Our Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage

Life at Athersley South Primary School begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) and Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) follow a curriculum based on the National Curriculum guidance for this stage. This consists of 7 areas of learning:

 Prime Areas

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design 
  • The Foundation Stage curriculum is topic based and delivered through planned structured play and practical activities. Children are encouraged to explore the outdoor learning environment whatever the weather. Suitable clothing is provided to enable children to experience nature and the seasons first hand.

Key Stage 1 and 2

Children in Years 1 & 2 study the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum and children in Years 3 to 6 study the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. In each stage the following subjects are taught:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Computing
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Design technology
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Personal, social and health education
  • Religious Education  
  • Spanish is taught in KS2

The following link provides more detail about the curriculum, including the mathematics and English curriculum. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum

Depending upon the area of study, we use a topic based approach or discrete units of learning. We use a broad range of teaching strategies in order to motivate and engage the children, including taking the children on educational visits.

Reading and Phonics

We aim to ensure children become confident and fluent readers, willing to read for both pleasure and information. We use the Read Write Inc. phonics and reading programme in Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and, where appropriate, Key Stage 2. Oxford Reading and Collins Big Cats are the reading schemes that are used throughout school and all children read with an adult at least once a week.

Children in KS1 and KS2 visit the school library once week, where they are encouraged to borrow a book and children in KS2 have a free read book that they can read at given times in the week. In KS2 the children have a termly class book such as ‘Stig of the Dump’ and ‘The Hodgeheg’. There are multiple copies so that the children can follow the book while a child or teacher reads to the whole class.


Please go to the Parents page and click on the  'Supporting Learning at Home' section of the website for further information about spelling and the weekly spelling lists.


  • Every class in school has a garden bed in which they grow food and flowers. At the end of the school year there is a whole school gardening competition

Sex and Relationships

  • Sex and Relationship Education is currently introduced to Y5 and taught in more detail during the spring term to children in Year 6 in line with the School Governing Body Policy. Written permission from parents will be required in order for children to participate. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons with the exception of those elements which are part of the science National Curriculum but are asked to contact the Headteachers to discuss this in the first instance.

 Religious Education

  • Our approach to Religious Education is based on The Barnsley Agreed Syllabus. Parents who wish to have their child excluded from RE on religious grounds are requested to contact the Headteachers to discuss making arrangements for their children during these lessons.