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Our School Curriculum

Kirkbride Primary School’s Curriculum combines the subjects of the statutory National Curriculum with Religious Education, Personal, Social and Citizenship education  At Kirkbride we ensure that the curriculum is tailored to the needs of the children, the changing world around them plus teaching ideas that inspire the pupils to enjoy their education, as well as, meeting the statutory requirements.

The long term curriculum plan is always being reviewed and updated to ensure it is relevant to the world around us.  Some parts of the curriculum are planned around a theme or topic however all subjects are taught as discrete subject areas so that the children can develop their skills and knowledge in each subject.

We aim to create an environment that is both stimulating and exciting, where every child feels valued and secure.


Our curriculum is planned to enable every child to:

  • *Read fluently and accurately, with understanding, feeling and discrimination.
  • *Communicate clearly and confidently in both speech and writing; expressing themselves appropriately to the occasion and listening attentively and with understanding.
  • *Learn the ways in which to acquire, record and use information from a variety of sources.
  • *Apply mathematical computational skills with speed and accuracy.
  • *Understand the application of mathematical ideas in a range of situations.
  • *Gain understanding by observing living things and inanimate objects and to master basic scientific ideas.
  • *Analyse, investigate and solve problems.
  • *Develop self-awareness and sensitivity towards others; acquiring a set of moral values and developing positive self-discipline and excellent behaviour.
  • *Learn about the geographical, historical and social characteristics of our local environment and our national heritage.
  • *Acquire sufficient skills to enable students to express themselves through music, drama and a variety of arts and crafts.
  • *Develop the agility, physical co-ordination and confidence to utilise physical activity to effectively express feelings through movement.

We aim to create an environment that is both stimulating and exciting, where every child feels valued and secure.


Personal, Social, Health Education (P.S.H.E)

As a school we follow ‘Coram Life Education’ whole –school approach to Personal, Social, Health (and Economic) Education including Relationships, Sex and Health Education requirements. These are linked to five areas: Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship (SCARF) which run through all age-groups across the school. We have organised and developed the units to tie in with our two-year cycle. 

Units are age-appropriate and equip our teaching staff with the correct knowledge and skills to ensure children are taught these areas in a sensitive and scientific manner.

Right to be excused from sex education


We believe that RSHE should be a partnership with parents and carers. Parents will be routinely consulted and informed about RSHE, through the school website, parental meetings and letters to explain when RSHE will take place within different year groups.


Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some, or all of the sex education delivered as part of RSHE (excluding any statutory requirements of the KS2 science national curriculum). However, Relationship Education and Health Education is compulsory for all pupils receiving primary education. There is therefore no right to withdraw from any aspects of Relationship or Health Education.


Before granting any such withdrawal, the head teacher will discuss the request with parents, and, as appropriate, with the child, to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. The head teacher will also discuss with parents the benefits of receiving sex education, and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded, as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in class, rather than what was directly said by the teacher.


The Head Teacher will automatically grant a request to withdraw a pupil from any sex education delivered in primary school, other than what has to be covered as part of the science curriculum.



At Kirkbride, we deem mathematics as a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that is essential to everyday life. Our high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding number, measurement, statistics, geometry and the ability to discuss/reason mathematically. To become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, as a school, we have been utilising a scheme called White Rose Maths and this approach to teaching and learning has been designed to support the aims and objectives of the National curriculum.  Within Kirkbride’s mathematics curriculum, we also chose to incorporate a scheme called Big Maths CLIC. We have found that this programme simplifies the primary maths curriculum into a daily and dedicated 15-minute programme that encourages enjoyment, confidence, and mastery of maths number work and, of course, meets national expectations like the White Rose Maths scheme.

As a school, we truly believe that every child can succeed within maths and the WRM scheme allows us to plan for our children in ‘blocks’ that cover weeks not days and small steps progression within these –in each small step we provide a more integrate approach to fluency reasoning and problem solving. This strategy encourages teachers to allow pupils to spend longer on certain areas to enable a deeper understanding and this flexibility allows children to work on the same objective but at different levels and pace, ensuring each child has autonomy over their learning before moving on. This is turn manages their learning as too many concepts covered at once or too quickly can lead to cognitive overload.



The English Curriculum covers several aspects of teaching and learning- reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, speaking and listening. All of these elements are incorporated across daily and weekly sessions to ensure that children are being taught the skills that they need, suitable for their stage in education and personalised for their own ability. We use the EYFS Early Learning Goals and Framework guidance and the National Curriculum Year 1-6 to identify our learning objectives and aims, differentiating to meet the needs of all pupils.


Spoken Language

The teaching and learning of Spoken Language underpins the teaching of Reading and Writing. The use of Standard English as well as new and key vocabulary is modelled by staff, exposing children rich and varied language to help them use language as part of their understanding as well as to express their opinions and develop social interactions. ‘Talk’ opportunities are built in across the curriculum and all parts of the day to develop both spoken language and the ability to listen and comprehend what is being said. Conventions for speaking and listening in different settings and for differing intents are taught across the curriculum. This includes developing group interactions, the conventions of discussion, explanation and debate. Drama is used as part of literacy sessions as well as other parts of the curriculum. Pupils have the opportunity to respond to stimulus, improvise and script roles and scenes; which they can then share and perform.  Performance aspects such as clear audible speech, tone, pace and timing are also included in the teaching and learning of this part of the subject. Support through intervention sessions and seeking the guidance of professionals (e.g. Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologists) is used to support children who need additional support in this part of the curriculum.



Children are taught ‘word reading’ as well as how to understand or ‘comprehend’ how texts work and what they are telling them. Kirkbride Primary School also has a commitment to develop a love of ‘Reading for Pleasure’, supporting pupils to become lifelong readers through the use of quality, engaging texts in our literacy work, daily reading sessions and reading books that we have in our classrooms and library. Pupils are all given individual reading books and these are changed regularly. These are assigned based on reading ability, with a progressive coloured book band system, moving on to short chapter books and then ‘free reading’.

Our text choices include those that promote our literary heritage, as outlined in the National Curriculum guidance. This includes nursery rhymes, traditional stories, myths and legends as well as the study of Wordsworth and Shakespeare in Key Stage 2. Pupils will also have the opportunity to engage in theatre visits and drama based workshops across the time at the school.

Word Reading includes the teaching and learning of phonics, which focuses upon children recognising single and strings of letters and the sounds that they can make, so they can decipher new words when reading. It also includes teaching of words that have to be read on sight, as they are not phonetically viable. The phonic scheme that we use in school is the DfE ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme and this is taught daily across EYFS and KS1 in age specific groups. Additional small group sessions are provided for pupils who need extra support to work towards the age related expectations across all age ranges, including into KS2.

Daily reading in all classes by the class teacher models fluency and expression, skills that are modelled and promoted during individual reading with the staff and during weekly guided reading sessions. teaching and learning. Pupils work in small groups, once weekly with adult support to learn about different text types, how they work and how to read in a fluent and engaging way. Daily whole class reading and guided reading sessions also support pupils understanding of themes and events in texts as part of reading ‘Comprehension’. Skills are taught which help them to retrieve information, deduce (use clues) to work out what’s going on and infer (make sense of) character actions, events and plot lines. These are taught progressively and through the use of texts that increase in level of challenge as children move up the age ranges.



The teaching and learning of writing is closely linked to the teaching and learning of reading, as pupils needs to know what a ‘good’ text looks like and understand how it works, before creating their own. The elements of writing are:

Composition- ‘Writer’s Voice’. This includes all the things that you would associate with your favoured author’s writing style- making choices about vocabulary, events and structure to make a text interesting and engaging. As well as being able to write for purpose- to entertain, inform, persuade, explain and adapt for differing audiences, and choosing/developing vocabulary to use in their own writing that matches the intent. Part of the teaching and learning of composition is to make changes to improve and ensure that transcription skills are correct. As school we have adopted the practices promoted in Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’, which promotes the link between quality teaching and learning of reading, writing and Speaking and Listening.  It also advocates the use of excellent model or sample texts. Pupils use these models to learn about the key features, practice the skills that are needed before independently writing their own text types; applying their skills across the other curriculum subjects.

Transcription- the correct spelling of words, use of grammar and Standard English and the correct usage of punctuation. The teaching of transcription skills is part of the daily phonics session across EYFS and KS1. In KS2, this takes the form of daily spelling and vocabulary sessions as well as a separate punctuation and grammar session. As with phonics, the learning within this is pitched at age related expectations and objectives, outlined in the National Curriculum and daily intervention sessions are provided for pupils who need additional support to work towards these. We use the ‘Spell to Excel’ scheme from Year 3-6 as well as ‘Classroom Secrets Punctuation and Grammar’ yearly overview units to guide the teaching and learning within these sessions.

Handwriting- being able to write clearly and legibly, forming letters correctly. Children learn to print in EYFS as part of their learning around early writing- learning letter names and sounds, spelling of tricky and phonics based words. Fine motor development is also part of our teaching and learning here, for all ages. Pupils are given daily opportunities to strengthen and co-ordinate their fine motor grip and control as this supports them to write comfortably and fluently. In Year 1, we introduce a cursive, joined style to aid pupils to begin to join up their handwriting. The progressive scheme that we use for this is called ‘Letter Join’ and pupils are taught how to form letters correctly in the cursive style, moving to including in words and phrases.



We provide a high-quality Science education, we strive to ensure that all children develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

We encourage children to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena, asking and answering scientific questions about the world around them.

Through weekly lessons which involve Scientific enquiries, we encourage children to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our school also provides a Science week each year, which our children always look forward to. It gives classes time to extensively investigate a certain topic, the lessons are all blocked together and the children become engrossed. We always come together at the end of the week so each class can present their learning and this is celebrated by the whole school.

We understand how much Science has changed our lives and the world around us therefore aim to make sure all children have the knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.



R.E is a core subject and the children are taught at least one hour per week. It is taught in accordance with the Cumbrian syllabus. Christianity is studied throughout all key stages as well as Buddhism in KS1 and Buddhism and Islam in KS2. Knowledge and aspects of other religions and world views are also covered including locally, nationally and globally.

Our Kirkbride RE Curriculum also helps pupils develop awareness of themselves and prepares them for adult life in modern day society. The children are encouraged to reflect on their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as they learn to respect and value other beliefs and religions. The pupils are given the opportunity to consider their own values and link these to British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for others. At Kirkbride Primary School a rich RE curriculum ensures pupils are given the opportunity to express their own enquiring, informed and reflective views about beliefs and values.

In EYFS we begin by exploring religions and beliefs through the children’s own experiences, through special people, stories, times and places. Developing social skills, following class rules and respecting others are a priority. The children also consider their own values and a key theme across EYFS and KS1 is “Belonging” where the children can express their own ideas and identity.

As the children progress into KS1 they will study Christianity in more detail building on what the children have learnt in EYFS. Christian values such as forgiveness, peace and compassion are embedded within the Kirkbride Primary School curriculum. They are taught about other beliefs and practices including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life with a key focus on Buddhism. Within this we ensure the children have time to reflect and respond sensitively to different communities and worldviews. They are also encouraged throughout to compare similarities and differences in beliefs, values and practices and show respect and compassion towards others.

In KS2 the children’s R.E. learning journey continues as they extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. The children are encouraged to ask challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. The children progress to making links in their learning and researching their own ideas using a variety of sources. They are taught to have a deeper understanding of different features of religions and worldviews including communities, celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and rituals.

At Kirkbride Primary School we aim to ensure all pupils are taught R.E. in an interactive and engaging way using different media such as stories, artefacts, music, art, role play and real life situations which are relevant to the children.  We strive to ensure pupils are able to flourish individually within their community and as citizens in a diverse society and global community.


Collective Worship

Collective worship provides the opportunity for our school to meet together in different contexts to consider different aspects of life. We provide opportunities to develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values and reinforce positive attitudes. Our daily assemblies are planned very carefully to ensure children have time to reflect and consider relevant worldviews and events. Children are often asked to take time to think about their own feelings and emotions linked to Christian values such as thankfulness, forgiveness, peace and compassion. Assemblies always include a thought, prayer or song. We also have a reflection area in our school. This is a quiet area where pupils can go if they need some time to reflect, think or pray about something.

Across the whole school pupils are given the opportunity to visit the local church for different Christian celebrations including Harvest, Christmas and Easter. We look forward to visitors such as our local vicar coming in to do assemblies on a regular basis.

If you are unhappy with Religious Assemblies forming part of your child’s day you may request their withdrawal. The school is happy to make special arrangements for your child, but cannot offer alternative religious studies.


Art and Design and Design Technology

By the end of their time at Kirkbride Primary School, our ‘Artists’ and ‘Designers’…


Select and use a wide range of tools, techniques, ingredients and materials to perform practical tasks for purpose. They can do this safely and with developing accuracy.

Explain and evaluate ideas and products against set design criteria and purpose; suggesting improvements.

Generate, plan and communicate ideas using a range of design processes-oral, written, drawn and computer aided.

Collect ideas and observations in sketchbooks to use to inform thinking.



About where food and materials come from and some of the making processes.

The components of a healthy and varied and diet and the impact of this upon lifestyle.

How to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce structures using different materials and techniques.

How to apply skills taught in computer programming and coding in the design and making of products.

How to apply a wide range of artistic techniques in colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.

About the work of artists, craftspeople, designers and architects and be able to compare and contrast these.



Using and working with electronics, mechanisms, computer aided design, ingredients and materials in design technology work.

Using and working with pencil, charcoal, pastels, different types of paint, clay and printing.

Study of a range of artists, craftspeople, designers and architects with local, national and world significance.

Visit galleries and take part in art and design workshops and experiences beyond the classroom.



By the end of their time at Kirkbride Primary School, our ‘Computer Scientists’…


Code and debug using logic and algorithms in simple programs and tasks; explaining how these work as well as the potential outcome.

Create, organise and manipulate digital content within their own learning

Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly to communicate and collaborate with others to create a positive and protected online presence. 


How to operate and look after a variety of technological devices

Use technology independently and safely for differing purposes in school and beyond

About computer networks and the services they provide; including the internet.


Using a range of technology for differing purposes

Tuition and engagement opportunities from outside agencies to apply and extend their computing knowledge and skills



By the end of their time at Kirkbride Primary School, our ‘Geographers’…


•        Describe and locate places using geographical language and terms.

•        Recognise the human and physical features of a variety of landscapes/environments

•        Compare and contrast places in terms of weather, climate, economic activity, population, land use and topographical features.

•        Use a range of maps, scales, compasses and directional/positional language to locate places.


•        About the local areas and how this is both similar and different to places nationally and globally.

•        About a region in Europe and in North/South America in depth; being able to both locate and describe the area.

•        How to conduct fieldwork studies and represent the findings from these.

•        About some relevant world issues such as deforestation, and their impact and how their actions can make a difference at a global, national and local level.



Visits to areas in the locality and beyond to conduct and take part in fieldwork and conservation projects

Make links with children in other parts of the UK, Europe and the world to be able to learn first-hand about other places in the world.



By the end of their time at Kirkbride Primary School, Our ‘Historians’


•        Use and understand language associated with the passing of time and chronology.

•        Comment upon and make comparisons around significant people, places, events as well as civilisations and achievements.

•        Be enquiring, ask relevant questions about what they study and answer their own queries using a variety of sources and artefacts.


•        The history of key people, events, places and developments that have impacted on life today and in the past; at a local, national and global level.

•        How to handle and use historical artefacts and sources appropriately.

•        And can explain the chronology of significant periods in history and use timelines.


Handling and engaging with artefacts and a wide range of sources

Visiting, working with and learning from museums and the archives service, as well as visiting places of historical significance in the locality and beyond.


Our Two Year Curriculum Overview Cycle specifies the skills and knowledge taught within each age range, as outlined in National Curriculum.


Other Foundation subjects will be added in Spring 2022


Early Years

In Acorn class, we value the importance of learning through play. We use a play-based curriculum, which meets your child’s needs and interests. We form positive, strong relationships with your child from the start through home visits and open mornings, and ensure that high quality interactions take place. We focus on fun and purposeful experiences, which will prepare your child for the rest of their school life while instilling a love of learning. We love to learn outdoors and you can find us in our outdoor area most days, even in bad weather conditions, we have sheltered areas and waterproof suits.


The staff plan exciting activities both for the provision and for directed teaching activities, using the children’s interests where possible and focusing on termly topics. Our activities focus on the three characteristics of learning which are:

        Playing and Exploring – this is where children investigate, experience things and ‘have a go’

        Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying even when they encounter difficulties. Children enjoy celebrating their achievements and are proud of these

        Creating and thinking critically – children have their own ideas and can develop on these, make connections between their learning and develop strategies to help them

4 Key Principles:

  1. A Unique Child; all children are different and have their own strengths and areas of development. We recognise this, celebrate all achievements, and support children.
  2. Positive Relationships; Our children build strong relationships with their friends and the adults in school. We also form relationships with our parents and community.
  3. Enabling Environments; Our extensive indoor and outdoor spaces allow the children to explore, investigate and learn. We have displays in class, which celebrate our current learning.
  4. Learning and Development; Our children make progress from their starting point and achieve well by the end of their time in early years. Their learning constantly builds on their prior knowledge and they foster a love for learning.

The revised EYFS framework is the curriculum we follow. This consists of seven areas of learning. They are split into prime and specific areas.


Prime areas:

1.   Communication and language – this comprises of three areas: listening, attention and understanding and speaking. We encourage every child to communicate confidently and clearly, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes.

2.   Physical development – we focus on improving children’s skills in two key areas: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. We work on enabling all children to move confidently in different ways, controlling their body and handling both large and small pieces of equipment. They will also develop an awareness of health and the importance, including healthy eating and exercise.

3.   Personal, social and emotional development – This area is split into self-regulation, managing self and building relationships. We encourage the children to make relationships with both adults and peers, manage their feelings and behaviour and develop self-confidence and self-awareness. Interactions with both children and adults will build on these skills as well as good quality play experiences. Children need these skills in order for them to be ready to learn.


Specific areas:

1.   Literacy: Split into comprehension, word reading and writing. This is where your child will learn the skills needed for reading and writing. Children will take part in daily discrete phonics sessions. Nursery children start with phase 1 activities which is based around rhyme, percussion, sounds and the body. Towards the summer term and when they are ready, they will then start some activities around learning the first six sounds: s, a, t, p, i, and n. Children are read to on a daily basis, are involved with songs and rhymes both as a whole class and through play in the provision. Children will develop their pencil control through funky finger activities, which develop their fine motor skills, enabling them to be able to mark make and write for a variety of purposes.

2.   Maths: Split into number and numerical patterns. In the early years, we use stories, songs, games and play based activities to learn many mathematical concepts. Children also take part in daily-directed maths sessions and complete fun and purposeful activities. Children will become confident with their numbers to 10 and beyond and will learn concepts about size, weight and capacity. They will also develop a good awareness of 2D and 3D shapes and spatial awareness. We include weekly problem solving sessions, which allow the children to ‘think outside the box’ and use their own initiative in a creative and engaging way.

3.   Understanding the world: Split into past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world. We learn about people who are important to your child, as well as the environment and community. We encourage the children to explore and find out about the world around them including different cultures and celebrations. Children have opportunities to interact with technological toys and equipment and understand how things work.

4.   Expressive arts and design: Split into creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive. We love to allow children to be creative and to express themselves however they wish. Your child will be able to explore a variety of media and materials, explore music and instruments, develop their imagination and respond to a variety of experiences, expressing and communicating ideas.


We plan, assess and resource our provision through all of these areas of learning, making sure the children progress to their full potential. By the end of reception, we aim for your child to have met the early learning goals.


Areas within our classroom:

  • A writing area containing various writing materials, colouring pictures, a variety of pens and pencils for the children to use.
  • A book corner containing a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and magazines for the children to access with comfortable chairs and cushions.
  • A maths area containing various resources for the children to access and solve problems.
  • A craft area containing art materials, junk modelling resources and books with ideas of what to create.
  • A construction area containing resources such as Lego, Duplo and other materials to create structures with.
  • Sand, water and play dough areas where the children can explore these different materials.
  • A Role-play area for the children to act out real life situations with their peers.
  • A Small world area for engaging in imaginative play, re telling stories and developing language.



We continually assess the children every day through the activities we carry out, watching the children in their play and through directed adult teaching sessions. Photos are taken of the children completing practical work, and some pieces of work are put into the children’s books. We use Tapestry to record learning moments as well.









Reception Places deadline is 15.01.22 - please contact the Office for information on 01697351483