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St Vigor and St John Church School and The Mill Nursery

being adventurous,

being ethical,

being connected,

being unique

The curriculum at St Vigor and St John Church School



The curriculum at St Vigor and St John School is based on four key areas within our vision for learning; these areas set out to describe the sort of dispositions we want our children to develop in life.

They are;

  • Being Adventurous
  • Being Connected
  • Being Ethical
  • Being Unique

We use national expectations to design a progressive curriculum that promotes and supports children's development and capacity in these areas. 

We celebrate children's achievements through the lenses of these 4 dispositions.




Long Term Curriculum Plans

Long term curriculum plans can be found on the 'Curriculum' page of each class. These are overviews of all subject areas and how these are mapped throughout the year.


Quest Plans

Each half-term, teachers plan learning within an Enquiry Question or 'Quest'. They group together elements of learning from different subjects and aim to develop our pupil's ability to explore, research and answer the enquiry question. We aim to do this through a balance of lessons that develop subject knowledge and understanding, key subject skills and key learning skills.


Teachers plan to make learning real and relevant by linking activities to the children's world and by having tangible outcomes to learning. We aim to involve people and organisations from outside school (e.g. artists, farmers, people with stories and experiences to share) and take children on visits to help bring learning alive (e.g. visits to historical sites, factories, quarries, galleries) and provide children with a solid sense of their community -in a local, national and international dimension.


An overview of the yearly Quests can be found on the 'Curriculum' page.


Termly Quest Pie Charts

Termly QUEST pie charts map out the weighting of subject areas and explain what subjects are taught discretely and those which are covered through our QUEST enquiry approach.


Have a look at the events page and class pages for photographs and activities of our curriculum in action!




At St Vigor and St John Church School, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences, develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves and become connected with the world around them. Our reading curriculum strives to create a balance between instruction in cognitive reading processes which develop the children’s technical and comprehension skills and affective experiences which foster a lifelong love of reading. Through this, we cultivate the behaviours that they will need, to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic, adventurous and critical readers. 


Phonics Teaching and Early Reading


Synthetic phonics is the first formal method for the teaching of reading that we use as it provides the foundations required to become a fluent reader. We understand that once children are able to decode fluently, the teaching of comprehension is quicker and more effective as they are able to focus all of their attention to understanding what they read. Daily, fast paced, highly interactive and challenging lessons ensure effective learning and progress. 


Decoding and graphic knowledge are taught using the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Children have discrete daily sessions for Foundation Stage and KS1 and phonic interventions for any children in KS2 who are still working within the phonic phases. There is a cohesive and consistent approach to teaching Phonics, where daily sessions follow the same structure:

1. Revisit/Recap 2. Teach 3. Practise 4. Apply 5. Assess


Throughout Key Stages One and Two, our guided (small group) and Whole Class Reading sessions balance the teaching of reading between word reading, wider decoding skills, grammar for reading, wider comprehension strategies and response to text in order to develop fluent readers who understand what they are reading. Comprehension is taught from an early age and we believe that it is important that children read for meaning so that they become motivated readers.  EYFS and KS1 focus on teaching reading in small group sessions. All children from Year 3 take part in 2 hours of Whole Class Reading sessions per week, this can be in longer session or split in shorter sessions appropriate to the age and attention of the children.


We follow an approach called VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explain, retrieve and summarise/sequence) to engage children and develop comprehension skills.


Click below to find out more about our VIPERS approach.


Individual Reading

In the last year, we have invested heavily, with support of the PTFA, in engaging phonics decodable books (Big Cat reading scheme) to support reading in EYFS and KS1. All children are provided with a phonics decodable book based on their current phonic phase. Children are encouraged to take their books home to share with their parents/carers.


In addition to this, we are in the process of improving our provision of reading for KS2 and are currently investing in new Book Banded books for individual reading.


All children, who have secured Phase 5, will have a Book Band individual reading book and are encouraged to read in school and to take it home to read with parents/carers. Teachers will record the children’s Book Band level on a tracking sheet to monitor progress. Children’s reading progress will be assessed and tracked to see whether they are ready to move to the next Book Band. The school will ensure all texts are accurately matched to children’s ability, as all books within Book Bands are graded to ensure progression and challenge for all children.


Our curriculum intent for Maths reflects the purpose and aims of the national curriculum by encouraging our children to make rich connections between mathematical ideas in order to:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Reason mathematically
  • Solve increasingly complex problems by applying Mathematics


Our curriculum is sequenced in long-and medium-term plans (following White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning) to help pupils progressively accumulate knowledge towards the expected standards in the disciplines of number fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our curriculum design helps pupils develop unique perspectives by establishing classroom environments that promote thinking, reasoning, and mathematical discussion. New mathematical vocabulary is systematically introduced across the key stages in Number, Geometry and Measure to promote a high level of subject-specific literacy. We aim to encourage our children to become adventurous mathematicians by promoting mathematical enquiry using an array of high-quality ‘mastery’ resources that foster interest and encourage communication, systematic working, and trial and improvement.