About Our Curriculum

Our school curriculum is founded on four basic principles which underline what we teach and the way we teach at Emmanuel. They are:

  • Broad – It introduces pupils to a wide range of knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Balanced – Each part of our curriculum is allocated sufficient time relevant to the children’s age and experience.
  • Relevant – Subjects are taught in a way that relates to the children’s lives and experience, now and in the future.
  • Differentiated – What and how the subjects are taught matches pupils’ individual needs, abilities and aptitudes. Children may be taught as a whole class, in smaller groups or on an individual basis.

At Emmanuel we ensure our curriculum is based on core Christian values and our British identity, for example justice, forgiveness and freedom.

The Promotion of British Values at Emmanuel

At Emmanuel, we promote and embed British Values throughout our school day. Values are discussed explicitly and woven through all aspects of our work. Some examples of how we promote British Values include:

  • Year 5 and Year 6 pupils created their own political party and campaigned within school for pupil and teachers votes on election day.
  • We hold a weekly celebration assembly to celebrate the achievement of others.
  • Our School Council led fundraising events during the school year; for our link school in Freetown in Sierra Leone, for Children in Need and for the refugee crisis is Calais.
  • Our curriculum includes topics such as Equality (Year 2), Conservation (Year 1), Modern Britain (Year5/6), E-Safety (all year groups).
  • Pupils are supported to use the Restorative Justice approach to solve disputes with other children.



Teaching reading skills at Emmanuel

A set time every day is timetabled to teach reading skills. Reading is taught:

  • in guided reading sessions daily with a teacher. This is when the children read in a small group of 5-6 pupils who are all reading at the same level. The teacher is teaching reading explicitly to the group.
  • during 1:1 reading sessions with teacher/support staff
  • during 1:1 reading sessions with volunteer readers

How do we teach phonics at Emmanuel

Children are taught a range of strategies in order to help them read, including phonics (the sounds letters make). We use the Letters and Sounds scheme to teach phonics as well as Jolly Phonics actions in the EYFS. You can find out more about this in the regular Parent Workshops and powerpoints in the ‘Parent Workshop’ section of our website. Discrete phonics lessons are taught daily in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Phase 1: Phonics lessons take place daily (this phase is mostly taught in Nursery class). Children explore sounds and develop their listening skills.

Phase 2: Phonics lessons take place on 4 days of the week. The Letters and Sounds scheme is used to deliver a progressive programme of word reading skills. By the end of phase 2, many children should be able to read some VC (vowel- consonant) and CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and to spell them. They start to learn to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words.

Phase 3 and 4: Phonics lessons take place on 4 days of the week. Letters and Sounds is used to deliver a progressive programme of word reading skills. Children begin to read and write one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes (letters to represent sound in words – l – ea – fl). They blend and segment CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant), CCVC and CVCC words for reading and spelling and use their phonic knowledge when trying to read and write more complex words.

Phase 5 and 6: Phonics lessons take place on 4 days of the week. Letters and Sounds is used to deliver a progressive programme of word reading skills. Children are taught to read words automatically; decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now established. Children are taught to read the 100 of the most frequently occurring words in English.


Resources to teach Reading

Children use a variety of reading scheme books which have been graded according to the level of difficulty. Teachers assess the children and give them the correct level of book to match their ability.

  • Books are graded with colour bands according to their level of challenge.
  • Fluent readers select appropriate reading material from class reading areas and the school library area.
  • Reception to Year 6 children take part in small group guided reading sessions once per week with the class teacher.
  • While the children are taking part in the group guided reading session, the rest of the class will be doing quality reading activities.
  • Selected children take part in 1:1 reading intervention using the ‘15 minutes a day’ reading programme. These children are selected by their teachers for extra reading support.
  • Selected children also read weekly with Reading Volunteers who are part of our local community. These children are selected by their teachers for extra reading support.

Teaching comprehension skills

Comprehension means understanding, so teaching these skills is central to reading. Children are given opportunities to improve their comprehension skills throughout their time at Emmanuel. This ensures they are better able to understand the books they are reading. We teach comprehension skills as outlined below.

Nursery and Reception: Children are asked questions orally during and after texts are read, as word recognition is still being developed.

Y1 and Y2: Every day and in all subjects children are taught to comprehend (understand) what they are reading. Discrete comprehension skills are also taught. Children are asked questions orally during and after texts are read.

KS2: Every day and in all subjects children are taught to comprehend (understand) what they are reading. Written comprehensions are given to children to enable them to read and then respond to questions about a text.

Click on the class / band below to see what the expectations are for reading in each year group.



At Emmanuel we teach writing through Pie Corbett’s approach of ‘Talk for Writing’. This approach enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. ‘Talk for Writing’ allows children to make good progress as they internalise language and sentence structure patterns which they can then apply into their independent writing. Our grammar teaching is then integrated into this approach and children can confidently discuss the different language and structural features included across a range of text types as well as in their own writing.

Children produce an extended piece of writing each week in KS1 and at the end of the unit in KS2. Children are taught to write in a variety of styles such as narrative, persuasive, journalistic, recounts and reports. Children learn how to vary sentences, make interesting and ambitious word choices, and use grammar and punctuation correctly. Each piece of written work is carefully scaffolded using ‘toolkits’ to guide a child and then marked by highlighting real successes. Children also have weekly spelling lessons, where children are taught spelling rules and conventions. The children are given spellings to learn for homework which they are tested on the following week.

Click here to download a useful English Glossary

Click here to see the ‘Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation’ that is taught in Key Stage 1 & 2

Click on the class / band below to see what the expectations are for writing in each year group.

Poetry recitation

Every half term every class from Reception to Year 6 read, discuss and learn off by heart a poem that they perform in class. The children really enjoy showing off their acting and presentation skills.

Click here for our Y1-Y6 English Curriculum Overview


Mathematics is one of the core subjects and is taught every day from EYFS to Year 6. The children are taught the most efficient methods of calculation: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They are also taught the other areas of mathematics: number, fractions, geometry, measures and data in a structured and systematic way. Children also have the opportunity to develop their mental maths skills. During these sessions (which sometimes happen outside of the daily maths lesson) work is planned around knowing number facts such as number bonds and times tables. The children practice how to recall number facts quickly.

Click here for our Y1-Y6 Mathematics Curriculum Overview

Click on the class / band below to see what the expectations are for mathematics in each year group.

Religious Education

As a Christian school, we place great emphasis on Religious Education as part of our curriculum. Emmanuel is a multi-ethnic school with a Christian ethos underpinning everything that we teach. Religious Education lessons take place every week in each class, from EYFS to Year 6. We teach the children through stories, drama, looking at the Bible and discussion in class about: the life of Jesus; Christian ideas about God; the role of the church and also about other world faiths.

Click here for our RE Overview

Unicef Rights Respecting

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos. We are proud to be a Level 1 Rights Respecting school and are working towards Level 2. As a rights respecting school we not only teach about children’s rights but also model rights and respect in all of our relationships: between pupils and adults, between adults and between pupils.


Computing (formally known as ICT) is taught in two different ways. Children are taught a variety of computer based skills ranging from programming to editing photography in a Computing lesson. They then have the opportunity to use computers (iPads and laptops) within other subjects in the curriculum. We further help pupils develop their computing skills at home by setting homework which involves online research projects.


In the EYFS Science is part of the cross curricular work called Understanding the World and is taught through exploring real objects and experiments e.g. looking at which of a series of objects might float or sink. From Year 1 to Year 6, the children cover a range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics based topics every year. During each topic the children plan and carry out scientific experiments. They record their results and are encouraged to learn through these experiments and their observations of them. We hold a science week each year with a specific focus for each class. This also involves inviting visitors into our school to hold workshops and presentations. We are very proud of being awarded the Silver Primary Science Quality Mark.


Children from Year 3 to Year 6 are taught Spanish weekly. The children learn Spanish through mostly oral work and through fun interactive games that they play in pairs and in small groups. Some written work is produced to consolidate their learning. Children learn the common everyday language and key vocabulary used in Spain e.g. numbers, greetings and emotion words. Children are also taught Spanish songs in our weekly singing assembly.

Personal, Social & Health Education

We teach PSHE through weekly circle time sessions in class. The sessions involve circle time games and teacher led discussions. The children discuss issues such as peer pressure, bullying and good citizenship. All of the children have the chance to contribute their ideas.

Relationship and Sex Education

We aim to prepare children to grow up as responsible and well informed adults. Our programme of personal, social and health education (PSHE) includes relationship and sex education. We match the teaching to the age and maturity of pupils.

Our policy is available to parents upon request. Although you have the right to withdraw your child from the curriculum covering relationships we ask you first to speak to the Headteacher about your intentions.


Reception and KS1 children learn musicianship skills through a series of progressive activities linking movement and singing to key musical processes such as pitch, rhythm and pulse, tempo and dynamics. Skills are developed through a topic-based curriculum. Children have the opportunity to participate in Band and Recorder Ensemble in KS2. We have a KS1 and 2 Choir that perform at several events throughout the year eg Carol Singing in our local community and performing at The Royal Albert Hall. Our Wider Opportunities programme offers Year 5/6 children the opportunity to learn a brass instrument and weekly lessons are run by skilled music tutors. Some children also take additional instrumental tuition which can include; piano, guitar, recorder, singing, brass instrument and violin.

PE and Swimming

Children in KS1 & 2 take part in PE every week. This comprises of gymnastics, dance and indoor and outdoor games.

When children enter KS2 they are taught to swim at Swiss Cottage Sports Centre by qualified instructors. We also run a wide range of sporting clubs which include; Zumba, Football, Karate and Netball We also have boys and girls teams who compete in borough inter-school competitive sports events.