Our Curriculum

For more detailed information about your child’s curriculum, please go to your class page and view the year group termly curriculum plans for the current term. At the start of each term, paper copies are sent out with your child’s planner.

At Water Leys we follow a broad and balance curriculum which incorporates the new National Curriculum. Most of our curriculum is taught through cross curricular topics with English and Maths skills running throughout.  We are also very proud of our Forest school and cookery classes, both of which include lots of English and maths learning (often without the children realising!)

The new national curriculum was introduced in 2014 and you may find that your child is learning things that were previously taught in older year groups.  

The table below summarises the main changes to the curriculum: 

Subject What’s new? How are we managing the changes?  How can you support your child?

Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling (for example, the use of commas and apostrophes will now be taught in KS1).

Handwriting – is expected to be fluent, legible and speedy.


Spoken English has a greater emphasis, with children expected to be taught debating and presenting skills.

See our ‘spelling’ section in the ‘English Link’ for spelling expectations.  

From 4+, children are taught the cursive handwriting script which makes joining up much easier as they progress through the school.  The focus on handwriting remains high across the school.  See the ‘English Link’ for a copy of our cursive script.  


Each week the KS1 homework includes a speaking and listening activity.  Encourage your child to give good eye contact during conversations and insist on good grammar. 


Five-year-olds are now expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the old curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (it was number bonds to 10).

Simple fractions (1/4, 1/2, 2/4, 3/4, 1/3) are taught from KS1, and by the end of primary school, children should be able to convert decimal fractions to simple fractions (e.g. 0.375 = 3/8).

By the age of nine, children are now expected to know times tables up to 12×12 (it was 10×10 by the end of primary school).

Mental arithmetic has an even greater focus, with calculators not introduced until near the end of KS2.

 Calculation Policy 

Strong focus on scientific knowledge and language, rather than understanding the nature and methods of science in abstract terms.

Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time.

Non-core subjects like caring for animals has been replaced by topics like the human circulatory system.


Design &


Afforded greater importance under the new curriculum, setting children on the path to becoming the designers and engineers of the future.

Children will learn about nutrition and how to cook.

At Water Leys we have a children’s cooking kitchen and termly all children spend time developing their understanding of nutrition and cooking skills.   

Computing replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs.

From age five, children will learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve data.

From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet.

Internet safety has a bigger focus. 

We are intergrate programing into our curriculum whilst still teaching our pupils the fundamental skills of word processing etc.

Teaching a modern foreign language or ancient language (Latin or Greek) is now mandatory in KS2.

Children are expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language.

At Water Leys all KS2 children Years 3 – 5) are taught French.  


We use the DfES Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics to our children. See http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/ for details of how you can support your child at home. 


Our aim is for all children to leave Water Leys with good reading skills and with a love of reading.  Children read regularly across the curriculum and are also included in a guided reading session with an adult at least once a week.    

Our school reading scheme has a large selection of books including Rigby Star, Usborne Young Readers and Oxford Reading Tree.  


The best readers tend to be those children who read regularly at home.  To support home reading we reward the children as follows:

  • All children who read at least 4 times a week are given a certificate.
  • There is a weekly competition to see which class has the most pupils who read at least 4 times a week.
  • Each half term all children who have read at least 4 times a week for at least 4 weeks are entered into a prize draw with a chance of winning a book. 

Parents often ask: ‘What counts as home reading?’

Answer: ANYTHING!  School books, home books, library books, comics, magazines, instructions to make something etc, etc!  Remember our aim is to get children to love reading, so find something they are interested in, encourage and praise them. 

Please remember to record home reading in your child’s home school diary so we can reward home reading. 

British Values Statement