Classes and curriculum

Assessment in the new National Curriculum


As you may know, a new National Curriculum came into operation for all primary aged children in September 2015. This is a statutory requirement from the Department for Education that we teach according to the new curriculum. 


One of the features of the new National Curriculum is that it no longer uses a system of numbered ‘levels’ to describe children’s attainment. This is because it was felt by the DfE that the use of levels had, at times, been detrimental to children.  For example, talking to children about their attainment using numbered levels could contribute towards their developing a “fixed mindset” about their ability, whereas we want to foster in all our children a “growth mindset”, meaning that we believe that we can all improve our abilities with practice, effort and persistence.  We would also like to further enrich our pupils’ learning by developing a greater breadth of skills and knowledge, so that they are confident to apply their skills to different areas of the curriculum, rather than focus on moving to the ‘next level’.


Pupils will still be familiar with their ‘next steps’ learning targets but there will be no emphasis on what numerical level they are working at.


This national change – the removal of levels – means that, when we discuss your child’s attainment with you, either in meetings or written reports, we will no longer be reporting levels, as these no longer have any relevance to the curriculum. Instead we will refer to your child’s current level of attainment using phrases such as:

  • working within the expected range of attainment for his/her age
  • working towards the expected range of attainment
  • working below the expected range of attainment
  • working beyond the expected range of attainment


We will also comment on whether your child has made good progress over the year, and give details of any specific areas of the curriculum where he/she has achieved well and any areas where further development or support is needed.


We trust that you will continue to find the information we provide about your child’s education useful and informative. Please do not hesitate to speak to us if you would like to know more details about how your child is progressing in school.


Our curriculum


At St Mary’s we use a creative approach to teaching the curriculum using the core skills from the National Curriculum as the basis for each topic. A new class topic is studied every half term. Children are involved in the pre-planning of their topic and contribute ideas to what is taught and how we teach it. Topics are launched with an exciting ‘BIG BANG’ to enthuse and inspire learning.


The school is committed to delivering a rich and varied curriculum. The staff believe in a creative topic-based curriculum and have therefore created the following working document. 


Whole school Curriculum-plan-2017



To support our learning in KS1, children follow the Letters and Sounds Phonic programme. We also use Spelling Attack across the whole school to support spellings and grammar. All children are taught daily in ability groupings.



Throughout our school, we aim to ensure every child takes part in a reading focused activity every day. This will be recorded in your child’s reading diary.

Children in KS2 are heard read by an adult daily.


Our reading scheme for younger readers is based on Oxford Reading Tree with a variety of other books and schemes to compliment it and to promote a love of reading. Books are banded according to ability.


We have recently refurbished our school library. More able readers have a range of fiction books to choose from, covering a range of authors.


Children in every year group have the opportunity to borrow a school library book, usually non-fiction and this is changed each week using our Junior Librarian Programme.

Year 4 enjoying being Roman!  



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