Academic 

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Academic

 

ACADEMIC ETHOS

Our philosophy is simple: it is our strongly held belief that when children are happy they fulfil their potential; by recognising the individual in your child inside the classroom this is much more likely to happen.

St Mary’s is not an academic hothouse and the learning environment is not claustrophobic.  However the academic culture of the school is purposeful and the academic climate is crisp and ambitious.  Our standards of teaching and learning are high, and our children are empowered, enriched and inspired.  St Mary’s children leave us at 13 as confident and independent learners, curious and eager to make a mark in their senior schools.

LEARNING AND TEACHING

Learning should be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone and it should be interesting.  Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to begin to be able to make informed choices about important issues in their lives.  We believe that successful teaching and appropriate learning experiences not only help children to lead happy and rewarding lives but allow them to take ownership of their learning.  

Through our teaching we aim to:

•    Develop strategies that allow the pupils to learn in the ways that suit them best.

•    Motivate pupils to build on their skills.

•    Encourage the pupils to become independent learners.

•    Offer opportunities to learn by using different methods.

•    Provide well planned and resourced lessons.

•    Set and review academic targets.

•    Provide clear learning objectives.

•    Provide attractive classrooms promoting pupils’ work

COMMON ENTRANCE

We prepare children for entry to a selection of the leading senior schools in both Scotland and England at 13+.

Most children take Common Entrance, which is set in a comprehensive range of subjects.  English, Mathematics, Science, French, Latin and History are currently examined.

Coursework for C.E. in most subjects is covered from Form 6 onwards, building on the firm foundations laid in the preceding years.

There is an examination practice in all of these year groups, with particular emphasis upon revision and exam technique in Forms 7 and 8.

Schools attended by recent leavers include Fettes, Glenalmond, Loretto, Gordonstoun, Merchiston, St George’s, Sedbergh, Downe House, Ampleforth, Stowe and Oundle.

CURRICULUM

The school’s curriculum in its broadest terms, encompasses all the activities that are arranged to promote the learning growth and development of pupils at St Mary’s, the taught curriculum and extra-curricular activities as well as the culture of the school provide the background against which all activities take place.

The combination of these aspects of our curriculum is what will make our pupils, at the end of their careers at St Mary’s, confident in their ability, positive in their outlook and prepared and ready to take on new challenges and to learn from them.

They will be comfortable with themselves as individuals as well as being contributors to their community.