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The Curriculum at Ryhope Junior School

At Ryhope Junior School, we believe that a well planned and well organised curriculum is the foundation of our school’s work and will enable us to provide all of our children with the very best possible start. We are working extremely hard to develop and design a bespoke curriculum so that it meets children’s needs as individuals but also reflects the local community’s requirements too. We have rich local history, amazing local landmarks nearby and a beautifully decorated building in which to bring all aspects of learning to life! We are constantly improving our provision here at Ryhope Junior School and we are always aiming high. Where possible, we enhance our curriculum by inviting visitors or speakers; our teachers organise regular outings and many of our latest pieces of news are reflected on our Twitter page - @RyhopeJuniors – or in our monthly newsletter – The Ryhope Reporter – which can also be found on our school’s website.

Below, we have outlined our intentions in each curriculum area and we are working towards fulfilling each of these in the work that we do in school. We believe that a broad and balanced curriculum offer will ensure improved outcomes for all children because we want everyone to fulfil their potential in whichever area they work best. Our practices are rooted in the promotion of basic skills (reading, writing and mathematics) so that everyone can have access the wider curriculum and apply their skills, and talents, in a range of different ways and in different subjects. Children’s achievements are celebrated daily in class and weekly in our whole school SHINE assembly which is loved by all. Who will be the star pupils in school this week? By working hard, making progress, having positive attitudes towards work and towards others, we aim to recognise everyone’s achievements – no matter how small they may appear to be! Everyone at Ryhope Junior School deserves the very best. We embody the motto ‘Learn to Live’ in everything that we do and hope everyone leaves us with the fondest memories of their time in our school.

Parent Information Leaflets

Our School’s Learning Environment

At Ryhope Junior School we work towards providing a lively, stimulating and exciting environment in which our children can learn effectively. We believe that inspiring excellence is reflected through the quality of our learning environment. We value the importance of displays, pictures, objects and teaching aids that appear in classrooms and throughout the school building.


We want to create an environment which:

  • Stimulates curiosity and appreciation of the world
  • Celebrates children’s learning and achievement
  • Is an effective learning and teaching tool
  • Reflects the rich and varied experiences of current learning
  • Creates an appreciation and awareness of aesthetics which adds to the quality of children and adults’ experiences at school



The teaching of English will provide pupils with a high-quality education that will teach all children to speak, read and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively and confidently. The English curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences, allow children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers.

Our school is determined that every pupil will learn to read age-appropriate texts regardless of their background or previous experiences in this area. Our curriculum ensures the teaching of reading is comprehensive, vibrant and develops skills for life and promotes a wide range of different genres that are taught and enjoyed. We strive to develop reading stamina: develop the child's ability to focus and read independently for increasingly longer periods of time.

At our school we recognise that words empower children to make sense of the world around them:  vocabulary helps them to put their emotions into words, socialise with people, imagine and wonder.  Therefore, our curriculum exposes our pupils to a wide range of vocabulary which is progressive throughout the key stage.

We recognise the importance of cultivating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of purposes.



The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Are able to reason mathematically
  • Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics

These skills are embedded within our Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that all children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts.


Our aim is to design a curriculum which is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the power of Mathematics, and its links to other curriculum areas.


Using the Inspire Maths programme, we deliver lessons that are creative and engaging using the CPA (Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract) approach.  This enables all children to access the curriculum and understand the fundamentals of Mathematics. Our aim is to ensure that pupils are fluent in basic skills as well as being able to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.



Teaching and learning in Science is given importance across the school and topics are taught in line with the National Curriculum. Our Science lessons are planned and delivered to encourage children’s curiosity through exploring, discussing, testing and developing ideas about the world around them. Children are expected to ask their own questions, design and carry out simple tests, make observations and record their findings. As they move through the key stage, children will develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas.

Science is taught through theory-based learning alongside the children’s own enquiries and investigations. To aid practical investigations and experiments, Ryhope Junior School has developed a specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) room, which will be used as a dedicated space to develop skills in these areas on a weekly basis. In addition to classroom-based learning, children will also develop scientific skills in the outdoor environment. This could include our school or community areas, or educational visits to enhance the learning of a scientific concept.



In a rapidly changing and progressive world, it is clear that technology is changing the lives of everyone. Through teaching computing, we equip children with the appropriate skills to enable them to participate effectively in the modern world and to overcome any challenges that may face them in relation to their use of technology.

It is our intention to ensure children can find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in an effective way across all other areas of the curriculum and in their daily lives. We want children to know more, remember more, think critically and use technology responsibly so that they leave Ryhope Junior School computer literate and well prepared for the range of job opportunities that await them – many of which are not yet in existence! This ambition is in keeping with the school’s motto, ‘Learn to Live’.

Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to them which allow them to become all of these things.



History lessons provide our children with a high-quality education which will inspire their curiosity, build their knowledge of the past – both in relation to the local area and the wider world. The teaching of history will enable children to develop an understanding of chronology and the major changes that have occurred throughout time. We will help children to develop knowledge of history in the local context and as well as national and international issues. In turn, this creates a sense of identity within our current multicultural society.


Pupils will learn to:

  • Think critically
  • Use evidence to ask historical questions that inspire and ignite interest in the past
  • Learn about key events and the impact they had on the local area
  • Know and understand significant historical terms, e.g. empire, civilisation, parliament, hierarchy
  • Make connections, compare and contrast and to create structured accounts about the past
  • Gain knowledge of other cultures and civilisations



The teaching of geography will promote a curiosity about the world for our children. The curriculum will enable our children to be confident to understand, and ask questions, about the world around them.  We aim to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human world whilst encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of their place in it. Children will be given the opportunity to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can be used to also promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.


Art & Design

Through the teaching of Art at Ryhope Junior School, we seek to provide valuable, enjoyable and creative experiences, where seeing, feeling, thinking and making are combined so that children are free to express themselves.

This is achieved through our studies and whilst working with a range of different mediums. We use our skills to provide a rich variety of artwork and gain an appreciation of different artist and designers.

We aim to teach art alongside other areas of our curriculum as other areas, such as history, so often inspire the children’s artwork while enabling them to develop their skills in drawing, painting and sculpting.


Design & Technology

Design Technology provides the pupils at Ryhope Junior School with an opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to make products that solve real and relevant problems. The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology allows the children to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and to apply skills from other subjects such as maths, science, computing and art.

The children learn the processes of design through research, planning, designing, making and evaluation.

The children learn independently and in groups, learning to co-operate, share ideas and critique and evaluate their own and each other’s work.

The children are encouraged to use a wide variety of tools, equipment and materials in their designs, enabling them to develop into resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.


Religious Education (RE)

RE is taught according to the aims of the Sunderland Agreed Syllabus (2014). We believe that RE has an important part to play in developing the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development of all our children. It allows them the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of themselves, whilst also developing their compassion towards others. RE helps to promote tolerance and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Through the teaching of engaging lessons, it also allows pupils to develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills; it gives children the opportunity to listen to others, hear and analyse conflicting viewpoints and develop empathy and respect. Our lessons provide opportunities for all pupils to explore views whilst learning about a range of religions. These are outlined in our RE curriculum overview and showcase some of the key questions that we will explore throughout our RE lessons at Ryhope Junior School.


Modern Foreign Languages (French)

Our French lessons provide opportunities to ensure that all pupils are exposed to a variety of authentic sources to develop a curiosity for other cultures and to deepen their understanding of the world. The curriculum will enable pupils to communicate more proficiently as they develop both their understanding of the spoken and written language.

We aim to develop confidence and fluency where children will be encouraged to participate a variety of activities, to discuss and ask questions, to listen and join in, through games, stories and through song, to promote accuracy in pronunciation and intonation.

Through literature and original language, we aim to foster an appreciation of a range of writing and thus promote writing of varying length, set within real, contextual scenarios, for different purposes and audiences, using the grammatical structures that they have learnt.


Physical Education (PE)

PE is an integral part of our learning. Through high quality PE lessons ensuring National Curriculum coverage, children are inspired to succeed and, if possible, excel in competitive sport and physical activities. PE will provide all children with opportunities to become physically confident, to develop competence, to excel, to become physically active and to engage in a wide range of activities. PE lessons will focus on transferable skills which can then be applied to a number of different sports and activities as the children develop. At Ryhope Junior School, pupils will develop a broader range of skills and apply these to more challenging activities. There is an increased focus on communicating, collaborating and competing and the children are given opportunities to evaluate their performances and identify how they could improve as well as celebrate their own successes.  This year our full time Sports and Wellness Lead plays a pivotal part in further enhancing children’s skill set and sporting opportunities.



We believe that Music plays an important role in our curriculum. One of the principal objectives of this subject is to help children acquire a more perceptive approach to the medium of sound, which has implications for children’s listening skills not only in music, but across the wider curriculum.

Our Music curriculum aims to ensure that all children have the opportunity to:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated

At Ryhope Junior School, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We use the ‘Charanga’ programme to deliver music lessons in an enjoyable, interesting and stimulating manner. We have recently developed a specific music room in school where children are taught the full music curriculum, can explore instruments and perform to their peers and visitors.  We encourage children to develop an informed interest in music in whichever ways appeal to them and are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music.


Our pupils are also encouraged to realise their musical potential to the best of their ability through singing, to allow them to view their voice as an instrument; as well as through improvisation and composition of their own music using a variety of instruments. Children are also given opportunities to sing and perform a variety of genres outside of curriculum lessons through our assemblies. We are committed to ensuring that our children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences to involve themselves in music in a variety of different contexts.



At Ryhope Junior School, the teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) will enable our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We aim to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially and tackle moral and cultural issues that are part of growing up.

We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.


Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) 

In our school, we teach children about:


  • The physical development of their bodies as they grow into adults;
  • The way humans reproduce from an age-appropriate perspective;
  • Ways of respecting their own bodies and the importance of a committed, long-term, and loving relationship;
  • The importance of family life;
  • Moral questions;
  • Relationship issues;
  • Respect for the views of other people;
  • Any forms of abuse and what they should do if they are worried about any forms of relationship issues.


We teach about sex in the context of the school’s aims and values. This includes an understanding that:

  • Healthy relationships;
  • S.R.E. is part of a wider process of social, personal, spiritual and moral education;
  • Children should be taught to have respect for their own bodies;
  • Children should learn about their responsibilities to others and be aware of the consequences of sexual activity;
  • It is important to build positive relationships with others, involving trust and respect;
  • Children need to learn the importance of self-control.
* If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach, please contact the school directly.