Curriculum Intent:

The primary focus of our curriculum is to Explore, Challenge and Learn. We ensure our lessons are based around the children’s questions and ideas by developing a ‘dialogic’ curriculum, with pupil talk at its heart. 

Respect, Care, Listen and Reflect

Reflection is a key part of our curriculum, with opportunities for pupils to reflect on their learning regularly planned into all curriculum areas. Children are also encouraged to reflect on their behaviour, and use this as an opportunity to repair and restore when things go wrong. We value our pupil’s emotional wellbeing, and ensure that ‘Emotional Logic’ is embedded in our curriculum and ethos. Our dialogic curriculum enables pupils to build the listening and talking skills which are the foundation for learning. 

Explore, Challenge, Learn

Teaching and learning at Ottery St Mary is based on the New National Curriculum 2014 for Years 1 to 6 and the Statutory Framework for our Foundation Stage children. Our curriculum development is designed to ensure coverage of key knowledge and skills whilst seeking opportunities to build memorable experiences. We make the most of our outdoor areas, including forest school for pupils from foundation stage to year 6. Our topics are exciting, with engaging hooks at the start and opportunities for celebration of work at the end. We know that not all units of work will take the same amount of time, and therefore our curriculum time is flexible in order to offer pupils the chance to embed, or show a greater depth of, understanding. Children are encouraged to be curious explorers, to challenge themselves and to make the most of every learning opportunity. 

The Foundation Stage

In EYFS at Ottery St Mary Primary School, we strongly believe children learn best through self initiated play. This is when they are happy and engaged at the highest level. As a result of this, as well as providing high quality daily direct phonics and maths teaching, the children spend most of their day accessing their own learning. This is supported by the adults in the setting who offer scaffolding, high quality interactions and, when deemed appropriate additional support. We teach phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised – which you can read more about here. Maths follows the principles of White Rose maths and aligns with the statuory EYFS framework 2021. Learn more about the foundation stage here

The National Curriculum

In Key Stages 1 and 2 (years 1-6) we teach the National Curriculum. Click here to view.

The subjects covered in the Primary National Curriculum are English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education and Computing. More information about our subject progression can be found here.

Phonics is taught through the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ approach – more information can be found here.

In KS2 children also study a Foreign Language which in our school is French.

Religious Education is a statutory subject and is taught throughout the school from Foundation to Year 6, we also have a calendar of collective worship themes, through which children are offered opportunities to reflect on ‘big themes’. 

Our cultural curriculum addresses ‘big questions’ through imaginatively planned topics. These topics cover the knowledge and skills of history, geography, art and design. 

More information about our curriculum can be found here.

Marking and Feedback

Marking and feedback at Ottery St Mary Primary School informs teaching and learning and interventions and support. Prior to school closures in March 2020, a trial began into the implementation of a ‘no marking’ approach. Following the return to school opening, this trial was expanded. This document details the approach in place, following the review of adaptations made to marking and feedback, as of January 2022. Marking and feedback is monitored throughout the year both in lesson observations and pupil voice.




The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

from the National Curriculum pdf