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

  • Our curriculum extends opportunities and builds on skills and knowledge

  • The ‘Leader In Me programme’ provides a foundation for all learning and equips our children to use the ‘7 Habits’ to build resilience and encourage a positive mindset

  • Our curriculum is meaningful, memorable and enjoyable for all and our children are ready for the next stage of their education

  • Through theme days our activities 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

  • 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

  • Pupil discussion is promoted through our talk less teaching strategies

  • End of theme quizzes will provide a revisit to the learning throughout the year

  • High-quality texts will be used from Nursery to Year 6 building on the foundations of excellent teaching of phonics through Letters and Sounds

  • The school curriculum will be planned to ensure that teaching is sequential and knowledge and skills are taught in a progressive order

  • The teaching of key vocabulary will be a primary feature in all subjects


Curriculum Impact

  • The impact of our curriculum is evaluated through the end of year assessments and the national tests; through Governor meetings; visits and through our own monitoring of teaching, learning and pupil voice

  • All children achieve well by developing knowledge and skills on their journey through school. This is demonstrated through outcomes at EYFS, Phonics (Year 1), Keys Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

  • Children with SEND and disadvantaged children achieve the best possible outcomes and are monitored through Governors and in school

  • Children leave Swain House Primary ready for a successful transition to secondary school. Our preparation for the next stage includes knowledge about the importance of being safe, ready and respectful

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 Letters and Sounds systematic phonics programme. The programme aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them to learn to read.

There are six phases in Letters and Sounds, starting with the development of speaking and listening skills in Phase 1. This lays the foundations for the phonics work that starts in Phase 2. 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. Phonics lessons are fun and active using multisensory approaches. Children are also taught ‘tricky’ words which do not follow the phonic rules. Phonics is taught through whole class, group and individual sessions 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 children also have access to a variety of other reading books. The books available to children include 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.

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