Our Curriculum

The Curriculum is designed to give all pupils a broad base of educational experience, enabling them to practise a variety of skills, develop understanding of a wide range of concepts and establish positive attitudes to study, work and leisure time.
As far as possible the school aims to meet the educational needs of each child and to develop his or her individual talents as fully as possible. Both the formal curriculum and extra curriculum activities give pupils opportunities to practice and develop those personal and social skills which will enable them to meet the challenges of life with increased confidence and growing maturity.

Foundation Stage 

Children in the Reception year, aged 4 to 5 years, are taught according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum.The EYFS sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. The 7 areas that early years learning concentrates on are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding of the world
  • expressive arts and design


In planning and guiding children’s activities, the school considers the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

 • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 

At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5, members of staff record each child’s development by watching the child playing and in the classroom. The completed assessment is known as the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile’. Parents will receive an assessment of how their child has achieved against all 17 early learning goals. 

Key Stage 1 & 2 

The 2014 national curriculum is mandatory for schools in England and consists of the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Art and Design
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (key stage 2 only)
  • Music
  • Physical Education

The school teaches phonics predominantly through the Letters and Sounds scheme and reading is initially taught using the Oxford Tree Reading schemeIn English, we seek to link learning to novels and/or the planned writing genre.  We systematically teach spelling, punctuation and grammar as laid out in the new curriculum.  In mathematics, we use, when appropriate, the Abacus mathematics scheme.

For foundation subjects, the school uses the Learning Challenge curriculum.

Learning Challenge Curriculum

The Learning Challenge Curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work.  It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to use a question as a starting point. Teachers and learners use a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as a starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks, subsidiary challenges are then planned.  Pre learning tasks ensure that learners are directly involved in the planning process. Pre learning tasks should bring out what the children already know, what misconceptions they have and what interests them. Time for learners to reflect and review their learning is central to the process. The units are distributed between years in a 2 - year cycle for each stage of learning.

Other subjects

RE will continue to be delivered according to the Liverpool Diocesan scheme.

Although no longer statutory subjects, Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) will continue to be taught through the curriculum and SEAL topics.


National testing will still be done in Year 1 (Phonics Screening), Year 2 (SATs) and at the end of Year 6 (SATS). We continually assess where children are in their learning through observation, questioning, marking and more formal testing.  

Enriching our curriculum 

We deliver a varied curriculum which is further enhanced by visiting experts and performers such as artists, actors, scientists and living history specialists. Day trips to museums, exhibitions, historical sites and theatre performances are also regularly arranged whilst in Years 2, 4 & 6 children are offered the opportunity to go on a residential activity trip.

We promote social, moral, spiritual and cultural development throughout the curriculum and the day to day life in school.  We have a daily act of worship which may contain multi cultural links. We have a 'Healthy Schools Week' in the autumn term and a Multi Cultural Week in the spring term.  The school teaches British Values implicitly through the curriculum,  through assemblies and acts of worship and explicity through our our 'British Values Week' in the summer term. The school holds the gold artsmark which means that we deliver an arts curriculum at a high standard.

We seek to be an eco-friendly school and have recently begun a gardening club.  Children grow a range of fruit and vegetables which are then sold to parents for adding to the family meal.


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Contact the School

Rainford C E Primary School

Cross Pit Lane
St Helens
WA11 8AJ

Main Contact: Jayne Owens (Office)

Tel: 01744 883281
Fax: 01744 886495