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St John the Baptist Primary School

Background Slideshow


Our school is located in the heart of our community and we want to create broad and balanced curriculum that is tailored to the specific needs of the community we serve: a community curriculum.

We want to engage  whole families in school life so that everyone feels that education is both fun and worthwhile. Our school life is built on an ethos of Christian love so that all our families feel loved, valued and encouraged.

We want our community curriculum to offer both the skills and the confidence that we believe young people will need for a life in modern Britain. We will inspire confidence through activities designed to do this such as Forest Schools, singing and sport, and will offer life skills such as cooking and gardening.

Our community curriculum will be rich in experiences and inclusive for all children; offering a breadth of opportunities with a clear focus on tolerance, resilience, health and understanding choice. Staff will weave opportunities to develop these into meaningful theme work, worship, visits and visitors that reflect the diverse society in which we live.

Our school community will benefit from projects such as the Community Allotment. These will provide children and families with opportunities to work alongside each other to develop skills and enhance our curriculum.

We will seek opportunities to work in partnership with other educational establishments, businesses and experts within and beyond our local community to enrich our curriculum and extend pupils' skills.



The period of education from ages 3 to 5 is known as the Foundation Stage and we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

There are four themes that underpin this curriculum:

  • Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environment
  • Learning and Development

Within this curriculum there are three Prime Areas of Learning:-

  • Personal, Social, Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

There are also four Specific Areas of Learning:-

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


Our creative curriculum gives your child the opportunity to learn through a play based curriculum, both indoors and outdoors, with a focus on all of the above areas.


Play is crucial for developing children’s communication skills.

Here are 10 reasons why it is so important:

  1. Play lays the foundation for literacy. Through play children learn to make and practise new sounds. They try out new vocabulary, on their own or with friends, and exercise their imagination through storytelling.
  2. Play is learning. Play nurtures development and fulfils a baby’s inborn need to learn. Play takes many forms, from shaking a rattle to peek-a-boo to hide-and-seek. Play can be done by a child alone, with another child, in a group or with an adult.
  3. Play encourages adults to communicate with the children in their lives. Adults support play by giving children opportunities to play, and by knowing when to intervene, and when not to intervene.
  4. Play gives children the chance to be spontaneous. You may think your child should be rolling the truck on the ground but that doesn’t mean that truck is not equally useful as a stacking toy.
  5. Play gives children choice. Having enough toys or activities to choose from will allow children to express themselves.
  6. Play gives children space. To practise physical movement, balance and to test their own limits.
  7. Play gives adults the chance to learn how to play again. One of the most challenging parts of play is incorporating yourself in it.
  8. Play allows adults to learn their child’s body language. Knowing when you should incorporate yourself in your child’s play is key.
  9. Play teaches adults patience and understanding.  If you do choose to join in your child’s play make sure that you do not try to take it over and force incorporation of your ultimate learning objectives into their play. Structured adult-led activities have their time and place but remember to allow for time for children to control and decide their own play.
  10. Play is fun. Learning to play well, both by themselves and with others, sets children up to be contented and sociable.


Foundation Stage – Culture and Ethos


Our Top Ten

  • We offer a safe and stimulating environment where children flourish.
  • We pride ourselves on listening to children and those who care for them and using this information to personalise each child’s learning.
  • We offer a quality play based curriculum with quality adult-child interactions as well as child initiated play.
  • Adults respond to children’s interests and skilled practitioners model language, show, explain, demonstrate, encourage, question and recall through narrative.
  • Every opportunity for learning is taken and we ensure we offer enabling environments to allow children to make sense of the world.
  • Challenge is part of our day for all children in order to extend their learning.
  • Learning should be fun and we strongly believe in first hand learning, valuing the importance of the outdoor environment to develop children’s thinking and problem solving skills.
  • We believe that every child is unique and should be treated so allowing them the opportunity to develop and learn in a safe and nurturing environment where play and learning is combined.
  • We understand the importance of practical learning experiences and strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity.
  • We are committed to giving our children the best possible start to their school life, teaching children skills which ensure their well-being now and success in the future.


What we do well

  • Pastoral care – getting to know children and their families and their circumstances and supporting them in any way we can, identifying needs.
  • Home visits to build up good relationships with families.
  • Relationships with children – establishing routines.
  • Behaviour – respecting each other and their differences – Everyone different everyone loved school motto.
  • Highlighting disadvantage and breaking down barriers.
  • Focusing on Prime Areas in order that children can access the rest of the curriculum and make good progress – PSED and CAL addressed by excellent modelling by all staff.
  • Active and healthy lifestyle is encouraged – mile a day, oral hygiene, healthy breakfast, daily activity.
  • Speaking and listening is a priority on arrival in school – BLAST, Early Language Development Programme, SALT, Talk in the Early Years.
  • Quality of teaching and adult interaction is key.
  • Accurate assessment and moderation to feed into planning and the environment.

Cornerstones Curriculum Y1-Y6


We follow an exciting curriculum based on the Cornerstones materials which has inspirational titles to engage and motivate pupils – for example

Bottoms, burps and bile!

Enchanted skies

Scream machine

Muck, Mess and mixtures


Click here to view the long term over view 2017 – 2018

National Curriculum

If you wish to view to full programmes of study from the DfE, please follow the link below.


English, Reading and Phonics


These are the class authors that we will explore in 2017 – 2018

  • Nursery – Sue Hendra
  • Reception – Eric Carle
  • IASC – Kes Gray
  • Year 1 – Julia Donaldson
  • Year 2 – Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul
  • KS2B – Roald Dahl
  • Year 3 – Georgia Pritchett
  • Year 4 – Tamsin Cooke
  • Year 5 – Kimberley Wyatt
  • Year 6 – Lemony Snicket


Our Reading Story





Literacy is taught both through theme work and discretely as a separate subject each day. We place a high level of importance in our curriculum on developing good literacy skills. It is important to us that children can read and write to a good level by the time they leave our school.

Children are encouraged to read regularly, both at home and school. We ask that parents/carers support this by encouraging children to read with them as they learn to read and as they become more proficient readers to support them in their understanding of what they are reading.

We have many high quality resources to support the teaching of literacy and pride ourselves on the quality and amount of texts we have in school.

Our aim is to enable pupils to become successful readers through the specific teaching of the strategies and skills necessary to develop this fluency. This is provided both within the teaching of English and beyond it, through the wider curriculum, including modelled, shared, guided and independent reading.

This year we have introduced READING RULES throughout whole school which is a toolkit used with children to encourage them to be able to predict, question, talk about texts and link to text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world. This encourages them to link their reading with what they already know in order to make sense and understand what they are reading.

Our youngest children learn to read through the daily systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, following the Letters and Sounds programme, which enables them to learn the phonetic code and to apply understanding of letter sounds with the corresponding letter shapes (graphemes). We introduce them to sounds which they learn to blend in order to read and segment in order to write. Children in Foundation Stage also use Jolly Phonics actions to go with the sounds. Phonics teaching is a daily part of English throughout EYFS and Year 1/2 and is used to target children throughout KS2 who may require additional support in securing these skills. As children make progress they then transfer to RWI Spelling which is another daily programme we use to teach spelling strategies. This is usually from Year 2 up to Year 6.

In addition to specific teaching of reading skills, pupils are given opportunities to further develop and refine their reading outside of their English lessons. Pupils have access to a wide range of appropriate reading material, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play-scripts, with a class library in each teaching room, and also through a wide range of ICT programs and resources. A variety of reading scheme materials and ‘real books’ are used to support the children’s reading development, including Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics, Phonics Bug, Rigby Star and Project X.

Children reading at home also forms a vital component of the school’s approach with parents being encouraged and supported in taking an active role in the development of their child’s reading. We encourage frequent dialogue between school and home, which helps to keep parents informed and actively involves them in their child’s learning.


Speaking and Listening


It is vital that we offer as many opportunities as possible for children to develop their speaking and listening skills. This may be through 1-1 work and discussion or through whole class Circle Time – and many other things in between. We try to provide different experiences for your children from trips to visitors in school that give children things to talk about. Developing a rich and wide vocabulary is really important as this will help them in many other areas of the curriculum.




Children are encouraged to write about their own first hand experiences and interests. Children are often taken out on visits as well as inviting visitors into school. We have a half termly focus of whole school writing linked to a curriculum area where children work on an area of the curriculum and produce a quality piece of writing linked to our 'We are days'.


Our Promises


While you are in our school, we promise you will do the following:


In Foundation Stage

Splash in a puddle

Make a mud slide

Go on a train

Feed the ducks

Blow a dandelion clock

Plant a seed

Run around in the rain

Climb up and roll down a really big hill

Visit a farm

Paddle in the stream

Go on a nature walk

Watch a chick hatch

Post a letter


In Key Stage 1

Kick the Autumn leaves

Go an a treasure hunt

Make a mud pie

Make bark and leaf rubbings

Hold a scary beast

Hunt for bugs

Find out what lives in a rock pool

Bake some biscuits

Learn to do a forward roll

Fly a kite

Draw a chalk picture outside

Catch something in a net

Play pooh sticks

Pick wild blackberries

Visit a library

Play a skipping game

Find some frogspawn


In Lower Key Stage 2

Skim a stone

Play leapfrog

Eat an apple straight from a tree

Perform in public

Make a daisy chain

Dig in the garden

Make a home for a wild animal

Jump over waves

Make and drink homemade lemonade

Climb a tree

Play conkers

Eat in a restaurant

Discover what is in a pond

Be part of a team

Learn an instrument

Learn to swim

Plant a herb garden

Bake a cake


In Upper Key Stage 2

Go on a really long bike ride

Roll down a really big hill

Invent and cook a healthy snack

Sew on a button

Splash in the waves

Go bird watching

Plant, grow and eat something

Make a bird feeder

Use stepping stones to cross a stream

Build a den

Go to the theatre

Plan and cook a meal

Cook on a campfire

Find your way with a map and compass

Make and fly a paper aeroplane

Make a miniature garden

Walk barefoot in the grass

Create some wild art

‘We are…’ days


To promote literacy across the curriculum we have a day, each half term, when the whole school follows the same theme and practises their literacy skills in other subjects. The work is then celebrated through displays in the corridors for everyone to see!

Here are our days planned for the academic year 2017/2018

  • Autumn 1 – We are Readers
  • Autumn 2– We are Time Travellers
  • Spring 1 – We are Musicians
  • Spring 2 – We are Engineers
  • Summer 1 – We are Athletes
  • Summer 2 – We are Brilliant

Religious Education


We follow the Stockton Agreed Syllabus for RE with some elements of the Durham Diocesan scheme.

Click here to view the Stockton Agreed Syllabus for RE

The Education Act 1996 states that an Agreed Syllabus must reflect that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. For the purposes of this syllabus, these other religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The syllabus must be non-denominational and must not be designed to convert or urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils, but teaching about different denominations is not prohibited.

Religious Education must be taught to all registered pupils in maintained schools (not nursery) with the exception of those pupils withdrawn by their parents. If you wish to withdraw your children from RE sessions, please come and discuss this with Mrs Coe, Head Teacher.

Everyone Different, Everyone Loved