding
  • Physical Development –Gross motor skills / Fine Motor Skills Personal
  • Social and Emotional Development – Self Regulation/ Managing Self/ Building Relationships
  • The Specific Areas:
  • Literacy – Comprehension/ Word Reading/Writing
  • Mathematics – Numbers/Numerical Patterns
  • Understanding the World – Past and Present/ People, Culture and Communities/ The Natural World
  • Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with Materials/Being Imaginative and Expressive

The four guiding principles that shape our practice are:

  • unique child
  • positive relationships
  • enabling environment
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Long Term Plan 2.png


Progression Documents.png

Vocab is vital 2.png

VALUED - We value vocabulary and it underpins everything we do.
IDENTFIED - Vocabulary is identified by the EYFS lead in consultation with subject leaders and is explicitly planned for so that it is linked to the books taught and so children are ready for the Year 1 curriculum.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our stories are used as a teaching tool for key vocabulary and the EYFS curriculum maps 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.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, children revisit and relearn key vocabulary.



Our staff are passionate about the Early Years Foundation Stage. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of this stage of development. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon findings from early childhood studies and neuroscience which shows that children’s early experiences are important in affecting health, behaviour and developmental outcomes. We are particularly influenced by the Reggio and Bandura approaches. We encourage our children to build their own learning, and the adults help to support, not instruct. We have a focus on exploratory and child-led play to improve problem-solving skills. The adults modelling calm, respectful behaviour and emphasises the importance of displaying thinking out loud to show thought process. We provide our children with the balance of child-initiated play, adult modelling and directed teaching. focused and structured learning to ensure that they enjoy learning to read, write, use numbers, think mathematically, explore their world and make creations. Through Quality First Teaching we ensure that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.

Lesson structure 2.png

On-going formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years practice. Staff observe children as they act and interact in their play, everyday activities and planned activities, and learn from parents about what the child does at home. We identify where the child may be in their own developmental pathway and consider ways to support the child to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development. We plan for areas in which to challenge and extend the child’s current learning and development.

In EYFS, all knowledge and skills are taught through a quality text. The knowledge, skills and vocabulary taught in reception prepares our children for the next step in their learning. Curriculum skills and links are shared with subject leaders so that all staff are aware of where the children’s learning starts. Continuous provision is carefully planned for and monitored to ensure all staff are aware of how the children progress their skills in each area.


Our well-constructed and well-taught curriculum leads to good results. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt and the progress they have made. We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The quality of our children’s work is of a high standard. All learning is built towards a goal and we prepare our children for the next stage. We ensure all our children read to an age-appropriate level and fluency. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. The impact of The Federation of St Mary’s bespoke curriculum is measured through the following:

  • Assessment against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
  • Vocabulary and knowledge gained
  • Pupil voice and parental questionnaires
  • Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences 


Files to Download

Student Login