St. Giles CE Primary School

St. Giles Church of England (Aided) Primary School

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The Curriculum at St Giles

Curriculum Intent

Overall, the intent of our curriculum is to ensure high standards in all subjects, especially Reading, broaden children’s knowledge across all subject disciplines, and provide strong support for Social and Emotional Mental Health in our more vulnerable pupils. We also aim, through curriculum design and pedagogy, to increase children’s independence and resilience,  and seek further ways to embrace and celebrate diversity.

Curriculum Implementation

Using the National Curriculum as a minimum expectation, teachers and leaders have sequenced learning in individual subjects over the primary age range, so that knowledge builds incrementally about people, places, concepts and ideas. Alongside this, skills progression in different subjects is carefully taught and linked to this knowledge, so that skills development (knowing 'how to') is related to what has been learned within subject areas. Progress in learning is defined as knowing more and remembering more, and this is tested regularly to ensure that key concepts - identified by staff as the most important - stick in children's memory.

Over time, children's understanding of the world will therefore strengthen as they develop ever-more complex webs of knowledge that have been linked together, and they will begin to recognise links of their own. For each unit of work, key concepts and knowledge - and how they link to prior and future learning across subjects are shared with parents in 'Knowledge Organisers'.  

Teachers link some units of work within subjects together under a common theme, and some subject units are taught discretely. However, although themes may link subjects together, each subject discipline is clearly defined when being taught so that children are clear that they are in a History, rather than themed or topic, lesson. The plans below have more information about this. These plans are then broken down further into smaller steps by teachers in unit plans which match the overarching subject plans. 

Reading is taught from Foundation Stage through to Y6 through individual and guided reading, as well as focused comprehension and textual analysis lessons, and daily phonics sessions are delivered in KS1 and FS2. We follow completely the Letters and Sounds scheme for phonics.  Our main Early Reading resource is Collins Big Cat decodable books, matching sounds in books to those taught in phonics sessions. Bug Club decodable books are also used, and other decodable books are being introduced in KS2 that are more suited to older age groups in terms of content. As children become fluent, there are many books to choose from in classroom and whole school libraries. Teachers and the headteacher read on a daily basis to children, and we teach English using Talk for Writing and the Power of Reading across school. 

There is much work being done this year to broaden children's vocabulary, as knowledge and understanding depend upon a rich vocabulary of the words that define the world. This links strongly to Reading, which is a major focus for us (for more on Reading lists and ways to help at home, see 'Helping your child to Learn' under the Parents banner). Vocabulary progression is taught using 'Vocabulary Ninja', as well as subject-specific words that are planned across the curriculum (see Sequence and Progression documents below). 

Maths is taught using the 'White Rose' scheme, and we use a 'Mastery' approach for this. All children are taught using a mixture of fluency (basic skills, using number), reasoning and problem solving (manipulating number and applying their fluency skills). Maths teaching (especially intervention and homework) is supplemented by Maths Whizz. Standards are high in maths over time at all ages and we consider this to be a strength of the school.

In September 2019 we introduced Outdoor Learning across school, following training undertaken by two of our HLTAs. They deliver the 'Muddy Puddles' approach when they cover all classes for leadership or NQT time, while Subject Leaders monitor the effectiveness of their disciplines across school. This connects children with the physical environment and with nature, and includes Literacy, Maths, Art, Science, problem-solving, team-working and collaboration. It also helps to build independence and resilience, and supports SEMH, in line with our curriculum intent. With the help of our pupil-led Eco Squad, we achieved Eco Schools Bronze Award in November 2019.

We achieved Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) in May 2021, and also consider RE and History to be particular strengths. We are developing new approaches in other subjects and these are seeing improvements too, such as Art and Music. We have wonderful performances from EYFS and KS1 at Christmas, and very high quality drama productions from Y6 in the summer term.

Homework is set in all classes to match our curriculum approach.  We consulted with parents in October 2019 and changed our policy as a result of this (see the link below). We want homework to reinforce key knowledge and skills learned, but also to be enjoyable for all involved, and built into the policy is '50 Things to do before you're 11 and three-quarters', which children take with them through school.

RE lessons follow the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus which covers national requirements; two thirds of the curriculum studies Christianity and the remainder looks at a range of different religions.  Where possible, RE is taught through the topics, though some units may be taught separately to ensure coverage; 'Understanding Christianity' is our main resource in RE. We achieved RE Quality Mark Silver Award in October 2019.

Children are taught PE twice weekly and learn a range of skills and games. On occasion, delivery of PE is from an external coach which provides children with opportunities to experience a variety of sports. After school and lunchtime activities enrich our curriculum and there are a large number of sports clubs and activities to try.  We also participate with great success in many sporting and dance competitions against other schools, including football and netball leagues in KS2.  Children are encouraged to participate in these as much as possible and learn about healthy lifestyles as part of the PE curriculum. Swimming is taught in Y3 and Y5, with non-swimmers having further lessons in Y6. Standards are high and we are very proud of our successes in Sport.

Curriculum Impact

Standards have improved over the last few years, and there are rising trends in almost all areas - EYFS, Phonics, KS1, and KS2, with 3-year averages at KS2 higher than last year despite a slight attainment dip on the very high standards achieved in 2018. We have provided support for other schools within the Trust in Maths because of our strong outcomes in this area. Outcomes for children for whom Pupil Premium funding provides support are good over time, and Sports Premium funding has a strong impact. Further details can be found on the Standards, Pupil Premium and Sports Premium pages under the Our School banner. In-year progress for other cohorts is good, and we have achieved Healthy School Community Award (as well as PSQM, REQM Silver level and Eco Schools Bronze Award).

Adapting the Curriculum

Teachers liaise closely with the SENDCO and parents, as well as external agencies, to adapt the curriculum to make it fully accessible for pupils with SEND. Please see the 'Adapting the Curriculum for Pupils with SEND' below (under 'Curriculum Maps by Year Group) for how we do this. There is more information on our SEND page on the same tab above.

We also outline our duties under the Equalities Act and Public Sector Equality Duty to pay particular heed to identified groups, including objectives to improve Reading and Attendance rates for disadvantaged pupils, and ensure strong provision for pupils with SEND. Please follow the link below on Equality Policy/PSED for more information about this.

Curriculum Organisation:

The schemes or resources listed below form a part of the teaching in these subjects and are based on National Curriculum entitlements, although these are supplemented by other approaches or plans. Other subjects are based on the National Curriculum and are planned discretely by teachers.

Phonics - Letters and Sounds (soon to switch to Little Wandle)

Vocabulary - Vocabulary Ninja

Maths - White Rose

RE - Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus, Understanding Christianity

Computing - Purple Mash

PSHE - PSHE Matters, and Goodness and Mercy for Sex Education

PE - Real PE (supplemented by Skills PE)

Music - Charanga

MFL - Salut (French)

For further information, please click the links below.  Mr Loader (Headteacher) and Mrs Shackleton (Deputy Headteacher) have overall responsibility for organising the whole school curriculum, so for further details please speak to them, or your child's teacher:

Curriculum Maps

by Year Group


KS1 Year A 2021/22

KS1 Year B 2022/23




Adapting the Curriculum

for pupils with SEND 


Equality Policy/PSED


Long Term Plans







Summer Reading


Subjects - National Curriculum

Sequence and Progression









RE Agreed Syllabus



Art and Design 

Art Whole School Overview


PSHE including Health, Sex and

Relationships Education

MFL (French)


(see Sequence and Progression

grids for full breakdown and

development across school)


Spiritual Development

Moral Development

Social Development

Cultural Development


History Vocabulary Lists




Safeguarding within

our Curriculum


Developmental Grid

British Values in 

our Curriculum

Marking and Feedback Policy

Homework Policy

Assessment Policy


Terms of use