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Curriculum at Sennen School

‘Leap into a pool of learning’

Our values and ethos drive curriculum delivery at Sennen School. In each lesson our core learning behaviours of: resilience, reflectiveness, resourcefulness and teamwork, are explicitly taught and promoted. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. We adhere to the National Curriculum for England (September 2014) which can be viewed on the Primary National Curriculum page of Department for Education website.  Below a summary can be found of individual subject areas taken from the National Curriculum; with further information on how they are delivered at Sennen School.

 It is our aim that the content and delivery of our curriculum is flexible, forward thinking and driven by the following:

Developing lifelong learners by:

  • Building learning power;

  • Building resilience by: challenging the children; encouraging them to take risks; make mistakes and learn from them; developing their ability to manage distractions and persevere;

  • Building resourcefulness by: encouraging children to make connections in their learning using their books and classroom displays; enabling the children to make decisions about how to approach and plan their work, individually and as a group; valuing the power of imagination;

  • Building reflectiveness by: analysing and discussing their work, identifying their own strengths and areas for development;

  • Building teamwork by: valuing collaboration; developing empathy and listening skills; emphasising the importance of being inter-dependant and community minded;

  • Meeting the needs of individuals and groups and where possible adapting learning to their interests;

  • Developing children’s social and moral education;

  • Learning being meaningful and relevant to the children’s experiences;

  • Being mindful of current events locally, nationally and internationally;

  • Drawing on the skills within the school and wider community;

  • Using a variety of learning models: in groups; in pairs; independent; children as mentors; whole school events and themes; and learning outside of the classroom;



The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding, develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information and to acquire a wide vocabulary.

  • Have an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language; appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.

  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

  • Use discussion in order to learn.

  • Are able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

At Sennen School we deeply value reading at home and in school. Every child’s home reading is closely monitored and encouraged through a variety of incentives and mentoring from staff. We plan from a variety of sources to ensure we expose children to quality literature from an early stage and right through their time at Sennen. Reading assemblies and class books help to ensure that we promote a love of reading and make literature a shared experience. We strongly believe that if we can instil this passion within children, then their opportunities in later life will be greatly increased.

Experiencing quality literature provides children with a strong foundation to become writers, giving them a range of vocabulary and an understanding of style and tone. At Sennen school children’s writing is systematically developed through the use of personalised targets which they use to edit and improve their work. Our core learning behaviours are key here as we empower children to be critical, spotting improvements and most importantly recognising their strengths.

We hold a literacy curriculum evening each year to share our approach with parents and the community and are happy to discuss the curriculum at any time.

We use the Oxford Tree reading scheme, supplemented with other independent books where possible. Our phonics provision is planned using 'Letters and Sounds'; then delivered using support from programs and schemes such as: 'Giant Phonics', 'Nessy', and 'Phonics Bug'.



The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;

  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;

  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

At Sennen we use the Abacus scheme of work to guide children’s progression through the objectives of the national curriculum. Problem solving and reasoning sessions also take place weekly. In these children develop their own problem solving toolkits and use ‘Stem Sentences’ to develop their mathematical language. 'Stem' sentences are frames for explaining mathematical thinking or describing a process such as: 'This is always true because....' 'I already know' 'I was systematic because I...'

We hold a Mathematics curriculum evening each year to share our approach with parents and the community and are happy to discuss the curriculum at any time.



We aim to develop the skills and attitudes needed for children to become scientists such as curiosity, analytical thinking, enquiry, creativity and perseverance so they can make sense of the world around us. Key to this is the children’s ability to communicate their understanding through a range of methods.

At Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 the science curriculum is planned on a programme of topic areas. The relevant key science skills for each year group are delivered through these topics.

Key Stage 2 science follows our scheme of work which ensures that all topics are met across the 4 years.

Our science curriculum aims to ensure children develop:

  • Investigative skills;

  • Experimental skills;

  • Research skills;

  • Recording skills;

  • Clear communication;

  • Meticulous approach;

We do this by: Long and medium term planning, adapted from Hamilton Science.


Design and Technology

The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of user’s critique.

  • Evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.

  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.



At Sennen School we view history as a great deal more than learning facts. We see it as an opportunity to develop skills of enquiry and questioning; to become open minded “historical detectives” and explore the past in an exciting way. We aim to provide first hand experiences with role play, class visits, workshops and visiting experts playing an important part in all our topics.

History is taught through our cross curricular topics. The past comes to life when children use a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and take part in discussions with their peers. Through history, children learn to make comparisons and links between the past and modern times and discover how and why things have changed. They learn about people and events in the past, in Britain and the wider world, and realise that these have influenced our lives today. Children are taught how to investigate and record their findings in interesting and creative ways including writing, art, drama and information communications technology.

Our history curriculum aims to ensure children develop:

  • Research and recording skills;

  • Connections between past and present;

  • Use of sources of evidence to create argument;

  • Hypothesis skills;

We do this by: Long and medium term planning, adapted from the Hamilton Trust Schemes of work.



Geography develops children’s knowledge and understanding of people and places. At Sennen, we learn about the wider world as well as local areas, looking at the physical, social and economic issues surrounding each case study. Use of maps, atlases, photos and the internet ensures a well-balanced and interactive method of learning for all pupils. There are many cross-curricular links with subjects such as literacy, numeracy and history. In the Foundation Stage, children learn about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects and materials. They are able to discuss their own immediate environment and understand how environments may vary from one to another. During Key Stage 1 and 2, pupils explore physical and human differences in the world around them. Children learn about the skills needed to ask geographical questions about a locality in the UK compared to a locality in a less economically developed country. Children are taught how settlements differ and change and they understand environmental issues linked to these. Children also learn about water and its effect on landscapes such as rivers and coasts. They are taught differences in weather and the effect of climate change.

Our Geography curriculum aims to ensure children develop:  

  • Research and recording skills;

  • Connections between human and physical geography;

  • Use of sources of evidence to create argument;

  • Hypothesis skills;

  • Investigative skills.

We do this by: Long and medium term planning adapted from Hamilton Scheme. 


Art and Design

Art and Design contributes to the development of the whole child emotionally, aesthetically, physically, socially and cognitively. It provides all children with the opportunity to express themselves imaginatively, creatively and develop their understanding of, and respond to the world around them. Pupils are exposed to many visual, tactile and sensory experiences. Sennen School enables pupils to become involved in, enjoy and appreciate the visual arts to see how it can enrich their personal lives. They learn the part that art and design plays in their own and others’ lives, in contemporary life and in different times and cultures.

Our art curriculum aims to ensure pupils develop:

  • Appreciation of work by different artists;

  • The skills to create their own artwork inspired by existing artwork and artists;

  • Skills of art in different media;

  • Their own creativity and enjoyment.



Music is taught throughout the school as a class subject and in cross-curricular way. The aim is to develop each child's musical potential giving opportunities for self-expression and creativity.

Instrumental tuition is available to children who wish to take advantage of it. The children are taught individually or in small groups and parents are required to meet the cost.

We have a thriving choir who take part in concerts throughout the year. Singing is a key component of the curriculum at Sennen. 

During the year there are a variety of musical performances in assemblies and at events such as Lafrowda in St Just. At Christmas there is a big production for Key Stage 2 and a Nativity play for Key Stage 1 In addition, children perform at school and the Church at various times.

Our music curriculum aims to ensure pupils develop:

  • Appreciation and appraisal of music from different genres and cultures;

  • Performing including singing skills;

  • Composition skills.



Our curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities are physically active for sustained periods of time engage in competitive sports and activities lead healthy, active lives. 

At Sennen we provide a wide range of sporting opportunities for a school as small as ourselves. We work closely with local clubs including: St Just Cricket, Pirates Rugby and Penzance Gymnastics club. After school we have a range of clubs run by teachers and volunteers, which rotate throughout the year to allow everyone to participate. The activities for these have included: football, netball, rounders, cross country, tag rugby and cricket. We have a mini-bus that enables us to attend competitions outside of school and do so on a regular basis. We take part in Bikeability each year to ensure children leave us able to cycle safely on the roads. We swim throughout the year. Each class has a half term or more of lessons on Friday afternoons.


Languages Key Stage 2

The National Curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources;

  • Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation;

  • Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt;

  • Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied. 

As well as languages such as French being part of our curriculum we also welcome French exchange students in the summer term. We also promote the Cornish language and children work with specialist in this area at different points throughout the school year.  


The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation;

  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;

  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems;

  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

We are well equipped to deliver these aims at Sennen and benefit from having iPads, laptops and interactive whiteboards in every classroom. We are also very proud of our computer coding club 'Scratch club' that is well attended weekly.

Our planning is informed by the 'Switched on Computing' curriculum.