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We are fully committed to ensuring that every day at Deanshanger Primary School is as happy as possible and that all children feel well supported. It is important that everyone feels safe at all times – our safeguarding practices must provide all children with a listening ear and the additional support that they might need for various reasons.

Our curriculum has been built to provide a rich, broad, balanced, well sequenced, relevant, engaging and inspiring curriculum that provides opportunities and creativity to develop the whole child. In these uncertain times, it is important, perhaps even more than ever,  that our curriculum matches post lock down needs. We are very aware that whilst many children have made extensive progress since March 2020, the complex difficulties posed by the pandemic have left many gaps for many other children whilst also highlighting new needs in terms of social and emotional wellbeing. Our recovery curriculum is built to address complex and varied needs - it is very dependent on the cohort's specific needs, both academic and socially and emotionally. Early assessments in week 2 and 3, are being built upon and form one element of our school recovery curriculum / plan. 

As always, we want our children to feel excited about the learning ahead from the beginning of the journey in foundation stage throughout their primary years to the end of year 6. We want them to engage fully, to make connections with their learning and life outside Deanshanger, and to be enthused to push their learning forward. There are no ceilings on children’s success and we continually promote a ‘Yes, I can’, growth mind set attitude. We also want our children to grow into all rounded citizens that grow in to thoughtful adults fulfilling a meaningful and unique role in society.

In Reception, an interest led curriculum is built based on the characteristics of effective learning. The Reception team meet the children’s needs through carefully planned Continuous Provision, which is enhanced with ‘provocations’ to inspire and challenge. Our intention when planning is to provide children with interest-led opportunities to become fully immersed and deeply engaged in their play which encourages independent learners and critical thinkers. Our mantra is “watch, wait and wonder”, to ensure that we observe before intervening in children’s learning, to empower and enable them to resolve conflicts and issues, solve problems and develop imagination and creativity. 

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) has been selected to provide engaging, cross curricula topics with a rich international outlook; it is used from Year 1 to Year 6. The IPC is used by over 1000 schools in over 90 countries worldwide and where possible we link with other schools to enrich learning further. The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning. The topics in EYFS and beyond, cover the statutory expectations of the national curriculum and bring it fully to life.  

Click here for our curriculum overview document demonstrating the IPC topics for each year group.

The IPC provides the basis for the majority of our English, Science, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art and Society and some of the ICT & Computing curriculum. Maths, RE and PE (Physical Education) are largely discreet subjects with their own schemes of work and expectations, although links are made when they are authentic and meaningful. Planning is very structured and builds upon core skills, knowledge and understanding. Learning in all subject areas is supported by regular sessions in Forest School. These are twice weekly in Foundation Stage and every other week in Y1-Y6.

Everything in our curriculum is supported and underpinned by our school values; these provide the individual qualities and dispositions that we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. There are eight IPC Personal Goals that we have adopted as our school values — enquiry, resilience, principled, communication, thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect and adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practice these are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work, in all ‘other’ subjects, assemblies and Forest School. Power points and class dojos are used to celebrate the successful modelling of the school values.

We ensure open access and inclusiveness, providing opportunities for all, irrespective of their personal characteristics.  It is important that there are no curriculum barriers — pupils will have access to all opportunities and, where there is a choice, they can select appropriately, and with guidance, according to their ambitions, interests, abilities, and needs.

We are keen to hear how curriculum learning is progressing from the children's viewpoint and have set up subject elevation groups this year.  In year group sessions, we share the children's learning in the chosen subject and understand their recalled knowledge, use of subject-specific vocabulary and their ability to apply skills and knowledge to an investigative type activity. These groups allow us to further improve our teaching and learning. 

SRE (Sex and Relationships Education)

SRE is part of our ongoing programme. Initially, it focuses on looking at the body and taking care of it. Later it considers friendships and relationships. As the children grow older, Years 5 and 6, puberty is discussed. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the SRE programme. The request to withdraw should be made in writing to the Head Teacher, Mrs Rachel Rice

Our extensive commitment to PE is demonstrated in our gold school games award and to the Arts, through our silver Artsmark award.  

For further curriculum information, please click on the subject links below. Don’t hesitate to make contact with us if you have any further questions or comments about our curriculum.



The school's 'Champion' for computing is Mr Andrew Rowantree

Frequency of sessions: One lesson per week for computing with additional opportunities for the cross-curricular use of ICT  at other times.

Scheme of Work used: Purple Mash is our main scheme followed to ensure coverage and progression of computing skills and knowledge.

What does computing look like at Deanshanger Primary School?

The curriculum below demonstrates the expectations -​​​​

Foundation Stage: We aim to provide our pupils with a broad, play-based experience of computing in a range of contexts.

  • Early Years learning environments should feature ICT scenarios based on experience in the real world, such as in role-play.
  • Pupils gain confidence, control and language skills through opportunities to ‘paint’ on the interactive board/devices or control remotely operated toys.
  • Outdoor exploration is an important aspect, supported by ICT toys such as metal detectors and walkie-talkie sets.
  • Recording devices can support children to develop their communication skills. This is especially useful for children who have English as an additional language.
  • Show an interest in technological toys with knobs, buttons or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras, mobile phones and ipads/android tablets.
  • Show skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images;
  • Know that information can be retrieved from computers;
  • Complete a simple program on a computer;
  • Use ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software. Recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools;
  • Select and use technology for particular purposes. Find out about, and use a range of everyday technology. They select appropriate applications that support an identified need- for example in deciding how best to make a record of a special event.

Key Stage 1 outcomes

  • Understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following a sequence of instructions.
  • Write and test simple programs.
  • Organise, store, manipulate and retrieve data in a range of digital formats.
  • Communicate safely and respectfully online, keeping personal information private, and recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.

Key Stage 2 outcomes

  • Design and write programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
  • Describe how Internet search engines find and store data; use search engines effectively; be discerning in evaluating digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property; use technology responsibly, securely and safely.
  • Use sequence, selection and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output; generate appropriate inputs and predicted outputs to test programs.
  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how a simple algorithm works and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
  • Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.
  • Describe how internet search engines find and store data; use search engines effectively; be discerning in evaluating digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property; use technology responsibly, securely and safely.
  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.


The Computing 'Champion' keeps up to date with the latest technology resources and makes informed decisions about new resources in conjunction with the whole teaching team (working within a horizontal leadership model). A range of resources are available which successfully support the delivery of the computing curriculum and enable all learners to reach their full potential.  We have a studio where computer lessons can take place (although the laptops and ipads are often taken into the classroom).

A range of apps and programmes, suitable for primary school age pupils, are accessed including Purple Mash and Switched On! These provide schemes of work and resources for planning and teaching. We also have a green screen in the studio and several Beebots.


At Deanshanger Primary School, we aim to enable all children to achieve to their full potential. This includes children of all abilities, social and cultural backgrounds, those with disabilities, EAL speakers and SEN statement and non-statemented. We place particular emphasis on the flexibility technology brings to allowing pupils to access learning opportunities, particularly pupils with SEN and disabilities.

Extra-Curricular Activities (these will resume once we are safely learning outside year group bubbles)

Digitial Leaders is an after school club for KS2 children with a keen interest in computing. They do not just attend a club, they are seen as ambassadors for the subject in their class and are called upon at events as IT support when required. They are also keen to share their knowledge and skills by helping staff and children alike.

For further information about supporting healthy amounts of screen time at home, please find the following very useful guides -  Key Stage 1   Key Stage 2 

Design Technology and art

The school's 'Champion' for art and DT is Mrs Amanda Davis

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week.  However, there are plenty of additional opportunities given throughout the school year for children to practice their art and DT skills for example; Chinese New Year, Remembrance Day, Christmas and New Year and End of Year Art exhibitions to name a few.

We have recently been awarded our silver Artsmark award. We continue to be fully committed to delivering a rich diet of opportunities that are deeply embedded in our cross curricula diet in all year groups. Artsmark provides a  clear and flexible framework for teachers and schools leaders to embed creativity across the whole curriculum and address school improvement priorities - something that we fully believe in. 

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils: 
· produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences 
· become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques 
· evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design 
· know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Key stage 1 
Pupils will be taught to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products. They will have the opportunity to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. They will develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. They will explore the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work within their sketchbooks.

Key stage 2

Pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. They will use their sketchbooks to record their observations, review and revisit ideas and practice new skills. They will be given the opportunity to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]. They will learn about great artists, architects and designers in history

At Deanshanger Primary School we aim to ensure that children have explored, evaluated and become familiar with a range of art media by the time they leave Year 6 from watercolour and acrylic paints to batik and screen printing. Children from Year 1 to Year 6 are encouraged to annotate and evaluate their work and the work of Artists.  Children’s comments should demonstrate a progression of their understanding and ability as they move through the school.  Although there is no formal assessment in Art the annotated sketchbooks will make clear the skill level each child is working at both in their own ability to produce artwork and in their ability to evaluate works of art. 

We hope that the children at Deanshanger Primary School enjoy and engage thoroughly with their Art sessions and can look back and reflect upon their developing skills throughout their time here.

Design and Technology (DT) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils from Foundation Stage to Year 6 design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. 

They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. The teaching of Art and DT is a mandatory element of the National Curriculum. The statutory requirements plus the advisory content of the Dimensions scheme of work will form the foundation for this subject.

Eco School

The school's 'Champion' for Eco learning is Ms Nyree Kenzie.

Our Eco team form and lead an Eco-Committee. In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it’s the pupils that decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they’re going to do it. Deanshanger Primary School helps children to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity. 

The club will resume once we are safely learning outside year group bubbles.

Eco Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind something important. 

Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, providing schools with all the evidence they need to showcase their environmental success. In fact, Eco-Schools can fit into virtually all aspects of the curriculum and help to make learning, both inside and outside the classroom, fun and engaging.

Our School has previously achieved the Bronze and Silver awards and we are now setting our sights on the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. 

Undertaking the Eco-Schools programme is a long-term journey and it can take time for schools to implement the different elements of the framework and engage their staff, students and the community with it. We think it's a journey well worth taking though and the Eco-Schools team, along with a whole host of materials, information and resources, will be there to support schools along the way.

English Language

The school's 'Champions' for English learning are Mrs Sarah Webb, Miss Steph Forward and Ms Nyree McKenzie.

Pupils’ key skills, knowledge and attitudes are developed within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. This is usually implemented through a daily English lesson for Years 1 to 6, and is linked to the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) whenever appropriate. Our long term plan for English maps out these opportunities against the IPC ensuring a carefully thought out structure of core English skills and knowledge to prepare them for the next stage in their learning. Click this link to view our long term plan. EYFS learning opportunities are planned using continuous provision and interest child-led learning. The core English curriculum is divided into the following strands:


In Reception and Key Stage 1, children are systematically taught the phonemes that enable us to read and then spell words using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme. During phonics sessions, children are taught to identify all the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in a particular order beginning with s,a,t,p,i,n. They are taught to blend, where they say the sounds that make up a word and merge them together until they can hear what the word is – this is a vital skill of early reading. Children are also taught to segment, which is the opposite of blending, by saying the word and breaking it up into the correct phonemes – this skill is a key aspect for early spelling. The learning of phonics are linked to your child's spellings.

Our school booklet - 'Reading and Phonics, Information for Parents/Carers' can be found here and a short video demonstrating pure sounds, below. Children access ‘Letters and Sounds Big Cat Books’ to introduce and reinforce their phonics learning in school. These books are physically stored in school using Huxley Horse Box. Children and their parents can also access books, from home and school, using the Collins e-book system. Additionally, children in Foundation Stage and  Year 1 use ‘Reading Eggs’ to aid and reinforce their learning in phonics. All children should have an individual account to make phonics learning fun using this interactive programme.


Foundation Stage and Key Stage One

 Regular shared and guided reading sessions enable children to apply their phonic decoding skills, as well as other reading cues, to read for meaning. Children consolidate their phonic knowledge and comprehension at home by taking home an individual reading scheme book and/or library book. In all year groups children listen to and discuss a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently. They become very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics. They learn to appreciate poems and learn some by heart. Please see our ‘Early Reading/Phonics Policy’ for more details.

In Year Two children are introduced to books that are structured in different ways. They retell a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales and continue to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart. Word reading and decoding skills that promote fluency continue to be explicitly taught. Children take part in discussions about a range of texts and explain their understanding.  Many children will begin Accelerated Reader and use our extensive library to independently select a well matched reading book. There will be some children who continue with ‘Big Cat Letters and Sounds’ scheme. These children will be carefully monitored.

Key Stage Two

At Key Stage Two children build on the good reading habits and reading fluency established at Key Stage One. Many children will continue on their Accelerated Reader journey and use our extensive library to select well-matched books. The teaching of reading skills is still addressed through English lessons or guided and shared reading sessions. Proficient readers are encouraged to extend their experiences and are guided by their class teacher in their book choices. Children who require support to develop their reading skills participate in small group phonics work. The principles of the Letters and Sounds programme is still endorsed throughout this Key Stage with intervention strategies put in place to support all children in becoming confident and competent readers.

By the end of Key Stage Two we expect all children to use the library regularly to make their own independent book selections. In Years Three and Four children read books that are structured in a variety of ways and continue to listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. Children identify new vocabulary and check the meaning of words using dictionaries and thesauruses. They recognise different forms of poetry and prepare play scripts and poems to read aloud.  In Years Five and Six children continue to read an increasingly wide range of text types and recommend books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices.  We access an e-book system: myON to create reading projects of fiction and non-fiction books to support cross curricular reading linked to our IPC topics. A parents’ guide to myON can be found here. Across all year groups, we promote the reading of ‘classic’ children’s literature either via individual reading comprehensions or reading a shared class novel. The English Long Term plan gives further details of these texts.

The use of ‘Reading Vipers’ is a key principal to our teaching of reading. The use of the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise) help us to identify key skills we are developing in reading throughout and across the school.

These key skills are introduced in Early Years and Key Stage One during shared and guided reading sessions. During Key Stage Two, children will apply these skills in all forms of reading .

Parents take an active part in developing the joy of reading by sharing the books brought home each day and making comments in the reading diary. Children should be reading at least five times a week for at least 20 minutes. This is an expectation in all year groups, though will increase to 30 minutes in Year 6.  All reading should be recorded in the 'Home/School Diary'. Reading time should be a comfortable, stress-free and enjoyable time for both parent and child. We encourage children to read a range of materials. For example, boys may be inspired to read the sports column in their newspaper or graphic novels.

Reading is celebrated in school in classrooms and communal areas. Also, during weekly whole school assemblies and on our school Twitter feed. We regularly invite authors to school to further celebrate reading and writing.


Children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are encouraged to write independently to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, handwriting, punctuation and spelling. Our long term plan document carefully maps out progression of SPaG skills across the school. In our 'Home/School Diary' there is a glossary of SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) terms used across the school; a DfE glossary document is also attached.

To support our teaching of writing we use our own assessment criteria based on the National Curriculum 2014 requirements with further guidance provided to Years 2 and 6 by the DfE performance descriptors and national writing standards.   Teachers model writing strategies and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Once children have successfully come to the end of their 'Letters and Sounds' journey, we use the 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme to teach spelling. 

The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts, for a variety of purposes and audiences, using quality texts as a model. There are many opportunities for children to improve their writing. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of a group. Children can also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing. Please refer to our separate presentation policy for details about expectations for handwriting and presentation of work. Click here for the presentation policy. Across the school, we use the 'Letterjoin' scheme of work for handwriting.

As part of our development of writing skills, all children across all phases of the school, independently produce a ‘First of the Month’ (FoTM) piece. This is marked against either the year group writing pathway or toolkit. Children may improve their pieces afterwards using purple pen marking. ‘First of the Month’ exercise books are passed on to the next year group. This ensures that future teachers have an understanding of the child’s writing journey across the school; it also provides a record for children and parents.

Speaking and Listening

Children are encouraged to speak clearly, fluently and with confidence in groups of varying sizes and ages and to listen and respond to other people. There are many opportunities within the school to speak confidently through class assemblies and performances. Drama is used whenever possible which helps in bringing the curriculum to life. Children also perform poetry. This can be individually or as part of a group. 

There is weekly English homework set across the school.

Within English, there are statutory assessments in reading , writing and SPaG (KS2 only) at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2. There is also a statutory phonics screening where children read real and nonsense words. Years Three, Four and Five engage in termly assessments for reading and SPaG with a termly teacher assessment of writing.

Our Maths/English powerpoint presentation for parents can be found here. 


French is taught in a whole-class setting by our language 'Champion' and specialist, Mrs Emilie Stevenson.  Emilie is a native French speaker. 

Frequency of sessions: Sessions in KS1 are 30 minutes long every other week. In KS2, lessons are largely 45 minutes long every other week. Sessions in EYFS are more ad hoc and incorporate stories and songs. 

Duo Lingo and Salut provide a wealth of opportunities to support the progression of skills. The lessons are designed to motivate children and are mainly practical in focus. They have clear, achievable objectives and incorporate different learning styles. SEND children have access to the curriculum through variation of task, grouping or support from an adult. 

French lessons provide a variety of sources to model the language, use games and songs to maximise enjoyment and make as many connections to real-life situations as possible. Lessons focus on speaking and listening. However, when appropriate, children record written work informally in books which are passed through the years and become a portfolio of their learning. This then will be passed on to the secondary school.

In KS2, each class has a timetabled lesson of at least thirty minutes per week. Foundation Stage have 15-minute sessions to share a story, song or rhyme. KS1 build up from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. French can also be revisited in short sessions throughout the week to consolidate knowledge and ensure new language is retained.


The school's 'Champion' for geography is Miss Sophie Peers.

Frequency of sessions: This change depending on the topic being studied, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be geography and therefore there will be a high focus on geographical skills. In other topics, there might not be a geographically focus.

Geography is covered through the IPC schemes of work and where appropriate, cross-curricular links are made within literacy, art, DT, music and science.  Our aim is to deliver a high-quality geography education, which stimulates pupils thinking about the world and its people. Teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As our pupils progress, they will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. 

Pupils will develop contextual knowledge of the location of places, seas and oceans, including their defining physical and human characteristics, understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world and learn how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.

In addition to this, pupils will collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes, interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps and writing at length. 

In Key Stage 1, focus includes: 

Being able to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.
Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.
Emphasis on basic geographical vocabulary is paramount.
Basic use of world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage. 

Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. 

In Key Stage 2, geography focuses include:

Locating the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities. Being able to  name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

Position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night) should also be covered.

Describe and understand key aspects of: physical geography, including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. KS2 should be able to confidently Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied and use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

For further information about the national curriculum guidance for geography, click here


The school's 'Champion' for history is Miss Nico Brooks.

Frequency of sessions: This change depending on the topic being studied, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be history and therefore there will be a high focus on historical skills. In other topics, there might not be a historical focus.

History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources. 

Staff at Deanshanger Primary School strive to passionately deliver history knowledge, skills and understanding making educated citizens who learn from the events, people and ideas that we study and developing a growing interest in building upon the past locally, nationally and internationally. 

Aims and Objectives 

  • To foster an interest in the past and to develop an understanding of how the past has influenced the present. 

  • To develop a sense of chronology so the children can organise their understanding of the past. 

  • To provide opportunities for investigation and learning using a wide range of sources and information. 

  • To develop an understanding of how to interpret primary and secondary sources. 

  • To distinguish between historical facts and interpretation. 

  • To provide opportunities for children to develop their skills of enquiry, analysis and investigation. 

  • To learn about key events in the history of their own locality, country and the world. 

  • To organise information about past societies, making comparisons. 

  • To promote pupils, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through the study of past societies. 

  • To provide an inclusive curriculum that enables consideration of diversity. 

History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources. 

Where possible, we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past; we have very close links with Deanshanger’s Heritage Society and the British Legion. For example, the Deanshanger Heritage Society regularly maintain and update a local history display/installation in the school about specific themes. Recently this has included leisure activities over time. 

We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given and should consider the beliefs and values of that time. 

Wherever possible, local, national and world events are incorporated into the school’s curriculum in order to enrich and embed learning. For example, VE Day, Remembrance Day, Chinese New Year…. 

For further information about the national curriculum guidance for history, click here

Our history policy can be accessed here. 


The school's 'Champions' for maths are Mrs Kim Ritchie and Mr Andrew Rowantree

Frequency of sessions: From Years 1 - 6, maths is taught for one hour every day. In Early Years Foundation Stage, mathematics is taught through the continuous provision and short focussed inputs. In KS2, maths is taught in ability groupings.

Deanshanger Primary School uses Classroom Secrets which is based on the White Rose schemes of learning. This is designed to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning as well as to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum. Classroom Secrets breaks down each area of maths into small steps. Each step is planned to develop children’s fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills. All mathematics lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of every child.

Mathematics is assessed using a range of formative and summarise assessments. There are three formal assessment points throughout the year. National tests are carried out at the of the EYFS, and at the end of Key Stages one and two. Although the assessment of children's multiplication in Year 4 was originally planned to start from June 2020, due to the pandemic, this has been delayed.

In Year 1, 3, 4 and 5, NFER maths tests inform progress and identify next steps and the gaps in learning. 

Our Calculations Policy outlines the methods used in each year group to meet the expectations. 

Homework will be set in this area of the curriculum to extend and apply the knowledge taught in lessons. Children also have access to Times Tables RockStars, an app which supports the recall of multiplication facts.

Our Maths/English powerpoint presentation for parents can be found here. 

The following sites will also support your child's learning in maths :

Oxford Owl MathsBBC BitesizeNational NumeracyMaths Zone

For a comprehensive guide to supporting maths at home, click here


The school's 'Champion' for music is Mrs Jess Hunting.

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and time of year, but will largely average out as one session a fortnight with additional music opportunities in school assemblies and special events.  

At Deanshanger Primary School, our aim is to deliver a high-quality musical education.  We believe that music enables children to better understand the world as music reflects the culture and society we live in.  Music provides the children with a unique method of communicating their ideas and understanding; it also provides a strong outlet for emotions and building a sense of community.

The school is well equipped with a wide selection of percussion instruments, key boards, drum kits and a piano.

Where opportunities become available, the school actively engages in cluster music events, workshops in neighbouring schools and sets up choirs for school and community events. 

Music teaching comes in many forms –

  • Class music sessions largely using the Charanga music scheme - A complete scheme to teach the national curriculum for music.  Class sessions start in foundation stage and gradually build upon the skills and knowledge. 
  • School assemblies – music plays a very prominent role through learning and performing traditional school songs and modern ones and listening/reviewing to different styles of music. We are very proud of the repertoire of songs that we know and the gusto in which we perform! In addition, children are warmly invited to showcase their musical talents in assemblies.
  • Children are able to sign up for one to one or small group instrument lessons from peripatetic specialists in the county. We currently offer lessons in drums, guitar, flute and the clarinet.
  • Children across the school are also able to sign up for weekly Rocksteady sessions – these have grown enormously over the last two years. We all look forward to the termly Rocksteady concerts where parents/carers are invited into to join in the children’s growing musical talents and confidence.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Physical Education

The school's 'Champion' for PE  is Mr Gregory working collaboratively and with the whole teaching team (within a horizontal leadership model) to deliver Physical Education across the school, ensuring standards continue to replicate the School Games gold award - a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.

Frequency of sessions: Two hours per week. At the current time (because of the pandemic), all sessions are outside. In non covid times, there would be an hour of indoor PE and an hour of outside PE a week. This is in line with the current statutory requirements for PE:

The minimum content for each Key Stage is as follows:

  • Foundation and Key Stage 1 - athletics, dance, games, and gymnastics
  • Key Stage 2 - athletics, dance, games, gymnastics and swimming

To read further about the statutory requirements in this subject click here.

At Deanshanger, we believe that Physical Education is a vital part of the curriculum as it not only promotes a healthy and active lifestyle but teaches the key values of teamwork, honesty, self-belief, passion, determination, and respect.

We currently use the REAL PE programme which heavily focuses on coordination, balance and agility and promotes mastering and improving key skills within a sport. All staff are trained in this approach and deliver REAL PE to their class.

Foundation Stage follow some of the REAL PE programme and satisfy the Early Years curriculum through other units of dance, gymnastics, apparatus use and multi-skills activities. They also incorporate Balanceability into the week for some children. 

Key Stage 1 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM and dance for indoor PE. In addition, KS1 take part in a skills-based approach to invasion, net/ball and fielding and striking games for outdoor PE.

Lower KS2 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM, and dance for indoor PE. Outdoor games covers traditional sports games which focus on the skills development whilst being played within competitive recognised sport.  REAL PE units can also be done as the outdoor games too.

Upper KS2 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM, and dance for indoor PE. Outdoor games consists of traditional sports games which focus on the skills development whilst being played within competitive recognised sport. REAL PE units can also be done as the outdoor games too. Upper KS2 also follow an in-house competition format earning points towards Sports Day.

All year groups have access to the Real Jasmine platform which enables the subject to be taught using real-life context for the skills needed to be successful. There is a heavy focus on individual self-improvement no matter what the perceived ability. The best examples of this come through our investment in Skip2Bfit and Run a mile.

As well as Physical Education in curriculum time, Deanshanger Primary also take part in many sporting events with other schools in the local area. These include tag rugby, football, athletics (indoor and outdoor), gymnastics, netball, cricket, Kurling, Boccia, Archery, Tri-golf, cross country and hockey.

Specifically, Year 4 attend Towcester swimming pool for swimming lessons and top up swimming is provided to children in Year 6. Years 4 and 6 get the opportunity to go to school residentials which provide chances to explore more outdoor experiences related to physical activity.

We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities before and after school. These include the traditional sports of football, gymnastics and athletics as well as individual events such as run a mile and Skip2Bfit.

We also have a broad range of in-house activities delivered by our Sports Leaders, Play Leaders and several outsourced sports providers.

There is no formal assessment within Physical Education. However, teachers are consistently assessing their pupil’s attainment and progress against the skills outlined in the Real PE programme. The success of this programme is apparent in the ability of Year 5 and Year 6 to take part in competitive sport.

PSHE - Personal, Social and Health Education

The school's 'Champion' for PSHE is Miss Claire Stanley.

Frequency of sessions: This will largely average out as one session a week but at certain times of the year, and depending of school events or external activities, may be more regular. 

In PSHE we aim to offer children the opportunity to express their thoughts, ideas and emotions about important issues in school, home and society. PSHE is taught once per week using the PSHE Association Scheme of work in Foundation Stage, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.   In addition Year 5 also follow the “Friends for life” scheme. Through group discussions and activities, children develop life skills to build resilience and self-confidence. 

In Year 1 children follow the “Zippy’s Friends” scheme. Through stories, children will explore and discuss a variety of topics during the programmes six modules: ‘feelings’, ‘communication’, ‘making breaking relationships’, ‘conflict resolution’, ‘dealing with change and loss’ and ‘we cope’. 

Through our programme of study we encourage an awareness of keeping healthy and eating healthily. The school provides healthy eating snacks at break time for Key Stage One and encourages healthy eating by choosing a hot meal or bringing a healthy packed lunch.

As there is no formal assessment for this subject, the subject champion monitors the outcomes of each year group’s objectives through work samples and ongoing staff audit grids.

The School Council at Deanshanger Primary is a successful and active group that meet on alternate weeks along with class councils. School council organise house and charity events and provide a pupil voice to our school's development. Each year group from Year 1 to Year 6 has two representatives and are elected by their peers in September.

Religious Education

The school's 'Champion' for RE is Mrs Emma Neville.

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week.  However, there are plenty of additional opportunities given throughout the school year for children to develop their RE skills according to special events in the RE calendar.

Religious Education is an important curriculum subject in its own right and also makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion. RE is taught on a weekly basis in all class across the school. In it supported in school assemblies, in cross-curricula topic learning and through our PSHCE curriculum at times. We follow the Local Authority’s statutory SACRE guidance, SACRE stands for Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education; this is based on DfE non statutory guidance (2010).

Where possible, we invite in visitors from different faiths to talk to the children and allow open questioning; we alo plan trips to enrich learning. We have close links with Holy Trinity church here in Deanshanger, and a team share half termly ‘Open the Book’ assemblies.

Religious Education is a statutory requirement, but it is not part of the National Curriculum.  Schools in Northamptonshire follow the SACRE agreed syllabus, which we base all our learning on.    

The agreed syllabus for RE in Northamptonshire is called 'Growing Together' and is the responsibility of the local authority.


The school's 'Champions' for science are Miss Georgia Whitaker and Mrs Sarah Burdett

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be science and therefore there will be a high focus on scienctific skills. In other topics, there might not be a science focus.

Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children are encouraged to develop the characteristics of effective learning, many of which help the children to develop skills that support their scientific learning. Science is taught through ‘Understanding of the world’, building on their natural curiosity and fascination with the world around them.

Science teaching in the rest of the school follows the National Curriculum guidelines through a topic approach from the IPC (International Primary Curriculum), providing a broad, relevant science curriculum for all the children.

In Key Stage 1, pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate. Most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences.

At Key Stage 2, pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the work of scientists and the effects over time of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They ask their own questions about what they observe and make decisions about what types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, working on their own and with others. They draw simple conclusions, use scientific language and a range of reference sources in their work.  They also use conventional diagrams, charts, graphs, and ICT to communicate their ideas. Children may also be asked to write-up their experiments as reports or extended pieces of writing.

We have a well-stocked cupboard of resources which the children access regularly through their work and we have recently developed an outside science lab - a new space to enhance the learning. The school site itself is rich with scientific opportunities, our Forest School area is a prime example of this. It is home to a vast variety of wildlife including: hedgehogs, newts, mini beasts and many trees which the children explore with enthusiasm each week; there is even one which they are shown how to climb safely!

Our children are assessed annually, and at the end of most units, in science using the Rising Stars scheme. We also use rubrics with the children, from the IPC, to develpe self review skills.


Special Educational Needs and Disability - SEND

Special Educational Needs and Disability - SEND

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Deanshanger Primary School are co-ordinated by our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) Miss Natalie Wilmot -

The lead governors responsible for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion are  Mr David Aaronson and Mr Andy Limbert.

Across the school we ensure that all children’s needs are catered for, allowing for them to be involved in all aspects of the curriculum. This is delivered in a number of different ways from differentiated lessons, specific small group interventions and one to one support to develop a specific aspect of a child’s learning need.  A provision map for each year group shows the additional support being delivered to meet the needs in that year group.

Some children may require further assistance and support with their learning where guidance from county based agencies such as the Education Psychologist, School Nursing Team, Speech and Language Therapists, Autism Outreach and other organisations is sought. When a child needs this level of additional support with their learning, a clear programme of learning and support is put in place to ensure that work is appropriately matched and termly targets are set. This is recorded in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and is shared with parents and the child. 

Children may require high levels of support to meet their needs.  In this case we may need to move from an IEP to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). This is also shared with parents and the child and provides more specific targets to support the child in all aspects of their learning and social engagement.  

We have a comprehensive Inclusion Policy, which has recently been updated to meet the requirements of The Code of Practice, set out by the DfE.  A copy of the policy can be viewed on the policy page of the website. Alternatively, you can request a hard copy from the school office. Within the policy you will find out about - 

  • Our provision for SEND and how we promote inclusion 
  • Methods for identifying and assessing pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Additional support available in our school for children with Special Educational Needs
  • How the school involves pupils with Special Educational Needs and their parents in decisions
  • Working alongside other professionals, including health and social services to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and supporting their families
  • The role of governors
  • The Local Authority Special Educational Needs offer. For more information click here

All staff and governors also have a duty to promote equality and accessibility for the disabled which are fully explained in the school’s Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan.

If you have any questions about provision for your child, their progress and attainment and well-being in any way, you should contact the class teacher in the first instance followed by Miss Natalie Wilmot (SENCo) and/or Mrs Rachel Rice (Head teacher)