Ansdell Primary School

Explore, Endeavour, Embrace, Excel

National Curriculum


The primary school curriculum is organised into key stages.


Children aged 4 to 5, in reception class, are in the Early Years Foundation Stage. (EYFS)


Children in Years 1 and 2, aged 5 to 7, are Key Stage 1 and those in years 3 to 6, aged 8 to 11 are Key Stage 2.


In the EYFS the children follow the statutory EYFS framework.

The principles:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The curriculum involves activities and experiences for children, as follows.

  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

The teacher and support staff will reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • 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; and
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

National Curriculum 2014

The National Curriculum was revised and in Sept 2014, the new National Curriculum became statutory for Yrs 1,3, 4 and 5, followed by Yr2 2 and 6 in 2015. 


In Key Stages 1 and 2 the compulsory national curriculum subjects are:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • design and technology
  • history
  • geography
  • art and design
  • music
  • physical education (PE), including swimming
  • computing
  • a foreign language (at key stage 2) – we teach Spanish

Schools must also teach RE and we follow an agreed Lancashire syllabus.

We also teach personal, social and health education (PSHE) in either separate lessons or alongside other topics as appropriate.

More information about the National Curriculum can be found here


The new curriculum was based on those of high performing countries around the world.

  • Learning fewer things in greater depth
  • Fundamental knowledge, skills & understanding for key phases
  • Learning secure before moving on
  • Children able to apply their learning                                                          

The new primary curriculum is significantly more demanding than in the past, with some aspects moving in to earlier year groups. 

The curriculum is mainly set out in year groups. You can see the coverage in maths and English on each year group page.