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We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and particular care is taken to ensure that all children are treated as individuals and that we carefully match the work to the child's capabilities.


Our school curriculum is designed to implement all National Curriculum requirements, so in every class, children are taught:-

Core Subjects

Reading and writing are of paramount importance at North and South Cowton Community Primary School. Using a variety of carefully graded reading schemes we aim to help children become fluent and independent readers. Children also have the opportunity to select from a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction books. Our school library is regularly used. The reference section aims to encourage children in the use of a classification system, enabling them to locate information to support other areas of the curriculum.

Children are given the opportunity to write for a wide range of purposes and audiences. Opportunities are given to develop the skills of grammar, punctuation, handwriting and spelling.

High priority is also given to the development of speaking and listening.


Collaborative Literacy

This week, during literacy lessons, class 2 have been planning and writing stories for younger children.  They have looked at a variety of books for a younger age to get an idea of the type of story and how they are written.

We have had some fantastic ideas which have resulted in some great stories.  These stories were shared with class 1 yesterday, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy them. 

Children are taught to read through the government phonics programme, ‘Letters and Sounds’. We use a range of resources, activities and games to support and embed learning. The reading scheme used across school from EYFS to Key Stage two is Big Cat Collins Education. This scheme is fully aligned with the Letters and Sounds Programme. 

We supplement our reading resources with the Rigby Navigator scheme to ensure we have a balanced and rich coverage of guided reading throughout all year groups.

Teaching Phonics

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups).  As the children progress through the phonics programme, they begin to use their phonic knowledge and skills to read and write words and sentences.

At North and South Cowton Community Primary School, we teach Phonics through a holistic and multi-sensory approach to ensure we cater for all learning styles. We work from the government programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’ which consists of a six-phase programme starting in EYFS and progressing through Year 1 and Year 2.

Below are definitions to explain some of the terminology used when discussing phonics, we then go on to explain what is entailed in each of the six phases.



What is a phoneme?

It is the smallest unit of sound. In phase 2 it will equate with a letter sound such ‘a’ but as children progress into phase three, it will include the digraphs such as sh, ch, ee, ai               (two letters make one sound).  For example, `bean’ has three phonemes, /b / ea / n.


What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is the printed version of the phoneme.  For example, if I said the sounds c,a,t to a child and asked them to tell me the word then they are hearing the phonemes (the sound the letter makes.) If I showed the children the word c,a,t  on a page then they are using their skill of letter recognition (grapheme, what the sound looks like as a letter.) Once children have good grapheme, phoneme correspondence, then they can start to look at words and sentences independently and begin to read them.


What is a digraph?

A digraph is when two letters (phonemes) are put together to make a new sound. For example, we know the sound of the letter ‘a’ on its own and the sound of the letter ‘i’ on its own, however, if we put them together to make ‘ai’, we hear a new sound such as in the words train, rain, pain etc.


What is a trigraph?

A trigraph is when three letters (phonemes) are put together to make a new sound. For example, we know the sound of the letter ‘i’ on its own, the letter ‘g’ on its own and the letter ‘h’ on its own, however, if we put them together to make ‘igh’, we hear a new sound such as in the words light, night, fright etc.


What are high frequency words?

High frequency words are those that recur frequently in children’s reading and writing such as and, it, is, but, then, got etc.  Many of these words have little meaning of their own but do contribute a great deal to the meaning of a sentence.  Some of these words are decodable and others are not but in order to help build and support fluency in reading and writing, it helps that children know these words on sight and off by heart.  They are practised everyday through flash card games and challenges to embed recognition.


What are tricky words?

Tricky words are like high frequency words because they appear so often in reading and writing. However, unlike some high frequency words, tricky words cannot be decoded (sounded out) because they do not always fit into the usual spelling patterns that have been taught. In order to read simple sentences, it is necessary for children to know some words that have unusual or untaught spellings in them, which is why we learn them on sight by practising through flash cards, games and quizzes every day.


Tricky words are introduced in each phase as follows:

Phase 2:  the to I no go into

Phase 3:  he she me we be was you they all are my her

Phase 4:  said have like so do come some were there little one when out what

Phase 5: oh their people Mr Mrs looked could asked called


What are CVC words?

CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant, for example, a word such as hat, pin and pot are CVC words.  Once children have got a solid understanding of grapheme, phoneme correspondence, they can begin to read and write simple CVC words. As children progress into phase 4, they will go on to blending to read and write CC-VC words such as trip, flap, speed etc. The consonant, consonant at the beginning of a cc-vc word are called blends or clusters because they are two letters close together in a word but keep their own sounds unlike a digraph.

What is blending?

Blending is the process that is involved in bringing each sound in a word together to make the complete word.  For example, c,a,t makes the word cat and  p,i,t makes the word pit. To learn to read well children must be able to smoothly blend sounds together. Blending sounds fluidly helps to improve fluency when reading. Once children can blend CVC words confidently, they can use these skills to blend words of more than one syllable. Blending is more difficult to do with longer words so learning how to blend accurately from an early age is imperative. Showing your child how to blend is important. Model how to ‘push’ sounds smoothly together without stopping at each individual sound.

What is segmenting?

Segmenting is the opposite to blending. When blending, children hear each individual sound and push them together to identify the full word.  Segmenting is when children are given the word and they must identify the beginning, middle and end phoneme that makes up the word. For example, In order to spell the word cat, it is necessary to segment the word into its constituent sounds; c-a-t.

Children often understand segmenting as ‘chopping’ or ‘breaking up’ a word. Before writing it, young children need time to think about it, hear the word and say the word, often several times, to be able to ‘chop’ the word up into its beginning, middle and end sounds and then write it as its word. 

As mentioned earlier, Letters and Sounds works through a six-phase programme.  Below is a brief explanation of what is taught during each phase.


Phase 1

Phase 1 = Sound discrimination including environmental sounds and instrumental sounds, rhyme and alliteration and keeping a rhythm and a beat. These auditory skills teach children to discriminate and distinguish between sounds and prepare them for blending and segmenting sounds in words.


Phase 2

In Phase 2, children are now developing a good phonological awareness from phase 1 and the teaching of letters and their sounds are introduced, usually four per week.

Sets of letters are taught in the following sequence:


Set 1: s,a,t,p  Set 2: i,n,m,d  Set 3: g,o,c,k  Set 4: ck,e,u,r  Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

The children will begin to learn to blend and segment sounds in words to begin to read and write simple words and captions containing only the letters taught so far.


Phase 3

By the time they reach Phase 3, children will be becoming confident to blend and segment words containing the 19 letters taught in Phase 2.

During Phase 3, twenty-five new graphmes including digraphs and trigraphs are introduced, usually three to four per week.

Set 6: j, v, w, x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Children will continue to build on their skills of blending and segmenting to read words and sentences using all the graphemes taught so far and also ensuring inclusion of the tricky and high frequency words taught.


Phase 4

By Phase 4 children will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes with a grapheme. They will blend phonemes to read CCVC words which are beginning clusters such as steam, blend etc and CVCC words which are words with end clusters such as help, best etc. and segment these words for spelling. They will also be able to read two syllable words that are simple such as rocket, picnic, panic etc. They will be able to read all the tricky words learnt so far and will be able to spell some of them. This phase consolidates all the children have learnt in the previous phases and they are now becoming independent readers and writers.

Phase 5

Children will be taught new graphemes and alternative patterns/pronunciations for these graphemes and graphemes they already know. They will begin to learn to choose the appropriate grapheme when spelling. The children will be automatically decoding many words for reading by this point.


ay day   oy boy  wh when            a-e make

ou out   ir girl     ph photo            e-e these

ie tie      ue blue ew new i-e like

ea eat   aw saw oe toe   o-e home

au Paul u-e rule

Phase 6

In phase 6 children will be reading longer and less familiar texts independently and fluently. It is crucial that at this point children are now reading to learn and reading for pleasure.  Children should be able to read most of the 300 high frequency words. At this point it is important that comprehension strategies are developed so that children clarify meaning, ask and answer questions about the texts they are reading, construct mental images during reading and summarise what they have read.


In spelling children are introduced to…

the adding of suffixes at the end of words including, ed, ing, ful, est, er, ment, ness,en, s, es. 

Understand the rules for adding ing, ed, er, est, ful, ly, y to words

Investigate how adding suffixes and prefixes change words.

Introduce the past tense.

The teaching of homophones, for example, bear/bare or be/bee etc.

Teaching contracted forms, for example, I am becomes I’m or you are becomes you’re etc.


Throughout this phase children are encouraged to develop strategies for learning spellings.

Syllables             To learn a word by listening to how many syllables there are so it can be broken into smaller bits. (e.g. Sep-tem-ber)

Base Words       To learn a word by finding its base word. (e.g. jumping- base word jump +ing

Analogy To learn a word use a word that is already learnt. (e.g. could, would, should)

Mnemonics       To learn a word by making up a sentence to help remember them. (e.g. could – Oh U Lucky Duck; people -people eat orange peel like elephants

Homophones    Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings/meanings. For example sail/sale, see/sea.

What can I do at home?

A great way to engage children at home with phonics is to play games. Matching pairs, snap, sorting words or letters can all be ways to help teach your children. If you have a computer or tablet or phone at home, then below is a list of websites that have fun interactive games for children to play.

Useful website letters and sounds games:

The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School aim to provide a high-quality mathematics curriculum which enables our pupils to understand the world, reason mathematically, gain an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics and inspires a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Pupils will develop a secure understanding of mathematical concepts, becoming fluent mathematicians, who can reason mathematically, solve increasingly sophisticated problems and apply their mathematical knowledge across the curriculum.

All pupils should:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.
  • develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, making connections 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.
  • develop the ability to think clearly and logically, with confidence, flexibility and independence of thought.
  • develop an ability and inclination to work both alone and cooperatively to solve mathematical problems.
  • develop personal qualities such as perseverance, independent thinking, cooperation and self-confidence through a sense of achievement and success.

The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding before moving on.

Maths Curriculum


At the federation of North and South Cowton and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we want to develop enquiring minds and 21st century scientists of the future. We endeavour to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Through our curriculum all pupils should be equipped with essential aspects of knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science in the wider world. By building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

  • To ensure our pupils are equipped with the scientific skills and knowledge to prepare them for the implications and uses of science for the future.
  • To develop understanding of the processes and methods of science through a range of scientific enquiry that support and encourage our pupils to ask and answer questions about the world around them.
  • To develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Children engage with their learning and are able to think scientifically. They are able to use technical terminology accurately and precisely, as well as describe scientific processes in context. Children have the knowledge, confidence and skills to demonstrate and lead scientific enquiry with a clear purpose. Through generated questioning and hypothesis they are able to practically explore and understand the application of Science in the wider world.

Foundation Subjects

The famous Picasso quote ‘Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up’ is central to the development of the art curriculum in our federation. So how do we tackle this problem? At The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we believe that by nurturing the child’s inherent creativity, whilst encouraging an understanding of the subject in its widest sense we can indeed instill a lifelong passion for the subject and their own creativity, the passion necessary to become our artists of the future!

-To deliver a skills and knowledge based art curriculum. Through learning about important historical and contemporary artists and their works, pupils will analyse their ideas and practices to inform their own.

-To demonstrate a wide range of techniques in using line, shape, pattern, tone, form, texture, space and colour, equipping them with skills that are transferrable across all media.

-To celebrate and display as much work created during art lessons as possible creating a stimulating visual environment and to instill the confidence in their creative process in order to- in Picasso’s words ‘remain an artist once they grow up’.

Children are engaged in their learning, can talk confidently and passionately about their own artwork and the artwork of others, whilst using the language of art, craft and design. Experienced at working in a wide range of different media in 2D and 3D, they are equipped with the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary to pursue the creative direction they may wish to take in the future.


Computing at North and South Cowton Community Primary School Methodist Primary School aims to equip children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has cross-curricular links and can be embedded into many areas of learning and in our creative curriculum themes.

Children will be taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Children learn to use technology purposefully and evaluate and apply skills to solve problems. Children will also be taught how to use technology safely and respectfully in this ever-changing world.  Computing also ensures that children at North and South Cowton Community Primary School Methodist Primary School will develop the skills to become digitally literate- expressing themselves through information and communication technology- ready for them to become active participants in the digital world.

At The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we aim to deliver an imaginative and practical Design and Technology curriculum to inspire pupils’ creativity. Pupils research, design and make products that solve problems across a variety of real-life contexts, drawing upon their knowledge from other subject areas. We want to inspire pupils to explore the world around them, carefully considering problems and how technology and resources can be used creatively to develop solutions.


  • To research, critique and test the ideas of other designers.
  • To design prototypes, products and solutions to a variety of real-world problems, carefully considering the design, functionality and audience needs.
  • To develop and apply the creative, technical and practical skills needed to make a wide range of products.
  • To evaluate their solutions, considering ways in which they could be further improved.
  • To understand and apply the principles of nutrition and cooking to make a variety of dishes in order to prepare children for a healthy lifestyle now and later in life.


Children work creatively and practically to design purposeful, functional and appealing products to solve a problem, drawing upon the world around them and the ideas of other key designers. They are able to communicate their ideas in a variety of ways, including discussions, drawings, templates, prototypes, writing and technology. They make informed decisions about the materials and tools that they use. Children are able to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of mechanisms, technology and design properties, in order to inform their decisions. Children explore and evaluate their own ideas and those of others, considering ways of improving the product. As part of Design & Technology, children learn the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, developing crucial life skills and a love for cooking.


At The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School, we aim to deliver a high-quality history curriculum, with a combined skill and knowledge based approach, which inspires and enriches pupils’ curiosity to learn and know more about historical figures and events of the past and how this impacts on our lives today. We want to ignite a spark in our potential historians of the future by developing pupils’ understanding of their local history as well as expanding their knowledge and understanding to the British Isles and wider world through high quality classroom lessons, educational visits and visitor workshops.

·       To deliver a skills and knowledge based History curriculum that is progressive and equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

  • To gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history.
  • Promote the understanding and need for historical concepts and methods of historical enquiry and how these contribute to interpretations of the past. Pupils understand the need to draw to the past to; analyse relationships between different groups, discover the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and the diversity of societies. They will use this knowledge to consider their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Children will be able to talk passionately and confidently about historical skills and specific knowledge from the topics they have studied. They will be able to make links between topics they have studied and the present day. When approaching new topics they will be able to use previously learned skills to find information on the past. They will be engaged in their leaning whether class, workshop or visit based. When referring to their own work, it is clear that their


At the federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School, we aim to deliver a high-quality geography curriculum which ignites a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, and an understanding of the role that we all play in ensuring the future well-being of our planet. 

We want our pupils to gain an extensive knowledge of diverse places, the people who live there and the human and physical processes that occur.  Equipped with this knowledge, they should develop a deep understanding of the interaction between human and physical environments and the impact this has had, and continues to have, on the Earth.  Ultimately, our aim is to produce pupils who are wholly committed to the notion of Global Citizenship.

As an integral part of ensuring this knowledge and understanding, we also aim to develop essential geographical skills which will enable pupils to collect data , interpret a range of sources of geographical information and communicate findings in a variety of ways.


At our school, we take the power of sport, physical education and activity very seriously and see it as an integral part of our curriculum, ensuring our children are physically and mentally healthy and develop to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

We provide opportunity to develop and practise skills in preparation for competitive sport timetable through providing a minimum of 1.5 hours of physical activity each week in PE sessions. Our curriculum is wide and varied, covering: striking and fielding, net and wall games, dance, gymnastics, multi-skills and athletics.

To complement this, we give our pupils the best possible opportunities through drawing on outside expertise such as Skip2BFit, archery, trampolining, sports coaches and professional dance teachers.

Children in Key Stage 2 attend Richmond Swimming Pool, weekly, during the Autumn term, where they work towards the goal to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres. Additional opportunities to play competitive sport are also provided through seasonal lunchtime and after school clubs over the course of the year: including Dance Club, Football Club, Cricket Club and many more.

At our federation, we believe that children are all individuals and therefore, we aim to encourage mutual respect, responsibility and foster self-esteem in a happy and caring atmosphere. We encourage all students to develop an understanding of the ever-changing world in which we live, develop the skills necessary to take an active role in their community and manage their life effectively - the teaching and learning of PSHE supports and upholds this vision.

Through PSHE, we aim to:

  • Develop children’s knowledge and understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
  • Make children aware of dangerous situations and how to keep themselves safe
  • Explore how to develop and maintain healthy and positive relationships with others
  • Ensure children have respect for others and understand that they have rights and
  • Encourage children to be independent and responsible members of the school community
  • Be positive and active members of a democratic society
  • Promote mental health and develop self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
  • Acquire British values and attitudes, which are necessary if they are to make sense of their experiences within school and life itself
  • Value themselves, respect others, appreciate differences and diversity and feel confident and informed as a British

Through PSHE, we believe we can enhance children’s education and help them become caring, respectful and confident individuals. PSHE education helps children and young people to achieve their potential by supporting their wellbeing and tackling issues that could affect their ability to learn, such as: anxiety and unhealthy relationships.


At North and South Cowton, we aim to deliver a high-quality music curriculum, which inspires and enriches pupils to fulfil their musical potential. This begins at their first exploration of sounds at a young age and develops through singing, playing, listening and composing. We want our children to develop a lifelong appreciation for a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from a range of different cultures. We believe all children deserve to be given the chance to explore and compose music from a rich variety of cultures.


To teach the skills needed in order for children to play a wide range of musical instruments and explore the way their voice can be used as an instrument.

To promote children’s ability to compose music for a purpose, drawing on their knowledge of the inter-related dimensions of

To listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions and appreciate the diversity of cultures around them


Children are able to express themselves through a variety of musical channels and are confident in their ability. When performing, children understand the importance of accuracy, fluency, control and expression. They are able to ask relevant questions and critically analyse the intentions of composers using key vocabulary.

French has been selected as our modern foreign language at The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School.


At The Federation, our aim for teaching French is:

  • To develop practical communication in French by providing opportunities to respond to spoken and written language in different ways, to express ideas and opinions, and ask questions about familiar
  • To encourage children to listen attentively and read in French for personal interest, enjoyment, information, to develop an appreciation for stories, songs, poems from another culture
  • To promote links across the curriculum to enable learning to be exciting, creative, fun and to encourage an awareness of the wider world through authentic


Children engage in their learning and become confident and independent to communicate in another language, discussing a new culture and history. In addition to strengthening students’ ability to communicate, learning French develops their awareness of how language and culture interconnect, helping them appreciate and respect the diversity of British society as well as fostering the enjoyment and pleasure of learning an alternative language.

Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum

We believe at this North and South Cowton Community Primary School that RE both supports and strengthens what we aim to do in every aspect of school life. Our caring ethos and the value which we place on the development of the whole child; spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and intellectually is reflected in the RE curriculum.

Specifically, RE at our school aims to enable pupils of whatever ability and level of development to:
1. Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of principal world faiths
Practised in Great Britain. These include Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, each of which is represented in North Yorkshire;

2. Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on Individuals, communities, societies and cultures, including the local community;

3. Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about
Religious and moral issues with reference to the teachings of the principal religions;

4. Enhance their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:

A. Developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life arising from
Human experiences and how religious beliefs and practices can relate to

B. Responding to the fundamental questions of life in the light of
Their experience and with reference to religious beliefs and practices;

C. Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the
Light of their study;

D. Expressing their own personal viewpoints in a thoughtful,
Reasoned and considerate way;

5. Recognise the right of people to hold different beliefs within an ethnically and Socially diverse society.

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum sets out the minimum content for our curriculum. Please use the links below to find out what our children will be taught.

Department For Education

The National Curriculum