St John's Upper Holloway C.E Primary School

Jesus said: 'Love each other as I have loved you'. - John 15:12


Home learning

During the Covid 19 pandemic, there will be times when individuals, classes or even the whole school will need to continue their learning from home. This can be very difficult for both pupils and parents so we have tried to ensure that what we offer is clear, easy to access and matches the school's curriuclum maps as closely as possible. 

You can see our remote learning policy by clicking here. We have also published a document for parents that sets out our school's home learning offer. If you have any questions or difficulties accessing any of the home learning, please contact the school office or your child's class teacher. 


Curriculum and assessment

At St John's we believe that our curriuclum should be creative, inspiring and challenging in order that children develop a love of learning and develop the confidence and skills to prepare them for life beyond St John's. 

Our Curriculum intent statement sets out the rationale for what we teach our children. It is shaped to meet the priorities and opportunities most relevent to our school and includes strands on diversity and inclusion, physical and mental wellbeing, parental engagement and our school values. 

In the Early Years we plan from a range of high-quality diverse texts which are grouped to cover broad themes.  The themes rotate on a two-year basis so that children cover each theme once during their time in the Nursery and Reception classes.   Each academic year begins with a theme based around staff getting to know the children and the children learning to use the classrooms effectively and independently.

Within the Nursery and Reception classrooms children engage in a range of adult led and child -initiated learning.  Adult led learning involves the adult having a clear learning objective that they would like the children to meet.  The adult will have thought about how they are going to facilitate this, the resources they may need and how they will support or extend the learning.  During child initiated learning a sensitive adult may join the play and encourage a deeper level of thinking (sustained shared thinking) whilst still ensuring that the learning is led by the child.

Our Early Years themes are:

  Autumn 1  Autumn 2  Spring  Summer 
1st Year  Ourselves and our community Colour & Light Travel & Transport Growth
2nd Year  Ourselves and our community Food Once Upon A Time Water

You can click on each topic below to find out more about what is covered in each one. You can also look at the weekly powerpoints on the Nursery and Reception class pages for some of their learning highlights.

Nursery curriculum maps - Ourselves   Colour and Light    Food     Travel and Transport     Once upon a time    Growth    Water

Reception curriculum maps  - Ourselves   Colour and Light    Food     Travel and Transport     Once upon a time    Growth    Water

Our key stage 1 and 2 curriculum map shows what is taught across the curriculum in each year group. We have thought carefully about how we include a wide range of inspirational and diverse role models throughout the curriculum and these can be seen highlighted on the curriculum map. 

Although we follow the national curriculum, at St John's we strive for deeper learning through the use of 'Big Questions' to explore a particular area in more detail. We celebrate this learning in a range of creative ways such as a 'Roman Day', roleplaying 'Madagascar adventures' and creating dioramas of habitats. Each term, classes also use P4C (Philosophy for Children) to develop questioning and thinking skills. Each term, we have a whole school curriculum focus to enable teachers and students to learn together- these have included projects such as science week, writing week, maths week and enterprise week. 

Daily literacy and numeracy lessons ensure that children have all the core skills they need to access the curriculum fully and be independent learners. We believe that children also need to develop the skills required to be confident and enthusiastic readers. Reading takes place in every class each day using a range of graded reading books (Dandelion Readers, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Rigby Navigator) as well as "real books" and children are encouraged to take books home to read each night with their parents. Our "Reading for Fun" weeks encourage children to develop a love of reading and to develop preferences for specific authors or text types. We also plan "buddy" reading sessions when the older children can read with the younger ones. All our Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes also have daily phonics sessions based on 'Letters and Sounds'. Children are encouraged to use their phonic skills to help decode the words in their reading books but are also taught to use a range of other cues such as context, picture cues and sight vocabulary. We offer workshops and support to parents so that they understand how we teach reading and phonics in school and can effectively support their child at home. 

Daily maths lessons take place for all classes to help them develop core skills and knowledge. We also provide opportunities for children to apply their skills and understanding through regular problem solving and investigations. Our school follows the 'maths mastery' approach and uses core resources from White Rose to support planning, teaching and assessment. Children are helped to learn their number facts, including times tables, in line with the new national curriculum expectations and are tested on these regularly for quick recall. We use several online resources to support children's maths learning including Doodle maths and TT Rockstars - pupils have log in details so that they can also access these at home.  

Our topics are cross curricular and have a wide range of trips planned to inspire the children's learning. Our class pages (on the Year Groups tab) will give you an insight into the sort of wonderful things are children are learning. They also provide details of the curriculum map for each class and some useful links to websites that will support the children's learning.

Assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning and helps us to understand what each child has fully understood and what their next steps are. You can find out more in our assessment policy.

Weekly homework helps children to reinforce much of the learning that has taken place during the week in school and is an opportunity for parents to work with their children and support them with their learning. Click here to see our homework policy.


Our recent parent meeting talked about the many strategies parents can use to support their children with reading.

Click here to see the presentation for our infant classes.

Click here to see the presentation for our junior classes.

We also delivered a parent workshop to explain phonics, both in terms of how we teach it here in school as well as ideas and resources for parents at home.

Click here to see the phonics presentation