Our curriculum is guided by our Mission Statement. Children study at primary level for seven years. A reception course in the first year, (YR), Foundation Stage, which is followed by the first two Key Stages of the National Curriculum through years Y1 to Y6. Key Stage 1 refers to the Year 1 and Year 2), Key Stage 2 refers to years Y3 to Y6. Reception children will be given the opportunity to display key skills towards the EYFS Prime Areas of Learning whilst following the themed units with the KS1 children.
The National Curriculum consists of five core subjects: English, Mathematics, Computing, Science and Religious Education.
Foundation Subjects: Art, Design Technology, History, Geography, Music and Physical Education. Staff use the Lancashire ‘Key Learning’ documents to ensure that age appropriate skills and knowledge are taught across the school.
The link below shows the full National Curriculum coverage, expectations and key learning for each year group.
Early Years’ Foundation Stage EYFS
The Early Years’ Foundation Stage the stage in your child’s learning from birth to age five. This is the curriculum we follow in your child’s first year at school. This is their Reception year (YR). We aim to prepare your child for the rest of their school life. Children are provided with a range of experiences and opportunities to gain everyday skills and develop in all areas of learning. We follow the EYFS framework. A parents guide is below:
Through a four year rolling programme of themed units we deliver engaging, creative cross curricular lessons which fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. The rolling programme means that all children will be taught the appropriate content of the National Curriculum over their time in Key Stage 1 or Key stage 2 but not always in the year suggested by the curriculum documents. Click below to see our rolling programme:
Our curriculum overview maps evolve over time and are published here as overviews. In addition each class produces a leaflet each term for parents and carers and these are published on the class pages of the website.Look in ‘Our Classes’ and find out about the exciting learning and challenges that our children undertake each term.
Our Key Stage 1 and 2 children experience a creative, stimulating and challenging curriculum. At Calder Vale we have identified through discussion with pupils and staff 3 ‘curriculum drivers’ which we try to include in each termly topic. These curriculum drivers are:
Understanding the differences and similarities between ourselves and others, understanding the beliefs and cultures of others both in the world around us and the world further away.
Understand the world of economics through practical challenges such as developing a product from initial idea through to sales, understanding Fairtrade concepts and
We believe that it is important for our children to understand and appreciate the local environment in order that we can care for it and use it in a sustainable manner.
The topic based curriculum has been planned to enable children to learn in a variety of exciting ways:
- through investigations and experiments
- through problem solving
- by first hand learning and practical experience
- through the use of secondary sources and artifacts
- by linking subjects that have relevance to the children’s learning (cross curricular approach)
- through visits and visitors
- through independent learning and team work
The curriculum plan for each term is located on each class page and a paper copy is sent home with children at the start of each term.
The aims of the different subjects that we teach are as follows:
- includes speaking and listening, reading and writing, phonics, spelling, grammar through word and sentence work and handwriting
- a daily hour plus extra time during the week for extended writing linked with other subjects, guided reading groups and phonics.
We use Read, Write inc for the basis of our phonics work and a wide range of other reading books to engage children’s interest including Oxford Reading Tree.
- includes oral and mental mathematics, number, shape and space, data handling, measures, applying and investigating through problem solving
- a daily hour, with cross curricular links are made with subjects such as Science and Geography.
In 2018, we were awarded Primary Sciecne Quality Mark Silver Award for our consistent use of independent and practical work in lessons, collaborative work across our schools and high quality teaching and learning across key stages.
Our Science lessons are based on our Science principles which are displayed in all classrooms and created through staff and pupil discussions.
- We ask questions, questions, questions!
- Our investigations are planned and carried out by children
- Lessons are practical and hands-on
- We work and talk together
- We feel excited and engaged
These principles are evaluated by our Science Ambassadors – pupils chosen for deeper reasoning in Science, enquiring minds and excellent scientific knowledge. Our ambassadors also support learning in lessons, act as technicians for Science visitors and help collate information through pupil voice and book scrutinies.
Our Science curriculum
- is made relevant to the children by making links with the world around them (STEM) and through our curriculum drivers.
- the children are encouraged to develop enquiring minds, devise and conduct investigations and record and analyse data.
- includes the three main disciplines – biology, physics and chemistry.
- our unique environment provides opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities which include mini-beast hunts, woodland research, animal welfare and horticulture .
- children’s learning experiences extend beyond the school day through Mad Science club, gardening and many trips and visitors for all age ranges.
Sex and Relationship Education
During Year 5 and 6 the children are taught the changes that occur in their own bodies from birth to adulthood including – puberty, the development and birth of a baby as well as sex education, including the range of relationships and emotional changes experienced during development.
Our school follows the Blackburn syllabus for Religious Education. Our Christian values permeate through all that we do in school and includes not just Christian beliefs and traditions but also the study of other religions. Each year we take a world religion as a focus and study this throughout the year. In 2018-2019 this will be Hinduism and will include visits to a HIndu temple and a celebration of Diwali.
Our studies include:
- visits to local places of worship and speakers of other beliefs make the curriculum meaningful to the children
- appreciation and respect for the beliefs of others is encouraged through our teaching and learning
- children are encouraged to play a proactive role in sharing their beliefs and festivals in class and whole worship and assembly.
- cross curricular links are made through English, geography, art and other subjects
Click here to read more detail about the curriculum we follow:
Design and Technology
- children learn a range of skills e.g. measuring, cutting, joining, using a range of tools
- children engage in planning, designing, making and evaluating their own products
- children are given opportunities to use their design technology skills to take part in enterprise activities.
- ICT links are made
- Cross curricular links are made with subjects such as Literacy, Art/Design and Music etc.
- Local visits, drama days, speakers and museums are a focus of this learning e.g. Tudor day with a dramatist, visit to Manchester museum for learning about Ancient Egypt , World War 2 drama day and Victorian Day
- Use of secondary sources enriches learning e.g. maps, photographs, diaries and video clips.
- Use of artefacts to engage children in asking historical questions and finding answers.
We are delighted to have been awarded the Silver Quality Mark Award for our geography curriculum as well as Arts Mark for our creative work in art, DT, drama and dance.
- cross curricular opportunities are made e.g. Science, Mathematics and ICT
- the use of the local environment makes learning purposeful e.g. our environmental area, outdoor classroom, local river Calder.
Art and Design
- a high profile cross curricular subject making links with design technology, ICT, Mathematics, History and Drama
- study of famous artists work
- use of a variety of media e.g. pastels, clay, collage, Mod Roc and fabric paint
- application of skills e.g. drawing, painting, modelling
All children at our school learn to play a musical instrument. This year we have all started to learn the ukelele! We have lessons each week with Mr Farmer.
- children have first hand experiences using pitched and non pitched instruments
- specialist musicians offer taught lessons in a range of instruments including guitar, recorder, keyboards and flute
- children learn to sing and compose using nursery rhymes, chants, sounds, songs from different cultures, developing their own music and songs, setting poetry to mood music.
- specialist coach provision for all Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children for 1 hour per week.
- at least 2 hours of PE for all children each week
- weekly swimming lessons
- Competitive competitions against other similarly sized schools each half term – football, netball, table tennis, swimming, athletics, hockey, bowling,
- extended opportunities after school hours through Extra curricular clubs which have included: dance, athletics, outdoor and indoor games, short tennis.
Our school is a values based school. We focus on one of these values each half term in our worship time and all of these values are used throughout the curriculum and in the way that we behave towards each other in our school community and beyond.
PSHE is integral to the curriculum and provides for debate and opinion, deals with issues such as bullying, racism, kindness, honesty etc.
Modern Foreign Languages
French is taught to all pupils but we also utilise opportunities to learn other languages when they are relevant to other learning. Our children learn to speak, read and write French and also learn about the cultures and traditions of France. Opportunities to learn are through speaking and listening, games, songs and role play activities.
There are three areas of the Computing Curriculum: Information Technology, Computer Science and Digital Literacy.
Computer Science: the scientific and practical study of computation; what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.
Information Technology: concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work, and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.
Digital Literacy: the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.
Computing is taught as a discrete skills set but with cross curricular links where children use a range of software for data handling, designing, modelling, controlling and using text, images and sound.
Computing is well resourced at Calder Vale Primary School – interactive whiteboards in all classes, set of ipads and laptops to enable a whole class to work together, access to email and the internet
Esafety runs through the Computing Curriculum as well as other Curriculum subjects. For more information on Esafety at Calder Vale Primary School, visit our dedicated Esafety page.