Curriculum statement

Our Curriculum

The National Curriculum sets out what children should be taught. Attainment targets set out the expected standards of pupils’ performance, and schools may choose how they organise their school curriculum to cover the programmes of study from years 1 to 6. Children in their reception year follow the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Curriculum was revised by the Government in September 2013 and a guide for parents can be found here:

Parents Complete Guide

British Values are very much part of our curriculum and you can read our statement here:
British Values

Our Curriculum Statement

At Clyst St Mary we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced and above all stimulates the children to learn. In addition to acquiring skills and knowledge we aim to help the children to grow in confidence and maturity so that they can enter secondary school, and later, adulthood with the ability to pursue wholeheartedly, academic social and cultural activities.

We deliver programmes of study that meet the National Curriculum requirements issued by the DfE. This National Curriculum comprises of three core subjects:

English, Mathematics, Science

And foundation subjects:

History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), Computing, Religious Education and MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)

The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum but following the Devon Agreed Syllabus 2013.

At Clyst St Mary Primary School we place great emphasis on Numeracy and Literacy as these underpin many of the other aspects of the taught curriculum.

Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects may be taught as blocks of work over a matter of weeks.

The planning of the curriculum is based around a rolling programme to ensure coverage of selected topics by all children who progress through the school. The rolling programmes for both Key Stages make use of our local environment eg we cover topics such as Dartmoor and Exeter. We also study other localities so that children gain an understanding of Britain as a diverse society. Our video conference links with other countries enhance the children’s understanding of their global community.

This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives or to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work. The National Curriculum was revised in 2013 reducing the content prescribed in the previous document and this was implemented in September 2014.

There is now a great deal of emphasis in the use of ICT across the curriculum with a focus on ‘Computing’ and, in particular, computer skills to enhance the learning in all the subjects of the curriculum. Through the subject of ‘Computing’ we aim to teach a progressive set of skills that enable all the children to become competent and confident users of ICT.

Curriculum Overview Year by Year
Appendix 1 Geography Skills Overview
Appendix 2 Progression in history skills
Appendix 3 Key Stage One Progression in Art and Design Skills
Appendix 3 Lower Key Stage Two Progression in Art and Design Skills
Appendix 3 Upper Key Stage Two Progression in Art and Design Skills

At Clyst St Mary Primary School we seek to create opportunities for children to experience and excel in a range of activities that enhance and extend National Curriculum. Children have opportunities both inside and outside the classroom eg Forest School Days, Residential trips, gifted and talented workshops, a variety of sporting events, visiting theatre companies and art projects. We also have excellent after school clubs.

We also value the role of modern foreign languages in the curriculum and French is taught throughout the school from Year R to Year 6.

When children leave Clyst St Mary Primary School at the end of Year 6, they should be equipped with the full range of skills that enables them to become lifelong learners.



The English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum guidance 2014, and the Foundation Stage is followed to ensure continuity and progression.


The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.


The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading are as follows:

• Shared reading

• Guided reading

• Independent reading

• Phonics

• The ‘Early Reading Scheme’ is used in Classes 4 and 5 as a reading and spelling intervention programme.

• Resources – A book banded reading scheme operates across the school which comprises of a range of different schemes. Children work their way through the Key Stage One and Two schemes and then become free readers.

• Links to parents – Each child has a reading record book which logs books they have read and comments about their reading. Parents and teaching staff write in this book.

• Library- Each child has their own library ticket and they visit the library on a regular basis to change their book.

• Class books: Stories are read to the children on a daily basis throughout the school.

• Reading at home : Children are encouraged to read at home every day this is given high priority.


Opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:

• Phonics and spelling: Daily 20 minutes Letters and sounds sessions in Key stage 1 classes. Class 3 follows the ‘Early Reading Programme’ and has daily 15 minute lessons.

• Emergent writing: In Reception and Key Stage One children are given daily opportunities to write freely within a particular genre and across the curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to become emergent writers.

• Shared Writing : Within each teaching sequences shared writing is a key part.

• Guided Writing/Independent Writing: Each teaching sequence ends with an opportunity for guided and independent writing. There are also frequent opportunities for independent writing throughout the other curriculum areas.

• Extended writing: Throughout the term there are opportunities for extended writing. On a termly basis samples of these extended writing outcomes are used for assessment purposes.

• Special Writing Books: Children keep samples of their best written work in their own Special Writing Book. The work is annotated to show how much support a child has been given. Each term two pieces of work are put in the book. This book shows progress throughout their time at Clyst St Mary.

• Handwriting: We use the Penpal scheme to teach handwriting. Children have twice Weekly lessons in Key Stage One and weekly sessions in Key Stage Two . In Class 1 the children do short handwriting sessions daily. Children in classes One and Two write with a pencil. In Key Stage Two classes children are given a pen licence when they are able to join fluently.

• Spelling : Children from Years 1 to 6 are given lists of spellings each week to learn at home. At the end of each half term children are given a spelling assessment which includes 20 of the words that they have been learning that half term.

Children are place in ability groups for literacy lessons. Each group has a target that they are working towards and these targets are displayed on the wall so that they can constantly be referred to.

Work is marked and assessed against specific criteria in line with the marking and assessment policies and twice yearly meetings involve teachers moderating the assessment of this work. Samples of work at the various levels are kept in the moderation file.

‘Classroom Monitor’ is used to record children’s learning, to set targets and to monitor progress made.


The Maths Curriculum is delivered  using the National Curriculum guidance 2014, and the Foundation Stage is followed to ensure continuity and progression.

Maths is taught in four strands: Data Handling, Shape Space and Measure, Number and Using and Applying.

You can see our Calculation Policy by clicking here

We aim to provide all pupils with some direct teaching every day, which is oral, interactive and stimulating. Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their previous learning, use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills, pose and ask questions, investigate mathematical ideas, reflect on their own learning and make links with other work.

Our approach to teaching is based on some key principles:

• a dedicated mathematics’ lessons every day;

• direct teaching and interactive oral work;

• an emphasis on mental calculation;

• activities differentiated in a manageable way so that all pupils are engaged in mathematics related to a common theme

• Opportunities for investigation

The Classrooms are stimulating learning environments. Displays contain a mixture of:

• problems to stimulate imagination;

• prompts to help pupils develop an image of number and the number system (for example number squares and number lines) and to help them remember key facts and vocabulary;

• pupils’ work which celebrates achievement.

Children are assessed in a variety of ways:

• short, informal tests focusing on rapid recall of mental calculation skills

• homework and other informal tests (which are often followed immediately by marking and discussion with the whole class).

Assessment activities are planned which involve a range of ideas and skills linked to one or more of the key objectives covered previously. As a result of these assessments, individual targets are discussed with pupils. These targets are related to the list of key objectives. Parents are kept informed about these through Parent Evenings.

Long-term assessments are undertaken through a combination of teacher assessment and end of year tests. The tests used are the national tests at the end of Year 2 and 6 and class based assessments are used in other year groups. These are recorded Classroom Monitor.

Continuity and progression

The yearly teaching objectives and the termly planning sheets from the Framework are used consistently by all teachers to ensure continuity and progression across the school. Teachers also use the supplement of examples in the Framework to ensure that planned activities, irrespective of the age and ability, are pitched at the right level. All amendments are recorded on Classroom Monitor which all teachers can access.

Each teacher has time allocated to discuss each pupil’s attainment and progress with their existing teacher at the end of the term before pupils move class.


Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. Pupils recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its world-wide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.

At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.

Teaching and learning

All lessons have clear learning objectives, which are shared and reviewed with the pupils effectively.

A variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion, concept mapping and marking, are used to assess progress. The information is used to identify what is taught next.

Activities inspire the pupils to experiment and investigate the world around them and to help them raise their own questions such as “Why…?”, “How…?” and “What happens if…?”

Activities develop the skills of enquiry, observation, locating sources of information, selecting appropriate equipment and using it safely, measuring and checking results, and making comparisons and communicating results and findings.

Lessons make effective links with other curriculum areas and subjects, especially literacy, numeracy and ICT.

Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.

Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in, and take responsibility for, planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carry out activities safely and decide on the best form of communicating their findings.

Science lessons are an excellent opportunity for classes to produce Class Books on investigations as a very good way of showing the understanding of the group and individuals.

Assessment and recording

Teachers analyse pupils’ progress during the school year and this is tracked using Classroom Monitor. This information is used to compete the annual report to parents.

The pupils’ knowledge and understanding should be assessed before each unit of work by question, discussion and observation. Individuals and groups may complete concept maps, which summarise knowledge and understanding. The results of these can be used to refine the starting points and the level of challenge for the activities that follow. These concept maps can be revisited at the end of the unit and new knowledge and understanding are added. Pupils are encouraged to use this self-assessment and teachers use this to identify assessment points. Teacher assessments are in line with National Curriculum expectations.

Assessment of Sc1 relies on observation and/or the collection of written evidence of investigating skills. The Class Book can be a very good tool for recording individual and collective understanding.

Continuity and progression

The school ensures curriculum continuity by following a programme of science units of work and by close liaison between staff at the planning stages.