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Our Curriculum



Broad and Balanced

All the children at John T Rice Infant School receive a broad and balanced curriculum. The intent of our school curriculum is to immerse children into learning, hooking imaginations and developing children who think about their learning. During the implementation of the curriculum staff work in conjunction with children to ensure interests are followed, and deep knowledge and understanding is gained within each of the curriculum areas. 


Diverse and Inclusive

At John T Rice we ensure our curriculum is exciting, engaging and diverse. Our curriculum is inclusive and is accessible to a broad range of learners. Staff are adept at ensuring our curriculum is accessed by all learners by adapting and developing it to the needs of individuals. 


Progressive and Cyclic

Our Curriculum is designed to be progressive, building on prior learning from EYFS into KS1. We ensure that all teaching builds upon the knowledge and skills the children gain in the Early Years. Our Long Term plans in F2 and KS1 are based on a two year cycle where the children learn through topics that have been carefully chosen to focus on their needs and interests.

Curriculum information for Parents/Carers

Our Curriculum Rationale

School drivers



At John T Rice Infant School, the letters and sounds phonic programme is used across the school to support the teaching of reading. Children learn to blend letters and groups of letters together to read words. Children are taught  variety of actions that accompany each phoneme and this helps support the multi sensory approach to phonics we take.


All children in F1, F2, Year 1 and Year 2 access a daily, 20 minute discrete, systematic phonics lesson. These sessions follow the sound reading system methodology using the sequence of letters and sounds programme. The discrete sessions are a mixture of Year Group specific coverage and focused group sessions. Children are also taught common exception words alongside the phonics.



Children who need additional phonics receive weekly interventions specifically tailored to their needs.




At John T Rice Infant School, we aim to foster a real love of books and want all children to have access to high quality reading material. We are lucky enough to have a wide range of reading schemes, such as Oxford reading tree and Collins Big cat, which include fiction and non-fiction books for children to select. In order to support the children moving through the different reading stages, all the books are Book Banded in to colours.  The reading books in the lower colours are closely linked to the phonic phases the children have been taught and know.

Children have a reading diary containing a bookmark of questions related to their current reading stage. We encourage parents to read with their child at home every night and record this in their reading diary. Rewards are given when they reach a certain number of nights. 

Early reading skills are systematically taught both in daily shared reading, small group reading sessions, individual reading and through other subjects within the curriculum. We believe at John T. Rice, that reading is the key to opening up the rest of the curriculum and we aim for all children who leave us to be competent early readers!


Switch on reading intervention is used throughout Key Stage 1 to give extra support to some children who need an extra helping hand with early reading skills. Support from home is key for this programme to be fully-successful and we liaise regularly with parents/ carers of children accessing this programme.

Our school reading dog


Many children get the chance to read to Lucy, our school reading dog, and her owner Tracy. Lucy has been fully trained and vetted by the Pets as Therapy service. Lucy and Tracy visit school each week and read with four different children. The children have a six week block of reading with Lucy and Tracy and receive special stickers, a book mark and a certificate at the end of their time together. It really is magical listening to these sessions (although Lucy doesn't have all that much to say!).






At John T Rice Infants School, we aim for all children to become independent and confident mathematicians. We follow a Maths Mastery approach which allows the children to explore and connect mathematical concepts through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract resources. Each classroom has a range of resources (such as counters, base ten, numicon) that children can access independently to support them in all areas of their maths learning. Reasoning is included in all areas of maths regularly and children are exposed to a wide variety of problems.


In Early Years, the approach to maths is a practical approach with emphasis on using concrete apparatus to understand mathematical concepts. There is a range of maths opportunities across the outdoor and indoor continuous provision, which teachers update regularly to reflect the weekly maths focus. Every week there is a teacher led maths focus activity and an independent rainbow challenge. There are daily maths activities in Foundation Stage 2 such as 100 days of school and number of the week.






We use the Notts Agreed Syllabus when planning and teaching our RE Curriculum. Lessons are taught discreetly via whole class sessions or through our Literacy work. 

In November 2020, schools in Nottinghamshire  were issued with the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, ‘RE for All’ 2021-2026

Through the use of the Syllabus we use RE to enable our pupils to gain insight and knowledge to equip them as responsible members in our society.  The Syllabus we follow encourages pupils to discover more about religion and world views on a range of topics. They are encouraged to express ideas and insights into key questions which face all human beings as we travel through life.  They will take part in in-school lessons, visits and trips (including trips to places of worship).

               The three fold aims of RE in Nottinghamshire will ensure that our pupils:

  1. Know and understand a range of religions and world views which will allow them to recognise the diversity which exists in our society.
  2. Can express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and the impact of religions and world views as they develop their own personal views on a range of issues
  3. Develop and use skills which will assist them to engage seriously with religions and world views


By following the Agreed Syllabus, RE will contribute to a whole range of school priorities. Their study will promote spiritual, cultural, social and moral development, as well as enabling them to consider British Values such as tolerance and respect for other who hold different world views.

If you would like to know more about the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus a copy is available for you to read in the school.


Foundation subject afternoons in KS1

During the afternoons children in Key stage 1 have the opportunity to take part in continuous provision that is based around previous learning. This gives the children the opportunity to further develop their independence and consolidate skills and knowledge they have been taught.

Foundation Subjects


Foundation subjects are grounded in early reading skills and have a specific focus upon speaking and listening.  The children cover the full range of subjects covered in the National Curriculum.  They enjoy fun, interactive lessons that build upon prior knowledge and which are knowledge based.  


Children will often say:

"I enjoy learning about people and places."

"It is fun when we use the laptops and learn new things."

"PE is my favourite because it is fun!"




Outdoor learning

Teachers try to use the outdoors to make the learning diverse and exciting. We have a large outdoor area, a well developed foundation stage playground and a pond and wildlife area. We make use of the local area and visit the local allotment each term. Our maths, reading  and writing is linked well into the other areas of the curriculum.

Foundation Stage Continous Provision

At John T. Rice we feel it is important to immerse the children in experiences some of which they may never have seen before. Recently we had some members from a brass band come and play for the children. The found out all about the instruments and asked some fantastic questions to the band members.


Teachers continously assess throughout each unit of work and adapt their teaching according to the needs of the children. Through mobile marking, staff can identify areas for development and address these straight away. Immediate intervention is given in class from a Teacher or Teaching Assisstant if needed.


Assessment in Phonics, Reading, Writing and Maths happens at the end of every term to allow staff to measure progress and attainment for every child. It also helps to identify next steps for learning.

For further information about our school curriculum please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mrs. Bennett (Head teacher), Mrs. Smith (Deputy Head teacher/ curriculum leader) or your child's class teacher.