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Our Curriculum Policy

Want to know more about our curriculum? Additional detail is contained on each year group page and is also available via the Prospectus page. You can also contact the School Office to speak to Miss Woodward, Acting Headteacher, and find out more on 01937 832899

The STAR Multi-Academy Trust - Curriculum Principles

 The curriculum in each of our schools will be designed to help children become well rounded individuals who have had opportunities to develop:

  1. Themselves

 To become:

  • Physically and mentally healthy
  • Informed risk takers, problem solvers and critical thinkers
  • Articulate communicators
  • Reflective, resilient and able to self-regulate
  1. Their ability to interact with others and contribute positively to society

 To become:

  • Tolerant and respectful of others: different people, places and cultures
  • Responsible, aware and engaged citizens: locally, nationally and globally
  • Able to develop appropriate and successful relationships
  1. The knowledge and skills which will equip them for life

 An entitlement to:

  • Develop mathematical fluency and essential literacy skills
  • Be taught a broad, rich and age appropriate programme of study in every subject
  • Stimulating and exciting learning experiences both within and beyond the ‘classroom’
  • Opportunities to take part in sport, performance and other creative activities
  • Careers education and guidance

Each school will ensure that its curriculum:

  • Reflects local context and is responsive to need
  • Is informed by the National Curriculum programme of study for each subject
  • Delivers careers education as defined by the Gatsby benchmarks


Riverside School - Curriculum Intent Statement

 At Riverside School, the curriculum is designed to: recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success. This brings to life our vision ‘Learn to live and live to learn.’

Our overarching school curriculum aims are therefore:

  • sharing and encouraging a love of life-long learning; developing an understanding of learning in itself;
  • help pupils to receive challenging, stimulating, worthwhile and enjoyable experiences throughout the curriculum in the belief that living fully at every stage of development is a sound preparation for a full and happy adult life;
  • help pupils, through hard work, commitment and self-discipline, to achieve the highest standards of which they are capable;
  • help pupils in the development of their own individuality and independence, enabling them to discover and recognise their own strengths and areas of focus and set ambitious goals accordingly;
  • help pupils to develop lively, enquiring and creative minds, the confidence to question, and the ability to express their opinions and challenge those of others rationally, applying logical thought and appropriate communication and information skills;
  • help pupils to acquire concepts, knowledge and skills relevant to a rapidly changing world;
  • help pupils to develop an awareness and appreciation of human achievements and aspirations;
  • help pupils to develop a concern for the quality of the local and wider environment and to understand the world in which they live and work, and the inter-dependence of individuals, groups and nations;
  • help pupils to secure understanding of and respect for religious and moral values and appreciation and tolerance of other groups, races, religions, ways of life and points of view; to understand and celebrate diversity

How do we implement these aims? Key qualities in implementation….

  1. High expectations, challenge and a focus on improvement
  • • builds confident, independent learners in all our students
  • • makes coherent links between subjects and develops concepts, skills and attitudes as well as knowledge
  • • provides for active learning and collaborative activity, developing applied oral and written skills
  • • makes exciting and productive links to home-learning opportunities including consolidation, research and completing ‘practical challenges’
  1. A broad, balanced, rich and exciting curriculum
  • • is imaginative, relevant, creative and inspiring providing challenge, motivation and excitement for our pupils
  • • remains broad and balanced with clear progression in all subjects of the current National Curriculum
  • • is child centred, using ‘pupil voice’ in its design, building on previous knowledge and being flexible to pupil interest and open ended as themes develop
  • • is rich with first hand experiences both on and off site, making full use of our school site and local community
  • is relevant to local, national and international themes and events
  • • offers every child opportunities within music, art, performance and PE
  • through our Eco-Schools status, ensures every pupil understands their part in building a sustainable future
  1. Developing basic skills as a gateway to lifelong learning, including those in literacy, numeracy, ICT and social skills
  • • prepares our pupils for life including through the application of skills, concepts, attitude and knowledge linked to our local community, nation and the wider world
  • • embraces new technology
  • • fosters the ideologies of sustainability and active citizenship
  • teaches values and skills which nurture Modern British Values
  • • provides quality talking and writing opportunities
  1. The promotion of pupil well-being
  • • is inherently inclusive but actively teaches about inclusive values including equality and equity
  • • makes provision to allow every child to flourish and encourages their individual interests including through opportunities within and beyond school
  • ensures every pupil is encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • teaches pupils about emotional and mental health, about the learning process itself and about emotional self-regulation
  • provides for both learning and emotional support including through our Learning Mentors and Inclusion Team
  1. Recognising attainment, progress and effort equally
  • • challenges children to make excellent progress in core literacy and numeracy areas of learning and apply these skills within cross curricular studies.
  • recognises success and strives for progress and achievement across the entire curriculum
  • provides opportunities for pupils to explore and develop across the entire curriculum – learning an instrument, on the sporting field, in art, etc
  1. Staff consistency
  • allows all pupils to have a high quality educational experience as they progress through school, ensured through careful policy development, professional discourse, work scrutiny, monitoring and pupil discussion
  • a coherent and positive whole school ethos
  1. Principled delivery
  • We will maintain our eco-principles:

o           Reduce use of paper and copying

o           Ensuring that foodstuffs are used with due regard for world shortages and not in everyday art activities etc

o           Reduce use of plastics eg use of eco-glitter

o           Educate directly about ecological issues

  • We will avoid tokenism by ensuring that trips, visits, activities are linked in carefully and avoiding generalisation and stereotype instead nurturing diversity, equality and equity
  • We will take active opportunities to embrace collaboration - discussion, challenging inequality and injustice
  • Relevancy - Whilst we will actively discuss world news events, we will strive to maintain a politically neutral stance by using language such as ‘some people say/believe that…’

Our School Development Plan contains specific management objectives related to learning and the development of our curriculum. It is available to view via request at the School Office.

We aim to ensure our curriculum provides equity for all children, regardless of their ability, gender, ethnicity, race or physical ability.

How is this curriculum delivered?

  • Children are taught in mixed ability classes. However, there are some additional grouping arrangements within year groups and classes, especially for elements of numeracy and literacy. This is always carefully planned for impact
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is structured to provide a high degree of integration of subjects, in order to accommodate the Early Learning Goals. Here the learning takes place through play-based provision. Elements of this practice are also provided into Years 1 and 2, to maximise continuity and thereby learning
  • Throughout Key Stage One and Two, many subjects are inter-woven into thematic study. However, in years 1-6, there is also discrete teaching of some subjects, including some aspects of maths and literacy
  • Reading, writing, numeracy and ICT skills are taught specifically, as well as being embedded throughout the curriculum. Within all subjects, pupils have access to appropriate, challenging texts and are expected to apply the very best literacy skills – both spoken and written
  • Teachers have discretion to ‘dismantle the timetable’ and create blocks of learning as appropriate to the elements being studied – for example a whole term’s learning in a subject could take place during a focus week
  • Pupils are involved in the ‘pathway’ through their learning through an ongoing assessment process which begins before a unit is even taught with ‘what do we already know’ and ‘what would we like to find out’
  • Many learning opportunities have at their heart learning questions such as ‘what is the legacy of the Tudors today?’
  • ‘Focus Group’ work in class, whether during lessons or over assembly times, especially in maths and literacy. This is something that we operate for all ability levels
  • Group and individual activity – this sometimes takes place for specific, time-limited, focused intervention work. Again, this can happen at all ability levels. Due to the nature of this work, it sometimes takes place outside the classroom environment. Such groups vary in size and the focus may on ‘precision’ elements of learning (pre- and post- teaching) or may be based around other aspects such as social and emotional development
  • Children with Special Educational Needs have in-class differentiated provision within the school’s mainstream provision. The only exceptions to this are those children who receive additional literacy/numeracy/pastoral support through intervention programmes and those children with Education Health Care Plans who may receive specific and targeted support outside the classroom such as Speech and Language, Play or Physical Therapies. Some of these pupils may also receive intervention work using visiting professional expertise, such as speech therapists
  • The use of specialist teaching for specific subjects – whether internally provided or by external coaches and teachers, for example coaches in PE facilitated through our Primary Sports Premium
  • Shared teaching – whereby two classes may join together to teach units of work, utilising staff skill and experience to best advantage.
  • Links made with other schools, including local primaries, Tadcaster Grammar School and local specialist link schools
  • Specific teaching/learning opportunities such as music lessons and choirs – often these are for individuals or small groups
  • Additional and different provision for specific students who show potential to excel in a subject or aspect of learning - this may consist of in-class activities or carefully planned opportunities linking with other schools and external bodies (including our local STAR Schools arrangements)
  • Appropriate use of paired and group tasks to develop social skills, team role/personality development; this includes strategies such as paired reading between older/younger pupils
  • Visits and visitors, both within the school day and on a residential basis; these are always linked into curriculum planning to maximise the impact on learning; they include the use of visiting authors and consultants who bring specialisms to enhance our repertoire
  • Good primary learning is often not a ‘static experience’ – we encourage active learning, outdoor learning and pupil discussion
  • The arrangements for homework are covered in the school’s most recent homework guidance. A year-group termly newsletter to parents details both the curriculum work which is to be undertaken and ways in which parental support can benefit the pupils. This guidance is circulated to families at the beginning of each term, as well as being placed on the school website
  • Every year group has generated a Year Group Pledge detailing just some of the learning experiences to be had at school and home during the year
  • Alongside these, at school level, we pledge that every pupil will have:
    • The opportunity to learn a musical instrument for at least six months
    • The opportunity to perform on a theatre stage
    • A developed understanding of ecology and sustainability through our Eco-Schools work
    • Opportunities to engage with sporting festivals and competitions
    • Opportunities to engage in pupils voice and democratic activity
    • A range of arts experiences, including performing arts, which provide opportunities for all pupils to explore and develop creativity
    • Opportunities to visit and explore local landmarks including visits to local places of worship
  • Our Riverside School Curriculum Offer is enhanced by a termly extra-curricular club calendar which allows pupils to further develop their interests and skills beyond the classroom

How do we know it’s working? What is our Curriculm inpact?

  • • We assess our pupils learning and progress in various ways. Most vitally, through direct in-lesson discussion and observation and through careful Marking and Feedback. We also follow the STAR Trust Assessment Policy which uses half-termly standardised tests to benchmark attainment and progress in maths and reading and annually in writing. The use of ‘formative assessment’ plays a vital part within the curriculum, measuring the progress of pupils:

o           To determine whether individual learning objectives have been achieved

o           To identify individual pupil progress in different aspects of the curriculum

o           To inform future lesson planning

o           To inform parents, pupils and schools about individual achievement

o           To inform the wider community about the performance of the school

o           To enable the study of trends in pupil performance.

  • • We record the progress and attainment of each pupil and report to parents in a way that:

o           Demonstrates the outcomes of National Curriculum and other externally accredited assessments

o           Records experience and achievement, where relevant, in core skills such as communication, numeracy and ICT.

Planning for meeting curriculum objectives will be in line with school policy. Subject Leaders have used the National Curriculum Guidance to define a ‘Curriculum Checklist’ for each subject defining the content to be taught in each year group over the year. Year group teams then map out this content across all subjects over the annual calendar.

The majority of subject content is delivered through thematic learning. Teachers draw up the main teaching objectives for each half-termly unit of work, the activities required to meet these objectives and the relevant assessment criteria/activities.

Planning is circulated to all Subject Leaders and Medium Term Planning is made available to both Subject Leaders and the Headteacher. Teachers place termly overview matrices (which we term ‘jigsaws’) onto the relevant year group website page to share with parents.

Subject Leaders are responsible for monitoring the implementation of their subject along with the impact on learners. Subject Leaders describe the impact within their Subject Position Paper and every Subject Leader reports formally in person to the Local Governing Body on an at least annual basis.

Sharing our curriculum with parents and pupils

We share our curriculum planning and themes with parents through:

  • ‘Welcome to’ workshops at the beginning of the year
  • Specific themed workshops eg phonics
  • A termly year group information letter and ‘planning jigsaw’
  • Year group website pages
  • Our Curriculum Pledge Booklet

We share our successes and outcomes with parents through newsletters, our website, Twitter and Facebook, open evenings and twice yearly individual pupil reports

Under development 20/21

  • Target subjects for which to rebuild our curriculum checklists alongside MAT partners
  • Further develop curriculum descriptions and examples in our prospectus and on the website
  • Develop Subject Leader Position Papers ensuring that outcomes and impact are at their heart
  • Revise our PSE Scheme of Work to integrate all aspects including revised SRE Guidance, Mental Health and Metacognition, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019

Policy Review

First Drafted:   Summer 2019

Next Planned Review: July 2022 after first year of implementing revisions


Appendix 1: Curriculum checklists

Appendix 2: Our Curriculum Pledge Booklet

Appendix 4: Our Curriculum ‘at a glance’


Our Curriculum Pledge Booklet for 2019-2020

Please go to Year Group pages to view long and medium term subject area plans as well as Curriculum information notes for parents.
Want to know more about our curriculum? Additional detail is contained on each year group page and is also available via the Prospectus which you can click here to view. You can also contact the School Office to speak to Miss Woodward and find out more on 01937 832899.


Paper Copies

If you would like paper copies of any of the information, policies etc contained on this site then please get in touch. Copies will be provided free of charge.

If you would like the information contained in this website in another language or format such as Braille, large print or audio, please get in touch.

Contact Us

General queries to:
Mrs J Coates/Mrs J Kavanagh/Mrs V Scoot/Mrs Bain-Mackay - School Administrators
Mrs S Borradaile - School Business Manager

sampleTel:  01937 832 899

sampleEmail us here

Wetherby Road, Tadcaster
North Yorkshire LS24 9JN


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