St Paul's C of E Primary School

St Pauls Church of England Gloucester

Phase 1 - The Secret Garden


Phase one at St Paul’s Primary School is a unique model tailored specifically for the needs and learning styles of our children. We have incorporated Reception and Y1 children into one phase.

The physical environment is split into learning zones:

  • Physical Development zone – The Beehive. Please click here for more information. 
  • Communication Language and literacy zone – The Lily pad. Please click here for more information. 
  • Maths and Personal, Social and Emotional zone – The Nest. Please click here for more information on Maths development and click here for further information on PSED. 
  • An outdoor area accessible from all rooms
  • A sensory room – The Burrow


The phase is split into key worker groups of 15 children. The key worker model ensures that:

  • Can give pastoral support to the children in smaller groups
  • Continuity in learning and progress is secured as one teacher is responsible for overseeing the child’s development over a longer period of time (the children will stay with their key worker for  their first two years at school)
  • Parents and family groups have a continuous point of contact 


Children meet with their key worker group at 8.50am daily for the register. They have specific activities planned by their key worker daily. These can be indoors or outdoors and are based around specific needs of the group – for example working on the importance of good manners; school values; sharing and kindness or a circle time to discuss an issue that may have arisen.

Throughout the day, children are taught in learning groups. Each learning group is made up of mixed reception and year one pupils and are taught according to developmental needs which are assessed and subject to change after each unit of work.


Children move around the learning zones throughout the day on a carousel basis.  In addition, the children are taught a daily session of phonics. The reading books that they bring home will be matched to the unit that they are working on. All staff are trained to teach phonics so this allows us to teach in smaller targeted groups.


An example of a school day in The Secret Garden:

8.50am:    Register and key worker time

9.00am:    Phonics

9.30am:    Key worker group activities

9.50am:    Learning group session (e.g. Communication, Language and Literacy)

10.45am:  Snack and chat time

11.00am:  Learning group session (e.g. Mathematical development)

12.05pm:  Wash hands/lunches and playtime

1.05pm:    Register

1.10pm:    Learning group session (e.g. Physical/creative development/knowledge and understanding)

2.15pm:    Songs , rhymes and storytelling in key worker groups

2.35pm:    Playtime

2.50pm:    Assembly

3.20pm:    End of the school day