Our Bespoke Curriculum
At Priors Wood Primary School we work with passion and dedication to provide a bespoke curriculum which is enriching,broad, balanced,interesting and creative.
Using the EYFS Statutory Framework and the Quigley Essentials Curriculum, our Curriculum is carefully blended to create a cross- curricular approach. Having said that, within this method children learn key facts, knowledge and skills that inspires and meets the needs of all our learners. Within it, we promote equal opportunities, high moral, spiritual, emotional and social values, and firmly believe this is the ingredient needed to create a healthy and happy school.
Our bespoke curriculum at Priors Wood Primary School provides a range of learning experiences and includes learning through our wonderful, carefully designed indoor and outdoor learning environments.
There is a massive focus on children's happiness and mental well being. We want our children to develop a genuine love for learning and for their learning to be ' sticky ' and become embedded because this method will grow life long learners. We believe this can only happen when children have long uninterrupted time to consolidate and deepen their learning and to learn through provision whereby they are up and active and having real meaningful and hands on experiences.
We plan trips to 'hook ' children into learning, and their experiences will include whole class and small group work.This year we are proud to have introduced a continuous provision approach from the Early years through to Year 6. Children are encouraged to be independent in their learning, and to express curiosity about the world around them.
Our topics and activities are carefully planned to include all the areas of learning, so for example if the topic is the Stone Age, the teachers will plan a trip for the children to visit a local educational organisation such as Celtic Harmony and the idea will be to give many real life opportunities to the children to explore the past.
Children will use their skills in English to record these exciting experiences. In DT children may build their own woodland shelter and in art they will use a range of media to create a stone age masterpiece! During these exciting activities our skilled adults will be discretely scaffolding by asking high order questions and teaching the facts, knowledge and skills linking to each areas of learning.
If you would like to know anymore information about the curriculum used here at Priors Wood please contact Maria Griffin Curriculum Lead.
Please see below our Pedagogy and Philosophy Document:
Please see below our whole school Intent, Implementation and Impact document:
Our EYFS is guided by The Statutory Guidance - Early Years Foundation Stage, Development Matters & Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Click below for some useful EYFS documents from our EYFS teacher Miss Bourne.
The National Curriculum & Our Essentials Quigley Curriculum.
Here at Priors Wood we use the Chris Quigley Curriculum Milestones to help us to create and blend our curriculum.
The current National Curriculum Breadth of Study comprises core subjects and foundation subjects.
- Religious Education (RE)
- Art & design
- Design & Technology ( DT)
- Physical Education
- Computing & IT
Our timetables are flexible to allow time for the children to deepen and consolidate their understanding on what they are learning. We believe that children need long periods of uninterrupted time to explore and absorb what they have learned.
Enriching the Curriculum
The school enriches the Curriculum with these opportunities:
- All classes take part in engaging day trips and visits to enhance their learning
- All classes have a variety of whole class and continuous provision opportunities
- Year 6 have a wonderful residential visit to Dartmoor
- A wide range of high quality sports activities
- Games coaching from EYFS to Year 6
- Spanish Language teaching to Years 3 – 6.
- Watching and taking part in drama and music productions
- Our amazing Choir Young Voices
- Joining the talented Dance club and taking part in the Herts Dance Festival event to show case dance with other local schools
- High quality peripatetic music tuition in piano, violin, flute, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, cornet available for all children
- A wide range of Sports clubs and events available to children of all ability and backgrounds
- Extra curricula clubs such as gymnastics, football, netball ,cheer leading and badminton
- Joint activities with local secondary schools
- Visitors from our local community and area linking to the topics and current affairs
English guided by Quigley & HFL English planning tool
Please click here to view our Literacy Page.
Phonics is guided by the DfE Letters & Sounds Document
Phonics is taught daily from EYFS, covering Phases 1 to 6 and using guidance from Letters and Sounds alongside Jolly Phonics.
See our English lead Mrs Valentini's Literacy Page for more information.
Maths is guided by Quigley & HFL Essential Maths
- Teachers use the Essential Maths Herts for Learning planning tool to plan their lessons. Teachers have access to a wide variety of up-to-date high quality resources to support their planning and delivery of maths.
- Maths is taught daily and generally as a complete lesson but teachers also look for opportunities to link their Maths teaching into other class topics and to find real Mathematical situations to explore.
- The Mathematics Curriculum is divided into these areas; Using and Applying, Number, Shape Space and Measures and Handling Data.
- At all stages, a great emphasis is placed on work of a practical nature using concrete resources and manipulatives to embed learning and this in time leads readily into more advanced recording and complex computational skills at Key Stage 2.
- Practical work and activities that promote the development of mental skills, logical thought and problem solving are given high priority at all levels.
- Children have school and home access to Mathletics and TTRockstars.
Science is guided by Quigley Greater Depth in Science
- The Science Curriculum is taught under the following headings;
- Life and living processes, Materials and their properties and Physical processes, and the school follows the new curriculum guidance for Science.
- Children are encouraged to be curious about the world and to ask questions at all levels. Investigation and problem-solving are seen as vital components of children’s science work. Science may be taught as a discrete subject or as part of a topic.
Our aim is to develop computing & ICT capability in children so that they can:
- be confident in their use of computing & IT
- select and use computing & IT appropriate to the task in hand
- identify situations where their use of IT would be relevant
- be able to think about their own use of IT in order to comment about whether they have used it effectively
- be aware of how computing & IT affects people in their everyday life
To enable us to meet this aim the school has built up a range of computing equipment and resources to develop computing skills across the curriculum. We are keenly aware of the need to continuously upgrade equipment and to embrace new technology.
The school has a class set of iPads and a mobile lap-top trolley which can be used by whole classes or groups. The children have individual log-ins so that they have access to the School Network and the Internet through the Hertfordshire Filter system. Safe use of the Internet is routinely taught to all children.
Interactive Whiteboards are in constant use in all classes.
In their planning, teachers integrate computing & IT into all areas of learning across the curriculum.
Physical Education guided by PE specialists
Priors Wood is part of the local schools sports partnership and fully endorses the importance of healthy physical development for children.
Every child takes part in at least 2 hours of physical activity per week. The whole school also participates in the mile a day and children have regular brain breaks and yoga and mindfulness in practised daily.
PE is an integral part of the curriculum and all children are expected to take part unless a written note or a phone call advises otherwise.
These elements make up the PE curriculum;
- Development of physical co-ordination and fine motor skills
- Development of Team/Social Interaction skills
- Movement and Dance
The school is always keen to take up offers of help or coaching from outside bodies to help to enrich the curriculum.
We employ a specialised PE practitioner who provides a high quality games session for all classes each week as well as supporting the class teachers to deliver high quality PE provision.
Healthy competition is encouraged and the school takes every opportunity to take part in local tournaments and competitions both in and out of school time. Individual competitors, and football, netball, tag rugby, speed-stacking, swimming and athletics teams all regularly represent the school in Hertford and Ware events, and further afield at County level.
Sports Day takes place at the end of the Summer Term, and is organised along the lines recommended by Sport England.
History is guided using Quigley Companions to ensure we are teaching accurate historical knowledge and facts.
Geography Keys guidance gives a bespoke guide to our school, school grounds and the local environment.
The aim of history teaching at Priors Wood is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people in the past and to develop their sense of identity in leaning about local history and cultural understanding based on historical heritage.
In this way, children learn to value their own and other people’s cultures, and to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today. We teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving. History topics offer the opportunity to link the children’s learning to other areas of the curriculum such as Literacy, Art and Geography.Geography Keys
We are very proud of our Geography Curriculum created and written by Geographers Pam Copeland and Des Bowden with the help of the curriculum lead and the teachers at Priors Wood. This is totally bespoke to our school and local environment!
Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem solving- Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognize the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
Children's Mental Health & Well Being ,The British Values ,Citizenship/ PSED , PHSE is guided by Jigsaw
At Priors Wood, we pride ourselves on building resilience, resourcefulness, reflection and risk taking skills from Nursery to Year 6. The zones of regulation is also practiced and as children grow and move though school they develop a common vocabulary. This is used to help them to understand how they are feeling and to talk about their feelings and use strategies and tools to help them to calm down and to self- regulate.
Teachers are guided by Jigsaw, a scheme to teach Personal, social and health education (PSED/PSHE) and citizenship. This enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society.
We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing we help develop their sense of self worth and promote a good mental health for all.
We teach children how society is organised and governed and teach them about rights and responsibilities. They also learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse multicultural society.
Jigsaw also guides the teaching of sex and education regulations and the British Values agenda.
RE guided by HFL RE Curriculum (Statutory)
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions. We develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions. We invite visitors from different faiths into school to join us during our celebrations and assemblies.
Art & Design guided by Quigley Awesome Art
Arts Education and creativity in general are given a high priority at Priors Wood. We believe that children should be given every opportunity to participate in and learn to appreciate a wide range of Arts activities.
We believe that an Arts rich curriculum enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the media of art, music, dance and drama. Children explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists, musicians and performers.
Our aim is that children come to understand that the appreciation and enjoyment of the Arts can enrich their lives.
Design & Technology
The children will experience a range of activities which will progress in complexity as they move through the school including painting, printing, drawing and sketching, collage, dyeing, textiles and sewing, clay and sculpture.
We organise many visits to Arts exhibitions and events including Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery and the Henry Moore Museum.
Music guided by Charanga
This is an area the staff at Priors Wood wanted to promote and blend into all areas of the curriculum. After lots of research, we felt that the Charanga scheme would do exactly that.
Music is an important part of children’s creativity and has a high profile at Priors Wood. Children participate in a range of musical activities, including singing, playing musical instruments, performing and listening. Singing and performing encourage the development of memory, and children learn to co-operate and work together. Music teaching aims to develop rhythm, spatial awareness, self-expression, creativity, confidence and musicality.
The school has a key stage 2 Choir and for children who wish to learn to play another instrument, such as guitar, violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano or trumpet, individual tuition is offered. A remission scheme for instrumental tuition fees is available through the County Council for cases of financial hardship. The school also has a close connection with local charities that may help with the cost of instruments or tuition.
Modern Foreign Languages
We aim to teach a foreign language to Key Stage 2 children as part of the school curriculum. In this way children build up their awareness of different languages, and we hope that the early acquisition of foreign language skills facilitates the learning of other languages later in life.