The Wessex Curriculum
At Wessex we are proud to offer every child access to an enriched curriculum, using every opportunity to bring learning to life within a thematic approach to learning.
Our curriculum is driven by a creative thematic approach which is inspiring, innovative and inclusive ensuring children are ready for the life in the 21st century academically, emotionally and socially.
We encourage children to be inquisitive – asking and answering questions at every opportunity – whilst ensuring a firm foundation in the basic skills they will need both now and in the future.
We teach our children about the process of learning, and frequently remind them of what it takes to be a good learner. The links below provide an overview of what the children learn throughout the year and are linked to the National Curriculum.
We share this information with families every term to ensure that parents understand what their children are learning and have a good range of suggestions about how this learning can be supported at home. It is a curriculum rooted within the principles of excellence and enjoyment, so please take a look at the Year group links at the side … Please see our curriculum letter to parents and why not visit for yourself to see the fantastic work we are doing!
Please see our vision document below for our curriculum vision:
Curriculum Vision 2021 / 2022
Four year Curriculum map for whole school.
Our curriculum plan
Our exciting Wessex Curriculum has been designed to work in partnership with the National Curriculum.
We have a four year rolling program of study with an overarching theme that threads together across the whole school. We do not teach the same old "boxed" curriculum every year. The cycle has been planned to ensure National Curriculum coverage for a year group and links to show skills progression across the school.
Reading is at the heart of the new curriculum with an inspiring text chosen to lead the learning and link the curriculum together.
We currently use letters and sounds as our scheme. From April 2022 we will be implementing the Read Write inc. Approach to teaching phonics.
At Wessex Primary School we are proud to offer the pupils a text rich learning environment where imagination and creativity can be fuelled. Through our rigorous phonics curriculum, we ensure pupils develop the skills and knowledge they need to develop as confident readers who have a love of books.
To achieve this, we ensure that:
• there is a sharp focus on ensuring that younger children gain the phonics knowledge necessary to read and spell
• reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer
• a rigorous, sequential and interactive approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading
• at all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils
• at the early stages of learning to read, reading materials are closely matched to the learners’ phonics knowledge
Throughout the early years of Wessex Primary School, we adopt a quality first synthetics phonics programme. This provides a comprehensive system with which we teach reading, spelling and writing.. We use Letters and Sounds for the order of teaching and progression. To deliver this the RWI lesson structure, phrases, books and resources are used.
Phonics is delivered through whole class teaching to ensure all children are exposed to the curriculum. Pacey, differentiated lessons are taught daily. They are enhanced with a variety of resources including ditties, paper and online games, websites such as Phonics Play and Teach your Monster to Read, rhymes and songs.
Children are regularly assessed to ensure they are making the expected progress with phonics. This assessment involves children reading Individual phonemes (sounds) as well as blending sounds to read words. This is carried out individually. Children who have not yet acquired the expected phonics will be given additional teaching in small support groups.
Phonics reading at home
To reinforce the phonics learning at school children are encouraged to practice their reading skills by reading regularly with an adult at home. We know that if children practice reading decodable books at the right level (90% fluency) they experience reading success from the outset. We have recently purchased a fully decodable reading scheme called Collins Big Cat for Letters and Sounds which follows the groups of phonemes being taught to the children. This scheme complements our other fully decodable phonics schemes including ORT Songbirds and Floppy’s Phonics.
For further information about phonics please refer to the School Policies or the Class Pages.
Reading at Wessex
We are passionate about ensuring every child is a reader by the time they leave primary school and we do this in a number of ways.
We put Reading at the core of our Curriculum at Wessex and try to inspire a reading for pleasure culture throughout the school.
In KS1 we build on the Phonics knowledge that they have learned with reading sessions based on the children’s ability. We also read class books linked to topics to inspire the children and extend their vocabulary and understanding of the wider world. These sessions start to explore the VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary/sequencing)
In KS2 we continued to develop comprehension skills through looking at the VIPERS lessons. We carefully select reading materials based on our topic. It is very important for the children to have a good background knowledge enhance their understanding of what they are reading. We try to cover a range of genres of fiction in addition to information texts and poetry, this supports our writing curriculum. Reading sessions in KS2 also work on the children’s fluency and prosody following modelling from the teacher.
At Wessex, we use Accelerated Reader to assess reading comprehension and to also ensure that the children are reading books appropriate to their reading level. The children are really engaged in quizzing on the books and children who have done well are praised both in class and in celebration assemblies.
We do provide interventions for those children who are significantly behind where they should be. In the future, we will employ a Reading TA for extra support for children in KS2 and we are investigating a catch-up programme to use to support children’s learning.
We have been able to develop an inspiring curriculum over the last 4 years at Wessex which enables us to really develop the background knowledge and vocabulary in all subjects. The Accelerated Reader quizzes motivate children to read for pleasure but sometimes fantastic authors are still missed so we are also starting ‘Author of the month’ in which a different author is celebrated in assemblies and activities are published on Seesaw so that the authors who don’t fit in with the topics covered in school aren’t overlooked.
How can you help your child?
Accelerated Reader info for parents
Curriculum information for parents
All aspects of our curriculum are accessible to all children, irrespective of their ethnic background, gender, disability, religious or linguistic background. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those who are more able, those with special gifts and talents and the children who are learning English as an additional language. We provide a rich, challenging curriculum, which stretches all of our children.
Every child and family who joins our setting will have their own knowledge and experiences that will link
to their culture and wider family. This might include: languages, beliefs, traditions, cultural and family heritage, interests, travel and work.
Research shows that when children and families’ cultures are valued, both the child’s experience of learning and progress can benefit (Husain et al., 2018, p. 4 and Gazzard, E. 2018 in Chalmers, H. and Crisfield, E. 2019)
Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a child can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a pupil will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work.
Cultural capital gives power. It helps children achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital. Cultural capital is having assets that give children the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.
Ofsted define cultural capital as…
“As part of making the judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider the extent to which schools are equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
Our understanding of ‘knowledge and cultural capital’ is derived from the following wording in the national curriculum: ‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’ “
At Wessex Primary School, children benefit from a flexible curriculum that builds on what they understand and know already. We believe that exposure, not only to culture but also to situations in which the children might not have previous experiences of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes.
Gradually widening children’s experiences as they progress through school is an important step in providing rich and engaging learning across the curriculum. We plan carefully for children to have progressively richer experiences in nursery and beyond. These include trips to the local park, shops and visits to places of worship, museums, sports and music venues just to name a few.
Building experiences and knowledge by immersing children in the world around them
Stunning start example Victorian enrichment day
Love and Kindness Day
Planting Trees for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
Inspiring Minds assemblies
Sporting competitions and skill learning
For further information
For further information please see your child's class teacher, website, information boards outside the upper school or contact one of the Deputy Head Teachers