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The Belfry CE VA Primary School, Overstrand

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The Belfry Curriculum 2023-2024 - UNDER DEVELOPMENT!


Our entire curriculum is currently under development following a routine audit of current practices. We aim to retain and promote the most successful elements of what we teach, and how. We also adapt and develop those parts which need improvement or clarification for children, staff or parents. Like all primary schools, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage principles in Reception, and the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 for Years 1 to 6. 


A key aim at The Belfry is that children will effectively learn to read, then read to learn. They will leave for high school able to confidently read and reading difficulties will not hold them back or be left unrecognised. For the 23-24 academic year all staff have been trained in early reading principles and those in Reception to Year 3 have implemented the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme, which is approved by the DfE. The early reading team work together to ensure phonics teaching is rigorous and well-organised across the 'infants' part of the school and also consult with colleagues at our partner school who share the same phonics programme. Some older pupils who have particular needs related to early reading will also take part in phonics learning regularly, in a sensitive fashion so that they don't feel too different to their classmates.


In mathematics, we use the White Rose Maths programme which is based on mastery principles from the National Curriculum and widely adopted by many schools. 


In the other subjects we use the best resources possible to ensure the highest standards of teaching and learning, and strong, joined-up progression and sequencing from one year to the next as far as reasonably possible. Our main go-to system is called CUSP - the Curriculum for Unity Schools Partnership - which has been developed by national experts in curriculum design and is very widely used amongst our neighbouring church village schools in our area. CUSP lessons are based on the latest evidence-based approaches supporting great teaching, and ensure we do more of what research shows is effective, and less of what is not. 


Where we can benefit from specialist teaching in specific non-core areas of the primary National Curriculum (e.g. music, art, PE, computing) we ensure that these staff are available to teach in school.   


Over the course of this year 23-24, we expect to regularly update these curriculum pages, in particular to help parents understand what their child is learning and when, and how they can help their child's learning at home. 


For reference, previous curriculum information is retained below and content will be updated throughout the year. We apologise if anything appears out of date!