Our Curriculum

Curriculum Intent: 

At Larchwood, we strongly believe that all children, despite backgrounds and starting points in life, deserve access to an education that will provide them with opportunities to succeed in life and this school ethos is demonstrated within our curriculum.  We aim to empower our children with the knowledge and skills they require to be successful in the next stage of their education and ultimately to become successful, ambitious and responsible adults.  We have designed a curriculum that supports our school values; fosters a love of reading and learning; and educates children about the multicultural world that we live in.  We seek to broaden the horizons of the children we teach so that they are not only familiar with our locality and the rest of the UK but the wider world that we live in.  We want to provide our children with a range of role models from all walks of life in order to inspire something in them that will help shape the course of their future.  Ultimately, our aim is for children to leave Larchwood with the following:

  • a rich vocabulary that enables them to communicate successfully;
  • a love of reading that leaves them with a thirst for general knowledge;
  • a high level of mathematical reasoning and the ability to problem solve and be creative;
  • a wealth of experiences to develop cultural capital;
  • an understanding of the world around them that they are fully equipped to compete in;
  • a lifelong enthusiasm for learning that enables them to reach their potential.

Curriculum Implementation:

In order to deliver the aims of our curriculum, we have adopted a mastery approach and the majority of our foundation subjects are blocked.  This allows for more time to be dedicated to the subject and gives the children a chance to be fully immersed in the subject to master the relevant knowledge and skills they require.  This approach is also key in our maths curriculum, where we spend longer on each unit so that everyone understands the concept in depth; and in English, where we focus on a single writing purpose for a half term, writing multiples pieces of work focused around the same concept.  The teaching of PE, PSHCE, French and computing occurs weekly. 

Our curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum and long-term plans within each subject have been sequenced effectively in meaningful contexts to allow children to make progress year on year.  Each unit has essential learning objectives that the children work towards as well as individual lesson objectives that allow the children to accumulate the knowledge that is required step by step.  Key vocabulary is made explicit to the children and is used throughout.  By the end of each unit the children have built on the knowledge and skills taught to them previously, further developed their vocabulary and reading skills and gained a deeper understanding of the world around them. 

To demonstrate their understanding and further commit their learning to memory, the children may be asked to produce a final piece of work that links all of their learning from the unit together.  For example, choreographing a dance routine using all of the dance moves they have learnt; performing a song; writing a persuasive letter to the local MP; coding a game in computing for somebody else to play; creating a final piece of artwork inspired by the artist they have been learning about; or designing a two-page spread in subjects like history, geography and science to summarise what they have learnt. This gives the children’s learning a purpose and encourages them to be reflective.  Regular opportunities are built into the curriculum for low stakes testing using sites like Plicker and Kahoot.  This allows the children to regularly revisit prior learning and commit key knowledge to long term memory.  

Phonics at Larchwood


At Larchwood we follow Bug Club Phonics which is a fun and child centred approach to teaching phonics. The programme is a balanced approach to the teaching of reading using systematic synthetic phonics.

Children in EYFS and Year 1 have a daily phonics session which includes four key elements: teach, practise, apply and assess. Children are given Bug Club Phonics decodable books to read at home that link to the sounds they are learning that week.

After Year 1, children who require more phonics input, continue this in intervention groups.


Reading at Larchwood


As well as following a phonics scheme from Reception through to Year 1, we also implement a rigorous scheme for reading at home, whereby the children are nurtured and have plenty of opportunities to read in school and practise their skills. Books are closely linked to the children’s current phonics phase, through the collection of Bug Club Phonics decodable books that we have, in order to give them opportunities to consolidate and apply their phonic understanding. When starting Year 2, most children are ready to be moved onto the Accelerated Reader programme.

When using Accelerated Reader, children complete a reading assessment four times a year which takes place in September, December, April and July. This assesses their understanding of language and comprehension and they are awarded a reading range that closely matches their reading ability. Children then complete quizzes after each book to ensure that they have understood what they are reading and that their reading range continues to be appropriate for them.

Curriculum enquiries: 


If you would like to find out more about our curriculum, please contact Miss Lucy Beard via the School Office or email:  office@larchwood.essex.sch.uk