The school values; RESPECT, COURAGE, INTEGRITY, COMPASSION AND HOPE, are key to our identity as a Church of England school community.

 The school aims; ASPIRATION, RESILIENCE AND EXCELLENCE, reflect our commitment to the development of growth mindsets in staff and pupils and to high standards of teaching and learning in all subjects. Although the EYFS Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum for England form the basis of what is taught in the school, we believe that there is so much more to learning than this, and our curriculum is therefore designed to contribute to the development of the whole child. Questions form a key element in our planned curriculum.


Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein




During their year in the Reception Class our children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and are assessed throughout the year using the Foundation Stage Profile. This is planned for and taught in six areas of learning: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; problem solving, reasoning and numeracy, knowledge and understanding of the world, physical development and creative development.


During their first term in school, children develop their social skills and an understanding of the expectations for good behaviour. They become involved in a wide range of practical activities, both indoor and outdoor.  During this time, children also start to learn early mathematical and literacy skills. Emphasis is given to the development of vocabulary.  Reading skills are introduced, including book knowledge, letter sounds and sight vocabulary. Once confidence in letter sounds is established, the children are given books and a reading record to take home.


A new National Curriculum in England was introduced in 2014.  The obligation to teach programmes of study from the previous national curriculum was disapplied and new programmes of study and attainment targets have replaced these.


Why the big curriculum change?

The main aim is to raise standards. Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the current curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming.

What's new: the main changes


*   Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling(for example, the

    use of commas and apostrophes will be taught in KS1)

*   Handwriting (not currently assessed under the national curriculum) is expected to be fluent, legible

    and speedy

*   Spoken English has a greater emphasis, with children to be taught debating and presenting skills.


*   Five-year-olds will be expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the current

    curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (currently up to 10)

*   Simple fractions (1/4 and 1/2) will be taught from KS1, and by the end of primary school, children

    should be able to convert decimal fractions to simple fractions (e.g. 0.375 = 3/8)

*   By the age of nine, children will be expected to know times tables up to 12×12 (currently 10×10 by the

    end of primary school)

*   Calculators will not be introduced until near the end of KS2, to encourage mental arithmetic.


*   Strong focus on scientific knowledge and language, rather than understanding the nature and

    methods of science in abstract terms

*   Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time

*   Non-core subjects like caring for animals will be replaced by topics like the human circulatory system

Design & technology

*   Design and Technology has become more important in  the new curriculum, setting children on the

    path to becoming the designers and engineers of the future

*   More sophisticated use of design equipment such as electronics and robotics

*   In KS2, children will learn about how key events and individuals in design and technology have

    shaped the world.


*   Computing replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on

    programming rather than on operating programs

*   From age five, children will learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve


*   From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet

*   Internet safety – currently only taught from 11-16 – will be taught in primary schools


*   Currently not statutory, a modern foreign language or ancient language will be mandatory in

    KS2. Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse,

    present, read and write in the language

The Curriculum at Checkendon

We are committed to developing a growth mindset[1]  amongst pupils and staff so that children understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and perseverance. We focus on developing children’s independent learning skills and use ‘good learner’ posters in classrooms to embed these.

Mathematics and English lessons form a key part of teaching and learning in Key Stage 1 and 2 during the mornings, but there are also opportunities to develop mathematical skills, speaking and listening, writing and reading during the afternoons. Michael Morpurgo is a key author in all classes. Whilst maths, PE, RE, French and PSHE are usually planned with separate subject-specific topics, teaching and learning in English, science, computing, history, geography, art , design and technology, is usually linked by a termly theme. With our well-equipped school hall, playground and field, there are plenty of opportunities for a wide range of P.E. activities during the week. During the autumn term, pupils in Key Stage 2 have swimming lessons at The Oratory Preparatory School.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E. lessons and should notify the Headteacher in writing if they wish to do so. 

Most of the curriculum for physical, social and health education (PSHE) is taught in termly designated days and class discussions. Citizenship rooted in British values is taught as part of PSHE and in class and school council meetings. In addition to our regular timetables, the school plans special days dedicated to a particular theme or subject:  for example, a P.E. topic (such as golf or orienteering), or a PSHE or citizenship topic (such as financial capability or healthy lifestyles).

Each class enjoys a number of off-site visits every year, often at the beginning or end of a unit of learning. Year Six pupils have the opportunity to spend an exciting week undertaking outdoor adventurous activities at the Woodlands Centre in Wales and Year Five pupils spend two days at the Adventure Dolphin Centre in Pangbourne.

The children have opportunities to take part in a large number of extra-curricular activities; there are clubs every day after school and some early mornings as well as lunchtimes. Activities offered vary from term to term, but they have included chess, choir, clarinet, Conquermaths, dodgeball, drama, eco-committee, fencing, flute, football, guitar, gymnastics, judo, magic, pottery, sand art, science and violin.

We celebrate diversity and the individuality of each pupil in the school and this is reflected in our vision statement: ‘All pupils have the opportunity to develop their particular capabilities in our stimulating and caring environment where creative teaching and a broad curriculum lead to high-quality learning and outstanding achievement.’ 



There are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4





 ‘We work in partnership with parents and the wider community to promote a sense of citizenship and respect for others. We are committed to helping every child make excellent progress and develop a lifelong love of learning as they grow in mind, body and spirit.’



For up to date information about the curriculum for each class, please go to Class Pages

  • Checkendon Church of England (A) Primary School
  • Checkendon
  • Reading
  • Berkshire
  • RG8 0SR
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 01491 680693
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