Fordham Primary School

Fordham Primary School

Our Curriculum Rationale

In this Curriculum section, you will find the information about our school’s curriculum.

Click on each subject in the curriculum menu above to find out about the content of the curriculum we follow in each academic year for every subject.

Under the English tab in our curriculum menu, you can also find out about the names of the phonics and reading scheme we are using in KS1.

Please find our Curriculum Maps and Topic Homework Menus for this academic year here. These are reviewed termly, considering the interest of the pupils and the existing learning and knowledge.

Our Curriculum Intent

We intend for our curriculum to capture pupils’ imagination, helping them to become engaged learners and curious about the world around them. It is our aim to inspire a life-long love for learning. Our curriculum is underpinned by our Christian Values. We celebrate every child’s success, ensuring all can FLOURISH and fulfil their potential. We hope our curriculum will help pupils develop resilience, have FAITH in their ability to succeed and use FRIENDSHIP to support and value their peers.

Our curriculum is based on The National Curriculum and allows pupils to systematically build upon knowledge and skills as they progress through the Primary Phase. In addition to curricular content, we emphasise qualities that build successful learners, including resilience, problem-solving and independence. We emphasise real life contexts and promote transferrable skills, so pupils are prepared for their futures in a rapidly changing world.

Classroom learning is supported through homework and home-learning projects, linked to current themes of study. This allows the parent community to engage with class learning. Home learning is celebrated through termly “Celebrations of Work.” We want pupils to feel proud of their achievements.

Learning extends beyond the parameters of the classroom. We utilise our wonderful grounds throughout the curriculum and each class has half-termly Forest School sessions. Our community links enrich pupils’ learning and we use visitors, special events and trips to enhance classroom learning.

We are proud of the curriculum we have developed at Fordham and work hard to ensure it remains ambitious, relevant and enjoyable. We believe our enthusiasm for learning will prove irresistible to our pupils!

For further information about the new national curriculum, please see this helpful guide for parents : Guide for Parents

Our Curriculum Implementation

Subject Leaders use The National Curriculum to identify the core knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils are expected to be taught at each stage of the Primary Phase. This informs subject curriculum maps, which outline progression through a subject and allow opportunity to build upon prior knowledge and embed learning. The long-term curricular maps are available on each subject tab.

Class Teachers use The National Curriculum alongside subject curricular maps to create long-term planning, showing learning across the curriculum for an academic year. Where possible, units are grouped around a history/ geography topic (Ancient Egypt, Crime and Punishment, The Rainforest) so pupils develop meaningful connections across curricular areas. Topics are introduced using a “Brilliant Beginning,” developing pupils’ interests and providing a hook for future learning. They conclude with a “Showstopper” to celebrate progress and provide an opportunity to reflect.

Long-term planning leads to medium-term planning and weekly, short-term planning. Here, larger objectives are broken into smaller stepping stones. They include a learning objective, key activities for the phases of the lesson, priority vocabulary and resources. Differentiation is planned to match pupils’ needs and plans are continually adapted to reflect ongoing assessments. Curriculum planning is shared with the parent community through termly parental maps, which are published on the website and on Seesaw. Teachers within a year group plan collaboratively to ensure consistency, but make adaptations in order to meet the needs of individual classes.

Each day begins with Collective Worship, where we explore our Christian values. Maths, English and phonics/ Guided Reading are taught daily, usually during the morning. Foundation subjects, mostly taught in the afternoon, include weekly sessions for RE (1 hour), PE (2 hours), science, PSHE and French (Key Stage Two only). The remaining foundation subjects are generally taught on a weekly basis but may alternate half-termly. We adapt our curriculum and weekly timetables to allow opportunity for curricular enrichment, such as engagement with local, national and international events.

When planning our curriculum, we consider the needs of all pupils and maintain high expectations for every child. All lessons are differentiated, by resources, activities, support or outcome. Pupils are encouraged to choose a task that will challenge them by selecting from mild, spicy or hot challenges.  Teaching staff carefully monitor their choices to ensure pupils’ needs are catered for. We hold half-termly Pupil Progress Meetings to identify those requiring additional support and plan/ review targeted support.

Our approach to our curriculum complies with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational and Disability Regulations 2014, ensuring that our curriculum is accessible for those with special educational needs or disabilities.  Please refer to our Accessibility Plan.

Subject Rationales

Our rationale for Art

Our Art and Design curriculum allows pupils to nurture their creativity. Pupils will be inspired by the work of artists/craftspeople throughout history and from different cultures. This experience will inform their own ideas. They will create 2D art, such as drawing, painting and printing, and 3D projects, including sculpture and collage. They will develop their understanding of colour, form, line, pattern, shape, texture and tone within their work. Throughout this process, they will learn to evaluate and think critically. 

Our rationale for Computing

Technology is an integral part of our children’s world and futures. It is vital our pupils are equipped with the skills to develop digital literacy and computational thinking in a safe and responsible manner. Pupils will explore computer science, digital systems, computers/hardware and coding within discrete lessons. All topics are taught concurrently with online safety and responsible use. Computing provides opportunity to develop creativity, logic, communication and problem-solving. It will also be used as a cross-curricular tool.

Our rationale for DT

In Design and Technology, pupils will investigate, design, make and evaluate products that solve real-life problems. There are six strands within our curriculum: cooking and nutrition; mechanical systems; textiles; electrical systems; structures and the digital world. Across these strands, pupils will use a range of increasingly sophisticated tools, materials and processes, developing their technical understanding. They will apply  skills from mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art and will be encouraged to problem solve, think critically, use their imaginations and innovate.

Our rationale for Geography

Through geography, we hope that our pupils will become fascinated by the world around them. We will develop children’s contextual understanding of the world through exploring different locations, environments, people and resources. Pupils will discover how landscapes have been formed and changed over time, exploring the relationship between natural/physical features. They will examine a range of geographical sources (including maps, photographs and digital information systems) and develop fieldwork skills (such as collecting, analysing and communicating data).

Our rationale for History

Our history curriculum inspires fascination and curiosity, encouraging pupils to feel connected to the past. It helps pupils to understand the process of change within their local area, country and the wider world and provides opportunity to marvel at the richness and diversity of human culture. History teaches children empathy, how to ask questions, weigh evidence and consider validity. Pupils will establish a coherent sense of chronology and make comparisons across periods studied. Crucially, in learning about the past, they will also learn about themselves and the world in which they live.

Our rationale for Languages

In key stage two, our pupils learn French, building a solid foundation for further foreign language teaching in key stage three. Learning a language lifts children out of their immediate environment into the wider world, both linguistically and culturally. We aim to inspire pupils to develop their foreign language skills in an active, enjoyable and informal way, so that everyone feels able to participate in a supportive and valued environment. Our focus is on practical communication and balances listening, spoken and written language.

Our rationale for Music

Music is a universal language which inspires creativity, self-expression and a strong sense of community. Within our music curriculum, pupils have opportunity to listen, compose, perform and evaluate. They will explore the history of music and learn about the inter-related dimensions, developing appropriate musical vocabulary. Children and staff enjoy every opportunity to lift voices in song and participate in hymn/ singing practice each week. Pupils enjoy showcasing their musical talents through regular performances to the school community.

Our rationale for PE

In PE, we challenge every child to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. Our curriculum promotes social, personal, cognitive and creative skills, allowing children to become physically confident and improve their health and fitness. Children have the opportunity to compete within internal/external sporting competitions and, where possible, we organise externally led workshops to introduce pupils to diverse sports. We celebrate pupils’ sporting successes outside of the school environment and promote healthy lifestyles.

Our rationale for RE

RE is an academically rigorous subject with a high profile. It contributes towards the implementation of our Christian Vision and Values of Faith, Flourish and Friendship. We are a Voluntary Controlled Church of England School, belonging to the Diocese of Ely, and follow the Understanding Christianity and The Emmanuel Project 2020 Scheme for the delivery of our curriculum.

Our sequential curriculum has been designed with a 50:50 ratio between Christianity and other world religions/ worldviews. We intend that our pupils will develop a deep and rich knowledge of Christian belief/practice alongside knowledge and understanding of a wide range of religions/worldviews. The curriculum is well-structured to provide systematic opportunity to embed knowledge and deepen understanding. Each year group studies more than one world religion in order to draw theological comparisons and to strengthen their understanding of the beliefs represented throughout the world.

Through exploring a range of religions and worldviews, our pupils will gain knowledge and understanding. They will able to describe, explain and analyse beliefs. They will understand diversity exists between different religions/worldviews but that there can also be some different beliefs within particular religions/worldviews. Pupils will ask and respond to meaningful questions and have opportunity to explore some of the answers to be found in religions/worldviews. It is our intention that our pupils will consider, appreciate and, fundamentally, respect different ways of living life and expressing meaning.

Alongside this knowledge, they will develop their religious literacy in order to express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of worldviews. Whilst examining the beliefs of others, pupils will be empowered to represent their own, personal reflections and consider how to answer questions about identity, diversity, meaning and value.

In progressing through our curriculum, pupils will refine the skills needed to engage with different religions and world views, considering the concepts of meaning, belonging, purpose and truth. Crucially, they will explore how different individuals and communities can live together harmoniously and explain the beliefs, values and commitments important within their own lives, as well as in the world around them.

Through RE, we hope to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain. We intend for our pupils to become global citizens, knowledgeable about the world around them and respectful of diversity. Our curriculum is enriched through our close links to our local church, St. Peter and St. Mary Magdalene, which we regularly visit to mark important festivals within the Christian calendar. Within our classrooms, we promote respect for different personal beliefs and identities and maintain a prayer space to allow opportunity for reflection.

Our rationale for Science

Science changes lives, shapes society and addresses global challenges. It provides a lens through which to understand the world around us and promotes curiosity, rational explanation and causality. Our curriculum enables children to learn scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding alongside practical, hands-on experiences which develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science. Pupils will learn about the work of significant scientists throughout history and consider the uses and implications of science,  both today and for the future.