Our curriculum is designed to deliver our school mission: Believe Achieve Serve

Stages of Education:

A child’s primary school education consists of three statutory stages

  • Foundation Stage (3-5 years)
  • Key stage 1 (5-7 years)
  • Key Stage 2 (7-11 years)

Foundation Stage:

Children in education will spend two years (from the age of 3 to 5) in the Foundation Stage.  The first year is spent in Nursery and the second in Reception.  Ursuline does not have its own Nursery and admits children from several different Nursery settings into its Reception Classes.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is delivered throughout the Foundation Stage, both in Nursery and Reception.  It consists of 3 prime areas of learning and development:

  • Personal/Social
  • Communication & Language
  • Physical


Four Specific areas of learning and development:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Understanding the world
  • Creative design

Learning in the Foundation Stage is play based and experiential.  The teaching staff plans the curriculum accordingly.  Learning takes place both inside the classroom or outside in the outdoor learning area and is tailored to children’s different learning styles.

Each area of learning consists of a set of Early Learning Goals (ELG).  A child’s progress through the Foundation Stage ELG is tracked by the Foundation Stage Profile, which, as a statutory requirement, is shared regularly with parents throughout the year.

Children are placed in one of two registration groups (or classes) in Reception.  The classes are mixed at the end of the Reception Year.  We do this to maximise children’s opportunities to interact socially with their peers.  The process is repeated at the end of Y2 and Y4.

Key Stage 1:

Upon completion of the Reception year children enter Year 1, the first year of Key Stage 1 (5-7 years).  During Key Stage 1 children will be taught the National Curriculum, an entitlement which consists of 10 separate subject areas: 

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education (PE)

The learning objectives for each subject are listed in the National Curriculum Key Stage 1 Programmes of Study.

Religious Education (RE) and Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)  are also taught during Key Stage 1.

Not all children will have successfully achieved all of the Foundation Stage ELG during the Reception year.  For this reason the approach used in Reception is continued and gradually adapted to ensure that all children’s learning styles are addressed and met.  In this way the transition from Reception to Year 1 is a comfortable experience for the children.

Children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Test towards the end of the academic year.

At the end Year 2 (the second year of Key Stage 1) children undergo national Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs), these in-turn inform teacher assessments.  These are, as a statutory requirement, reported to parents.        

Classes are mixed again at the end of Y2.

Key Stage 2:

All National Curriculum subjects are taught in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) through the Key Stage 2 Programmes of Study, along with RE and PSHE. In addition, French is taught throughout Key Stage 2.

Classes are mixed again at the end of Y4.

At the end of Year 6 children undergo national Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs).  These are, as a statutory requirement, reported to parents and appear in national achievement and attainment tables.  Year 6 teachers will also report teacher assessments for English, Maths and Science.

As well as the Foundation stage Profile, Key Stage 1 and 2 tests the school carries out its own internal assessment and testing in order to track children’s progress throughout their school life.   

Curriculum Information:

 Please note that the curriculum documents in this section are in the process of being updated.

The following curriculum map gives an overview of topic names to provide an outline of the breadth of our curriculum.

We are developing the following documents to give a more detailed overview of our curriculum design for each year group. These documents are designed to show expected coverage in each half term, providing an outline of the breadth, depth and balance of our curriculum.

 We aim to provide curriculum information about each subject area including (where relevant):

  • topic and book names
  •  key skills and knowledge to be studied

These will continue to be updated throughout the year.

Please note curriculum changes make take place from time to time (e.g. in response to national/global events etc).


The following legacy documents provide details of key skills and knowledge covered:

We hold an annual open night to introduce families to our school curriculum and families are always welcome to contact school for further details. During our open night we invite parents of prospective pupils to attend and find out more about our school.

Our Approach to Reading:

In all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes a discrete teaching session of synthetic phonics or spelling lasting 20 minutes takes place daily.

In all Year 3 - 6 classes a discrete 20 minute teaching session of either spelling or grammar takes place daily.

Our phonics lessons use the national 'Letters and Sounds' resources. For spelling and grammar lessons we use resources from 'No Nonsense Spelling' and 'No Nonsense Grammar'.

The teaching approach for each session follows the structure of revisiting phonemes, teaching new phonemes followed by opportunities to practise and apply phonic/spelling knowledge in reading and writing.

A range of print, games and on-line resources are used such as Letters and Sounds, Phonics Play, Bug Club and Oxford Phonics.

In class we use a variety of approaches to teach reading including whole class shared and teacher modelled reading, small group guided reading (in differentiated groups) and 1:1 support/intervention reads. We follow the reciprocal reading model of 'Predict - Clarify- Question - Summarise'.


Our Reading Schemes:

A range of reading schemes and extended reading books are used across all year groups and abilities providing a variety of genre to develop understanding and enjoyment. These texts are used for shared and guided reading in class as well as for home-school reading.

In school we currently use Comics for Phonics, Storyworlds, Rigby Star, Project X, Big Cat Readers, Oxford Literacy Web, Wolf Hill, Rhymeworlds, Oxford Reading Tree, Hotlinks and PM.

We also have a range of dyslexic –friendly reading books from Barrington Stoke reading scheme.

Bug Club is used as home-school link.

Click here for further details of our teaching of English.

Singapore Maths

We follow a 'mastery' approach to mathematics teaching using materials that are often called Singapore Maths. Throughout school, each lesson follows the same Concrete > Visual > Abstract methodology to ensure a sound understanding of all methods and concepts.

Co-operative Learning:

We aim to actively and explicitly teach the skills necessary for effective co-operation by adopting a progressive approach to developing co-operative skills throughout the whole school. We have sought to encourage children to: 

  • Take responsibility for their own learning and the learning of their classmates
  • View each other as learning resources rather than just using the teacher/teaching assistants as the only human resources in the classroom.
  • Help socially isolated children become more included.

Co-operative skills are taught through the lesson process. This is achieved by structuring lessons so that the success of the individual is dependent upon the success of the group thereby making competition incompatible with individual success (‘I succeed when we all succeed’). An element of individual accountability is retained to ensure all pupils have a stake in the final outcomes. The skills for Co-operative Learning are taught systematically, using increasingly sophisticated strategies as children move through the school.