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. We make as much use as we can of the area we live in, with many outdoor and adventurous activities included in our provision. 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, abseiling and raft building. 

A new National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014. This curriculum was introduced in all Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes in September 2014 and was reviewed and amended for September 2019. Please see the curriculum letters to find out more about your child's learning. 

Aims of the Curriculum
"The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement"
(The Primary National Curriculum in England – key Stages 1 and 2 framework September 2013)

The Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) has its own curriculum, divided up as follows into three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas are: communication and language, physical development, personal social and emotional development and the specific areas are: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design. Children in Early Years are taught through a theme-based approach, with a strong emphasis on learning through play (both indoor and outdoor based).

Key Stage 1 & 2
Classes in Key Stage 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum, divided up into subjects: English, mathematics, science, art, and design, computing, design and technology, geography, history, languages, music, languages and physical education. In addition to these subjects, Swain House follows the locally agreed syllabus to teach religious education and the spiral curriculum to teach personal, social, health and economic education.

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.

Swain House follows a phonics-based approach to teaching children to read Phonics is taught on a daily basis following the Letters and Sounds Synthetic Phonics Programme as the main approach. In Nursery children are taught listening skills and to tune into sounds generally. From Reception all children are taught to recognise and say phonemes (units of sound) and the corresponding graphemes (written letter/s) and then use them to blend and segment words for reading and writing. It is taught in a fun multisensory way using songs and actions. Children are also taught ‘tricky’ words which do not follow the phonic rules. Phonics teaching is differentiated and taught through both whole class and group work to meet the needs of all children. This approach to teaching phonics continues through Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2 as necessary.

We do not use one specific reading scheme in the early years, rather we use a range our own library of books. These include de-codable books (phonetically regular) linked to the phases in the Letters and Sounds Programme. The reading books are colour banded for different reading levels. The children also have access to a variety of other reading books. Each colour reading band includes a range of genres, authors and illustrations. Children are allowed to take these books home as home readers. 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. Follow up activities or discussions ensure they have understood what they are reading. The children 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 allowed to take home.

How you can find out more about our curriculum:
If you would like to find out more about the curriculum we are following, please see the Swain House Curriculum which details what we learn about in each year group, each half term. You can also find more information from our curriculum letters at the top of this page. If you would like further information, please see Miss Claire Broomfield, the Deputy Headteacher.