Curriculum Overview

Birmingham City Council Curriculum Statement (Revised March 2019) No updates as of 16th Sep 2021


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 implementing 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 Read Write Inc. for the teaching of Phonics. Children are set by ability and taught in groups. The monitoring of the teaching of phonics is the responsibility of the school’s Reading Leader. The Reading Leader and support also coach staff and keep them up to date with training needs. The Reading Leader and support are also responsible for assessing all children who are following the RWI scheme. Assessment data is entered onto the RWI assessment portal. When a child is identified as falling behind, immediate intervention is put into place. The scheme also includes well matched phonics and reading books for use in school and at home.

In key stage 1 and 2, children also access the Bug Club reading scheme, including on-line resources as well as physical books. These are closely matched to the age, ability and phonic level of pupils.

 PRIMARY national curriculum


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


In the EYFS, reading is taught through a ‘Phonics First’ approach in which children are systematically taught synthetic phonics, through Read Write Inc, to enable them to decode new words. They are also taught common exception words for both reading and spelling.

Early comprehension is developed through twice daily story-time, a book-based approach to planning for Literacy, role-play, story sacks and small world. Our approach to comprehension is by ‘Read Aloud Think Aloud’ to develop children’s listening comprehension.

Children also receive 1:1 reading support to develop their decoding skills and fluency.


In key stage 1, English is taught during daily lessons of an hour. These also follow the Read Write Inc. scheme of work and resources.

In addition, story time is timetabled and we continue to read aloud to develop children’s listening comprehension. In key stage 1, two additional reading lessons are planned to coincide with English Medium Term Plans, developing comprehension and providing opportunities for personal response.


In key stage two classes, a daily reading lesson is planned for. The purpose of these lessons is to teach the skills of reading, including in reading and post reading comprehension and covers a range of reading objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum for reading.

In addition, Literacy planning across the school follows a text based approach to develop children’s access to and love of literature. The reading lessons support the English lessons by using the same texts, ensuring that children are able to complete a whole text.

Reading is assessed using Standardised Tests and the school’s own assessments linked to National Curriculum objectives and KPIs.


In the Foundation Stage, children are encouraged to attempt their own emergent writing and their efforts are valued and celebrated. As their phonic knowledge increases, so does their ability to write independently. At the same time, their knowledge of key words is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities and independently apply their phonic skills through role play, creative activities, computing and the outdoor area.

Once children are confident with their understanding of Set 1 Sounds, we teach writing through Red Ditty and Storybook lessons. Children read books closely matched to their phonic ability and use their knowledge of these books to write simple sentences.

In key stage 1, children continue to read and write through daily Read Write Inc. lessons. These lessons are supported by whole class reading sessions and a written response.

In year two and key stage 2, we teach writing using the school’s own Medium Term plans. These follow a book-based approach, through which teachers use a range of texts to develop children’s reading and writing skills. Additional opportunities for writing are included across the curriculum.

The cycle for teaching of writing is:

· Identify text features, including grammar, sentence types, writer’s purpose etc.

· Teach and practice the features

· Plan for writing

· Write first draft

· Edit and improve

Writing is assessed used the schools own targets linked to the National Curriculum objectives and KPIs.


 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. 


Computing Overview