Curriculum Statement

St James’ Curriculum follows The 2014 Primary National Curriculum (NC).  However, we are proud to offer a much broader curriculum than the NC, making the most of the many and varied opportunities to broaden and enrich the curriculum for our children. We have developed a theme and skills-based curriculum that successfully offers a wide range of developmental opportunities and ensures that learning is both mastered and has depth.

The mastery pedagogy works on the principle that all learners, with effort, will meet expectations while some learners will be able to access even greater challenges to deepen their thinking further, exceeding end of year (age related) expectations for attainment. Teachers at St James’ therefore use Bloom’s Taxonomy to support their planning, ensuring that the variation of independent learning tasks allows all children to access learning objectives at the relevant stage in the progression of concepts being taught.


The NC provides the school with the outline of knowledge, skills and understanding that we are required to cover in school. We teach key skills for each subject so that the skills practised develop children’s knowledge and understanding, within a meaningful context (often a humanities theme), where this is possible.

A revised version of the school’s curriculum was introduced in September 2014 and reviewed again in September 2015. Our school has made significant changes, revising school based schemes of work, and a new curriculum map, outlining what themes are to be taught in each year group is published on the school’s website (and attached here).

The National Curriculum comprises core and foundation subjects. The three core subjects are English, mathematics and science and these take up a larger share of curriculum teaching time. As a church school, we also regard Religious Education and Collective Worship as part of our core provision, treating these two areas in similar high regard. The foundation subjects are: computing (formerly ICT), art and design, design and technology, Spanish (the school’s chosen languages – previously Modern Foreign Languages), geography, history, music and physical education (PE). The school’s PE coach teaches one lesson each week and class teachers teach one PE lesson per week.

The main curriculum is extended with other aspects of learning, including personal, social and health education (PSHE) and critical thinking. Additionally, in order to meet the school’s vision and aims (encapsulated in the school’s motto – “Live to Learn; Learn to Live”), drama is taught explicitly.  Themes for drama are developed using the school’s long term curriculum map (mainly PSHE), with a focus on developing speaking, listening and responding skills as well as performance skills.

There is also significant emphasis put on the development of social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) development of individuals.  These aspects of learning and development are reflected in the ethos of the school, permeating all that we do.

We also specialise in some areas of the wider curriculum, and actively promote school sport and music as two of our focus areas by offering a wide range of sporting opportunities.  In addition, most children have some opportunities to participate in competitive sport at some point. Musical opportunities also exist with thirty–three children being offered weekly cello lessons, membership of the school orchestra and the school choir.  Additionally, Every Child a Musician lessons (ECaM) are offered to children in Y5 and Y6 on Saturday mornings.

A key part of school life is enjoying singing in school and all children at St James’ attend weekly singing assemblies and perform singing during class and year group assemblies.  

Themed days and weeks ( such as Sports Days, Maths week, World Book Day, Science Week, British Values Day), educational visits and visitors to the school are held to enrich the experiences for the children, while also enhance the curriculum.

Long Term Curriculum Plan

End of Year Expectations