Curriculum Provision at New Brancepeth Primary School 

Children are  taught in classes as follows. These are:

  • Nursery/Reception
  • Year 1 (mornings only)
  • Year 2 (mornings only)
  • Year 1 and Year 2 together (afternoons)
  • Year 3
  • Year 4/5
  • Year 6

For three mornings each week Year 1 and Year 2 children are taught Literacy in ability based groups. These groups change regularly dependent upon progress.

The School Curriculum

Nursery and Reception children follow the Early Years Statutory Framework, with significant emphasis upon learning through play.

All compulsory subjects of the National Curriculum are followed from Year 1 to Year 6.

These include English, Maths, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Music , PE, Religious Education and Modern Foreign Languages

‘Basic Skills’ - Literacy and Numeracy- are usually taught each morning, with other subjects taught during afternoon sessions.

Staff and Governors have agreed that opportunities to develop an awareness of Multiculturalism, Environmentalism, Enterprise and the pupils’ mining heritage should, wherever possible, be taken when planning schemes of work.


During daily sessions, there is significant focus in Reception year and Key Stage 1 on reading, through teaching of phonics. This school follows the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme and pupils’ progress is monitored regularly, with extra support given when needed.

Throughout their time in school, children are encouraged to read at home.  Children have regular guided reading sessions with their teacher, where books are discussed and themes explored. Children take books home from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. These are graded in level of ability and staff monitor progress through the various levels.

Pupils learn how to write in a range of styles for particular purposes, including, reports, instructions, stories  and letters. Teachers offer guidance as to how children can improve their work. Children are encouraged to learn spellings and are regularly tested on these. Handwriting is also practised regularly.

Opportunities are taken in other areas of the curriculum to reinforce literacy skills.


During  daily sessions children are taught a range of strategies that allow them to calculate mentally, use pencil and paper methods and develop reasoning skills. Emphasis is placed upon counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, learning and using tables, then practising these skills in practical contexts.

Children are also taught how to produce and interpret data as well as explore aspects of shape and space.

Maths skills are often used in other areas of the curriculum including Science, Design Technology and PE.


Within our ICT suite, children follow a progressive curriculum, where skills are learnt and then practised within a range of practical tasks.

The practising of ICT skills within a range of other subjects is actively encouraged.


In addition to the prescribed national curriculum content, great emphasis is placed upon developing, through real life contexts, the skills that allow pupils to devise and carry out investigations. Children are increasingly encouraged to think like scientists.


PE is often taught by qualified sports coaches. Children in Year 3 swim weekly, with  Year 6 children given the opportunity to boost their swimming skills during the Summer term.

There is an emphasis upon developing skills within PE lessons, with additional opportunities for competitive sport taking place normally outside of the core school day.

Religious Education

The school follows the locally agreed Durham syllabus. The school enjoys close links with local churches as well as a local mosque.  Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education. This must be done by writing to the head teacher.

Other subjects

Teachers try to plan a themed approach to learning, linking subjects through a particular ‘topic’.  These topics may include work in Science or RE. During this, opportunities are taken to further practise skills taught in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT.


Approach to teaching and learning

Teachers aim to make learning as engaging and relevant as possible. Wherever possible, a range of practical tasks are devised within a real life purpose.  Children are encouraged, with support, to problem solve, overcome difficulties and not be frightened to make mistakes. 

In Literacy and Maths, children are given agreed targets to move their learning forward, and are encouraged to reflect regularly upon whether they are meeting these targets.


Other key aims of curriculum provision

The school aims to provide:

  • Opportunities to be involved in decision making, via the School Council
  • A range of after school clubs, complimenting the curriculum, that are free of charge
  • A range of sporting opportunities during the school year, including inter school competition
  • The opportunity for each child to experience a residential stay in this country at least once during their time in Primary School
  • The opportunity for each child to experience a residential stay abroad at least once during their time in Primary School
  • The opportunity for each child to perform on stage at least once each year
  • The opportunity for each child to go on a school trip at least twice each year
  • The opportunity for each child to visit a traditional theatre at least once during their time in Primary School
  • The opportunity for children to work with professional artists and visit galleries
  • Opportunities to help others and raise money for local, national and international  causes

 Should you require further clarification about any aspect of our school's curriculum, please contact the Head teacher on 0191 3730736

Due to the mixed age class system in operation, planning is structured into two cycles for KS2. Cycle A and Cycle B, with each cycle being taught alternate years.

These documents give an overview of the topics covered in each class.