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Rotherfield Primary School Growing futures

Curriculum and Assessment

Rotherfield Out and About - At Rotherfield Primary school, we are continuously working to provide every child with a rich, inspiring and challenging curriculum that will bring their learning alive; as well as opening their minds to the vast and wide-ranging possibilities that lie outside of the school environment.


Along with all other maintained schools in England we are required by government to teach the revised National Curriculum, which began September 2014.

The curriculum is ‘what’ will be taught.  The Government has slimmed these requirements down to enable schools to add areas they feel children need for their development.

The curriculum does not dictate ‘how’ things are taught.  That is down to us! We will mix a rich cross curricular approach to make learning fun, with discrete teaching of specialist subjects such as Spanish, Art and Design/Design and Technology and physical education. We believe in using research to inform our teaching practice and pedagogy.  For more information about how we do this- see our Teachers as Learners section.

There is summative testing with national comparisons at the beginning and end of Reception year, phonics testing in year one, and revised statutory tests at the end of year 2 and 6.

Our curriculum maps for 2018-19 can be found at the top of this page.


More detailed information on our curriculum can be provided by class teachers or assistant head teachers on request.

Here at Rotherfield children follow the Letters and Sounds scheme to learn to read and write using phonics. Phonics lessons play an essential role in reading and writing and are embedded in the curriculum from Nursery onwards. In Key Stage One, children are streamed for Phonics and their reading is assessed on a half-termly basis. This ensures targeted learning and fluid progression. The aim of Letters and Sounds is to produce competent readers who read for enjoyment and discovery about the world around us.
During Phonics lessons, children are taught to:


  • learn to read and write using graphemes (letter sounds)
  • decode words effortlessly, spell and handwrite
  • comprehend what they read
  • read with fluency and expression
  • write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • work effectively with talk partners to articulate their learning at every step.

Children are encouraged to use their phonic knowledge to read and write during the Literacy Hour. At the end of Year 1 children will take a National Phonics Screening Check, where their class teacher will formally assess their phonic knowledge. This is a national test that all children in year 1 will participate in.

phonics letters and sounds mouth close up
Sounds of the English Phonic Code -Synthetic Phonics.wmv

Tami Reis-Frankfort, reading specialist and trainer, demonstrates how to pronounce the sounds of the English Phonic Code, when teaching children to read with Synthetic Phonics.

Useful websites

This curriculum is play based, and involves children self-selecting activities, whole class activities and small adult led activities by the teachers and support staff. Adults very carefully observe the children and plan progress for each of them by intervening in play and also planning targeted teaching to move learning forward.

In Nursery we begin to teach the building blocks of reading through early exposure to texts, language and through sound discrimination activities. At Rotherfield we use Government guidance called Letters and Sounds to help teachers plan progression in phonic skills. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.