Building on Strong Foundations – Matthew 7:24-27

St James School is a welcoming, warm, secure learning environment where our focus is the well-being of each member of our school family.
Our core Christian values provide strong foundations on which we can all develop and flourish to have the confidence to be aspirational, independent, spirited and creative.

Our intent is shaped by our five core strands:-

  • Curiosity
  • Health and wellebing
  • Wisdom, knowledge, skills
  • Community
  • Achievement and success

Intent Statement

At St James our intention is for all pupils to be filled with curiosity about themselves and the world around them. We encourage them to ask big questions, some of which they will not answer straight away. They will develop a thirst for knowledge in a supportive environment where
mistakes can be celebrated and become learning opportunities. We recognise the importance of an individual’s spiritual development that allows all pupils at St James to flourish.

Our pupils will leave us with a knowledge about how to make the right choices for themselves, to enable them to lead healthy and happy lifestyles both physically and mentally.

All children are encouraged to reach their full potential through a wide range of opportunities and activities both academic and throughout the wider curriculum. Being an active member of our school and the wider community is important as we send our children on the next stage of education.

Our core Christian values underpin life at St James.

TRUST              RESPECT            PERSEVERANCE

At the heart of what we do is still the creative curriculum – a curriculum which places creativity, independent learning and self discovery at the heart of how we teach. While fulfilling the National Curriculum, the school curriculum also aims to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, beginning to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

The Governors, Headteacher and the Local Authority are obliged to ensure that the aims of the National Curriculum are implemented. This has undergone much change in the last few years, with a new National Curriculum becoming statutory from September 2014.


The school has developed a long term English overview which ensures that the National Curriculum for English is met in an exciting way, using high quality texts and ‘Big Questions’. This encourages children to be engaged, motivated and stimulated by the world around them. As well as planning to meet the National Curriculum objectives we enrich the children’s learning through author visits, trips and a diverse range of literature.

Early Reading is taught through a range of appropriate texts including Oxford Reading Tree. This combined with real texts ensures that children are inspired to read throughout their time at St James. As part of this we recognise the role that parents play in this partnership and actively encourage children to read regularly at home.

Phonics is being taught daily in discrete lessons from Foundation to year 2, with additional phonics groups running in year 3 and 4 for those children who still require basic skills.  We follow the phases in Letters and Sounds, with Phases 1-3 being taught in Foundation stage, and Phases 4,5 and 6 being taught in Key Stage One.  The Vale Academy Trust spelling scheme is taught across Key Stage Two.

Below is a link to our long term English plan from Year 1 up to Year 6. It is driven by key texts which link with our theme. Further details can be obtained from the class teachers directly.

Long term overview for English – 2018/2019

Spelling overviews for each year group are below, along with a document outlining the different types of activity we use during our spelling sessions.

Year 1 Spelling and Grammar Overview  

Year 2  Spelling Overview

Year 3 Spelling Overview

Year 4 Spelling Overview  

Year 5  Spelling Overview   

Year 6 Spelling Overview  

Pick-Mix Spelling Activities

School plans are based on the long-term plan contained in the National Curriculum for Mathematics. As a school we follow the  White Rose scheme and use the small steps as the basis for our Maths learning journey.  Children are expected to learn and develop agility in using mental strategies. This is supported by ‘Big Maths’ to ensure children fluent in mental calculations to aid all aspects of Maths learning. The Vale Academy Trust Calculation Policy is used to develop increasingly more sophisticated methods of recording mathematical thinking as they go through the school. The school is well resourced with both equipment and books.

Vale Academy Trust Calculation Policy 

School plans are based on the National Curriculum guidelines. Children are taught to investigate and set up experiments with an increasing understanding of ‘fair testing’. The school has a wide range of good resources to support this work. Opportunities for learning using the outdoor environmental areas are taken up whenever possible.


Foundation subjects are taught using cross curricular lessons.

Religious Education
The Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus is followed throughout the school. Children are encouraged to explore and understand the traditions of other faiths and cultures, as well as Christianity. Although parents have the right to withdraw their children from this subject, we see it as an integral part of the curriculum and aim to make it appropriate for all children. To enrich the Oxfordshire Syllabus immersion afternoons are planned in regularly to enhance the children’s understanding of a variety of world religions.

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