Category: Curriculum and Data



The Curriculum at Pensby Primary School

Each year, in September, families are invited to class meetings where they learn about the curriculum and what will be happening in the classroom. From time to time, specific curriculum workshops are held for parents and families. OFSTED in 2017, judged the school to be ‘good’ in all aspects and commented on the varied and interesting curriculum we offer the children.

On Monday 11th January 2016, we were assessed against the Basic Skills Quality Mark Criteria and successfully met all elements. The full report can be downloaded here:

Pensby Primary BSQM Renewal 11.01.16

A further BSQM review meeting was held in April 2017 and the report can be downloaded here:

Pensby Primary BSQM review April 2017

In our school we have a Nursery facility, which is part of our Early Years (EYFS) Provision. In EYFS we follow the EYFS curriculum. Our Nursery is very much part of our school and links very closely to Reception class (which is the first year in school but also part of EYFS). Children in the Nursery are able to access their activities inside and outside the classroom in a purpose built and very well equipped environment.Our Nursery has 26 places in each session.

Nursery can also be called FS1 which is the first year of The Early Years Foundation Stage (The curriculum goals of Nursery are more specific than for childcare). These Early Learning Goals cover the main areas of education without being subject driven. These areas include:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Language, literacy and communication
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

Reception class is the first year of primary school. In our school we have one Reception class and the maximum number of pupils in the class is 30. In Reception class the curriculum is also based around the Early Learning Goals. Staff use well-planned play, both indoors and outdoors, so the children can:

  • Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world
  • Practice and build up ideas, concepts and skills
  • Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules
  • Be alone, be alongside others, or cooperate as they talk or rehearse their feelings
  • Take risks and make mistakes
  • Think creatively and imaginatively
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems
  • Express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.

These Early Learning Goals help practitioners to plan the learning environment and the activities provided within it, but this does not mean that children learn in these separate subject-based areas. Very often, a well-planned activity can promote children’s development and understanding in several areas simultaneously.

In Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2), the curriculum is broadly based, so that we can encompass a wide variety of experiences the children need to learn. We follow the National Curriculum. We try to include experiences that will help the children to develop intellectually, aesthetically, physically and spiritually. We plan our work deliberately to further these areas. High regard is given to the development of the intellectual skills, which are essential in all our work. It is vital that the children learn to convey their meaning clearly and accurately through speech and written English and that they learn to manipulate numbers with confidence and understanding and solve problems mathematically using the appropriate concepts. At all times we try to extend these skills in a realistic way, involving the children in first hand, meaningful experiences. Wherever possible we take the children out to explore their environment and help them respond to it creatively through the arts, mathematics, science and language. In this way, children develop the formal skills far more quickly and comprehensively.

In addition to these skills we aim to develop the children’s ability to observe carefully, record accurately and with sensitivity and to gain an understanding of their environment in a natural, geographic, historical and social way.

In Key stage 1, the children follow a structured approach to phonics. Phonics is taught daily. Our phonics policy can be found within our Writing policy, which is in the ‘Additional Policies’ section on the website and this details the schemes we use.

In lower key stage 2 (years 3 and 4), children continue to build on the KS1 curriculum. Key skills are taught through child initiated topics. Children develop their understanding of maths concepts and apply them through reasoning and problem solving activities. Guided reading and structured spelling/phonics programmes are taught regularly through the week. Children’s learning is enhanced through humanities, the arts PE and science, providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The structure of the day becomes increasingly defined, building on the structures introduced in EYFS and key stage 1. Daily lessons of basic maths, guided reading and phonics teaching are delivered. In line with school expectations, the children are taught handwriting through an agreed approach.

Years 5 and 6 form upper key stage 2. It is important that the children become increasing independent both socially and in their work by taking more responsibility for moving their learning forward. The demands of the curriculum steadily increase and build upon those already introduced in the school. Despite the need to prepare the children for national tests at the end of year 6, the staff strive to deliver a broad and very balanced curriculum through a topic and creative approach.

The teaching of phonics throughout the school is clearly structured and the schemes used are detailed in our policies. Our phonics policy can be found within our Writing policy, which is in the ‘Additional Policies’ section on the website and this details the schemes we use.

The teaching of reading is taught through an approach that aims to encourage a love and enjoyment of reading. The school has a wide variety of book schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Pocket Reads etc. The books are coded using the ‘Book Band’ scheme and the children are encouraged to choose their books within the Book Band. Guided reading takes place in each class at least 4 times a week We ask families to read with their children at least 3 times a week to practice the skills they have learnt. An overview of all subjects and how they are taught each term is available via the school office. Please ask for a copy of our ‘Long Term Plan’.

Our Key stage 2 results for 2016/17 are:

Year 6 SATs results 2017/18 (non validated)

% of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading 70%
% of pupils reaching the expected standard in writing 79%
% of pupils reaching the expected standard in maths 64%
% of pupils reaching the expected standard in English, Punctuation, Grammar and Spelling  85%
% pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths 61%
% of pupils reaching the the higher standard in reading, writing, maths 3%
Average progress in reading -0.7
Average progress in writing -1.3
Average progress in maths -2.1
% of pupils reaching a higher standard of attainment in reading 39%
% of pupils reaching a higher standard of attainment in writing 12%
% of pupils reaching a higher standard of attainment in maths 18%
% of pupils reaching the higher standard of attainment in English, Punctuation, Grammar and Spelling  27%
average scaled score in reading 106
average scaled score in maths 103
average scaled score in English, Punctuation, Grammar and Spelling  107

Further information on school performance can be found on the DFE website. Follow the link:

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