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Curriculum Information

From October half term, we adopted a whole school approach to learning, which focusses on central themes stemming from the National Curriculum and supports our mixed year group classes.

Our curriculum is based on a four year cycle of different themes, which means that children will generally visit each theme twice during their time at Stoke by Nayland to enable learning to be consolidated and their understanding and knowledge to be deepened further.

Each half term there is a different theme driven by a main subject area e.g History, Geography, Science, Art, DT or English.  This allows subjects to be recognised for their unique qualities and for learning to be immersive so that children gain a deep understanding of what is being taught.  Cross curricular links with other subjects are made when there is a natural, authentic link, but when this is not possible, subjects are taught discretely as part of mini topics.

In most cases, English is taught thematically through the central topic enabling the children to obtain and apply their knowledge in a range of writing contexts.

In each foundation subject area there are three or four 'big ideas' which are revisited in different contexts each time the subject is taught.  Please click on the curriculum areas to read about these further.



We follow the National Curriculum which is divided into the following phasesl:

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 3 to 5 years

Key stage 1 (KS1) 5 to 7 years

Key stage 2 (KS2) 7 to 11 years


The core subjects are:

Maths and English


The foundation subjects are:

Science, Geography, History, PE, Music, RE, Art, Design & Technology, ICT, Foreign Language (French), PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)


Whole school topic overview:

Please click here to see our whole school topic overview.


Educational Visits

Taking children on trips adds an extra dynamic to learning in a social as well as academic sense. Trips for different age ranges includes: museum visits, the zoo, the seaside, the cathedral as well as using the village as a resource for local study.


Outdoor Learning

We consider opportunities to learn outside as an essential element of the curriculum. We have dedicated outdoor areas for all classes and are in the process of enhancing them further. In addition to the school areas we have an allotment and constant access to Rowley Wood, which is a 5 minute walk through the fields.  We are in the process of setting up a Forest School.


Supporting Learning (Please click on the heading)

If you have any questions about our curriculum, please contact your child's class teacher or our Headteacher


The key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening open up a world of learning in school and in the wider lives of our children. We believe children who are read to and then read them themselves develop a richer vocabulary and understanding of language which, in turn allows them to become effective writers in a range of styles.  Most importantly, we want to engender a love of and enthusiasm for language and develop the natural talents and inclinations our children have.

Our English teaching is based on a range of approaches that we adapt to suit the needs of our children. Below are examples of some of the programmes we use at different ages and stages:

 No Nonsense Spelling

 Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play (phonics schemes & materials)

 Oxford Reading Tree (reading scheme)

 Jelly and Bean (reading scheme)

 Project X (reading scheme)

 Read Theory (computer-based reading programme)




At Stoke by Nayland we aim to develop mathematicians who have the skills to cope in the real world.  Children will be fluent in rapid recall of number facts and methods to enable them to solve real life problems, and they will be flexible in transferring these skills when required.

We aim to develop a love and curiosity of number and mathematical concepts.  We believe that all children are mathematicians and all children should have the confidence to experiment and play with number to solve problems.  The children at Stoke by Nayland are exposed to a range of methods and strategies, and are encouraged to adopt strategies that work for them.

Our maths lessons are based around the mastery approach to teaching maths, which develops 3 key elements: Fluency in number, reasoning skills and problem solving.  Our lessons are purposeful, engaging and cater for different learning styles.  We recognise the importance of verbalising our learning and we encourage our children to 'think out loud'.

To see our Mastery Strategy - please click



Through science we aim to engender a sense of awe and wonder about the world we are part of and our interaction with it.  We do this by learning about key aspects of biology, chemistry and physics in a thematic way and through topics that children can relate to. Wherever possible we make science a ‘hands on’ experience where children learn by investigation and questioning.  The 'big ideas' that we will be revisiting in each Science topic are 'Purpose', 'Change', 'Evidence' and 'Characteristics'. 


Our Geography curriculum aims to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with our children for the rest of their lives.  We equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.  The 'big ideas' that we will be revisiting as part of our Geography topics are 'Location', 'Characteristics' and 'Civilisation'.








In History, we aim to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world's past.  Through our teaching of History, we aim for our pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.  We want to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and to know more about the past.  Our intention is to enable children to ask perceptive questions and think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.  Through the teaching of History we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and challenges of time.  Through our topics we develop children’s understanding of chronology and the impact of a range of events on todays society.  The 'big ideas' that we will revisit as part of our history topics are 'Chronology', 'Change', 'Evidence' and 'Civilisation'.


In Physical Education we aim to develop a sense of physical confidence, health awareness and personal achievement, both individually and as part of a team.  Over the time at our school, we give opportunities to develop specific skills, teamwork, develop an understanding of strategy, welcome competition and learn how physical activity contributes to a healthy mind and body.

Through regular lessons children learn a wide range of specific skills and have the opportunity to take some of these further in extra-curricular activities and events organised in the area such as tournaments and competitions. Children are encouraged to celebrate all successes and support each other in being the ‘best they can be’ from their starting point.  The 'big ideas' revisited in PE are 'Co-operation', 'Technique' and 'Evaluation'.

Swimming - click link


In music we aim to give our children a range of creative experiences that allow them to explore and appreciate music from different cultures, traditions and eras.  Through listening, singing, composing and performing we hope children will enjoy sharing the skills they develop and begin to understand the impact that music can have emotionally and spiritually.

At our school, music is a key element, both through the curriculum lessons and in the wider opportunities we offer. These can include listening to professional musicians, singing in a choir or learning an instrument, performing in school and further afield such as in local events in the village and wider community-for example the cathedral or concert hall.  The 'big ideas' revisited in music are 'Chronology', 'Technique', 'Notation' and 'Composition'.


Our Art and Design curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with knowledge and skills to create and experiment with a range of media in their art work.  We feel that all our children should explore and discuss art work from different periods and cultures and in a range of styles.  The 'big ideas' revisited throughout the art and design curriculum are 'Chronology', 'Respect', 'Technique' and 'Expression'.



Our Design and Technology curriculum aims to give the children the freedom to express their creativity through exploring, designing and making with a range of materials and techniques.  In doing this, the children look at the work of a variety of designers, past and present.  We will encourage them to be creative problem-solvers and to apply their skills and also become critical thinkers through evaluating their designs and products and those of others.  The 'big ideas' revisited are 'Purpose', 'Characteristics', 'Construction' and 'Evaluation'. 



Modern Foreign Languages and Cultural Learning is a key strength of our school.  The Governors are committed to supporting the headteacher and other staff to maintain our current Linguarmarque status and seek opportunities for our pupils to continue to develop their language skills and develop a wider and deeper understanding of a range of cultures from around the world.  We start exposing children to French from Nursery age as we believe early learning through songs and games helps to build confidence and begin to develop an ear for language.  The children follow a four year cycle of whole school themes.  These include the 'big ideas' of 'Respect', 'Communication' and 'Curiosity'.  

Please click on the link below for the French Curriculum Overview:


French Curriculum Overview 2018-2019

French Curriculum Overview 2017-2018


In PSHE we aim to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for our children keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in a modern world.  We believe that a well-delivered PSHE programme has an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  Our 'big ideas' in PSHE are 'Respect', 'Communication', 'Compassion' and 'Courage' 

Our PSHE curriculum includes the development of key skills and personal qualities such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team-working and critical thinking. These are set in the context of learning grouped into three core themes:

    · Health and Well-being
    · Relationships
    · Living in the Wider World (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education).



We follow the Emmanuel project for RE. As a Church of England school, Religious Education carries a high status within our curriculum.   Our Religious Education curriculum provides opportunities for our children to explore the significant theological concepts within Christianity and different world religions, developing their thinking and their understanding of the world and their experiences within it. We develop our pupils thinking through a wide range of opportunities including visits to the Cathedral, visits to local places of worship and a wide range of opportunities including leading worship for our pupils.  The 'big ideas' that we revisit are 'Chronology', 'Respect' and 'Characteristics'.

Please see below for our 4 Year Overview:




In ICT and Computing we aim to we equip children to participate in a rapidly changing world, where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology.  It is our intention to enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information to support their learning whilst developing the knowledge and skills to be discriminating and remain safe whilst online.  The 'big ideas' that children will revisit are 'Purpose', 'Respect' and 'Communication'.


Our Classes

Saplings - Nursery, Reception & Year 1

Chestnut - Years 2, 3 and 4

Oak - Years 5 and 6



We follow the National Curriculum which is divided into the following phases at primary level:


FMSISHealthy Schools




Stoke by Nayland C of E Primary School

School Street


Colchester CO6 4QY


Headteacher – Mrs Sarah Smith

Telephone: (01206) 262418

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you would like a paper copy of any information on our website, please contact the school office.

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