Our School Curriculum

You can find more information about the school curriculum at



During Key Stage 1 pupils develop their creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes. They learn about the role of art, craft and design in their environment. They begin to understand colour, shape and space and pattern and texture and use them to represent their ideas and feelings.

During Key Stage 2 pupils develop their creativity and imagination through more complex activities. These help to build on their skills and improve their control of materials, tools and techniques. They increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art, craft and design in different times and cultures. They become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.

Design and Technology

During Key Stage 1 pupils learn how to think imaginatively and talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. They build on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them. They explore how familiar things work and talk about, draw and model their ideas. They learn how to design and make safely and could start to use ICT as part of their designing and making.

During Key Stage 2 pupils work on their own and as part of a team on a range of designing and making activities. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them. They plan what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people's designs. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum and use computers in a range of ways.

Foundation Stage

We have thriving nursery classes at Beech Hyde. The nursery building is located on the same site as the main school, but has its own self-contained, purpose built classroom and outdoor play area with wildlife garden.

The activities we plan in the nursery follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and lead towards the Early Learning Goals which most children will reach by the end of the Reception class.

The nursery curriculum centres on learning through play in a balance of adult-led and child– initiated activities. Learning opportunities are planned both indoors and outdoors, and through these activities the staff encourage the children to gain confidence, develop language and increase concentration. They are taught to be independent and to plan some of their own activities.

Children normally start in either September or January, according to their date of birth, and spend three terms in the nursery before transferring to a Reception class.

There are two daily sessions:

Morning 8.30 – 11.30 am

Afternoon 12.30 – 3.30 pm

We work hard to ensure that children can progress easily from nursery to full time primary education. The nursery children are given regular opportunities to visit and work in the main part of the school. They have weekly PE lessons in the hall and attend Sharing Assemblies where they often perform rhymes and songs.  Our staff liaise closely with their Reception colleagues so that there is continuity of planning in the Foundation Stage.


The pupils in Years 3-6 have a weekly French lesson with a specialist secondary school modern foreign language teacher. All pupils have the opportunity to develop their speaking & listening, reading and writing skills through interactive teaching and learning.  The pupils also develop their vocabulary in the context of different topics to reinforce understanding.  



During Key Stage 1 pupils learn about people's lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men, women, children and events from the recent and more distant past, including those from both Britain and the wider world. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.

During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.


During Key Stage 1 pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps and photographs.

During Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT.


During Key Stage 1 pupils explore ICT and learn to use it confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes. They start to use ICT to develop their ideas and record their creative work. They become familiar with hardware and software.

During Key Stage 2 pupils use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They develop their research skills and decide what information is appropriate for their work. They begin to question the plausibility and quality of information. They learn how to amend their work and present it in a way that suits its audience.



In English, during Key Stage 1 pupils learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

In English, during Key Stage 2 pupils learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how language works.


We aim to teach high-quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing. Phonics is the beginning of children’s body of knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read and write.

At Beech Hyde we implement a programme using the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme which is designed to teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling. Systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential and is needed for children to achieve the goal of reading. Letters and Sounds is designed as a time limited programme of phonics. It works on securing fluent word recognition skills for reading by the end of Key Stage 1 and as an intervention in Key Stage Two. In the Foundation Stage (in Nursery and Reception classes) we supplement Letters and Sounds with Jolly Phonics.


Reading is an essential element of all learning and this is why we aim to teach the skills of reading and hope to foster a lifelong love of language.  Children bring books home from their earliest days in school. We view the education of children as a partnership with parents and ask them to read with their children as often as possible. Early reading books are levelled carefully and children work systematically through each level at their own pace.

The infant children will be heard to read in school as often as possible. Much of their reading will be done in lessons, however individual reading sessions are also organised. All of the children have access to the school library where they can borrow books to bring home and share.

In school we use book banding to support progression in the development of reading skills and use books from a range of schemes to offer breadth and interest to all pupils. These schemes include the Oxford Reading Tree and PM (Nelson).


During Key Stage 1 pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activity, exploration and discussion. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond. They develop a range of mental calculation skills and use these confidently in different settings. They learn about shape and space through practical activity which builds on their understanding of their immediate environment. They begin to grasp mathematical language, using it to talk about their methods and explain their reasoning when solving problems.

During Key Stage 2 pupils use the number system more confidently. They move from counting reliably to calculating fluently with all four number operations. They always try to tackle a problem with mental methods before using any other approach. Pupils explore features of shape and space and develop their measuring skills in a range of contexts. They discuss and present their methods and reasoning using a wider range of mathematical language, diagrams and charts.


During Key Stage 1 pupils listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions, with increasing confidence, imagination and control. They explore and enjoy how sounds and silence can create different moods and effects.

During Key Stage 2 pupils sing songs and play instruments with increasing confidence, skill, expression and awareness of their own contribution to a group or class performance. They improvise, and develop their own musical compositions, in response to a variety of different stimuli with increasing personal involvement, independence and creativity. They explore their thoughts and feelings through responding physically, intellectually and emotionally to a variety of music from different times and cultures.

PE - physical Education

During Key Stage 1 pupils build on their natural enthusiasm for movement, using it to explore and learn about their world. They start to work and play with other pupils in pairs and small groups. By watching, listening and experimenting, they develop their skills in movement and coordination, and enjoy expressing and testing themselves in a variety of situations.

During Key Stage 2 pupils enjoy being active and using their creativity and imagination in physical activity. They learn new skills, find out how to use them in different ways, and link them to make actions, phrases and sequences of movement. They enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They develop an understanding of how to succeed in different activities and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Beech Hyde School promotes healthy lifestyles both through PE and our work in DT on healthy eating. Find out more at the Change4Life website.

Download information on the Sports Premium is used at Beech Hyde here (pdf).


During Key Stage 1 pupils learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experiences and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development. They learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They begin to learn about their own and other people's feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and older people. As members of a class and school community, they learn social skills such as how to share, take turns, play, help others, resolve simple arguments and resist bullying. They begin to take an active part in the life of their school and its neighbourhood. 

During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their communities. They become more mature, independent and self-confident. They learn about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. They develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions. They learn how to take part more fully in school and community activities. As they begin to develop into young adults, they face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school with support and encouragement from their school. They learn how to make more confident and informed choices about their health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a group, for their own learning; and to resist bullying.


For the new PSHE Scheme, please see the document at the base of this page


British Values

Preparing young people to get on in life, creating critical thinkers and active citizens who respect others and challenge prejudice and discrimination.


Many of our school routines are built upon the concept of democracy. All children have the opportunity as an individual, as a member of a group and a member of a class, to influence decision making and to have a voice. They understand that they must use this voice responsibly.

Children are regularly consulted both formally and informally about how their school might be improved. They see the example that is set with staff working cooperatively with parents, governors and each other to make the school the best it can be.

Rule of Law

Children in our school understand the need for rules to make ours a happy and secure environment. Our behaviour policy is shared and understood and this provides a basis on which we discuss other laws and rules and how they apply.

In different subjects we have specific ground rules for safety and comfort. Children are helped to understand the reasons for these.

Individual Liberty

The rights of every child are at the centre of our ethos. However, children also recognise the boundaries there must be too. Independent thinking and learning are encouraged and there are frequent opportunities for children to make their own choices. We place an emphasis on respecting difference and valuing creativity.

Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Respect is one of our school values. We recognise the importance of not only respecting one another but self-respect too.

We have a clear anti-bullying policy which emphasises the importance of us creating an environment both within school and the wider world in which individuals can feel safe and valued.

Our welcome for visitors is part of the school ethos as is the focus on each child as an ‘ambassador’ when they are out in the community.

Every individual is respected in our school and our actions towards one another reflect this.

We welcome difference and diversity and aim to create understanding of how this adds to the richness of our community.

We aim to do more than ‘tolerate’ those with different faiths and beliefs. We recognise the extent to which our own traditions and history have developed side by side and the rich cultural heritage that different world religions bring.

We believe that exploring and understanding other people’s faiths and beliefs are rewarding experiences and help us understand our own faiths and beliefs better.




Religious Education

Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus and the 1988 Education Act. Daily collective worship is based on broadly Christian principles and is an important part of the life of the school. Most assemblies include a hymn, a story and a prayer.

To provide variety, assemblies are conducted by different teachers as well as the Head. Assemblies are planned on weekly themes which may include Christian festivals, the life of Jesus, Bible stories, stories from other faiths, feelings and emotions, or social and moral issues. Once a week we have a sharing assembly when children are encouraged to share their work, hobbies, interests and successes with the rest of the school and their parents. House points, merit awards and a cup for individual achievement are also presented and celebrated.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education and collective worship. Anyone who wishes to do so should contact the Head to discuss alternative arrangements.


During Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.

The science Key Stage 1 curriculum consists of:

  • Sc1 Scientific enquiry
  • Sc2 Life processes and living things
  • Sc3 Materials and their properties
  • Sc4 Physical processes


During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to make links between ideas and to explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.

The science Key Stage 2 curriculum consists of:

  • Sc1 Scientific enquiry
  • Sc2 Life processes and living things
  • Sc3 Materials and their properties
  • Sc4 Physical processes


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