School Subjects

We believe in an education that is ambitious for all children. Our children deserve an education that allows their natural creativity and curiosity to flourish, alongside the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge.

We aim to deliver an inclusive, broad and creative curriculum which provides all learners with engaging and memorable learning experiences which inspire, enthuse and challenge. Our curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced. We use a thematic approach, incorporating visits and visitors linking subject areas where possible so that learning is more meaningful, sparking children’s interests and awareness of real world issues, as well as an appreciation of where we live. 

We will prepare all pupils for the future in modern British society by encouraging them to be confident, happy and respectful citizens, giving our children the best chance to succeed in an ever-changing world.

We have outlined below some of what is covered in school, if you wish to know more please contact the school. Detailed information for each term is provided by the class teachers in their termly 'Home Learning Link'.
The full national curriculum documents can be found here.
At Townley School we aim to foster a love of reading and writing for all children, starting with our very youngest children in the nursery, all the way up to our Year 6 children. We use a variety of stimulus to motivate children to be excited about reading and writing. On the class pages you will be able to see some of the most recent examples of children's writing. We encourage all children to use a joined script when writing, even in the nursery, as this improves spelling and fluency when writing. In the nursery children will be learning the skills they need to develop a joined script later on. If you would like us to support you with presenting writing in a joined script please ask, staff will be delighted to help,  a number of us have had to relearn how to write in this style and understand the challenges this can bring. English is taught according to the national curriculum in all classes. Staff use a three phase planning method. In addition, other opportunities are sought within the curriculum to enable the children to use extended writing and practise the skills learnt in the English session.
It is expected that parents will spend between 10 and 20 minutes a day listening to their children read and even very competent readers need opportunities to discuss what they have read. This will help ensure your child has the very best opportunity to develop as a reader.
Information about our phonics teaching can be found here.


Lower KS1

During year 1, teachers should build on work from the Early Years Foundation Stage, making sure that pupils can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. Teachers should also ensure that pupils continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual GPCs. The term ‘common exception words’ is used throughout the programmes of study for such words.


Alongside this knowledge of GPCs, pupils need to develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This will be supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time they will need to hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

Pupils should be helped to read words without overt sounding and blending after a few encounters. Those who are slow to develop this skill should have extra practice.

Pupils’ writing during year 1 will generally develop at a slower pace than their reading. This is because they need to encode the sounds they hear in words (spelling skills), develop the physical skill needed for handwriting, and learn how to organise their ideas in writing.

Pupils entering year 1 who have not yet met the early learning goals for literacy should continue to follow their school’s curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage to develop their word reading, spelling and language skills. However, these pupils should follow the year 1 programme of study in terms of the books they listen to and discuss, so that they develop their vocabulary and understanding of grammar, as well as their knowledge more generally across the curriculum. If they are still struggling to decode and spell, they need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly.

Teachers should ensure that their teaching develops pupils’ oral vocabulary as well as their ability to understand and use a variety of grammatical structures, giving particular support to pupils whose oral language skills are insufficiently developed.


Upper KS1

By the beginning of year 2, pupils should be able to read all common graphemes. They should be able to read unfamiliar words containing these graphemes, accurately and without undue hesitation, by sounding them out in books that are matched closely to each pupil’s level of word reading knowledge. They should also be able to read many common words containing GPCs taught so far [for example, shout, hand, stop, or dream], without needing to blend the sounds out loud first. Pupils’ reading of common exception words [for example, you, could, many, or people], should be secure. Pupils will increase their fluency by being able to read these words easily and automatically. Finally, pupils should be able to retell some familiar stories that have been read to and discussed with them or that they have acted out during year 1.

During year 2, teachers should continue to focus on establishing pupils’ accurate and speedy word reading skills. They should also make sure that pupils listen to and discuss a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books; this should include whole books. The sooner that pupils can read well and do so frequently, the sooner they will be able to increase their vocabulary, comprehension and their knowledge across the wider curriculum.


In writing, pupils at the beginning of year 2 should be able to compose individual sentences orally and then write them down. They should be able to spell correctly many of the words covered in year 1. They should also be able to make phonically plausible attempts to spell words they have not yet learnt. Finally, they should be able to form individual letters correctly, so establishing good handwriting habits from the beginning.


It is important to recognise that pupils begin to meet extra challenges in terms of spelling during year 2. Increasingly, they should learn that there is not always an obvious connection between the way a word is said and the way it is spelt. Variations include different ways of spelling the same sound, the use of so-called silent letters and groups of letters in some words and, sometimes, spelling that has become separated from the way that words are now pronounced, such as the ‘le’ ending in table. Pupils’ motor skills also need to be sufficiently advanced for them to write down ideas that they may be able to compose orally. In addition, writing is intrinsically harder than reading: pupils are likely to be able to read and understand more complex writing (in terms of its vocabulary and structure) than they are capable of producing themselves.

For pupils who do not have the phonic knowledge and skills they need for year 2, teachers should use the year 1 programmes of study for word reading and spelling so that pupils’ word reading skills catch up. However, teachers should use the year 2 programme of study for comprehension so that these pupils hear and talk about new books, poems, other writing, and vocabulary with the rest of the class.


Lower KS2

By the beginning of year 3, pupils should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. They should be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. They should also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects. They should be learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of year 4.

Pupils should be able to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation. Teachers should therefore be consolidating pupils’ writing skills, their vocabulary, their grasp of sentence structure and their knowledge of linguistic terminology. Teaching them to develop as writers involves teaching them to enhance the effectiveness of what they write as well as increasing their competence.

Teachers should make sure that pupils build on what they have learnt, particularly in terms of the range of their writing and the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas. Pupils should be beginning to understand how writing can be different from speech. Joined handwriting should be the norm; pupils should be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say.  

Pupils’ spelling of common words should be correct, including common exception words and other words that they have learnt Pupils should spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology.

Most pupils will not need further direct teaching of word reading skills: they are able to decode unfamiliar words accurately, and need very few repeated experiences of this before the word is stored in such a way that they can read it without overt sound-blending. They should demonstrate understanding of figurative language, distinguish shades of meaning among related words and use age-appropriate, academic vocabulary.

As in key stage 1, however, pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. If they cannot decode independently and fluently, they will find it increasingly difficult to understand what they read and to write down what they want to say. As far as possible, however, these pupils should follow the year 3 and 4 programme of study in terms of listening to new books, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and discussing these.

Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 3 and 4, pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Upper KS2

By the beginning of year 5, pupils should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace. They should be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity. If the pronunciation sounds unfamiliar, they should ask for help in determining both the meaning of the word and how to pronounce it correctly.

They should be able to prepare readings, with appropriate intonation to show their understanding, and should be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words. They should be reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information. They should be able to read silently, with good understanding, inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words, and then discuss what they have read.

Pupils should be able to write down their ideas quickly. Their grammar and punctuation should be broadly accurate. Pupils’ spelling of most words taught so far should be accurate and they should be able to spell words that they have not yet been taught by using what they have learnt about how spelling works in English.

During years 5 and 6, teachers should continue to emphasise pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary, to support their reading and writing. Pupils’ knowledge of language, gained from stories, plays, poetry, non-fiction and textbooks, will support their increasing fluency as readers, their facility as writers, and their comprehension. As in years 3 and 4, pupils should be taught to enhance the effectiveness of their writing as well as their competence.

It is essential that pupils whose decoding skills are poor are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and spelling. However, as far as possible, these pupils should follow the upper key stage 2 programme of study in terms of listening to books and other writing that they have not come across before, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and having a chance to talk about all of these.

By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. They should be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Teachers should prepare pupils for secondary education by ensuring that they can consciously control sentence structure in their writing and understand why sentences are constructed as they are. Pupils should understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language.

Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 5 and 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.

We use the "Talk for Writing " approach to many of our English lessons. This involves lots of talking opportunities to discuss and become familiar with different stories and text types. After reading we use story maps to help us to retell the plot . We then have a good idea of the story layout to help us to write our own or new versions of the genre.

Maths is taught according to the national curriculum for all classes. We use Power Maths schemes of work from Year 1 to Year 6 and supplement this with other material as necessary. The lessons vary in length depending on the work. A Power Maths lesson typically last an hour, however 'Maths Talk' lessons are around 25 minutes.  All children are expected to learn multiplication tables and will be tested regularly. We use Rock Star Times Tables from Year 2 onwards, the children all have a log in so they can access this from home and school.
Although the learning of mathematical skills is important, more important still is the implementation of these skills in a real context, hence the emphasis on ‘real life’ problems and problem solving.
We are working very hard to develop maths across our school. One of the most important ways we think we can really improve the outcomes for our children in maths is by working in partnership with you, our parents and carers. When we held our workshop for parents those that came felt it would be really beneficial to have more information about maths and helping your child at home. Each class now has a maths monkey so you can talk about maths even more!

Key Stage 1

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools]. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.


Key Stage 2 (Lower)

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.


Key Stage 2 (Upper)

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly. (maths stories to share with children) (to sign up to parent newsletter) (for engaging children in mathematics) (for developing adult numeracy skills)


In science we follow the national curriculum, this is taught as stand alone lessons and also a part of topic/theme work. We try to inspire our children by giving them the opportunities to pursue their natural curiosity; promoting the experience of exploring and investigating, in a range of contexts, to ensure a continually evolving knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Our children are encouraged to ask questions, take risks, experiment, reflect, make and learn from mistakes, in a safe environment; whereby they acquire and apply core skills which equip them for an ever-changing world. 
In September 2019 we are undertaking the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM), we are really looking forward to enhancing our science provision through this award. Keep checking back for further information throughout the year.

Key Stage 1

During key stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.

The science key stage 1 curriculum consists of:

 Sc1 Scientific enquiry

 Sc2 Life processes and living things

 Sc3 Materials and their properties

 Sc4 Physical processes

 Breadth of Study.


Key Stage 2

During key stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to make links between ideas and to explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.

The science key stage 2 curriculum consists of:

 Sc1 Scientific enquiry

 Sc2 Life processes and living things

 Sc3 Materials and their properties

 Sc4 Physical processes

 Breadth of Study.

Design Technology
The children use a variety of materials and become familiar with the use of the associated hand tools. They then use the skills gained to construct, test and evaluate artefacts of their own design.
All classes have access to at least two internet linked PCs as well as use of the computer suite and laptops. Children use the County Council’s Learning Platform, known as STARZ+, and other external sites under close teacher supervision. We follow the ACE's internet safety programme to teach the children about online safety.
History and Geography
The National Curriculum guidance is used for both History and Geography. Work commences in Year 1 on subjects known to the children and gradually moves from the familiar to the unknown, all the time extending the children’s powers of observation of the world in which they live, and their knowledge of its development from times past.
Children learn to use a variety of media and techniques and study works by famous artists. Children are encouraged to use their skills across the curriculum to illustrate projects and other work.
Music is enjoyed throughout the school. The school uses Charanga music to support the teaching of music. We including singing as part of our Christmas production as well as learning songs for other occasions such as singing in Church. We are also fortunate to be part of a pilot programme with the Cambridgeshire Music Service specialist teacher in once a week to teach stringed instrument tuition to all Year 2 children and as well as older pupils who have opted in to lessons.
Most years we stage dramatic productions and every child in the school is expected to take part. This activity is supplemented during the rest of the year by class and group activities.
Physical Education
A wide range of physical and sporting activities are enjoyed by the pupils. 
Swimming is taught during the summer term in the school’s outdoor heated pool. There is also a football and netball club as well as visits by local coaches (football, hockey, cricket, tennis, basketball and rugby). The ‘Olympic Legacy Fund’ is used to extend opportunities for physical education at Townley.
Religious Education
This is taught in accordance with the Local Education Authority’s agreed  syllabus and serves to inform children of the major faiths which exist in our society today. Parents may withdraw their children from these lessons and assemblies by notifying the Headteacher.
We follow the highly regarded Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme as it provides us with a progressive framework for each age group, covering the strands Myself and My Relationships, Healthy and Safer Lifestyles, Online Safety,  Citizenship and Economic Well Being,  Body Image and E-safety,  Sex and relationship Education (SRE), Drug Education, Anti-bullying and Healthy Eating. We have a two year rolling programme to ensure coverage across the mixed age classes.
We are fortunate to have a specialist French teacher on our staff team who teaches French across the school from Year 3 to Year 6, enabling all children to develop their linguistic skills from a young age.