At St. Matthew Academy, we believe that children have the right to a well-rounded, broad and balanced curriculum that allows them the opportunity to develop subject specific expertise as well as pursing their own developing interests and talents. We believe in creating a curriculum which is both knowledge and experience rich, allowing children to see the relevance of what they learn in and outside of the classroom in the real world around them.

Our curriculum is tailor made for our school and our pupils. We develop a set of core subject specific themes through each subject as children progress through the school, enabling them to draw meaningful and purposeful links across the different year groups and the topics that they study. The knowledge children acquire is planned explicitly and in detail so that these themes and concepts can be illuminated effectively with examples and case studies which enrich children’s’ understanding. This knowledge is then complemented by a commitment to the very best and well placed experiential learning in each unit of work and enriching trips and visits. Like each piece of knowledge, the experiences and visits our children are exposed to have been chosen specifically for the value they add to the well planned learning journey our children go through from Reception to Year 6.


At St Matthew Academy Primary we teach English through the use of high quality texts that link to our topic for the half-term. We use fantastic books as a starting point for our learning and develop our understanding of these texts through our English curriculum. 

Our writing lessons are focussed on exposing pupils to a range of text types and equipping them with the tools that they will need to write a cohesive and pleasurable piece. Each writing unit will start with an immersive experience that will engage and inspire pupils. Over the course of three weeks, children investigate the features of their text type, learn new writing strategies and editing techniques and produce their own independent piece of writing.

At St Matthew Academy, we deliver a weekly spelling lesson that is in accordance with the Spelling Shed scheme and focusses on age appropriate spelling rules. In addition to this, we send home a range of activities for children’s homework and they are tested on these weekly.

We have Phonics, Book and Newspaper Clubs running after school and during lunchtimes to give children another opportunity to enjoy developing their literacy skills, and throughout the year we take part in a range of additional literacy focused activities such as National Book Week.

Click here to see samples of our writing work


At St Matthew Academy, we have reading at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that in order for children to be successful, lifelong learners then they need to be confident and fluent readers. Our daily reading lessons expose children to a range of high-quality, diverse texts that stretch and challenge readers of all abilities. We teach children explicitly the skills that they need in order to read fluently and comprehend meaning from the text. We aim for all pupils to have a love of reading from an early age.

Each class has a class novel for each term that they read with their class teacher – purely for pleasure!



At St Matthew Academy, we aim to create a community of fluent readers who have gained a love for reading. This journey begins as early as Reception. We do this through continuous teaching of Phonics and early reading. We are currently implementing a new scheme, Little Wandle. Little Wandle believes in direct and consistent teaching in short frequent bursts. However, its greatest pros are the scheme supports teachers in phonics by using matched decodable books for pupils to read at home. This means that learners will be given books to read that they can fully decode based on the phonemes they have learnt in lessons. This makes reading enjoyable and accessible for all our young learners from EYFS to Year 2.  

Year Groups

Reception will be studying Phase 2, 3 and 4. In Autumn 1, they will focus on learning to blend, this enables them to confidently decode words and means that as they learn other GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) knowing how to read should not be a barrier. Please see below the sounds and words they will be expected to know by the end of each half term.


Year 1 is when schools formally assess early reading through a phonics screener which takes place in early June each year. All graphemes from phase 2-5 are recapped and taught. They are practised in words, sentences, and in fully decodable books. Children revise GPCs and words across the whole year, so that this knowledge goes into their long-term memory. Please see below the sounds and words they will be expected to know by the end of each half-term.

Year 2 will have completed the scheme in Year 1 and should be on their way to being fluent reader with the support of our fantastically planned reading lessons. However, if children require further support to narrow gaps, they will be doing keep up or catch up support.


Keep- Up Support

Another benefit of implementing this scheme into our curriculum is it provides data that gives early identification of children at risk of falling behind. This enables our teachers to use provision to give pupils effective Keep-up support.

Daily Keep-up support is provided by a trained staff member. Keep-up lessons mirror the structure of class teaching including the phonemes learnt and revised that day. They follow the same routine, resources and mantras, but with more scaffolding, so that every child secures their learning before moving on.

Catch –Up Support

Similarly, at St Matthew’s, we have Catch-Up support as well. This is personalised sessions aimed to tackle any specific phonological gaps or misconceptions children might have. This can be done as a whole class or 1-1.


Using the Little Wandle scheme ensures Teachers are always checking for understanding and always intervening to ensure no child falls behind. We assess phonics in two different ways.

Assessment for learning:

    • Daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up
    • Weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately as a class.

Summative assessment:

    • Every six weeks to assess progress, children will do a phonics test. This helps staff to identify gaps that need to be addressed, and will signal any children needing additional support.
    • This data will be put into the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.

Supporting your children

As a parent or career, we ask that you listen to your child read each night and read to your child, so children can put into practise their learning and foster a love for reading.  Your children may come home using a series of words or graphemes you may be unfamiliar with, so I have listed below a glossary to support you.

Phoneme- a sound

Grapheme – How a sound is written

GPC- This is short for Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. Knowing a GPC means being able to match a phoneme to a grapheme and vice versa. E.g. selecting reading correctly instead of reeding.

Digraph - A grapheme containing two letters that makes just one sound (phoneme) (e.g. ai in rain).

Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes just one sound (phoneme) (e.g. igh in night).

Blending- This is for reading. This involves looking at a written word, seeing each grapheme and using their knowledge of GPCs to work out which phoneme each grapheme represents and amalgamating these phonemes together to make a word.

Segmenting – This conventionally used to support children in spelling. This involves hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes (sound talk), using knowledge of GPCs to work out which graphemes represent those phonemes and then writing those graphemes down in the right order.

For more information on how to say the sounds please look at the following clips:

Little Wandle and St Matthew Academy both believe that reading is at the heart of the curriculum, as once pupils have mastered learning to read they can instead focus on reading to learn. We look forward to our pupils using this scheme and reaping its benefits by finding a confidence and joy in any book they pick up now and in the future. 


Maths at St Matthew Academy Primary Phase is taught every day for at least one hour, and schemes of work are planned to ensure coverage of year group objectives. Maths lessons are planned to be practical and related to real life as much as possible, so true connections can be made. Children are encouraged to use equipment and apparatus when first learning a mathematical concept and then they use this concrete understanding when applying to different written and mental calculations and problems. 

Our clear focus on securing fluent understanding of core facts and systems within mathematics means that we are then able to ensure that children are able to make accelerated progress when solving problems and reasoning mathematically.

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught creatively with plenty of opportunities given for pupils to use drama, art, music, and movement to explore and express the curriculum. We are currently implementing the new RE curriculum, known as the ‘The Vine and Branches’ programme, ensuring that we are following the catechism of the Catholic Church and fulfilling the requirements of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory.  We are so excited that the new curriculum allows our pupils to put their faith into action. 

The key learning from the new curriculum includes the following:

  • Hear – Listening and recalling bible teachings 
  • Believe- Exploring what Catholics and other faiths believe 
  • Celebration- Celebrating faith, prayer, liturgy, sacraments structure of the mass, hymns 
  • Live- Responding and acting on Catholic Social Teaching 
  • Dialogue- Seeing similarities between Jesus’s life and key figures within the bible stories and Christian’s today 
  • Encounter- Exploring a different faith and comparing to our own faith. 

Throughout their time in school, children also learn about the other major world faiths. We believe this is essential because to be rounded and informed individuals, children need the opportunity to understand other cultures and religions.

As well as our taught RE lessons, we also have a programme of Collective Worship at class, phase, and whole school level, giving the children opportunities to worship, pray and reflect in school.

This year’s Light Bearers were presented with their new badges and have already started their work of supporting pupils and staff in our collective worship.  The children are supporting their teachers by leading the prayers in class and our whole school Feast of St Matthew celebrations saw the primary Light Bearers taking on the important role of reading the Bidding Prayers.


Jigsaw PSHE 

At St Matthew Academy, we have introduced a PSHE scheme called Jigsaw to the primary phase. Jigsaw combines PSHE, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. 

Jigsaw is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time. This enables each Puzzle to start with an introductory assembly, generating a whole school focus for adults and children alike. There is a Weekly Celebration that highlights a theme from that week’s lessons across the school, and encourages children to try to reflect that learning in their behaviour and attitudes.

Jigsaw aims to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

There are six Puzzles (half-term units of work) each with six Pieces (lessons). Every year group studies the same Puzzle at the same time (sequentially ordered from September to July), allowing for whole school themes and the end of Puzzle product, for example, a display or exhibition (like the Garden of Dreams and Goals) to be shared and celebrated by the whole school. Each year group is taught one lesson per week and all lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs.  The different puzzle pieces are:

To find out more about Jigsaw please read the Parent/Carer information guide.

Relationships & Sex Education

We shall be using the TenTen Resources to teacher RSE to the children in the primary phase. This area of learning is taught through the units 'Created and Loved by God - Life Cycles' and 'Created to Love Others - Personal Relationships'. 

There are four main aims of teaching RSE:

  • To enable children to understand and respect their bodies
  • To help children develop positive and healthy relationships appropriate to their age and development
  • To support children to have positive self-esteem and body image
  • To empower them to be safe and safeguarded.

Each year group will be taught appropriate to their age and developmental stage. At no point will a child be taught something that is inappropriate; and if a question from a child arises and the teacher feels it would be inappropriate to answer, (for example, because of its mature or explicit nature), this information with be shared with you by your child’s class teacher. The question will not be answered to the child or class if it is outside the remit of that year group’s programme.

Below is a summary of RSE coverage within the TenTen scheme for each year group:

  • EYFS: Through Mollie the Cat and Billy Bird talking about their respective journeys from kitten/egg to adult animals, in Life Cycles, children will explore the natural human cycle of life, focusing on what children can remember about their development so far and what they know will happen as they get older. This is underpinned by the religious understanding that growing up is part of God’s plan for our lives and that we are loved by Him at every life stage.
  • KS1: Life Cycles show that God created us to follow the cycle of life and He loves us at every stage. Children will learn about the specifics of the human life cycle and celebrate how they have already changed and grown.
  • LKS2: Life Cycles explores the miraculous nature of human conception and birth and offers an opportunity for thanksgiving. 
  • UKS2: Life Cycles, children will learn about God’s design for creating new life through a more nuanced understanding of menstruation, fertility, conception, fetal development in the womb and childbirth. 

Further information about how the school approaches the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education through the TenTen programme can be found within the RSE Policy.