Home Page

Our Curriculum at William Rhodes

Please note this page is currently under development


How our curriculum is designed for our context

Our Early Years Curriculum (Reception class) very much meets the children at their particular stage of development. For some children this can be developmentally within the expected 40-60 months,  for many at William Rhodes it's more typically around 30-50 months or 22-36 months.


How learning is organised in the Early Years

We immerse our youngest children in oral language. Language about the every day and language about the experiences we give them such as visiting the park, playing outside and working cooperatively with each other or visiting the woodland area. We explicitly provide opportunities for the children to experience and teach about the every day such as looking after pets, growing plants, cooking together & learning about and tasting foods. We also extend children's knowledge and understanding of the world through exploring the school grounds on the hunt for minibeasts; by visiting the park and learning about different trees and other plants or visiting a farm and learning about baby animals. We explicitly plan to sing nursery rhymes, play games and share well-loved stories.


How the approach and the environment supports children developmentally

Young children need to learn to self-regulate and manage impulses. We support them in this process by providing stability, strong routines and a consistent response. We reduce sensory distraction and coach children to help them develop perseverance and to build their stamina. We support them to evaluate what works through using a plan, do review cycle. Our children have regular group time with their key person. This is the time when individual and group targets are worked on.


Considering readiness to learn as children move into Y1

At William Rhodes, children make extraordinary levels of progress in the Early Years. Despite this, many have not achieved a 'good level of development' because their starting points are low. We know it's vital that children are ready to learn to enable them to access the curriculum being offered.  This doesn't just apply when they start school, but at every stage of their education. Readiness is a fundamental foundation that must be in place for successful learning to happen. 


We have identified that children at William Rhodes typically need to spend longer developing the Prime Areas of Learning. These are Personal,  Social & Emotional Development,  Communication & Language & Physical Development. We have therefore, designed our curriculum so that we have a strong focus on these throughout Key Stage One as well as in the Early Years. This ensures that by the time they leave  Y2 our children are completely ready to access the complexities of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. 


We use the Prime Areas Tracker throughout the Early Years and into Key Stage 1 to assess where children are and set individual and group targets to support their development.



Prime Areas Tracker  - for each box highlight and date when achieved                                      Name:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Communication & Language

Physical Development

I can play in a group with my friends. I can make up ideas for things to do and games to play.

When I like what they are talking about, I listen to my friends.

I like running, walking, jumping, hopping, skipping and moving around in lots of different ways.

I talk to and make friends with other children and grown-ups I know.

I listen to the stories you tell me and I talk about them later.

I can go up and down stairs and steps like a grown up, using one foot per step.

I choose the toys I want to play with and what I want to do with them with help from a grown-up.


When you read me stories, I join in with my favourite bits, like “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” when we are reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I can carry something I like carefully downstairs, usually stopping with two feet on each step.

I like it when you say things like “well done for eating all your dinner” or “thank you for putting the toys away”

I can join in with my favourite rhymes and stories with you and guess what will happen next.

I can run around, stopping, changing direction and slowing down so that I don’t bump into things.

I like helping you when you are busy, like putting some shopping away or matching my socks together.

I stop what I am doing and listen when I hear you talk to me, or I hear the doorbell ring.

When you show me how to stand on just one foot, I can copy you, just for a second without falling over.

I am beginning to talk to grown-ups I don’t know when you are there. I will join in new things when you are with me.

When you ask me to do something like “Come and put your coat on”, I will do it if I am not really busy playing.

I can catch a large ball when you throw it to me.

When we are playing, I will chat to my friends about you and our family. I can ask grown-ups for help when I need it.

When you ask me questions like “What do we need to cut the bread?” I know it’s a knife.

I can wave my arms or ribbons to make up and down lines and circles in the air.

I know when I am sad or cross and that if I shout or say unkind things I might make my friends sad or worried too.


When we are playing and you ask me to “Put teddy under the blanket” or “Put the car on top of the garage” I know what you mean and I can do it by myself.

I can use child scissors to make snips in paper.


I know that sometimes my friends will want to have the toys I am playing with and need help from a grown-up to help me share these with them.

I can help you when you ask me to put something away or get something like “Put your shoes in the basket, please”

I can hold my pencil near the top, like a grown up, using my thumb and two fingers, not my whole hand.


I am beginning to understand that when you are busy I can’t always have everything I want, when I want it.

I am beginning to understand when you ask me questions like “How can we mop up the juice?” and “Why do you want to wear your boots today?

I can make the lines and marks that I want with a pencil.

I know that sometimes I can’t do things I want to do, like running around in the supermarket or jumping up and down on your friend’s sofa with my muddy boots on

I am beginning to use longer sentences with words like “because” and “and” like “I cried, I did, because I banged my foot”

When you write my name, I can copy some of the letters by myself on my piece of paper.

I like to talk with my friends and grown-ups and tell them what I know about the things they talk about.

I can tell you about something that happened yesterday, like “remember when we went to the park and had a green apple and came home”.

I can tell you when I am hungry and want something to eat or when I am tired and want to have a sleep.

I can tell you what I know about things I like to play with or things that I like to do. I ask grown-ups and my friends questions to find out more about the things I like.

I can talk about what we are doing now, and what might happen later or tomorrow.


I notice that when I am running, I get hot and I pant a bit.


I can help my friends to be friends again when they fall out or are cross with each other.

I ask lots of questions and answer your questions too.


I understand that I have to be careful when I am using children’s scissors to snip or my knife to spread jam.

I can tell my friends and grown ups what I need, what I want, what I like to do and if I like or don’t like something.

When I talk to you, sometimes I talk like a grown up to make myself clear, like “I really, really need the toilet now”.

Most of the time, I remember to go to the toilet in time and I wipe myself.

I can tell you what I like to do and what I am good at doing, like drawing or running.

I can use lots of words about things that interest me, like “diplodocus” and “brontosaurus” and I like to learn lots of new words.

I can wash and dry my own hands. 

I know that if I take my friend’s toy or shout at them they might get upset or cross.

When I make my friend upset or cross I might get upset too or I might try to give them a hug.

I pretend about things when I am playing, like using my coat on my head “this is my magic flying cape”.


When you help me and hold out my coat, I can put it my arms in and I can do the zip up when you start it. I can pull my own trousers up too.

I know what I should do to help me and my friend share things, keep safe and be happy.

When I am singing rhymes or songs or sharing a story with a grown up, I am able to listen really carefully to what is happening.

I like to move in different ways like running, skipping, hopping, jumping or rolling.

I am beginning to be able to tell my friends what they could do to help me if they take my toys or make me upset or cross.

I can listen to what you tell me you want me to do and then I can do it.

I can jump off a step and land on the floor on two feet.


When I am singing rhymes or songs or sharing a story with a grown up, I am able to listen really carefully to what is happening.

When I am playing chasing or racing games I can slow down or change the way I am going to stop myself from bumping into my friends or things.

I can listen to what you tell me you want me to do and then I can do it.


I can move on my feet, back and tummy to get over, under, along or through tunnels, climbing frames and steps.

I can use lots of words to tell you about something that I have made or something that I have done.

I can push, pat, throw, catch or kick things like a large ball, a balloon or piece of fabric

I like you to use new words to talk to me about what I am doing or what I am using. Then I like to try to use these new words as I am playing.

I can use scissors to cut paper or cutters to make shapes from dough.

I can pretend to be different people and can pretend to do different things, like being a nurse and making sick patients better with bandages and care.

I can use different things like scissors, paintbrushes, pens, hammers or bricks to make the things I want.

I can use words like “first”, “next” and “then” when I am telling you a story or telling you about something I have done.

I choose to use either my left hand or my right hand more to hold things like a pen, pencil, paintbrush or scissors.

When I am dressing up or playing with toy people I like to make up stories using what I know, what I have seen or what I have heard to help me.


When I use a pen, pencil or paintbrush I am beginning to be able to make anti clockwise circle marks and lines that go down and up and up and down.


I like to eat different types of fruit and vegetables.

I can go to the toilet by myself.

I can tell you about different ways of keeping healthy, like washing my hands before I eat my food, having a drink of water when I am thirsty, eating fruit or vegetables and running or jumping.

I can show you how I use things like scissors, hammers and saws safely so I don’t hurt myself or my friends.

I can tidy toys away so that I don’t fall over them and hurt myself.

I can use things like scissors, a hammer and a saw safely without help from a grown-up.








Our curriculum is designed to enable all children to succeed in the Prime Areas of Learning


To ensure children are self-confident and self-aware our curriculum is designed so that all children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.


To enable children to manage their feelings and behaviour our curriculum is designed so that all children are able to talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.


To allow children to make successful relationships our curriculum is designed so that all children can play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others' needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


To encourage children to listen and attend well our curriculum is designed so that all children can listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.


To establish a firm understanding our curriculum is designed so that all children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


To ensure our children are fluent & coherent speakers our curriculum is designed so that all children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


To enable children to move deftly and handle ably our curriculum is designed so that all children show good control and co‑ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


So that children can manage their own self-care and become health aware, we have designed our curriculum so that all children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.




How learning is organised in Key Stage One (Infants)


Our main objective within the infants is to get the basics right and on a firm foundation. To this end we have a clear focus on early reading & writing, early mathematics, real life practical science about the world they can see, touch & feel and the Prime Areas of personal, social, emotional development; communication & language & physical development.










Early Reading

In the Infants we teach the children how to read using a systematic phonics approach (Letters & Sounds) and by using books they can fully decode themselves. Our key aims are do develop fluency, automacity and a love of reading in all children. We do this by lots of whole class reading of books they can learn off by heart and participate in e.g. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. In Year 2 they have whole class readers appropriate to their age such as  George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl or The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine.





Early writing 


Early mathematics


Real life practical science



How our curriculum is developed

We know that children learn best when they are excited and enthused and fully engaged with their learning. This is why we make learning as meaningful as we can for our children, connecting it to their own experience and making links between subjects. We also try to offer our children as many real life experience as we can.  


English in Key Stage 2

In the mornings we tend to do most of our English and maths work.  In the Junior department we draw all our English work from a class reader which is always a high quality text such as The Iron Man by Ted Hughes or Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo.





To see the National Curriculum reading objectives year by year, please click here.

Reading in Key Stage Two (Juniors)


Writing in Key Stage Two (Juniors) 

 We fire children's imaginative ideas for writing by giving them reasons to write. It might be because they are inspired by an amazing photograph or that they want to write in the style of an author they've been reading. It could be because they want to write and tell the headteacher something such as 'How we could make school dinners better' or that they want to write a story for the younger children to read. Teachers model excellent writing and that way, children see exactly what they are aiming for.  


To see National Curriculum writing objectives year by year, click here

Mathematics in Key Stage Two (Juniors) 

For maths, we teach the National Curriculum using Power Maths. 

Maths is approached as an adventure for children to immerse themselves in, get creative with, make mistakes, and conquer! 

Power Maths is a whole-class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and helps to nurture confidence in maths.


We spend extra time using maths jotters to really focus on developing children's fluency with number (number bonds and times tables) and their mastery of the four operations (add, subtract, multiply & divide).


To see the progression year by year in the maths National Curriculum, click here

The Foundation Subjects in Key Stage Two (Juniors)


Every afternoon we teach the foundation subjects and make our topics exciting, engaging and appealing to the children. Where possible, we always squeeze in a visit to support the children's learning. You can see from our timetable below how we schedule our teaching to ensure children experience a broad and balanced curriculum here at William Rhodes.

Special Days

On special days we collapse the curriculum and teach a whole day on a special theme such as Divali or Buddhism. We have diversity days where we learn about wider society. We're also learning about British values and have really enjoyed having a mock trial or making a new town to help us understand the rule of law.