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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 RSHE.

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Our high-quality RSHE lessons are ambitious and challenge our children to feel empowered to face any challenge within their lives, now and in the future.

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Our RSHE curriculum allows children to understand emotions and strength of character to have the confidence to make decisions in life. We aim to prepare children for difficult times in their lives and empower them to make choices, to know how and when to ask for help, and to know where to access support in order to support their wellbeing.

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Our RSHE curriculum supports the building character and help to embed Christian values to enable them to make informed, confident decisions.   ‘Life to the Full’ is underpinned by our Christian faith and develops our understanding that our deepest identity is as a child of God – created, chosen and loved by God. Through the ‘Journey in Love’ programme, we encourage pupils’ growth in self‐respect, acknowledging that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

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 Developing a healthy body and healthy mind is at the heart of our RSHE Curriculum. ‘Journey in Love' helps pupils to develop a healthy, safe lifestyle. Through ‘TenTen’, children learn that God created us to love Him and to love others, so we should look out for and care for ourselves and one another. 

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To have a secure knowledge of their own character and values. So that these allow them to make confident life choices and a enable them to know what it is to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.

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Our RSHE curriculum enables our children to deepen their knowledge from other subjects such as science, maths, geography, and computing.  Our children will be able to demonstrate a personal understanding of how our value and self-confidence can arise from knowing that we are loved by God and called His children. 

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Being a St Mary’s citizen means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Substantive knowledge in RSHE is threaded throughout each strand – the substantive knowledge for each strand is progressive. Disciplinary knowledge in RSHE are the social and emotional skills acquired, and the interpretation of themselves and how to support themselves and others through changes.


  • As a Catholic school, our RSHE curriculum meets the ethos of our Catholic identity and mission. At St Mary’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality RSHE education that allows children to grow in virtue, wisdom and stature, understanding both the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing spiritually, as well as moral aspects of relationships within a context of a Christian vision for the purpose of life. Through quality first teaching, we will equip pupils to grow in their spiritual, moral, social, emotional and physical development, and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life growing up in today’s world. Our ambition for our children is:

    • To have a sense of purpose
    • To value self and others
    • To form relationships
    • To make and act on informed decisions
    • To communicate effectively
    • To work with others
    • To respond to challenge
    • To be an active partner in their own learning
    • To be active citizens within the local community
    • To explore issues related to living in a democratic society
    To become healthy and fulfilled individuals

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A comprehensive set of progression documents are available Journey in Love and TEN:TEN Life to the full.  These are all accessed by staff through Journey in Love and TEN:TEN Life to the full (and are not published here due to copyright reasons).

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in RSHE and it underpins everything we do.
IDENTFIED - RSHE vocabulary is identified by the RSHE subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our Arches Planners are used as a teaching tool for key vocabulary and the RSHE 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 RSHE. We want our children to have a varied vocabulary to use when talking about their own and others’ feelings.
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 RSHE vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest learners are exposed to the foundations of their learning in RSHE. Carefully planned knowledge, skills and experiences are provided for our children. High quality books, stories and rhymes are the beating heart of our RSHE curriculum in EYFS. Key vocabulary is planned for. Staff are role models in demonstrating RSHE vocabulary and this is further enhanced in our excellent provision. The foundations of learning in RSHE and SRE EYFS is linked to Year 1 and beyond.


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about RSHE. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the RSHE 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 RSHE curriculum on our children as our RSHE curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Our well-constructed and well-taught RSHE curriculum, once embedded, leads to great outcomes and contributes to positive behaviour and attitudes of our children. For example, relationships is a ‘golden thread’ within our curriculum. The starting point is nurturing a positive relationship with self to grow a sense of identity and self-esteem within individuals. Children learn about rights and responsibilities to themselves and others. They develop a high degree of empathy and social skills. In

Students are also equipped with a range of strategies to safeguard themselves and others, and to know how and when to access support. Critical thinking provides pupils with the skills to assess different situations and scenarios. They can then act and behave appropriately affording respect towards others and upholding theirs and others’ rights. The impact of this should be pupils wanting to come to school as they feel safe and valued.

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 and apply the skills to their own lives.

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.

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

  • Assessment at the end of each unit of work (formative or summative)
  • 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
  • The behaviour and attitude of our pupils
  • Students are also equipped with a range of strategies to safeguard themselves and others


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