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Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Core Curriculum

Dunstable Icknield Lower School’s curriculum aims to provide our children with a broad and balanced education, in line with the National Curriculum. Curriculum developments are monitored regularly by the Governing Body.

The Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 are defined stages within the National Curriculum. All key stages are statutory. Dunstable Icknield Lower School covers the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage 1 and the early part of Key Stage 2, years three and four.


Key Stage


Early Years Foundation Stage


Key Stage 1


Key Stage 2


Key Stage 3


Key Stage 4

The following subjects are included in Key Stage 1 and in early Key Stage 2: English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music, Information and Communication Technology, Physical Education, Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education and Religious Education.

We follow a creative curriculum with subjects being taught through a cross curricular / themed approach making learning more meaningful to the children. We use the Letters and Sounds phonics programme and the Reading schemes used in school are Ginn, Oxford Reading Tree, Lighthouse Guided Reading and Rigby Star.


Regular homework is provided for children in Years 1 – 4. Children are given open ended tasks ‘brain stretchers’ in their Big Book of Homework. Children are encouraged to think creatively when approaching the tasks. Children and parents take part in ‘take home’ tasks once a term; this might take the form of designing a Roman Shield, Garden or a Home for a dinosaur. Reading, spellings and learning tables also forms part of the homework schedule.

Values Education​

We are delighted to have gained accreditation and to have become a Values based school.

Each month we focus on a Value of the month. We learn about twenty values over a two year cycle. By focusing on a different value each month we are able to develop a shared vocabulary this enables the adults and children to discuss feelings, attitudes and approaches enabling reflective and empathetic skills to be developed. The children are able to take on greater personal responsibility for their learning and behaviour. 

Our values programme enables strong relationships to be created with adults, peers and members of the school community. All members of our school community are encouraged to be reflective.

Core Subjects

Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education (PSHCE) 

This is a non-statutory subject within the National Curriculum. We believe that PSHCE is an important and necessary part of all children's education. 

Lessons enable the children to

  • ​Develop confidence and responsibility to make the most of their abilities.
  • Prepare to play an active role as citizens.
  • Develop a healthy, safer lifestyle.
  • Develop good relationships and respect for all.

Our work on Social and Emotional Aspects to Learning (SEAL) forms a significant focus. The activities are planned under the following areas:

  • ​​New beginnings.
  • Getting on and falling out.
  • Say No to Bullying.
  • Going for Goals.
  • Good to be me.
  • Relationships.
  • Changes.


Our mathematics curriculum 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 curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Our curriculum encourages pupils to talk about their mathematical reasoning, which is a key factor in developing mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. In this way pupils learn to make their thinking clear to themselves as well as others, and teacher ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy any misconceptions.


Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2)

The principle focus of our mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words and the 4 operations, including with practical resources for example, concrete objects and measuring tools.

At this stage pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teachers also help pupils to use a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.

By the end of year 2, pupils will know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis is placed on practice at this early stage.

The curriculum ensures that pupils are able to read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.

Over the course of the 2 years pupils will cover:

  • Number - number and place value.
  • Addition and subtraction.
  • Multiplications and division.
  • Fractions.
  • Measurement.
  • Geometry - Properties of shapes.
  • Position and direction.
  • Statistics.

Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4)

The principle focus of our mathematics curriculum in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the 4 operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This ensures that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.

We aim to also make sure that pupils also develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching also ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. Our curriculum ensures that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.

By the end of year 4, it is our aim that pupils will have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work, and can read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word-reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

Over the course of the curriculum, pupils will learn about:

  • Number - number and place value.
  • Addition and subtraction.
  • Multiplications and division.
  • Fractions.
  • Measurement.
  • Geometry - Properties of shapes.
  • Position and direction.
  • Statistics.


The overarching aim is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Our curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they are able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in discussions.

Spoken language

Our curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum. We know that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing and we therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Through our curriculum pupils will develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others, and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils are also taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion.


Our approach to reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:

  • Word reading.
  • Comprehension (both listening and reading) our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are provided for each.

Our curriculum ensures that skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. We ensure that underpinning both is an understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why we emphasise phonics in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start our school. Our curriculum ensures that good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with teachers, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. We encourage pupils to read widely and often to increase pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. We also use reading to feed pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for our curious young minds. It is our aim therefore that all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Our curriculum coverage for writing at key stages 1 and 2 is constructed similarly to those for reading: 

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting).
  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

We see it as essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Our curriculum ensures that pupils develop effective transcription: that is, spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. We ensure that learners are encouraged to articulate and communicate their ideas, and then organise them coherently for a reader. This requires our pupils to write with clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and develop an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also ensure that our pupils can develop fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.

Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary

We use 2 statutory appendices provided by the government – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. The curriculum gives pupils good opportunities to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use standard English. They are also taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ appropriate for their age. Teachers help pupils to develop the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language.

Spoken language

Overall, through our curriculum, the pupils are taught to:

  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
  • Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.
  • Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English.
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates.
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others.
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.


Year 1

During year 1, teachers build on work from the early years foundation stage, making sure that pupils can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. Teachers ensure that pupils continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual GPCs. Alongside this knowledge of GPCs, our curriculum ensures that pupils develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This is supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time we ensure that learners hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary. Pupils are helped to read words without overt sounding and blending after a few encounters. Those who are slow to develop this skill have extra practice. The expectation is that pupils’ writing during year 1 will generally develop at a slower pace than their reading. This is because they need to encode the sounds they hear in words (spelling skills), develop the physical skill needed for handwriting, and learn how to organise their ideas in writing. The curriculum is structured such that pupils entering year 1 who have not yet met the early learning goals for literacy will continue to follow the curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage so that they develop their word reading, spelling and language skills. However, these pupils follow the year 1 programme of study in terms of the books they listen to and discuss, so that they develop their vocabulary and understanding of grammar, as well as their knowledge more generally across the curriculum. If they are still struggling to decode and spell, they are taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly. Teachers ensure that their teaching develops pupils’ oral vocabulary as well as their ability to understand and use a variety of grammatical structures, giving particular support to pupils whose oral language skills are insufficiently developed.


Year 2

By the beginning of year 2, the curriculum is structured so that pupils are able to read all common graphemes. They are able to read unfamiliar words containing these graphemes, accurately and without undue hesitation, by sounding them out in books that are matched closely to each pupil’s level of word-reading knowledge. They are also able to read many common words containing GPCs taught so far [for example, shout, hand, stop, or dream], without needing to blend the sounds out loud first. It is the aim that pupils’ reading of common exception words [for example, you, could, many, or people], are secure. Pupils increase their fluency by being able to read these words easily and automatically. Finally, pupils are given ample opportunities to retell some familiar stories that have been read to and discussed with them or that they have acted out during year 1. During year 2, teachers continue to focus on establishing pupils’ accurate and speedy word-reading skills. They make sure that pupils listen to and discuss a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books; this includes whole books. It is our view that the sooner that pupils can read well and do so frequently, the sooner they will be able to increase their vocabulary, comprehension and their knowledge across our wider curriculum. In writing, the curriculum gives pupils at the beginning of year 2 good opportunities to compose individual sentences orally and then write them down. They are encouraged to spell many of the words covered in year 1 correctly. They should also be able to make phonically plausible attempts to spell words they have not yet learnt. Finally, they are able to form individual letters correctly, establishing good handwriting habits from the beginning. It is important to recognise that pupils begin to meet extra challenges in terms of spelling during year 2. Increasingly, they learn that there is not always an obvious connection between the way a word is said and the way it is spelt. Variations include different ways of spelling the same sound, the use of so-called silent letters and groups of letters in some words and, sometimes, spelling that has become separated from the way that words are now pronounced, such as the ‘le’ ending in table. Our curriculum ensures that the pupils’ motor skills are sufficiently advanced for them to write down ideas so that they are able to compose orally. For pupils who do not have the phonic knowledge and skills they need for year 2, teachers use the year 1 programmes of study for word reading and spelling so that pupils’ word-reading skills catch up. However, teachers still use the national curriculum year 2 programme of study for comprehension so that these pupils hear and talk about new books, poems, other writing, and vocabulary with the rest of the class.


Years 3 and 4

By the beginning of year 3, we aim that pupils are able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level, and that they are able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. We make sure that they are able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, the curriculum ensures that pupils are directed more towards developing vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. The curriculum and approach develops their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. The curriculum also ensures that they develop their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects, learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of year 4. The curriculum further develops pupils ability to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation. Our approach seeks to consolidate pupils’ writing skills, their vocabulary, their grasp of sentence structure and their knowledge of linguistic terminology. The curriculum is designed to develop them as writers, teaching them to enhance the effectiveness of what they write as well as increasing their competence. The approach makes sure that pupils build on what they have learnt, particularly in terms of the range of their writing and the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas. As a result by the end of year 4 pupils are increasingly able to understand how writing can be different from speech. Joined handwriting are the norm for our pupils by this age, and pupils will be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say. The curriculum makes sure that pupils’ spelling of common words are correct, including common exception words and other words that they have learnt. Because of our focus on strategies in literacy, pupils are able to spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology. As a result most pupils do not need further direct teaching of word reading skills in year 4: they are able to decode unfamiliar words accurately, and need very few repeated experiences of this before the word is stored in such a way that they can read it without overt sound-blending. We ensure pupils can demonstrate understanding of figurative language, distinguish shades of meaning among related words and use age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. As in key stage 1, pupils who are still struggling to decode are taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. As far as possible, however, these pupils still follow the year 3 and 4 curriculum in terms of listening to new books, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and discussing these. Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form a strong part of our curriculum. In years 3 and 4, pupils become increasingly more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate. 


Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

We encourage pupils familiarity with, and use of, technical terminology, and are helped to build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The curriculum also links to other areas of learning in the school such as mathematics, geography and history. As a theme running throughout the whole curriculum is the notion of ‘Working scientifically’ i.e the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science. This is not taught as a separate strand but is embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, using the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions at an age appropriate level. This includes: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils are encouraged to seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

The curriculum enables learners to use the above scientific skills to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in:

  • Living things and their habitats.
  • Animals, including humans.
  • Properties and changes of materials.
  • Earth and space • Forces.
  • Evolution and inheritance.
  • Light.
  • Electricity.


Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

The principal focus of the schools science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. The curriculum is designed to help learners to begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there are also opportunities to use appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.

Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)

The principal focus of the science curriculum in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. The curriculum encourages them to draw simple conclusions and use scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out, and pupils are encouraged to read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word-reading and spelling knowledge.


Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.


Key stage 1

Pupils are taught to:

  • Understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
  • Create and debug simple programs.
  • Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
  • Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
  • Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
  • Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies

Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to:

  • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
  • Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
  • Understand computer networks, including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.
  • Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.
  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
  • Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

Design and Technology 

Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Critique and evaluate their ideas and products and the work of others.
  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


Key stage 1

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making.

When designing and making, pupils are taught to:


  • Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria.
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.


  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing).
  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.


  • Explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria.

Technical knowledge

  • Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.
  • Explore and use mechanisms (for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles) in their products.

Key stage 2

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making.

When designing and making, pupils are taught to:


  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.


  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing), accurately.
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.


  • Investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

Technical knowledge

  • Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products (for example, gears, pulleys, levers and linkages).
  • Understand and use electrical systems in their products.
  • Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Religious Education 

Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Central Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus. We aim to foster a reflective approach to life, awareness and tolerance of differing faiths and cultures in order to help the children prepare for life in our multi-cultural society.

Parent / carers have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons.

Please see the attachment below for our religious education syllabus guide. 


Our curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry.


Key stage 1

Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They are taught to ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They develop an understanding of some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers aims to introduce pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully later on in the school career at key stages 2 and 3.

Pupils are taught about:

  • Changes within living memory – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally (for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries).
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods (for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell).
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Key stage 2

Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They will learn about connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They will increasingly construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They will develop their understanding of how the knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, we aim to combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

Pupils are taught about:

Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

  • Late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and early farmers, for example, Skara Brae. 
  • Bronze Age religion, technology and travel, for example, Stonehenge.
  • Iron Age hill forts: tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture.

The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain

  • Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC.
  • The Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army.
  • Successful invasion by Claudius and conquest, including Hadrian’s Wall.
  • British resistance, for example, Boudic.
  • ‘Romanisation’ of Britain: sites such as Caerwent and the impact of technology, culture and beliefs, including early Christianity.

The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor A local history study

  • An in depth study linked to one of the British areas of study listed above.
  • A study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (this can go beyond 1066). 
  • Study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.


Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.
  • Are competent in the geographical skills needed to.
  • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data.
  • Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways including maps.


Key stage 1

Pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They start to understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Pupils are taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • Name and locate the world’s 7 continents and 5 oceans.
  • Name, locate and identify characteristics of the 4 countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas Place knowledge.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.

Human and physical geography

  • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.
  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to.
  • Key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather.
  • Key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.
  • Use simple compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far, left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
  • Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key.
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

Key stage 2

Pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Pupils are taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities.
  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, Place knowledge.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom.

Human and physical geography 

  • Describe and understand key aspects of.
    • Physical geography, including: rivers, mountains and volcanoes.
    • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Geographical skills and fieldwork 

  • Use maps, atlases and globes to locate countries and describe features studied.
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

Art, Draft and Design 

Our curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers content.

Key stage 1

Pupils are taught:

  • To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.
  • To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination.
  • To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
  • About the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Pupils are taught:

  • To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay).
  • About great artists, architects and designers in history.


The children listen to, enjoy and appraise music. The school has a wide range of instruments for use by the children when composing and performing. Children in Year 3 and Year 4 have the opportunity in conjunction with Central Bedfordshire’s peripatetic staff to learn a range of instruments such as violin, ‘cello. Further information regarding the fee structure for this is available from the school office.

Collective Worship 

The School Assembly includes Collective Worship, which is broadly Christian and covers our Values Programme. This Programme covers twenty two values over a two year cycle. Each month the assembly focuses on a different value such as co-operation, responsibility and patience. During the year the children learn about key festivals and celebrations from world religions. Guest speakers are often invited to contribute to these events. Class assemblies provide an opportunity to express ideas in dance, music, poetry and art. Importantly they provide an opportunity to share experiences with the whole school family and underpin the ethos of the school.

Physical Education 

Our physical education curriculum aims to inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities are provided to build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

Our curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities.
  • Are physically active for sustained periods of time • engage in competitive sports and activities.
  • Lead healthy, active lives.


Key stage 1

Pupils develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They are increasingly able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Pupils are taught to:

  • Master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities.
  • Participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending.
  • Perform dances using simple movement patterns.

Key stage 2

Pupils continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They are encouraged to enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Pupils are taught to:

  • Use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination.
  • Play competitive games, modified where appropriate [for example, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis], and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance (for example, through athletics and gymnastics).
  • Perform dances using a range of movement patterns.
  • Take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team.
  • Compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.

Swimming and water safety. The schools provides swimming instruction in key stage 2.

In particular, we aim to teach pupils to:

  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently.
  • Use a range of strokes effectively.


Our curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Understand and respond to spoken language.
  • Speak with increasing confidence. Our focus of study in French is on practical communication.

Pupils are taught to:

  • Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
  • Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes.
  • Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
  • Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words.
  • Describe people, places, things and actions orally.

You can find out more about the National Curriculum by visiting the below link: