East Rainton Primary School Curriculum

The vision for our school is to create a caring and inclusive community where we achieve excellence together.

Our aim is all children will be inspired to be driven, determined and resilient individuals with an awareness of the World.

The curriculum at East Rainton Primary School has been developed by considering the varied background of all children at the school. It will be used to drive a curriculum that will help the children understand about the wider world and their role now and in the future. The curriculum is designed to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils. It enables all children to access at an appropriate level. The school has followed the National Curriculum entitlement for all children with key concepts and areas of knowledge in a range of subjects.

The curriculum provides the characteristics of a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated programme of study across 2 years which allows for the mixed aged classes. (see long term planning)

In  Early years and key stage 1 the curriculum has been arranged in half term topics which area identified by the class teacher. The topic reflects the interests of the children or the wider National events.  In key stage 2 the curriculum will be arranged on stand alone subjects.

Where possible the children learn through first- hand experience gained from activities, visitors and educational visits. The basic skills of English and Maths


Children are taught to read though daily phonic sessions starting in Nursery. Children follow the letters and sounds programme with supporting reading books and computer based activities. The school follows the Oxford Reading Tree scheme across the school with additional resources from phonic bugs. In key stage 2 children can supplement their reading with Oxford Reading Tree Project X books. Children are expected to read every day with dedicated reading sessions. All children are encouraged to take reading books home to read with an adult. Beyond the reading scheme the children have access to a wide range of fiction book which have been graded into 2 levels of difficult. A number of parents and grandparents come into school to support children with their reading.

When children move into year 3 and year 4 they access accelerated reader programme to help develop their comprehension skills. In Year 5 and Year 6 children move on to Reading Plus which continues to focus on comprehension but also encourages reading speed. Both of there are online resources that are monitored by the class teacher to track progress and identify difficulties.



Children are given regular opportunities to write and improve their writing. Using class novels and modelling of writing by teaching staff children apply success criteria to a range of different writing styles. Where ever possible writing is given a real purpose to enable children understand how writing is applied in everyday life. Writing moderation across the school and with staff from another primary school which enables staff to be sure there are accurately assessing the children’s progress.

The skills and knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught in standalone lessons daily then applied to writing lessons. The school’s handwriting has been taught in a focused lesson.

Children are expected to apply their writing skills across the whole curriculum and use opportunities to write in topic based work.


Every class has a daily maths lesson where children are taught to be able to apply their skills in a wide range of different tasks and real life situations. The children are taught in ability and mixed ability groups. Children are assessed for their understanding through a pre-learning task which is followed by focused small group teaching where needed. This enables all children come to a new topic with greater confidence. Children have focused mental maths and multiplication tests which help to sharpen their skills and apply their knowledge.

From year 2 children have access the times table rock stars


Science allows children to ask questions about the world by exploring in a practical way.  Children are encouraged to take part in hands on experiments. Through independent, interactive and collaborative learning children are encouraged to explore a wide range of different topics. Children are encouraged to present their findings in a systematic way which reflects fair testing. Linking Science and maths activities enables children to apply their knowledge from both subjects in a meaningful way.


Music plays an important part of the broad curriculum at East Rainton Primary with a large number of children playing an instrument including violin, clarinet, brass and guitar. Children in Year 3 learn to play the recorder and children in year 4 learn to play the Chalumeau Clarinet. The school choir has developed over the past 2 years and has performed on a number of occasions.

Physical Education

The school understands the importance of physical activity for everyone therefore it is given a high priority across the school. Gold awards have been achieved for the past 4 years. Children have 2 hours of PE per week but the majority of children also participate in additional physical activities. Year 6 children are trained as play leaders which enabled them to lead a full programme of physical activities for younger children. A sports coach is employed 5 afternoons per week which supports teaching of PE across the school as well as providing after school clubs as part of an extensive programme of extracurricular activities. The school encourages participation within sport rather than trophy collection,  therefore a wide range of sporting opportunities are key to involvement.

Religious Education and collective worship.

Religious Education is follows the Sunderland City Councils ‘agreed syllabus’ which reflects the 5 main religions in the world. The focus is on comparison of religions which helps children understand the main teaching and how they relate to each other. Children are encouraged to gain respect, awareness and understanding of world religions. The school supports lessons with the resources provided by Jigsaw RE.

Daily acts of worship enable children to develop a sense of community therefore belonging.  Reflecting upon our actions within the world and how different religions teaching us how to act towards each other children can become good citizens. Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child from the school’s daily act of worship and/ or religious education. This should be arranged following a meeting with the Head teacher.

Personal, social, citizenship and health education

The school has introduced ‘Jigsaw’ which is a published scheme with a whole school approach. This scheme has a wide range of themes which includes sex and relationship education at an age appropriate level. For example

5-7 year olds learn about living things reproduce their own kind,

8-11 year olds learn about understand the progress of reproduction in mammals

Year 6 children are given information from the school nurse about how and why they change during puberty.

Children are taught about friendship and positive relationships through the Jigsaw curriculum.

History, geography, art and DT

These are all taught through a 2-year long term plan all areas of the National Curriculum are covered. In key stage 1 a topic approach is followed where as in Key stage 2 the stand alone subjects are taught on half termly blocks.

Early Years

The Foundation stage curriculum reflects the statutory framework and development matters guidance. The curriculum is based around four basic principles:

  • Every child is a unique individual who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in an environment, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between staff and parents and carers.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways. Staff teach children by ensuring challenging, play opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.

The Early year curriculum is taught in a topic based approach.