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Victoria Park Primary School

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Information about the Curriculum at VPPS

At Victoria Park, we are committed to ensuring our children develop a strong foundation in reading, writing and mathematics.  We also believe in providing a broad and balanced curriculum in which children develop the skills they will need to shine later in life.  We provide a wide range of opportunities to enrich the curriculum.


Early Years Foundation Stage:

In Reception classes follow the new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which become statutory in September 2021.  For more information go to


Reading: We are determined that every child at our school is a successful reader. We have a structured approach to the teaching of reading which includes the teaching of phonics to help children decode words and a strong emphasis on developing comprehension skills.

We use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021. We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes they have been taught, then in Year 1 they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check. In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.
To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have impact.

We promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our reading sessions at school and in the books children take home, texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading. In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books from Ransom Reading Stars, who we worked in partnership with when creating Unlocking Letters and Sounds to ensure complete fidelity to the phonic progression we follow. Once children progress beyond de-codable texts, they move onto our book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers. 

To help parents support their children with reading at home we run workshops for parents in reception and year 1. We have a number of intervention programmes in place to support any children in need of additional support, including Buddy Reading Partners and A-Z readers.  Pupils in need of extra support with reading are carefully monitored and supported until they reach their age-related expectation.

Children in Years 1 - 6 have a daily reading lesson.  This might involve teachers and teaching assistants working with groups of children to develop their reading comprehension skills, or whole class teaching of reading.

Children are encouraged to read widely at home and to borrow books from our school library.  Teachers read carefully selected books to the class and model what it means to love reading for pleasure.  We try to encourage a love of reading through events like bedtime story evenings, celebrating world book day, trips to the local library and author visits.

Writing: We have a consistent approach to the teaching of writing across the school. Children are encouraged to be creative writers and to recognise the features of high quality written work.  Whenever possible we make links between the children's writing and their learning in other areas of the curriculum, and use high quality literature as a basis for learning. Children regularly practise their spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation.

Our marking policy helps children to identify what they have done well ('green to be seen') and what they could improve ('pink to think').  Children have the opportunity to respond to the marking to further improve their work. 

Maths: We have developed our own calculation policy to ensure we are teaching key mathematical skills in a consistent and progressive way.

We use a range of different resources (e.g. numicon, diennes and cuisenaire rods) to help children develop a solid understanding of number.   We also use an online maths resource called 'mathletics' to help children consolidate their maths learning at home.

History, Geography, Science: Although we teach these as separate subjects, we follow the same "enquiry" style approach when teaching them. Each topic starts with a "hook" to introduce the topic, followed by a series of lessons where the children are "immersed" in the learning. At the end of the topic, children "share" what they have done with an audience to demonstrate what they have learned. We also make thematic links between these and other subjects, especially reading and writing to make the learning real, purposeful and relevant. This also involves lots of trips to places of local interest and visitors to our school.  

Physical Education: PE is taught by both class teachers and specialist sports teachers. Children learn a range of indoor and outdoor games and take part in swimming lessons in key stage 2.  We make good use of the local park for outdoor sessions. The main PE curriculum is supplemented by a wide range of extra-curricular sporting activities.  As a member of the Ashton Park Sports Partnership, we take part in a number of different tournaments and competitions with other schools.

Music: Music is taught in every year group.  In key stage 2, children learn an instrument as a whole class.  

Computing: We use a programme called Kapow to help us deliver the computing curriculum.  Whenever possible we make links between the computing curriculum and other areas of the curriculum.

Art and Design: We have a specialist art teacher who delivers art lessons across the school and supports teachers with their art lessons.  Art lessons take place in our lovely art room. 


Design and Technology: design and technology is taught in each year group through a dedicated lesson day each term.

Modern Foreign Languages: Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 learn French.