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The Early Year Foundation Stage curriculum is planned around pupil interests and identified themes. The majority of time across the day is child-initiated learning in both Nursery and Reception phases. Within each daily Nursery session pupils will also receive whole class adult led sessions for phonics/early reading and number.

Reception pupils receive whole class adult led session in phonics/early reading, writing and number on a daily basis. Learning activities are based around objectives from Development Matters in The Early Year Foundation Stage non-statutory guidance materials.

* See Early Years Foundation Stage Policy


Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of our own school community but includes the 2014 National Curriculum at its centre. The following as key areas of learning underpin our curriculum design and are embedded in provision across the curriculum: social development, basic skills (reading, writing, calculating), communication skills, positive learning attitudes and resilience, computing skills, self-esteem building, problem solving and enquiry, independence and life skills, wider real life experiences, aspiration of both staff and pupils, physical and mental health and development of pupils’ talents and interests.

Classes across the school are made up of three parallel mixed ability groups within a cohort. Setting will only be used for specialist subject areas, phonics. Pupils will access all core subject sessions and Magic Monday activities with their class teacher, except for sessions which are covered by PPA teaching staff.

Teachers will adjust timetables flexibly to fit around pupils learning needs and lesson design. Pupils who require further support or extension may access further adult support in the class or be withdrawn for intervention activities.

Teachers produce a parents’ information letter at the start of each term to inform parents of curriculum coverage over the term as well as arrangements for homework, school trips, tips on how to support your child at home and equipment required.

Subjects are taught as discrete lessons, through topics or thematically. Wherever relevant cross – curricular links are made between subjects.

*See cohort plans published on the school website, Teaching and Learning policy and termly parent information letters.

Curriculum Statement


Enrichment Activities Map
Year 1 Weekly Curriculum Plan
Year 2 Weekly Curriculum Plan
Year 3 Weekly Curriculum Plan
Year 4 Weekly Curriculum Plan
Year 5 Weekly Curriculum Plan
Year 6 Weekly Curriculum Plan
PSHE Scheme of Work


Pupils in Reception to Year 2 receive weekly phonics activities and Year 2 – 6 receive spellings. All pupils should take a reading book home every night.


Pupils are encouraged to extend their curriculum learning through use of the Pupil Portal (RM Unify), go to and log in with their school network login and password. Optional activities including: curriculum extension grids, workbooks and talk boxes are available on request.



The school follows a policy of inclusion. Our special needs policy meets all the requirements as identified in ‘The Code of Practice.’

Every child who is placed on our SEN register has targets specific to their learning need which are written with parents and may come in the form of a One Plan or Education and Health Care Plan (EHC).  Targets are reviewed and updated on a termly basis.  Consultation with parents’ takes place always when appropriate support from other agencies is used.

Should you have any concerns about your child’s progress contact the class teacher. For further information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision contact the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, SENCO (Miss Truby)

* See Special Educational Needs policy, SEND Local Offer, SEND Information report


Children can have brass or strings lessons from peripatetic music teachers (Durham Music Service) this is a private arrangement which carry a charge; sessions are free for pupils who qualify for free school meals. Letters are sent out to parents when pupils reach the relevant year groups. The school also offer access to free tuition through our extra-curricular programme.


The Rydal Academy provides a wide range of activities, which take place at the end of the school day.  Extra-curricular timetables are published on the school website annually. All activities are free and are run by school staff. Clubs are accessible to pupils from Reception to Year 6 depending on the activity. Sign up letters are available from the office.


Pupil progress update meetings are held during Autumn and Spring term for parents and carers in the form of Parent Pupil consultations. These meetings provide opportunity for parents/carers to discuss progress towards age related expectations. Open evenings are also held during Autumn and Spring term for parents and carers to look at work with their children.

Teachers prepare an annual report, which summarises progress and attainment over the year; gives a copy of outcomes against age related expectation; pastoral information and an overview of contribution and involvement in the broader aspects of school life. Children also contribute to the report which gives clear targets for the next academic year.

* See Reporting cycle parent’s letter.


We make use of continuous assessment that begins when a child starts nursery/school. Information from assessment helps to ensure children continue to make progress and that any issues are identified and addressed. Teaching and learning staff make use of a range of assessment activities which include: marking, individual discussions with pupils, moderation of work, formal tests, observations and Teacher Assessment.

On entry to Nursery, Reception and Year 1 pupils are given a baseline assessment which is used as a start point to track development. At the end of Year 2 and Year 6 teacher assessments are reported nationally. Year 1 phonics testing and Year 2 phonics testing re-sits are conducted every June. Year 6 SATs are taken in May of each year. Statutory KS2 SATs in reading comprehension; spelling, punctuation and grammar and maths are marked externally. (Children and parents are notified of results as soon as we have them.)

* See Assessment policy


Magic Mondays (Terrific Tuesdays, Wicked Wednesdays)

​The aim of Magic Mondays is to inspire pupils at the start the week through an intensive and immersive unit of work focussing on the curriculum areas of: Science, Music, Art and Design, Design Technology, History, Geography or RE. Themes from the Magic Monday focus are then pulled through into Core subjects during the rest of the week, e.g. If the Magic Monday theme is World War 2 pupils may then study Anne Frank’s diary in Literacy and create their own diary in English during the rest of the week.

Core subjects (Tuesday to Friday)

​Pupils will access activities grouped in to six core subjects each day, objectives from these core subjects will also link into Magic Monday activities. We feel continued exposure to these core areas of learning will help to embed the basic skills pupils will need to prepare them for their future beyond The Rydal Academy. The core subjects are made up of:

Phonics / Reading

​In Key Stage 1 pupils will be grouped by ability for phonics sessions. Once pupils are confident readers they will access reading sessions rather than phonics sessions. Reading activities will focus mainly on independent reading, comprehension activities, guided reading and follow up tasks. Letters and Sounds phonics programme is currently used to develop phonics knowledge and reading skills, pupils then progress on to the Accelerated Reader scheme when they are reading at an appropriate level.


English sessions will focus mainly around writing composition, spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting. Sessions will build towards one piece of extended writing per fortnight which will be quality marked by the class teacher and then used to feedback to pupils before they edit and improve their work.* Spoken language will be evidenced and assessed across all subjects


Calculation sessions will cover number skills including calculations, number and place value, fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils are also encouraged to make use of the schools subscription to the Mathletics website both in and out of school to practice their calculation skills.


Maths sessions will cover measurements, geometry and shapes, statistics, ratio, proportion and algebra
* Calculations and Maths sessions will build towards one piece of extended work (usually enquiry based) per week which will be quality marked by the class teacher and then used to feedback to pupils before they edit and improve their work.​


PE sessions will take place two out of every three days. PE sessions will include a variety of sports and physical activities while educating pupils around physical health and the impact of exercise on their body. Children have opportunities to participate in intra-school competitions, inter-school competitions, cluster, town and regional competitions. Swimming provision is available to children from Year 1 to Year 6.

PE Kit

Children should wear a PE t-shirt, sports shorts. Children who do not bring kit on designated PE days will be provided with spare kit for them to access the PE curriculum. It is advised that shoulder length hair should be tied back and jewellery should not be worn. Should ear-rings not be able to be removed, they should be covered with tape or plasters. Appropriate footwear such as trainers should be worn outdoors, ankle boots are not suitable. Swim wear should be a one-piece swimsuit for girls and trunks for boys. All children with shoulder length hair should wear a swimming cap.


Computing sessions will run every third day and be designed around the computing curricular objectives, while various forms of IT will be used across all curricular subjects to further pupils understanding of the uses of IT and to extend learning within those specific subject areas.

Information Technology has a high profile in our school for pupils and staff. Our computer banks, digital cameras, video recorders, sound recorders, vizualisers and Smartboards in every class mean that we can deliver an exciting curriculum using state of the art technology. As well as using computers and Smartboards pupils have access to banks of mini-books, laptops and ipads. Following signed agreements from parents/carers children are trained to use the internet in a responsible manner.

Social Development

Social Development sessions will focus on spiritual, moral, social and cultural development activities while also including community contribution activities, SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) lessons and team building sessions.


Once a week Key Stage 1 pupils will access a vocabulary session while Key Stage 2 pupils will access a Modern Foreign Languages session. Children begin learning French in Year 3 and continue to develop their French throughout Key Stage 2. All children take part in French activities for approximately 30 minutes per week. After-school Languages club allows children further opportunities to develop their knowledge of languages.

Sex and Relationships Education

​The curriculum for sex and relationships education is taught through Social development and Science. Year 5 & 6 children take part in a talk on puberty and relationships which is delivered by our School Nurse. Issues relating to puberty and sexuality are discussed as and when appropriate. Teaching is complementary and supportive to the role of parents who have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons.

*Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Sex Education lessons or puberty talks and should inform the Headteacher in writing should they wish to do so. See Sex & Relationships Education Policy

Religious Education

At The Rydal Academy we currently use the Darlington Agreed Syllabus for RE. In accordance with statutory requirements collective worship is held each day.

*Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from RE and collective worship and should inform the Headteacher in writing should they wish to do so.