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Burchetts Green

CE Infant School

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Curriculum overview

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Burchetts Green School is proud of the rich curriculum it offers its pupils. Teaching is based around core learning in English and Maths. Other subjects, including Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, IT are taught throughout the school, and complement these core subjects.


We take a thematic topic based approach to learning with a chosen theme each term used to explore different subject areas. Topics range from Narnia to The Beatles from Dragons to Space! Our inventive and imaginative approach to the curriculum ensures all children are engaged and enthused by what they are doing.


All teachers are trained to recognise the abilities of each child and to ensure that, through differentiated teaching, the range of abilities within the class group is catered for and that as a result every child meets its full potential.


We believe children should be outside and our aim is to ensure that 80% of the week is spent outside. 


Below is some useful information regarding the subjects covered in our Long Term Curriculum:


Religious Education


All classes have a weekly Religious Education lesson. Occasionally a class will block together two or three lessons so that a project can be carried through to its conclusion – for example, this year the children in year one learnt about ‘Places of Worship’. This was linked to the global dimension of Christianity. Therefore the children looked at Christchurch New Zealand following the fall of the cathedral during the earthquakes. They became engaged with the idea of a building built with sustainable materials (this sat comfortably with the Church of England’s Lent plastic challenge).


As a response the children made their own ‘cardboard cathedral’ from plastic bottles and cardboard carpet tubes.  this was then furnished and used as a place of prayer and quiet reflection throughout the rest of the term. The activities took most of a day but over a few weeks however every stage of the sharing, preparing, planning, building and painting taught about the values Christians share worldwide.


Whilst worship at the school is based on Christian traditions, Religious Education teaches children about the similarities and differences between other major world faiths. Developing an understanding of how religious beliefs are reflected in the attitudes, ethics, morals and lifestyle of people, both in Britain and across the world.


The school’s vision, that we live life in all its fullness, relies on the promotion of tolerance, respect, love, forgiveness of self and others as well as a desire for working for the greater good of the community.


Therefore RE lessons are not just about factual knowledge rather, using philosophy style RE lessons, children learn the language of questioning and debating; they learn to respect the views of others even when they disagree and they learn to formulate their own opinions rather than just accepting what they are told. 


Some topics lend themselves to times of personal reflection and, as children mature, they are encouraged to apply concept learned in lessons to their own situations.




Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.  They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.


In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.


Pupils should be taught about:


Changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life


events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, early space travel or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]


The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]


Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


At Burchetts Green CE Infant School, we want to inspire our pupils to be curious and ask questions about the past. We believe that learning about History helps pupils develop a better understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.


Pupils learn about key events and significant famous people, using our local environment and history as much as possible. Trips to local historical places of interest, such as Taplow Court or the Stanley Spencer museum, help to bring learning to life.


Comparisons are made between life in the past and pupils are encouraged to question how we know about events from the past.




A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.


Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.


Pupils should be taught to:


Locational knowledge


name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans


name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas


Place knowledge


understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country


Human and Physical Geography


identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles


use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:


key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather


key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop


Geographical skills and fieldwork


use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage


use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map


use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.




The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.





This will be achieve by providing a wide variety of learning experiences.  Including daily literacy lessons which encompass the National Curriculum 2014 Programmes of Study.  Phonics are taught using the Letters and Sounds Programme, using the Phonics Play scheme of work together with a wider variety of teaching resources including Floppy Phonics and Bug Club.


Throughout the school children are encouraged to choose books independently.  Each classroom has its own designated reading area which includes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books many of which are linked to current topics.  All children have one to one reading as well as guided group reading sessions.  These reading books are colour banded to match children’s word level and comprehension skills. Each class is provided with the opportunity to visit the school library to exchange books and develop library skills.


Children are taught handwriting from the time they start school using cursive handwriting font.  Formal handwriting sessions are taught throughout the school and children also have plenty of opportunity to develop hand control and form their letters correctly.  Cursive handwriting is started early in Reception.  At the end of their final year all children are expected to write a reasonable amount using clear, joined correctly formed handwriting.  Links to topics are made with literacy in all year groups to provide children with an interesting and relevant focus to apply their reading, writing and oral literacy skills.


Our approach to phonics/reading can be found on our 'School Policies' page




The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:


become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.


reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language


can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non- routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.


The principle focus of maths teaching at Burchetts Green CE Infant School is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value.  This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources; eg, concrete objects and measuring tools.


Pupils will develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary.  They are encouraged to speak in complete sentences.  Teaching should also involve a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities, such as length, mass, capacity, time and money.


By the end of Year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. 


Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at Key Stage 1.


Our approach to mathematical calculation can be found on our 'School Policies' page




The national curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the areas of biology, chemistry  and physics
  • develop understanding through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.


At Burchetts Green Infant School, we strive to give our children practical, investigative opportunities which encourage children to become independent learners with enquiring minds.


During Year 1 and 2, children at Burchetts Green Infants will be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through


  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways,
  • observing closely, using simple equipment,
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  •  gather and record data to help when answering questions.


The children will learn about Plants, Animals (including Humans), Uses of Everyday Materials and Seasonal Changes. They will also be investigating Living Things and their Habitats using the school’s environmental garden and visiting our woodlands.


These areas of Science will be taught through our topics and will involve investigations such as choosing the best material for making a model of a castle’. Alongside our topics, we are always focusing on ‘Working Scientifically’ – where children are using their investigative skills to question, test, observe and explain. 




A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.




The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.


Pupils should be taught to:


  • understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • create and debug simple programs
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.


Our pedagogy is underpinned by Guy Claxton's '4Rs of learning power'


-Resilience - Being ready, willing and able to lock onto learning

-Resourcefulness - Being ready, willing and able to learn in different ways

-Reflectiveness - Being ready, willing and able to become more strategic about learning

-Reciprocity - Being ready, willing and able to learn alone and with others