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Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum Intent and Implementation

Our curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum whilst enabling all pupils to make good progress from their vastly differing starting points.   Our pupils receive broad and balanced sequences of learning that progressively build on knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils of all abilities achieve well. We aim to “Live our Lives with arms and minds wide open” and live by our REACH Values.

In seeking to remove any barriers to learning that might hinder or exclude pupils we:

  • Set appropriate learning outcomes.
  • Prioritise “self-challenge” and “Personal Best” with all pupils.
  • Respond to children’s diverse learning needs
  • Provide other curriculum opportunities outside of the National Curriculum particularly those which appeal to pupils’ own interests.

Our Approach is underpinned by:

  • Staff and Governor’s ambition that all learners will make good progress.
  • Foundational and Conceptual learning (ie learning  facts and developing key skills before applying these in other contexts) 
  • Focus on fluency in reading and recalling factual information in maths and spelling.

From their different starting points our learners need:

  • A curriculum that is interesting and enjoyable and includes pupils’ own ideas and local contexts.
  • Targeted intervention based on individual learner’s needs.
  • A range of active learning experiences in and outside school.
  • A “Growth mindset.”
  • Intentionally planned speech and language development including development of a rich and broad vocabulary.
  • Intentionally planned opportunities to enjoy listening to stories.
  • Parent engagement in learning. 
  • Regular Opportunities for all pupils to be leaders and take on responsibilities.

Collingwood’s Curriculum Policy and School Aims, detailing subject by subject information on how we teach, can be found on the policies page of this website.  An overview of what is being taught this term to each year group can be found on the each Class Page on this website.

How we teach Maths

At Collingwood we follow the White Rose Maths scheme of learning, teaching across three terms in blocks to deepen understanding. Teachers draw on a range of resources we have available to create the best possible learning environment for our pupils, moving the children from the stages of concrete to pictorial and lastly to abstract. Consolidation weeks are also built into each term to revisit outcomes that have been identified as needing further development.

Fluency in maths is a priority, with daily fluency sessions incorporated into maths lessons. 10 Minute Maths takes place in every classroom each day, and aims to develop the fluency and recall of mathematical facts and allow children to see links in their learning, e.g. the relationships between the 2x, 4x and 8x multiplication tables.

Reasoning is a part of every lesson, and the use of ‘Prove it’ boards, enables the children to verbalise and discuss their understanding. Displays and resources in classrooms allow children to ‘explore’ maths, then for ‘clarification’ to take place, and lastly the children’s ‘application’ of their learning. Teachers are encouraged to use innovative and creative lesson formats to engage pupils

We make use of Times Tables Rockstars and other online subscriptions to support the learning of maths at home and at school. Ask your child what their current ‘Rock Star’ status is!

 pdf  Collingwoods-Math-Mastery-Statement 

 pdf  Maths-glossary-for-parents

  White Rose Maths National-Curriculum-Progression-Primary



English at Collingwood:

How we teach phonics and reading:

We teach phonics as the main method for children to learn to read.  Phonics is taught daily throughout EYFS and Years 1 and 2 and later if required, in a systematic, multi-sensory way.  Our pupils learn sounds, (phonics) by singing, moving, listening, writing, repeating, using letters, making shapes in the air, looking at pictures, playing games, using computers and as many other ways as possible using their 5 senses. This is vital because children learn differently.  Close monitoring and continuous regrouping by staff following assessment ensures continual diagnostic assessment.  If children fall behind, they are given specific small group or 1:1 support.

What will this actually look like?  Collingwood uses a programme, published by the government, available free to all schools, called “Letters and Sounds”.  Our reading scheme, “Phonics Bug”, closely follows the same format as Letters and Sounds. We also use an internet based resource called “Phonics Play” which can be found on our pupil pages for parents and pupils to use at home.  All pupils have Collingwood phonics/key word charts in the back of their communication books so that parents can see, at any point how what their child has achieved and what they are working on next.

Is this the only way that children are taught to read?  Absolutely not! Phonics is the first step in helping children to crack the code of reading and writing. However, children also need to be able to recall words that can’t be decoded easily and also to be able to understand and engage with what they read and to be able to do this when reading at speed. (fluency)  This is also recorded in the back of Communication Books.

Comprehension skills are developed through discussion, with adults, individually and in small groups or as a class.  Adult led “Guided Reading” sessions take place regularly (based on Rigby Star) for younger pupils with at least weekly Whole Class Reading sessions (often using “VIPERS” as a text analysis tool for children) as children move through years 3 to 6.

Individual reading to adults and guided reading, where children read the same book with or without an adult takes place throughout a child’s time at Collingwood with additional paired reading and “Reading Buddies” for some children.  For younger pupils reading books will be closely matched to phonics ability (Coloured band books).  Older children are encouraged to read a range of genres and authors and record these in the back of their Communication Books.

Our 3 O’Clock Read happens across the school every day (unless during P.E.) and is specifically aimed at widening and developing pupils understanding of vocabulary and encouraging a love of reading.

Over the course of each term children read many different genres of text and learn at least one, one off by heart using actions, sound effects and drama.


How-We-Teach-Reading-with-some-older-pupils (VIPERS)


The reading statements your child is expected to meet by the end of the academic year are in your child’s communication book.

How we teach writing.

Writing is taught in many lessons other than English.  We use “Cold tasks” at the beginning of a new genre of to assess what children can already do and “hot tasks” at the end to evidence how much progress they have made.   In between, we analyse texts, looking at structure, vocabulary,  grammar, spelling, punctuation, genre specific features and effectiveness.  Children generate then use “success criteria” to self-assess and “purple polish” (improve) their own and each other’s writing noting what is “tickled pink” (good) and “green for growth” (needs developing).

Over the course of each term children write many different genres of text and are often given the opportunities to writing their own text based on what they have read.

Writing-Grammar-progression at Collingwood

How we teach spelling.

Spelling patterns are taught and used in lessons weekly.  (“No Nonsense Spelling” and National Curriculum exception words and age related spelling lists).  Pupils from Yr 1 upwards complete weekly spelling tests containing a number of words relating to both the current pattern and high frequency/exception words. There is an emphasis on pupils ability to recall and retain spellings.

common-exception words to read and spell in Yrs 1 and 2

National Curriculum Spelling lists for Years 1-5



How we teach Handwriting.

Pupils are taught “upstroke” from EYFS, enabling easier joining in later years. “Letterjoin” is used in KS1.  http://www.letterjoin.co.uk/

How parents can support their child at home:

We expect all children, right up to Year 6, to read regularly to adults at home, and bring their book bag to and from school.  As children get older it is increasingly important to discuss the exact meaning of new vocabulary and to question children so that they “read between the lines” and make interpretations and predictions rather than simply saying the words on the page correctly. Show your child that you read for different purposes (eg to find directions, instructions, information and for pleasure) and talk about your own likes and dislikes when reading.



Other Subjects at Collingwood:

When children are about to start a new “topic” or “theme” we always ask them what they would like to include in their learning.  We try hard to include their ideas and  personal interests in an attempt to motivate and engage them!

How we teach Science

At Collingwood we believe that our Science curriculum gives our children a range of opportunities to use their natural curiosity to help them understand and question their world.  We aim to deliver a balance between factual knowledge and the skills of investigation, prediction, analysis and enquiry so that children make progress in their understanding of processes and factual recall and are confident and well prepared for both secondary school and later life.

Science progression at Collingwood

How we teach Computing

We aim for all children to be efficient users of technologies as tools for learning.  Computers including Chromebooks, Ipads and Laptops are used to enhance learning across the curriculum as well as being taught as a discrete subject.  Children are taught to code and debug (writing and fixing algorithms for computers) from a young age using programmable beebots, apps and programs like Scratch and Scratch Jnr. which can be accessed at home.  In this ever changing world, we are constantly changing how we teach children to use the internet safely and responsibly exploring issues through discussion and with the help and support of professionals and experts who we invite into school.  Current advice for parents can be found on the “e-safety” tab of our school website. (top right)

Computing Progression at Collingwood

How we teach PE

We believe that it is vital for all children to learn about the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle and develop the essential life skills of team work, leadership and the ability to compete, persevere and celebrate winning and accept losing, through the enjoyment and participation of sport.  We aim to give our pupils opportunities to try a variety of activities leading to continued participation in later life.

All pupils from Years 1 – 6 participate in at least one weekly PE lesson led by a specialist sports coach.  There is also a sports coach every lunchtime who encourages pupils to participate in active pursuits ranging from Bollywood dancing to kickboxing.  All pupils participate in the Daily Mile which was implemented when we realised how few pupils attend sports clubs other than football and swimming outside school.  Our children take part in many cross phase, cross school and cross Essex sporting events through our sports Partnership Arrangement with William De Ferrers School.  Children (usually in Yr 3) participate in weekly swimming lessons at the Secondary School’s pool.

During KS1 (EYFS- Yr 2) children focus on developing key skills such as throwing and catching, running, balancing, performing sequences of movement etc During KS2 (yrs 3-6) pupils develop and refine these skills and apply them to different games/sports eg football, tennis, Tag-Rugby, athletics, dance, gymnastics etc and begin to develop tactical and teamwork skills.  Our curriculum is based on the Val Sabin schemes for gym, dance, games and Athletics.

PE progression at Collingwood

How we teach History and Geography

In geography children learn about and consider the importance of physical, natural and human features.   Factual recall of place and feature names begins with the United Kingdom for younger children and grows over time to include those in the wider world.   In History, events are taught in chronological order. Children learn about significant people and events and the influence they have on society.  Children are encouraged to question how we know what life was like and consider the reliability of evidence.  History and Geography are often taught separately but can be linked as both are designed to have a “local” aspect as we recognise that many of our pupils are not aware of the significance of events and places in their immediate locality.

History and geography progression at Collingwood

How we teach Art and Design 

As children move through the school, they learn to appreciate and develop their skills in drawing, painting and sculpture, using a range of media. In Design & Technology children learn to problem solve creatively. They learn how things work, create designs and develop their own ideas and make products to a given design brief, using tools, then analyse and give each other feedback on their outcomes.

Art progression at Collingwood

the progression document for design is under construction

How we teach Music

Music is usually taught weekly using the Charanga music scheme.  Children develop a range of listening, composing, performing and appreciation skills across a range of musical instruments and genres.   All children have the opportunity to take up private tuition in guitar (acoustic or electric), piano or keyboard, and other instruments requested.  A weekly singing assembly is led by a music specialist and the school participates in various community singing and musical events. Throughout the year children participate in “taster” workshops and dance lessons led by specialists. We provide many opportunities for children to showcase their skills to a live audience, through instrumental concerts, end of year performances, class assemblies, annual performances by every child etc.

Music progression at Collingwood

How we teach Languages

All pupils at Collingwood will learn some basic words in French and other languages spoken by staff and pupils e.g. taking the register, colours and numbers etc.

Children in KS2 are taught French weekly by both our staff and/or those from the local secondary school and through a range of online resources including “Rigolo”. This includes the 4 strands of listening, speaking, reading and writing to prepare children well for the secondary school curriculum. Lessons are fun and interactive and develop children’s confidence in experimenting with new vocabulary in a different language.

the progression document for languages for Years 3 and 4 is under construction

French Knowledge Organiser

How we teach Religious Education (RE)/Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)/ Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education (SMSC)

We follow and teach the agreed Essex syllabus for R.E. – Explore, different religions are explored through key themes such as ‘Symbols’ or ‘Celebrations’. We teach children about the major world faiths, beliefs and cultures and learn about the celebrations of many religious festivals. Our P.S.H.E. lessons develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that children need to keep themselves healthy and safe and prepared for life in modern Britain. S.M.S.C. is about our values – who we are, what we do and what we stand for.  We actively promote British values including mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.  Almost all children are able to articulate our REACH values, (Respect, Equality, Achievement, Co-operation and Happiness) and are able to say how they apply to the behaviour of children and adults at our school by nominating them for our weekly awards.

PSHE Education Programme of Study (Key stage 1-5) Jan 2017_2

RE progression at Collingwood

DFE leaflet for parents on Relationships and Sex Education 2020changes.

Further Curriculum Information:

Our School Aims and Curriculum Policy can be found on the policies page of this website.

 pdf The National Curriculum for Primary Schools in England.



Our youngest pupils follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS).

There are seven areas of learning and development.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

There are three prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

‘Characteristics of effective learning’ are also observed to find out the children’s preferred learning styles and interests. The characteristics are:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Creating and Thinking Critically
  • Active Learning

Our curriculum is delivered in a variety of ways including child initiated learning, adult led learning and play based learning.  Children have access to high quality indoor and outdoor environments which are carefully planned to ensure each child achieves their full potential.

At the end of the Reception year the EYFS profile is completed for each child.  Children are assessed against the ‘Early Learning Goals’ (ELGs) and those who are working at the ‘expected’ level or are ‘exceeding’ these levels in all of the prime areas, Literacy and Mathematics are given Good Level of Development (GLD).

If you would like to find out more information about the Early Years Foundation Stage at Collingwood, please contact Mrs Hammond, Phase Lead, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.