The National Curriculum sets out what children should be taught and attainment targets set out the expected standards of pupils’ performance. However, schools may choose how they organise their school curriculum to cover the programmes of study from years 1 to 6. See below for NC subject links. Children in their reception year follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.

At Stretton Handley CE Primary School we have developed a creative, thematic approach to the curriculum. Within each theme links are made across and between subjects to develop subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding in a relevant, purposeful way. The school is part of ‘Derbyshire Ready’ – A group of schools who are committed to developing enterprise through our curriculum.
We aim to engage the children with a range of practical experiences and activities including visits and visitors to really bring the learning to life. For example, as part of our ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ theme, children built model air raid shelters and enjoyed a WW2 day at Whirlow Farm learning about life on the Home front. As part of the ‘Carnival of the Animals’ theme we had a visit from Zoolab – an interactive hands-on experience, handling different creatures and an RSPB led Bio-Blitz day investigating biodiversity in the school grounds.  During ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ activities included a theatre workshop day – exploring Ancient Egyptian artefacts and taking part in a re-enactment of an Ancient Egyptian burial ceremony.

Click here for our rolling programme of themes:

R KS1 3 year topic cycle
KS2 4 year topic cycle

Across school we encourage children to become increasingly independent and to take responsibility for their own learning. We have developed a creative approach to homework and children choose from a menu of activities/ ideas, deciding what to do and how to present their work. Children make models, posters, leaflets, quizzes, zig zag information books, collage, paintings etc and then share their learning with others in school, developing their speaking, listening and presentation skills.

In addition to the topic or theme related activities, children bring home reading books from Reception onwards, with weekly phonics/spellings and times tables from Year 1.
In Year 6, children may have more homework to support them in preparing for SATs and the transition to secondary school. These activities might include maths workbooks, researching a topic, book reviews and grammar activities.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out learning and developmental stages from birth to five years.  In partnership with parents and carers, we endeavour to ensure that  children develop a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for future progress through school and life. We believe that children learn best from first hand experiences and through play. Children are offered a carefully planned range of experiences and opportunities encompassing their interests and existing knowledge.

The EYFS is based upon four key principles:
1. A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.
2. Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person
3. Enabling environment – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child
4. Learning and Developing – an understanding that children have different     needs, learn in different ways and at different rates.

Children experience learning in seven areas which are broken into Prime and Specific Areas:
Prime Areas:
– communication and language
– physical development
– personal, social and emotional development
Specific Areas:
– literacy
– maths
– understanding the world
– expressive art and design
EYFS framework
Stretton Handley Development Matters Grid
Stretton Handley EYFS Early learning goals

PRIMARY National Curriculum Mathematics
Our core teaching in Mathematics is based around National Curriculum 2014 end of year expectations for each year group. We follow a structured progression of maths skills with a consistent approach from Year 1 to Year 6. The programme includes active problem solving and a variety of activities and resources which make the maths learning engaging and connected with real life experiences.
We place a strong emphasis on developing mental strategies and the learning of key maths facts (addition and subtraction of numbers to 20, and multiplication facts to 12 x 12) and we ask parents to help with homework practice to ensure that children have instant recall of these facts which they will need for more advanced problem solving.
NC maths progression

PRIMARY National Curriculum English
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills are developed as an integral part of our learning in all subjects. Through our topic work we ensure that children’s vocabulary is developed. Use of talk partners enables children to practice talk and dialogue for learning. We use drama, particularly role play to explore different types of talk, including learning and retelling stories.

Phonics and Reading
Reading in school starts with a phonic-based approach. Reception children enjoy learning the corresponding sound (or phoneme) for each letter, using rhymes, songs and actions to ensure the learning is fast and fun. We use strategies in ‘Letters and Sounds’ to ensure that children achieve mastery of sounds for reading in Years 1 and 2. Reading is based on texts at an appropriate level for the child’s decoding skills. Reading comprehension also starts from the very beginning with guided reading sessions to explore understanding. Once children have learned to reliably decode print, guided group reading continues throughout Key stage 2 to explore the skills of:
• skimming and scanning texts to find information
• a deeper level of understanding using inference and deduction
• an appreciation of themes, viewpoints and author’s intent
We encourage a love of reading through the reading of stories regularly in class as well as quiet or shared reading time. Children are able to select a wide variety of books from our well-stocked library.
Letters and Sounds
Stretton Handley CE Phonics Phases Overview
NC reading progression

In the earliest stages children are encouraged to breakdown the sounds they hear in words and use their phonic skills to write them as part of their daily phonics sessions.
All children are taught correct letter formation for print and joined letters using an agreed style – displayed in each classroom and sent home and shared with parents. Children are encouraged to have-a-go at writing in a variety of ‘play’ settings as well as in guided groups with the teacher.
We use the topic themes as a focus for reading and writing activities. Our approach to developing writing places emphasis on good models and lots of oral rehearsal before writing so children feel confident and clear about the content of their writing before they start. Children are supported throughout the writing process and there are also opportunities for extended creative pieces. As children progress through the school they are encouraged to assess their own work through peer and self-evaluation strategies.
We ensure that children have a variety of purposes and contexts for their writing, including newspaper reports, letters, diaries, reports, biographies, instructions, persuasion, discussion and recounts. Spelling skills and strategies are taught weekly. Children are expected to master the spelling of the main key words by the end of Year 2. Parents are asked to help children with learning spellings at home.
NC Writing progression
English Appendix 1 Spelling
English Appendix 2 Vocabulary grammar and punctuation

PRIMARY National Curriculum Science
When possible science is linked to the thematic curriculum. We ensure breath and coverage by allocating NC areas of study to various topic headings and these are revisited at intervals to ensure continuity and progression in our science teaching from Year 1 to Year 6. Children learn the skills of being a scientist through investigative activities – planning, carrying out and evaluating, as well as learning important science concepts and knowledge. KS2 children take part in the BBC Terrific Scientific Investigations linked to real university science research and we have been awarded ‘School of Excellence’ Status.
BBC Terrific Scientific Certificate of Excellence
Progression in Science

Computing is based on the Derbyshire / Wokingham scheme of work. ICT is an integral part of learning in school and we use desktop computers and wireless I Pads for research, presentation and communication. Skills are developed systematically through weekly dedicated ICT sessions.
PRIMARY National Curriculum Computing

These subjects are taught through our thematic approach. In History we aim to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past, to develop a understanding of chronology, the process of change, the diversity of societies, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We want to develop pupil’s ability to ask perceptive questions and to think critically. The geography curriculum is context based and encourages an enquiry led approach. The children learn about their school, its location, its community, its place in Derbyshire, the United Kingdom, Europe and the World. They are taught to use maps, atlases, globes and compasses and use them for real purposes. They explore weather and seasonal change and learn how climate can dramatically effect how and where people live their lives. We make use if our wonderful school grounds and local area for learning outside the classroom (LOTC).
PRIMARY National Curriculum History
Progression in History skills
PRIMARY National Curriculum Geography
Progression in Geography skills

We follow the Derbyshire agreed syllabus for RE in common with all other voluntary controlled schools. This ensures a rich mix of learning about Christianity and other World faiths through themes. We are very proud to have achieved the Gold RE Quality Mark for high quality Religious Education.
Stretton Handley RE Long Term Plan
Our work on linking developing British Values and RE has also been recognised – NATRE publication – Stretton Handley RE and British Values article.

Our PSHCE scheme is based on the Derbyshire health Authority ‘ASK’ framework (please click below), supported by SEAL (Social and Emotional aspects of learning) resources. Regular sessions explore feelings, social situations and aspirations through circle time, drama and group activities. We have a whole school planned curriculum which includes progressive and age-appropriate learning about anti-bullying, drugs, smoking, and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education). Parents have the right to withdraw their child from sex education if they so wish. We are always happy to discuss and share with parents the materials we use for this area of the curriculum and parents are notified in advance when this topic is due to be covered.
Derbyshire ‘ASK’ PSHE programme
RSE Policy

Music sessions develop children’s sense of rhythm, timing and pitch through listening and composition activities supported by the ‘Music Express’ scheme of work. We have a wide variety of instruments in school. Children develop singing skills and take part in a variety of musical activities. The School is part of the School Music Partnership and KS2 children also take part in the annual Cluster School Clay Cross and District Music festival at the Winding Wheel.
PRIMARY National Curriculum Music
Progression in music skills

The art and design curriculum aims to develop skills in drawing, painting, and a range of 3D. Children learn about the work and techniques of famous artists and craftspeople. Art activities also help us to be part of or local community. The school enters the Art competition at the Woolley Moor Show and we regularly display work at the local church, St Marks and the Clay Cross Library, as well as joining in the annual village scarecrow competition. The school also designs and produces a well dressing for the Brackenfield Well-dressing each year.
PRIMARY National Curriculum Art and design
Progression in Art and Design

Our design Technology curriculum is linked to our topic and science work. We practice cutting, shaping and combining a range of materials to make puppets, bridges, pop-up cards, shelters, photo-frames, Egyptian shadufs, Roman shields and much more from our own designs. The children are encouraged to evaluate their own and others work and to aim for a quality product, working through the plan, design, make, evaluate and refine process.
PRIMARY National Curriculum Design and Technology
Progression in Design Technology

As well as taking part in gym, dance, games, athletics and outdoor and adventurous activities as part of the school curriculum, the school is also part of the local School Sport Partnership and is involved in a range of activities and events. eg football tournaments, tag rugby, cross country, Fun to Run etc. All KS2 children go swimming every week for four years and R/KS1 swim for 10 sessions each summer term. The school is fortunate to have extensive outdoor grounds and places high emphasis on outdoor learning. We are proud to achieved the Sainsburys Games Mark Gold. Please see the PE and Sport Premium Funding page.
PRIMARY National Curriculum – Physical Education
Progression in PE

Children in Reception and Key stage 1 learn some French vocabulary and phrases mainly through songs and rhymes. In Key stage 2 children begin a more structured approach; learning French phonics and conversational language. They also learn about French culture through sampling French food, learning French songs and sharing French story books. Older pupils from the local secondary school visit during the spring term with their tutor to deliver taster sessions for our KS2 pupils in other modern foreign languages eg German.
PRIMARY National Curriculum – Languages
Progression in French

Click here for Information leaflets for parents:
Curriculum leaflets for parents

For further information about our curriculum please contact the Headteacher via the School Office.