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The Charles Dickens Primary School curriculum consists of: the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects, which are taught through a relevant, contextual and inspiring creative curriculum, RE, PSHCE, Unicef Rights Respecting School aims, an enrichment programme for each year group including art classes with our resident artists, Dance lessons with practitioners from Rambert, opportunities to create and perform music at the highest level with a range of resident musicians, teachers and collaborative local projects, regular visits to ensure learning is always first hand where possible and a programme of extracurricular activities that includes creative and physical opportunities 

Download our Curriculum Overview

English and Maths
These are given the highest status in our curriculum as the key skills of literacy and numeracy help learners to improve their learning and performance in education, work and life. These are embedded in the school’s curriculum. You can view and download the statements for a particular year group within the whole school curriculum overview. Each term we also provide a detailed outline of the term’s focus. 

Reading at Charles Dickens Primary

English literacy is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through literacy that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Each week children read individually and in groups during guided reading lessons; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. Guided reading focuses on the skills of comprehension and critical appreciation. Teachers read a huge variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We believe in the importance of exposing children to classic texts at all ages but most importantly upper Key Stage two.

We have a home-school reading system (up to Year 6), which requests that children read for at least ten minutes each day. 


We place a strong emphasis on phonics (letter sounds) in the early years of learning to read because we believe this lays the foundations for successful reading. At Charles Dickens Primary, we use the DFE Letters and Sounds guidance to teach interactive lessons and we use Jolly Phonics resources in the Foundation Stage. Children remain with their class teacher for phonics learning who provides the appropriate level of challenge for each attainment group. Children do not learn phonics in streamed groups but all children are given the opportunity to acquire new learning at an age expected level or above.

Systematic Phonics Teaching

The teaching of phonics begins in Nursery and Reception, where sounds are introduced at a rate of one a day throughout the autumn and spring term. Sounds are consolidated in the summer term. This knowledge is built upon in Year 1; more complex sounds are introduced and reinforced throughout Year 2. 

Phonics Screening
During the summer term in Year 1, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need support in Year 2 to develop reading and writing skills. The test is very low-key and the children are not aware that they are being tested. Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child’s end-of-year report. 

Additional individual and group tuition in phonics will be given to those children in year 1 and Year 2 who find reading difficult.  Year 2 children will be tested again in the summer term.