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What is our approach to the curriculum?


Our curriculum is carefully planned to meet the needs of the children in our context.  It is designed to enable our children to become active citizens who have the knowledge, skills and personal qualities to embrace challenges and overcome problems.  With Christ at the centre of all that we do, we aim to develop the whole child so that they can realise their full potential.

In order to achieve this, we:

  • prioritise teaching every child to read and we work hard to develop a love of reading
  • aim to ensure that each child acquires the necessary basic skills in English and maths to succeed
  • provide stimulating and challenging tasks to develop motivated, curious learners
  • use the local area to provide hands-on learning experiences
  • equip children with the necessary skills to be independent learners
  • enhance the curriculum through a range of high-quality enrichment opportunities
  • recognise individual talents and celebrate successes across the curriculum
  • develop children's knowledge on how to keep themselves safe, fit and healthy
  • encourage children to positively contribute to the school community by holding positions of responsibility
  • teach the British values so that all members of the school community are respectful, tolerant and realise the importance of the rule of law
  • promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in all that we do

Pedagogical Approach


We recognise that quality-first teaching is the most effective way of enabling  all children to succeed.  As a result, we use a range of teaching strategies which allow all children, regardless of ability, to make accelerated progress.  Our teaching approach complements the sequence and progression in our curriculum by:


  • linking new learning to previous learning
  • explicitly teaching new learning in small steps
  • practising and overlearning recently taught skills and knowledge to commit learning to long-term memory
  • using scaffolds for those who need extra support
  • employing a variety of techniques to aid knowledge retrieval
  • making use of assessment to close gaps and challenge all learners

Below is a summary of subjects taught at Springhill. Please click on a Year Group icon to read more about the curriculum your child will be studying this year. If you would like more information about a particular subject, then please contact the school office staff, who will be able to provide you with a copy of the subject policy requested.

Religious Education (R.E.)

Being a Catholic school, the teaching of R.E is given a high priority. Home, school and parish work together. The spirit of the school's mission statement affirms this with its emphasis on a Catholic community: a welcoming and all inclusive family, valuing the role and contribution of each member. Our commitment to this means that R.E. is a vital, central part of our curriculum. It consists of our pupils experiencing the faith of the church in lessons, in worship and in relationships within the school.


Children are taught to communicate orally and in writing from the Foundation Stage onwards.

Reading and Phonics

Phonics and reading are core elements of our curriculum at Springhill.  We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ synthetic phonics programme throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, to teach the children essential phonic skills that are required to successfully read and spell.  

Phonics books are used in school and at home to provide daily practice in reading words containing focus letter sounds.  The children also practise their reading with fully decodable books using the 'Big Cats' scheme which is aligned with 'Letters and Sounds'. Books are chosen by the teacher and contain only sounds and tricky words which the children have been previously taught.  These books are supplemented with a range of fiction and non-fiction ‘free reading’ texts.  Children are able to regularly choose and take home school library books and families have access to these resources both before and after school.

In Key Stage 2, children use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme of books which are levelled and closely matched to their reading ability.  Within each stage, there is a range of fiction and non-fiction titles, including stories from different cultures and eras.  Class teachers choose the books, as in Key Stage 1, and these are used for home reading and group reading in class.  The children also have a library book which they choose themselves.  They are guided in their choice by their Accelerated Reader ZPD level which ensures that they are choosing books of an appropriate level for them.  Children are also encouraged to 'free read', for pleasure, any books of their own choosing.


The development of children's ability to communicate in writing is given high priority and we achieve excellent standards in this important skill. Spelling and phonics are taught daily, and from Year 1 onwards, children are given a weekly test to assess progress.


Mental mathematics and oral work feature strongly in lessons. As well as the learning of mathematical concepts, children are taught instant recall of addition facts and multiplication tables to ensure that they are well equipped with good basic numeracy skills and to tackle mathematical investigations.


Teaching which is lively, interactive and stimulating forms the basis of these lessons. All children learn science through observing, investigating and experimenting. As children progress through the school they are taught to use their scientific skills, understanding and knowledge, when applying scientific processes and practice to new topics. We have an environmental area which is used to teach children about life processes and living things.


In this subject, children learn about the rich heritage of our country and ancient civilisations. We make good use of the local museum, places of historical interest and visitors to school, including actors and drama groups who bring history alive for the children.


We aim to give children an understanding of their own and different environments, the use and misuse of natural resources, and other environmental issues such as pollution and conservation. We benefit from the use of our grounds for mapping and investigative work and visit local places for more extensive fieldwork.


We have a first class ICT suite equipped with thirty-one computers. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards, which enable teaching and learning to take place in an exciting, stimulating way that was unimaginable a few years ago. We also have a class set of netbooks and a set of thirty iPads per year group for use in class.

French (Key Stage 2)

Lessons will provide opportunities and activities for children to develop good communication skills through speaking, listening and writing. The children will also learn about French culture and traditions.

Design Technology

From early work using construction toys and scrap material, children develop the skills to design, plan, make and evaluate their own creations using a variety of tools and materials.


We encourage children to develop their artistic skills in a creative and imaginative way, giving their ideas visual form. We teach the children about the work of famous artists and help them to gain an understanding of their visual heritage.


We enjoy an excellent musical tradition and there are many opportunities for children to take part in musical activities both inside and outside of the classroom. We have a school choir and, quite exceptionally in a primary school, we have our own school orchestra. From the earliest years, children are encouraged to take part in and enjoy musical activities, leading to children achieving very high standards by the time they leave Springhill.
The school offers musical instrument tuition in brass, strings, woodwind, keyboard and percussion, taught by specialist teachers. 
Children share their music with the community in outside performances, and musical productions within the school, to which parents are invited.

Physical Education

Children are encouraged to keep fit as part of their education for a healthy lifestyle. Gymnastics, games and dance are taught in each year group and swimming is taught in Year 4. We have school teams for football, netball, rugby, cricket and athletics, which regularly take part in matches with local schools. We offer an extensive range of after-school sports clubs. 

Personal, Social, Health and Economics Education (PSHEE)

In partnership with parents we prepare children for future adult life. Our PSHEE policy deals with all the issues relating to the physical, social and emotional well-being of each child. As part of this, the school has a programme of relationships education which follows guidelines from the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth. Parents of children in Year 6 are invited to view teaching materials before they are introduced to the children and may, if they wish, withdraw their child from all or part of these lessons, except for those elements taught as part of National Curriculum science.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development

Springhill Catholic Primary School promotes a Catholic ethos and recognises the significant role that SMSC plays in building our pupils' own values and beliefs, developing an enquiring mind, encouraging social skills and fostering a positive attitude towards others based on mutual respect and tolerance. This means that our pupils will become responsible citizens, contributing to life in modern Britain. Many of the core concepts will be covered in R.E. and in PSHEE. There are other opportunities to develop SMSC, for example, through other curriculum lessons.


Teachers use the outcomes of assessments to summarise and analyse progress for their pupils and classes. Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched. The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils on a termly basis.

We celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art and performance, behaviour, and social and emotional development.


We expect all children to spend an age-appropriate time each evening completing homework, and we ask all parents to co-operate with this policy. Reading, spelling and the learning of tables form the core homework activities in all age groups.