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Primary Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to provide children with the basic skills they will need.  During their time in our school the children will learn to the best of their abilities:


  • to read fluently and accurately, with understanding, feeling and discrimination;
  • to develop a legible style of handwriting and good standard of spelling, syntax, punctuation and usage;
  • to communicate clearly and confidently in speech and writing, in a wide range of styles and formats;
  • to listen attentively; to learn how to acquire information from a number of sources, and to record information and findings in different ways;
  • to build up a mental model of how numbers work;
  • to develop a familiarity with numbers and a suitable vocabulary;
  • to apply computational skills with speed and accuracy;
  • to understand and use mathematical ideas in real life situations;
  • to observe living and inanimate things, and to recognise characteristics such as
  • pattern and order;
  • to master basic scientific concepts;
  • to investigate solutions and interpret evidence; to analyse and to solve problems;
  • to become familiar with a range of information technologies and develop the skills to use them;
  • to know about geographical, historical and social aspects of the local environment and the national heritage; to be aware of other times and places and
  • to recognise links between local, national and international events;
  • to help children gain an insight into the nature of religion, to foster a sense of awe, respect and wonder and encourage attitudes of openness and sensitivity towards people whose religious beliefs and customs may be different from their own;
  • to acquire sufficient control of self and of tools, equipment and instruments to be able to use music, drama and several forms of arts and crafts as means of expression;
  • to develop agility, co-ordination and confidence through physical activity;
  • to develop awareness of self and sensitivity to others; acquire a set of moral values and the confidence to make and hold moral judgements and develop habits of self-discipline and acceptable behaviour;
  • to respect and value the richness and diversity of our society;
  • to lead independent lives by taking responsibility for their own health and well being.


We also wish to develop a close working partnership between school, parents and the community.


The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum, which was revised in 2014, requires that children should be taught:-

  • three core subjects - English, maths and science;
  • seven foundation subjects - geography, history, technology, art, music, information technology and physical education. Religious education must also be taught to all children unless exempted.  
  • Personal, social and healtheducation and citizenship is taught from Reception to Year 6.
  • French will also be taught at Key Stage 2.


Full details of the National Curriculum documentation can be obtained from the DfE website. The main subjects of the National Curriculum are listed in the school brochure with a brief summary of our aims.  Many of these subjects will be taught in a thematic way using a variety of teaching strategies which will include whole class, ability group and individual tuition.


At South Otterington Church of England Primary School staff deliver an innovative ‘Creative Curriculum’.  The whole school studies half termly or termly topics. Each topic is launched with an exciting activity to stimulate the children’s learning and they are consulted with regard to their learning interests. Each topic closes with a celebration of their work.


The new National Curriculum has set out clear expectations for what children should achieve by the end of each key stage and, for English, Maths and Science, has provided guidance as to when in each phase this content should be covered.  These expectations have been developed into a set of statements for each subject and each year group. These statements are used by teachers to help define and guide next steps in learning. Through their targets, pupils will be aware of specific statements they are working on to improve their learning.

To track pupil attainment and progress we use a system of steps. This performs the function of tracking and communicating progression and attainment in a simple format.  Each year band (set of statements) has been broken down into six steps:

beginning, beginning +, working within, working within +, secure and secure +

A child will be deemed to have met the year group expectations when they are “Working within +” which is the expectation by the end of the academic year.

Our most able children will have opportunities to apply their understanding in a range of challenging real life contexts, and to demonstrate their mastery of a particular skill at a deep and thorough level before moving on to the next year group’s expectations.  These children will be assessed as Secure or above.


National Statutory Assessments take place in the following years - Year 1: phonic screening assessment; Years 2 and 6:  English, Maths and Science.  It is expected that an average pupil will working at the expected level for their year group.


Note: As of September 2014, we have been delivering the new National Curriculum and following the new step assessment strategy. Visit the planning page for more information.