Swain House Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Dianne Richardson

Curriculum  »  Our Curriculum

The curriculum at Swain House Primary is a broad and balanced programme of educational experiences, designed to equip our pupils with the skills and attitudes necessary to carry them into adult life, to become successful, happy and fulfilled citizens. The curriculum conforms to current National Curriculum requirements and uses a theme-based approach. We deliver many aspects of the curriculum though educational visits. Pupils in Key Stage 2 go on a residential trip every year. With Year 3 starting with a local overnight camping expedition. Year 4 go a little further afield and stay for 2 nights in an outdoor pursuit centre. Year 5 travel up into the Yorkshire Dales where they cave, climb and hill walk. Year 6 travel to North Yorkshire to challenge themselves on a range of exciting activities including high ropes, canoeing and the leap of faith!

Curriculum Intent

  • To deliver a curriculum that is personalised and offers a range of opportunities that broaden children’s experiences
  • To follow the ‘Leader In Me' programme to provide a foundation for all learning and to equip our children to use the ‘7 Habits of Happy kids’ to build resilience and encourage a positive mindset
  • To deliver a curriculum that is meaningful, memorable and enjoyable for all, and ensures our children are ready for the next stage of their education
  • Through theme days activities will provide a sense of awe and wonder and enrich the curriculum through hands on learning experiences and a variety of visits and visitors
  • Our pupils will be equipped with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life through our approach of school, local, national and global learning

Curriculum Implementation

  • The school curriculum will be planned to ensure that teaching is sequential and knowledge and skills are taught in a progressive order
  • ​​​​​​The teaching and use of key vocabulary will be a primary feature in all subjects
  • Pupil discussion is promoted through our talk less teaching strategies and using Dialogic Talk 
  • High-quality texts will be used from Nursery to Year 6 to enhance pupils' learning throughout the curriculum
  • Teachers will have good subject knowledge and will be supported to maintain and improve this knowledge through training and observing best practice 
  • Subject leaders will provide colleagues with support for planning, resourcing and teaching

  • End of theme quizzes and non-chronological reports will provide a revisit to the learning throughout the year

Curriculum Impact

Pupils leave Swain House Primary School with a secure understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally responsible. We aim for all of our children to be respectful, skillful, ambitious and with a thirst for life and all it has to offer. Our curriculum ensures that children at Swain House Primary School are ready for the next stage of their education and life.

  • The impact of our curriculum is evaluated regularly through - 
    • regular assessments and national tests
    • monitoring and evaluation
    • Governing Body meetings
    • pupils' ability to talk about their learning
    • pupil voice
  • The impact is that all children achieve well by developing knowledge and skills on their journey through school. This is demonstrated through outcomes at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage, Phonics results and Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 outcomes

  • Children with SEND and disadvantaged children achieve their best possible outcomes 

Early Years

We follow The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum to teach children in Nursery and Reception. This sets the standards that must be met to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. The Early Years curriculum consists of seven areas of learning which are split into three prime and four specific areas.

Prime areas are fundamental and develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences. They play a significant role in encouraging children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

Prime Areas

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills.

Specific Areas

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

As children develop and learn at different rates, our curriculum is flexible to ensure it meets the needs of all learners. Through skilful interactions and observations of children, next steps are carefully planned by staff.

Children are given opportunities to develop effective learning strategies to give them the skills to become lifelong learners. The following characteristics of teaching and learning are an integral part of our Early Years planning and provision:

• Playing and exploring – Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

• Active learning – Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.

• Creating and thinking critically – Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


Themed Weeks and Days

We complement the curriculum with a number of themed weeks and days throughout the year, these enable the children to learn in a cross curricular manner and deeply embed their learning. We enjoy the following themed days or weeks throughout the year - Leader in Me week, Wear Red Day (Show Racism the Red Card), Rememrance Day, Children In Need, Red Nose Day, Science Week, One Britain One Nation Day and World Book Day.

Curriculum Letters

Half-termly curriculum letters are sent home and also uploaded to the curriculum section of the Swain House website. These contain details of the curriculum to be studied, and ideas for how parents can help their children raise their achievements. If parents require additional information, they may ask their child's teacher

Spiritual, Moral and Social Guidance

Religious Education is an integral part of the curriculum. The lessons are based on Bradford’s Agreed Syllabus. We aim to make our pupils aware of the variety of faiths represented in Bradford. Pupils develop a respect for, and an understanding of, their own beliefs and the beliefs of others. We have a daily assembly, a focal point for meeting together as a school, key stage or class. Throughout the year every class lead assemblies which parents are invited to. These may be based around a particular religious festival, a residential visit or a showcase of the learning that has taken place in their class. We recognise the need to value the spiritual dimension in pupils who have no particular religious faith.
All of these Topics are brought to life through trips, visitors, workshops, productions, 'hands-on' activities, drama, ICT, homework and research.


At Swain House Primary School, phonics is taught on a daily basis following the Rocket Phonics story-based Systematic Synthetic Phonics phonics programme. 

Children develop essential literacy skills using a balanced approach that focuses equally on blending for reading, and segmenting for writing and spelling. The phonics teaching uses a blend of digital and printed resources, flashcards, sounds mats, friezes, write-in pupil booklets, reading books and eBooks to ignite a love of reading and consolidates decoding skills by immersing pupils in captivating illustrated stories (Big Books) and a rich variety of fully-decodable fiction and non-fiction.

This approach to teaching phonics continues through Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2 as necessary.

Rocket Phonics Parent Guide

At Swain House Primary School we are committed to ensuring that every pupil achieves reading success and develops a real love of reading. 

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. For pupils in Early Years and Key Stage 1, home reading books are matched to their phonics ability. Pupils are provided with a Rising Stars Reading Planet book which is fully decodable and matched exactly to the pupil's phonic knowledge. 

Every child has a reading record so that parents and school can communicate about this essential life skill. Pupils are expected to read three times a week with an adult at home. The children read in Guided Reading groups led by an adult focusing on different reading skills - pre read with a focus on vocabulary, prosody and comprehension. Follow up activities or discussions ensure pupils have understood what they are reading. The pupils also have access both at home and school to Lexia, an on-line reading programme. A wide range of fiction and non-fiction books are also accessed weekly through the school library which again they are encouraged to take home.

Key Stage 2

As pupils progress in Key Stage 2, the foundations created for reading in Early Years and Key Stage One are built upon to develop competent, enthusiastic and thoughtful readers. When our pupils leave Swain House Primary School, they have a love of reading and are able to confidently discuss and recommend books, from a range of authors and genres. They are also able to participate in discussions about texts including evaluating authors’ use of language and the impact this can have on a reader. 

Whole class guided reading is taught through a range of engaging printed and interactive eBooks, using Bug Club. Children learn new vocabulary and develop their comprehension skills through daily lessons. All children have a 'Bookshelf Passport' and aim to read 25 books a year from an age appropriate selection of engaging fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. After reading each book, children's comprehension is checked throguh an end of book quiz. 

Please see the curriculum letters to find out more about your child's learning.