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Embsay Church Of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Pasture Road, Embsay, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6RH

01756 793426, Fax: 01756 79342

Our Curriculum

The teaching at Embsay School aims to provide a thorough grounding in skills, attitudes and understanding through a process of planned development. To ensure high quality teaching, we use a wide variety of teaching styles, skills and resources with work being clearly differentiated to meet the needs of individual children. Assessment and close monitoring of each child ensures progress is made throughout the year. Children who are gifted and talented in specific curriculum areas are identified and provided with work to ensure they continue to make progress. Children who require additional support to make progress are provided with daily one to one support.


The Early Years Foundation Stage

The first stage of school is known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The play based curriculum underpins all future learning by developing the children’s social and personal skills whilst building positive attitudes to learning.

The EYFS is divided in to three prime areas of learning:

v  Communication and language

v  Physical development

v  Personal, social and emotional development

And four specific areas:

v  Literacy

v  Mathematics

v  Understanding the world

v  Expressive arts and design


Key Stages 1 & 2

All children follow the National Curriculum. Maths, literacy, science, ICT, history, geography, music, art, Design Technology, PE and RE are taught throughout the school. Children study six themed modules of work every year, each theme based on a book/series of books/author. Links are made between subject areas so the children can apply, consolidate and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding from one subject in the context of another. Health education, personal and social education and citizenship are also included in the school’s curriculum. French is taught to the children in Years 2 to 6.


Click here to see a planning overview for each year group


Maths We aim for our children to enjoy maths and have a positive attitude to the subject. The teaching of maths follows a structured programme based on the national numeracy strategy and each new concept is taught through a range of differentiated activities. Formal teaching is balanced with practical activities where appropriate and after discussion in class children will consolidate their learning in written tasks or mathematical investigations. Enrichment and extension are provided to stretch the more able children.


Literacy When the children first start school, they are introduced to skills that will prepare them for reading, writing, speaking and listening. In addition to a range of reading books, the highly phonetic Jelly and Bean reading scheme is used extensively to teach the children to read in the first two years at school. As their skills develop, they move away from reading schemes and are encouraged to read ‘real’ books to develop their love of reading whilst developing their individual reading skills. All children are expected to take their books home each night to share with their parents.

Children’s writing covers different text genres with the children writing for different purposes and audiences. Great emphasis is placed on the correct use of grammar and punctuation. Presentation is very important and children are encouraged to develop a legible and neat style of handwriting as they mature. Opportunities are provided for speaking and listening  and drama in a variety of situations across the curriculum.


Science Emphasis is placed on developing an enquiring mind and children are encouraged to ask questions and find answers. Much work is done practically and through investigations where children are involved in exploring, observing, measuring, recording results and drawing conclusions. Research from secondary sources is also an important aspect of science, particularly in KS2. Children use books, video, CD Roms and the Internet to gain knowledge in different areas.


ICT is a major part of our lives and will continue to be so into the future. At school we teach specific computer skills that will help the children participate in the ever changing world of technology. The school is well equipped with a computer suite as well as having an interactive whiteboard and computers in all classrooms. ICT is linked with all subjects and children have many opportunities to extend their skills. A range of technology is used in our teaching from overhead projectors, visualisers, multi-media projectors to interactive whiteboards. Children are taught how to use the Internet and email safely.


History Children are curious by nature and we encourage them to use evidence to find out about the past. Most of our history based topics end with a themed day when the children can get into role and experience first hand about how people lived in the past. The staff organise visits to places of historical interest and invite visitors into school to share their knowledge and experiences with the children.


Geography Children study the physical, human and environmental aspects of geography. These themes are studied by looking at their local environment, contrasting localities in the UK and in other areas of the world. The local environment is an important resource for children and they go out into the locality whenever possible as part of their studies. Fieldwork is undertaken during the residential visits made in Years 5 and 6. Our Year 5 children visit Malham for a two day residential visit and Year 6 spend a week at Bewerley Park Outdoor Centre near PateleyBridge. The link with our partner school in Kenya is used to develop the children’s understanding of similarities and differences between the two countries.


Music In addition to music taught in lesson times, the recorder clubs and school drumming and ukulele groups, there are many opportunities for the children to learn a musical instrument and to have singing lessons. A number of children have accordion, violin, drums, guitar, keyboard, woodwind, percussion, brass or singing lessons with teachers from the county music support service. There is a charge for the tuition from the County Music Schools Service, this being charged termly.


Art Art is based on both imagination and observation. Children use a variety of materials, media and tools to express their ideas and feelings. They are taught to appreciate, evaluate and to make judgements about art, craft and design from different times and cultures and to make practical decisions about how to develop their own work.


Physical Education The children are taught three areas of activity in Key Stage 1 (games, gymnastics and dance) and six areas in Key Stage 2 which include the same activities and in addition, outdoor and adventurous activities, athletics and swimming.

The school is well equipped for PE and games. In the hall there are wall bars, climbing frames, soft-topped apparatus and large mats. When this large apparatus is not in use, the hall provides a large area for floor work and for the use of small apparatus. The playground and school field provide larger spaces for ball games and other sporting activities.

Boys and girls have the opportunity to take part in sporting activities involving other schools. The school is a member of the Craven Schools Sports Partnership which provides opportunities for the children to take part in a range of sporting activities with children from local schools.

At the end of the summer term there are two Sports’ Days, one for Key Stage 1 children and one for the children in Key Stage 2. The children in Year 6 attend an Outdoor Education Centre for a residential week, which includes activities such as canoeing, rafting and orienteering.

Swimming lessons are provided for the children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 during the autumn and summer terms. The children attend Aireville Baths in Skipton. 


Design Technology  Children are given tasks in which they are required to design and make a variety of items. They develop their knowledge of tools and techniques and practise skills through specific tasks. They are encouraged to evaluate their own work and the work of others.


Religious Education and Collective Worship Embsay School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School, RE playing a vital part in the life of the school. There are close links with St. Mary’s Church and the Methodist Church in the village, Rev Louise Taylor-Kenyon and Rev Janet Clasper taking collective worship regularly throughout each term. A daily act of worship is held for all children.

The content of the RE curriculum is based on the LA syllabus which covers the teaching of Christianity along with the study of other religions. RE also plays an important part in a child’s overall development – spiritual, moral, cultural and social.


Parents wishing to withdraw their children from collective worship or from RE should see Mrs Spensley. Alternative arrangements will be made for these children.


Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education PSCHE helps children to understand and respect diversity, different opinions and values, skills that will equip them to lead happy, confident, healthy and independent lives as they grow up. Through a range of activities and experiences we help them recognise their own worth and to take responsibility for their actions and learning. Sex education is taught at EmbsaySchool, not as a separate subject but as part of our Personal and Social Development curriculum. It is supplementary to, and supportive of, the scientific aspects covered within the science curriculum, concentrating on the behavioural and psychological aspects of human sexuality. In Year 6 the School Nurse talks to the children about puberty and relationships. A video is shown as part of her talk. Parents may withdraw their children from this element of the curriculum.


French French is taught to the children in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.  All five classes follow a theme every half term which introduces and reinforces vocabulary and phrases. The programme of work is devised to develop children’s enjoyment of the language and prepares them well for transfer to secondary school. 



All children regularly take work home. Homework can take several forms but is mainly based on literacy (reading, writing and spelling) and maths with research skills being encouraged with the older children. At the beginning of the year a letter is sent to all parents providing information of the types of homework the children will receive, how much time they will be expected to spend on it and the days on which the work is to be handed in.