Key Stage 1 and 2

The school has its own curriculum map, in line with the National Curriculum, supported by schemes of work linking cross curricular themes which ensure continuity and progression from Year 1 to Year 6. National testing and assessment takes place at the end of Years 2 and 6. In addition to this, teachers make regular and on-going assessments of children's achievements which are reported to parents annually.



The children are taught phonics, vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation, comprehension skills and research skills, including use of the school library and internet facilities. At St Matthew’s we use a successful phonics programme called 'Read Write Inc' (RWI) to help children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme.Tricky words (words that can't be phonically decoded) are also taught throughout the programme. A further programme called “Power of Reading” is used very successfully across the school to ensure a creative and engaging literacy curriculum, benefiting the reading culture and quality of children reading and writing. Speaking and listening skills are an important aspect of lessons. Drama is developed across the curriculum and we stage school productions at Christmas and in the summer. All children have formal handwriting lessons. Our annual 'Book Week' provides opportunities for the children to meet and work with local authors and to participate in and enjoy a varied range of storytelling and writing activities. The ‘Every Child a Reader’ programme has proved very successful in accelerating children’s reading progress.

We created a short video explaining the role of the Power of Reading within our school, as well as showcasing some of the activities:



At St Matthew’s we use a phonics programme called 'Read Write Inc'.  Read Write Inc (RWI) is a consistent, rigorous and dynamic literacy programme to teach EVERY child to read by the age of six. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme.  The sounds are taught in sets:

Set 1: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h sh r j v y w th z ch qu x ng nk

Set 2:  ay ee igh ow oo ar air ir ou oy

Set 3: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur ow ai oa ew ire ear ure

Tricky words (words that can't be phonically decoded) are also taught throughout the programme - we call these 'Red words'.



Children are taught strategies to improve their speed and accuracy in mental calculations and overall understanding of number, mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Children are expected to learn multiplication tables and “number bonds.”
They are also taught about geometry, measurement and statistics. The school considers that teaching mathematics in context is very important and therefore the children are given opportunities to work in a practical and meaningful way and to apply their skills and knowledge.
The ‘Numbers Count’ programme is very successful in improving children’s skills and confidence in mathematics.



Science is sometimes taught as a separate subject, although every effort is made to ensure there are relevant cross-curricular links. A range of skills, including questioning and observing, is taught along with the appropriate subject knowledge and vocabulary. This covers life processes and living things, materials and their properties. An investigative and experimental approach is used throughout the school and children are taught how to use a wide range of science equipment.



Religious Education

Children receive regular Religious Education lessons, based on guidance from Southwark Diocesan Board of Education. The programme is based on Christianity, its teachings, festivals and relevance to our world. In addition, children are introduced to two other major world faiths, Islam and Judaism. As a school we attend St. Matthew's Church several times a year, and the clergy lead one act of collective worship per week.




Computing is taught to ensure children become digitally literate. The computing curriculum includes programming and computer science. Children use ICT throughout the curriculum to support their learning. Children are taught skills including word processing, graphics, data handling, control technology, use of e-mail and the internet. The school is well equipped with interactive whiteboards and desktop computers in all classrooms, and sets of laptops, Learnpads and programmable toys for use by the children across the school. There is a Code of Conduct policy relating to the use of the internet and children are taught “e-safety” to enable them to use the internet safely.


History and Geography

History and geography are taught in an engaging and cross-curricular way, using the school grounds and wider learning environment. Visits to places of interest, both local and further afield, are an integral part of these areas of the curriculum. Recent visits have included trips to London, Brighton, Hampton Court Palace, Brooklands Museum, Chichester Harbour, Gatton Park and Bay Pond in Godstone.




The children enjoy a wide range of musical activities, performing, composing, listening and appraising. In addition to weekly lessons in class they are given opportunities to sing in collective worship, play the recorder, perform with the choir and take part in school productions and local music festivals. Peripatetic teachers visit the school to give various instrumental lessons. The school is delighted that we participate in the national “Tune Up” scheme, enabling all children in Year 4 to learn to play the clarinet.


Art and Design

Through 2D and 3D art we aim to encourage and enhance the children's powers of observation, develop an awareness of pattern, shape and colour, and provide them with various techniques and media through which they can record their own findings. The children are also introduced to a variety of well known artists and have opportunities to visit art galleries.  



Design and Technology

Design and model making are closely linked with science and mathematical investigation and other curriculum areas. Children are given opportunities to design and make models using a variety of materials and construction sets. Design and technology also includes practical cooking activities and work with textiles.



Physical Education

All types of physical activities are included in the PE curriculum - gymnastics, dance, athletics, games and swimming. Children are helped to develop their physical co-ordination and confidence and are taught a variety of games skills. There are opportunities for the children to participate in sports and dance festivals and to compete in inter-school fixtures and tournaments including netball, football, rounders, cricket and athletics. Our own school sports day is held in the summer term to which parents are invited. Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 have weekly swimming lessons at Donyngs pool. Outdoor and adventurous activities help to develop children’s social skills, independence, confidence and self-esteem. Activities in the past year have included orienteering, water sports and overnight camping in the school grounds. Children in Year 6 enjoy a residential visit to High Ashurst activity centre near Dorking. The school has been awarded a silver PE kitemark to recognise the sporting and PE initiatives and achievements at St Matthew’s School.


Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education

St Matthew’s School places an important emphasis on PSHCE. PSHCE is a key part of the curriculum which promotes children’s emotional, social and health development. There are six strands to PSHCE

  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Drug and Alcohol Education
  • Emotional Health and Well-being
  • Staying Safe
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Financial Capability

Our school promotes British Values of

  • Democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

These values are embedded in school culture and can be found more explicitly in the teaching of PSHCE and RE. The teaching of Citizenship allows children to become active members of the school community. Children learn about law, the right to vote, the responsibly to pay taxes etc. There is a planned programme of study which encompasses the above knowledge and skills. Weekly lessons are planned and taught following this programme of study The school is working toward achieving Silver and Gold National Healthy Schools Award and has already achieved the Bronze Award.


Modern Foreign Languages

Children in Key Stage 2 have weekly lessons with a specialist languages teacher. Spanish is taught in Years 3 and 4; French is taught in Years 5 and 6. Younger children are introduced to languages via songs, rhymes and games.