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Our Curriculum

The Buckfastleigh Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

At Buckfastleigh Primary School, our curriculum has been designed to ensure that children are:

‘Safe, respected and ready to step out into the world.’

Our rich and dynamic curriculum, offers all pupils an education that enables them to fully participate in all learning and social experiences, whether that is at school or opportunities in the wider community.  It is underpinned by our school values of:






At Buckfastleigh, our curriculum is a knowledge-engaged curriculum.  Knowledge is the main focus of our teaching and underpins and enables the application of skills.   We place an emphasis on cross-curricular teaching in order to make the curriculum relevant and meaningful for pupils, and for putting knowledge into context.

We believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the notion that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone. Through our teaching, we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed and ambitious choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy, successful and rewarding lives.

Click on the link to access 'The Buckfastleigh Curriculum'

Click on the link to access our 'Teaching and Learning Policy'

Our Approach to Reading

We promote a positive reading culture and encourage a love of books and learning through reading. This is supported by author visits/links with the local library/whole school book events and adults as positive reading role models.

  • Attractive and well stocked school Library and class book corners/dens – inviting and stocked with age appropriate texts.

  • Daily reading in all classes
  • Reading 1:1 – with teachers/teaching assistants and volunteers
  • Buddy reading – children are paired with a buddy from a younger class and take on the role of teachers giving top tips to their reading buddies and also enjoying reading books to them and listening to them read.
  • Whole class guided reading is done everyday in Year 2 to Year 6.
  • The children take home daily their reading record for parent/teacher comments and to record reading at home.
  • Children who are learning to read fluently bring home a selection of phonetically decodable books linked to our Read Write Inc Phonics program.  They  may also choose an additional book which a parent can read to them at home.
  • Children’s book choices (particularly when they become free readers) are monitored daily through book talk and through reading journals to ensure appropriateness of level/age. Children are explicitly taught what a book may look like if it is age/level appropriate
  • The use of Accelerated Reader (AR) - a reading management and monitoring programme that aims to foster independent reading. The internet-based software assesses reading age, and suggests books that match pupils’ needs and interests. Pupils take computerised quizzes on the books and earn AR points as they progress. 
  • Read Write Inc (RWI) is our chosen phonics program.   Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 until the children have become fluent readers.


Our Approach to Phonics

At Buckfastleigh Primary School, we follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme.

In Foundation Stage, children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as ‘igh’ and ‘ch’. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling. 


In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as ‘a’ in ‘ant’ and ‘was’. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge in the Phonics Screening Test.  This is a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words.

Children continue to use Read Write Inc in Year 2 until they are ready to be an independent reader.  At this point, they will start choosing Accelerated Reader books and do Whole Class Guided reading each day with their teacher.

Our Approach to Writing

  • At Buckfastleigh, we use a 'Talk for Writing' approach for the teaching of writing.  Teaching is based around a specific high quality text and is sometimes but not always linked to the children's wider learning.  The stages of the sequence are 'Imitate, Innovate and Invent'. 
  • Children do an elicitation task towards the end of the previous writing sequence.  This informs teacher's planning to enable them to tailor learning for individual and whole class needs.
  • Children are given opportunities to write across a broad range of subjects and with a clear purpose and audience
  • Grammar is usually taught in the context of a  writing sequence thus linking to a text  although it sometimes necessary to teach grammar separately. Time is given to children to read their own writing and to edit and improve their writing as part of the writing process. The key skills of proof reading, editing and redrafting based on teacher assessment, peer assessment or self- assessment are explicitly taught.
  • Every class has a 'Writing Wall' to celebrate children's progress in writing.  These are display in the corridors around school.


  • KS1 – Teaching of spelling is linked to daily phonics and high frequency words.  Read Write Inc Spelling begins towards the end of Year 2.
  • KS2 - Children are taught using Read Write Inc Spelling on a daily basis.


  • We follow the 'Letter Join' Handwriting scheme from Foundation through to Year 6. 
  • In Reception, children learn to form the letters of the alphabet correctly.
  • In Year 1, children begin to learn pre-cursive handwriting.
  • When children have mastered pre-cursive handwriting in Year 2, they move onto cursive handwriting. 
  • We expect children in Year 3 to begin to use a handwriting pen.
  • Children have time to write up and publish their learning and are encouraged to take pride in their presentation in their books.


Our Approach to Maths

Mathematics is more than just being able to calculate with numbers. We want pupils to be engaging with real problems; guessing, discovering, and making sense of mathematics – many of which will be new to the pupils.

We want children to:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

These aims are directly linked to the principles of the new National Curriculum for Maths 2014.

At Buckfastleigh Primary School, we follow the Power Maths Schemes of learning in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.  Click on the link below to learn about this scheme.

An Introduction to Power Maths