Curriculum Overview

Birmingham City Council Curriculum Statement (Revised March 2019)


The school follows the National Curriculum set out by the Department for Education (DFE). The curriculum at Yorkmead aims to provide children with exciting, stimulating learning opportunities which broaden their life experiences whilst providing them with the essential knowledge as set out in the new curriculum implemented in September 2014.Our school is currently awaiting read/write inc training reading and will be implemnting this scheme in EYFS and KS1 From September 2020. English and Maths still retain their high focus at Yorkmead and are taught discreetly and as part of the wider curriculum. Listed below is only a very brief overview of each subject area. For greater detail please follow the link to the relevant policy.


Reading and Phonics Schemes

At Yorkmead we follow Letters and Sounds for the teaching of Phonics supported by the use of Jolly Phonics and Phonics Bug.

In EYFS and key stage 1, we use the Pearson Bug Club reading scheme to support the teaching of early reading, this also includes ‘Phonic Bug’ and ‘Comics for Phonics’.

In key stage 2, we use Bug Club, supported by Rigby Star Navigation.

 PRIMARY national curriculum


From their entry into school children are taught and experience English every day.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children are taught phonics daily through a range of visual and auditory activities as well a variety of other practical activities that promote their English skills. In Key Stage 1 the children continue to experience high quality daily phonic sessions in addition to their English lessons. Children will also experience a guided reading session with their teacher once a week followed by a range of supplementary reading experiences such as; comprehension activities, newspapers, independent reading, research etc.

In Key Stage 2 where appropriate children may continue to receive phonic support. Children will also experience a guided reading session with their teacher once a week followed by a range of supplementary reading experiences such as; comprehension activities, newspapers, independent reading, research using texts or the internet etc.

The main school reading scheme is Rigby Star for EYFS & KS1 and Rigby Navigator for KS2.


EYFS children are encouraged to write through a range of guided and independent activities which have purpose and context. This ensures that children from an early age are writing for meaning.

Key Stage 1 build on the skills which they have developed through their EYFS experience and have daily opportunity to write with increasing accuracy and sophistication. Coupled with this children experience a specific grammar lesson and subsequent reinforcement activities.

Key Stage 2 children continue to develop and refine their skills ensuring that they leave Yorkmead able to write in a variety of styles and for a variety of purposes.

 PRIMARY national curriculum - English


We teach Maths using the Maths No Problem scheme, an approach to teaching maths developed in Singapore. Problem solving, fluency and relational understanding are at the heart of the scheme. It uses the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach and allows pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next one. All ideas are built on previous knowledge and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics.

Lessons typically are broken into five parts:

  1. Retrieval Practice – the children complete a short activity which provides an opportunity to practise previously taught concepts;
  2. Anchor Task – the entire class spends time on a question guided by the teacher. The children are encouraged during this time to think of as many ways as possible to solve the question as possible.
  3. New Learning – the teacher introduces and explains the new learning for the lesson.
  4. Guided Practice – children practice new learning in groups, pairs or individually guided by the teacher.
  5. Independent Practice – practice on your own. Once children have mastered the concept they use their reasoning and problem-solving skills to develop their depth of learning.

    Key points:
  • A highly effective approach to teaching mathematics based on research and evidence;
  • Builds students’ mathematical fluency;
  • Introduces new concepts using Bruner’s Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach;
  • Pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand;
  • Teaches mental strategies to solve problems such as drawing a bar model;

Find out more at the Maths No Problem website.

We also use Times Tables Rockstars as a tool to help pupils develop fluency in multiplication tables.

For homework, children use the MyMaths website or mathletics to practise previously learnt maths knowledge and skills. Mathletics homework is set weekly.

Have a look at the programmes of study for each year group;

 PRIMARY national curriculum - Mathematics

Creative Curriculum

Our school approach since 2010 has been to teach the foundation subjects in a thematic approach to ensure that a creative and skills based approach to teaching and learning is experienced by all pupils from Year 1 to Year 6. The curriculum map has been devised in line with the National Curriculum (2014) to ensure that children are being taught the necessary knowledge as expected for their age. Due to changes in the National Curriculum and ofsteds inspection framework our school is currently reviewing and altering its foundation sub curriculum provision.Coupled with this, the schools’ curriculum team have ensured that each “topic” pupils experience not only provides each of them with essential knowledge but also skills relating to specific areas of learning whilst promoting cross curricular links with other subjects. The expectation of the “Creative Curriculum” is to provide our pupils with a wide range of learning experiences that broaden their life experiences and foster enthusiasm for learning.