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Hayeswood First School


Curriculum and Learning

Our Curriculum

At Hayeswood First School, children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in their Reception year, and the National Curriculum from year 1 onwards. The basic skills of literacy and numeracy are given appropriate emphasis in English and mathematics teaching respectively, and the children follow learning ‘themes’ each term or half-term to provide a focus and context by combining learning meaningfully across a range of curriculum subjects. These themes have been adjusted to take into account the requirements of the revised National Curriculum from September 2014. For more information, please click on the link below.

Primary National Curriculum from 2014

Wimborne Academy Trust's Curriculum Vision

VALUES: Our three core Trust values are excellence, collaboration and respect.

VISION: Our pupils develop character through a love of learning to achieve and thrive. they are prepared to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens with a global perspective.

OUTCOMES: Every child will leave our schools with the best possible character - resilience, confidence, aspiration, integrity, compassion for others, respect, curiosity, spiritual awareness and team working.

Our Curriculum Statement - January 2022

At Hayeswood First School we are transforming our curriculum. Leaders are designing a curriculum that maximises every pupil's academic, physical and emotional learning and promotes and upholds their well-being.  The curriculum is planned to be sequential and coherent. It is progressive, building step by step on pupils’ previous skills and knowledge. Skills are underpinned by secure knowledge and are embedded, enabling them to be transferred in a variety of contexts. The curriculum is designed to secure key knowledge in pupils’ long term memory. The curriculum relates to the local, regional and national context of the school.  The cultural capital we develop ensures that we will not only inspire but also challenge our pupils in their learning. 

We believe that children learn most securely through a thematic curriculum in which individual subjects are combined meaningfully in age appropriate contexts and interwoven into daily learning. We also plan learning so that children’s interests can mould and shape the experiences we provide. Each curriculum subject, and its associated knowledge and skill set, is respected as a discipline and afforded appropriate coverage.


Throughout Hayeswood First School, a love for reading is nurtured through our use of the Unlocking Letters and Sounds Reading scheme, whereby high quality texts are used to develop language and writing skills, alongside reading skills. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their reading skills in directed Guided Reading sessions and in Whole Class Reading sessions, as well as using opportunities across other curriculum areas. We have a fantastic school library which is visited each week by all classes, so that all children can take home a high quality book they have chosen and would love to enjoy.

Phonics Scheme

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 for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.

Please see document at the bottom of the page to support  ‘Actions, Images and Letter Formation’ document.

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, 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. For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression attachment at the bottom of the page.

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 an impact.

See attachments at the bottom of this page: 

Unlocking Letters and Sounds Actions, Images and Handwriting – Phase 2

Unlocking Letters and Sounds Actions and Images – Phase 3

Writing is taught through high quality texts and learning experiences. Grammar and spelling skills and knowledge is taught in within the English curriculum. Pupils apply their learning independently, sometimes with an element of choice, for example writing from the perspective of a chosen character. Following both personal and general whole class feedback or discussion, pupils are encouraged to edit and improve their writing.

Emile Spelling

Mathematics is taught using a mastery approach with Maths- No Problem! as a core resource from Year 1 - Year 4. This approach is based upon the research from Bruner (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach), Vygotsky (rich discussion & peer talk), Piaget (thinking processes rather than outcomes), Dienes (exploration before structure and a variety of methods) and Skemp (making links). Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.

Pupils are given time to think deeply about the maths and really understand concepts at a relational level rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience. 

Pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.

Enrichment Through Visits and Visitors

Annually, the school arranges a significant number of visitors, projects and class trips. This includes a residential trip for Year 4. Enrichment activities are an important aspect of the school’s curriculum provision. 

Pupil Voice

Pupil voice is fundamentally important in all the decisions made regarding the curriculum. The school council, sports leaders and Eco team all make decisions regarding relevant aspects of school life. Pupils also take part in partnership work with other schools in Wimborne Academy Trust and beyond. Whole school questionnaires and subject specific pupil voice also inform decisions regarding the curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our children benefit from a programme that involves appropriate emphases on play and child initiated, exploratory learning, balanced with a programme of adult led sessions, guided support and independent opportunities to read, write and solve problems.  Our Reception pupils develop as confident and capable readers, writers and problem solvers. We are able to provide a strong foundation enabling pupils to thrive as they enter Year 1 and throughout the rest of their school years and beyond.

Monitoring Activities

To evaluate the impact of our provision, senior leaders and subject leaders undertake book scrutinies, observe the quality of teaching and learning and undertake pupil voice interviews. As part of the process, whole school areas of strength and areas for development are identified. Whole school action plans are created and implemented as a result, and then the impact of any intervention is evaluated. ACM also undertake regular visits to monitor the effectiveness of school priorities and curriculum areas.


  • Assessment is used not only to inform teachers of progress, identifying gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills, but also to reflect on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the taught curriculum, its design and implementation.

  • Senior leaders maintain a strong focus on the curriculum and are accountable for its design and implementation. However, all teaching staff make valued contributions towards the planning, delivery and review of the curriculum, both as subject leaders and as classroom teachers.

  • We believe that our broad, rich curriculum will prepare pupils effectively for internal and external tests and assessments, and the outcomes of these should reflect the success of the curriculum.

Please follow the link to read the National Curriculum in full:  National Curriculum 2014
Click the link for information about the curriculum across all Wimborne Academy Trust schools.

For more information about the school's curriculum, please consult our parents' handbook or contact the school via phone or email (details here), marking your email 'Curriculum query'.