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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School

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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School


National Curriculum


We follow the National Curriculum to ensure that children are well prepared for the next stage of their education. However, we use as many opportunities as possible to take learning outdoors so that children can develop an appreciation of our wonderful Dartmoor setting and develop their character through challenging outdoor activities. 


You can see some examples of how we do this on the class pages of the children section of this website.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


In our Nursery and Reception classes, children follow the EYFS curriculum which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five. 


Four guiding principles shape practice in early years settings.


These are:


  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates


Our early years curriculum provides educational experiences and activities for children in the following key areas:


  • Communication and language development - giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations
  • Physical development - providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children will also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food
  • Personal, social and emotional development - helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities
  • Literacy development - encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest
  • Mathematics - providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure
  • Understanding the world - guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment
  • Expressive arts and design - enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology



To enhance our curriculum, we offer a Curriculum Guarantee to all of our children and their families.  This is our promise, our Intent, influenced by the National Trust's, "50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4" and the DfE's "My Activity Passport".


Our Curriculum Guarantee