The National Curriculum

In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum. It provides a framework for schools to use as they plan and implement a curriculum which is bespoke to the needs of the children and families who form its community. The content of the National Curriculum is designed to provide children with knowledge, skills and understanding as befits a learner in 21st Century Britain. Follow this link  to the Department of Education website to see the full description of what children are expected to learn during their time in school.

The Curriculum at Ivegill CE School

At Ivegill CE children study 'core’ subjects: English, Maths and Science.

They also study ‘foundation’ subjects: Art & Design, Computing, Design & Technology, Languages (French), Geography, History, Music and PE. RE is compulsory and is taught at Ivegill CE in line with the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus.

We use the Chris Quigley Essentials curriculum for Years 1 to 6 to help us to provide a broad and balanced educational experience which allows children to develop their interests and strengths.  This document shows what children will learn in each year group in English, Maths and Science; you can also see what will be taught in other subjects in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  Children in Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework and will be assessed against this at the end of the summer term.

Click here to view the school’s Calculation Policy

The PHSE curriculum is being reviewed in Autumn 2017, based on guidance and the Programme of Study published by the PHSE Association.This will bring the curriculum into line with our Child Protection and other safeguarding policies. Learning will take place as discrete lessons as well as through subjects such as science (topics such as puberty are covered in both PHSE and as part of the science curriculum).

How do we assess children's attainment and progress in Years 1 to 6?

 Since 2014 schools have been free to develop a system of assessing and tracking attainment and progress that best suits their own needs. We chose to use Chris Quigley’s ‘Depth of Learning’ as an assessment framework as progress is defined as an increase in cognitive challenge and an increase in independence - children are encouraged to apply the skills they have learned independently in a range of contexts rather than being moved on before the skills have been mastered.

Learning is grouped into three Milestones

  • Milestone 1: Years 1 and 2
  • Milestone 2: Years 3 and 4
  • Milestone 3: Years 5 and 6

Children in Reception continue to be assessed against the Early Learning Goals.

All children begin each milestone at the ‘Basic’ level. Here they are acquiring new skills and are dependent upon the support of adults in order to learn new concepts. A child at the ‘Basic’ level will be able to: name, describe, follow instructions, use, match, recognise, label and recall concepts and skills required for their current Milestone.

After children are able to demonstrate this ability on multiple occasions, they move to the ‘Advancing’ stage. They are more independent learners, capable of making some degree of decision whilst applying some of their skills with guidance. Typically they are able to: explain, classify, infer meaning, make predictions, interpret summarise and apply their skills to solve problems.

Finally, some children may reach the ‘Deep’ level of thinking. This involves a high level of cognitive challenge, where children are expected to apply their skills in a range of complex contexts without the guidance of adults. At this stage, children are able to: solve non-routine problems, appraise, explain concepts, hypothesise, investigate, design and prove.

Children will progress through the Milestones at different rates and with different levels of support - not all children will reach a "Deep" level of learning.

How will you know if your child is making good progress?

All children will be expected to make good progress from their starting point. If a child leaves Reception at the ‘emerging’ stage, and they make good progress they will be at ‘Basic 2’ by the end of Year 2 which means ‘working towards national expectations’. However, at the end of Milestone 2 and 3, they will be expected to leave at ‘Advancing 1’, which is a deeper level of learning (although still slightly below national expectations).

If a child left Reception at the ‘expected’ stage, they should leave Milestone 1, 2 and 3 at ‘Advancing 2’ which means that they are working at national expectations. However, if a child left Reception at the ‘exceeding’ stage, they should leave Milestone 1, 2 and 3 at either ‘Deep 1’ or ‘Deep 2’ - above national expectations.

Reporting your child's progress

Parents' consultation evenings are held three times a year and you will be informed of your child's progress towards their Milestone or against the Early Learning Goals. All primary aged children in England are required to sit statutory end of key stage tests, called SATs.

KS1 SATs are administered  May and June of Year 2; KS2 SATs are administered in May for Year6 children. These national tests assess a child’s attainment in reading and maths. Writing is assessed by the class teacher and is moderated both internally and externally thought local partnerships.


Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. It’s an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.

We use a combination of two main reading schemes: Oxford Reading Tree and Ginn. The reading schemes are supplemented with a range of books from different publishers chosen for their appeal to both boys and girls.  The reading schemes give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range. Children learn to read at different rates. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books from the school library.

Our daily phonics sessions in Reception and KS1 are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.

We use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside the actions of Jolly Phonics.

Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – you can’t really break the sounds down for such words so it’s better to just ‘recognise’ them.

Phase one will have begun in your child’s nursery setting. This phase paves the way for the systematic learning of phonics. We teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs and read good books to and with the children. This helps to increase the number of words they know – their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books. The children learn to identify rhyme and alliteration.

For any additional information regarding the school's curriculum please contact your child's teacher or alternatively contact the Headteacher, Ms Sue Stainton.