Our Curriculum

At West Horndon Primary School we are passionate about providing a curriculum for our learners which meets their needs in the 21st Century. Our approach to curriculum planning is bespoke and flexible so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of learners over time. 

As a maintained primary school we start by ensuring that we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. 
Children in Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
The National Curriculum is taught throughout key stages 1 & 2. Each class has a two year rolling programme of long term planning to ensure we meet the statutory requirements for curriculum coverage. Details of what is taught in each year group and when can be found below. 
In designing our curriculum we start by identifying our Curriculum Drivers. The opportunities and challenges that the context of our learners setting and lives present focus the development of our bespoke, ever evolving, curriculum. 
At the Heart of our curriculum is our core belief that happy, secure and well children learn best! Our Foundations for Learning are approaches and interventions that allow our pupils to learn well and to develop their learning to learn, character and life skills. Mastering key skills is a continuous focus and provision to ensure that our pupils have the vital building blocks to ensure that they are well equipped for the next stages of their education. We aim for all of our pupils to make good progress and to meet their age related expectations. Meaningful and engaging themes bring all of these elements together to ensure that our pupils learn in the context of an exciting, broad and relevant curriculum that makes learning irresistible. 
We have developed a list of '50 Things' which capture the essence of the breadth of experiences we want pupils to have during their journey with us. These form the Curriculum Entitlement for every learner. 
Our curriculum operates on a one or two year cycle, depending on the year groups. As the school expands more year groups will move to a one year cycle. Each year has its own set of exciting themes for learning. 
We have chosen to to base our curriculum on the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum which sets out essential coverage, learning objectives and standards for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development. 
One of the primary reasons we have chosen to adopt this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the DEPTH of children's learning. 


We teach phonics following the Letters and Sounds guidance using StoryTime Phonics. This is a systematic approach which uses real books to give context to each new sound. For older children who need additional phonics teaching or intervention we use this approach to support them.


Each session introduces a new sound, with a new book, as well as recapping previously learned sounds. Below are the sounds that your child will learn in Reception and Year One.


To find out more about StoryTime Phonics, please click here. 



blend — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

segment  — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word ‘cat’ has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs - comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in ‘though’)

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as ‘letter-sound correspondences’

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter ‘S’

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters ‘sh’ represent just one sound, but ‘sp’ represents two (/s/ and /p/)

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.



Year 2 – Year 6 follow Rising stars spelling which provides step-by-step support to introduce, teach, practise, apply and review all of the core spelling requirements from the English programme of study. 







In Reading , we aim to:

  • -Foster an enjoyment of reading
  • -Give the children the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to read
  • -Give the children confidence to work with a variety of media.
  • -Develop the child’s self-esteem
  • -Develop close links with parents providing a partnership between home and school to support the child.

  Developing readers 

The school uses the Book Banding system throughout KS1 and uses a wide range of texts from a variety of popular reading schemes that link to the children's phonics phase. 

These include:

Alien Adventures
Hero Academy 
Project X

Children will take a phonics reading book home ( allocated in boxes in the classroom) and a book of their choice from the same colour band.




  Oxford Reading Tree Library

This area is located on the lower floor communal area. Books are arranged by book band colour.



Accelerated Reader

When children exceed the Oxford reading tree levels they move onto Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading management and monitoring programme that aims to foster independent reading. The internet-based software assesses reading age, and suggests books that match pupils' needs and interests. Pupils take computerised quizzes on the books and earn AR points as they progress.

To find out more about Accelerated Reader, please click this link:


Accelerated Reader Library

This area is located on the lower floor communal area. The books are arranged into book levels.


 Class libraries

Each class has a designated reading area, of high quality and value, where children can sit and enjoy a wide range of books for pleasure. The area should be clearly identifiable and be used as far as possible to display relevant materials for example; particular book genres being studied, a focused author, newly exchanged or purchased books as this will further enhance the schools promotion of reading. 

 Reading is intrinsically incorporated across the curriculum, whether it be reading a problem in numeracy, accessing instructions in a food technology session, using inference and deduction to explore a painting in art or sourcing information for a topic from a book or the internet. Teachers must exploit every opportunity for making reading real. Children should be exposed to a wide variety of real literature and alternative texts. It is important to emphasise that reading skills such as inference and deduction can be developed through a wide genre of texts aside from writing or print.


Whole class guided read.

 In these lessons we equip our children with the skills and strategies they need to be able to interpret the texts they read - and therefore become masters of reading.


Big read

The Big Read provides an exciting opportunity for teachers to inspire a love of reading in their pupils by reading a class text to the children.

Computing National Curriculum 2014

Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill pupils must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world.  The new 2014 National Curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work; they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.  This represents continuity and change, challenge and opportunity.  Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed.  Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.  Why is computational thinking so important?  It allows pupils to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.  It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in.  Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.  Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products.  The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.  Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.