In St. Mark’s Primary School we view the “Curriculum” in its very broadest sense as incorporating everything, which happens in our school. The individual child is at the centre of the curriculum and this informs how we organise the curriculum and determines its day-to-day implementation in each class and in our school generally.
As a Catholic school, we try to create a positive ethos, which is inclusive of everyone in the school community and reaches out with tolerance and respect to those in the wider community. We are guided in our day- to- day delivery of the curriculum by values such as mutual respect, child-centredness and honesty. We give preference to those who are most in need and work for the common good.
The curriculum in St. Mark’s Primary School should be seen in conjunction with our policies and procedures in respect to pastoral care as we see these as being closely linked. Everyone in St. Mark’s Primary School has responsibilities in relation to curriculum. Teachers, assistants, the parish, volunteers, students, outside agencies, and parents work together to maximise the learning opportunities available to the children.
In St. Mark’s, we pride ourselves in providing a warm and happy atmosphere for all our children. We know that when children feel safe, secure and happy,more effective learning will take place and pupils will develop self-confidence and become independent learners. Our pupils are taught a broad curriculum, which includes Religion, Language and Literacy, Mathematics and Numeracy, ICT, The Arts, Personal Development and Mutual Understanding, The World Around Us and Physical Education. Through the extended schools programme St. Mark’s is able to offer a wide variety of extra curricular activities. St. Mark’s has a Breakfast Club, an After School Club and a Homework Club.
The aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum is:
‘to empower young people to develop their potential and to make informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives.’ P4 Northern Ireland Curriculum Primary
and the objectives are
'the learning opportunities provided through the Northern Ireland Curriculum should help young people to develop as individuals, contributors to society (and) contributors to the economy and environment.' P4 Northern Ireland Curriculum Primary
Through the Northern Ireland Curriculum everyone involved in St. Mark’s Primary School works very hard in order to bring our mission statement and aims of the school to life!
For more information on the Northern Ireland Curriculum please click on the link below
Below is an extract from our Pastoral Care Policy regarding learning and teaching in St. Mark’s Primary School.
Focusing on the individual child:
Each class teacher will ensure that he/she has detailed knowledge of the needs- physical and emotional, aspirations, interests and academic progress of each child in the class.
When a class is passed on, a meeting- transition meeting, will take place between the new teacher and former teacher, at this meeting each individual chills will be discussed and all the relevant information passed on.
Pupils are encouraged to communicate any concerns or worries that they may have to any member of staff.
The staff will listen to and take seriously any complaint or concern expressed to them by a pupil and deal with it in accordance with school procedures.
Teaching Methods and Classroom Organisation:
Learning will take place in a happy atmosphere and teaching methods and practices employed will enhance the self esteem and self confidence of the children.
Children will be set challenging tasks appropriate to their ability.
The class teacher will set aside time to develop and nurture good individual relationships with each child in the class.
Marking of all children’s work will be done in a positive manner, linked to the learning outcomes, emphasizing strengths and making constructive and helpful comments about areas for improvement.
When marking and commenting on homework, teachers will be mindful of the varying home environments of our pupils.
Parents and St. Mark’s Primary School:
Parents are made to feel their role is significant and valued.
Their concerns and problems are listened to sympathetically and dealt with effectively and in a sensitive manner.
Parents are invited twice yearly to meet the class teacher- curriculum meeting and a one to one teacher- parent report.
During September/October a meeting is held where the class teacher sets out the programme for the school year- curriculum meeting.
In Years 4-7, as a result of the findings from the CBA assessments, teachers will meet with parents and outline how they aim to develop their child through out the year and teachers will give parents an explanation of how they can help at home in order to improve the standards for their children in all areas of the curriculum.
In Years 1-3, during the third term, individual meetings will take place with the teacher where the teacher will discuss the progress of their child with the parent. In Years 4-7, a written report will be sent home towards the end of the third term.
St. Mark’s Primary School has an active Parent Teacher and Friends of St. Mark’s Association. Through its activities, close harmonious relationships are fostered and parents are encouraged to take become involved in their child’s education.