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Ponthir Church in Wales Primary School

Together we care, learn and grow

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Curriculum Summary

 “Our task is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more.”

Loris Malaguzzi


At Ponthir, pupils have created and are developing the Aspire Curriculum:

A – Aspiration

S – Spirituality

P – Peace

I – Independence

R – Respect

E – Endurance


Learning at Ponthir will be organised into six Areas of Learning Experience (AoLE), however these will be taught through and across subject disciplines.


We want to be a school where pupils aspire to achieve their dreams, develop spirituality, act as peacemakers, develop independence, respect one another, and endure through every challenge as together we care, learn and grow!


Raising standards across our school will happen through improving the learning experiences and opportunities for every pupil in every class every day.


By adopting a whole school approach to teaching and learning across the school we aim:

  1. To provide consistency of teaching and learning.
  2. To enable teachers to produce excellent teaching.
  3. To enable all pupils to learn as efficiently as possible.
  4. To give our pupils the skills and love of learning required to become lifelong learners.
  5. To provide an inclusive education for all learners.
  6. To learn with and from each other, sharing good practice within classes and throughout the school.


Pupils at Ponthir Church in Wales school will leave Year 6 as:

  • Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives.
  • Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.
  • Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.
  • Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.


As well as continually striving to raise standards, we place a high priority on educating children to become thinking, confident, responsible and caring citizens.


It is our desire to make a positive difference to children’s lives by valuing them as individuals as well as teaching them a set of core values that we hope will remain with them throughout their lives.


Ponthir Church in Wales Primary School prides itself on being a values based school. Values are those behavioural traits, attitudes and concepts that create the type of people we are.  We strongly believe that all our children should be given the opportunity to recognise the importance of these values in order to achieve success in life.


Values Education underpins our PSE programme and has a significant influence over the vision, aims and ethos of the school.  In all, 12 values are explicitly dealt with:

Friendship; Respect; Hope; Endurance; Forgiveness; Aspiration; Thankfulness; Peace; Diversity; Morality; Trust; Courage

This is largely done through assemblies, but is promoted and demonstrated in as many different areas of the school day as possible.


We have designed a curriculum which incorporates, where appropriate, opportunities for learning and consideration of cross-cutting elements. These should allow learners to:

  • consider local, national and international contexts
  • develop understanding of relationships and sexuality education, human rights education and diversity, and careers and work-related experiences.

Equality and Diversity

Our school policies are built on the need to ensure equal opportunities for all and to eliminate discrimination of all kinds. Every child in the school, regardless of race, language, religion, gender or ability will be equally valued and have access to educational opportunities that are both diverse and of assured quality. We expect all our pupils to become accomplished in the skills needed to discover, understand, imagine and express.  All our children are encouraged to have a positive cultural identity. We strive to explicitly celebrate Wales’ diverse culture and the school actively promotes positive attitudes to the linguistic and cultural nature of bilingual Wales. As a school we support and promote diversity and promote good relations between all people.

The Governing Body

Regular reports are made to the governors on the progress of teaching and learning provision.


This policy will be reviewed every three years or in the light of changes to legal requirements.

Key elements and principles of teaching and learning across our school.

Core documentation followed:



The New Curriculum For Wales

‘Successful Futures’ – Professor Graham Donaldson’s Recommendations

The Literacy and Numeracy Framework

The Digital Competency Framework


School Policy


Learning Journey

Read Write Inc

Accelerated Reader

HFW Spelling & Handwriting

EAS ICT Framework

Big Maths


EAS Excellence in Mathematics (TAPAS)

All lessons have:

Clear learning objectives – This is what I can do!


  • Learning objectives are shared with the children in child-friendly language.
  • When marking the child’s work, the main focus is on meeting the learning objectives.
  • Learning objectives will help pupils to progress through curriculum levels and be appropriate for their ability.
  • Learning objectives are often worded ‘I can…’ and always define the skill and task.


Well planned success criteria – This is how I will do it!


  • All pupils are clear about how they will achieve the learning objective.
  • Success criteria are shared with the children in child-friendly language.
  • Pupils use the success criteria to self-assess their own or their partner’s work.
  • Pupils are reminded of the success criteria during the lesson – often pupil’s work is used to illustrate success.
  • Success criteria are often worded ‘I will…’ and always clearly define the elements a child will need to include in order to meet the learning objective at an appropriate level.


Clear differentiation


  • Differentiation meets the needs of all learners.
  • Planning shows clear differentiation and high expectations for all learners.
  • Differentiation caters for a range of learning styles (Visual, Audio, Kinaesthetic).
  • Differentiation is clearly identifiable within pupil books through Nod sheets or teacher comment.

All pupils are:


Actively engaged in learning and working collaboratively


  • Pupils are actively engaged during all parts of the lesson – teachers take into account children’s concentration spans and ensure pupils are not sitting passively for long periods.
  • Pupils are involved in discovery based learning during warm up and introductory tasks.
  • Opportunities to Think / Pair / Share and discussions with a Talk Partner are regular features in lessons.
  • Children help and encourage each other.
  • Pupils are involved in appraising their work and progress and building on their own success.
  • Pupils make choices about the topic and play an increasing role in organising their learning. All topics begin with a pupil voice planning session.
  • Pupils are given increasing opportunities to make choices about both how and what they learn.
  • Pupils are given increasing opportunities to make choices about the focus of tasks, in line with pupil interest.

Learning is enhanced through:

The effective use of questioning


  • Understanding is developed through use of open-ended questions.
  • Waiting time is provided so pupils can think through their answers before replying.
  • Allowing pupils to discuss their answers first with a partner or group.
  • Providing thinking time by giving an advance warning of questions and activities.
  • Written and oral responses are encouraged and facilitated.


Regular and clear feedback


  • Assessment for learning is embedded in everyday practice and is used to inform teaching and learning.
  • All pupils are clear about what they need to do to improve.
  • Targets are displayed in Target Cards and are referred to during lessons and used to inform success criteria.
  • Marking clearly identifies the way forward for the child’s learning.
  • Pupils are given sufficient time to address issues raised in marking during daily DIRT Time.
  • Pupils are engaged in self-marking for all tasks and peer marking for various tasks.


The use of ICT


  • ICT is used to enhance learning wherever possible.
  • ICT is used in nearly all lessons by teachers and/or pupils.
  • ICT use is not limited to introductions and plenary sessions; it is also used during lessons as an aid to learning.
  • All pupils have access to technologies which support the development of skills in line with EAS IT Framework.


Effective behaviour management


  • Behavioural expectations are shared with pupils, displayed clearly on the wall and referred to during lessons.
  • Clear rewards and consequences are shared with pupils.
  • Good to be Green is used throughout Foundation Phase and in Key Stage 2 when required.


Effective use of additional adults


  • Additional adults are planned for.
  • Additional adults are clear about the learning objective and success criteria for the learners they are working with.
  • Assessment and observation evidence is shared between supporting adults and the class teacher / teachers.
  • Teaching assistants are fully engaged with pupils during lesson times.
  • Teaching assistants are clear about who they are supporting and why.
  • Teaching assistants adhere to the marking policy and mark work completed by groups with whom they have worked.
  • In the Foundation Phase, all adults are involved in daily observation to inform planning and assessment.


The effective use of plenaries and mini-plenaries


  • Pupils are given time to review what has been learned and to reflect on how it has been learned.
  • Teachers regularly interact with the whole class, groups of learners and individual pupils to correct misconceptions, scaffold further learning and extend ideas.
  • Opportunities are provided for self, peer and teacher assessment using shared success criteria.


An inspirational and supportive learning environment


  • All classrooms are uncluttered and tidy.
  • Displays support learning through scaffolding, modelling and celebrating achievement.
  • All classrooms include Literacy Working Wall, Mathematics Help, Topic Success, Behaviour, Reading Area and Welsh displays.
  • Table tops in the Foundation Phase display support for literacy, changed regularly to match the needs of learners.
  • Resources are well organised and clearly labelled. Pupils should know where to find the resources they need for an activity.


Clear Areas of Learning

  • All children have access to key areas of provision:
  1. Writing Area

A range of writing materials; writing stimuli; models for writing; support for spelling

        2. Reading Area

Books supporting the range of developmental stages of the pupils within the class; non-fiction books; stories; poetry; nursery rhymes; comics; topic books; books created by / with the pupils; a listening centre with stories; story baskets; puppets and soft toys

       3.Mathematics Area

A range of maths resources, regularly changed to support current teaching and learning within the class; numerals;

      4.Role Play Area

Real life objects wherever possible; opportunities for reading, writing and working with numbers; an environment linked to the pupils’ own life-experience or rich texts that the pupils have shared.

      5.STEM Area

Block areas with wooden blocks; a selection of loose parts (natural and man-made); books and images to stimulate imagination; mirrors; small world characters

      6.Creative Area

A rotation of media including, but not limited to, paint, clay, printing, chalk, junk modelling resources; accessible materials allowing pupils to make their own choices, encouraging creativity and design

      7.Reflection Space

Bibles; mirrors; writing implements; candle; small world story resources; prompts to aid reflection and create awe and wonder


  • All areas will be enhanced with books, questions and relevant Welsh prompts to encourage the use of incidental Welsh.
  • Opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills will be provided in all areas.
  • Progressive levels of challenge will be set as pupils progress through the phase.



Regular use of the outdoor environment


  • All pupils have regular planned opportunities for learning in the outdoor environment.
  • Opportunities are provided for pupils to widen their understanding of the world around them and to develop a sense of awe and wonder through use of the Meadow Land, ‘Whispering Tree’, outdoor classroom area, Forest School Area and yards.


Parental involvement


Parents are supported and encouraged in helping their children with learning.

  • Parent workshops run in school as required giving parents opportunities to improve their own skills and to learn how to support their children.
  • Parents are asked to read home readers with their children and complete homework.
  • Parents receive termly updates about their children’s learning.
  • Parents are welcome in school to discuss concerns and staff make themselves available for parents before school starts and at the end of each day.
  • Parents are invited to termly topic celebrations to share in their children’s learning.


Teaching and Learning is monitored through:

A rigorous self-evaluation cycle


  • Annual self-evaluation and action planning is an honest, carefully considered process, used effectively to drive standards within the school and the wider community.
  • All staff are involved in self-evaluation and action planning.
  • Self-evaluation and review of progress towards action plan targets is an item on the agenda for every Senior Leadership Team meeting.
  • AoLE Leaders undertake yearly action planning and review progress towards targets termly.
  • All Senior Leaders and Subject Leaders have regular planned opportunities for monitoring activities, including: teaching observations; work sampling; monitoring planning; learning walks; listening to learners; analysis of teacher assessment and test data; resources audits; target monitoring.
  • The impact of teaching and learning is monitored, reviewed and responded to regularly.
  • Governors are actively involved in the self-evaluation process.
  • Pupils are actively involved in the self-evaluation process.


Use of the Excellence in Teaching & Leadership Framework


  • All staff are aware of the professional standards expected of them and are supported and trained in attaining excellence.
  • Monitoring activities and opportunities to share good practice have a clear focus.
  • All monitoring activities are recorded; outcomes are shared with staff and quality assured.


Effective Performance Management


  • All staff receive regular performance management reviews, setting goals and targets linked to the School Improvement Plan and curriculum area action plans.


  • All staff are committed to safeguarding pupils. The welfare and wellbeing of the pupils is paramount and will be considered during the planning of all curriculum activities.