Important Information on the Curriculum

At New Marston Primary School our curriculum is constantly evolving to develop the skills needed for children to become successful learners, help prepare them for life in modern Britain and empower them to achieve success in the future. Our aim, to deliver a dynamic and innovative curriculum that challenges, excites and inspires children to become successful and confident learners and achieve their best. This is the main driving force behind how we design and deliver our curriculum.

The school’s curriculum promotes and sustains a thirst for knowledge and understanding, and a love of learning. It covers a wide range of subjects and provides opportunities for academic, technical, creative and sporting excellence. It has a very positive impact on all pupils’ behaviour for learning and contributes very well to children’s academic achievement, their physical well-being, and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Alongside the National Curriculum, we teach Spanish and BSL (British Sign Language). Our curriculum is designed to maximize opportunities for expanding vocabulary and knowledge.

In the Early Years and KS1, we teach Read Write Inc (RWI). For further information please see here.


Curriculum Overview

What is the curriculum?

The curriculum is all the learning experience, formal and informal, in the classroom and outside it, which we provide for our pupils. The overriding purpose is to give pupils an education that is intrinsically worthwhile, prepares them for life beyond school and lays the foundation for life long learning.

Pupils are entitled to a curriculum which:

Is broad based and relevant whilst providing flexibility for both teachers and learners.

Is not constrained by traditional boundaries.

Is sufficiently accessible to meet individual needs and differences.

Provides a proper foundation for learning through the effective teaching of basic skills.


What is successful teaching?

Successful teaching starts from what the pupil already knows and draws on their experience and interests.

Successful teaching translates the school’s aims together with the requirements of the National Curriculum and Religious Education into clear learning objectives planned with regard to continuity and progress.

Successful teaching has the highest expectations of the learner.

Successful teaching celebrates success, provides motivation and emphasises active participating learning.

Successful teaching finds the time to nurture individuality, imagination and creativity.

Successful teaching uses effective assessment to monitor and evaluate its success.


What is effective learning?

Effective learning matches the needs of both the individual and society.

Effective learning is adaptable so that it can be applied in different situations now and in the future.

Effective learning provides the learner with skills and enthusiasm for further learning.


What is a learning environment?

To ensure effective use of resources all staff should:

Make full use of our extensive grounds and well-proportioned classrooms.

Have high standards of classroom management.

Teach the children how to take good care of the fabric of the school.

Provide appropriate well-labelled storage.

Teach the children how to look after and care for equipment.

Teach children how to use materials properly.


What is an effective assessment?

Assessment (and testing) provides us with the information that means we can evaluate our success as teachers, the quality of the content of our curriculum plans and the relative success of our school. Improving the quality and the use of this information is clearly central to raising standards of achievement. Effective assessment means:

For pupils – increased understanding about what has been learned, guidance about future progress, celebration of what has been achieved.

For teachers – giving information that will identify achievement, recognize strengths and weakness and help plan future work for the individual or group.

For parents/carers – clear communication about children’s achievement which will encourage involvement and contribution.


Pupils with Special Educational/Language Needs

The National Code of Practice helps us to assess when a child needs additional support. If we feel a child may benefit from special needs support we will always consult with parents. If you feel that your child has special needs please talk to your child’s class teacher. We have a part time English as an additional language teacher who supports children with language needs.


Teaching Arrangements and the Curriculum

The Foundation Stage Unit pupils comprise of F2, turning age 4, and F1, turning age 5.

Key Stage 1 encompasses Year One (5 – 6 yrs) and Year Two (6 – 7 yrs).

Key Stage 2 encompasses Years Three (7 – 8 yrs), Four (8 – 9 yrs), Five (9 – 10 yrs) and Six (10 – 11 yrs).



The Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2

The National Curriculum forms the backbone of the teaching and learning in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The staff then expertly adapts any units of work to meet the needs of the children in their class whilst ensuring the delivery of all of the necessary skills. We have prepared Policies and Plans for each subject and using these we have constructed a curriculum framework, which covers all that your child should be taught during their primary years. This framework broadly consists of two-year cycles for Years 1 & 2, Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6, whilst taking in to account yearly cycles of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies, RE and Personal, Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE).


The National Curriculum comprises of four Core Subjects:

English (Literacy)

Children take part in a designated literacy session each day, which provides a focused approach to the different parts of the English curriculum.

Speaking and listening – this forms the hub of all literacy sessions.

Reading – reading is taught using a variety of approaches – daily phonic sessions, a reading scheme, fiction and non-fiction texts. Children are encouraged to share reading books at home and home school links are strengthened with the use of our reading journals. Early skills include sound and whole word recognition, using picture clues and reading for meaning. Higher order reading skills are taught as the child’s reading experiences grows. These include skimming, scanning, summarising, indexing and information retrieval.

Writing – children are given a range of stimuli to encourage purposeful independent writing and to develop their spelling, grammar, handwriting and punctuation skills, including the systematic teaching of sounds and phonic blends.

The Library and Book Corners – contain fiction and non-fiction texts. Books are used to enrich our curriculum, as a form of relaxation and for enjoyment! Interest is also promoted through School Book Fairs, World Book Day, ‘Read Around the World’, Visiting Authors and Story Tellers.


Mathematics is taught using a range of teaching and learning styles. It is vital to develop concrete understanding of mathematical concepts through practical activity at the early stages and be able to apply these concepts accurately later on. We aim to encourage children to be independent learners who can select appropriate tools and strategies to solve mathematical problems. We draw on a wide range of sources to support our teaching of this subject in line with the government’s framework as set out in the National Numeracy Strategy and the Renewed Framework. Maths is planned in a yearly cycle. The main aspects are continually revisited and revised to consolidate and extend children’s progress.


We aim to develop children’s understanding of the world in which they live by introducing them to a range of interesting and enjoyable experiences. We want children to become scientific thinkers who are able to question, observe, investigate and communicate logically and systematically whilst acquiring the associated practical skills.

Information and Communication Technology

We aim to promote children’s interest and understanding of ICT so that they may appreciate the relevance of ICT in society and that they see it as an essential tool for learning, communicating and finding information. Pupils work individually and cooperatively to develop their skills. The staff also ensures that a cross-curricular approach teaching and learning through ICT takes place.

We have a computer suite, which enables whole class teaching of ICT skills. The classroom computers are all networked.


The National Curriculum also comprises of seven Foundation Subjects:

Design and Technology

This is essentially a practical design process. The children are encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of their environment through exploring values about and attitudes to the made world and how we live and work in it. Through a design, make and evaluate process, the children develop their understanding of technological processes, products, their manufacture and their contribution to society. This will, in turn, develop children’s capability to create high quality products, broadly focusing on food, textiles and construction, through the practical design process.


History is taught in a ‘hands on’ way wherever possible. The use of the locality, visits, visitors and artifacts are integral to the development of the detective skills a history student needs. An understanding may be developed through drama and story. In the early years children are encouraged to distinguish between fact, fiction and point of view.

Children learn to use a range of resources including CD Roms, people, reference books and the Internet for their historical enquiries.


In our teaching, we aim to help the children develop geographical knowledge and understanding by stimulating their interest in their surroundings. Enquiry skills are taught by investigating the answers to key geographical questions through first hand fieldwork, which is developed through further research and analysis in class work. Children are helped to develop a sense of place on an increasing scale from home to the regional, national and international and are encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility towards the earth and its peoples.

Art and Design

Through the experience of learning how to draw, paint and design, children acquire important communication and making skills that can contribute to all other curriculum areas. Art and Design is an exciting medium for self-expression and will develop children’s understanding of colour, form, texture, pattern, shape, space. Children are encouraged to experiment with many different media and processes whilst refining and developing their skills and techniques in 2D and 3D forms. Art and Design offers opportunities for children to explore ideas and meanings in the work of arts, craftspeople and designers. They are encouraged to work cooperatively and to appreciate and evaluate their own and others’ work.


Children are given the opportunity to perform, compose, listen to and appraise music. Singing is the main musical activity in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 where children are encouraged to participate in singing games that promote rhythm, pitch and cross curricular skills such as counting and understanding of culture. They also explore a range of musical instruments. In Key Stage 2 children compose using a variety of instruments including keyboards, computer software and the Javanese Gamelan. Regular performance gives children an opportunity to demonstrate their singing, dance and musical skills. The benefits of encouraging children to participate in music and drama reach across the entire school curriculum and have positive effects upon children’s self-confidence. The county music service offers opportunities for children to learn various instruments. The recorder is also taught.

Physical Education

We teach many different aspects of PE to enable children to develop their skills, techniques, understanding and above all, enjoyment.

Games, gymnastics and Dance are taught at Key Stage 1.

Games, gymnastics, Dance, athletics, outdoor and indoor activities and swimming are taught at Key Stage 2.

Children are given the opportunity to pursue various sporting activities in and outside of school. For instance, our girls and boys football teams have enjoyed recent success in inter-schools competition.

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught in line with the Oxfordshire Schools’ Agreed Syllabus. Literacy and Numeracy are taught in accordance with the national strategies for these subjects.

Collective Worship – The Education Reform Act 1988 requires that all schools have a daily act of Collective Worship either as a whole school or in separate groups. If you wish you have The Right of Withdrawal – and you may withdraw your child from Collective Worship.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (including Sex Education)

SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) is taught weekly from FS to Year 6. SEAL links with weekly themes, class challenges and assemblies. We are currently working towards Healthy School Status. The staff and Governors agree that Sex Education is the entitlement of each child and are committed to delivering it within the context of a broad and balanced programme of health education. We work closely with our school nurse and parents/carers are always invited to discuss the content of the programme before we begin.

During their time at school pupils will take part in a far broader curriculum than the list above. This will include taking part in sporting activities, residential visits, outings, working with the community, plays, musicals, Festival of Voices and class assemblies.


Individual Class Curriculum Maps

Each of our classes has its own curriculum maps, accessible from the respective class page:










At New Marston we follow Dfes guidelines for the recommended amount of homework.

Foundation 10 minutes each day Reading, spelling, home learning on weekly themes
Years 1,2 and 3 1 hour each week Reading, spelling, maths activities and occasional topic activities
Years 4,5 and 6 Up to 2 hours each week Reading, spelling, maths activities and topic activities

Extra-Curricular Activities

We have a number of well-attended extra-curricular activities available. Some of the clubs available include: gardening, ICT, karate, French, cooking, dance and recorders.

We welcome and encourage parental support with running the clubs. Please click on the link below to view our current extra-curricular activities and clubs: