Fairmead School

Making memories

Upper Primary

Children in our upper primary classes are ready to engage with their wider subject based learning which becomes more formalised as they move through the phase.  Heavy focus is placed upon the development of essential reading, phonics and writing skills: the Sounds Write approach to phonics offers a consistent and progressive structure for phonics development that is well suited to our children's learning profiles whilst focus class texts bring cohesion to learning sequences and promote the idea of reading for enjoyment.   


Alongside this, core skills for mathematics are taught through our bespoke interpretation of the Connected Model.  In this, children’s experiences and explorations of Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract, Language and Sensory aspects of each concept are the foundation and framework for learning (please visit our Maths curriculum page for more information on how this approach is implemented in the classroom). 


Our upper primary phase also brings the opportunity to engage our children in exploring science as it happens around them, becoming more inquisitive, making links between actions and outcomes, causes and effects, and developing their independent thinking.  This subject based learning - the content for which is adapted from the National Curriculum but with greatest emphasis and time commitment given to the material we collectively consider most relevant – is complemented by learning in other areas such as the humanities, RE and PSHE.  All of these present opportunities for children to explore and develop their own identity, how our community emerged over time - both locally and more widely – and the different cultures that exist in modern society.   


Communication remains a strong focus in the Upper Primary phase.  As well as building key skills in reading and writing, the ability to express their own ideas and to listen to and accept the ideas of others in a range of contexts is essential.  As children continue to build key skills for future independence and employment, experiences built into daily learning are enhanced by weekly Forest School sessions where they further develop key life skills such as social interaction, collaboration, problem solving, investigating and independence. 


Through the development of our primary curriculum, we have established the following key priorities for learning that will ensure they are prepared for the next phase of their education.  Through increasingly structured learning: 


  • They can retell/ recount events, both real and imagined; 

  • They are able to construct sentences, spoken and written 

  • They offer verbal explanations for what they see and find out in maths and science. 

  • They are able to follow a sequence of basic instructions and to generate a basic sequence of instructions for others to follow; 

  • They become aware of different cultures and religions; 

  • They learn about different jobs that exist in the community they live in; 

  • They are able to take part in increasingly formalised subject based learning; 

  • They develop their identity and opinion and begin to express preferences outside of play; 

  • They begin to listen and respond to the thoughts and ideas of others.