Junior School & Early Years Space

Junior School Curriculum



Reading  and Writing 


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Every child at Sion is a reader and it is our intent that every child will be inspired by the curriculum and the environment to develop a love of reading and the skills to be able to read with fluency and understanding.

Writing plays a key role in our whole curriculum. By the end of Year 2, it is our intention that our children have begun to develop a love of writing, which they will carry on into KS2 and into Senior school life. Our children will be able to convey their ideas clearly and creatively using the written word. Through our curriculum, we intend to enable our children to become writers who are able to read, edit and further improve their writing, confidently using the skills of grammar, punctuation and phonics that they have been taught.


Phonics and early reading are taught across the school. Every morning phonics sessions take place lasting between 15-20 minutes. These sessions involve using phonics as a tool for learning sounds for decoding when reading, and for spelling when writing. At Sion we know that reading is crucial for children to access all areas of the curriculum and we place a high importance on time spent reading with our children. In KS 1 each child is heard to read every day at school and ERIC (Everyone read in class) is a daily occurrence throughout the Junior School. We use core texts to inspire and lead other areas of learning. We ensure our environment is vocabulary rich through well informed and labelled displays, reading areas and a beautiful library which is timetabled for use across the school. We value regular story times which foster a love of reading and enable the development of language and comprehension skills. One to one reading is important to us, as it gives children the time to talk about what they are reading and what they think about it, so children are heard to read daily by staff.

We recognise that reading is fundamental to the writing process because children will successfully write when they understand the key features of a sentence and are beginning to build up both their vocabulary and an understanding of different text types by the end of Year 2.

At Sion Junior School, we use visual stimuli and books to inspire our children to write. Adults model examples of effective writing in the classrooms to support the children in being successful in their own writing. We support our children to develop and build their writing stamina as they progress through the school, writing in all areas of the curriculum. In Key Stage 1, children learn to apply their phonics skills to spell, alongside learning the spelling of common exception words. From Reception to Year 6 Spelling and Grammar (SpaG) is taught weekly and the children are expected to apply this knowledge in the writing in all subjects.

Weekly spellings are progressive through Years 1 to 6, with the expectation that learned spellings are then correctly used in everyday writing.


Children at Sion will develop a love of reading. Children will have the skills to decode words and read fluently while confidently talking about their understanding of what they have read. During each phonics and reading session, adults are listening to and observing children to ensure they are making progress and to plan their next steps. Each half term, assessments are used to make an assessment against the Literacy ELGs and the National Curriculum objectives.

Our children make good progress within their own context. By the end of their time at the Junior School the children will have been exposed to a variety of genres and texts covering a wide range of cultures and themes. Our aim is to promote a  love of writing, an appreciation of world culture and a rich understanding of the impact that the written word can have.



At Our Lady of Sion, we believe that being successful in Mathematics is not just about rote-learning procedures and methods, but that Mathematics is taught in an inclusive, creative way to ensure that pupils understand the underlying concepts.

We love to have fun in our maths lessons. Our maths curriculum is designed not only to help children build a strong foundation of skills, but to able them to utilise these skills through problem solving, reasoning and real life situations.  The teaching and learning is tailored to each child’s need as they move up through the school, focusing on mathematical thinking and reasoning, using models and images to help us.

 Our aim is to provide opportunities for children to:

  •         experience challenges, success and enjoyment in maths;
  •         develop their skills in mental maths and later written methods;
  •         become numerate and apply their numeracy skills in a wider context;
  •         communicate mathematical ideas confidently, both orally and on paper;
  •         develop their creative thinking skills.


Mathematics is taught fluidly through revisiting each topic in the curriculum for that year group several times in the year to ensure that all children make good progress and ultimately achieve their potential. We help children to recognise how they can apply their maths skills and knowledge to varied contexts and real-life situations.

Our Mathematics teaching has a whole school approach based upon the White Rose/Power Maths Scheme, however teachers also use a range of other resources and manipulatives to support effective adaptive teaching.

Design & Technology

Design & Technology

“The only way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling 

Children work both independently, and as part of a team, to investigate, design, problem solve, make and evaluate products. They are taught to take risks, becoming resourceful and innovative in projects that will support their learning to solve real life problems within a variety of contexts. 


To develop a range of practical and life skills that will empower students to apply their knowledge to the wider world.

We give our students opportunties to:

  • Use their research to design purposeful, functional and appealing products
  • Investigate the best and most appropriate materials, resources and tools to use
  • Evaluate their products against their design criteria and purpose 
  • Learn the technical knowledge and vocabulary to design, make and evaluate their products       

In Years 5 and 6 students are taught in the Senior School by Mr Sefton, Head of Design Technology. 

Art, Craft & Design

Art, Craft & Design

“Creativity is in us all – and it’s good for our minds and spirits” – Grayson Perry

 The Junior School has its own light and spacious art room; a vibrant and exciting place where students experience a wide range of media and materials through a broad and engaging curriculum – a place where creativity flourishes.  


We want all our pupils to thoroughly enjoy the creative process and to have confidence in expressing themselves visually. Our aim is for all children to leave enjoying art and have an appreciation for the arts.

We give our young artists opportunities to:

  •   Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences. To communicate what they think and feel, or make what they imagine and invent
  •   Build confidence and become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  •   Appreciate and interpret what they observe. Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  •   Recognise the achievements of artists, designers and craftspeople, from different times and cultures 

 We recognise the talents and abilities of our pupils by participating in a range of national art competitions such as The Royal Academy’s Young Artists Summer Show.  

 Artwork created by all pupils is displayed throughout the school which inspires others and promotes a sense of pride.

 Opportunities are provided for pupils to work outside their timetable lessons by joining Art Club and attending trips to galleries and museums.



What is PSHE in schools?

What does PSHE stand for? PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education. The acronym PSHCE is also sometimes used, where the ‘C’ stands for Citizenship.

As a subject, PSHE aims to provide children with the knowledge and skills to keep themselves happy, healthy and safe, as well as to prepare them for life and work. PSHE aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.

Navigating our complex world can be challenging, and parents and teachers play an essential role in preparing children for the future. As such, PSHE aims to equip pupils to:

  • Take individual responsibility for their physical and mental wellbeing;
  • understand the risks of drugs and alcohol and how to stay safe online;
  • develop resilience, independence and responsibility;
  • develop the personal and social skills required to succeed in commerce and industry;
  • identify misleading information and be critical of misleading news or views they might encounter.

The three core elements of PSHE and Citizenship taught in primary schools are:

  • Relationships
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Living in the Wider World

During the Relationships unit, children will learn:

  • How to develop and maintain a variety of positive relationships, within families and friendships.
  • All about self-respect and respect for others, courtesy and manners.
  • About stereotypes and being respectful of others who have different backgrounds or beliefs.
  • About the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships.
  • About different types of bullying and how to get help.
  • All about online interactions and relationships and the associated risks.
  • About the concepts of privacy and boundaries, and inappropriate contact (offline and online) and touch.
  • How to respond to risky or negative relationships and ask for help.

Through the Health and Wellbeing unit, children will learn:

  • What is meant by a healthy lifestyle?
  • How to make informed choices about mental and physical health and wellbeing, and where to get help with this.
  • About self-care techniques.
  • How to recognise and talk about different emotions.
  • About internet safety and harms, including negative impacts on physical and mental health, cyberbullying and where to get help with issues online.
  • About drugs, alcohol and tobacco and the associated risks.
  • About illnesses, personal hygiene and vaccinations.
  • How to look after our bodies in different ways, such as protecting our skin from the sun, getting enough sleep and taking care of our teeth.
  • How to respond in an emergency and basic first aid.
  • All about the changing adolescent body, including physical and emotional changes, and menstrual wellbeing.

The Living in the Wider World unit will teach them:

  • About respect for themselves and others, and the importance of responsible actions and behaviour.
  • About rights and responsibilities as members of families, other groups and citizens.
  • About different groups and communities.
  • To respect equality and diversity, and how to be a productive member of a diverse community.
  • About the importance of respecting and protecting the environment.
  • About where money comes from, keeping it safe, and the importance of managing it effectively.
  • The part that money plays in people’s lives.



Though our child centred approach to the Humanities Curriculum our programme of Creative curriculum and homework helps to encourage deeper and wider engagement with the subject area, inspiring independent research. We strive to ensure that the curriculum enthuses, engages, enriches, and motivates, developing in each child, curiosity, and excitement of the world in which they live.

Example Overview of the Humanities topics (subject to change year to year)

Reception/ Year 1 Incredible journeys Exploration – compare significant individuals, Neil Armstrong with Christopher Columbus Seaside Holidays in the Past and History of Worthing Pier.
Year 2 Florence Nightingale The Great fire of London The Weather
Year 3 Ancient Britain Stone Age to the Bronze age The Ancient Egyptians The Uk 
Year 4 The Ancient Romans The Polar Regions, Ernest Shackleton, and The Titanic London
Year 5 The Ancient Greeks South America and the rainforest The Mayan Civilization 
Year 6 The 2nd World War Decades of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria West Africa and fair trade