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St Matthew'sC of E School

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St Matthew's CE School Curriculum 


The broad and balanced curriculum at St Matthew’s CE School is progressive, rich in vocabulary and in knowledge and aims to develop subject specific skills. It is a subject based curriculum and we have carefully selected the curriculum for each subject.


Children are taught in a fun and engaging way that suits the individual needs of each child and gives them the opportunity to grow to be successful, confident and resilient.


Our school has strong community links and sits in a wonderful location in North-West Cumbria which influences the teaching and learning. Children’s natural curiosity about their local environment is fostered through a creative and ambitious curriculum which excites and challenges.


Our curriculum nurtures and prepares children educationally, socially, morally and physically for their continuing learning journey where doors will be opened, rather than closed, to future success.


In the academic year 2023-2024, we are currently working on Year B for all subject areas except Computing where we are currently on the curriculum for Year A.



We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. One of our priorities is helping children read and develop their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.


We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. 





We actively encourage children to read for pleasure as this is an essential part of education. Children are enthused to read from their very first week in Reception through sharing daily quality texts and selecting books to take home to share with adults in their home environment. Children learn to read through our systematic phonics programme, Little Wandle (further details below). Daily phonics lessons coupled with carefully selected books that match the children's phonic understanding offer all children the skills to become successful readers.


Reading for pleasure provides wide and significant educational advantages across the curriculum and in preparation for children's next steps in education.


We encourage children to read for pleasure by providing a wide range of texts for all ages. The children regularly change their reading books and are guided by staff to access books at the appropriate level. We have a well-stocked fiction library and are currently developing our reading material for non-fiction. 


We have recently developed a reading area in our front entrance, which children can choose to use during breaktimes. The reading area is regularly updated with quality texts for all children in school.


We run an incentive across the whole school to encourage reading at home and reading for pleasure, children are encouraged to read at home 3 times a week either independently or with an adult, and in doing so receive a team point and raffle ticket entry. At the end of each term, we draw a raffle ticket in each class and that child wins a prize. We also award a reading trophy at the end of the year to a child in each Key Stage who has flourished in reading that year.


Across the school we have several interventions running, including Reciprocal Reading, which focuses on the learners' understanding of the written text. 


We encourage library visits (including visiting our local library in Aspatria) in order to promote a healthy reading habit that we hope will be fostered beyond the primary age phase. Visits from the Cumbria library van exposes children to a wider selection of books and offers further excitement. 


Our Reading Curriculum


We deliver our Reading Curriculum through the CUSP Curriculum.


We use the CUSP Reading curriculum from Year 2 (in addition to phonics in Years 1 and 2) to Year 6 to teach children how to read and engage with texts through discussion and written responses; this approach teaches children to read for meaning and focuses on the skills of reading such as fluency, retrieval, summarising, inference and prediction. Working on a yearly cycle in Year 2 and a two-year cycle in KS2, each phase will study a suite of core texts that will form a broad depth of study for the academic year.  These texts have been mapped carefully to ensure a breadth of experiences, authors, texts and themes is addressed across the Primary years. In addition to these texts, there are core poems that each year group will study in detail. Non-fiction and supporting texts are taught alongside the core texts to build pupils' subject knowledge which supports them in accessing the main themes of the core texts. During their time with us, children at St Matthew’s CE School will be exposed to a range of texts including several texts by the same author, heritage texts, texts by BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) authors, texts which have a strong female role model and texts that tackle social, ethical or moral issues.


As with every area of our curriculum, vocabulary is a vital part of this, as is the regular revisiting of skills to make sure they are embedded.



We deliver our Writing Curriculum through the CUSP Curriculum.


Children are taught to develop both stamina and skills in writing as they progress through the school. The children are taught to write at length with a heavy emphasis on vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and imagination! We weave these skills into many different genres and across the curriculum. 


We want children to love the richness of the English language; to understand relationships between words and develop a wide-ranging vocabulary. We will support them to spell accurately and to develop their own joined, legible style of handwriting. Explicit teaching of grammar and punctuation conventions will enable children to become confident writers who can communicate effectively and articulately with a range of audiences.


We use the CUSP Writing curriculum to teach writing from Year 2-Year 6. Working on a two-year cycle in KS2, each phase will study a range of text types including narrative, poetry, balanced arguments, news reports and explanatory texts. Children are expected to apply their writing skills across other curriculum subjects in order to communicate their ideas. 


Children are provided with many mark-making opportunities from the moment they join us in nursery. This progresses through their time in EYFS to recognising letters and forming them. Once children can confidently and accurately form all letters, they are taught to join their handwriting. 


Phonics at St Matthew's C of E School


Our school uses 'Little Wandle' for our children in Reception to Year 2 and for additional catch up sessions for children in Class 2. 


Little Wandle is an approved Phonics programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling, together, seamlessly.


For more information, please visit the parents section of the Little Wandle website which provides videos and resources to support your child:




Our school uses Spelling Shed for our spelling scheme for all children in Year 1-Year 6. Children have weekly spellings to learn and we work on these weekly spellings using strategies from the No Nonsense spelling scheme and using the online Spelling Shed programme. 


All children in Year 1 to Year 6 have their own personal Spelling Shed login and password. If your child has lost their password, please speak to your child's class teacher.





Lexia is an online spelling and reading resource which can be accessed at home and in school. Children work, independently, to develop critical reading and language skills through individualised and motivating learning paths. All pupils, regardless of their skill level, work at their own pace and the teacher is notified when they require support. Our children are motivated by their own success and have their own personalised learning paths. 


Many children in Class 2 have their own personal Lexia login and password. If your child has lost their password, please speak to your child's class teacher.

Maths in KS1 and KS2


We deliver maths using the Collins Busy Ants Scheme. 


Mathematics is important in everyday life. The purpose of maths at St Matthew's CE School is to provide a foundation for understanding number, thinking logically and developing resilience that enables all children to reason and problem solve with increased confidence, so that all children are prepared for the future. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as science, geography, history and computing. We build upon children’s knowledge and understanding from Reception to Year 6, challenging and encouraging them to excel in maths.


To ensure full topic coverage, the school uses the Busy Ants Maths Scheme which is a whole-school primary maths curriculum that creates continuity and progression in the teaching of maths. Basic maths skills are taught daily and include fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Lessons are differentiated to ensure that there is appropriate challenge for all learners with misconceptions being quickly addressed either in class or through interventions.  



Mathletics and TT Rockstar


Children in St Matthew's CE School use TT Rockstar to support learning and recall of multiplication facts. Children also have access to Mathletics which consolidates learning objectives appropriate to their year group.


All children in Year 1 to Year 6 have a TT Rockstar login and password. All children from Reception to Year 6 have access to Mathletics. If your child has lost either password, please speak to your child's class teacher.



We deliver science through the CUSP curriculum.


CUSP Science draws upon the following:


1.     Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. In CUSP science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In CUSP Science, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position that new knowledge.


2.     Disciplinary knowledge – this is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically.’ CUSP science provides Working Scientifically coverage maps to check the balance of provision in KS1, Lower and Upper KS2. They are also present in the Whole Class Assessment toolkits.


3.    Scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’


·         identifying and classifying

·         pattern seeking

·         research

·         observing over time

·         fair and comparative testing


4.     Substantive concepts include concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.



Religious Education (RE)



We deliver RE through the Questful RE curriculum. As a Church of England VA School, we ensure pupils flourish through the provision of a rich and engaging curriculum which reflects the Church of England statement of entitlement (statement attached below). 


As individuals in an ever-changing world, it is important that we continually aspire to engage with and learn more about different cultures, beliefs and faiths. We aim to instil our children with a strong foundation of knowledge, moral values, and a curiosity of other lifestyles and traditions, in order to aid their development as tolerant, empathetic and respectful young people.


Our RE lessons are varied to enable learners to acquire a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other religions through spoken language, reading and writing. RE lessons promote and reinforce our school’s Christian values and beliefs which are rooted into daily life alongside British Values. It is our vision to enable children to grow and flourish into good citizens who feel empowered to convey their views through discussions and big questions about Christianity and the world around them. The Questful RE syllabus is closely followed with children immersed in Christian beliefs, attitudes, practices and rituals. Children are also equipped with knowledge of other faiths. The teaching of RE promotes the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

We recognise the importance of teaching children the parables, stories and miracles of the Christian faith whilst drawing on and using religious vocabulary and artefacts. During lessons, we hold informed conversations about religions and beliefs in a safe environment. Children are encouraged to develop their questioning skills to fulfil a deeper learning experience. They are also given the opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs, values and knowledge. Learning is enhanced through visits (where possible), visitors and celebration days. Other opportunities to reflect on learning and develop awareness and understanding are provided through whole school Collective Worship.



We deliver history through the CUSP curriculum.


CUSP History draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge:


1.       Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used about the past. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In CUSP History, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position new knowledge.


2.       Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically may involve significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective, and contextual interpretation.


3.       Historical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and inference making in response to our structured questions and challenges. We call this ‘Thinking Historically’.


4.       Substantive concepts, such as tax, invasion and civilisation are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.



We deliver geography through the CUSP curriculum.


CUSP Geography draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge.


It is our intention that pupils become a little more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary geographical knowledge.


1.      Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content as pupils become more expert in their understanding. 


2.      Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through processes, evidence, pattern seeking, reasoning and explaining change. We call it ‘Thinking Geographically’.


3.       Geographical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and inference making in response to structured questions and challenges.


4.      Substantive concepts include place, space, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact, sustainable development, cultural awareness and cultural diversity. Concepts such as change through erosion are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.

Design and Technology


We deliver DT (Design and Technology) through the CUSP curriculum.


CUSP Design and Technology is built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work and communicate like a designer.


The curriculum is ambitious and focuses on excellence in this subject through a range of disciplines and by referencing outstanding practitioners in this field. The intention is that it will inspire pupils to acquire knowledge as designers and technologists and enables them to skilfully apply their understanding.


The curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles.


Progression in each discipline has been woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity. This enables children to 'Work as a Designer'.


To enable children to 'Work as a Designer', the curriculum is structured as follows:


Design - The art or process of deciding how something will look or work.


Make - Create something by combining materials or putting parts together.


Evaluate - Form an opinion of the value or quality of something after careful thought.


Apply - Use something or make something work in a particular situation.

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Curriculum


We deliver PSHE through the Jigsaw curriculum.


Jigsaw is a mindful and child-centred approach to PSHE. It is an original and comprehensive scheme of learning which integrates personal, social, health and economic education with emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health and SMSC, especially spiritual development.



SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are mapped throughout. All of these pieces of learning are brought together to form a cohesive picture, helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in the world.


British Values

Jigsaw contributes to the British Values agenda very significantly, both through the direct teaching of information and through the experiential learning children will enjoy.

The 5 strands of the British Values agenda have been mapped across every Puzzle and every Piece (lesson).


We link whole school collective worship and our weekly celebration assembly to the Jigsaw Themes and Values being taught and applied through the PSHE curriculum. We are proud of the way we promote emotional wellbeing for all our pupils through our Jigsaw programme which underpins the whole of our curriculum.


The 6 Jigsaw Puzzles (half-termly units) are designed so the whole school can study the same learning themes at the same time, each year group at its own level. The Puzzles are sequential and developmental throughout each academic year.


The puzzles are:

·         Being Me

·         Celebrating Differences

·         Dreams and Goals

·         Healthy Me

·         Relationships

·         Changing Me





We deliver computing through the Purple Mash curriculum.


Within the Purple Mash curriculum, there are three overarching themes:

Computer Science

Information Technology

Digital Literacy


Throughout your child's time at St Matthew's CE School, they will be exposed to a variety of technological skills that will prepare them for the wider world, secondary school and future careers.


Online safety is an integral part of our curriculum. Every year, children will be taught a unit of work on online safety in addition to Online Safety days each year.

Children have access to the Purple Mash website where they can progrsss their Computing knowledge and skills as well as enjoying learning games and activities for other curriculum areas where they can progress their knowledge and skills. Their unique login and password is in their Reading Record.

The website is:

Physical Education (PE)


We deliver PE through the Get Set 4 PE curriculum.


This is based on the National Curriculum and is carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression.


We aim to provide pupils with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities, from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. PE interests from the children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest. We have established links with local clubs in the community such as Aspatria Rugby club and Silloth Football Club.


A primary focus of our PE curriculum is to raise aspirations, create a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning. We provide a curriculum approach that has clear intent, a carefully designed and monitored implementation and a positive impact that allows children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in each sport or outdoor game.


We have a range of sports coaches that visit our school to teach P.E. as we are part of the Allerdale Sports Partnership. We are also part of the Solway and Beacon Hill competitions and festivals programme.


We also take part in festivals and competitions with the eight schools in our cluster and attend wider sporting events such as the Keswick Mountain Festival Triathlon and Cumbria football tournaments. 


Our forest school experiences enables our children to further develop their physical skills as they explore the outdoors. 


In 2022-2023, we achieved the School Games Platinum award for our commitment to school sport and PE.



We deliver art using the Access Art curriculum.


Our intention for the Art curriculum is to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst equipping them with the key knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. Alongside the individuals’ opportunity to express themselves, we recognise that it is essential to teach children about great artists, the works that they have created, and to also have an understanding of how art has influenced history, contributed to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation and the world that we live in at the present.


Art should be  accessible for all and enable all children to learn about artists and to understand how the skills and knowledge they have learnt can be applied within their own learning and expression.


We teach lessons through ‘Access Art’, the leading provider of digital visual arts resources in the UK, providing inspiration and ideas to the whole community; fostering an open-ended exploration of creativity. Children will be taught required foundational knowledge at the start of a unit of work to allow them to be able to understand and access new learning and concepts which are needed to make progress. They will be taught explicit drawing, painting and colour and sculpture skills and are given time in lessons to practice these. Skills are revisited to  enable children to demonstrate progress each year. Children use sketchbooks to experiment, plan and evaluate their own artwork.


Throughout a child's time at St Matthew's CE School, they will have the opportunity to work with different materials and media and are encouraged to develop their personal style. They are introduced to work by great artists and craftspeople and encouraged to respond appropriately and with respect. 


Children are encouraged to work with independence, and skilful questioning by adults allows all children to make progress and reflect on learning. Key vocabulary is explicitly taught and clearly modelled to children as part of quality-first teaching.


We aim for children to be able to speak enthusiastically, using appropriate vocabulary, about their art and design learning and articulate what they are learning and why it is important. We want to celebrate their artwork to ensure children are excited and passionate, keen to participate and speak enthusiastically about their learning as well as ensuring that children's confidence, knowledge and skills in art increase.

Modern Foreign Language (MFL) - French


We deliver French through our own scheme based on the National Curriculum and is carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression. Our schemeof work incorporates resources from Lightbulb Languages and Twinkl. We have also sought advice from a local secondary school to ensure we are delivering an interesting and varied MFL curriculum.


It is our intent to provide all Key Stage 2 children with a high quality education in Modern Foreign Languages that fosters pupils' curiosity and deepens their understanding of the World. We want all children to foster a love of learning new languages to help them become global citizens.


Pupils begin learning French in Year 3 and continue through to Year 6.


Our aim is for pupils to understand and respond to both spoken and written French, speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity and be able to read and write basic sentences.


With weekly lessons, we aim to equip our pupils with a solid foundation of the French language so that the transition from primary school to secondary school shows continual progression and so that children are equipped with the  knowledge and skills that will help them both with French and other languages in the future.

Children may wish to access the following websites where they can develop French knowledge and skill:



We deliver music through the Get Set 4 Music curriculum.


We believe that Music is a unique and powerful form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. We recognise the importance Music plays in the curriculum and beyond. We understand that Music provides opportunity for personal expression and growth and the integral part it can play in developing the whole child. We value the subject as a unique way of communicating which can both inspire and motivate children with a love of music which they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.


Our Music lessons are planned using the Get Set 4 Music platform, which aligns with our core values, our whole child approach to Music and the objectives laid out in the National Curriculum.  


Our music lessons encourage children to be creative, imaginative and confident learners and we aim to ensure all pupils:


  • Develop an ability to perform, listen to, appreciate, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians;
  • Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence;
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.


The children will have opportunities and be encouraged to express ideas and feelings about music and explore a range of musical elements, for example, pulse, rhythm and pitch.


Our music curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. 


By delivering this curriculum, we aim to ensure that every child will develop a greater appreciation of music and a deeper understanding of the subject. 


Further questions


If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach, please contact your child's class teacher or the school directly.

Class 1 and Class 2 Timetables