Withinfields Primary School bases its curriculum on the National Curriculum 2014 for Years 1 to 6 and, for Reception and Nursery, the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  

Below, you will find lots of information about different aspects of our curriculum.  If you need further information, details can be found in our Teaching, Learning and Assessment policy.  However, if you require additional information about the curriculum, please contact your child's classteacher or the headteacher. 

Our Wider Curriculum

By ‘curriculum’, we mean any aspect of the school’s work that develops children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.  This includes but is not restricted to:

  • Lessons
  • Group and individual intervention sessions (academic as well as Personal and Social)
  • Assemblies
  • Enrichment events such as workshops, enterprise events, speakers, special theme days and educational visits
  • Family Learning events and Performances
  • Homework
  • Extra-curricular activities before and after school and during lunchtime

In addition to covering the National Curriculum and Early Years' framework, we aim to mould our curriculum so that it prepares children for the next stage of their education and promotes British Values alongside our own school values and ethos that ‘It’s okay to be different’.  We enrich our curriculum through additional content and skills as determined by the specific needs of our children, our community and the wider society.

Through our curriculum, we also aim to address the following issues which we know are pertinent to Withinfields:

  • We need to focus on building children’s vocabulary so that they are quickly able to learn early speaking skills which will support their reading and writing and enable them to write well as they progress through school.
  • We need to prioritise speech, language and communication development on entry in Early Years so that children are able to articulate their needs to others.
  • We need to enable children to acquire knowledge across all subjects and understand the distinction between different subjects so that they all have the chance to recognise their strengths and talents.
  • We need to ensure that provision for Personal, Social and Emotional development is strong in Nursery so that children start Reception as confident learners.
  • We need to ensure that children are able to access a range of childhood experiences so that they are not disadvantaged because of their home and family circumstances.
  • We need to focus on developing children’s learning behaviour and positive personal traits so that they can grow into responsible citizens who flourish in society and make the most of their learning opportunities.
  • We need to enable children to develop their long term memory so that they can understand how to move relevant information between their working memory and their long term memory when they need to.
  • We want children to learn about different cultures and religions so that they understand and appreciate cultural diversity beyond their own community.
  • We want children to recognise dangers and negative influences online, within their families and in the wider community so that they are able to keep themselves and others in their families safe and are able to live as law-abiding citizens.
  • We want children to believe in their own potential, not placing a ceiling on their aspirations, and learn to accept and overcome any difficulties they experience so that they have high aspirations for their educational performance and future careers.
  • We want children to develop strong reading skills so that they can enjoy a wide breadth of stories and find information as they need it.
  • We want children to have an understanding of financial capability so that they can manage their own finances and budgets later in life.
  • We want to engage parents with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences so that they set high expectations for their children while in school and promote education as a positive feature in their lives.
  • We want children to recognise issues with their own health (physical and mental) and know who to discuss these with so that they understand how to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
  • We want children to develop their character so that they can take on trusted roles in school and demonstrate reliability and responsibility.

Reading and English

Our phonics and early reading are delivered through a programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. Where children have progressed to reading fluently, they are involved in regular reading sessions either discussing orally a text linked to a theme for the week or learning reading skills to deepen their understanding of text.  All children who are learning to read are able to take home reading books at their reading level and bedtime reading (EYFS and KS1) or reading for pleasure (KS2) books to share with an adult at home.  Children who are fluent readers are guided in their choice of reading book or can bring a book from home to read in school.  Children read aloud during the school day to an adult with this being more regular when they are developing fluency.  The National Curriculum for reading is therefore taught through a variety of routes as detailed below:

Reading in Y1   Reading in Y2   Reading in Y3/4   Reading in Y5/6

During English sessions, children focus on developing their ability to write accurate sentences in the earlier years with appropriate basic punctuation and grammar while using their phonological awareness to begin to spell words.  As the children move into Key Stage 2 or when they have sound basic writing skills, they are taught to develop an understanding of different text types and are given opportunities to produce pieces of extended writing through the process of planning, drafting, editing, proofreading and publishing, while also learning about more advanced grammatical structures and rules. 

The school teaches children to apply phonological knowledge in order to spell a variety of vocabulary.  This starts with the phonological code within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and builds to spell an increasingly complex variety of words including those from the statutory word lists within the National Curriculum.  As part of English lessons, they also learn about the etymology of words including prefixes, suffixes and word families.


In maths sessions, all children are given opportunities to develop fluency in mathematics while also developing the skills to solve problems, reason and explain their mathematics through a spiral curriculum which revisits and builds on concepts regularly.  Children are exposed to concrete, pictorial and abstract models within lessons in order to meet all children's needs.  

In most year groups, one day each week is utilised to develop knowledge and skills within the areas of shape, space, measures or statistics (SSM). 

The long term planning detailing the work that the children focus on each term are listed at the side of this page.

Within the school day, the children practise a range of essential skills on a regular basis e.g. number facts, multiplication facts.  Children are expected to be able to recall all multiplication facts to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4.  Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 engage in Mastering Number sessions every day in addition to their maths lesson.  

Religious Education (RE)

Withinfields School is not affiliated to any religion or religious denomination. The School follows the Calderdale agreed syllabus for RE.  Copies of this are available for you to look at in school.  The syllabus has a multicultural approach and covers a range of key religions with a strong emphasis on Christianity.

Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Religious Education and collective worship. If you wish to do so, please make an appointment to speak to the Head Teacher. 

Other subjects

Our Y1 to Y6 topic curriculum is centred around subject focused topics which may last for 1, 2 or 3 weeks.  They incorporate an in-depth study or development of skills in a subject and children work on this most afternoons in the week.  In some lessons, they cover work in discrete subjects. 

Science KS1   Science Lower KS2   Science Upper KS2   DT KS1   DT KS2   Geography KS1   Geography KS2   History KS1   History KS2   RE KS1   RE KS2   Music KS1   Music KS2   Art and Design KS1   Art and Design KS2

French KS2   Computing KS1   Computing KS2   PE EYFS and KS1   PE KS2   PRHE Y1   PRHE Y2   PRHE Y3   PRHE Y4   PRHE Y5   PRHE Y6

We are keen for children to develop long term memory of the facts and knowledge that they learn in school and therefore we make links between learning where we can to encourage the recall of previous knowledge on which to build their new learning.  We also use texts in reading sessions which enable children to revisit facts and understanding from previous topics to reinforce memory.

The topics during the year involve a number of enrichment opportunities which may be a visitor, a trip, a special event etc.  Each half term, a number of classes demonstrate their learning to parents, carers and other visitors during our 'Demonstration of Learning' assemblies.  Homework is set each half term giving children ideas for the further development of their knowledge, understanding and experience within the curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our EYFS curriculum is centred around longer topics which develop as the half term progresses.  Each half-termly plan has a continuum of statements on which activities and opportunities to move the children's learning forward are based upon.  This also includes following the children's interests to plan whole class, guided groups and adult-directed play as well as child-initiated play.  

Nursery Overview   Reception Overview  

Active School

Withinfields is an active school and a trailblazer for the Active Schools Programme in Calderdale.  We try to ensure that all lessons include some form of physical activity to allow children to increase oxygen to the brain and so that we can avoid them sitting for too long without movement.  The children take part in a Withinfields' Marathon each afternoon where they can walk, jog or run around our playground as many times as they wish within the session allocated.  In the summer months, Key Stage 2 children can participate in the 100 club.  Any child who completes 100 laps of our school field over the course of the summer term is entered into a draw for a sports retail voucher.  We utilise local resources for additional educational visits that we can walk to.  For example, we have visited Halifax Minster, The Square Chapel, The Piece Hall, The Community Fridge and The Industrial Museum which we walk the children to and from. 

Withinfields also participates in the School Streets Scheme which means that the street closest to school is closed to most traffic at drop off and pick up times.  This has led to an increase in children walking, cycling or scooting to school or parents parking a little further away and walking the short distance to school.  

We offer a range of after school activities each half term to promote sport and general activity.  These change regularly but have recently included football, gymnastics, netball, hockey and team games as well as less traditional active clubs: scooter club and the floor is lava club! 

At lunchtimes, we provide organised games throughout the playground run by adults and our Y5 sports leaders.  This includes traditional games e.g. long rope skipping as well as other games such as ball tag and rock, paper, scissors chase!  We have also altered our lunchtime routines to maximise the time that children can access our playground.

We promote activity at home and in our families through our half termly challenge.  If you complete the challenge, please send a photo to your child's classteacher and to Mrs Wilson and Mr Griffiths, our CAS champions!

Our Forest School

Withinfields is fortunate to have an amazing woodland area which we use to deliver Forest School.  Our Woodland area is situated on our school site. It is fenced and secured. The area is a large established and mature woodland site, ideal for noting the changes of the seasons and identification of a variety of flora and fauna. It has a purpose built fire pit, large seating area, planters and a variety of fruit trees. The children can explore and play within a safe space that is risk assessed and ideal for all primary aged children.

Forest School means many things to many people. The Forest School Association defines it as “an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.”  It is a specialised learning approach that has the learner at the centre, whatever their age.  At Forest School the learners are all seen as equal, unique and valuable, which here at Withinfields Primary School is central to our ethos too.  Forest School promotes child-initiated learning at its best. It fully supports our school values of Forgiveness, Fairness, Friendship, Trust, Respect and Happiness and creates a world where children are believed to be competent to choose and drive their own learning and development at a pace which is appropriate and meaningful to them. They are freely able to explore and discover whilst learning how to manage appropriate risk and challenge which is vital in their decision-making. The adults are there to support the children, guide if asked, look out for dangers and most importantly celebrate the learning taking place. It creates a positive atmosphere of support where the children learn to become independent in their physical skills and mental thought processes. They learn to trust their own ideas, believe in their capabilities and recognise their own needs.

Mrs Barton, who holds the Level Three Forest School Qualification which is the nationally recognised level of training required to lead a Forest School, is also our EYFS Lead. She introduces the youngest children in our school to the practical skills required to become a Forest Guardian:

  • Shelter building
  • Using tools
  • Fire lighting
  • Forest art
  • Using a Ghillie Kettle
  • Planting and harvesting
  • Carving and whittling
  • Sculpture with natural materials
  • Looking after wildlife
  • Building bird boxes
  • Group games
  • Looking closely at wildlife
  • Cooking on an open fire
  • Learning and tying knots
  • Physical challenges
  • Building bug homes
  • Rope and string work
  • Bug hunting
  • Traditional woodland craft
  • Free play

During the academic year 2022-2023, the forest school development included the following areas:

To further understand the flora and fauna that make-up our woodland area.

We have identified fauna that we would like to protect, for example our ferns, blue bells and snow drops. The children have used leaf guides to identify the types of trees that we have growing naturally in our forest. Furthermore, we have minimised our environmental impact by adopting a 50/50 approach to collecting fuel for our fire. We use bought kindling and logs to help support this.  We recognise the need to leave some wood on the forest that will be allowed to rot-down and form a natural residence for wildflowers and wildlife.

To establish if we have any rare of protected species that need support. (See above)

Our woodland is home to a good range of plants, birds, insects and mammals, including bats, foxes and hedgehogs. We leave areas of our woodland wild where wildflowers and visiting insects are able to establish themselves and spread freely

Teach the children how to manage the site and share with other children in school through assemblies and special lessons.

The reception children have helped to manage the site by taking part in pruning and cutting back. They have used loppers and knives to complete this. They have also collected debris and used this to make layers in bug hotels and for den building. They have cleaned and maintained the paths around the forest area using brooms and rakes to ensure safe access for all. Other year group have had access to the forest through one of the sessions delivered by Mrs Barton. These sessions have introduced the children to the basics of the safe use of tools and fire safety.

Next Steps for 2023-24

  • To use the raised planters so that the children can plant seeds and monitor their growth
  • To establish a mini-beast trail on-site and actively encourage insects into our woodland by planting pollinators
  • To harvest some of our established large plants (eg willow) and use this for sustainable crafting opportunities. 

British Values and SMSC

At Withinfields, we recognise the importance of developing children's skills outside those linked with academic subjects.  We therefore promote Fundamental British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development.  This is in tandem with our own school values of Trust, Happiness, Fairness, Forgiveness, Respect and Friendship.  Fundamental British values are recognised as Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs, Democracy and The Rule of Law.

Our assemblies relate to each of the Fundamental British Values at least termly and are enhanced by other activities across the school and in particular classes.  We democratically elect the School Council to develop children's understanding of this important process.  We have ensured that our curriculum includes learning relating to different faiths and beliefs including visits to a range of local places of worship.  We encourage children to appreciate that we are all unique and often remind children that 'It's okay to be different'.  We teach children about historic events which did not allow for individual liberty and compare to the present day.  Our behaviour system relates directly to our school values and develops their understanding of the Rule of Law.

Sex, Relationships and Health Education

We cover Relationships and Health Education in all ages within our Personal, Relationships, Health and Economics curriculum (PRHE policy) and teach children about puberty from Year 4.  The curriculum was determined following consultation with stakeholders in 2020-21.  We also offer non-statutory sex education in Year 6.  Parents can view the content that is delivered in each year group on the PRHE long term plans and the Year 6 section includes the content covered in non-statutory sex education.  (Sex Education policy) Parents can withdraw their child from the non-statutory lessons relating to sex education.  Please let the Head know in writing if you want to do this.  The content that is covered in our PRHE sessions can be found in the year group overviews.

Year 1 PRHE     Year 2 PRHE     Year 3 PRHE     Year 4 PRHE     Year 5 PRHE     Year 6 PRHE including content covered in non-statutory sex education