Pickhill CofE VC Primary School

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Pickhill CofE VC Primary School

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Curriculum & Learning

Curriculum & Learning

We recognise that every child is unique and ensure we tailor our curriculum to nurture the needs of your children, so that we can enable every child to be “the best that they can be”. Through our vision, we aim for your children to be:

  • inquisitive

  • kind

  • resilient


Our school curriculum has placed great emphasis on children asking good questions and exploring their learning further. How we teach has been adapted to help develop children’s independence and their ability to research for themselves in order to find out facts and information. Teachers and staff help facilitate this learning pathway but a pupil led approach is encouraged. Through the Christian Value of wisdom, we help prepare children for an ever-changing world where information is regularly available and so we must be able to assess this to know which is of value.


We work hard to encourage children to “be the best that they can be” but also to help others be their best too. We encourage and model kindness and consideration for others. Our curriculum is designed to develop empathy and understanding for others in our school community, our local community and in the wider world. We promote the Christian values of dignity and respect – ensuring that children value themselves and others.


We regularly provide children with challenge to help them learn and grow. We encourage children to keep going even when they feel like giving up. We model that it is OK to make mistakes and that this is part of the learning process. We give them the tools to bounce back and keep going. Because of this ethos we develop children who are confident and willing to give anything a try! Through the Christian value, hope, we encourage children to strive to be the best that they can be!

What do we intend the children who attend our school to learn?

There are several aspects to our curriculum that are really important and are therefore prioritised within our teaching and learning.  We hope that the following pages give you a flavour of what is available at Pickhill C of e Primary School.

Why is reading so important?

Reading is our number 1 priority!  We challenge ourselves to make sure that every child who attends our school can read by the time they leave Year 1.  Reading is essential.  If you can’t read, it’s life-limiting!  Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.  It’s the most important skill that we can teach children in school.

Teaching reading doesn’t finish at the end of Year 1 – we want to turn all children into really fluent readers who enjoy reading.  Therefore, reading is prioritised right through the school.

How does learning build knowledgeable learners?

Each subject has a ‘Knowledge Progression’ which ensures that learning is built upon through key components (small steps of learning), year on year and children keep on learning, whether that be in English, Art, PE or French, for example.  The knowledge progression is based on the thinking and theory from the educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom.  You can view our knowledge progression sheets below.  Please note that some of these are being revised this academic year.

How does the curriculum all link together?

We have a Context Plan that provides our teachers with a framework, so they know what to teach, and in which year group.  It’s our ‘curriculum Bible’!  Through our context plan we hope to achieve composites of learning- the outcomes brought about by practising the key components through the knowledge progression. You can view a copy of this simple document here.  It’s the teachers’ job to ensure that they cover all the content of our curriculum by the end of each academic year.

How do we try to ensure that learners remember what they’ve been taught?

It’s really important that we help children to try to remember what they’ve been taught or we’re all wasting our time and learning becomes irrelevant and very frustrating for everyone!  In some areas of the curriculum such as phonics and maths, we follow a clear framework for teaching that allows for spaced repetition in order to aid long term memory. We use a range of strategies and resources, such as:

  • Daily recap maths activities
  • Little Wandle Phonics teaching resources (following the prescriptive planning for teaching)
  • Regular engagement in Times Table Rock Stars and Num Bots (KS1)
  • Working displays in the classroom where key knowledge is referred to and built upon

Why do we use technology to support the curriculum so much?

Technology is a massive part of life in the 21st Century.  It’s virtually impossible to think of a job that doesn’t use some form of technology.   Therefore, it’s essential that our curriculum helps our children prepare for the next step in their education but also helps them to consider how they can use it positively in their own lives.

We regularly teach e-safety through our PSHCE curriculum – a very important aspect.  Our school Internet connection is effectively filtered and any device that leaves the school also has access to our cloud-based filtering facilities.

All children in EYFS and KS1 receive their own iPad and all children in KS2 receive their own laptop which they can use both in school and at home.  This allows them to bring their laptop into school every day and use it in lessons as required, as well as to help them with their learning at home.

Click here for a link to the National Curriculum

Synergy Trust Schools

About Synergy Schools

Synergy Schools is a federation of primary schools in the north of North Yorkshire. The federation was formed in September 2018 when Brompton-on-Swale and Crakehall Church of England Primary Schools successfully shared senior leadership capacity. In July 2021, the federation welcomed Leeming & Londonderry Community Primary and Pickhill Church of England Primary school into the federation.