St Erme Curriculum Implementation

At St Erme with Trispen we want children's learning to be exciting, engaging and purposeful.  

We want every child to succeed in their literacy and mathematics so that they can leave our school with core academic skills to enable them to be successful in their future lives.   

We also value the wider curriculum and believe that every child should have rich and enjoyable opportunities in the creative arts (art, music and design technology)  the humanities (history and geography) and Modern Foreign languages – we teach French across the school.

Outdoor learning is highly valued by school community and we get our children learning outside as much as possible.  This "outdoor learning" happens both in our school grounds and on off-site trips.

In EYFS and KS1 we use Read, Write, Inc (RWI) to teach phonics.  Some KS2 children will also follow RWI to support their reading and writing.

"SPAG" - Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught in all year groups both discretely and within context of all curriculum areas.

Our mathematics curriculum is all about "Maths Mastery".   This is an approach in which most pupils are expected to be really secure in their understanding and application in an area before progressing.    We use White Rose and Big Maths to support our teaching of maths.

All other subjects are taught through a topic approach.  Each year group plans a topic for a half-term which will capture the children's interests and imaginations. Our EYFS classes (Nursery and Reception) will build their learning around the many different immediate interests of the children and the opportunities that arise from day to day.

Teaching of vocabulary is promoted from entry in nursery to Y6. We display and promote use of new words and all children use ‘never heard the word’ sheets at the start of each topic to measure new words learnt.

Key themes of British Values and citizenship thread through many parts of school life. Children have opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through class time, non-class time and extra curricular activities.  Our School Council is a key part of ensuring "children's voice" is heard.

Personal, Social, Health  Education (PSHE) is a planned programme to help children and young people develop fully as individuals and as members of families and social and economic communities.  Further details of our PSHE programme can be found under the "PSHE" page.

Finally, but very importantly, we want every child to lead a physically active, healthy life whilst they are in our school and to have the understanding and ability to carry this on in the longer term.  Children have a broad range of opportunities both within PE lessons and through extra curricular clubs.  Children's successes and efforts are celebrated from achievements both inside and outside school.


Due to our mixed aged classes and varying numbers in each year groups our class structure is evaluated yearly, therefore our long term curriculum planning is reviewed yearly.  We take into account the needs and characteristics of the cohort, the children’s experiences and prior learning as well as current local and global contexts.

When planning, our teachers start with the skills and knowledge to be taught; around those, they plan a whole school or class topic which lasts for roughly a term.  Our RRS values and School Drivers run throughout.

We aim to launch our topic with a ‘hook’ which could take the form of an event, a visit, a visitor etc. Although the progression of skills and coverage is meticulously planned and monitored, the beauty of our curriculum is that it is not a ‘scheme of work’ or a rolling programme so is always current, relevant and never boring!

We link subjects where we can so they sit well together in our topics (for example, Ancient Egypt (History) and rivers (Geography) but teachers ensure subject knowledge and skills are taught explicitly.

Over the course of each unit of work and within each subject we ensure the same components are present:

  • Elicitation
  • Revision of prior knowledge
  • Planning for teaching and ‘what do we want to find out?’
  • Use of meta-cognitive strategies for long-term ‘stickability’ eg knowledge organisers, ‘spider graphs’
  • Key Vocabulary
  • Topic/ subject reads
  • Connect and apply knowledge and skills
  • Assessment (‘catch up’ interventions planned where needed)

We also allow for changes based on our assessment for learning as well as the contribution and ideas from our children.

We share termly topic plans and welcome ideas, contributions, resources, and visitors to make learning at St Erme with Trispen meaningful, exciting and memorable!

St Erme curriculum planning expectations

  • ‘Never heard the word’ topic based vocabulary list shared at the start and checked at the end of the topic
  • Focus on oracy evident across the whole curriculum
  • Engaging start to main topic focus
  • One topic outcome per year has a  purposeful end product ( may include parental engagement)
  • Student-led approach where possible
  • Use of real life experiences - including trips/visitors at least once a year.
  • Opportunities for outdoor learning – linked to local environment
  • Every topic makes direct links to SMSC (Cultural capital opportunities)
  • Yearly opportunities for enterprise and production (raising money for trips/resources/charities)
  • High quality texts used
  • At least two pieces of purposeful, fun and creative cross-curricular writing
  • Curriculum non-negotiables tracked on one drive