Mr Steven Ollis

At St John with St Mark, we strive for every child to experience an outstanding education that ignites within them a lasting love of learning and the highest possible aspirations for their future.

Two questions are held at the heart of our curriculum design:

  • Where can our children go?
  •  Where have our children come from?


Where have our children come from?

Cultural Richness

At St John with St Mark, our diversity is our strength. We celebrate the fact that our children bring with them a wealth and variety of cultures, backgrounds and languages. Therefore, we want our children to explore the richness of their own culture, as well as learning from the cultures of their peers.


Inspiration and Experience

At St John with St Mark, we recognise that many of our children lack a range of life experiences. Without these, they would find it difficult to access the curriculum. They would also struggle with a lack of inspiration and curiosity. We recognise that these gaps in experience would hold many of our children back if unaddressed.  We therefore want an immersive unit approach to our curriculum design. We aim to immerse children in topics that provide them with engaging experiences and inspire them to wonder and learn as much as they can.


 Where can our children go?

Future Aspiration

We also recognise that - for various reasons - many of our children lack any real aspiration. However, we believe that all our children should have high aspirations for their future. When asking ‘Where can our children go?’, our answer is: as far as possible.  Therefore, we want to provide our children with role models to aspire to and help them to make links between their current learning and future employment. 

Please click here for details of our Cultural, Experience, Aspiration Overview.

Core School Values

As well as academic aspiration, we aspire for all our children to grow into rounded citizens of the future. Therefore, we recognise the importance of teaching and exploring values of citizenship throughout school. We want our whole curriculum to be underpinned by our five core school values:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Compassion
  • Friendship
  • Truth


Core School Attitudes

 Because we want our children to become life-long learners with high aspirations for the future, we recognise the importance of teaching and developing attitudes to learning in all our children. We want all teaching and learning to be underpinned by our five core school attitudes:

  • Curious
  • Persevering
  • Independent
  • Reflective
  • Cooperative

Learning Journey Pattern

 All of our lessons typically follow the same learning journey pattern.  Please click here for details of "Our Learning Journey".

Should you wish to see a copy of a progression document within a subject area or for more information about our curriculum, please contact Mr Sadler at

Phonics in EYFS and Key Stage One

At St John with St Mark, in line with statutory requirements, we use Little Wandle which is a validated phonics scheme for primary schools. The scheme includes all resources and materials to support parents at home. 

In addition to Little Wandle, our Nursery also uses oral blending, tuning into sounds, rhyme time and love of reading to support their phonics development.

Click here for the recent phonics update letter to parents


We believe that reading is unique: it is not only a skill to learn for its own sake, but also a skill that can unlock the learning of all other subjects. We have a rigorous home reading system using a combination of different reading schemes to ensure breadth of reading experience.   We currently use Big Cats, Rigby Star and Lighthouse reading schemes.  Children's books are changed frequently and awards are given out for regular readers.  Please click here for further detail of our Reading Curriculum Intent.



We aim to inspire our children to become creative and confident communicators, readers and writers, leading to improved opportunities.   Through a quality English curriculum we want pupils to take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.  Please click here for further detail of our Writing Curriculum Intent.



We have organised our KS1 and KS2 curriculum in the following way:


Immersive Unit Subjects

 Each half term, our children are introduced to a new unit of learning that includes:

  • Initial engagement activities & Big Question
  • Writing opportunities and reading links
  • History content
  • Geography content
  • Art opportunities (Aut 1, Spr 1 & Sum 1)
  • SMSC Big Questions


The aim here is for children to be immersed in a central topic that spans the half term. The topics were inspired by Cornerstones units as a starting point. Each Key Stage teams follow the same units as each other – with the same Big Question - with the aim of maximising interest and sharing across year groups. These units therefore follow a 2-year rolling programme.

Please click here for our Cornerstones Overview for EYFS.

Please click here for our Cornerstones Overview for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.


  Stand-alone subject: class teacher led

 Other subjects are taught as stand-alone subjects, with curriculum links being made where possible. They are taught in unit blocks that each begin with a Big Question:

  • Maths
  • Science
  • RE
  • Computing
  • PE (games)
  • DT (Aut 2, Spr 2 & Sum 2)


Stand-alone subjects: reading

Reading skills are taught in the following ways:

  • Daily Little Wandle phonics sessions in EYFS and KS1
  • Weekly 1 hour reading lessons
  • Daily 30 minute VIPERS sessions
  • Reading skills used in another subject once a week


Stand-alone subjects: specialist teacher led

Other subjects are taught as stand-alone subjects, taught by a specialist teacher:

  • Music
  • French
  • PE: dance 


Long Term Plans

Use the links below to download the Curriculum Maps for each year group.

EYFS                                     KS1                                      Lower KS2                                 Upper KS2

 Nursery Reception              Year 1   Year 2                  Year 3     Year 4                           Year 5     Year 6


If you wish to submit your child's homework by email please forward to the school office: