Woodside Avenue, London, N10 3JA

0208 883 6540

St James C of E Primary School

Learning to live, living to learn, learning from Christ

Our Curriculum Overview

At St James Primary, our children follow a broad curriculum based on the revised National Curriculum (2014) enriched by additional learning experiences, which aim to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the world and which is a foundation for lifelong learning.  We believe all children are entitled to access this curriculum and to learn and develop at an appropriate pace. We seek to educate the whole child in our Christian environment.  We encourage our children's physical, oral and social development and want them to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens both now and in the future.

We expect very high standards of teaching and learning and we can demonstrate a consistent record of achievement, backed by Ofsted and performance data.  Our Governors have a key role in monitoring teaching, learning and our children's rates of progress and attainment.  The Curriculum Committee meets termly and undertakes regular learning walks of the school.  The committee follows a monitoring programme of the educational provision with an emphasis on maintaining and improving standards for all children.

We encourage parents to engage in their children’s education by following our class pages, offering to help on class trips and encouraging home learning.  You can find out more about our each class' curriculum plan for the half term  by looking at your child's class page.  You can follow this link here.

You can also find out more about our long term curriculum plan here

The National Curriculum seeks to provide continuity as children progress through a series of stages

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Reception (4-5 year olds)
  • Key Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2 (5-7 year olds); and
  • Key Stage 2 - Years 3-6 (7-11 year olds).

Teachers assess, track and monitor children's progress against the National Curriculum year objectives, which is in turn shared with the children and their parents.  At the end of each year, parents receive a copy of our tracking system as well.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Our Reception class follows the framework laid down in the EYFS statutory framework which aims to support children's development in seven areas of learning and development.

The three prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

There are also four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The EYFS is underpinned by four overarching principles which acknowledge that each child is a unique and constant learner and needs to grow and develop through forming positive relationships in an enabling environment.  In addition, children develop and learn at different rates and thus the framework supports the learning of all children including those with special needs and disabilities.  You can find out more information on the EYFS curriculum here. 

You can also find out about our EYFS policy here


Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

As the children move further up the school, the subject areas of the National Curriculum become more distinct.  Religious education and worship in assemblies are an integral part of the children’s experience. 

These are the subjects that your child will be taught:

 (please click on the links above to find out more information from the DofE)

At the beginning of each term, we share our plans with parents through a topic web which can be found on your child’s class page.  It contains key information about the knowledge, skills and experiences your child will learn over the term.  Each week further information about the week ahead can be found on our website for each year group as well as the class' long term curriculum planner for the year.



At St James Primary, we are determined to provide children with a strong foundation of English skills that will allow them to be confident learners across the full breadth of the curriculum. English lessons develop the skills for speaking and listening, reading and writing. We use high quality texts as the starting point and stimulus for our writing lessons to ensure children are engaged and motivated and high expectations are set for the standard of writing produced in English lessons and across the curriculum. Text choices are made carefully and mapped out to ensure children are exposed to a range of genres and text types, that there is a diverse selection of both authors and characters and that classic fiction and poetry are included across the school

Reading is at the core of learning. The skill through which we learn new information, experience places far from home, gain insight into situations unlike our own and venture into worlds beyond our wildest imagination. At St James, we aim to develop the skills necessary for children to confidently and enthusiastically pick up books for both learning and pleasure. We do this through a rigorous, systematic approach to the teaching of sound knowledge and the skills to decode, and consistent and regular teaching of the variety of skills required for the comprehension of texts, from the simple, decodable early readers our younger children are provided with, through to the rich, complex, sophisticated texts we are preparing our children to read by the end of their time with us and into the future

The cornerstone of our literacy strategy is phonics, taught through the programme developed by Read Write Inc.  This intensive, progressive programme is recognised as having a huge impact on standards and achievement.

Across Foundation stage and Key stage 1, the children learn phonics, reading, writing, grammar and spelling simultaneously in small groups taken by teachers and teaching assistants who have received special training.  Children learn at their own pace and are regularly assessed to enable them to move forward appropriately. 

The introduction of RML (Ruth Miskin Learning) has had a demonstrable effect on standards of reading and writing throughout the school and is strongly backed by staff, governors and parents.  In addition to core literacy work with a daily focus on writing, handwriting and spelling, we encourage high standards of written work across all subject areas.

For more information on Reading, please click here



The intent of our mathematics curriculum is to design a curriculum, which is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. 

We want children to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.  

As our pupils progress, we intend for our pupils to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically, have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. 

This academic year, in both school and home learning, we will be using the Inspire and White Rose. schemes 

Inspire Maths builds firm foundations and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, emphasising mastery to help children become confident and independent mathematicians.

Inspire is beneficial for the children in the following ways;

  • It builds on concepts, helping the children to deepen their understanding.
  • There are mastery questions throughout, to challenge the children appropriately.
  • It encourages a Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract approach to Maths, ensuring that children are able to apply the taught concept in a variety of ways.

White Rose is beneficial for the children in the following ways;

  • It recaps on the previous year’s learning, to ensure any gaps or misconceptions can be addressed
  • It builds on concepts, helping the children to deepen their understanding.
  • There are mastery questions throughout, to challenge the children appropriately.
  • It encourages a Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract approach to Maths, ensuring that children are able to apply the taught concept in a variety of ways.

For more information Maths at St James Primary School, please click here

For our Maths Curriculum Intent, please click here



At St James we offer engaging and meaningful skills based learning, which develops children’s critical thinking and investigation skills. We believe children learn science most effectively through hands-on observation, experimentation and discovery. We believe Science should excite pupils’ interests, build on their prior knowledge and build their confidence, enabling them to take risks, work out problems and raise further questions. 

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.” Albert Einstein 

Our children are natural scientists and are keen to explore, inquire and understand the world around them.  Within the National Curriculum framework we investigate life processes, materials, physical processes and concentrate on developing children's scientific skills, encouraging them to question, investigate and test appropriately.  We focus on group work and collaboration, with lots of practical work and experimentation. We want our children to enjoy science, and we support their learning in a variety of ways including 'Inspire' days, school trips and fieldwork. 

 For more information on what we get up to in Science, please click here

For our Science Curriculum Intent, please click here

To find out about progression in our Science knowledge, please click here and to find out about progression in our working scientifically, please click here



At St James, we want pupils to be masters of technology and not slaves to it. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in our students' lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this.  

 There is a ‘spiral’ approach to sequencing the units, with themes recurring year by year. This provides ample opportunity for pupils to consolidate technical skills and achieve fluency with a range of key applications. Our curriculum also encourages creativity, collaboration and thinking skills. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways and that using technology can provide access opportunities to ensure our curriculum is inclusive for all our learners. Our knowledge rich curriculum must be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply and share their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists. Therefore, we encourage staff to embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and inclusive. 

We want our pupils to be able to make educated, informed choices when engaging with technology. We recognise that the best way to safeguard our children from the widely documented issues with young people’s use of technology and social media is through online safety education. 

Our children are familiar with technology resources and we use Computing across the curriculum to support children's learning.  We have excellent facilities, integrated into all the classrooms, with interactive whiteboards and computers, laptops and iPads and an exclusive learning zone with a range of technology. 

We also teach Computing to enable our children to develop skills in using the Internet, utilising different software and programming and to increase their awareness of Internet safety.  Children in KS2 are encouraged to use Computing  in their classwork and projects.  Computing is also used as a resource to support the learning of children with special needs. 

For more information on E Safety, please click here

For our Computing Curriculum Intent, please click here

For more information on progression in Computing, please click here



At St James’ Primary school, we believe in encouraging physical activity from an early age. It not only benefits a child’s development, it also promotes the development of motor skills, cognitive and social skills. We promote all children to have a healthy lifestyle and try to ensure that they possess the knowledge and understanding to maintain physical activity throughout their lives. 

‘Physical exercise is not only essential to us leading a healthy life, but it is also the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.’ .  We also encourage social skills and collaboration through team games and shared activities.  We have extra-curricular gymnastics and football and our older children have the opportunity to undertake cycle and scooter training, squash, swimming, multi sports, fencing and basketball.

For more information on PE and sport at St James Primary, please clichere

For our PE Curriculum Intent, please click here

For more information on progression in PE, please click here


Art & Design Technology

‘You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.’ 

Maya Angelou 

We aim high and we are proud of the quality and progression that our children show across the school.

All our teachers are responsible for teaching Art and Design Technology alongside a specialist Art teacher who supports and teaches in every class across the school.  Children’s work is celebrated through displays and exhibitions over the course of the year.   The children build and extend their appreciation of Art through topics, lessons and visits.  These provide the opportunity to explore a range of forms and styles as well as accessing art from a variety of cultures.

For more information on Art at St James Primary, please click here

For for our Art and Design Curriculum Intent, please click here

 For our DT Curriculum Intent, please click here

For more information on progression in Art, please click here  and for more information on progression in DT, please click here



 ‘Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ 

The National Curriculum 

Music is a special part of our day, week and year.  We pride ourselves on offering a rich, inclusive musical experience from performance to learning to play an instrument to developing an appreciation of music. 

For our Music Curriculum Intent, please click here

For more information on progression in Music, please click here


Religious Education and Worship

At St James our teaching of Religious Education aims to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils. We want to equip them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions and develop a more rigorous understanding of the numerous religious traditions, beliefs and practices that are followed in our multi-cultural society. We aim to promote empathy and understanding of other religious beliefs through our Christian values of kindness, wisdom, respect and joy.  

‘An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.’ ~ Proverbs 18:15 


“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13) 

Our school has a strong Christian ethos and close links to St James Church in Muswell Hill.  We actively support those children who are Christians to grow in faith and develop their knowledge of the Bible and Christian teaching.  We follow the LDBS scheme of work, exploring the stories and themes of the Old and New Testaments and core Christian values such as justice and forgiveness.  As part of the National Curriculum we also teach children about world faiths and perspectives.

Worship is part of our school life.  We have daily assemblies and children are encouraged to participate.  Once a week, staff from St, James Church come into school to teach the children in assembly.  The whole school also attends church once or twice a term for special services such as Harvest Festival and Easter.  At Christmas the KS1 children perform a nativity play.  

For more information on our RE curriculum, please click here

For our RE Curriculum Intent, please click here

For more information you can find our RE policy here



At St James we use Jigsaw to teach PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education). PSHE Education is a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to successfully manage their lives – now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE Education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.

For more information on our PSHE curriculum, please click here



At St James Primary School, we aim to offer a Geography Curriculum that deepens pupils understanding of the world around them and their place in it. Through the study of natural and human environments, as well as physical and human processes, our desire is to provide our children with a sense of awe and wonder about the world they live in. By teaching our children about diverse places, people and resources we seek to create a life-long love of the subject. We provide our children with the subject specific language they need to describe, question and discuss the world and pupils are encouraged to use their voice to debate a range of issues that affect the lives of people around the world today.

 ‘A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives’. DFE


For more information on our Geography Intent, please click here

For more information on our Geography curriculum, please click here



In History we want our children to be motivated to learn about and from, the past.  Within our History topics, our children will learn to be critical thinkers, use evidence and sources to support the knowledge.  They will gain essential vocabulary alongside a secure knowledge of chronology across time. 

For more information on our History Intent, please click here

For more our History curriculum, please click here



We are offer French in both Key Stages.  For more information on progression in MfL, please click here


Extra-curricular Activities

We support a wide a range of activities outside of the daily curriculum as space and time permits.  Music teachers from Haringey provide private instrumental lessons and we have a fantastic choir.  Pupils are also offered opportunities to participate in French, drama, gymnastics, football, netball, art, fencing and chess club.

 For more information on our After School clubs, please click here


School Trips

Our children take part in a wide variety of school trips, usually once or twice termly to support their learning.  Recent trips have included the British Museum, Kew Gardens, Science Museum, Hackney Empire, Natural History Museum, The Tate gallery, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Albert Hall, the Arts Depot and the Butterfly House in Golders Hill Park.

We also have outside agencies come into the school to run workshops for children in drama, art, music and science and we undertake local fieldwork in Highgate Woods and Muswell Hill.

Older children have the opportunity to undertake a school journey for a few nights away from home at specialist activity centres. 

For more information on school trips, please click here