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Our Curriculum


The teaching of Reading at Sir William Burrough school is rigorous and systematic. Children are introduced to letter sounds and formation through the Jolly Phonics programme during Reception and, where necessary, Year 1 and we do not allow any child to pass through the school without learning to read. From Year 1, children’s reading is expanded using the Oxford Reading Tree programme and their progress against that is monitored carefully. From Year 2 upwards, children are given vast choices of interesting and entertaining books in in-class libraries, which allow them to follow their own choices and desires in terms of their reading, encouraging a lifelong love of doing so. This is monitored through the Accelerated Reader programme from Renaissance Learning, where children take quizzes on the books that they have read and are rewarded for doing so. More formally, throughout the school, children are also exposed to a wide variety of class readers, increasing in difficulty as the children pass through the school, and are guided in their interpretation of texts and broadening their experiences and their vocabulary. These are often tied to the topics that are being studied. For a full list of the class readers that the children may encounter over their time in the school, broken down year by year, please click here.


The nuts and bolts of spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught all the way through the school as part of our grammar curriculum. We use the CGP Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar books to support this, but they are not the exclusive resource as teachers respond to the direct needs of the pupils in their class. The Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar programme is systematic and progressive, building their experiences year on year in order for the children to have a full and thorough understanding of the rules of English grammar. For a full breakdown of the Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation progression, click here.


Spelling rules are taught throughout the school and weekly spelling tests are set for all children, sometimes based on the topics and work that they are doing, sometimes on the demonstrated needs of the children at the time and always encompassing the National Curriculum guidelines on spellings that children should know at appropriate times in their learning. From Year 2, children are encouraged to learn spellings and be tested on them through the school Spelling Bee award, which tests 60 words per year group in accordance with the National Curriculum spelling guidance. For a list of our Spelling Bee words, please click here


In the Early Years, children follow the Numeracy work as specified in the Early Years Foundation Stage programme.


At Key Stage 1, children follow the Abacus scheme of work, beginning with the basics of the four operations and leading on to all other aspects of the National Curriculum that they have to cover. For the full breakdown of the Abacus curriculum for Years 1 and 2, please click here.


At Key Stage 2, the children are taught through Freckle Maths from Renaissance Learning, which covers all the objectives that they need to progress safely and securely in their mathematical knowledge. This system allows us to stretch the highest ability ever further in their mathematical knowledge, supports the lower ability through constant practice and permits teachers to forensically examine potential gaps in the children’s knowledge. For a list of the objectives that covered between Years 3 and 6, click here. All children are also taught mathematical problem-solving skills from an early age using the CPG 10-minute-a-day Maths Problem Solving books.

History, Geography, Art and Design and Design and Technology

The school uses the Cornerstones Curriculum 22 as its curriculum for Foundation subjects. Cornerstones is a topic-based series of units of work which cover all areas of History, Geography, Art, Music, Design and Technology, and numerous other points of interest and learning. The progressive, sequenced and coherently planned curriculum design is one which, at its roots, starts with the child at the centre and, by the end of the children's time in Year 6, is very much focused outwards, with children having a great awareness of the history that has led us to where we are today, and the global responsibilities that being a citizen of the future brings. It is an ambitious curriculum, wide-ranging in its topic areas and ensures that every child covers all aspects of the National Curriculum as well as numerous other areas of study and interest. It covers both the substantive and disciplinary content, ensuring the children build up their knowledge and use appropriate methodologies for each subject. All children access the curriculum at the same level; it is built in such a way that there is no need for differentiation.


The curriculum is generously and comprehensively resourced, so teachers have immediate access to anything they require to aid the children's learning. Lessons vary from practical, hands-on experience of real-life events to discursive consideration of the implications of what has been learned. It is enriched with numerous visits to museums, important landmarks in London and beyond and every topic includes at least one - and frequently more - trips out. It is further enriched by a range of visiting performers and storytellers and the Now Press Play interactive experiences.


Each topic is prefaced in children's books with a knowledge organiser, which list the fundamental core concepts what are being taught within the unit, concepts which are revisited, revised and built upon as the children progress through the curriculum, helping learners remember the concepts they have been taught into integrate new knowledge into these larger concepts. The knowledge organiser also summarises relevant knowledge for the current unit, provides a glossary of relevant terms and makes links across subjects.


Please click here for the current topic map for Curriculum 22. Please click on the relevant subjects to read the overview of progression through that subject: Geography, History, Art and Design, Design and Technology


Science in Cornerstones is presented in discrete units which cover the National Curriculum in great depth and gives the children a thorough grounding in both substantive scientific knowledge and concepts, and the disciplinary methodologies and skills needed for scientific research. Please click here for an overview of our Science curriculum.


Children have one lesson of PE every week, covering a wide variety of physical skills from ball skills to team games, gymnastics and fitness training. They also have one lesson of dance a week, which also develops physical strength and stamina.


Our progressive PE curriculum, designed to encourage and celebrate fitness and teamwork, can be found by clicking here. In addition, intensive swimming courses are provided to all children in Years 3 and 4 to ensure that the majority are able to swim competently by the time they are 9 years old.

Performing Arts

Music is written into the DNA of Sir William Burrough School. In addition to the music appreciation and composition coverage which appears in Cornerstones Curriculum 22, children enjoy a lively and progressive curriculum of performing arts taught by specialist teachers. The Early Years and Key Stage One have a lesson of singing, music and dance weekly where they learn a variety of songs and movement routines. In Key Stage 2 every class has an hour a week (on a half-termly rotation) of dance and recorder lessons. The music curriculum can be found here and the scheme of work for Key Stage Two Dance and Recorders can be found here.


Beyond the taught curriculum, the whole school have a weekly joyful singing assembly and each key stage has a further singing assembly, which draws on music from a variety of traditions. There is a thriving school choir, open to Key Stage 2 children, which performs at a variety of prestigious occasions and places and a school dance troupe made up of Year 5 and 6 children which tackles challenging and emotional routines.


The school is richly endowed with technology, with 60 laptops, 128 iPads and 110 Chromebooks. They use this technology across all aspects of the curriculum as well as having several dedicated ICT lessons every term which focus on computer programming and E-Safety. As part of the Cornerstones curriculum, the school follows the Barefoot computing curriculum throughout, which covers all aspects of the National Curriculum, including staying safe on line, programming, debugging and all other relevant ICT skills.


For Personal, Social and Health Education, the school follows the curriculum design of the PSHE Association, which divides these into three main strands:


  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the Wider World


These are taught in one-off, discursive lessons throughout the year, according to the curriculum guide here. Aspects of the curriculum are also covered in our assembly cycle and followed up in class discussion with the children involved. We also have regular visits from external agencies such as the NSPCC which encourage children to keep themselves and others safe.

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Curriculum at Sir William Burrough School comes in three broad themes as follows:


· Key Stage One: Stories from different religions

· Lower Key Stage Two: Places and Celebrations in different religions

· Upper Key Stage Two: Concepts and Beliefs of different religions


The intent of this curriculum design is to move from the literary basis for religious beliefs through the acts and buildings of the world’s major religions and eventually to the philosophical concepts underlying both religious beliefs and the way in which children respond to and live in the world. It is tied to our assembly cycle, which covers many of the celebrations and special days of the Abrahamic religions (Judiasm, Islam and Christianity) and touches on some others including Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. For our full assembly timetable, please click here. For a detailed breakdown of the coverage of the RE curriculum year on year, please click here.

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