Monksmead School

Respect, Reflect, Believe, Succeed

Monksmead Curriculum


Please find below curriculum information for each Key Stage.  For more information please visit the class pages on this website, contact your class teacher directly or speak with the school office.

Whole School Curriculum Statement of Intent

The main themes are that by the time Monksmead pupils leave us at the end of Year 6 our children will:  

  • Be happy, confident and kind  
  • Understand the importance of trying their best   
  • Have developed a love of learning and have high aspirations for themselves and others 
  • Have a resilient approach and feel empowered to make changes as needed   
  • Be independent, reflective and responsible learners who are able to transfer their core English (Communication, Phonics, Reading and Writing) and Maths skills (Times tables, Fluency and Reasoning) to other curriculum areas and in wider life  
  • As individuals to have embedded the ‘Monksmead values’ in all that they do   


The school values underpin the curriculum, and we are clear on what we expect from our pupils and how we will support them to achieve this. We frame this in the form of everyone’s RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES:   



Monksmead agreed children’s rights  


Monksmead Star Behaviour and Attitudes 

RESPECT  We intend to nurture the whole child so that they feel valued as individuals and are able to connect with their identity.   Listen, show Respect and Kindness to all including your wider environment 
REFLECT  We encourage reflection through asking BIG QUESTIONS and support children to connect this to their view of how they fit into the world.   Stop and Think – reflect on your behaviour and how it impacts on others 

Pupil voice systems are structured so whole-school council views are taken seriously and children are supported to understand how they can contribute positively  

Take the time to Stop and Think things through with the belief that you can achieve. 
SUCCEED   We want our pupils to be global citizens who can connect to and overcome obstacles thus creating a future that they want to live in   

Try your best in all that you do and aim to master the skills that will equip you to be successful in life 



By curriculum we use the definition of ‘The total learned experiences of the child: formal, informal, within the classroom and beyond’, (Barry Dufour).  To further shape our school’s curriculum, we have identified 4 Curriculum Drivers which reflect the National Curriculum expectations and ensures access for all pupils including SEND, the Community in terms of locality and diversity, and Cultural Capital opportunities.    


Monksmead’s Curriculum Drivers have been produced through joint thinking of different members of the community - pupils, staff, parents and governors

Our Curriculum is designed to ensure our learners:  

  • Will be self-aware (Do I understand my body, my feelings, my actions and how they impact on others?)  
  • Will embrace differences (Do I recognise and celebrate different ethnicities, languages, cultures, disabilities including hidden ones, medical conditions and other forms of diversity in our community?)  
  • Will be ambitious to take the next step (Do I feel happy and healthy in both my mind and body and know how to overcome challenges?)  
  • Will be worldy-wise (Do I know what the world has to offer me at a street, local and global level and vice versa?)   


Monksmead's Whole-School Council - Pupil Voice

At Monksmead, a very important part of what we do is deciding on what our pupils should learn, in what order and why. Although the government provides a framework for what should be covered in each subject within each key stage, it does not dictate what should be covered in each year group or how content should be built up so children remember more and know more. It is up to schools to personalise this to their children and their needs. 

We are constantly striving to improve our curriculum and so we have been consulting our community to find out what they believe each child should learn by the time they leave us in Year 6 and why they feel that this is important.   We have been grateful for such a supportive response to this consultation from all involved - staff, children, parents and governors.  Below is a picture showing the children's response to our questions around our Monksmead curriculum.



Monksmead's Parent and Governor Voice

We asked our parents and governors, with our local community in mind, what they believe are the most important areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes for our children to learn by the time they leave in Year 6.  We asked them to consider how these will help them now, in the future and in all aspects of life.  Here are some of the key words that came up in response to the different questions.


Phonics and Reading



ELS - phonics

At Monksmead School we have adpoted a new synthetic phoncis scheme called ELS.  ELS has a clear progression of reading books that are phonetically decodable.  Books have been carefully aligned so that they specifically match what children have been learning in class.   Children in Reception and Year 1 will bring home a phonetically decodable book, linked to their learning, each Friday.    With ELS, there is a daily phonics lesson where the teacher teaches a new sound, or reviews sounds learned earlier in the week. This is shown to the class on the whiteboard.  Children learn the letters that represent the sounds. They are then asked to read words and sentences with the new sounds in. Children will also practise writing the letters that represent the sounds.

Children learn to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sounds they represent. Pronounce the sounds as you would say them within a word. It is important to ensure that you (or the children) don’t add ‘uh’ onto the end, so for ‘m’ say ‘mm’ not ‘muh’ and for ‘l’ say ‘ull’ not ‘luh’. The below video gives you all 44 sounds in English.


Please click on the links below to see the sounds the children learn as part of ELS.


Phase 2 sounds Phase 3 sounds Phase 5 sounds

To support their love of reading, children will also be encouraged to choose a 'sharing book' - this is a book that may or may not be fully decodable but can be enjoyed with parents and family members as a book to read together.


Guided Reading in KS2

In KS2 children have daily whole-class reading lessons.  At Monksmead, we use VIPERS from Literacy Shed Comprehension Plus to help structure the learning and ensure that all key skills are being learnt.    

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.  The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.


To support the children in accurately answering comprehension questions, we use A.P.E.   This stands for 'Answer', ' Prove it' and 'Explain it'.



Curriculum Overviews

Early Years - Nursery and Reception Classes

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2