John Wallis 024

Lower School Curriculum

The ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’ is an exciting approach to topic based learning. It gives the children a high level of involvement in their work resulting in a curriculum which is enjoyable, meaningful, engaging and which promotes high standards.

It weaves together cross curricular learning from a range of subjects including: Geography, History, Science, Art, Music, ICT and Design Technology. This is supported by a solid and rigorous approach to basic skills and empowers children to ‘learn to learn’.

‘Learning Challenges’ are titled with questions and last for approximately six weeks. The title question is the Prime Learning Challenge and is answered by a set of Subsidiary Learning Challenge questions during the subsequent weeks. The questions cover all areas of the curriculum and stem from the children’s prior knowledge and interests.

‘Learning Challenges’ embrace the local area and communities. The lessons start with a ‘wow’ starter which may be an exciting visit, a speaker and ICT link or a challenge day. They end with a time of reflection on the children’s learning and a celebration, often involving other learners, families and communities.


In English our aim is that children are able to:

  • Speak clearly and confidently in any situation
  • Listen and respond appropriately
  • Read fluently for both pleasure and information
  • Express their own opinions
  • Write to an excellent standard in a variety of genres
  • Use and understand spelling, grammar and phonic rules
  • Be able to proof-read and amend their own work as appropriate
  • Develop a love of the subject

English is taught daily with an emphasis on phonics throughout all years. A structured spelling programme is used to raise standards and support the children with writing. Guided reading takes place daily and children read within a group on a very regular basis, ensuring they are fluent and confident readers. Writing is linked to the creative curriculum (Learning Challenge) and the new ‘Read, Writing, Inc Scheme’, where the children become fully involved in exciting and meaningful tasks.  We are currently using The Oxford Reading Tree's  Schemes for Reading and the Floppy Phonics Scheme.


Maths is used in our everyday lives whether it is checking our change at the shops, working out the cost of a new carpet, or deciding what time to leave home to catch the bus. At The John Wallis Church of England Academy we aim to provide our children with a wide mathematical education, taught in a relevant, enjoyable and creative way. We incorporate real life experiences so children can understand the importance of using and applying maths skills to solve problems.

Assessment and Reporting

Children are assessed continually throughout the year, both formally and informally. The assessment data is used to plan the children's next steps in their learning and ensure they make good progress. The Early Years specific data collection system allows comprehensive and detailed analysis of progress and next steps. Parents are informed of progress through Parent's Evenings three times per year and Termly Progress Reports. Staff are always available at the beginning and end of the day for parents and carers to have a brief chat if required or if a longer time is needed, appointments can be booked via the Primary Office.

If you wish to obtain any further information on the curriculum we follow please contact us using the details on the following page:

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