National Curriculum

From September 2014, the New National Curriculum became statutory in England.

Each year group meets the legal requirements whilst continuing to deliver a curriculum that is broad and balanced. The programmes of study within the National Curriculum set out what we are required to teach.

A thematic approach has been adopted.

At Rivacre Valley we use Letters and Sounds to teach Phonics and use a variety of reading schemes to support our teaching of reading.

We employ specialist teachers to deliver music, gymnastics and dance

From Y1 to Y6 all children learn to swim and spend a half term each year visiting the local pool on a weekly basis.

We enhance our curriculum with educational visits and residential visits (Burwardsley or Beeston Y4, PGL Y5 and London Y6)

The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Nursery and Reception years form the Foundation Stage of education.  The curriculum is intended to build on what the children already know. The Foundation Stage staff work carefully to match the needs of the children; we recognise that well planned play is the way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge. This is delivered through a topic which changes each half term or as the children’s interests change.

Our Early Years Foundation Stage seeks to provide:
• Quality and consistency - so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;

• A secure foundation - through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;

• Partnership working - between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;

• Quality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice -  ensuring that every child is included and supported.

Overarching principles
Four guiding principles shape the practice in our setting. These are:


Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.



Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.


Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.


Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.



Characteristics of learning:
In planning and guiding children’s activities, we consider the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing and exploring

Active learning

Creating and thinking critically

Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.

Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The areas of learning and development
There are seven areas of learning and development that form the Early Years Foundation Stage.

All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected; however we understand the importance of ensuring that all children have a solid base in the prime areas from an early age.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Prime areas:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development; and
  • personal, social and emotional development.

We also support children in the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

Specific areas:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.

Communication and language
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Physical development
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.


Understanding the world
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


Each area of learning and development will be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led (focussed activities) and child-initiated activities. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.

KS1 curriculum plan:








Fire! Fire!

Celebrate good times. Come on!


Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

Carnival of the animals!


Labels and Captions

Stories infamiliar settings

Stories involving fantasy



Traditional Stories from other cultures



Stories involving fantasy


the senses

Classic fiction

poems about animals

information texts

[KS1 SATs]





Animals including humans -human focus

Animals including humans - animal focus



The great Fire of London



Famous for more than 5 minutes: Explorers







Human and physical features

Identofying rivers, mountains, cities, cliffs etc

using maps


Local area history - the history of Chester Zoo and george Mottershead

Art / DT


Making tudor houses



Christmas crafts



Using plants that we can eat -maing fruit salads and kebabs


Andy Goldsworthy -using natural materials


using fabric to weave


Animal hand print pictures

KS2 topic overview:


Year A


North/ South America

  • Brave New World (LKS2)
  • El Dorado
  • The Hero Twins
  • The Lost World (UKS2)
  • King Kong
  • Queen of the Falls


Magic and Mystery

  • Traditional Tales
  • Social History- leisure & entertainment
  • UK Geog (e.g. forests)
  • LKS2- Water Horse and Leon and the Place in Between
  • UKS2- Lost Happy Endings & BFG (social history- changes during the reign of our Queen)


East meets West (Curriculum Project)



Year B


The Great War

  • Local history (Ellesmere Port/ Hooton Park)


Who put the Great in Britain?

  • Stone Age
  • Celts
  • Romans
  • Saxons
  • Vikings

UKS2- Stig of the Dump


“Call yourself civilised?”

  • LKS2 Shang Dynasty
  • UKS2 Ancient Greece (Midsummer Night’s Dream)


KEY STAGE 2 Science Long Term Plan

Year A Year B

AUTUMN    North/South America

  • Year 3 – Plants/Animals including humans
  • Year 4 – Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans
  • Year 5 – Properties and changes of materials
  • Year 6 – Evolution and Inheritance Biology

AUTUMN        The Great War

  • Year 3 – Forces and magnets/Light
  • Year 4 – Electricity/Sound
  • Year 5 – Earth and Space/Forces
  • Year 6 – Electricity/Light

SPRING      Magic and Mystery

  • Year 3 – Forces and Magnets/Light
  • Year 4 – Electricity/Sound
  • Year 5 – Earth and Space/Forces
  • Year 6 – Electricity/Light

SPRING      Who put the Great in Britain?

  • Year 3 – Rocks
  • Year 4 – States of Matter
  • Year 5 – Properties and changes of materials
  • Year 6 – Evolution and inheritance biology

SUMMER    East meets West

  • Year 3 – Rocks
  • Year 4 – States of Matter
  • Year 5 – Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans
  • Year 6 - Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans

SUMMER    Call yourself civilised?

  • Year 3 – Plants and animals including humans
  • Year 4 – Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans
  • Year 5 – Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans
  • Year 6 - Living things and their habitats/Animals including humans

Each class will update their class page at the start of each term to give more detailed information.

Student Login