Our Curriculum

From our curriculum springs the essence of who we are and what we believe. Our aim is to provide inspiring, adventurous learning experiences that enable all children to develop rich knowledge alongside meta-cognition skills. Our curriculum is all about developing life-long, reflective, aspirational learners with a strong moral purpose.


At Totnes St Johns, we see character development not only as an essential part of the education we provide but also as a key part of our purpose as a Church School. We want our children to understand their role in the world, to learn the skills to help them become social change-makers who will have a positive impact in society.  All children will participate in a variety of adventurous outdoor experiences throughout their time at St John’s and will develop an awareness of social and environmental issues both locally and globally.  


Our curriculum implements a belief that anything is possible, supported by our core Church School values - compassion, determination, aspiration, honesty and responsibility. We use real-life experiences, outdoor education and a passion for reading and the Arts to create an inspiring learning journey for our children that will prepare them for a full and rich life. Through the learning of meta-cognition skills the children of St John’s will develop a culture of excellence in learning. Through this love of learning comes deep, long-lasting knowledge, that enables children to make connections, leaps in cognition and achieve academic excellence. We seek to create a challenging learning environment that encourages high expectations and develops individuals who achieve, thrive and actively express our values through their actions and words making a positive change in their lives and to those of others around them. 

Music is an essential part of life at St John's with every child part of the school choir with a focus on developing children's knowledge and skills in performance and presentation, giving them the best chance to succeed in future learning. 


Our extensive grounds and Forest School allow us to use different environments to teach in imaginative ways. We also make regular trips into Totnes and the surrounding area as well as undertaking day trips and residential trips. We are very lucky to be a short walk from the east bank of the beautiful River Dart and Totnes town centre which offer fantastic learning opportunities for our children.


As a Church of England school, St John's is linked with the local parish church, St John's the Evangelist, in Bridgetown. The whole school visits the church three times a year for a harvest festival service, Christmas and Easter, with an additional welcome service for Reception and a leavers' service for Year 6 in the summer.  In addition to visiting the church, the school's Christian links are consolidated with weekly bible stories during assembly and a daily prayer at lunchtime. Our vicar, Revd Julian Ould, regularly attends the school. Although we are a church school we are completely inclusive and welcome children and families of all religions and denominations.

Totnes St John’s is a one form entry school which caters for 210 pupils from Reception to Year 6. Our children are taught in year groups as follows: 

Reception   4-5 year olds


Key Stage One

Year 1         5-6 year olds

Year 2         6-7 year olds


Key Stage Two

Year 3         7-8 year olds

Year 4         8-9 year olds

Year 5         9-10 year olds

Year 6         10-11 year olds

Foundation Stage Objectives

Understanding the World
Physical Development
Literacy Objectives
Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and Language

Reading at St John's

Teaching children to read is a key priority for the school. We want every child to leave us with a high standard of reading and love of literature. Early reading is underpinned by the use of daily phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. 

Reading Strategy

Maths at St John's

Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Our Maths Strategy sets out Totnes St John's aims.

Maths Strategy 2020/21