John Stainer

Whole School Curriculum Map and Intent

In this section, you will find all you need to know about our curriculum. Each subject overview gives an insight into our curriculum across the school. For further information about the programme of study for each curriculum area, please click on the following link 

Click here to view our curriculum overview for each subject

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 Our Curriculum Intent

Curriculum Intent

Developing strong and respectful relationships is at the heart of our intent, and we promise that every child at John Stainer will receive what we proudly state in our mission statement, which is an excellent education, to enjoy, empower and enable’. By excellent education, we mean high quality education that challenges children and helps them to achieve the key knowledge and skills outlined in the national curriculum and beyond. By enjoy, we aim to deliver this curriculum by using a range of exciting methodologies and the most up to date resources and technology. We aim to empower and enable our children with different opportunities to build their resilience, confidence and self-reflection to apply this knowledge and acquired skills in different contexts.


Our ethos is further cemented by our six core values which Governors and staff are committed to embedding through all aspects of school life. We believe that these key values of community, kindness, friendship, happiness, honesty and respect are the building blocks of good citizenship. Our aim is that our children will internalise these values and develop as happy, healthy, curious and well-rounded individuals as they move on to the next stage in their lives in the wider world. On the rare occasions where children’s behaviour falls short of our high expectations, staff provide the opportunity for children to reflect on their actions in line with these values, consider how they could improve their behaviour and take ownership for making better choices moving forward.

The school’s focus on curriculum development ensures there are opportunities to celebrate the diversity of our community and the wider world. Our diverse workforce reflects the thirty-four cultures in our student community. In addition, our range of diverse core texts coupled with various themed activity days promote and celebrate difference. We encourage children to take part in a range of engaging events such as Windrush Day, London History Day, culture day, our rich Religious Education curriculum, religious festivals and national themed days (including Downs Syndrome and World Mental Health Day). Our work on diversity and support for Lewisham’s Equality Pledge help children to recognise that everyone is unique and promotes respect and tolerance.

Our PSHE curriculum is the focus of one of our daily acts of worship but also timetabled and taught discretely in each class. This provides opportunities for children to discuss and learn about personal health, wellbeing, life skills, personal safety, relationships, diversity and aspirations. PSHE is embedded across the curriculum, consolidates our values curriculum and offers children the chance to raise questions, discuss important issues, listen to others’ views and share their own thoughts.

Online Safety is an important part of keeping children safe at John Stainer Primary School. We have extensive security measures in place, which are monitored both internally and externally, to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material. Online Safety is taught to all pupils explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online.

We can only be successful in keeping children safe online if we work with parents to ensure the Online Safety message is consistent. Parents receive regular Online Safety training and receive updates in our weekly newsletter or in our half termly Safeguarding newsletter.

We have in place, a curriculum which ensures that academic success, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The pandemic has left families with a number of new challenges. We know that life can be hectic for today’s children and we recognise that many have a busy extra-curricular schedule. While some thrive on being busy, others find it harder to handle. We create a culture of mindfulness here at John Stainer. We know that it has the potential of enhancing pupil wellbeing, relieve stress, reduce friendship issues, and help children with learning disabilities or special needs to develop stronger social, emotional and language skills. We continue to see good results across the school and are committed to building on these practices throughout the school day so that children and staff have those special moments to meditate and reflect

Our curriculum encourages and provides creative and problem solving opportunities and high levels of technological awareness including media safety. We promote an appreciation of music and the arts, whilst also nurturing the other essential values of empathy, integrity and the fundamental British Values. Our curriculum is carefully designed to teach children valuable and transferable skills through the full range of primary subjects. It is linked with research, project based learning and frequent educational visits which bring enjoyment whilst developing children’s curiosity and consolidating learning beyond the classroom. Here at John Stainer, we have a curriculum which mirrors families changing needs and the times in which we live – our remote and blended curriculum is delivered through a range of online platforms which support learning inside and outside the classroom.


We aspire for all our learners to develop their cultural capital to allow them to make aspirational choices and experience success beyond their time at John Stainer. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered rich opportunities for active learning for all our children. We want our children to be aware of what different families and the local community have to offer and to understand the positive impact they can have in the future success of the community. For this reason, we draw on the expertise and knowledge of families and our local community to work in partnership to plan activities and opportunities to strengthen our curriculum. Recent examples of this include working with; local religious leaders to celebrate festivals, the local library to celebrate and promote a love for reading, the Credit Union to educate children about the importance of savings, visiting Brockley Nature Reserve, interviewing our School Crossing Patrol Officer about the living during World War II and parent-led career assemblies to inspire children and raise aspirations.


Metacognition is at the backbone of our curriculum planning and implementation. To achieve this, throughout each learning experience, our staff ignite what children already know, give them the opportunities to reflect and call on their prior knowledge and previous learning to equip them to make connections between their working and long-term memory. Our children play an active role in identifying strategies that enable them retain the key knowledge and skills they have learnt within lessons, across a unit of work and over the course of time they are with us at John Stainer.

Staff also ensure that a range of exciting educational visits, visitors and themed days are planned throughout the year to enhance the curriculum. Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through termly project based learning exhibitions and other external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing the children’s independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.  

We recognise that every child can learn, but we also know that children require different opportunities and support to do this. We guarantee that every child experiences success in their learning and development through quality first teaching. Our strong SEND department works closely with staff to achieve this and to ensure that carefully planned, targeted interventions are in place for individuals and small groups. Our children respond positively to Lego Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Idl Cloud. Our sensory room, sensory garden and school dog are other valuable resources that strengthen our SEND provisions. Children who are new to English or have English as an Additional Language develop oracy through carefully planned teaching, specific language interventions, extra curriculum English language clubs and the use of the online platform Learning Village.


In lessons, higher attainers are further challenged through the use of appropriate mastery activities to further extend their conceptual understanding. Children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported through guided groups with the teachers and support staff, pre-teaching, focussed interventions and having access to high quality physical and online resources that support their understanding.


We take responsibility, in partnership with parents/carers, to support every child to become an aspirational, skilled, self-directed and globally aware learner who can work independently or collaboratively with confidence, focus and a sense of pride in their achievements. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that, at all stages, children are developing the literacy and numeracy skills that allow them to access learning across the whole curriculum but also to ensure they develop the key knowledge and life skills needed beyond school. In the EYFS stage, children develop the early stages of language acquisition and become confident early readers by joining daily Sounds Write lessons, a highly successful systematic phonics programme. They also develop their early Maths skills by joining daily lessons planned using the White Rose Maths Mastery programme in which they learn using the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts.

We invest in quality resources to support all families, especially those who are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our highly skilled Pupil Welfare Team and Family Liaison Lead work closely with families to provide pastoral support to children and families at school, at home and in the community. Children have the opportunity to discuss any worries or concerns and where needed are referred to professional services to support their needs. They may also be a part of a lunchtime friendship group where they further explore our core values and their importance in developing healthy relationship with others. In the home environment, family support may be linked to budgeting, CV writing, dealing with bereavement, returning to work, accessing funding and support, bedtime routines, Early Help, support with mental health issues etc.

At John Stainer, our aim is for our children to feel a sense of pride and achievement in their learning. We want them to know that mistakes are inevitable but with perseverance and resilience they will make fewer of these whilst becoming more empowered in their learning. We want children to feel proud of their achievements and to celebrate their own and others’ successes. We motivate and celebrate our children’s achievements through the use of praise, house points, a positive phone call home, weekly certificates for achievement in citizenship, attendance and good sportsmanship. Ongoing formative feedback, the chance to share their success with members of the Senior Leadership Team, stickers, a thumbs up and a smile have also proven to be a huge success.



Our Curriculum Implementation

 Curriculum Implementation 

Leaders at every level, play an important role in the success of the curriculum by being actively involved in monitoring, support and review. They hold regular pupil interviews to check knowledge and skill acquisition and retention. Subject leaders work closely with the Senior Leadership Team to monitor teaching and learning across the school and to strengthen staff’s subject and pedagogical knowledge by organising peer-to-peer lesson observations amongst a wide range of CPD opportunities.


The staff at John Stainer guarantee that lessons demonstrate their commitment to high expectations for children’s learning and development through effective questioning and well planned and targeted challenge to promote the progress of all learners.  


We pride ourselves in delivering a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum where, in each year group, children are taught the key knowledge and skills in each subject, based on the national curriculum and beyond.  This includes inquiry, problem solving and investigation skills. We want our children to build on, retain and apply these skills. Here at John Stainer, children are given the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in different problem solving scenarios. Children are set project based learning to complete at home, where they take ownership of their own learning journey and use their acquired knowledge and skills to create inspiring projects which are shared with parents/carers and other children in a half termly open mornings.  


To further facilitate the objective of ensuring that knowledge is being retained, teachers revisit concepts regularly with the children, not only what they have learned that day, but their knowledge from the week before, topic before and even year before. Robust handover meetings, access to accumulative assessments outcomes across the curriculum means that all staff are able to identify, reference and build on children’s previous achievements and progress.


Different stakeholders play an active role in designing, delivering and evaluating our curriculum, ensuring that our shared vision, ethos and values are embedded in all subjects. The Head Boy and Girl and Prefects give children a strong sense of belonging and ownership in our school. They fulfil their roles wisely and supportively. Prefects help other children with transitioning to and from classes and remind them to uphold our high standards of behaviour in all areas of school life.  The democratically elected School Council takes the lead on many initiatives in the school. Recent examples of this include organising donations to Lewisham Food Bank, taking part in the Governor’s interview process, playing key roles in assemblies, raising money for worldwide disasters and charities including Children in Need and meeting representatives from the PTA to represent the pupil voice about areas of school life that they would like some financial support to enhance.


We are a reflective, self-improving school that ensures that we modify our curriculum on a needs basis. In light of the changing circumstances brought about by the Covid pandemic, we have placed an even stronger emphasis on fostering good mental health, promoting well-being and developing children’s resilience. Leaders have designed a recovery curriculum which focuses on a three tiered approach. The first is the whole school approach which applies to most children.

This includes the following six aims; restoring trust and relationships with staff, re-establishing friendships and social interactions, regaining structure and routine, rebuilding a sense of community, regulating emotions and managing behaviours and re-engaging children in learning. Our in-depth handover meetings and assessment documents, passed on from previous teaching teams, are used to identify skills and knowledge to be prioritised in teaching for children to recover lost learning. Our personalised response which is based on individual needs is used with children who are finding it difficult to engage in the curriculum. They complete further work with our Home School Liaison Lead and the SENDco to enable them to restore good mental health and become more resilient, alongside the other aims listed above within the whole school approach. The third approach is one of deep recovery for those who have experienced severe trauma or bereavement and require a longer period of recovery and specialist professional support for themselves and/or their families.


To promote social skills, physical health and wellbeing, we provide a range of extra-curricular clubs which enable learners to access a variety of activities, at no cost, outside school hours. These are led by teachers and support staff who voluntarily lead these clubs on a weekly basis.

Our Curriculum Impact

Curriculum Impact

The impact of the school’s curriculum is seen in the learning outcomes in children’s books and in discussion with the children. A wide range of children’s work, in different curriculum areas, is displayed around the school. These displays celebrate the impact of the progressive knowledge and skills children have accumulated across a sequence of learning. Children’s performance at different events also demonstrates the impact of our teaching eg our orchestra performance, our school choir, our termly poetry events and feedback from members of the public about of children’s exceptional manners and behaviour when they represent the school in events in the community or go on educational visits.

The impact of our curriculum is measured by standardised assessments eg KS1 SATS / KS2 SATS / EYFS Baseline and also Ofsted reports. Milestones at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 ensure that children are meeting age related national expectations. Whole-school subject progression is mapped collaboratively by Senior and Subject Leaders. These are used by each year group to adapt and create plans for their pupils based on the needs of that cohort. Medium term and weekly planning is quality assured by the Senior Leadership Team. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our school are woven throughout the curriculum. The impact of this values based curriculum is demonstrated in children’s behaviour and attitudes in class and around the school.

Teachers track the progress of individuals in all areas of the curriculum to inform assessment. Information about children’s progress and attainment is shared with parents/carers in reports and during termly consultation meetings. Learning is adapted to address misconceptions and gaps in knowledge identified through assessments to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.

The curriculum at John Stainer is designed to engage children in the learning outcomes relating to that subject but also crucially to support the children to develop those attributes which promote their success in a wider sense; independence, collaboration, self-reflection, resilience, focus, curiosity and effort.

Our intended curriculum impact is that children will be academically, physically and emotionally prepared for the next phase of their lives. Our children will have a strong moral compass and purpose. Our children will be resilient individuals who embrace challenge, seize and create opportunities to self-improve and contribute to the wellbeing of others, their own communities and the wider global community.