Curriculum by Subject



Curriculum – Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

Teaching in Nursery builds on the learning experiences children have already achieved at home. This develops through to Reception year. Most of the learning children do is through structured play, which is appropriate to the needs of very young children.

Teachers follow the Foundation Stage curriculum. We encourage children to learn through exploration and play. 


Curriculum – Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

At Rift House Primary we offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences. We recognise programmes of study form one part of the school curriculum and other areas need to be planned for to ensure a curriculum for our pupils that is both broad and balanced. We recognise the value of providing children with real life experience to enhance their understanding and bring meaning and purpose to their learning.  Furthermore, provision is made for a daily act of collective worship; implementation of religious education to pupils at every key stage; as well as sex and relationship education. The school curriculum provides learning opportunities to develop personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) which is taught both discretely and embedded at the core of our school alongside whole school implementation of The Mindfulness Philosophy. Additionally we have developed a CHOICES approach that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.


We believe:

  • each pupil is entitled to receive the best education possible and achieve the highest standards;
  • the curriculum should meet pupils’ individual needs, be bespoke and promote a love of learning through enjoyment;
  • pupils learn best from a broad and challenging curriculum that is tailored and personal to them;
  • the curriculum should involve first-hand experience and be taught in ways which make sense for pupils and be delivered in a range of different ways to accommodate a range of learning styles;
  • achievement in a range of subjects across the curriculum, including science, humanities and the arts, improves pupils’ confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to tackle more challenging work and develop a positive and resilient attitude towards school (GROWTH Mindset);
  • improving pupils’ confidence and self-esteem has a positive effect upon their attainment in the core subjects.


Children are taught:

The core subjects – English, Mathematics, Science

Topic Based - Art and design, Design and technology, History, Geography

Discrete Units* - Computing, Physical Education, Music, Languages,

Children are also taught Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship.

Key skills are applied and embedded across the curriculum and are not to be viewed in isolation.

Links to other subjects/topics are made when appropriate


At Rift House, teachers work hard to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary, and value these as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. We recognise that English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.

Spoken language - As part of the whole school day and across every subject or interaction with children, pupils are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English.

Reading - Pupils are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) which is facilitated through daily English lessons, shared, guided and independent reading sessions and application in other areas of the curriculum i.e. foundation subjects, which promotes wider reading. In KS1 children are supported with their phonic and reading development through the implementation of RWI

Writing - Lessons are planned to ensure pupils develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation, and are taught the correct use of grammar and how to apply this in their writing which is embedded in our whole school sequences for teaching writing, along with next step marking & feedback and children’s response. These sequences also allow children to build on what they have been taught, and to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use (cross curricula and purposeful writing opportunities as part of teaching cycle). The writing they do, which is mapped across year groups, includes: narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations - such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read, as does the planned opportunities for children to present their work in a variety of ways which again is also included in our whole school agreed teaching sequences for both fiction and non-fiction writing.


We believe that high quality teaching is a priority in the teaching and learning of maths. High quality teaching is lively and interactive and engages the children in their learning. It is a two way process where children are active participants. Teachers strive to effectively use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency and develop pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning and problem solving in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics and ‘mathematical thinking’. This is embedded through a cognitive development approach to lessons, the 'I Can Maths' programme and the clarity around successful progression in both mental and written calculation.


High-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils are to be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes through an embedded whole school approach to the planning of scientific investigations.

Topic Work

Enquiry based learning and the use of a sensory approach to the curriculum pledges to allow children to explore topics and ideas by giving concrete and thus memorable and meaningful learning experiences. A bespoke approach to the curriculum enables children to personalise their learning and to act as co-constructors of their curriculum.

Each year group follows a topic for a term or half term. Within the topic the teacher plans for learning opportunities using children’s previous knowledge and their interests. The topics cover art & design, design & technology, history and geography elements of the national curriculum but are fundamentally cross curricular incorporating all aspects of learning when appropriate.

Each cycle of learning starts by allowing children to share their prior knowledge and understanding. Following this, through an experience that is provided to provoke curiosity e.g. an educational visit; exploration of artefacts and items, children are encouraged to ask questions which they will later revisit throughout and at the end of the topic cycle as their experiences and knowledge and understanding grows. Through this approach children are encouraged to research, investigate and problem solve to inform their learning. This approach/learning style encourages children to take ownership of their learning and become engaged, independent and motivated. This planning is enabled by having developed our foundation topic curriculum by using an outline framework which breaks down the content of the foundation subjects set out in the National Curriculum into smaller milestones with an emphasis not only on knowledge and understanding but skills also: KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2.


At Rift House we believe design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. We recognise children acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. This is reflected in our termly STEM projects, where pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, and innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.


Essential computing skills are taught across the curriculum within most areas of learning. Rift House has excellent I.T. equipment available for children to develop key skills. High quality laptops and IPads can be used within the classroom to facilitate your child’s learning. We also have a range of other equipment that is used by teachers to enhance your child’s learning experience.

Physical Education (PE) and Physical Activity

Children take part in two hours of Physical Education each week. This consists of gymnastics, dance or outdoor games. As part of the Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 PE curriculum, they attend swimming lessonson a rota basis. The children take part in a sports day event during the summer term each year. Children from across the school also regularly take part in sporting activities and tournaments organised off site. There are many after school sports clubs children can take part in to develop team games such as golf, football and other team games.


Through the Musical School programme (TVMS) the children develop their understanding, make musical judgements, apply their new learning, develop their aural memory, express themselves physically, emotionally and through discussion and create their own musical ideas.

The children not only learn about music; they become musicians who are able to share and perform using their new skills. Units of Work are the main focal point for the music curriculum whilst the Topics and Courses provide a wealth of extension, enhancement and cross-curricular possibilities and experiences.

Modern Foreign Languages

Children are taught French in Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 with a secured progressive and interactive approach.

Religious Education (RE)

Your child will take part in an RE lesson each week where they will learn about different religions and relate these teachings and understandings to their own life. The school celebrates the diverse cultural and religious differences found in the school. Religious festivals are celebrated across school.

Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship

We believe effective PSHCE is essential if young people are to make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives and this is reflected in our curriculum and whole school ethos.

At Rift House, we have a strong focus on children understanding how to look after themselves personally and socially. Children take part in a PSHCE lesson each week which supports children with their understanding of emotions and how best to deal with any difficult situations they may face in life. Children are asked to discuss and think about how to deal with different situations they may come across in life. In Key Stage 2, children take part in essential Sex and Relationship Education where they find out more about how bodies develop and change. 

Furthermore, all themes within Rift House PSHCE Curriculum aim to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation and promote fundamental British values by:

  • Providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues
  • Helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making.
  • Providing pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society
  • Equipping pupils to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, to debate, and to make reasoned arguments
  • Encouraging children to have the confidence to make the right 'CHOICES'


N.B. For further information regarding the Rift House curriculum visit our section of the website titled 'curriculum by year group' or you can also download our Curriculum Policy found on the policy section of this website - additionally we welcome you to discuss our curriculum through our school's open door policy.