Pickhill CofE VC Primary School

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Pickhill CofE VC Primary School

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Our Curriculum

Personal Development


Picture1At Pickhill Church of England Primary School, staff, governors, children and parents work together to create a warm, caring, family atmosphere in which pupils flourish and achieve.

Personal development is at the heart of all that we do – we want our children to “be the best that they can be”. We enable children to achieve our vision through a creative, ambitious and bespoke curriculum that meets the needs and interests of the children at Pickhill Church of England Primary School.

Through our curriculum, children will develop a wealth of skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to become valued members of our community and be ready for the ever-changing and diverse world in which we live. We will develop outward looking pupils who have the tools to communicate effectively and have a strong understanding of themselves, the wider community and the wider world.

Our Little Leaders

At Pickhill we believe in the power of pupil voice. This is represented through our:

School CouncilHouse CaptainsSchool Council and House Captains

At the start of each academic year, the children democratically elect their School Council. Children, who would like to become part of the School Council, make a speech and the children then vote. The School Council then meets regularly to discuss topics from fundraising to improving the school grounds. Click here for an example of our minutes:  SC Minutes 031121

Children in Year 5 and 6 also have the opportunity to become house captains. The house captains are responsible for representing their team at events and during the weekly house point collection in Celebration Assembly. House Captains also sit on the School Council.

Reading AmbassadorsReading Ambassadors

The Reading Ambassadors are responsible for promoting reading in our school. They look after the Reading Raffle – they choose books for prizes and draw the raffle during celebration assemblies. They give recommendations for books which are displayed in the library and they keep the reading scrap book up to date. The older Reading Ambassadors work with the younger children as reading buddies. They have been responsible for organising competitions such as The Extreme Reading Challenge and they are currently working on creating a reading shed to be used at playtimes.

Eco CommitteeEco Committee

Every Friday, at after school club, we hold an Eco Club where children can choose to become part of our Eco Committee. The children discuss ways to improve our school environment but they also consider how we can help with wider environmental issues. Pickhill has The Green Flag award.

Worship TeamCollective Worship Team

The Collective Worship Team lead on elements of collective worship, they ensure the hall is set up and help to gather children's weekly reflections.  Children write and read prayers linked to the weekly Christian Value and support the delivery of the worship.

Picture News Champions

We have a team of Picture News Champions. These children are responsible for the discussion around our British Value during the Picture News Collective Worship each week. They are also responsible for updating the Picture News display and folder and they collect and display the children’s reflections on the weekly question.

Play leaders

A group of KS2 children have completed their playleader training and set up games every playtime to ensure that all children have the opportunity to play a range of games. They encourage children to take part and offer support to those children that are on their own or are looking for friends to play with.

Building Cultural Capital

At Pickhill we believe that for children to fully understand the world in which they live and have the ability to explore and discover their talents and interests that they need to be provided with broad and rich experiences.

Residential Experiences

2Every year to allow the development of cultural capital, all Year 6 children have the opportunity visit London. Here, they are immersed in the culture and history of our capital city. They visit Wembley Stadium, The Natural History Museum, The Tower of London, have a cruise down the River Themes, experience a West End show, visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and they also enjoy a visit to the Warner Brothers’ Studios. This provides an opportunity to experience the hustle and bustle of London which is a huge contrast to rural villages in which our children live.


3Our Year 5 children enjoy a residential visit to Peat Rigg where they get to challenge themselves with a range of outdoor, adventurous activities including abseiling from a bridge, beck scrambling and attempting to reach the top of Jacob’s Ladder

4In Year 4, children enjoy a night of camping at The Year 4 Campout. For many of our children, this is their first stay away from family. Here, they experience a range of different teamwork challenges including an obstacle course, a climbing wall, erecting their own tent and cooking on the campfire. This event is run by two of our Synergy School TA’s  who are highly trained Forest School leaders. The event happens locally, in familiar surroundings with staff the children know. It’s a great first residential experience!

Educational Visits and Experiences

5To enable children to fully understand a topic, we know that first hand experiences are the best way to learn. We try to provide children with carefully planned school trips and experiences through visitors in to school wherever possible. For example, when KS1 were learning about Castles, Kings and Queens as part of their history topic, the learning was enhanced through a visit to Bolton Castle. KS2 were learning about Modern War. This knowledge was enhanced through an “Evacuee Experience Day” in school where the children dressed as evacuees, we had a visit from an air raid warden and the children moved around a range of teachers who taught the children key knowledge facts. The children then had a visit to Eden Camp to further enhance and “bring to life” their learning. In our Context Plan, opportunities for educational visits and experiences have been thoughtfully planned to enhance learning and cultural capital.

6As part of our RE curriculum, we ensure that experiences, trips and visitors to school are planned in to enable children to understand a range of cultures and religions. For example, KS1 recently visited the synagogue in Harrogate and we also have a link with a school in China were children share videos and letters with their parallel class.

 School Sport


For many children, sport is a chance for them to shine and really excel. It’s also an opportunity for children to work as a team, build a healthy lifestyle and have some fun! In addition to the PE curriculum, children take part in a variety of intra and inter- school competitions.

In the summer term, there is a traditional school sports day including the famous dress-up race and the egg and spoon race – the whole school community takes part and it’s a day of fun. We also take part in The Synergy Schools Sports Day which is held at Catterick Athletics Stadium. The children compete against other children from Synergy Schools in a range of track and field events – this gives all children an opportunity to take part but also provides others the opportunity to excel!

We are also part of the Bedale Cluster where children get the opportunity to compete in a range of sports against other schools in our area. Recently some of our children have made it through to The North Yorkshire Finals for cross country and we are also through to the 2nd round of the football tournament.

All children, from EYFS to Year 6, go swimming for a full term every academic year. We think that swimming is a life skill and the consequence of regular swimming lessons means that all children leave our school being able to swim at least 25m.

8Wider opportunities

Pupils are offered a broad range of opportunities to develop their talents and interests both within lessons and during extra-curricular activities or clubs. These include opportunities to:

  • Learn to play a musical instrument. All children learn to play the Ocarina/ brass/woodwind instrument.
  • Sing as part of a choir/perform on stage every year
  • Take part in dance from a variety of cultures as part of PE
  • Develop their sporting talents and take part in Games competitions
  • Residentials - from camping out to jam packed trip to London

Our extra-curricular activities and clubs have a strong take up and we particularly encourage pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in these.


Wellbeing Support For All Children

We aim to meet the needs of all our pupils through our Personal Health Social and Economic curriculum (Personal Social and Emotional Development in EYFS) and the wider school curriculum (extra-curricular clubs, activities and opportunities). Further information can be found using the link to the PSHE LINK to PSHE page section of the website

Additional support can be provided in school for children who may have short term specific wellbeing needs through any member of staff or through our designated Mental Health and Well-Being lead, Tamara Hayman. Children can be referred for specialist support if necessary.

Useful website links and resources if your child is worrying about the war in Ukraine:

Advice if you're upset by the news - CBBC Newsround

War in Ukraine: What do all the words mean? - CBBC Newsround

Ukraine crisis: How to spot misleading information online - CBBC Newsround

Talking to children about war

Worrying About War and Conflict - Support booklet

Useful website links for parents & carers:

Compass Pheonix

NHS Anxiety Disorders in Children

GR8 Minds - Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven Alliance

Anne Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Young Minds: Parent's Helpline and Webchat

Dealing with Anger: Information for Young People

Parents' Survival Guide

Supporting a Child with Anxiety

The Go-To for Healthy Minds in North Yorkshire


Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development (SMSC)

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development across the curriculum

Collective Worship Programme

A programme of assemblies and collective worships based on our vision helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance for pupils on how to grow up to be the best person they can possible be. Every week children take part in a:

  • Picture News Collective Worship -  


    Primary Coverage Document England Collective Worship Summer 1 2024

    Picture News Coverage Document England Collective Worship - Spring 2

  • Christian Value of the week: Each week, alongside Reverend James our Foundation Governor, collective worship themes are planned to teach and celebrate Christian Values. The weekly theme is then supported by a reflection session with the teachers.
  • Reflection: Children are given the opportunity for reflection through discussion opportunities in the Picture News collective worships and in the weekly collective worship theme reflection session. These reflections are recorded and celebrated.
  • Singing CW – Through singing in Collective Worship children experience togetherness, belonging, celebration, worship and mindful Reverend James leads a weekly Soul Children choir which children perform in Collective Worship.
  • Celebration Assembly - Each week celebration assembly gives us a chance to celebrate children who have lived our school vision and celebrate achievements. 

As well as the values assemblies, each term pupils also take part in:

  • Safeguarding assemblies
  • Termly performance assemblies where families are invited.
  • Fire, water and dark nights safety assemblies (the local fire brigade)
  • School Council assemblies, pupils (in mixed aged groups) debate and make decisions about the life and work of the school

The school's RE and PSHE curriculum provides links within lessons to the promotion of our spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Jigsaw SMSC mapping document

How do we teach British Values at Synergy Schools?

LondonBritish Values are an important part of our curriculum. They are taught through both curricular and extra-curricular activities. We give children opportunities to develop their understanding of the world around them. Through the teaching of British Values, Cultural Capital is developed.

We have an elected school council that promotes the value of “Democracy” and house captains that help reinforce the school rules. Each week a federation celebration assembly is held which promotes the values of “Rule of Law and Individual Liberty”. We have an Eco-committee which has the responsibility for looking after our school environment but also brings to the forefront current environmental issues and makes the rest of the school aware. The school council also raises money for a range of charities. This promotes the British Values of “Mutual Respect, Tolerance and Individual Liberty”.

picture news

Through school trips, residentials and visitors into school, children learn about other faiths, religions and cultures, this ensures children continue to develop a greater understanding of the world around them.

Children celebrate differences through our PSHE programme, Jigsaw. Please follow this link to our PSHE page for more information.

Jigsaw British Values map by lesson

Jigsaw British Values map by year group

British Values are taught weekly, through the Picture News resource. Our Picture News assemblies enable children to have a voice, make choices, listen to others, respect people's opinions and beliefs and to challenge within the rules. Picture News provides children with the opportunity to learn about something happening in the world that is real. They can make connections with this and learn more about themselves and others. This means the British Value shared becomes more relevant and meaningful because they have made that deeper connection through reflection opportunities.

Children remember the British Values through the acronym:

I really dmatter

I really do matter

Primary Coverage Document England Collective Worship Summer 1 2024

Letters from Picture News - May 2024

Picture News for Parents - May 2024

Letters from Picture News March 2024

Picture News Coverage Document England Collective Worship - Spring 2

Primary Coverage Document England Collective Worship - Autumn 2

Letters from Picture News Autumn 2023

Primary Picture News Coverage Document England Collective Worship - Autumn 1 2023

Primary Picture News Coverage Document England Collective Worship - 

Primary Picture News England Collective Worship Coverage Document - Summer 1 2023


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.