Sutton V.A. Lower School

Sutton Lower School

Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School

Curriculum Statement

The school caters for children from Reception to Year Four.

The children start school in the September after their fourth birthday and leave to start Middle School in the September following their ninth birthday.

Children are in classes with children from two year bands for years one to four and in one year band for foundation.  There are fifteen children in each year group. Due to mixed age classes we run a two year rolling program. 

On the children’s class pages you will see more detailed information about the exciting themes that your children will be researching and learning from.


The school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum and the National Curriculum. The EYFS is divided into seven areas:

The National Curriculum, a guide for parents

- Communication and Language (CL)

- Physical Development (PD)

- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

- Literacy (LY)

- Mathematics (MA)

- Understanding of the World (UTW)

- Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

If you would like to discuss the curriculum in more detail, please contact Mrs Bage, our School Manager.

Click on the link below for more details of the EYFS curriculum:



                                                                                          Phonics Teaching

The Letters and Sounds programme underpins our synthetic phonics teaching. Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play and The Oxford Reading Tree are the schemes used to deliver this across the school.

Our reading scheme, The Oxford Reading Tree, is linked to our phonics programme ensuring fidelity between both phonics and reading teaching.


Please click here to find out how phonics are taught in school.

 The Curriculum 

Our aims (Intent):

At Sutton VA Lower School, we seek to make creative links between curriculum subject areas, making learning enjoyable and relevant for our children. We promote the development of thinking skills and positive learning behaviours to equip children to be resilient, independent and motivated learners. Much of the children’s learning centres around cross-curricular topics. Staff are committed to enabling each child to achieve their fullest potential. Lessons and activities are designed to encourage children to enjoy and seek a challenge, to view mistakes as helpful learning experiences and to not set limits on themselves.

In Key Stages One and Two, lessons are planned using The Inspire Curriculum. This curriculum covers all of the programmes of study within the National Curriculum and is organised into a series of exciting and motivating topic areas, which change every four - six weeks. What began as a bank of prepared lessons and topics has and continues to evolve, to meet the needs and interests of our pupils, to reflect the children and families within our community and to positively represent those that are currently not. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural provision is evidenced in Medium Term plans for each Foundation subject, providing opportunities in all aspects of the curriculum to develop pupils’ understanding of themselves, others as well as allocating time to reflect on their own and others’ behaviours and ideas. The school has been formally recognised for providing an inclusive curriculum and policies through the Rainbow Flag Award, Stonewall, Values Education, Sports Games Mark and RE quality mark. English, Maths, Computing, PSHE, PE and Religious Education lessons are taught separately from the topics to allow children to develop specific skills which are developed over time.

We encourage the use of visits to different places, such as museums, galleries, the theatre and outdoor spaces to widen the children’s experiences and to involve them in their own learning. We also arrange for many visitors to work with us in school.

We believe our school should be a safe and wonderful place where children want to be; where learning happens both within and outside of the classroom. Children will be encouraged to enjoy life whilst at school and discover personal interests and strengths. We recognise that primary education should lay firm foundations to set up learners for life, with the knowledge and skills to be well rounded individuals, mentally and physically healthy, with an appreciation for and a generosity toward the people, the world and the universe around them.

Whatever their background, our pupils will learn how to shape their own futures and develop their unique capacities and skills rooted in their own interests. They will learn the literacy and numeracy skills needed for life and necessary to progress in their education. They will be encouraged to be curious and use thinking skills to innovate, be creative and problem solve.

The school and staff are committed to professional development and regularly attend training and professional study groups, to enhance the delivery of and evaluation of curriculum subjects effectively. Teachers are reflective and proactive, using a variety of teaching methods that allow the children to benefit from learning in different styles and environments, including outdoor learning areas. 

The Inspire Curriculum Commitment

The Inspire Curriculum is committed to:

  • Achievement and success
  • Learning and life skills
  • Creative thinking, innovation and enterprise
  • Learning through exploration
  • Stretch and challenge
  • Developing working memory
  • Creativity
  • Independent and learner-led learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Outdoors and nature
  • Applied learning
  • Authentic tasks with a real audience
  • FUN and positive emotional links

Delivery (Implementation):

How are concepts taught and lessons delivered to ensure pupils’ knowledge and skills build and deepen over time?

 Staff at Sutton VA Lower School plan and deliver lessons and units of work following Barak Rosenshine's ‘Principles of Effective Instruction’. By following these principles, our students’ learning is modelled, supported and revisited, enabling them to know and remember more. Pupils’ learning is extended to include new information and skills once concepts are secure.


The principles of effective instruction are:


  1. Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning: daily review can strengthen previous learning and lead to fluent recall.
  2. Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step – our working memory, the place where we process information, is small. It can only handle a few bits of information at once - too much information swamps our working memory. Presenting too much material at once can confuse students because their working memory will be unable to process it.
  3. Ask lots of questions and check the response of all students: questions help pupils practice new information and connect new material to their prior learning.
  4. Provide models: providing students with models and worked examples can help them solve problems faster.
  5. Guide student practice: successful teachers spend more time guiding students’ practice of new material.
  6. Check for students’ understanding: checking for student understanding at each point can help students learn the material with fewer errors.
  7. Obtain high success rate: it is important for students to achieve a high success rate during classroom instruction.
  8. Provide scaffolds for different tasks: the teacher provides students with temporary supports and scaffolds to assist them when they learn difficult tasks.
  9. Require and monitor independent practice: students need extensive, successful, independent practice in order for skills and knowledge to become automatic.
  10. Engage students in regular reviews eg weekly: students need to be involved in extensive practice in order to develop well-connected and automatic knowledge.


For more detail, please click here:


Science, History, Geography, Art, DT, Music, Computing and PSHE are planned and delivered through the following topics over a two-year rolling programme, which you view on the following links:

EYFS (Lime Class) Rolling Programme

KS1 (Larch Class) Topics Rolling Programme 

KS2 (Hawthorn Class) Rolling Programme  

PE Programme EYFS, KS1, KS2

RE Programme of Study EYFS, KS1 KS2


See how curriculum skills and knowledge progress across the phases of learning

History skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

Geography skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

Science skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1

Science skills and knowledge progression KS2

Art skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1

Art skills and knowledge progression KS2

DT skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

Music skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

RE skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

Computing skills and knowledge progression EYFS KS1 KS2

PSHE Association Programme of Study

English skills and knowledge progression KS1 and KS2

Maths skills and progression KS1 and KS2 

PE skills and progression EYFS, KS1 KS2

MFL Progression of skills KS2

*Hamilton Trust is used for Literacy and Numeracy planning. Computing is taught using the Wessex Teaching School Scheme of Work. P.E is based on the Cambridgeshire Scheme of Work for P.E. Personal Social Health, Sex and Relationships and Drug and Alcohol Education planning follows the PSHE Association programme of study. Please see the RE programme of study under the RE and SIAMS in a Church School tab. 

National Curriculum

Themes and topics are planned to include learning objectives and success criteria, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural provision which enables pupils to engage in a varied and challenging programme of study, ensuring coverage of the National Curriculum attainment targets. The National Curriculum Programmes of study can be found here

Please see Curriculum Policies for further information about each subject, which can be found under Governors and Statutory Information. 

Extra-curricular learning opportunities:

At Sutton VA Lower School, we strive to offer a rich and varied range of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils. These include our before and after school clubs, Football and Spanish clubs, Values and Global Learning events as well as themed days. A range of suggested Learning Log tasks which parents and carers can engage with to extend and consolidate learning outside of school, are sent home each term. To assist you in this, see termly curriculum overviews, monthly newsletters and Class news on our website, which is updated weekly with photographs.


Units of work and each lesson delivered have clear learning objectives which are shared with pupils. Success criteria supports children to break down tasks, to understand how they can achieve the learning objectives and to develop independence. Learning objectives and success criteria link directly with the school's assessment mark books - Classroom Monitor, PSHE, RE and Key Stage One Frameworks.

As a result of the highly effective teaching and learning of the curriculum and the direct link between learning objectives and assessment criteria, pupils make very good progress and leave Sutton VA Lower School as confident and motivated learners. We are very proud of their achievements. These can be found in our self-evaluation documents and the inspection data. Please look under the ‘Governors and Statutory Information’ tab.

Click here to see the interventions in place at Sutton Lower School.

For our full Curriculum Statement for Foundation subjects, click here.


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