What we are doing in school and why

Freshford School Curriculum

Our curriculum is a joyous, challenging and varied one, underpinned by our implicit Freshford approach which is to place each child at the heart of their own learning in order that they may flourish.


Jigsaw Map of the National Curriculum for each year group shown, organised by Michael Tidd


What we are doing in school and why?

“The range of learning opportunities provided enables pupils to make good progress academically in their spiritual, moral, emotional and social development” OFSTED July 2014

Across the curriculum we want to continue to be true to our creative philosophy whilst raising standards of learning by using specific teaching methods that will provide the most challenging, supportive, rigorous and coherent structure throughout the school.

The Magic Cottage
I will make in my magic cottage
A tree the colour of a rainbow,
A dog that does tricks and
A blue tit who has six wings.

I will grow in my cottage
An orange tulip growing up to the sky,
Six autumn sunflowers that bud in winter,
A foxglove with ten hundred butterflies.

I will put in my garden
A sun to shine down on my cottage,
A caterpillar to take care of my cottage.

Sofia ( age 6 )

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

What is it? Why do it?

P4C – the teacher facilitates a student-led discussion on a philosophical question.
P4C builds higher order thinking, questioning, speaking and listening skills.
It creates respect for others, promotes engagement with learning and enhances educational development.

Where’s the Evidence?
In July 2015 the Education Endowment Foundation’s ‘Philosophy for Children Evaluation Report and Executive Summary’ found:
Key conclusion
• There is evidence that P4C had a positive impact on Key Stage 2 attainment.
• Overall, pupils using the approach made approximately two additional months’ progress on reading and maths.

The year began with two days of training for all staff in Philosophy for Children and the development of communities of enquiry with SAPERE, (Society for Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education).


This was the beginning of a three year training programme for the whole school.

On the 10th & 11th November Alison Hall, our SAPERE tutor, worked with teachers in every class and was impressed by the progress and suggested that we now focus on developing the collaborative thinking aspect of the 4 Cs. One aspect of this work will be working with the children to develop a growing array of sentence openings and structures that we can use to build explicitly on the ideas of others within our enquiries/philosophy sessions.

This will enable the children to communicate their thinking with greater clarity and precision and the presence or otherwise of these openings and structures can be monitored by the children to provide explicit evidence of the progress made in this area over time.

Alison returned in February 2016 and worked with every class. More recently, in November 2017 Alison carried out two days’ INSET with new staff.

What? and Why?

We are taking a different approach to writing this year as although our writing attainment is consistently good, we have not, as yet, closed the gap between our good writing outcomes and our outstanding reading outcomes. Our aim is to sustain and nurture the children’s enthusiasm for their writing, whilst giving them the tools they will use as outstanding writers.

On the 6th of January 2016, Ruth Poole and Alison Hockenhull led INSET for all teachers on the writing process developed by Pie Corbett and the ‘high quality sentence’ teaching materials of Alan Peat. The aim is that through a combination of these approaches, we can embed skills. Ruth Poole attended Alan Peat’s course for school leaders, ‘Developing Writing in the Modern Curriculum’ at the University of Leicester on Thursday 23rd February 2016



During the academic year 2015 / 16 we achieved an outstanding increase in the number and proportion of our children achieving the highest levels in maths. We are delighted with this progress but the new curriculum not only sets higher expectations in terms of the sheer quantity of knowledge and standards of fluency the children need to secure in their mathematics, it also requires the children to be significantly more adept at reasoning in maths than has previously been the case. With this in mind, we have looked for the most inspirational role models.

Our teachers have been looking at the research of some of the England’s national Maths Hubs; specifically: The White Rose Maths Hub in Yorkshire for their work on planning and assessing a Mastery Curriculum and the London Northeast Maths Hub led by http://www.elmhurstprimary.co.uk/.

On Thursday 21st January 2016 Andrew Wishart and Alison Underdown observed maths lessons and met with the leaders of Elmhurst Primary, in London. Elmhurst is one of the schools that has been leading research into the Shanghai, (a consistent world leader,) approach to maths. See http://www.elmhurstprimary.co.uk/shanghai-approach

This video clip shares the impact that adopting the Shanghai methodology and materials has had on one school: http://youtu.be/jKDSpa-UOAI

After an intensive three days of training in the Singapore approach with Dr Yeap Ban Har on this approach to maths was introduced to Yr. 1 and Yr. 2 children and from September 2017, under the leadership of Miss Newton, is now being taught in Yrs. 1 – 3.

Singing and Music
Kate Courage continues to do a sublime job enabling our children to discover the range and the capacity for joy in their singing voices. It is a delight to behold.

Physical Education
We are committed to healthier living and learning and consequently offer a range of sporting activities to encourage an active lifestyle.

The vast majority of the children are now wearing our new PE kit.


In PE we are using our Sports Funding to pay for specialist PE coaches to work as mentors for our teachers, using the principles of ‘real PE,’ to develop our collective expertise in ensuring that all children are appropriately challenged and developed within exciting and dynamic lessons. In Terms 5 and 6 we are concentrating on cricket and athletics.

Why? What makes ‘Real PE’ unique?

‘Real PE’ is, first and foremost, a philosophy and approach which aims to transform how we teach PE in order to include, challenge and support every child. It focuses on the development of agility, balance and coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning through a unique and market leading approach with a significant amount of work on strengthening the core muscle groups.

Cross Country
Inspired by former Olympian, Kate Pocock, we introduced our inaugural cross country competition at Freshford Primary for all KS2 children in 2015. The wealth of enthusiasm amongst all involved has ensured that this is now firmly embedded in our an annual calendar.

Children in Yrs. 3 and 4 who were identified as requiring additional help with this crucial life skill have benefited over the past three years from swimming sessions under the guidance of the highly experienced swimming club instructors at Clarendon Pool, Trowbridge.

Many of our older KS2 children participate in the Bath Schools Swimming Fiesta and we were delighted that in January 2016 the team retained the competition’s trophy for the third consecutive year. In 2015 four of our Yr. 6 children competed in the English Schools’ Swimming Association (ESSA) national finals in Sheffield, several took part in the Bath Schools’ Biathlon Time Trials and the British Schools’ Modern Biathlon rankings. Three competitors eagerly anticipated the 2016 championships at Crystal Palace, but unfortunately only one made it to the starting line due to illness. Considering she was one of the youngest in her age group she did amazingly well and managed to exceed her Personal Best in both disciplines. We continue to ensure our children are exposed to a range of competitive swimming events, including the annual Prior Park Biathlon.

Bath & North East Somerset School Sports Partnership
• We benefit from blocks of coaching in a wide range of sports offered by this Partnership, with Tag Rugby being scheduled for Term 4.
• Children from Yr. 1 – Yr. 6 participate in a range of Sports Festivals at Ralph Allen School, Bath, together with children from other local primary schools. Support is provided by some of the older Ralph Allen children and is an opportunity for our children to work alongside some of Freshford’s former pupils.

West of England Sports Trust (WESPORT)
The school frequently participates in WESPORT inter-school sports competitions, with KS2 children participating in a number of sports fixtures, including netball, football, tag rugby and cross country.

Five a Day / ABC (Agility, Balance, Co-ordination)
All classes participate in the above sessions at the start of the day to ensure that children benefit from at least a five minute exercise session which, has been found through many pieces of research, prepares them well for learning during the school day.

After school sports / dance activities
A range of after-school sporting clubs, run by fully qualified coaches, includes cricket, football, netball, multi-skills and tennis.

Learning Outside the Classroom
A great deal of our learning takes place outside the classroom, with children frequently being in evidence around the school site participating in creative play and on a range of curriculum based learning activities.

The ‘Let’s Explore’ Experience for Freshford children

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir

Each class spend three consecutive days in Fairy Woods, a National Trust woodland that is not used by the general public and is set up for forest school activities. It is a beautiful part of the Bath skyline and after colonisation by Freshford for the past three Autumns and Summers, now has a special place in the hearts and minds of our children.

During their time in this magical space, the children are grouped in ‘tribes’ and set daily challenges that will require different skills each day. The focus is also on opportunities for developing environmental responsibility and developing social and team skills.
Let’s Explore – The Learning

• The children will wonder, invent, show ingenuity, problem solve, be resourceful, evaluate and reflect.
• ‘Let’s Explore’ will provoke questions that will enable the children to have a starting point for further research and investigation.
• They will increase their awareness of their personal capacities and knowledge.
• They will learn to both give and work with constructive criticism.
• There will be opportunities to develop leadership – personal & tribal.
• They will increase their physical agility and stamina.
• They will achieve deeper learning and memory as a result of high levels of emotional engagement in this project.
• As a part of this rich experience, the children will be taught to work with tools usefully and safely and to cook on a campfire.

John Muir Award

“Going to the woods is going home.” John Muir

KS2 children have been given the opportunity to work towards a John Muir ‘Explorer’ award. John Muir was the founder of the modern conservation movement. The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration. We believe it enriches and enlightens the curriculum in a responsible and meaningful way. The four challenges the children will have to undertake are to discover, explore, conserve and share a wild place.

Y5s work towards a ‘Discovery’ award; the Y6s deepen their involvement in terms of time, activity, responsibility and ownership towards the ‘Explorer’ Award.