Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum Overview 2023-2024

Long term curriculum overview

End of Year Expectations: Leaflets for Parents/Carers

We know that each year there are pieces of knowledge and skills which build on previous learning and are essential to make sure that children are ready for the next phase/year of learning. These handy leaflets are to help our parents and carers see what their child needs to be able to do by the end of the school year.  



Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
Class 4 Class 5 Class 6

We value the help and support you can give your children at home to achieve these. 

We have built our curriculum using our local knowledge to meet the needs of our community in order to achieve our school Vision, Mission and Values.  Our curriculum is purposeful and inspiring.  We expand the lives of our families and encourage our children to use what they have learnt to become exceptional citizens.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework forms the basis of teaching and learning for our Nursery and Reception children at St James'.  This is supported by the non-statutory curriculum guidance document, Development Matters.  We believe that this is a very important stage for our children as it builds foundations for future learning. Children learn best at this stage when experiences are fun and exciting and taught within a stimulating and supportive environment.  We were part of the 2020-2021 Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms Early Adopter Year.

Throughout Nursery and Reception your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children will mostly develop these 3 prime areas first:

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

These prime areas are the most essential for your child's healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in these 4 specific areas:

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

At the end of their reception year, children are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals.  

 The National Curriculum

For children from Year 1 to Year 6, we deliver the National Curriculum in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, and the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Art, Music, Physical Education, Design Technology and Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE, including Relationship Eucation) and Computing. French is taught to pupils from year 3 to year 6. Religious Education is taught in accordance with Tameside’s Agreed Syllabus approved by the Education Committee.

We follow the advice issued from Department for Education (DfE), Forward as One CE Academy Trust, the Diocese of Mnachester and Tameside Council when delivering the curriculum.  Link to: National Curriculum.

We aim to provide the children with a wide range of experiences that promotes their self-motivation, curiosity and enjoyment of the world. We do this through carefully planned cross curricular topics which cover the strands of the national curriculum, coupled with activities that strengthen the children’s skills in literacy and maths. We develop in our pupils a sense of identity and capacity to relate to others (both past and present) through systematic enquiry and questioning.  We encourage creativity and curiosity through knowledge and understanding of the world.

The work of our school is, however, much more than this and we are proud to offer learning opportunities and experiences which go well beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. We aim to provide a memorable, rich and invaluable beginning for our children which encourages life long attitudes for learning for their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development. 

You can find out more about the subjects that make up our curriculum through the links at the side.

Reporting to Parents and Carers

We know that successful partnerships between parents/carers and school are vital to ensure that every child is nurtured and supported to achieve the very best that they can.  Good communication is key to getting this right.  We keep parents and carers informed about the learning in their class through our class web pages, invitations to visit school and look at work in the classroom with their children and copies of our Knowledge Organisers.

Early in the autumn term you and your child are invited to an important 'Getting to Know Year...' meeting to find out more about the learning and the routines for your child in their new class.

In the spring term you will be invited to discuss your child's progress with their teacher.

At the end of the summer term you will be given your child’s end of year report with their attainments in all subjects (including results of statutory tests) and reflections on their achievements during the year. You will be able to talk to your child's class teacher abotu their report.

You are welcome to come and discuss your child’s progress at any time during the year; class teachers and support staff are usually available on the playground at the beginning and end of each day and appointments can be made if more time is needed.  We will also contact you if we have any concerns about your child's learning.  There are usually regular points during the year when you are very welcome to come into class and look at your child's work/books and discuss their progress and next steps.  In addition, we work hard to maintain good communication links with parents and carers through telephone calls and email.


At St James’ Church of England Primary School, effective assessment is essential to quality teaching and learning and is a part of all teaching strategies to help identify areas for development and chart progress.  It helps us to strengthen learning across the curriculum and helps teachers enhance their skills and judgements.  This is a continuous process throughout school undertaken by all the teaching staff through formative marking, feedback and observations and also through summative tests. The children are encouraged to be part of this process and develop their own skills in assessing their own performance against their learning challenges.

There are statutory assessments tasks and tests at different points during your child's school career.

  • Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (end of Reception)
  • Phonics Screening Check (Year 1 and for some Year 2)
  • End of Key Stage 1 SATs (Year 2)
  • Multiplication Tables Check (Year 4)
  • End of Key Stage 2 SATs (Year 6)

Other Curriculum Activities and Enrichment Opportunities

Sports and Swimming

During the week all children in EYFS and keys stages 1 and 2 have a sports lesson delivered by our EdStart sports coach so that the children experience high quality tuition in sports like volleyball, football, hockey, netball, cricket and athletics as well as dance and gymnastics. Additional physical activity sessions are provided to support targeted children.  Year 4 children have swimming lessons and there are after school sports clubs on different days available to all key stage 1 and 2 children.     


All children are given the opportunity and are encouraged to borrow books of their choice from our school library to read at home. 


We work with Tameside Music Service to provide whole class music tuition from Year 1 upwards, ranging from percussion, glockenspiels, recorders, ukuleles and digital music technologies.  Additional music activities are available through after school clubs.  We have a fantastic partnership with the Hallé Orchestra and are part of their HalléInspire Project which enables our Key Stage 2 pupils to work alongside Hallé musicians to compose and perform music linked to their topic. 

Outdoor Learning and Cooking

Our children have the opportunity to find out about growing and cooking first hand in our fabulous outdoor gardens and polytunnels which they follow up with our in-school cooking sessions.


Remote Learning

Our remote learning policy has been written to accommodate situations when children are learning from home.  Through the Year Group tab, you can see our home learning dashboard with quick links to key websites we use in school.  There are many other links through the Fun Stuff tab for wider learning opportunities too.

At St James' we work together to ensure your child has a broad and balanced curriculum from Nursery to Year 6.

A copy of our Teaching and Learning Policy can be found in the Virtual Office.

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