The Curriculum at Countess Gytha

IMG_0164[1]At Countess Gytha Primary School, we are committed to providing an exciting, stimulating and flexible curriculum to support, challenge and motivate our children to raise their aspirations and enable every child to succeed. We are continually developing and enhancing our provision so that learning is based not only within the classroom, but in the outdoor environment, within our local community and from external visits and visitors. We offer a curriculum which understands that all areas of learning are interconnected and that alongside children developing essential literacy, numeracy, ICT and scientific skills, they also have opportunities to express themselves creatively, through play, talk, song, drama, dance, art, design and technology. We also recognise the importance of creating opportunities for children to develop physically, spiritually and morally. Our curriculum drives our children to become aspirational, independent and to be challenged.


From the moment a child steps into our school they are being encouraged to share our love of books. We have relocated our library and are currently restocking with titles and authors that the children themselves have suggested. When fully refurbished we will elect library monitors who will start up and manage a library club so that pupils can enjoy the library in their playtime and take additional books home to share with their families.
In addition to our fiction and non- fiction books, our children are taught to read through the’ Oxford Reading Tree’ Scheme, however, this is  supplemented with various other reading schemes resources and books of interest for particular children which are age related. We use applications on ipads to further engage the children as readers.

The teaching of phonics is about recognising the sounds of our language and is a principle method for teaching children to read and spell. Our pupils learn this in class, through daily teaching following the’ Letters and Sounds’ Framework, which is then reinforced through everything they read and write during the day (systematic synthetic phonics).  We have a wide range of resources, including the online phonics bug software.
Phonological awareness is taught from the beginning of Foundation stage through to year 6. Children are continually assessed for their phonic knowledge and children in Key Stage 2 receive regular discrete and explicit teaching of spellings, punctuation and grammar.

With the aim to provide a positive and creative environment within which all children can learn and develop their writing, we incorporate elements of’ Talk for Writing’ strategies to develop children’s understanding of writing structures, providing them with the tools and building blocks needed to become confident and successful writers. Again, we hope to widen their experience by inviting literary experts into school to delight and inspire our young storytellers. Whenever we can we provide a context to the writing the children are doing, so their writing is truly purposeful.


We are now taking a more practical approach to maths, all staff have been trained to use ‘Numicon’ and this can be seen to be scaffolding learning throughout the school. The’ Abacus’ scheme of work is used in both key stages.
We place a very high value on the four core operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These skills are applied in many different ways, including activities such as cooking and outdoor learning which is our focus for the summer term.
In key stage 2’ Mental Maths Olympics’ is employed to sharpen and refine quick recall of number facts, as is daily ‘Minute Maths’.


ICT plays an integral  part in all of our lives, and we aim to give the children at our school every opportunity to access new technologies which enhances their learning.  We follow a nationally recognised syllabus, developed by teachers across Somerset called ‘Wessex Computing’.
Following the installation of WIFI in school, we are now able to use the recently purchased lap tops and ipads all around our learning environment which ensures that ICT permeates throughout our curriculum, creating and enhancing everything we do. In addition to the great learning that happens, we place a very high value on teaching the children the importance of keeping themselves safe when online. These ‘e-safety’ lessons are taught every term across the school through computing sessions, discrete teaching and regular assemblies.
The nature of ICT means that we are continuously looking at how we can improve the outcomes for the children at our school. We aim to keep up to date with changes in technology, and ways in which it moves forward.


We follow the agreed Somerset syllabus for RE:
Awareness, Mystery and Value 2011

For more information please see:


The school follows the National Curriculum 2014 programmes of study for Science, which are set out year by year for Key Stages 1 and 2.  Our key aim is to develop our pupils’ scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through a combination of observation, practical activities and scientific enquiry.

Year 1
Year 2
Autumn Spring Summer Autumn Spring Summer
Seasonal Changes

Everyday materials




Animals including humans


Living things and their habitats

Uses of everyday materials



Animals including humans


Year 3 
 Year 4
Autumn Spring Summer Autumn Spring Summer






 Forces and Magnets



Animals including humans



All Living Things





States of Matter

Animals including humans


Year 5
Year 6
Autumn Spring Summer Autumn Spring Summer
Earth and SpaceForces Properties and Changes of Materials

Living Things and their habitats

Animals, including humans Electricity


Living Things and their habitats
Animals, including humans


In Key stage 1 our pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They are taught to understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

In Key stage 2 we extend our pupils’ knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They continue to develop their use of basic geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.


Through our History curriculum pupils in key stage 1 begin to develop an awareness of the past, and begin to use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They are taught to know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods and the key features of significant events that have taken place over time.

Our History topics in KS1 are:
  • Changes within living memory.
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Events beyond living memory those are significant nationally and globally. 

In Key stage 2 we continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. Noting connections, contrasts and trends over time and how our knowledge of the past is constructed. Design and Technology Through a variety of creative and practical activities, our pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. They work in a range of relevant contexts which includes, their home, school, the local community and the wider environment.

Our History topics in KS2 are:
  • Local History
  • Anglo-Saxons & Vikings
  • Roman Britain
  • Anglo-Saxons & Scots
  • Pre-Roman Britain
  • Non-European Study
  • Ancient Civilizations
  • Ancient Greece

Physical Education

The school employs a PE specialist for one day a week to coach the children in all areas of the PE curriculum.  The older pupil take part in a range of local sporting festivals and tournaments throughout the school year.  Each class enjoys a six weekly block of swimming at a local sports center and our Year 6 pupils take part in the Somerset based ‘Bikeability’ programme. We provide our children with a range of outdoor, and adventurous acitvities through a residential visit, which will take place for our Year 5/6 children in Bude, Cornwall early in September 2016.

Also see the School PE and Sports Premium Funding page


Our Music curriculum is supplemented by a specialist music teacher, who joins us for one day per week, coaching and training our pupils in song and dance. Termly musical events give our pupils the opportunity to perform to an audience.

Early Years Foundation Stage

IMG_0427We firmly believe that the unique child learns through actively engaging with other people and their environment. The characteristics of effective learning, drive learning and development across all areas. How children learn and what children learn are all important factors of a child’s development and are interconnected. The Development Matters in the EYFS is outlined below.

How children learn:

Playing and exploring • finding out and exploring • playing with what they know • being willing to have a go

Active learning • being involved and concentrating • enjoying achieving what they set out to do • keeping trying

Creating and thinking critically • having their own ideas • making links • choosing ways to do things

What children learn:

Prime areas of learning and developing • Personal, Social and Emotional development (Making relationships; Self-confidence & awareness; Managing feelings & behaviour) • Communication and Language (Listening & attention; Understanding; Speaking) • Physical development (Moving & handling; Health and self-care)

Specific areas of learning and development • Mathematics (Numbers; Shape, space & measures) • Literacy (Reading; Writing) • Understanding the world (People & communities; The world; Technology) • Expressive arts and design (Exploring & using media & materials; Being imaginative)


In September, each class publishes the areas of the curriculum they are covering in the autumn, spring and summer terms for the proceeding academic year.  Please click on the class pages for more details!

For any additional information please contact us via the website or by telephone:  Countess Gytha Primary School High street, Queen Camel, Somerset, BA22 7NH Email: Tel:01935 850345 | Fax: 01935 850345