The National Curriculum 

The National Curriculum has given us the opportunity to tailor our curriculum so that there is more emphasis on using our locality as well as using our strengths as a school and staff. We have also kept topics that we know engage the children, such as The Romans (due to our proximity to Colchester) and other topics will continue to be taught through English, such is their appeal to children.

The curriculum offered to our children promotes learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the extra - curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of our children. It  includes the ‘hidden’ curriculum, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, resilient, responsible people who can work and cooperate with others while developing knowledge, understanding and skills so that they achieve their true potential.

Key drivers

 These are the main drivers of our school, upon which we have basing our new curriculum


  • Global Awareness: We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We also value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth. Promoting awareness of how others live and building respect and tolerance for communities beyond our home is a key driver of our curriculum

  • The arts: We understand that many children thrive when they have an opportunity to express themselves through the arts: through different media, music and drama. Many outcomes in the curriculum will be displayed through an aspect of the arts

  • The environment We value our environment and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our local environment as well as the rest of the world, and how we should care for it for future generations as well as our own. An awareness of climate change and pollution is also taught.

 Organisation and Planning

 We review our long-term plans in line with national initiatives and new legislation and we are currently in the process of writing a new curriculum that allows children to build upon their knowledge as they go through the school.  

We follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Suffolk Schools.

As well as the National Curriculum subjects, the school develops important themes that are cross-curricular and encompass more than one subject. Examples are health and safety, gender issues, multi - cultural aspects, sex education and citizenship.


 The Early Years Foundation Stage

The curriculum that we teach in the Early Years unit (Reception age children) meets the requirements set out in the revised Early Years/Foundation Stage Curriculum. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals and on developing children’s skills and experiences as set out in the document.

Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage unit builds on the experiences that the children bring from home and playgroup. Throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage, teachers observe and assess the skills of each child. We work in close partnership with the parents and families of our children in order to support the development of the child.


The ‘Core’ Subjects


 We use the new National Curriculum (2014) as a framework for teaching. English is taught discretely for at least one hour each day, although it will sometimes be taught using the class topic's content, bringing purpose to the work as well as deepening the children's understanding of the class topic. Reading and writing will also be taught in other subjects, such as Science or History, with additional time for phonics teaching in Key Stage 1 (daily) and Reading in Key Stage 2. 

We use a range of reading books. The main scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree, but this is supplemented with a broad range of books e.g. 'Sprinters', 'Mammoth', 'Young Puffin', 'Code X' 'Jelly and Bean' as well as encouraging the children to read from the class libraries and their own books from home.

In Early Years and Key Stage 1, the children are taught a daily phonics lesson, using materials from 'Letters and Sounds' and 'Jolly Phonics'.

In Key Stage 2, the children learn spelling from schemes linked to the new National Curriculum guidance and expectations.


We follow the National Curriculum (2014) which is a framework setting out the teaching objectives for each year group and use White Rose Maths sequence of teaching and learning.

The programmes of study provide a clear progression of skills and understanding throughout the years and the emphasis is on enabling children to meet the end of year expectations with a deep understanding of the concepts taught. We use mastery techniques which includes the use of manipulatives, discussion, pictorial and more formal methods. The children learn both mental and written ways to calculate.  Children are expected to know their times tables to 12 x 12 by the time they are in Year 3. The curriculum also includes exploration of number and shape, measurement and data handling, problem solving and calculations.


Science at Shotley School provides children with many opportunities to acquire and develop the scientific skills of investigation, prediction, observation, recording, interpretation and the skills of thinking and applying knowledge.

Children are encouraged to question and find solutions. They are guided towards an understanding of the natural and physical world around them. An emphasis is placed on the importance of precision and the use of scientific language.


 The Foundation Subjects


The curriculum includes a programme of study for programming and coding. This is taught from Early Years where children learn to move a beebot, or use ICT equipment in the setting independently, to Key Stage 2 where children use Scratch to code or Sketch Up to design.

Physical Education

The national curriculum emphasises competitive sports. We have been able to increase opportunities for competition in our extra-curricular time through the use of the P.E. premium (see web page) whilst retaining current values in our teaching. We challenge the pupils to enjoy being active and use their creativity and imagination. They learn new skills, find out how to use them in different ways, and to link these skills in order to create actions, phrases and sequences of movement. We encourage the pupils to communicate, collaborate and compete with each other. They are also encouraged to take on leadership roles within lessons, particularly the older children who also assist with inter-house tournaments and sports events by leading the children in their house and organising equipment, scoring and timing.



We help children gain an understanding of the local area, as well as other contrasting areas in the world. We investigate a variety of places, environments and peoples, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. The children find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. We ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT in order to answer the questions. 



At Shotley School we encourage all children to enjoy a wide range of music. This includes an appreciation of musical influences from other countries, cultures, and throughout history. The children are encouraged to play a range of percussion and tuned instruments to interpret different experiences, including stories, poetry and feelings. We follow a scheme called Charanga.


Art and Design

We follow the Suffolk Scheme of Art and Design with additional aspects such as artist studies. Aspects of Art and Design are developed through individual and collaborative work in two and three dimensions and on different scales. Children use a range of materials and processes and have opportunities to investigate the work of artists, crafts people and designers. We encourage the correct use of vocabulary, the use of ICT and teach children the health and safety issues that apply.


Design and Technology

Children are taught the importance of Design and Technology in a rapidly changing world. The children are given the chance to design, are taught the skills needed to make items and given the opportunity to evaluate and improve their work. All classes cook each year, design and build using a range of materials such as wood or textiles, and learn a variety of methods to cut and fix materials.  



We teach children to develop an awareness of the past and to understand that we can learn through the use of different sources and interpretations of historical events. We teach chronology, change and continuity. By asking questions, children are able to access and use the following: artefacts, photographs, documents, the Internet, film, music, oral accounts and buildings. The children learn about local, national and world history. 


PSHEe and Citizenship

Children are taught to become responsible members of society. They are given opportunities to make choices, take responsibility for their actions and develop an awareness of the morals and values of society.


Primary languages

We teach French from Key Stage 2. French is currently being developed as we aim to meet the criteria for Suffolk County Council's quality mark: LinguaMark Bronze level.

Educational Visits

These are an important part of children’s education and are linked to the curriculum. The experience gained from a visit helps to increase levels of interest and enthusiasm, and provides opportunities to enhance social skills. 

These visits cannot take place without sufficient financial contributions from parents. If there are particular difficulties, parents will be listened to sympathetically, and where appropriate, financial support may be given.

Extra Curricular Activities

Our children enjoy a variety of activities provided by the staff at lunchtimes and after school including seasonal sports, multi-skills, cooking club and art club. Themed days or weeks are also taught.


Collective Worship and Religious Education

In line with Government directives, our R.E. and Acts of Collective Worship are mainly of a broadly Christian character. However, they also contain aspects from other religions, recognising that we live in a Multi-cultural society.

Assemblies are an important part of school life and strengthen each child’s sense of belonging.

Through R.E. we are teaching children that there are many religions throughout the world, and we encourage children to respect others’ beliefs and traditions.

You can request that your child is withdrawn from all or part of the R.E. and Collective Worship provided.


Sex Education

For Key Stage 1 children we offer the following programme through the National Curriculum science.


Children learn:

  • That animals including humans, move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce.

  • To recognise and compare the main external parts of the bodies of humans.

  • That humans and animals can produce offspring and these grow into adults.

  • To recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others and treat others with sensitivity.

For Key Stage 2 children we build on that programme. Children learn:

  • That the life processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, growth and reproduction.

  • About the main stages of the human life cycle.

  • To understand and give sensitive consideration to the beliefs, values and cultures of others.

  • To actively combat sex stereotyping; discouraging dual standards of behaviour.

  • To develop use of the correct terminology for parts of the body and develop an appropriate sexual vocabulary.

  • To share their concerns and know they will be listened to sensitively.

  • To correct misinformation.

  • To explain the process of human reproduction.

  • To recognise the importance of the choices they make and that they are responsible for their decisions.

  • To resist peer, social and media pressures where necessary.

  • To be aware of their attitudes and values and have a sense of responsibility for themselves.