The National Curriculum
In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6), all children follow the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum consists of core and foundation subjects.
Children must take part in all National Curriculum lessons, however parents are entitled to request their child is removed from lessons in religious education, collective worship and parts of relationship and sex education - unless these are statutory by law. If a parent or carer wishes to withdraw their child, they must put it in writing and then meet with the head teacher to discuss the decision.
The Arnhem Wharf Curriculum Nursery - Year 6
Our curriculum is designed and developed for the children and community of Arnhem Wharf. It is planned to ensure that children become metacognitive and self-regulated learners, acquire a breadth and depth of knowledge and skill appropriate for today’s world, and most significantly, understand themselves and have a confidence that will ensure they continue as lifelong learners.
Topics are led by history, geography or science, focussing on an enquiry question to guide our learning and developing the skills specific to these different disciplines. Learning is mapped for progression, each unit in every subject building on the learning that has gone before and linked across disciplines where appropriate. Our curriculum encourages creativity, reflected in the value we place on the expressive arts and is underpinned by a clear and rigorous focus on progression in core skills of literacy and numeracy which are taught explicitly, embedded and applied across other areas.
As a Rights Respecting School, our curriculum reflects the values of the Universal Rights of the Child; the Sustainable Development Goals and fundamental values that include respect, tolerance and democracy: these bring a focus on local and global issues of equality and sustainability in the 21st Century. Children’s voices are valued and encouraged: opportunities for children to articulate their views or opinions are planned for across all subjects.
The curriculum is further enriched with whole school fortnights and unforgettable experiences planned into learning across the school. In 2022 - 2023 whole school fortnights focus on identity, traditional tales, modern foreign languages and enterprise projects.
All children have access to high quality arts and sports experiences. Alongside class teachers, we employ specialist teachers, who bring high levels of expertise.
If you have any specific enquiries about the curriculum that are not covered by the Overview or the Topic Letters, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rights Respecting Schools
Our curriculum is driven by The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and by the Sustainable Development Goals. We are proud to have achieved the Gold Rights Respecting Schools Award - an award granted by Unicef UK to schools that have fully embedded children’s rights throughout the school in its policies, practice and ethos.
This is the highest stage of the award and (by the time of awarding in July 2019) has been achieved by fewer than 500 schools across the country. We work hard to embed the Rights of the Child in everything we do, making sure all children are knowledgeable of their rights and can discuss their importance.
Core-Subjects (ID 1005)
English is at the heart of our curriculum at Arnhem Wharf as reading and writing are key skills that are required for success across all subjects. We encourage our children to become confident and passionate lifelong readers and writers.
At Arnhem Wharf, we recognise that reading for pleasure is the key to becoming successful readers and writers. Our book corners are welcoming and inviting places, designed to encourage children to enjoy choosing a wide range of books. Our core curriculum texts are carefully selected to ensure that the children receive a wide diet of diverse and engaging high-quality books. Daily writing lessons are planned around these texts and ensure the children learn to write for a wide range of purposes. The children are taught that editing, redrafting and publishing is all part of the writing process. We ensure that they are able to evaluate their writing and have the skills to edit and improve based on any feedback they are given by teachers or peers. Daily guided reading lessons are an opportunity for key reading skills (such as retrieval, understanding vocabulary, inference, summarising and prediction) to be modelled and practised. Over the years the children are exposed to increasingly complex reading material. Progression in reading skills is developed to allow them to access these. For our early readers in EYFS and KS1, daily phonics lessons support the children with learning to read and write. We follow the THEP phonics scheme. The children are given the opportunity to apply the sound they have learnt in phonics that day in their reading and writing lessons. For children in KS2 who still face challenges with decoding phonetically, additional focused support is given.
We also recognise the importance that regular reading at home has on children's success with English. Our reading records include ideas of activities that children can enjoy at home to support their comprehension skills. For our early readers, the children will take home a decodable book and a book for enjoyment. At Arnhem Wharf we have regular family reading sessions where parents/carers are invited to join the class to see how reading is taught.
For more information on the teaching of reading, please refer to our policy.
“We believe that math is from everywhere, in everything, and for everyone, and that anyone can be a math person when they don’t just learn math, but experience it.”
(Liz Neiman, Vice President of Engagement at Mind research Institute.)
At Arnhem Wharf Wharf we break the learning of mathematical concepts into small steps, which build towards an end outcome, helping to contextualise the learning and give it a real purpose. Daily mathematics lessons provide children with the opportunity to develop their mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills. A Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach is used to build pupil’s understanding of abstract topics with a range of models and images used in each lesson. Mathematical language is explicitly taught so that pupils can precisely articulate their thinking and explain their answers. All children are challenged to solve rich and sophisticated problems which allow them to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills.
In recognition of the importance of the role that parents/carers play in their children’s mathematics education, we provide regular opportunities for them to visit mathematics lessons and take part in learning alongside their children.
At Arnhem Wharf we aim to provide opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematical skills and knowledge to the wider school curriculum. ‘Enterprise fortnight’ lessons provide enjoyable engaging experiences where children start to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world. We aim for our pupils to have a resilient and positive attitude towards the learning and use of Mathematics.
For information about how children progress in calculation in our school, see here.
“Science is magic that works.” – Kurt Vonnegut
A scientist observes, questions, experiments, records data, and analyses. At Arnhem Wharf, all children are encouraged to ask scientific questions and investigate the answers through purposeful enquiry and a rich stimulating environment.
Our science learning is hands-on whenever possible and we allow the children to begin enquiries with scientific play. Lessons offer children the ability to explore, discover and investigate the world around us. We provide children the opportunity to foster their natural curiosity through an exciting, inclusive and inspiring curriculum.
Foundation-Subjects-Gallery (ID 1006)
Art and Design
Art and Design
At Arnhem Wharf we believe that art plays a vital and integral part in childrens’ education. Art contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, decision making, independence and self-reflection. Our focus is in developing proficiency in drawing, painting, sculpture, print-making and understanding of all the elements in art (line, tone, space, colour, texture, pattern, shape and form) Our aim is to teach and develop children's artistic skills and to encourage an enjoyment for creativity, imagination and self-expression through a wide range of stimulating projects that link to class topics.
The art curriculum develops children's critical abilities and understanding of their own and other cultural heritages through being exposed to a diverse range of male and female artists and designers from throughout history. Children develop their understanding of the visual language of art with effective teaching and carefully thought out sequences of lessons and experiences.
Displays around the school give the opportunity for everyone to celebrate children's achievements in art.
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.”
At Arnhem Wharf we aim to prepare students to be research and development leaders in computer science and computer technology. Our computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital technology, computer science and digital literacy. Computing lessons are based on the scheme ‘Switched On Computing’ which ensures all skills and knowledge are built on every year and sequenced accordingly to enhance children’s learning. The scheme is supplemented by rich and engaging projects across the curriculum which allow children to develop their digital literacy and computer science skills. Online safety is taught every term, and revisited throughout the year to make sure the pupils become safe, responsible and discerning digital citizens.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology
The Design and Technology curriculum at Arnhem Wharf is designed to develop our children’s creative, design and making skills as well as fostering critical thinking and teamwork.
All of our projects give the children the opportunity to research, design, make and evaluate their products. The learning is divided into five strands: mechanisms, structures, textiles, electronic systems and food and nutrition.
We believe in the importance of food as part of a healthy lifestyle and as a key life skill and we ensure that all the children have the opportunity to cook regularly. For that reason, we have developed a comprehensive cooking curriculum that covers areas such as healthy eating, consumer awareness, food safety and hygiene, food preparation, cooking and serving and garnishing.
D&T learning is evident in books but due to the practical nature of the subject, most of that learning is recorded on video or in photographs. As part of our assessment for the learning process, the children mainly receive verbal feedback but there are times that written feedback is also given, especially during the design process.
“Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind.”
The Geographical Association
At Arnhem Wharf, children think critically about geographical questions, considering key geographical themes such as diversity, interaction and change. Children learn about human and physical features of the world, considering change over time and the processes that cause these changes: all the more relevant now than ever. Children find geographical information from a range of sources such as maps, photographs and fieldwork and build an understanding of the location of globally significant places.
"History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future."
Robert Penn Warren
At Arnhem Wharf, enquiry questions guide our history learning, allowing children to think critically about historical concepts such as continuity and change, similarity and difference and significance. Children build on their history learning over their time at Arnhem Wharf, developing a chronological understanding of the ancient and modern world, and enriching their understanding of key themes such as power, migration and democracy. Children are taught to make links across historical periods and use sources to build arguments as historians, learning about the history of many cultures from all over the world.
“...Children must receive musical instruction as naturally as food, and with as much pleasure as they derive from a football game. And this must happen from the beginning of their school lives.”
At Arnhem Wharf we believe that helping children to experience the rich variety of music in the local and wider community is vital for their musical and cultural development. We cover all aspects of the national curriculum, ensuring the children develop their singing, composition and listening skills over the course of their time at the school. In addition to this, we have strong relationships with local cultural partners such as The London Symphony Orchestra and Spitalfield’s Music Festival. As a result of this, the children have the opportunity to access a wide range of cultural experiences throughout their time at Arnhem Wharf.
Oracy is the art of effective communication and an essential life skill that enables children to express themselves and challenge their own and other’s opinions and ideas.
At Arnhem Wharf, Oracy is taught across the curriculum as teachers plan for discussions and speaking and listening opportunities in all subject areas. In addition, oracy lessons are taught discreetly in an Oracy or Philosophy session once per week. Children are supported in oracy through the use of sentence stems and key vocabulary that is displayed in classrooms. Oracy skills are broken down into four categories: physical, cognitive, linguistic and social and emotional. Children are taught that speaking and listening skills can be learnt and developed and children learn to evaluate the speech of others by referring to these skills. All children are expected to contribute to discussions and are supported to do so with oracy strategies that boost their confidence.
PE enables pupils to become physically confident. This supports their health, wellbeing and fitness and provides the foundations for lifelong activity. Children play a wide range of games in PE lessons, learning different skills.
Children from reception to year 6 are taught by a specialist PE teacher once a week. Children in years 3, 4 and 5 have swimming lessons for a term each year. By the end of year 6, we aim for all children to have represented the school in a sporting competition, learning to collaborate with team members and win, lose or draw kindly.
When children know that their voice is valued in school they are empowered to share their opinions. Children should know and understand their rights so that they know how they should expect to be treated and how to live and work harmoniously with others.
As a rights respecting school, the curriculum at Arnhem Wharf is aligned with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and children are taught to know their rights. Learning across the curriculum and in assemblies is linked to articles from the CRC. Every classroom has a class charter display that classes use as a reminder of their agreement to respect each other's rights. Each class in KS1 and KS2 has an elected student council representative who attends regular student council meetings and completes tasks with their class to allow the voices of all pupils to be heard. In addition, the participation of Year 5 and 6 student council representatives in the Isle of Dogs Pupil Parliament gives pupils the opportunity to engage with issues affecting the local community.
RE explores big questions about life, in order to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion and worldviews, and reflect on their own ideas and ways of living.
At Arnhem Wharf, we follow the 2022 Tower Hamlets agreed syllabus for Religious Education. Children learn about a range of religious and non-religious world views, considering how these views impact on the way different people live their lives. Teaching of RE is structured around enquiry questions, allowing the children to explore big concepts such as belonging, purpose and truth.
Children explore how religious and non-religious world views respond to contemporary issues such as racism and the climate emergency and consider how people from different communities live and work together for the wellbeing of all.
“To learn a new language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”
¡Bienvenidos! At Arnhem Wharf, the children will achieve a basic understanding of the Spanish language. They will practise and develop their skills from the four main strands: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
We believe that languages should be taught as a whole. The children learn basic conversational situations and are able to communicate using full sentences, not just isolated words.
The main focus when children begin their Spanish lessons in years 3 and 4 is for the children to gain confidence in their abilities as Spanish language learners. We foster an environment where the children are not afraid of making mistakes and feel comfortable while speaking another language. Through games, songs, repetition and conversational situations the children practise their listening and speaking skills. They also improve their pronunciation and fluency by reading weekly tongue twisters and short texts linked to the current topic.
As the children develop as language learners in years 5 and 6 , begin to put more emphasis on their writing. The aim at the end of Year 6 is that the children can hold short real-life conversations and are confident when speaking a foreign language.