Curriculum By Subject

Our all-through curriculum has been designed to build knowledge sequentially, right from Reception through to Year 11 in all subject areas. Our primary and secondary staff have worked (and continue to work) together to develop the curriculum so that foundations of learning are strong and all students can be supported to aspire to study the subjects that they want at the highest level.

All-through curriculum maps for each subject can be found in this section of the website by using the subject links below. Alternatively you can view overviews of the curriculum for each year group in the Curriculum By Year Group  section of the website. You can also speak to your child's teacher or tutor or contact the school via phone (023 8077 2968) or e-mail (

Teaching and Learning of Computing at St Mark’s CE School 

At St Mark’s we have designed our computing curriculum in order to ensure that our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to communicate digitally, create programs, systems and a range of digital content. 

We have chosen the skills and concepts that our students should master year on year, and coherently sequenced them across the school to teach students how digital systems work and how to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Our computing curriculum links with science, mathematics and design technology to help students to understand natural and artificial systems.  Although computing is taught as its own discipline, we also use it in other curriculum areas as a purposeful and contextual way to explore information and communication technology.  This supports students in making links between their knowledge as well as providing opportunities to revisit contexts and add new knowledge to what they already know about them.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Embedded throughout our curriculum and school systems is the importance of students using technology safely and respectfully.  We use a multi-layered approach to ensure that our students are aware of the importance of staying safe online, through direct teaching in computing lessons, Personal Development/PSHE lessons and a shared school charter.  The e-safety curriculum has been sequenced carefully from years R-11 to ensure that subject content is appropriate for pupils’ stage of development.

All-through Computing Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Mr Macauley Harding (Primary Subject Leader)
Mr Amir Fakhoury (Head of Department - Secondary)

Drama Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

To support all children in becoming what god created them to be.

Drama provokes thought, educates and acts as an escape from the modern world. The skills we teach young people to communicate, perform, work as a team and be confident is something that will stay with them long after they leave the school gates. Exploring different cultures, styles, and practitioners, students will be well prepared to take on Drama at Further study. 

GCSE Drama is about understanding the literature and skills of theatre as an art form. It explores what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and human situation, promoting empathy, inclusivity and diversity.  The course encourages students to work imaginatively and creatively in a collaborative context when responding to, devising, performing and evaluating. Students will have the opportunity to create their own work as well as explore work written by others. Drama enables students to build confidence and communication skills in a creative environment.

Drama encapsulates the love of literature with the love Jesus has guided us to have for one another. By working closely with various members of our community, we are reminded that we are all from the same flesh despite artistic differences, backgrounds and abilities. This love is the foundation that promotes us to serve each other in the community making reasonable adjustments to support all learners. The Drama studio is a place where every student belongs, be it through devising, directing, performing or stage management. 

Curriculum Design

The Drama curriculum is designed to introduce students to the process of responding, devising, performing and evaluating. The curriculum covers a broad range of stimuli across historical time periods, countries, demographics and social issues. This prepares students to go on to appreciate professional works in the wider community, respond to a stimulus, create thought provoking work and perform. Students will be well prepared for the further studying of Drama. The main strands of the drama curriculum are:

Responding - Students will explore a variety of stimuli and a range of themes including social issues, a variety of art forms and text. Students will respond to written texts in the form of a script and decide the direction they would take and develop characters. 

Devising - Students will develop skills to create their own thought provoking work inspired by a range of practitioners including Brecht, Stanislavski, theatre in education, physical theatre and musical theatre. 

Performing  -  gesture, gait, and proxemics. Parallel to physical skills, voice skills will be explored; accent, emphasis, pace and Rhythm, pitch, pause, tone and volume. Workshops will provide practical rehearsal through teacher modelling, group work and appreciation of professional works. Students will explore and independently develop their own performance with the influences of professional actors. 

Evaluating - Students will develop their evaluating skills by appreciating their own peers and professional work. This will shape them as performing and creative artists as well as thoughtful members of the community. 

Drama Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Miss Rachel Keenan

English is at the centre of the curriculum at St Mark’s CE school, providing a gateway to all other learning. Knowing how to read, write and speak gives access to the lives which we live.  The curriculum is therefore sequenced so that students can understand, question, critique and create rules, stories and patterns in a true range of literature and, more broadly, in society.

Reading is a way to discover the world and is prioritised throughout all phases at St Mark’s: from the early attachment of language to images, to building words and knowledge through phonics. Reading increasingly challenging texts, which have been mapped out carefully to consider progression in vocabulary, context, structure and syntax, students gain access to other minds and other times. Through reading fiction and non-fiction students will gain new vocabulary, to allow them to articulate their own ideas. We teach literary terminology and promote critical reading so students understand how writers’ methods create meaning. We read texts, across time and genre, to ensure that students understand that each text is a construct, embedded within its context, as well as its form and its genre. We encourage students to be discerning readers who develop independent tastes and who can make connections between texts.  Our aim is to create life-long readers who view books as a source of inspiration, comfort and companionship.

From the outset, students learn the conventions of accurate writing, including pen-craft and letter formation. Students are taught to write purposefully and clearly to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Writing for functional real-world purposes helps them to prepare for the demands of adulthood. Students will appreciate the qualities of good writing and base their own on models of excellence. Students craft their writing for effect and impact, with opportunities for planning, drafting and reviewing.

In Speaking and Listening activities, students learn to express their ideas aloud and we encourage them to find their individual voices. They learn how to articulate a point of view and respond to others with sensitivity. We prepare students to be confident, skilled speakers in formal and informal situations. Equally importantly, we prepare them to be thoughtful, attentive and evaluative listeners

Curriculum Maps

Key Stage 1-2 Reading

Key Stage 1 -2 Writing

Key Stage 3- 4


Teaching Staff
Mr Sam Genovese (Head of Department - Secondary)
Mr Shane Doyle
Miss Manpreet Kaur
Mr Steve Causley - Junior Phase Reading Leader
Mrs Kate Heath Goddard - Primary Writing Leader
Miss Emma Barnard - Primary Writing Leader

Phonics Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

Welcome to Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS).

ELS is a synthetic phonics programme which some schools use to help children learn to read in Reception and Key Stage 1 (Primary 1 to 3). We are using ELS to help your little one as they learn to read.

Curriculum Maps


Assessment Phonics Screening Check

Information for parents

How can I help my child at home with phonics?

Here you can find more information on what ELS is and how you can support your child at home.

Please visit

Click below to reveal the sounds your child will learn in ELS.

Phase 2 Sounds

Phase 3 Sounds

Phase 5 Sounds

Geography Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

Geography Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School At St Mark’s, we believe that geographical perspectives offer a uniquely powerful way of seeing the world.  Our curriculum design enables our students to grasp how the world works and how they fit into it, whilst also helping them to explore their own identity and how they relate to others.  Our earth is changing rapidly, faster than at any other time in recorded history, which is another reason why we encourage students to ‘think geographically’ about the world around them.

In our primary phase, the geography curriculum aims to equip our children with the following:

  • Contextual world knowledge of locations, places and geographical features.
  • Understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments, and how they vary and change over time.
  • Competence in geographical enquiry, and the application of skills in observing, collecting, analysing, evaluating and communicating geographical information.

Geography units make use of the three concepts defined by Scoffham and Owens (2017) as fundamental to geographical thinking: shape, space and scale.  The curriculum aims to develop the children’s understanding of each, while exploring the layer of secondary concepts such as pattern, change, movement and interaction and the connections between them.

As well as encouraging students to think as ‘geographers’, we also aim to develop and retain the essential and relevant environmental and international knowledge and vocabulary.  Within each unit, the four different types of substantive knowledge are clearly defined:

  • Locational Knowledge
  • Place Knowledge
  • Human and Physical Processes (including environmental)
  • Geographical skills

The different forms of knowledge are interconnected throughout each unit and the knowledge is recalled regularly through retrieval practice across the school.

The secondary geography curriculum  has been carefully designed to build upon the knowledge and skills gained within the primary phase.  The secondary scheme of work is structured to develop precise knowledge of individual, core geographical concepts but then to integrate these within a wider synoptic perspective. In other words, we focus on the core human and natural concepts studied in Geography (e.g. river processes, migration) and then place these is the context of contemporary issues that bring more than one core concept together to help young people see the interconnectedness of the human and natural environment and that causes and solutions are often complex and can be controversial to some stakeholders. Geography is not simple and we seek to train pupils to think and infer in an analytical and creative way about issues.

Our curriculum meets the expectations of the National Curriculum for KS3 and KS4 Geography and goes some way beyond this. We teach discrete units about core concepts, such as rivers, settlement, tectonics, population, etc, but within these are the synoptic links discussed above. We teach a mixture of discrete and synoptic studies of countries/regions/continents. For example, the population, biomes, economy and geopolitics of Russia are covered within a range of units, whilst the Middle East and Africa are covered in discrete units. This is intended to make learning in units relevant and interesting but also to provide a synoptic conclusion to learning each year.
In the secondary phase:

  1. Pupils should complete Key Stage 3 with a thorough foundation of understanding of the natural and human features and processes of the world and of how these are linked together.
  2. They should also complete the Key Stage 3 course with a clear understanding of the impact of human activity and the need for individuals and societies to commit to a range of acts to improve the sustainability across a range of scales. These objectives also apply to students who elect to choose to study Geography at Key Stage 4.
  3. Both the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 courses have been constructed to be as synoptic as possible – the links between the core themes within Geography are clearly signposted and each unit is designed to support learning of core themes in a number of other units across both key stages. This is clearly illustrated in the diagram showing the core principles and progressions.
  4. It is also intended that all pupils who study Geography will gain an understanding of the physical location of places around the world and be able to relate their own lived experience to a range of contrasting experiences and places. Pupils should be immersed in the awe and wonder of the planet.
  5. Finally, pupils should enjoy the course, developing core geographical skills and experiencing a range of learning activities that allow them to achieve the best possible grades for their personal level of ability.

The importance of geographical enquiry through fieldwork

Fieldwork is undertaken across the school, and where possible through learning outside of the classroom.  At the heart of every fieldwork enquiry should be the concepts of place, space and scale.  Fieldwork balances core geographical knowledge with a sense of space and gives it a spatial context.  As their understanding of the core concepts develop, they will be able to conduct their own geographical enquiries by asking and answering questions about the world around them.

Field Work Opportunities
Year 1 Autumn 1 – What places are in our school?
  • Exploring human and physical features on Shirley High Street (off site)
Across the Year
  • Observe and record the seasons across the year.
  • Observe and record daily weather patterns
Year 2 Autumn 2 – Built and Non-built features around the school (using an aerial map)
Summer 1 – Map work using N, S, E and W
Summer 2 – Lepe Beach (Off Site) – What makes Lepe Beach a good place for a holiday and how do humans look after it?
Year 3 Autumn 2 - Investigating land use patterns in the school grounds
Summer 1 – Investigating soils and rocks in the school grounds.
Year 4 Autumn 2 – Sustainable living in everyday life (carbon footprint in school)
Summer 1 – How can we compare the land use of Southampton High Street and the main boulevard of Barcelona (La Rambla)? (Off Site)
Year 5 Spring 2 – Testwood Lakes (Off Site)
Year 6 Summer 2 – How have I been impacted by globalisation?
Year 7 Is there a microclimate around St Mark’s CE school and what would be causing this? Collect first-hand evidence.

Geography - All through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Mr Mark Hall (Humanities Head of Department)
Mr Randhir Hothi

Miss Natasha Rose
Mrs Cassie Richardson - Primary Subject Leader

We have designed our own maths curriculum based on the 5 key principles of Teaching for Mastery:

What does a mastery curriculum look like in practice at St Mark’s?

* Coherence: Small-step coherent curriculum planning is mapped out through years R-6 and is tailored specifically to St Mark’s CE School. The well-designed sequence builds on prior learning from the previous lesson and the previous year. Enough time is taken over topics to ensure that deep knowledge and understanding of the concepts are gained. Small steps across lessons, and within, also prevents the occurrence of cognitive overload for our students.
* Fluency: Number is at the heart of our curriculum and a large proportion of time is spent exposing children in the primary phase to the structures of number to build competency in automatic recall. A fluency curriculum runs alongside our daily maths lessons (Snappy Maths) to reinforce number facts, calculation and application. In the secondary phase, regular retrieval practice of prior learning also builds schemata for long-term retention.

* Mathematical Thinking: Fluency, reasoning and problem solving is interlinked in the way we teach for mastery at St Mark’s and will be interwoven throughout teaching inputs, class discussions and the students’ independent practise and application. Teachers hold high expectations for all students to take their learning to a deeper level.

* Conceptual and Procedural Variation: Concepts are presented through multiple representations within our maths lessons to deepen learning. The ‘Variation Theory’ is key to our practice and helps students to make connections and deepen their conceptual understanding by analysing ‘what it is’, ‘what it also is’ and ‘what it isn’t’. As well as being about the small steps throughout a lesson, students will also be encouraged to consider procedural variation when calculating or analysing mathematical
structures. This helps them to become efficient mathematicians, instead of mechanical, by considering different ways of working and challenging their own thinking and assumptions.

* Representation and Structure: Concrete representations and manipulatives are used for all students when learning about all
mathematical concepts. A concrete – pictorial – abstract approach is used with students across the school to build firmer foundations of
understanding. In addition to this, stem sentences are used to expose mathematical structures and draw students’ attention to specific teaching points, which in turn supports them in articulating their thinking when reasoning.

* Lesson Design: Rather than following one scheme of learning, teachers design their lessons using a variety of high quality textbooks and resources including Maths No Problem, Power Maths and predominantly the NCETM spine materials. This has allowed us to tailor our provision to the students of St Mark’s. The structure of lessons is flexible based on the small-step learning focus, but will often take the form of a ping-pong approach to allow time and opportunity for high quality talk and exploration. This approach also enables the gradual build-up of small steps within a lesson from a low entry point to ensure access for all, to extensive challenge and depth.

* Mind Set: We ensure students have the opportunity to stay together as they work through the curriculum as a whole group (challenge occurs through depth and breadth on the same concept). Through whole class teaching, adults are able to model the mind-set that ALL students are capable of learning maths to a high level, helping them to gain in confidence and perceive themselves as mathematicians. Some students may grasp concepts quicker than others, but this does not necessarily make them better mathematicians, or prevent superficial understanding. We believe that all small steps are important to build deeper understanding for all students; we challenge for depth through effective questioning and careful task design.

Mathematics - All through curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Miss Jo Gerrard (Head of Department)
Miss Lisa Duell
Miss Karina Chegwidden
Miss Natasha Rose

History Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

At St Mark’s CE School, we believe that a high-quality history education will inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. We want to give students the knowledge and understanding that enables them to be active and informed participants in society. Through a variety of experiences, based both in and outside the classroom, students at St Mark’s will have opportunities to engage with the past and see its relevance in the modern day. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. 

Through our carefully designed curriculum that takes into account the prior knowledge and skills gained in each stage of learning, students will gain the necessary knowledge to understand the history of these islands as a coherent narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.  

They will also develop historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history. The skills that they master with us will enable them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. They will also understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Students will be able to think critically about information they encounter and make informed decisions about the validity of arguments and contrasting interpretations.

First Order Concept Progression
All-through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Mr Mark Hall (Humanities Head of Department)
Mr Randhir Hothi

Mr Conor Soffe- Primary Subject Leader

Modern Foreign Languages at St Mark’s CE School

The purpose of the MFL curriculum at St Mark’s CE School is to create articulate, capable and effective linguists who can work independently in their listening, reading, speaking and writing, progressing to use a range of vocabulary, tenses and complex structures. Students at St Mark’s will develop linguistic competences by acquiring core vocabulary and grammatical knowledge at every stage of their learning journey, beginning with speaking and listening before progressing to an equal emphasis on all four skill areas.  In years 3-6 students will learn French, before embarking on Spanish at the start of year 7.

As well as expanding students’ linguistic competence, our curriculum also aims to enrich pupils’ cultural growth by increasing their knowledge and understanding of the culture of foreign countries. We believe that no other subject teaches the appreciation of cultural diversity and the acceptance of others as MFL does. Therefore, we ensure that the MFL curriculum contains an element of cultural reference in order to enhance cultural richness and encourage tolerance in an ever-changing world.

During their language-learning journey, students gain insight into how to interpret and apply knowledge to new situations. The multitude of challenges that encompass language learning not only fosters a sense of curiosity, but develops creativity and problem solving as students find new ways of understanding and communicating a message, thus encouraging resilience.

 French Curriculum Overview - KS2

Spanish Curriculum Overview - KS3

Teaching Staff

Miss Kirsty Hill (Head of Department)
Mrs Maria Valle-Alvarez

Mrs Hafsa Asmari - Primary MFL Subject Leader

Physical Education

At St Mark’s we have designed our own unique PE curriculum in order to develop a lifelong love of sport and/or exercise alongside an engrained understanding of the importance of health and fitness. We aim to develop a genuine passion for sport and leadership that can be used in different walks of life and offer genuine pathways to career opportunities.

The fully inclusive curriculum offers a huge range of opportunities and experiences offering something for everyone. Through careful planning we offer a wide variety of sports. We integrate curriculum and extracurricular opportunities to ensure we offer clear pathways to success. Planning ensures children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have equal opportunities to share in our success and enjoyment of sport and celebrate our achievements in school.

We participate in lessons, play sports and celebrate success through the School Games Values. We understand that the core values of St Mark’s are integral to PE and in life.


Here at Mark's we understand the importance of swimming and water safety. It has been a statutory element of the national curriculum for PE in England since 1994.

This means that every 11-year old child should leave primary school with the skills to keep themselves safe while enjoying swimming with friends and family. Swimming is a compulsory subject and we expect all pupils to take part in these valuable lessons in Year 5.

PE Kit

Primary PE Kit:
Plain Black T Shirt
Black Tracksuit Bottoms, Shorts or Leggings
Black Hoody/Tracksuit top 
Trainers (NOT school shoes that are being worn for school!)

Secondary PE Kit:
Black sports top with St. Mark’s Logo 
Black sports jumper with St. Mark’s Logo
Black shorts with St. Mark’s Logo (Plain black sports shorts are also acceptable)
Black trousers with St. Mark’s Logo (Plain black sports trousers or sports leggings are also acceptable)

Please ensure that all PE kit is clearly marked with your child’s name.


Teaching Staff
Mr Andy Munnings - (Head of Department - All through)
Ms Hannah Mead
Mr Alex Adlam

Music Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

The Music Curriculum at St Mark’s CE school is about experiencing live and digital music through creativity and performance.  A high quality musical education engages and inspires students to develop a love of music. They harness their talents as a musician and performer, developing their self confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement and well being. Music at St Mark’s creates a sense of identity and self worth, it provides an outlet for creativity, self expression and individual uniqueness. For many of our students music is a life changer – performing music and indeed their particular instrument becomes part of who they are and they take this with them wherever they go.

In the Primary phase, we have adapted the Charanga curriculum to meet the needs of our students and develop a critical engagement with music.  Through our provision, regular opportunities are provided for our students to:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and cultural traditions. 
  • Learn to sing and use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others and have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.  

We have sequenced our curriculum coherently to ensure that the children’s knowledge and understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music and musical notation is built up over time.  The inter-related dimensions are central to the Listen and Appraise section of each unit from years 1-7, and as the students grow in confidence, they will be able to talk about these elements when analysing their own compositions.

In Early Years children will learn short nursery rhymes and songs that link to their wider curriculum.  They will start to experiment with their voices and musical instruments and begin to make rhythmic patterns.  In Key Stage 1 the children start to analyse songs from different genres of music which are memorable, easy to learn and repetitive.  In terms of musical elements, we focus on the children understanding pulse, rhythm and pitch and how they work together in music.  The familiar structure supports the children to develop these key elements.  In KS2, the music/songs have been chosen to ensure that they are accessible to teachers and children.  Their selection also allows comparisons with other music from a wide range of genres, styles, traditions and historical periods.  Music in KS3 is taught through developing three skills in order to equip students with the skills required to thrive in GCSE Music: 

  • Listen to music with increasing discrimination and awareness of the elements of music.
  • Perform a wide range of solo and ensemble pieces using their voice and playing instruments with fluence, accuracy and expression.
  • Compose and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions.

At St Mark’s, we promote music and a musical experience for all. We develop lifelong musicians through an age appropriate spiral curriculum of listening, performing and composing ensuring that all value musical appreciation and musical performance. Every young person has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument as part of the curriculum, regardless of background or the ability to pay. Musical progression routes are clear and this creates a musical pathway. These are as follows:

  • Year 3: Glockenspiels 1 Course
  • Year 4: Glockenspiels 2 Course
  • Year 5: Hip Hop and beat boxing Course
  • Year 6: Djembe Course
  • Year 7: Drumming, Keyboard and Ukulele
  • Year 8: Keyboard

In addition to the curricular music lessons that all pupils take part in and weekly singing worships (R-7), St Marks offers an inclusive and ambitious extra-curricular programme that pupils can participate in. These clubs are designed to enrich and broaden students' musical experience and develop their musicianship further. This includes vocal ensembles for both key stage 2 and 3, and instrument ensembles.

Music - All through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff:
Mr David Snell
Miss Caroline Johnstone - Primary Subject Leaders

PSHRE Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s CE School

At St Mark’s CE School, PSHRE is taught discretely as its own subject, and is a crucial part of the wider Personal Development offer at St Mark’s. Our curriculum design enables our students to acquire the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes they need to manage their lives, whilst at the same time supporting them as they develop the qualities and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and active members of the local and global society in which they live.

Through the PSHRE curriculum, the pupils of St Mark's C of E School are provided with opportunities to enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through: cooperation, communication, evaluation, reflection, decision making and managing their emotions. The students learn about their human rights and engage with issues of diversity, identity and equality through exploration of similarities and differences between people and their experiences, and the discussion of social and moral dilemmas. The causes and consequences of economic inequalities are explored and students consider how use, abuse and inequalities of power from local to global levels can affect the well-being of individuals and communities. At St. Mark’s, we believe the role of PSHRE is significant to individual pupil motivation and achievement; it teaches students to make independent, healthy, confident and respectful choices in order to develop into an active citizen with a strong, positive disposition and self-worth.  

Making wise choices includes students being able to recognise and assess risks and benefits within a variety of social contexts, and to act on their best intentions. Often these choices have to be made when young people feel under pressure, and therefore with this in mind, we have designed an age-appropriate curriculum utilising the Jigsaw scheme of work to ensure even coverage and progression of the syllabus across all year groups.   The content of the curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure that the necessary prior knowledge is retrieved to enable pupils to learn new material and key themes are revisited frequently but with increasing complexity.  This supports pupils in making important connections between the curriculum content. 

PSHRE All through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Miss Rachel Keenan
Mrs Christine Parsloe - PSHRE Primary Subject Leader

Further Information is below:

DFE Guidance for RSE Education

At St Mark’s CE School we believe that Science is a vital subject in order for the students to help understand the world around them. We want to give students the skills and knowledge that will enable them to access and understand scientific information in the wider world and help them stay informed on scientific discoveries and recognise misinformation.

Curriculum Design

Our programme of study clearly maps out the substantive content taught across the years. Each unit
includes the retrieval of essential prior knowledge from previous years, in order to ensure that
students develop a deep foundation of knowledge upon which they can build on further. For
example in Year 4, students will learn about solids, liquids and gases and changes in state, whereas in
Year 7 they will review, build and expand on these key ideas using particle theory to explain what is

In the primary phase, as well as building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, we
develop children’s understanding of science as a discipline through the five different types of
scientific enquiry that are coherently and consistently mapped across the phase (observing over
time, pattern seeking, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing and research using
secondary sources). Children are enabled and encouraged to ask their own questions and make their
own decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering
their questions.

In Year 7, the students review the elements of working scientifically explored at KS2
and are introduced to the skills necessary for KS3 and 4, which can then be applied in all units.
Research evidence shows that the more science capital a young person has, the more likely they are
to aspire to continue with science post-16 and see themselves as having a science identity. At St
Mark’s, we hope that developing science capital will not only have a positive impact on our students’
lives and encourage them into the range of job opportunities and roles that include STEM, but also
raise students’ awareness of the transferability of science in a wide variety of workplaces and
industries. Our curriculum is supported by the experiences offered such as trips, science clubs and
carefully selected visitors to the school.

Science - All through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Dr Alex Johnston (Head of Department - Secondary)
Mrs Jodie Stuart
Miss Karina Chegwidden

Miss Emma Barnard (Primary Subject Lead)


All around us artists have an input into our everyday lives, from the clothes we wear to the packaging we see in shops - all designed by artists. It has also been said by a top surgeon that everyone should study art as it gives you fine motor skills needed to perform such tasks.

At St Mark’s CE school, students are supported to develop their artistic ability; they are encouraged to explore their creative flair, express their ideas using visual language and be given the skills that they can use in future careers.

Curriculum Design

In the primary phase at St Mark’s, we have designed our own art and design curriculum in order to ensure that our children are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to invent, experiment and create their own works of art. 

We have chosen the skills that our children should master year on year, and coherently sequenced them across the school to ensure that their tool kit allows them to be creative and technically proficient by the end of year 6.

Within each strand of art, opportunities are taken to revisit prior knowledge/skills learnt to ensure that children make progress through the curriculum and are able to deepen their learning.

Our primary curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Gain knowledge about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.  Each year group will study significant artists or designers, allowing them to acquire a knowledge bank of great artists.  This will give them the foundation of knowledge to be able to contrast and compare artwork with known artists as they move through the school.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.  We encourage our children to think critically and express preferences about the work of others and their own during every unit of art, recording their experiences as they go. 
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.  Through the explicit teaching of prioritised skills, children will be confident in producing their own imitations and innovative pieces, drawing upon the skills they feel will be most effective to suit the purpose of the task

In key stage 3, students revisit and build on their prior knowledge ensuring that they make progress building on the foundation skills focusing on the key elements of Art such as: line, tone, colour, shape, form, texture, pattern as well as compositional skills. They develop their understanding of artists' work and are exposed to a range of different media. They learn to develop their ideas, analyse and evaluate through critical thinking and oral communication.

At GCSE these foundation skills are really put into practise and continue to refine their skills with a more sophisticated approach to using materials and processes. They develop their creativity, imagination and knowledge through sustained projects.

The secondary art curriculum is designed to build on the core skills that students have previously learnt and develop these skills further focusing on four key areas. 

Develop ideas: Understanding artist work through written analysis, knowing the key concepts and what they are trying to show the viewer. Know how to use the artist's work as a source of inspiration and to be able to build on and develop ideas from this understanding of the work.
Refining and exploring: Using a range of different media, understanding the techniques and processes successfully.
Recording: Developing observations through drawing as well as written communication, explaining ideas and evaluating their own and others' work.
Presenting personal responses: Realising their intentions through experimentations and the use of visual language. Presenting outcomes which reflect their understanding of the theme.

The secondary art curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of the underlying principles that make up a piece of artwork; using a range of media (pen, pencil, paint, collage, etc), techniques, and design processes. Through the curriculum, students understand how art fits into the world around them, giving the opportunity for creative problem solving, ability to ask questions and evaluate. Art promotes inclusivity as it can be adapted to ensure that language barriers, physical differences and cognitive challenges are all catered for.

Diversity of Artists Studied:

Year R
Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hundertwasser, Picasso,
Year 1
Monet,  Sandy Dooley (1.2)
Year 2
Satoshi Hirose (2.3), Lowry (2.2)
Year 3
Vincent Van Gogh (3.2), William Morris, Mary Setton Watts (3.1)
Year 4
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol (4.1) 
Year 5
Hokusai (5.3), Simona Atzori, John Carter, Dušan Krtolica (5.2)
Year 6
Kath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Dan Sullivan, Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy,  Mary Quant, Stella McCartney (6.3)
Year 7
Georgia O’Keefe (7.1), Andy Warhol (7.3)
Year 8
Ian Murphy, John Piper, Barbara Gilhooly (8.2), Rachel Wilson (8.3)
Year 9
Loui Jover (9.1), Julian Opie, Kehinde Wiley (9.2), Shepard Fairey


Teaching Staff
Mrs Nicola Cawte (Head of Department)
Mrs Kate Heath-Goddard (Primary Subject Leader)

Design Technology

At St Mark’s CE school, we have designed our design technology curriculum to ensure that students are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding to engage in an iterative process of designing, making and evaluating. 

We have chosen the knowledge and skills that our students should master year on year, and have coherently sequenced them across the school to ensure that their tool kit allows them to be creative and technically proficient by the end of year 11.   As well as acquiring a broad range of subject knowledge in design technology, they are also directed to draw upon disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art within the teaching and learning of the subject.

 In each unit of design technology, opportunities are taken to revisit prior knowledge/skills learnt to ensure that children make progress through the curriculum and are able to deepen their learning.

Our curriculum for design technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users and purposes, communicating their ideas through sketches, plans, 3D modelling, oral and digital presentations.
  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to make high-quality prototypes and products, selecting from a complex range of materials, components and ingredients and understanding their properties.
  • Critique, evaluate, test and refine their ideas and products and the work of others and emerging technologies
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook

Design Technology - All Through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Mrs Gemma Morrison
Mrs Kat Stephens (Primary Subject Leader)

At St Mark’s Church of England school we value the teaching of Religious Education as a tool for our diverse community to explore the fundamentals of different religions through overarching concepts. Many of these concepts link to the schools Core Christian Values of Love, Belonging and service, but give the students the opportunity to explore their own faith or none and their spirituality within the complexity of the modern world in which we live. 

As a school we follow the agreed syllabus of Living Difference iV, weaving in units from Understanding Christianity to ensure that our pupils leave St Mark’s with the knowledge and understanding of key concepts through key religions. As a church school it is our ambition that all students take the RE GCSE, for which we have chosen AQA as the course content links with the students previous knowledge whilst exploring ethics and beliefs of different religions and their own, giving them a voice throughout the course. 

Parental right of withdrawal: 

In accordance with the Education Reform act 1988, parents have the right to withdraw their children from the teaching of RE. It should be noted that when spontaneous enquiries relating to religion and spiritual issues are raised in other areas of the curriculum, these cannot constitute RE within the meaning of the legislation and a parent could not reasonably insist on a child being withdrawn at such times.

All-through Curriculum Overview

Teaching Staff
Mr Dave Snell
Miss Catherine Eades Scott (Primary RE Subject Leader)
Mr Mark Hall (Humanities Head of Department)