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What does your child learn at school each day?

Find information about our curriculum subjects here.

You can also find out about how we are planning as a school to support filling gaps left in learning due to the pandemic. We will continue to teach pupils with exciting and engaging lessons, assessing regularly to identify gaps and then plan to fill them with additional opportunities and interventions when needed. Scroll down the page and click on the Covid-19 Catchup Action Plan to see additional information. 

How We Teach The Curriculum In School


All aspects of the National Curriculum are taught and for primary pupils, this is composed of twelve subjects and Religious Education.  Three subjects form the core of the curriculum: English, Mathematics and Science.  The other foundation subjects include, PSHCEE, Computing, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music and Physical Education. We also teach French as our chosen Modern Foreign Language.


September 2014 saw the introduction of the new statutory National Curriculum and we currently use the programmes of study for all subjects alongside the Focus Education framework and White Rose Maths Scheme.  As a Church of England School we also use the York Diocesan Scheme of work for teaching RE.


Children’s progress is assessed against the new curriculum using a system of whether a child is working below, at or above their age related expectancy. 


As a faith school, our school core values and British Values are integrated into every day learning in order to ensure that our children are learning whilst becoming well-rounded, kind, compassionate and understand the world in which they live in and the country that they are part of.


Phonics and Early Reading and Writing


We use the Read Write Inc. programme of teaching phonics and early reading and writing.   The scheme provides a progressive and systematic way of teaching the children to first learn sounds and then apply their sounds in their reading, spelling and writing.  The programme is aimed at Reception and KS1 children but can be used to support children in Years 3 and 4 who require additional one to one catch up.  For those children who find this area of learning more challenging, from September 2015 we introduced the Fresh Start (Read Write Inc.) Programme to support children in Years 5 and 6.


The Early Years Foundation Stage


Children from a range of early learning settings join Wistow Primary School in the Reception year. The school has strong links with Wistow Smart Start pre-school and Maisy Moo’s Day Nursery which are based in the village, and we hold lots of joint activities to support the smooth transition into full-time schooling.  If your child attends another setting, is looked after by a private child minder, grandparents or you, then the school makes every effort to ensure that they are able to participate in this transition programme, so that they feel safe and confident when they arrive for their first day at school.


Our commitment to you continues with the numerous opportunities that you have to be part of your child’s learning journey as they progress through school.  The school has developed a highly effective, practical play-based curriculum founded upon the best principles and practices of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) developmental phases. Children are provided with a diverse and rich curriculum, focusing on the areas of learning identified in the EYFS curriculum which are:


Prime Areas


  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED),


  • Communication and Language


  •  Physical Development


Specific Areas


  • Literacy


  • Mathematics


  • Understanding of the World


  • Expressive Arts and Design


These are not taught as separate subjects; rather the school provides a stimulating learning environment in which children are encouraged to pursue their own interests and make links between all of their learning experiences, through first hand practical learning.  


The practitioners spend lots of time observing children and talking to them, supporting, intervening, re-directing and encouraging them to ensure that their learning is as broad and balanced as possible and that children make outstanding progress. Our main aim is to ensure that children are excited and made happy by their early experiences in school, so that they continue to be enthralled by learning as they progress through the school.


The school is proud of its provision in the Foundation Stage and you should be assured that your children will get the best possible start to their school lives.


We will be assessing children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) using an electronic system, which is purely observational based and enables the practitioners to report on what they have seen and heard, rather than using set tests.


Key Stage 1


As we have mixed year groups, some of the Year 1 children continue to work alongside the Reception pupils, whilst some pupils move into Fountains Class (a mixed Year 1 and 2 Class). The number of pupils involved varies from year to year, depending upon the Reception intake. Whilst the school makes the final decision as to which pupils remain in Selby Class, we try to ensure that we consult with parents and that ultimately the child’s learning needs are thoroughly considered.  Children in Year 1 continue to experience a play based and practical curriculum until the Spring Term, after which learning becomes more structured and is primarily classroom based.  Opportunities to use the outdoor learning area are still provided when appropriate.


Practitioners continue to support pupils individually but there is an increase in the amount of teacher directed, small group and whole class work. This is required to ensure that children gain increasingly sophisticated literacy and numeracy skills, which will support their further intellectual development.  It also enables them to access more complex knowledge, skills and concepts as they grow older.   We have two practitioners with Fountains Class to ensure that we can maintain both the indoor and outdoor classrooms and provide tailored support and intervention to individuals and small groups.


The curriculum, as previously mentioned, is based upon the statutory National Curriculum.  Where possible, we try to link in the interests of the children into our topic based learning as well as looking to include key events happening across the world, the country and our local area.


Key Stage 2


The freedom of the new curriculum enables the practitioners in KS2 to continue using teaching strategies that encourage the emphasis on child initiated, practical, independent activities which allow the pupils to pursue their personal interests and strengths more vigorously, so that they continue to be captivated by the world and curious about its (and their own) possibilities. This does not mean that the school will neglect the pursuit of high academic standards. On the contrary, we believe that this approach will help secure higher attainment in English and Maths, whilst at the same time recognising the value of intellectual diversity by ensuring that schools give increasing and equal importance to other skills and talents that the children may have. The school has a strong record of academic attainment and achievement with results in English and Maths historically being in line with national averages.  The tables in the ‘National Tests’ section of this prospectus show our progress over the past three years.







Covid-19 Catch Up Plan for Wistow Parochial C of E Primary School