Reception class

Please click on our action plans below to find out more about what we are doing each term.


Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2)


Year 1 class

Please click on our topic webs below to find out more about the topics we will be looking at each term.


Year 2 class

Please click on our topic webs below to find out more about the topics we will be looking at each term


Curriculum Statement

At St Mary’s we are ambitious for our children and plan a robust, engaging and exciting curriculum. From Reception through to Year 2 our children are encouraged to be curious, persistent and independent learners.

The curriculum is delivered through subject lessons, cross-curricular activities, interests outside the classroom and link to the values promoted by the School. Each topic starts with a memorable experience or ‘WOW’ day in order to motivate and enthuse the children about the learning ahead.

We believe in developing the child as a whole and tailor our curriculum to suit both the children’s learning needs and their moral, spiritual and cultural needs. In this way we ensure that every child has access to activities and opportunities that make the learning at St. Mary’s special and provides a strong platform on which to build future learning.


In Reception the children are encouraged to learn through:

Playing and Exploring – Engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active Learning – Motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and Thinking Critically

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

Our learning environment is set up to allow children opportunities to learn both indoors and outdoors and contains a mixture of adult led and child initiated activities linked to the prime and specific areas of learning.

 Prime areas of learning

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Specific areas of learning

  •  Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


Key Stage One

Children in Key Stage One are taught the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Art and Design, Music, P.E., Design and Technology, and Computing as well as Religious Education and PSHE.

English: (This includes reading, writing, spelling and spoken language)

Reading – At St Mary’s we are passionate about reading for pleasure. Children are taught using a phonics based approach, and have at least one guided reading session per week with the teacher in which specific reading strategies and skills are taught. During weekly lessons the children will be encouraged to share a range of modern and classic texts, commenting upon those and sharing their preferences and opinions. They will also be taught to develop their prediction, comprehension and inference skills by exploring texts through discussion, drama and role play.

Writing – This is split into two parts, which consist of transcription (spelling and handwriting skills) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). It is essential that pupils develop confidence between these two dimensions and as such we use these as the basis for all of our English planning. Children also develop their handwriting skills in dedicated handwriting sessions, which enable them to write legibly and eventually fluently in a joined up cursive style.

Spoken Language – We ensure that our lessons include opportunities for children to discuss their ideas, offer their opinions and explain and justify their choices. We also teach them to use the conventions of debate as well as how to speak in a range of contexts to a variety of audiences.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) – This area of English aims to teach children the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the written and spoken and word, allowing them to communicate effectively in both verbal and written formats.


The science curriculum introduces themes such as humans, animals, plants, materials and seasonal change. Much of the work is practical and investigative. The children are encouraged to make and record observations as they devise experiments for themselves. The children are also encouraged to be curious and to ask questions about what they notice.


This is taught as a daily lesson and covers number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry(shape) and in Year Two, position and direction and statistics (data handling). The importance of mental arithmetic and problem solving in developing knowledge and understanding in this subject is emphasised.


Children have access to a range of computing devices such as iPads, laptops, interactive whiteboards, programmable toys, recording devices and cameras to use as an information sources for researching topics and to produce their own documents and artwork. The school also uses a wide range of software to support teaching and learning across all curriculum areas. Every child has an individual login in order to access their online e-book selection and interactive maths homework games.

Religious Education:

As a Church of England school, we regard religious education as central to our children’s moral, spiritual, social, emotional and cultural development. Through our scheme of work (Discovery R.E), we teach our children to show respect for Christian beliefs and traditions and also for those of other faiths. Through the RE curriculum we study Christianity, as well as Judaism. We welcome visits from our local parish team or representatives of other religions, to share their faith and knowledge with us. We also have a weekly act of Collective Worship with a member of the local parish team.

Art and Design:

We aim to encourage children to be as creative as possible, and aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils to experiment, create and invent their own works of art and design. As well as creating their own pieces of art, children will be taught about how art and design have influenced the culture and history of our nation.  Children will have the opportunity to study drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. They will learn about great artists, craft makers and designers and begin to evaluate and analyse creative works.

Design and Technology:

Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Across key stage one, children will build a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. As well as creating and making, the children will also develop an understanding of the principles behind nutrition whilst learning how to cook.


The children will learn about the world’s oceans and continents as well as naming and locating countries and capitals within the UK. They will compare the UK with other countries around the world; for example by comparing human and physical features and seasonal weather patterns. They will do this by using maps, atlases, globes, ariel photos, plans and simple fieldwork and observational skills.


Pupils will develop their awareness of the past using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. We will learn about changes within living memory, significant events beyond living memory as well as about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.  We will also be looking at significant historical people and places in Witney.


The children will learn how to use their voices expressively by singing and chanting, play tuned and un-tuned instruments rhythmically, listen to and comment on a range of music and experiment with combining sounds to create and compose their own pieces to perform.


The children will have opportunities to develop their running, jumping, throwing and catching skills and apply these to a range of games. They will participate in team games and begin to develop simple tactics for attacking and defending. They will also learn how to perform dances using simple movements. Alongside our P.E teaching, the children will learn to develop their competitive skills through inter-school events within the Witney partnership and a wide range of extra-curricular clubs.


(Personal, Social and Health Education) We teach children how to resolve conflicts, make positive choices, look after their physical and mental health and well-being as well as set themselves simple goals and recognise and celebrate their own achievements.



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