Grindon Infant School

The Curriculum

The curriculum is not just a list of subjects taught in a school.
The curriculum describes everything that goes on in the school and helps pupils to learn about the world around them. Any curriculum must cover all the activities in school designed to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, intellectual and physical development of pupils. It must also prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and society.

Grindon Infant School Aims are the result of whole staff and Governing Body discussion.

• All pupils must be valued equally whatever their stage of development and are entitled to experience the maximum sense of success.
• All pupils must be afforded equality of opportunity and not be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race, ability and disability, age, religion and belief or sexuality.
• Personal development is a life-long learning process.
• The provision of education is a partnership between schools and colleges, parents and the wider community, each having contributions to make to the development of the other.

Nature and scope of the curriculum

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools defines the curriculum as:

"The curriculum in its fullest sense comprises all the opportunities for learning provided by the school: the so called extra curricular and out of school activities promoted or supported by the school and the climate of relationships, attitudes, styles of behaviour and the general quality of life established in the school as a whole."

The curriculum is not just the formal programme of lessons. The extra dimensions of the learning of values and the development of attitudes, through the relationships experienced in the wider life of the school, have a powerful influence upon a pupil's education.

In Grindon Infant School the curriculum is being developed to be more creative and exciting and is well matched to pupils' interests.

At Grindon Infant School there is a strong emphasis on learning through experience in and beyond the classroom. The curriculum enables pupils to develop skills and gain knowledge which they then transfer to new situations, continually "learning".

The curriculum offers a broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated education for all its pupils providing progression and continuity building upon Early Years Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 transition. Above all it is an opportunity for all pupils to succeed.

The process of evaluation and assessment is continuous and is inseparable from the teaching and learning process. It provides the next steps for learning for your child and ensures that they make progress. We believe in assessment for learning.

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum is made up of ten subjects. The core subjects are English, Mathematics, Science and Information Communication Technology. Foundation subjects are Design Technology, History, Geography, Art, Music and Physical Education. In addition, every school must provide Religious Education and a daily act of collective worship. ICT supports all areas of the curriculum.

Within the National Curriculum, Programmes of Study set out the essential teaching within each subject area. Attainment targets for each subject area set out what pupils are expected to know and be able to do. There are national tests for primary school pupils at ages 7 and 11. These ages mark the ends of the two key stages of the primary school part of the National Curriculum. Pupils undertake a National phonics test at the end of Year 1.


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Grindon Infant School Curriculum (Nursery and Reception)

In the EYFS pupils follow the new statutory guidance which centres on areas of learning:

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development - learning about themselves and others.
• Communication and Language - to express themselves and develop speaking and listening skills.
• Physical Development - to develop their coordination, control and movement and help pupils to make healthy choices.
• Literacy - to link sounds and letters to begin reading and writing.
• Mathematics - to improve their skills in counting, using and understanding numbers, calculation; and describing shapes and measures.
• Understanding of the World - to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
• Expressive Arts and Design - exploring, making, creating and sharing thoughts and ideas in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design technology.

Click here to find out more about the EYFS curriculum Developmental Matters EYFS.pdf

Our Key Stage 1 pupils follow the National Curriculum. We place emphasis on speaking and listening. In our reading programme we give each pupil the opportunity to enjoy books. Pupils experience a wide variety of reading material at different levels of complexity, so that they can become competent and fluent readers. Pupils are encouraged to choose books to take home to read to their parents.


English is a vital way of communicating in life. In studying English, pupils develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction. The approach to reading in school encourages pupils to read for meaning and enjoyment and emphasises the need to develop skills for reading both for pleasure and information.

Pupils are encouraged to become independent and develop a life long love of reading. The letters and sounds programme is followed from Nursery to Y2. It is adapted to meet the needs of the pupils, as appropriate.

We use a variety of reading schemes which have been levelled and colour coded to ensure pupils read a mixture of texts at appropriate levels.

Pupils are encouraged to write as individuals, to appreciate different styles of writing, and to produce for themselves factual, descriptive and creative pieces of work.


In mathematics we give pupils a powerful means of communication. This includes the ability to solve problems, to understand numbers, shapes and relationships, and to predict likely results. All of this is applied in a range of practical tasks and real-life problems.

Grindon Infant School is very well resourced with a range of materials and practical apparatus. Pupils are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that the learning they undertake is suitable for their ability, with sufficient challenge to develop progression.


In science pupils are involved in practical investigations which build on their own interests and experience. Individual and group skills of planning, decision-making, investigating and communicating results, as well as observing, classifying, recording, making and testing hypotheses, designing experiments and drawing information from evidence are vital to science-based activities but also have a much wider application.

Design and Technology

In Design/Technology we encourage the pupils to understand the significance of design and technology to the economy and to the quality of life. This involves planning and making things, and evaluating outcomes.


In history we introduce pupils to historical personalities and events through stories, poetry and pictures. We use the pupils own lives and environment to make them aware of the passage of time.


In geography we introduce pupils to the local area as well as extending their factual knowledge of the wider world. This is done using maps, photographs, written accounts and other sources.

P.E. (Physical Education)

In physical education pupils develop their skills in gymnastics, dance, outdoor, individual and team games, to develop good body co-ordination and control. We endeavour to give each child enjoyment and satisfaction from physical activity and to foster the development of positive sporting attitudes.


In art pupils are encouraged to experience a variety of different techniques. The school's arts provision gives pupils a range of cultural experiences eg visits to art galleries, visits from theatre in education organisations and visits to the school by local artists.


In music we encourage the pupils to make music and to develop an appreciation of different types of music from all over the world.

Religious Education and Collective Worship

The religious education curriculum is taken from the City of Sunderland's Agreed Syllabus. Although Christian-based, it also ensures that our pupils have respect, awareness and understanding of other world religions, in particular Buddhism and Judaism. There are varied arrangements for daily worship, including class and whole-school assemblies.

Sex and Relationship Education

The policy for sex and relationship education teaching has been approved by the Governing Body. Sex education is part of our health programme. Parents are given an opportunity to see and hear all about the school's approach in this area and to consider whether they wish to withdraw their child from lessons.

We hope to create a climate in which pupils feel able to ask questions and to have those answered by their teachers in a frank and appropriate way.

Special Curricular Provision and Arrangements for Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Where pupils have special needs, such as those who have special talents, or those who experience learning difficulties, they can be accommodated in small groups, or on an individual level. Teachers will provide an individual education programme for any pupil who requires this. Some pupils are removed from their class for a short period and are given special help in accordance with their particular difficulties. We work in partnership with outside agencies such as the educational psychologist, school nursing service and the Speech, Language and Learning Unit. Full consultation with parents take place before any referral to these agencies is made.

The school's SEN policy was reviewed in this academic year and is being fully implemented. A new Inclusion Manager has been appointed and has taken up post in September 2012.

Although very few pupils have been identified as disabled, plans are in place to meet the particular needs of any individuals. The continued early identification of disabled pupils before the formal induction process even begins allows amendments to school routines/procedures and facilities to be made so a smooth admission to the school is possible. These have proved to be effective. Working in partnership with parents/carers has eased this process, particularly on a one to one basis. Staff have also attended specific training to help meet the needs of pupils with special needs and disabilities.

Parents are asked to complete a short questionnaire when their child is admitted to school which includes the identification of any disabilities which they or their child may have. This enables the school to plan any reasonable adjustments which may need to be made to assist access to the school such as external hand rails and an adjustable bed for changing pupils.

This academic year the school published its:
• Equality, diversity and community cohesion policy.
• Single equality scheme and accompanying action plans.
• Information and objectives about equality and diversity.
• Accessibility plan.

The school's Accessibility Plan is reviewed periodically. Targets for development have been identified, progress has been made in increasing staff skills and funding is available to try to improve access to designated areas. External entry to the classrooms will be improved by the removal of steps to classroom doors which will be replaced by a small ramp to each door.

School currently has no lettings.

Community use of the building is helped by the layout of the premises and the current disabled facilities which are available.

Clubs/Study Support

The school has a maths club, an art club, a reading and writing group, a gardening club and a science club which meet weekly. We have a lending library for Year 2, Year 1 and Reception pupils. Pupils in Reception, Years 1 and 2 can attend a Breakfast Club which runs daily for a small charge. There are also four after school sports' clubs for Years 1 and 2 pupils. Parents pay a small charge for the Breakfast Club and some of the Sports' Clubs.  PE funding has been used to support the after school provision. Our staff also organise after school activities.

Educational Visits

Educational visits are a vital part of bringing first hand experience into many aspects of the curriculum. Every year group is offered an opportunity to take part in learning beyond the classroom which is carefully monitored and supervised. This provides opportunities to stimulate and deepen learning and for the development of spirituality and understanding of different kinds of worship.

Personal, social, health, citizenship education

This is a very important part of the curriculum. We encourage pupils to lead healthy lives, by educating them on healthy eating, exercise, decision-making, responsible citizenship and relationships with family and friends. The purpose of this curriculum is to help our pupils grow to be independent, thoughtful and caring citizens. This programme is often linked to other areas of the curriculum. Year 2 follow "Zippy's Friends" programme.


We set homework, which is work the pupils can usefully do at home. Pupils take reading books home which gives parents an opportunity to listen to their children read at home. Older pupils take home lists of words to support their spelling skills. Many class projects rely on pupils bringing in materials which they - and you - have helped to prepare at home. The class teacher will send home appropriate weekly tasks to consolidate or extend their learning.

Sporting Aims and Provision

• All pupils take part in gym, dance and games throughout the school year.
• From time to time specialist sports' coaches support the development of basic skills.