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Our Curriculum

At Brackenbury, our school curriculum has been carefully planned using the guidance set out by the DfE.  The national curriculum is for Years 1 - 6 in primary schools.  (Reception, as part of the EYFS, follow their own curriculum.)  We now have a 2 year planning cycle for our curriculum - Year 1 and 2 work together as Key Stage 1, Year 3 and 4 as lower Key Stage 2 and Year 5 and 6 as Upper Key Stage 2.  This is to ensure that our curriculum coverage is deep, developing knowledge and skills systematically.  It also means our teachers are able to plan with colleagues.  Through a poverty proofing review, we also wanted to be able to offer trips and events at a lower cost - this is much easier with two year groups working together.  We have ensured that our pupils benefit from an exciting and creative thematic based curriculum which promotes curiosity, independence and an excitement about learning. Our learning experiences are underpinned a big question that the children will be finding out about.  There are planned first-hand experiences and stunning starts to immerse the children in their learning. We invite parents/carers in at different times during the year to find out about what the children have been learning.  This may be through an assembly, looking at topic books or some time spent sharing our learning. We link our learning to our core values of proud, determined and brave.

Our curriculum map is being developed to showcase the new two year curriculum.  This map explains the whole school journey.  Each topic comes with its own knowledge organiser.  These will be shown on our new key stage pages.  

Currently, we are refining and embedding our curriculum.  Please look at our curriculum map for further details.   


 ‘The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.’ (National Curriculum)  With this in mind, we are developing a list of core books for every year group.  This means that by the time children leave Brackenbury, they will know a range of texts to read and some off by heart.   


From September 2017, we are using Letters and Sounds to teach phonics from EYFS to the end of KS1. This is a systematic approach to phonics that progresses through six phases.  Phase 1, 2 and 3 are taught in Reception.  In Year 1, we do some further consolidation then move onto Phase 4 and Phase 5.  In Year 2, we recap phase 5 and then move onto phase 6.  Our approach is systematic, consistent and well paced.  This approach allows all children to fulfill their reading potential.  We have worked with the Springhill Phonics Hub to improve our practice even further.  

We have introduced a systematic assessment document so we can identify gaps and direct teaching to fill these.  This approach is overseen by the phonics lead who provides regular professional development for our staff. 

The school has also invested in the website Phonics Play.  This is an excellent resource to support the teaching of phonics.  You will find the website at this address: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/   


We use a variety of Reading Schemes from EYFS through to KS2 to ensure all children are encouraged to read for pleasure daily at home and school. In EYFS and KS1, the children take home a colour banded book and free choice stories for parents to read to children.    We strongly encourage parents/carers to comment about the reading their child does at home through our home-school reading record. 


At Brackenbury, we use the Talk For Writing method to develop children’s writing. We use Literacy as a ‘hook’ to enthuse and interest children into our exciting and stimulating thematic curriculum which encourages and enriches children’s writing experiences.  See here for our expectations for writing from Reception to Year 6.  

Grammar, punctuation and spelling

Grammar and punctuation are taught in the context of the children’s writing.  They are planned carefully and progress throughout the school.  We have adopted the No- Nonsense spelling programme which is taught from Year 2 to year 6.  



In mathematics we teach children to move and make links freely across the programme of study to ensure they become successful mathematicians who can apply their mathematical knowledge to a wide range of problems. We teach times tables from Year 2 onwards and we encourage families to support their children at home with this. 

We use a range of resources to support children’s mathematical development from Foundation Stage to Year 6.  It is important for children to be able to approach maths with a concrete and pictorial approach before they begin to look at it in the abstract.  In 2018-2019, we are working to introduce maths mastery.  

We use the White Rose Maths planning overviews to support the children’s learning.  This gives us a clear overview for maths.  Click on the images below to see the maths overview for each year group:

Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5


Year 6


At Brackenbury Primary School, we want all children to aspire to becoming the scientists of the future.  Through planning and carrying out their own enquiries, children discover the answers to scientific questions which prompts them to ask their own questions.  Our science curriculum provides children with opportunities to extend their knowledge outside of the classroom.  Links made to their own experiences and other subject areas supports their understanding of how science has impacted today’s society.  By focussing on particular scientists or specific scientific developments, children are able to explore how scientific knowledge is not only created but also evolves over time.


Our history learning is often used to be the main driver of our learning experiences.  Children learn about the different stages of history and learn about chronology in their own lives and through the different areas they research. First-hand experiences and visits to different places help bring history to life. We also make cross-curricular links with English so children can use their history learning to create fiction and non-fiction texts. 


Our geography learning is about inspiring our children to find out about the world in which they live, be this the local environment, our city, our country or beyond. We believe that learning about other communities and other countries will benefit our children so they are prepared for the wider world. We live in a great city and we use this fact to learn about our immediate environment and the wider city of Brighton and Hove. The children learn how to draw and interpret maps and develop research, as well as learning investigation, analysis and problem-solving skills.

PE and sports

Please look at our sports funding page to find out further information on how we are improving our provision of PE and sports across the school.


We use the Rising Stars programme for computing.  This enables us to ensure there is progression across the school.  The programme we follow enables the children to learn to code and be creative within this strand of learning.  We also make sure that we look at e-safety as part of our computing learning.  We feel it is our job to ensure that children leave school ready to negotiate the technological world in which they live.  This is an area we would like to develop further by investing in further IT equipment. 


Personal, Social and Health Education is key to children’s well-being and emotional development. We focus on the progression of personal and social development of the whole child. We want our children to be able to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. Our school values identify the values of pride, determination and bravery. These are addressed through PSHE lessons and whole school assemblies.

We follow a skills and knowledge-based programme of study, which is based on materials created by Brighton & Hove City Council PSHE specialists. Our PSHE curriculum also includes Relationships and Sex Education appropriate to the age of the child. Our curriculum alos supports children learning about protective behaviours through the Feeling Good, Feeling Safe programme. Through our curriculum, we want to ensure all children and staff have the right to be respected and valued as individuals in a community setting.  

Design and Technology (DT)

Our design and technology enables children to design, make and evaluate products for a wide range of uses. The children learn different skills so that they can problem-solve, make informed decisions and develop the expertise needed to be a part of an increasingly technological world.  The DT curriculum also includes cooking and nutrition. 

Art and Design

Art and Design enables our children to develop the creative and imaginative side of themselves. Our curriculum helps children to develop and appreciate artists and their work, as well as developing their own artistic and creative skills. The children learn to explore and develop the different skills and understanding related to drawing, printmaking, collage, 3D work, textiles and painting. We are currently working towards the Arts mark.  See here for our planning and expectations in each year group.


Music is a key area for creativity and enjoyment. We use the music scheme Charanga to teach the children music skills of composing, listening, performance and singing. We explore how music is created and communicated. We love singing at Brackenbury and have weekly singing assemblies and performances during the year.  A number of instruments are taught at Brackenbury, including djembe drums, flutophone, flute and violin. This culminates in an end of year music performance from all children.

Modern Foreign Languages

Children learn French at Brackenbury from Year 3 upwards.  We use the iLanguages scheme of work to promote language and international understanding.  This is tuaght by our in-house specialist teacher.

RE (Religious Education)

We want all our children at Brackenbury to explore the world and develop positive attitudes, understanding and knowledge of other people’s faiths and beliefs. We follow the Brighton & Hove Syllabus that informs us what we teach.  It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism as well as looking at religious traditions.  RE asks big questions and we teach this in a way that develops tolerance, understanding, meaning, purpose and what it means to be human. 


Early Years Foundation Stage

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education, 2012.

At Brackenbury we greatly value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. Our Early Years team (Reception) ensures all our children are provided with valuable learning experiences that not only provide them with the foundations of their lifelong learning but also prepare them with the foundations of lifetime skills.  See the early years page for further information.  


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