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As a new Primary School, we are currently working to ensure structure, consistency and progression from Nursery through to Year 6 in the teaching of basic skills and across the wider curriculum.

The Senior Leadership Team spent the first term of our newly amalgamated school observing and monitoring teaching and learning about the Key Stages new to us. It became very clear within a short space of time that there were many inconsistencies in terms of curriculum planning and delivery.

We also reflected on the types of learners that we have in our school. Many of them have very limited experiences, other than those acquired at school. Many of them come from homes where literacy is not valued, books are not read, and models of spoken English are poor (for various reasons).

Our motto – ‘’Learning today for the world of tomorrow’ has significantly influenced decisions we have made regarding the curriculum.  We are aware that we need to assist children to become resilient, curious, and able to make links and connections across their learning, if we are to successfully prepare them for a rapidly changing world.

Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth until the end of the Reception year.

It aims to develop each child to their full potential by offering a ‘principled, play based approach to learning and development’. Young children learn best through play and our Early Years staff will be able to provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them develop new skills. The activities that are provided for young children will underpin the skills they need to work towards the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year in school. The EYFS curriculum enables staff to recognise your child’s strengths and areas where they need more support to develop new skills.

For young children it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. This is aided by having members of staff within the class who get to know you and your child well and builds a positive relationship with you as a family.

The areas of learning and development are broken into seven areas. Three areas are particularly important for igniting children’s enthusiasm for learning. These are the three prime areas of:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Leaving four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected and many activities will cover many of the areas. Each area is divided into stages of development and practitioners are able to identify resources and learning opportunities for individual children dependent on their developmental needs.

A partnership

The EYFS also encourages staff and parents/carers to work together. This is an opportunity for you to provide input into your child’s development in discussions with your class teacher and communication through Learning Journeys and Learning Logs. At Southville Primary, we have an open door policy which means we are always ready to help and discuss anything concerning your child’s welfare and education.

English - Phonics

In Reception, lessons are based on Letters and Sounds. Children who are struggling to keep up with the pace, are receive pre teaching sessions for each lesson with follow up activities for children who have not accessed the teaching.

In Year 1, classes are streamed for phonics only. We have recently increased phonics sessions from 20 minutes to 30 minutes daily, including more opportunities to apply phonic knowledge in both reading and writing. 

In Year 2 we spend the first term revisiting and embedding Phase 5 and 6 phonics for the whole year group. In terms 2 and 3, the children who continue to need discrete phonics teaching are taken out of class and supported by TAs and our Y2 SEN teacher.

English – Reading

Reception and KS1 – We have recently updated our reading materials and have invested in reading materials that are exclusively phonics based. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we have a robust and structured approach to teaching reading along with a robust approach to assessment, record keeping and monitoring. We continue to hold true to our philosophy that our vulnerable learners need 1:1 teaching from their teacher, so children continue to read on a 1:1 basis with their teacher each week in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. We continue to use the system of assessment and record keeping which document children’s progress with a range of reading skills, give teachers useful prompts/comprehension questions, and are also an excellent source of evidence. This system includes a 1:1 reading assessment of an unseen text (running record and comprehensions questions) at the end of each level, which validates teacher assessments.

Key Stage 2 ­– We have recently introduced a whole class, explicit teaching approach to the teaching of reading. We have whole class texts, with teachers modelling reading skills and comprehension. Each lesson studies a chapter or a section of the given book – there is a class discussion around various reading domains, and children answer questions in their unit booklet. With great effect and impact, the teacher then models a high quality answer to each question which each child then records under their original response.

To promote a love of reading, and reading for pleasure at home, we are investing in Accelerated Reader.  This provides accurate assessment of children’s reading comprehension via online quizzes, and monitors and manages independent reading practice. We are currently in the process of supplementing our reading materials to support this.  

English – Writing

We continue to use Write Stuff as a tool to both to teach the mechanics of writing and to inspire quality writing from Reception to year 6. . Monitoring shows that this approach can be hugely effective, and children have made excellent progress.

English 2English 1


Following extensive research and staff training, we have now implemented Maths No Problem across Key Stage 1 and 2. Our rationale for selecting this approach was:

  • Consistency in delivery across the school
  • Guaranteed coverage of National Curriculum
  • Reduction in workload as lessons and resources are all prepared, leaving more time to reflect on pedagogy
  • Meaningful teaching – constant opportunities for children to apply learning and also to approach from a range of angles.
Maths 1

Wider Curriculum

We currently base our wider curriculum on Prospectus – a curriculum published by a well-known and well respected education publisher called Optimus.  We are currently working on enhancing and developing this further.

Learning Journals

We have introduced Learning Journals from Year 1 to Year 6. These take the form of a scrapbook which children will take with them from Year 1 to Year 6. After each half term, children record and illustrate their learning and the events of the past half term – topic work, class texts, special events, school trips etc. These learning journeys will serve as a useful record of the experiences they have had and we hope that children will enjoy looking back at their journey as they progress through the school.

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