St John's Church of England

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Church Street, Pemberton, Wigan, WN5 0DT

01942 222133

St John's Church of England

Primary School

Our Curriculum


We aim to develop every child’s potential to become a confident and curious young person who has a passion for learning and achieving. This will be achieved by inspiring and supporting children during the teaching of a range of subject areas.  


Lesson objectives are taught in line with the National Curriculum. Various schemes are used to enhance the teaching of skills and knowledge in all areas of the curriculum.  Individuals’ progress will be tracked, data collected and strengths and weaknesses identified to support future planning and interventions. Lessons are delivered in a subject specific way with some cross-curricular links.


The impact of our curriculum will be measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally.  We also measure against the expectation statements of our curriculum.  We use Target Tracker to track all individuals in all subject areas against the set curriculum statements. We also aim for our pupils to develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.


At St. John’s we foster positive can do attitudes.  We teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps.  At our school, the majority of children will be taught the content from their year group only. They will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways.  We aim for all pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and to be able to reason and problem solve.

We teach the National Curriculum, supported by White Rose Maths Hub scheme to ensure clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.   Each day we complete the Flashback 4 sessions to keep all areas of maths knowledge ‘bubbling’.  Our planning is based on the ‘small steps’ which break each block into manageable steps for each lesson.  Children are taught Mathematics for approximately 1 hour daily. Support is determined during each lesson to ensure secure understanding based on the needs of the child.   Challenge is visible throughout the whole session, where children are asked to reason and prove their understanding at a deeper secure level.

We use a range of apps to re-cap on previous learning from Maths lessons or key learning areas such as number bonds, doubles, times tables, quick re-call division facts etc. Teachers are encouraged to use ‘Keep Up Maths’ sessions to immediately tackle misconceptions and consolidate learning if not understood in the morning teaching session.

By the end of KS2 we aim for children to be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics with a conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.


We believe that communication, both oral and written, is the key to educational progress, to social integration and to personal development and happiness.

We believe that it is the right of every child to become a competent and confident user of the English language, enabling them to live, work and succeed in a literate world.

To teach all children skills whereby they can become independent learners, effective communicators and develop into well-balanced citizens able to use the English language confidently and with ease in the workplace and in their every day lives.

Reading – We use the Sounds Write, Dandelion and Oxford Reading Tree schemes for home reading books.  In class we learn to read during our phonics lessons and read as a whole class using VIPER questioning.  We use VIPER questions to help to develop comprehension skills.  Children take home a reading book that is matched to their phonics ability and a "whole language" book to share with family at home.

Phonics – Throughout school we use the Sounds Write phonics scheme to teach the reading of letter sounds and names. Sounds Write is also used for individual and group interventions.

Writing - Progression in writing is ensured throughout school by using the Power of Reading scheme of work.

Handwriting – We try to encourage all children to take pride in their work and present every piece of work neatly.  We teach cursive handwriting from year 1 to year 6. 


At St John’s, science is taught by using a prime learning challenge for each unit of work. This challenge is expressed as a question, and the pupils work through a series of lessons, investigations and experiments to find the answer.

Foundation Stage

At this age, science is studied as part of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’, and the aim is to help children to make sense of the world around them. They will learn to develop their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion, which will come in useful throughout school, not only in science, but also in other areas. The children will conduct experiments, be encouraged to explore different methods of discovery, and they will start to use drawings to present their findings. This is a fun and practical part of the curriculum, as the children will work with a range of materials both inside and out of the classroom.

Key Stage 1

Throughout Key Stage 1 science lessons, your child will be learning about the importance of asking questions, gathering evidence, carrying out experiments and looking at different ways of presenting their results. Lessons are practical and will focus on the world around them. 

Key Stage 2

The principal focus of science teaching in Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At Key Stage 2, they encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They learn to select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including: observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.


We aim to prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. Knowledge and understanding of ICT is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment. Our Computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, computer science, information technology and online safety to ensure that children become competent in safely using, as well as understanding, technology.

We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. To ensure a broad range of skills and understanding, Computing is taught across three main strands: digital literacy, computer science and information technology. Online safety is taught within each Computing lesson as a short starter activity as well as being taught as a unit each year. Online safety procedures are communicated with all staff and parents. We ensure children are able to use these skills to enhance their learning whilst following Purple Mash scheme of work, which embeds e-safety throughout the school and ensures progression and full coverage as required by the Computing Curriculum.


The implementation of this curriculum ensures that when children leave St. John’s, they are competent and safe users of ICT with an understanding of how technology works. They will have developed skills to express themselves and be creative in using digital media and be equipped to apply their skills in Computing to different challenges going forward.


At St. John’s, we follow the National Curriculum (2014) and have written our own scheme to make sure that knowledge, skills and understanding of the world is covered successfully. We have designed the Geography curriculum so that children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 start with the local area and geography of our school before moving further away in the world in Key Stage 2. This is in order to ensure geographical understanding can be built on in each year group. Every topic is started with a question to encourage geographical enquiry and thoughtful engagement. Appropriate vocabulary is taught and applied in each topic and teachers plan lessons from the statements on Target Tracker that are assessed against. School trips and visitors allow the children to have memorable, first-hand experiences of what they’re learning and they have the opportunity to ask questions and deepen their understanding of a number of key concepts. Geography learning is also enhanced through the use of books and reading within other subjects, and this can be on the current topic or past ones in order to revisit and make links. 

Key Stage 1 

We aim to develop pupils’ knowledge about the world, focusing on the United Kingdom and their locality. They are taught to understand basic subject vocabulary relating to direction and human and physical geography. Children are taught to use geographical skills on trips around the local area, with the introduction to fieldwork. They build a locational awareness as they start to produce simple maps with a number of symbols.  

Key Stage 2 

We aim to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding beyond the local area, including the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s significant human and physical features. Pupils are encouraged to develop their use of geographical language, knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. Fieldwork trips are planned for in each year group so that their skills can be developed and applied. They will use a variety of resources including ordnance survey maps, atlases and digital mapping to locate features and will be expected to draw their own maps with an understanding of scale. In upper Key Stage 2, the children will explore how humans affect the environment and ways in which we can sustain our planet. 


At St. John’s, we follow the National Curriculum (2014) and have written our own scheme to make sure that knowledge, skills, enquiry and the children’s understanding of the past is covered successfully. We have designed the History curriculum so that children in Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 learn about recent history in the country and locally and then in each Year from 3-6, the topics move backwards in time. Every topic starts with a question to encourage historical enquiry and adds a challenge to every child. Knowledge organisers are used to introduce subject specific vocabulary and the children are taught to apply this with discussion and modelling. Artefacts are available for every topic so that children can enquire and historically interpret by becoming historians themselves and learning how we can find information about the past. There are 5 components planned for and covered at least once in each year group and these are social structure, culture, legacy, significant events and people and belief. These ensure that the key concepts like cause and consequence, similarities and differences and continuity and change are planned for and encouraged. History trips and visitors allow the children to have memorable, first-hand experiences of what they’re learning and they have the opportunity to ask questions and deepen their understanding on a number of concepts taught. History learning is also enhanced through the use of books and reading within other subjects, and this can be on the current topic or past ones in order to revisit and make links. 

Key Stage 1 

Pupils and taught to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. Pupils are taught to look at the chronological framework and where the people and events they study fit into this. They are taught to use a wide range of vocabulary of everyday historical terms and should use these to recall past events that are significant to them, their locality, the country and sometimes the world. They investigate different methods that can be used to find out about the past and how it represented. 

Key Stage 2 

Pupils are encouraged to continue to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narrative within and across the periods they study. They are encouraged to note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. Pupils are taught to regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference and significance. They are taught to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources that are available from that time The children also learn how to interpret sources and make judgements on their reliability and an understanding of why they may contradict each other.  


Music is taught throughout school and the GM Music online scheme “Charanga” is followed to ensure progression.

Key Stage 1

Pupils are taught to:

  • Sing songs and speak chants and rhymes both expressively and creatively.
  • Play a range of tuned and untuned instruments musically.
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.  Including regular live performance by children and through visits from live musicians during “Music Alive” week.
  • Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds.

Key Stage 2

Pupils are taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes.
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations.
  • Appreciate and understand a range of high-quality live and recorded music from different traditions and from great composers and musicians, including visits from live musicians during “music alive’ week.
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music.

All children in Year 4 have the opportunity to learn a woodwind instrument (flute or clarinet) through the Wider Opportunities Scheme.  Children from year 1 to 6 are offered instrumental tuition, on a variety of instruments, through Wigan Music Service.

Design and Technology

Design and technology is taught throughout school and is often linked to the learning challenges in History, Geography and Science. Children are taught Design and technology from the Kapow Scheme of work which inspires the future generation of designers, offering them a critical understanding of the impact Design and Technology has on daily life and the wider world.

Key Stage 1

Pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making through a variety of creative and practical activities.  When designing and making, pupils are taught to design, make, evaluate and develop their technical knowledge.

Pupils are also taught to how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.

There is a strong focus on existing products to offer first-hand knowledge and understanding of how the world works in their own lives and across the globe.

Key Stage 2

Pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding skills on a much deeper level with an introduction to the electrical world.  When designing and making, pupils are building on their knowledge and understanding from existing products in Key Stage 1 and are creating their own models with a more critical view.

Pupils deepen their understanding of how to cook and are introduced to seasonality of food to increase their awareness of sustainability and how they can make a positive impact on the wider world.


At St. John’s we want our children to love art, craft and design!  We are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in Art through the Kapow scheme of work. Our art curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils. We believe that every child within our school should have full access to Art as laid down in the National Curriculum regardless of age, gender or ability.

The purpose of Art education is to give pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form. It fires their imagination and is a fundamental means of personal expression.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities.

They have opportunities to learn to:

  • Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials.
  • Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas.
  • Explore colour and use for a particular purpose.
  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.
  • Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary.

Key Stage 1

Pupils are taught:

  • To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.
  • To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination.
  • To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
  • To learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.
  • To develop and embed fine and gross motor skills by using a range of tools competently.

Key Stage 2

Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Pupils are taught:

  • To record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  • To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]
  • To draw representationally, draw expressively and draw unconventionally.
  • To learn about great artists in history.


P.E is split into sections, games/athletics, dance and gymnastics. 

Key Stage 1

Pupils are taught to:

  • Master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities.
  • Participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending.
  • Perform dances using simple movement patterns.

 Key Stage 2

Pupils are taught to:

  • Use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination.
  • Play competitive games, modified where appropriate and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending.
  • Develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance.
  • Perform dances using a range of movement patterns.
  • Take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team.
  • Compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.


We use the PE Hub scheme of work to plan lessons.


Children in Key Stage 2 are provided with swimming instruction from Year 3 and beyond if needed.  Our aim is for children to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres using a range of strokes.  Pupils are also taught to perform safe self-rescue in different water based situations.

Religious Education

At St. John’s, Religious Education is taught in creative and challenging weekly lessons from Reception to Year 6. Religious Education provides opportunities for spiritual development and personal reflection. It develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief, it provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging. Religious Education prepares children for citizenship in today’s diverse society. It enables them to develop sensitivity to, and respect for others. We follow the Blackburn Diocese planning units.  


At St John’s Primary School, we are committed to the development of the whole child and as a consequence we place Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at the heart of all that we do. Through our curriculum, our school environment, our school ethos and the strength of our relationships, we strive to promote pupils’ self-esteem and emotional and physical well-being and help them to form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, at school, at work and in the community.

We use the 1decision scheme of work to ensure that through our curriculum our pupils: 

  • understand the school and British values; their impact on their daily lives and within the school and the wider community including that of the Christian faith
  • know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
  • know how to keep themselves and others safe
  • understand what makes for good relationships with others
  • have respect and tolerance for others
  • be independent and responsible members of the school community
  • be positive and active members of a democratic society
  • develop self‐confidence and self‐esteem, and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues 
  • develop a knowledge and appreciation of money and the effect it has on themselves and others
  • develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community

 Pupil voice lies at the heart of our school and the curriculum and opportunities we offer our pupils mean that pupils grow into independent, active and responsible members of our school community playing an active part in decision making.

Modern Foreign Language (MFL)

Languages are an essential part of a broad, balanced curriculum. Not only do they provide an opportunity to communicate more effectively with others, they also help children to understand what it is to be a global citizen. This includes the importance of tolerance and understanding, which is crucial knowledge in today’s world.

At St John’s Primary School, we believe that the learning of a language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills, including key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. The children’s knowledge of how language works will be developed and extended. Lessons will enable pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The linguistic skills gained will assist and lay foundations for further language learning. It will provide pupils with the confidence and independence to explore and be able to attempt manipulation of the structure of language. Learning another language gives children a new and broader perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.

We follow the Janet Lloyd scheme of work to access lesson plans, songs, rhymes and French speaking audio clips.

Pupils are taught to:

  • Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
  • Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.
  • Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.
  • Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
  • Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.
  • Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.
  • Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
  • Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.
  • Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.
  • Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
  • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
  • Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.