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. 

Phonics at West Horndon Primary School

 At West Horndon Primary School, the Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers use the ‘Story Time Phonics’ programme alongside a wide range of real books to teach phonics. The ‘StoryTime Phonics’ programme is a systematic synthetic program which is underpinned by ‘Letters and Sounds’ and uses real books to broaden the childrens’ exposure to high quality texts and to develop a love for books. Any children that need additional phonics teaching or intervention also use ‘Story Time Phonics’.

 To find out more about ‘Story Time Phonics’, please click here. 

 From Year 2 onwards, children 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.

Reading at West Horndon Primary School

At West Horndon Primary School we place reading at the heart of our Curriculum. All children are encouraged to become confident, successful and fluent readers, so that they can read for both pleasure and knowledge. 

 We want the children in our school 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.
  • Be exposed to literature that is beyond their current experience and fluency.
  • To broaden and enrich their vocabulary.
  • Develop close links with parents providing a partnership between home and school to support the child.

 What reading scheme do we follow?

At West Horndon Primary School we use the Oxford Reading Tree book banding system throughout KS1 which 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 take two reading books home; a book that matches the child’s phonics ability and a book of their choice from the same colour book band.

  When children exceed the Oxford Reading Tree book bands 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 and earn AR points as they progress. We have an Accelerated Reader library which is located on the lower floor communal area, the books are arranged into book levels. The children also use an online reading platform called Myon to access texts at home.


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


 How reading is taught?

We teach children the skills and strategies they need to become fluent readers through Whole Class Guided Reading. Teachers demonstrate reading to inspire a love of books and develop the necessary skills to become masters of reading. We have peppered our English curriculum with quality texts that both challenge and inspirer our pupils.

 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 Maths, accessing instructions in a Design and Technology session, using inference and deduction to explore a painting in Art or sourcing information for a topic from a book or the internet.  Children are provided with many opportunities to read, enjoy and share books as well as being emerged in language rich environments with access to a breadth of vocabulary and print.


At West Horndon we celebrate literary events such as World Book day and have regular Book Fairs. Our Author in residence – Chris Connaughton regular visits our school to work with classes as well as promote a love of reading through assemblies.

 How can you be involved?

We ask that all children in KS1 spend at least 10 minutes a night reading at home and in KS2 spend at least 20 minutes. Reading with your child at home has many benefits- no matter how old you are.

  Our Reading Champions are volunteers that come into school and encourage reading for pleasure as well as boosting children’s confidence.



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.