Home Page

Bishop MonktonC of E Primary School


Bishop Monkton CE Primary School Curriculum 

What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.



At Bishop Monkton, we are committed to establishing a mastery approach in the teaching of mathematics, in which all pupils in a year group are taught the same mathematical content at the same time and at the same pace.  In the daily maths lesson we aim to provide learning opportunities which allow investigation into mathematical situations in number, measurement, shape and space, and data handling. We have a consistent approach to written calculation methods (see calculation policy) which are designed to give children accurate and efficient methods with which to tackle more complex problems. Our focus is on developing fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Pupils are encouraged to discuss their work with each other and their teacher to ensure they develop a sound understanding of mathematical principles and acquire mathematical skills.


Children are encouraged to appreciate the relevance of mathematics to all areas of the curriculum and their environment and to apply their knowledge appropriately. We aim to produce pupils who are numerate, able to think for themselves and have a love of maths!



It is our aim that all our children will enjoy reading and writing. We aim to create as many exciting learning opportunities as possible so that our children love coming to school and love learning Literacy.



Our children regularly access a wide variety of books. From Reading Skills to paired reading and visits to Ripon Library; we provide numerous opportunities for children to read. Early readers follow a range of schemes designed to develop reading skills. They are provided with books tailored to their ability and encouraged to take these home each week. Further up the school, children are given a book to take home each week to encourage reading for pleasure but to also develop text analysis.

Across the school, Reading Skills is used to further explore texts and the children complete independent and adult led activities which are designed to develop their word recognition and comprehension skills.

Children should be encouraged to read for pleasure and we ask that you regularly listen to your child read at home. A wide range of books are available in classrooms and in the school library for children to access. Each child is provided with a Reading Record to be completed on a weekly basis and everyone who listens to the child should be encouraged to make written comments.



Throughout the school, children gain experience of producing a wide range of narrative, non-fiction and poetic texts.

Children are taught to plan, draft, write, evaluate and read aloud. We include regular opportunities for children to complete extended pieces of writing and provide time for them to edit and improve their work.

Children are also taught to ‘read with a writerly eye’: taking examples of good practice from reading and using them in their written pieces of work. Across the school, children experience a wide range of non-fiction text types, many of which are linked to their work in other subjects. Creating links to other curriculum areas provides children with a purpose for writing and ensures they maintain their literacy standards in a variety of contexts.

Throughout every writing unit children are taught spelling, grammar and punctuation rules that are related to, and appropriate for, the text type that they are focusing on. Furthermore, discrete sessions are used to work on the children’s writing targets.


Speaking and Listening

We provide a wide range of situations, audiences and activities which encourage children to develop confidence and competence in speaking and listening. Children learn mechanical skills required for effective oral communication, e.g. voice projection, tone, clarity, pace of speech and the importance of listening in all types of communication.



To ensure that our children have secure science skills and understanding we teach science as a discrete subject. Within science the children use their core maths and literacy skills to help them ask questions, record observations and draw conclusions. Children experience a variety of practical activities using an increasing amount of equipment and recording methods to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.



Children have discrete computing lessons each week. During this time they develop skills which enable them to become digitally literate, understand the fundamentals of computer science and be confident users of technology.

Alongside these lessons, children use ICT in the wider curriculum to develop their skills and present, publish and organise their learning. Year 6 ‘Digital Leaders’ are also chosen to help deliver elements of computing and act as our digital advice and development team. Over the past year they have been instrumental in helping others less technologically literate and have led an assembly on how to stay safe online.


History and Geography

History and Geography are taught through a thematic “topic” approach covering the subject content outlined in the National Curriculum, ensuring coverage and progression.  Topics often start with a question, which is then broken down into subsidiary questions which focuses the learning for the topic.  Topic is often used to develop core skills in literacy and maths and provides a vehicle to see that skills are used and applied across the curriculum.  Where possible visits and/or visitors are actively promoted to ensure that learning can be experiential and in context.


Design Technology and Art

Design and Technology (DT) and Art are integral aspects of the curriculum in which children’s creative and artistic talents are promoted.  The curriculum covers both the discrete teaching of skills, such as colour-mixing or sawing wood, along with using skills to create pieces of work or products that enhance the learning in other subject areas.  For example children were taught how to sew cross-stitch before sewing individual squares that together combined to make the Bayeux Tapestry.



Music is a valuable asset to the school.  All children participate in Music lessons with their class teacher, developing their musical knowledge, skills and understanding.  Children have the opportunity to develop their own musical talents through specialist music teachers who cover a wide range of instrumental teaching.  These lessons are taken in school time but are charged to parents who chose them.  There is an opportunity to be part of the school choir from Year 4 upwards.  Musical performances are actively encouraged, providing opportunities to promote individual talents and personal confidence.


Physical Education (PE)

We aim to promote a healthy active lifestyle for all the children through fun, stimulating and inclusive Physical Education (PE) and this is delivered by class teachers and specialist PE teachers.  Over the school year the children will learn a variety of skills in their PE lessons as well as having the opportunity to attend out of school clubs such as netball, cricket, gym and dance. As part of the Harrogate School Sports Partnership (HSSP) we are able to offer children a wide variety of sports with opportunities to compete at higher levels.  In competitions we aim to encourage ALL children to do their best and to accept defeat as gracefully as we accept victory.

We offer swimming lessons from Year 3 to Year 6, at Ripon Spa Swimming Baths in compliance with the National Curriculum. For 2016-2017 Year 6 go in the Autumn term, Year 5 in the Spring term and Year 3/4 go in the Summer term.

Outdoor activities are widely promoted.  In Year 3 and 4 children are encouraged to go to Robin Wood, an outdoor education centre in Cumbria for 3 days and in Year 6 there is an opportunity to go for one week’s residential to East Barnby, near Whitby for more challenging outdoor pursuits.


Religious Education (RE)

Our RE curriculum follows the North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus 2013.  The aim of it is to help pupils develop open, sensitive, reflective and critical approaches to understanding humankind’s varied religions and beliefs, exploring practices, values, beliefs and lifestyles, relating these to their own experiences and to questions of everyday life. This is done through the study of three worldwide religions.  Christianity and Islam are taught from Reception through to Year 6, with Hinduism being studied from Year 3 upwards.  In the lead up to Christian celebrations such as Easter and Christmas, all year groups focus on different aspects of these festivals and are given the opportunity to celebrate them, together with the community, at our local parish church of St John’s.


Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)

Although this is not a statutory part of the 2014 curriculum we believe SRE has a vital role to play in the personal, emotional and social development of our children. The SRE curriculum covers three main elements: Attitudes and values, personal and social skills and knowledge and understanding. These are mostly delivered by the class teacher as part of PSHE, RE, Science and PE lessons.  Opportunities may also arise as a result of children’s enquiries, events in a child’s home life (such as a marriage, pregnancy etc) or other circumstances. E-safety (staying safe online) is covered as part of the Computing curriculum. In addition to these opportunities, the school nurse talks specifically to children in Year 6 about the physical and emotional changes related to puberty.  Please see our SRE policy for further details.



All children at Bishop Monkton are taught French.  In Reception and Year 1/Year2 it is covered in class by the class teacher and teaching assistant.  From Year 3 upwards children benefit from having a French specialist teacher.  Children enjoy learning French through a variety of songs, games and spoken language, incorporating the North Yorkshire scheme of work. As the children progress through school they also learn to read and write in French.  Year 4/5 children have an opportunity to visit France on a three day residential visit.  This provides a rich experience for putting their learning in to context.