The Willows Primary School

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School Address

  • The Willows Primary School
  • Downing Close,
  • Ipswich,
  • Suffolk,
  • IP2 9ER

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Our Curriculum


Our Curriculum Intent




Our curriculum aims to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced education for all pupils.
  • Enable pupils to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations.
  • Support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Support pupils’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active.
  • Promote a positive attitude towards learning.
  • Ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
  • Promote the learning and development of our youngest children in EYFS and ensure they are ready for Key Stage 1.


The work we do at The Willows Primary is underpinned by our school vision: ‘Together we thrive’ as well as the vision of our trust: ‘Where learning is unstoppable and aspirations have no limits’. 


Our school aim is that by the time our pupils leave our school they:

  • Feel good about themselves.
  • Know that they matter
  • Become more resilient and resourceful
  • Have a positive place in society
  • Form trusting, rewarding relationships
  • Be creative
  • Be compassionate and empathetic
  • Be thoughtful and self-aware
  • Be productive
  • Be able to overcome difficulties and set-backs


  • Our curriculum builds on meaningful real-life experiences, extends children’s opportunities, raises aspirations and opens children’s eyes to the world beyond their immediate environment.  The curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences, allow children to develop their resilience, become creative, critical thinkers and is ambitious for all learners.


  • We use a thematic approach which is underpinned by a rigorous skills-based curriculum. Knowledge, skills and concepts are clearly outlined in an age-appropriate and progressive way from Y1-Y6 so that the children’s understanding is extended, year upon year.  This ensures a broad and balanced curriculum for every child.


  • To support our school values and provide our pupils with a range of life experiences, educational visits, visitors and experience days are a key feature of the curriculum; the school subsidises a range of these to enrich the curriculum for all. In the summer term 2019, these included: a 3-day residential for Y5 to London, a visit to the Sea Life centre in Great Yarmouth for Y2, a visit to Felixstowe and Landguard Fort for Y1, a Roman day for Y3, performing at the Trinity Park Music Festival for Y4 and our Y6 pupils taking part in Crucial Crew to learn about aspects of personal safety. 

Our Approach to the Teaching of Phonics:

At the Willows Primary School we use the Read Write Inc approach to the teaching of phonics. The Willows was successful in January 2019 in securing TILF funding to help with the implementation of the Read Write Inc approach. 


Phonics Subject Leader: Mrs Stephanie Freeman                                                                                 


What is Read Write Inc Phonics?

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Parent's Guide to RWI Phonic Sounds.

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Our Approach to Reading

Reading comprehension skills are explicitly taught at The Willows through a daily 30-minute whole class session. In Reception and Year 1 this is through Oral Shared Reading and In Years 2-6 this is through Shared Reading. Each year group have set texts, which they will read as a class for the year. This ensures that pupils will have access to a wide variety of authors and genres throughout their time at Primary school. The books range from traditional tales, classic children’s authors such as Roald Dahl to up and coming new authors. The books are chosen to engage pupils and promote a love of reading at school and at home. The shared reading rubric ensures that pupils are given the skills needed to access harder texts; learn new vocabulary and pupils are taught specifically how to answer different question types.


Reading Subject Leader: Mrs Ellie Fleming                                                                     


Although the children in Years 1 to 6 have a daily reading lesson (in addition to their phonics/ literacy lesson) it is also important that the children read regularly at home to an adult, but also have the experience of an adult reading a book to them. Our ultimate aim as a school is that by the time the children leave our school they have developed a real love of reading. 

Why read to your child?

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Approaches to Writing:

To develop pupils as writers we provide rich and varied experiences for pupils to draw on and to develop their confidence and foster a positive attitude to their writing.  We create a purpose and real audience for children’s writing where possible to make the writing ‘real’ for the children.   We show them how to write in a variety of forms such as stories, poems, reports and letters.  Teachers model writing skills, including how to compose, edit and revise their writing.  Pupils are taught to self-evaluate their writing and check their work independently for sense, accuracy and meaning.   Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are taught in the context of pupils’ own writing, as well as through discrete lessons. 


Handwriting is taught following the school guidance using RWI formation as a starting point, then the Pen Pals programme in years 1 through to 6, to support pupils in gaining fluency and speed in their joined handwriting.   



In years 1 to 6, writing assessment grids are updated each half term by teachers to assess the writing of pupils and a summative judgement is made each term in order to track progress pupils make.


Writing Subject Leader: Ms Sue Kingsnorth                                                                         


Our Maths Curriculum

Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life and teachers will use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum and so with this in mind, we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics.


At The Willows we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We use White Rose plans to support the planning and teaching of Maths. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils grasp the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving, and the development of mathematical thinking are therefore essential components of The Willows approach to this subject.

Maths Subject Leader: Mr Mathew Jackson                                                                         

Year 1


Year 2


Year 3


Year 4

Year 5


Year 6

Our PSHE Curriculum 


For our PSHE and SRE Curriculum we follow the 'jigsaw' curriculum. This allows us to teach the same themes across the school in all year groups, at a level appropriate to each year group. Each theme is launched by a member of the senior leadership team in a whole school assembly at the start of the each half-term.


PSHE and SRE Subject Leader: Mrs Sarah Izzard                                                                                                


Religious Education at the Willows

We work from a scheme called ‘The Emmanuel Project’, which meets all the requirements for the Suffolk RE Agreed Syllabus. Through lots of practical, varied activities, the children learn about the main religions of the world. (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism and Humanism.)

Each unit of work follows an enquiry – based style of learning ( engage, enquire, explore and evaluate/discuss); the children should complete one unit of work every half term. EYFS cover the different units of work on a yearly basis.


RE Subject Leader: Ms Sue Kingsnorth                                                       

Key stages 1 and 2 follow a two – yearly plan. After two years, all the main units should have been covered :

Units of work covered by years 1 and 2 over a two year cycle.

Units of work covered by years 3 and 4 over a two year cycle.

Units of work covered by years 5 and 6 over a two year cycle.





Humanities at The Willows

History and Geography are taught with cross curriculum links made with the core subjects where possible. Children knowledge is gained not just through lesson, but through experiences in the form of school trips, visits and themed days or through forest schools.


Humanities Subject Leader: Mrs Karen Whight                                                                                            

Science at the Willows

At The willows, we want to fire children’s natural curiosity of the world with exciting and stimulating learning. In science we will enhance their skills to help them be confident scientists for an evolving world. We believe it is important to shape their interest in science while they still have that enthusiasm for the world around them. Science helps them understand many of the world-wide issues that will affect them when they are adults.

Each year group has detailed content to cover in the elements of Biology, Chemistry and Physics; where possible we will incorporate scientific ideas into other areas of the curriculum. A lot of the content builds on from previous year groups, to show a progression of understanding. Apart from knowledge we embrace the processes of scientific explorations, investigations and discoveries.

We expect the high standards of literacy and maths skills in our science work, as in any other part of the curriculum.

We use our ‘forest school facility’ and the school grounds throughout the years as part of the practical, hands-on experiences which we encourage in our science learning


Science Subject Leaders: Mrs Cleonie Ward and Miss Laura Relph                                                  

PE at the Willows

Detailed below is our PE curriculum for this year. The majority of our PE lessons are taught by sports coaches or support staff who are trained as sports coaches.


Physical Education Subject Leader: Miss Anne-Marie Milburn                                                                                  
Competitive Sports Subject Leader: Mrs Mandy Cutting

Modern Foreign Languages: French

At the Willows Primary School, we have decided to French as our modern foreign language. We use Rigolo teaching materials to support our teaching and learning in French.


MFL Subject Leaders: Miss Laura Relph and Mrs Cleonie Ward                         



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 1

Children in KS1 and EYFS may cover some basic vocabulary in French as part of their current topics in other subjects.

Year 2

Year 3


En Classe

Mon Corps

Les Animaux

La Famille

Bon Anniversaire

Year 4


Quelle Heure Est-Il?

Les Fétès

Où Vas-Tu?

On Mange!

Le Cirque

Year 5

Salut Gustave!

À L’ ècole

La Nourriture

En Ville

En Vacances

Chez Moi

Year 6

Le Week-end

Les Vêtements

Ma Journèe

Les Transports

Les Sports

On Va Faire La Fête


If you have any questions about your child's curriculum and you wish to talk to their class teacher please go to the school office and they will arrange this for you.