Details of our school curriculum, the subjects covered and our aims.

In planning the curriculum for Orchards Church of England Primary School we have sought to recognise that each child is an individual entitled to equal regard and opportunity. Our task is to develop the potential of each child, to provide learning opportunities where that child may take increasing responsibility for his/her learning. In this way we hope to develop the whole person. We see education as a tool that will bring learning for life. 

Click here to view specific information about topics covered by subject and year group.


The school’s Early Years Foundation Stage policy covers the Nursery curriculum and Reception. National Curriculum is started in Year 1 and continues through the school.
The majority of work in English and Maths is in flexible groups. Most lessons contain a whole class teaching element, some group work or the opportunity to work individually or in pairs. Our curriculum is organised based on the children’s interests and focuses on the key skill of learning (from the National Curriculum). This theme-based curriculum allows for more cross-curricular links between subjects as well as the progression of skills from Early Years through to KS2.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Children will learn new skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first:
·        Communication and language
·        Physical development
·        Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential to children’s healthy development and future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas:
·        English
·        Mathematics
·        Understanding the world
·        Expressive arts and design
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities.
The professionals teaching and supporting the children will make sure that the activities are suited to each child’s unique needs. This curriculum is suitable for very young children and it's designed to be flexible, allowing staff to follow each child's unique needs and interests. You can find more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage, which includes the early learning goals, at
EYFS Policy

Theme-based curriculum (KS1 and KS2)
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential. The theme-based curriculum aims to link all subjects together. It may include:
·        Design and Technology
·        History
·        Geography
·        Art
·        Music
·        IT/Computing
·        PE
·        RE/Collective Worship
·        PSHE
·        Mathematics
·        English
·        Science

Reading: Reading is of fundamental importance in the education process and plays a vital part in our curriculum. Children participate, weekly, in Guided Reading sessions and shared reading sessions.
Writing: A wide range of writing is encouraged through a variety of activities aimed at writing for a purpose. Writing is linked to themes, when possible, allowing for children to experience writing in all areas of the curriculum. These may include diaries, journals, poems, stories, reports, investigations, descriptions, instructions and notices among others. Spelling, hand-writing and grammar are taught as part of the writing process. All are taught using a variety of techniques.
Phonics and Spelling: We teach spelling and phonics using the Read, Write Inc. schemes of work from EYFS to Year 6. View the RWInc. website for more information.
Speaking and Listening: These are important communication skills which we develop through a variety of activities: Science, Art, Music, Drama, Role Play, Games etc.
English Policy

In mathematics we follow the revised new national curriculum. There is an emphasis on mental skills and rapid recall of number facts. Teachers draw on a variety of resources to support the teaching in the classroom. The use of ICT, models and images and practical work is integral to all lessons to ensure all children develop an understanding of concepts and make progress whatever level they are working at. Children are taught how to use jottings and number lines to support their work. Children are encouraged to use and apply their mathematical skills in other areas of the curriculum.
Mathematics Policy

Our aim is to develop the child's interest and awareness in the world around them, to en-courage and develop their natural curiosity. We wish to foster an understanding of natural phenomena, to use science to solve problems and to develop positive attitudes to safety and the care of living things. Our work in Science is linked to our theme-based curriculum each term and focuses on the scientific process, as well as key knowledge and skills.
Science Policy

Computing and IT
We cover the following areas:
·        Finding things out – which includes data handling and research
·        Developing ideas and making things happen – which includes Control and Sensing and Modelling and Simulations
·        Exchanging and sharing information – which includes Presenting Ideas and Communicating with others.

All ICT activities are cross curricular (link to the theme) which allow the children to apply their learning/skills, including in Maths and English. The children have access to a mobile laptop and iPad trolleys throughout the week and each class has an allocated period of time in our ICT Suite. The ICT Suite has an interactive white-board, 16 networked computers, a scanner, printers and digital cameras. We are very fortunate that all out classrooms have their own interactive whiteboard and several computers, all of which are networked and have access to the internet. The children are taught to use CD ROMs, a wide variety of software including most Microsoft programs, the internet and to email, all of which are accessed through a safe connection with the Cambridgeshire County Council portal/website. Our use of ICT is embedded in all areas of the curriculum as a way to encourage inclusive learning and to help prepare children for a society that now depends on technology for leisure, business and safety purposes.

Physical Education
Our aim is that children will enjoy physical activity whilst developing skills and control of their bodies. The children participate in gymnastics, dance and athletics. They play a range of games including football, netball, hockey, rounders and cricket. Football and dance clubs operate during the year. Premier coaching teaches PE for years 4, 5 and 6 and operates an extra- curricular activity for both Key Stages. Swimming lessons are on a rota basis with all children from Year 2 to Year 6 swimming for at least a half-term.
PE Policy

R.E. and Collective Worship
Religious Education is given in accordance with the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus, a copy of which may be viewed at the school on request. Fundamental to the syllabus is the development of the Christian Faith whilst, at the same time, raising children's awareness of other major religions of the world. We compare and contrast a number of beliefs, all of which are present in our multicultural society. The work is supported by religious books and artefacts from the Ely Diocese, which the children are taught to handle with care and respect. The 1998 Education Act requires a daily act of collective worship. Parents wishing to withdraw their children from the devotional part of the assembly are invited to discuss the matter with the Headteacher. Representatives from the local church visit the school to conduct assemblies and religious education. Other suitable visitors, from other faiths, are invited from time to time, to talk to the children and take part in special events.
RE Policy

Orchards School works in partnership with pupils, parents, staff, governors and the community encouraging children to learn from first-hand experience and take an active part in the learning process. We aim to create a whole school ethos with an expectation of the highest standards of behaviour, personal relationships, respect and attitudes. P.S.H.E. deals with the whole child and the relationships which he or she has both now and in the future. Although children are very influenced by their home environment it is our role to support and promote good attitudes, practices and understanding conducive to good health. This takes place through both the formal curriculum and the informal, hidden curriculum. Orchards School follows the Cambridgeshire PSHE scheme of work, as well as using the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) materials to teach many of the elements of PSHE. We recognise that there are areas that SEAL does not cover and these are addressed with specific lessons where that occurs. Our Curriculum Map (available on the school website) shows the PSHE units which are covered by each year group throughout the academic year.
PSHE Policy

The Governing Body has adopted the principles of sex and relationships education as set out by new curriculum and use the Cambridgeshire PSHE scheme of work which states that SRE should be a continuous and develop-mental part of the learning experience of each pupil, planned to meet, as far as possible, the readiness, needs and understanding of the individual. The Governing Body fully supports the professional judgement of the teaching staff when dealing with sensitive issues in accordance with the Cambridgeshire Policy Statement. Parents who wish their child to be withdrawn from specific parts of SRE are entitled to ask for this.
SRE Policy

Promoting SMSC & British Values
SMSC stands for social, moral, spiritual, and cultural development. At Orchards the teaching of SMSC and 'British values' is embedded in our curriculum (e.g. PSHE & Citizenship, English, Science, History, etc.) as well as our school ethos. For examples of how we support the development of all areas of SMSC as well as promoting 'British values' view the report on the school website.
SMSC Policy


Copies of school policies for any of the specific areas of the curriculum are available on the school website: 


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