Curriculum

At Downham we strive to ensure that the children have a rich, broad and balanced curriculum. 

Downham’s curriculum is: engaging, creative, cross-curricular, challenging, led with enthusiasm, flexible, relevant, about knowledge and understanding, allowing children to experience the wider world, practical, child-centrered and is not restricted to the classroom.

The curriculum is organised into a 2-year rolling programme for Key stage 1, LKS2 and UKS2. Our long term plan, using "Cornerstones", ensures coverage of the National Curriculum. 

Classteachers use Cornerstones; choosing half-termly topics from a pre-agreed long term plan. Each topic has a different theme, taking into account a variety of subject areas to ensure a balance across the year. All areas of the National Curriculum will be covered throughout a key stage. 

Topics have "a hook" or "memorable experience" to engage the children and ignite their curiosity. Topics also have "an outcome" which enables children to apply previously learnt skills. 

It is necessary however, to cover some subjects, or aspects of them, as discrete units. 

A variety of teaching and learning styles are used at Downham C. of E .Primary School and the school follows the national curriculum for English.  Speaking, listening, reading and writing all have an important part to play in language development of the child and it is our aim to pursue a progressive development of each child in these four areas. We recognise that English is an integral part of the curriculum. Where ever possible we encourage pupils to apply their learning to all subjects and the Cornerstones curriculum we use provides many opportunities for this. At Downham we used the "Oxford Reading Scheme", where children select books based on own ability level.

At Downham, we feel that it is important to give children in both Key Stages an opportunity to discover different cultures and a foreign language, in order for them to become 'global citizens'. We also find that learning a foreign language can be a fantastic way to boost self-confidence and foster curiosity.  In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, French is taught through songs, rhymes and basic phrases. In Key Stage 2, French is taught weekly and is aimed at developing written, oral and listening skills, as well as communication skills.  This is done through different topics such as 'French around the world' and 'School Life'.

Our PE curriculum aims to develop physically literate children which leads to be being active for life and health and can include sporting excellence. Focussing on fundamental movement skills (movement, control and object manipulation) combined with sport specific skills, children become confident and able to transfer and apply their skills across different sports which the school supplements through a range of extra curricular clubs and activities.

PSHE education is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Evidence shows that well-delivered PSHE programmes have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

At Downham, our curriculum aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team-working and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education).

Within the context of physical development and relationships, we have a sex and relationships education (SRE) programme. As children begin to develop into young adults, they will face the changes of puberty. SRE plays a vital part in preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. Parents of Year 5 and Year 6 pupils will be invited to a meeting to discuss the content of the SRE programme, prior to it being taught.

For more information on our curriculum, please follow the links on this page or contact the school office directly.

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  1. Headteachers home learning Autumn 2019
  2. Home Learning Extra for Parents
  3. Mrs Crace's Hanningfield Challenge
  4. Shoebox Appeal
  5. Headteachers' Half- Termly Spread Your Wings Challenge - Autumn 1st 2019
  6. Phonics at Downham
  7. Long Term Curriculum Plan - updated Sept 2019