Our Curriculum

The Foundation Stage is an exciting and very special first year at school. Play underpins all learning and development for young children and it is through play that children develop intellectually, socially, emotionally, creatively and physically. At Mortimer St John’s, we provide a safe, caring, exciting environment, full of stimulating and challenging activities, which enable the children to develop a wide range of life skills to equip them for school. The children’s learning takes place in both our indoor and outdoor classrooms, where we offer a variety of child self-initiated and adult led activities.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum runs from 0 to 5 years of age and is therefore taught in our Foundation Stage year group. It consists of seven areas of learning and development.

There are three core areas of learning which are:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development’ – involves supporting children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to recognise appropriate behaviour in groups; to have confidence in their own abilities; to improve social skills and learn how to manage their own feelings.

Communication and Language’ – involves offering experiences for children to be immersed in a rich language environment; to speak and listen appropriately in a variety of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.

‘Physical Development’ – involves providing opportunities for children to be active and interactive; and to improve their co-ordination, control and movement.  Children learn the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.

The other four areas are referred to as the specific areas and these are:

‘Literacy’ – involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to read and write.  Children are provided with a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to promote a love for reading.

‘Mathematics’ – involves providing children with opportunities to progress their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

‘Understanding the World’ – involves providing children with opportunities to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Children will consider similarities and differences between themselves and others, and communities and traditions. Children will make observations of animals and plants and begin to discuss and explain why some things occur, talking about changes.

‘Expressive Arts & Design’ – involves supporting children to access a wide range of media and materials, such as building up a repertoire of songs, experimenting with musical instruments and exploring with movement through dance. Children will be encouraged to be imaginative and think of their own ideas. We will provide role play resources and encourage the children to act out their own stories, developing narratives and creating make-believe scenarios.

There are also the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ which are:

‘Playing and Exploring’ – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

‘Active Learning’ – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements and

‘Creating & Thinking Critically’ – children have and develop their own ideas, making links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing these.

Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a combination of adult-led and child initiated activities. The children are provided with problem solving activities to show how they apply their increasing knowledge and understanding and we aim to do this through their own interests. We respond to each child’s needs and do our utmost to ensure we guide their development through warm and encouraging interactions. We work with our parents/ carers and ensure they are informed of their child’s starting points and next steps in learning. We provide the Foundation parents/ carers with a report in March explaining their child’s learning and development and what their next steps are to achieve the Early Learning Goals and for their smooth transition into Key Stage One/ Year One.

Subject Summaries – Key Stage 1


In order to build an English curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To equip and embed children with literacy skills they need in order to succeed in life.
  • To plan cross-curricular, meaningful opportunities for children to express themselves.
  • To promote a love for reading and writing.
  • To ensure all children see themselves as readers and writers.
  • To raise and maintain high standards of literacy across the school.

In order to build a Mathematics curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • All pupils will be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, be able to reason mathematically and use these skills to solve a variety of problems.
  • Teaching will support pupils in becoming independent learners and confident and proficient with numbers.
  • Lessons will cover all aspects of the Maths curriculum, including number, measurement, geometry and statistics.
  • Key knowledge will be monitored regularly to ensure all content provides opportunity to develop mathematical vocabulary, use practical resources and justify reasoning in a variety of ways including ICT.

In order to build a Science curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To develop the knowledge and understanding of a range of living and non-living things, and processes and events and relate these to everyday experiences in their local area and beyond
  • To develop the skills to observe, ask questions, group and classify objects as well as notice patterns and changes
  • To develop scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them, draw conclusions and relate this back to prior knowledge
  • To develop the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future, encouraging children to think about their own responsibilities to it
  • To develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety
  • To develop children’s natural curiosity, enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery through practical learning

In order to build a Geography curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To develop a sense of responsibility of the environment including geographical concerns that will effect the future.
  • To develop imperative skills including communicating geographical information in variety of ways; such as map work, numerical and quantitative data and writing at length.
  • To develop investigate and problem solving skills which will have a significant impact across the curriculum.
  • To develop these skills through real life first hand experiences to equip children for their future lives as Geographical citizens.
  • To help pupils make sense of the world in which they live, and inspire them to think about their place in the world, their values, right and responsibilities.

In order to build a History curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To develop a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and wider world history.
  • To promote children’s curiosity and equip them with the skills to enquire.
  • To ensure children are selective and can evaluate the reliability of a range of evidence.
  • To equip children with the skills to make connections, comparisons and contrasts.
  • To develop children’s historical terminology.
Art and Design:

In order to build an Art and Design curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To equip children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create.
  • To instil a love of Art in all children and develop an inquisitive and creative outlook on the world.
  • To develop an understanding of how art and design shapes history and cultures.
  • To evaluate works of art.
  • To use a wealth of resources.
Design and Technology:

In order to build a Design and Technology curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To use technical wonders of the world when researching products for designs.
  • When designing and making, to use knowledge from other curriculum areas.
  • To evaluate outcomes with a risk-taking mindset.
  • To instil a love of cooking with a clear understanding of a healthy diet.
  • To use a wealth of resources.

In order to build a Music curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To promote a love of music and singing across a broadened curriculum.
  • To respect and understand everyone’s opinions of music genres.
  • For staff to deliver an inclusive and accessible musical curriculum which develops and stretches learning resulting in the acquisition of knowledge.
  • To generate well-being through music.
  • To show local context through showcasing local performers and musicians
Physical Education:

In order to build a Physical Education curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition in knowledge and skills our intent is:

  • To inspire all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive and non-competitive sport and other physically demanding activities;
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way that supports their health, both mental and physical, and fitness;
  • To provide opportunities to compete in sport and other activities that build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect;
  • To develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities;
  • To ensure children are physically active for sustained periods of time;
  • To develop positive attitudes to health, hygiene and fitness and learn how physical exercise affects the body;
  • To lead healthy, active lives.

National Curriculum

At Mortimer St. John’s we follow the National Curriculum. Please click on the link below for further information.
National Curriculum England