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Our curriculum has been carefully crafted to develop essential and transferrable skills for all children at Barkston and Syston Church of England Primary School. Our curriculum is inspirational and aspirational and builds carefully on prior knowledge and learning; this allows our pupils to apply their knowledge and skills in a range of different contexts. When developing our curriculum, as well as meeting all statutory requirements from the National Curriculum, we carefully considered the different skills and knowledge that we believe are essential for our children to know in order to be prepared for the next stage in their education. We also asked the children what was important to them. Their responses included:


To feel safe and know how to keep myself safe

To be happy

Have fun!

Develop resilience


To be challenged

To learn to be independent

Develop creativity

Make memories

Everyone has a voice

Develop confidence

Art and Design

Children develop their art skills from Reception through to Year 6. Our art curriculum focuses on the key skills and knowledge within each year group to ensure children have a range of opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills. We place an emphasis on vocabulary and have designed a progression in art vocabulary to ensure the children get the opportunity to master the art curriculum in its entirety.


We have looked carefully at different artists and matched them to the key art skills. We selected these artists because their work is a strong example of a particular skill.


Where possible, art is linked to other curriculum areas however these links are never made at the expense of developing the key art skills and knowledge.

Art and Design


We have carefully designed our computing curriculum to enable all of our children to become digitally literate. The world we live in is becoming ever-more reliant on computing and other ICT systems and our curriculum enables all children to become confident users of ICT.

The core of computing is computer science, in which children are taught the principles of computing, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

Building on this knowledge and understanding, children are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.


Design Technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical subject.

Using creativity and imagination, children design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, taking their own and others’ needs, wants and values into consideration.

We are mindful of the rapid developments in technology and therefore aim to present the children, from a very early age, with problem solving activities which allow them to utilise their natural creativity. This starts right from EYFS, where our continuous provision affords the children many opportunities to design, build and make.

Throughout their learning, children have the opportunity to use a range of different tools and equipment in a safe and controlled manner.

We follow the process of planning, designing, building, testing and evaluating to ensure children develop their skills across all areas of the design process.

Design Technology


Children start their geography learning in EYFS, exploring and developing their fascination of the world around them. Children in Years 1-6 study a rich and varied geography curriculum with opportunities to learn more about the world and to apply their knowledge from previous years, allowing them to make links between the units studied.

Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards, from their immediate environment, to London, to the UK, to Europe, South America and Africa. Their understanding of how their local area fits into the wider world is therefore gradually built upon. We have carefully mapped out our programmes of study to allow children the opportunities to draw comparisons and make contrasts between the areas studied.

Our geography curriculum aligns with our history curriculum to allow children to make links within their learning throughout their time at school.



Our history curriculum is rich and inspiring in its content. Our history curriculum draws from - and makes full use of - the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.

Areas of study are informed by the National Curriculum and are carefully planned to suit children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. Our history curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the National Curriculum, the curriculum at Barkston and Syston aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past;

  • Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement;

  • Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


Our curriculum links to themes which children revisit many times throughout their time at our school. The key themes interwoven throughout our curriculum are:

  • Context and Chronology

  • Change and Continuity

  • Cause and Consequence

Languages - Spanish

Barkston and Syston CE Primary School’s aim is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages. Learning a second language will offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, key individuals and cultural differences. The intention is that pupils will feel able and encouraged to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2 and ultimately be working towards becoming life-long language learners.

Our pupils participate in a variety of activities, developing their speaking and listening, reading and writing skills. We use a range of resources to develop knowledge and understanding, ensuring all children can access fun and exciting activities.


Languages - Spanish


At Barkston and Syston Primary School, ALL pupils are mathematicians. The language of mathematics is international and the basic skills of mathematics are vital for the life opportunities of our children. Our aim is for all children to think mathematically, develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills.


Our Maths Mastery curriculum has been developed to ensure every child can achieve excellence in mathematics. Children can experience a sense of awe and wonder as they solve a problem for the first time, discover different solutions and make links between different areas of mathematics. It provides pupils with a deep understanding of the subject through a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. This ensures pupils fully understand what they are learning.


Key features of our Maths Mastery curriculum:

· High expectations for every child

· Fewer topics, greater depth

· Number sense and place value come first

· Focus on mathematical thinking and language

· Resources to support

· Problem solving is central

· Calculate with confidence– understand why it works


Maths Mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in mathematics. It embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.


We are members of the East Midlands Maths Hub, participating in a variety of projects and opportunities to develop Maths Mastery throughout the school.


Music is taught across the school following the ‘Charanga’ scheme of work.

Our EYFS provides opportunities to apply taught music knowledge in the children’s learning environment and investigate a range of musical instruments.

In Key Stage One, music is taught through the Charanga scheme, which gives our children the opportunity to use their voices expressively, learn a range of songs, play untuned instruments and develop their skills to appraise music.

In Key Stage 2 pupils continue to develop their music appreciation through the Charanga scheme.

Within our topics, pupils also have the opportunity to listen and appraise music and learn about composers, styles, traditions across historical periods.

Music plays an important part of our collective worship and the children enjoy singing a variety of songs as part of this.

Opportunities for parents to watch and join in with music are also embedded into our school. These include our church services where the adults are invited participate.


Teaching children to be good, confident and fluent readers is an essential life skill. From when children start Barkston and Syston School in reception, they are taught Phonics, which is understanding and applying letters and sounds in order to read and write.

In EYFS and KS1, phonics lessons are delivered everyday using a combination of ‘Phonics Bug’ and ‘Letters and sounds Programme’. Phonics Bug is a fun and interactive programme which involves the whole class, engaging the children with reading and spelling by using a multi-sensory approach to phonic development.

Children learn to understand that letters and letter combinations represent sounds in words (grapheme-phoneme-correspondences or GPCs). In Phonics sessions, they practise quick recognition of these GPCs. The sessions also give children consistent support and practice in skills of blending these sounds to read and segmenting words into sounds to help with spelling and writing. Children revise previous learning in every session so that becomes embedded. Within each session, children practise and apply these skills in reading class texts, playing word games, or writing words or sentences.


Embedding Phonics

We aim to embed Phonics in all English lessons and in other curriculum subjects where appropriate. Children are encouraged to use their developing phonic knowledge sounds to spell words. Similarly, whenever they are reading, they are encouraged to use their sounds to blend.

All letter sounds are displayed in each classroom to facilitate this and our pupils are encouraged to refer to them regularly.

High frequency and “tricky words” are also displayed around the classrooms to develop independence when spelling.

When modelling reading or writing, teachers model the use of Phonics to help with spelling and decoding.

Physical Education

We have designed a PE curriculum that enables children to develop knowledge, skills and vocabulary in a broad range of sporting activities, as well as developing values and transferrable life skills such as fairness and respect.

We work closely with Inspire + to enhance our curriculum offer and are proud to offer a range of sports and clubs for our children, ranging from traditional sports to more unique ones. By doing this, we aim to instil a passion for physical activity in all of our pupils.


We value physical activity and the positive impact it has upon health as well as physical and mental wellbeing. We aim to have a PE lesson once a week as well as participating in the Daily Mile. In addition, we have a dedicated ‘Active Lunch’ leader who designs activities and opportunities to encourage all children to become active during social times, as well as developing and promoting key skills, such as resilience, perseverance and teamwork.

Our curriculum plan gives plenty of opportunities for children to build upon prior knowledge, allowing them to know more and remember more. Our PE provision is further enhanced through the use of the Sports Premium Funding and are covered by the 5 key performance indicators. For more information about how we spend our Sports Premium, please follow the link in the main menu.

Physical Education


Barkston and Syston CE Primary School is a nurturing learning environment in which each child is encouraged to develop their full potential and where their achievements and successes are celebrated and rewarded.


As a school, we believe that children are all individuals and therefore, we aim to encourage mutual respect, responsibility and foster self-esteem in a happy and caring atmosphere. The teaching and learning of PSHE supports and upholds this philosophy.

We provide pupils with:

  • accurate and relevant knowledge
  • opportunities to create personal understanding
  • opportunities to explore and challenge a range of values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities
  • a range of skills and strategies to live a healthy, safe, fulfilling, responsible and balanced life.


First and foremost, we want all children at Barkston and Syston CE School to develop a life-long love of reading.

Through dedicated reading lessons, we teach the necessary skills needed to develop the range of reading skills on a daily basis. Reading lessons focus on the skills of comprehension, first through unpicking vocabulary, then moving on to unlocking the meaning of whole texts.


Teachers read an enormous variety of written material regularly with the children, including fiction and non-fiction, reports, diaries and poems. Each class has access to a ‘Class Book Library’ containing challenging and interesting novels for teachers to read to their classes, introducing children to rich language and classic stories which they may find too challenging to read independently.


We have invested in several high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books to help children develop their reading skills and make progress. Our book banded system ensures that children have access to books which support, stretch and challenge them in their next steps.

Religious Education

We teach RE in accordance with the Lincolnshire Agreed Syllabus and Understanding Christianity. We believe that it is important for all children to learn about a range of faiths and backgrounds in order to develop compassion, empathy and tolerance, giving our children a firm foundation upon which to acknowledge differences in beliefs.


As a Church of England school, we recognise the core place that RE occupies as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.


We actively seek to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain. As such, we promote key British values, including respect for and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We challenge racism and all forms of prejudice and we see RE as a key curriculum area in which our pupils can encounter and critically reflect on a range of world views.


The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
● develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
● develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
● are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.


At Barkston and Syston CE Primary School, we encourage children to be inquisitive and use their natural curiosity to find out more about the world around them and its scientific processes. Our science curriculum fosters a curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for both the living and non-living. Throughout our programmes of study, children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. Key skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school, providing plenty of opportunities for children to recall – and use – their prior learning.


The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences wherever possible, including using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining key concepts and ideas. Cross curricular opportunities are identified where possible and are planned to ensure contextual relevance.


At Barkston & Syston CE School we firmly believe that good spelling is an essential skill which allows the children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies we equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking for adult help.

We want the children to develop a love of language and the confidence to spell more challenging and ambitious words. In allowing them opportunities to develop a rich and exciting vocabulary, we are enabling them to become effective communicators.

We aim for the children to develop confidence and accuracy when spelling across the curriculum. In doing so we aim to:

  • Develop and teach the children to use a range of effective spelling strategies
  • Encourage creativity and the use of more ambitious vocabulary in their writing
  • Enable children to write independently
  • Enhance proof reading and editing skills
  • Encourage children to identify patterns in words and spellings.
  • Promote a positive and confident attitude towards spelling
  • Help children to use a range of dictionaries and spell checks effectively
  • Help children recognise that spelling is a lifelong skill
  • Provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in spelling

Spoken Language - Oracy

Listening and talking is the key to early language development and as such must be encouraged and supported. Being an effective talker involves having knowledge, feelings, ideas or opinions and being able to communicate these in ways which will have a particular effect on an audience or help achieve a personal or group goal. It involves a complex array of skills: for example, mental agility, command of a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures; the ability to recognise and use language conventions; and sensitivity and responsiveness to others. We aim to offer all our pupils a talking and listening programme of high quality. To achieve this aim for talking and listening, all pupils will experience a range of activities.

Spoken Language - Oracy


Through our writing curriculum, it is our vision at Barkston & Syston CE School that every child will become creative writers by being given exciting, inspiring and engaging materials and opportunities that challenge and support them. We want children to become confident, talented, enthusiastic writers who develop a love for writing. They will be able to use writing to communicate with others and express themselves and they will be able to write independently and for a range of purposes. Children will be able to reflect upon and evaluate their writing, use vocabulary to create style and convey meaning and use what they read to enhance what they write. We want children to deepen this knowledge of meaning and purpose within writing. Teachers plan and teach based on the needs and interests of their class and adapt lessons in order to support and challenge learning. We regularly assess independent pieces of writing across classes and year groups to identify gaps, inform planning and monitor progress.