Birchwood Grove


Birchwood images


At Birchwood Grove we believe in creating and delivering a curriculum that is broad, balanced and engaging for all children. Our main aim is to ensure that children enjoy learning, develop a lifelong love of learning and are prepared to take their place in the future as happy, fulfilled members of society.

Topics are carefully planned, involving the children’s interests wherever possible. We ‘hook’ the children in using super starters such as receiving a letter from a super hero or discovering ancient artefacts in the school grounds. This creates a sense of excitement from which the curriculum is planned combining the different subjects in the National Curriculum.  

Alongside this, we believe it is of equal importance to teach and develop our school values and key skills. These skills are taken into account and actively promoted through various teaching styles in each topic. All the children’s learning is geared towards a ‘fabulous finish’ where the children fulfil the requirements set in the super start. Whenever possible, we invite parents and carers to fabulous finishes so they can share in their child’s learning and celebrate their successes.

When children start at Birchwood Grove they will continue their learning through Early Years (the period from birth to age five). The Early Years curriculum provides a range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. This provides them with the experiences necessary to develop skills in the seven areas of learning. At the end of Early Years the children progress on to the National Curriculum.

For more information about the National Curriculum you can follow the link to the Department for Education's documents below:

You may also like to contact the Curriculum leader Helen Butler (Deputy Headteacher).

Curriculum Subjects:


In line with the National Curriculum (2014) each year group have particular mathematics skills that must be embedded by the end of the academic year. We believe in putting problem solving at the heart of our teaching; broadening children’s knowledge, enabling children to make links between mathematical areas and encouraging them to relate their learning to real life situations. A good knowledge of numbers or a ‘feel’ for numbers is essential within the curriculum and through structured practice and repetition the children are able to become fluent and manipulate number. We explore number and concepts in a variety of ways using concrete, pictorial and abstract methods to help children use their known facts, reason their understanding and use their knowledge to solve problems.

At Birchwood Grove County Primary School, we believe that all pupils should be able to:

  • use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently;
  • recall key number facts with speed and accuracy and use them to calculate and work out unknown facts;
  • have sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and procedures and use them to solve a variety of problems.
  • solve problems of greater complexity (i.e. where the approach is not immediately obvious), demonstrating creativity and imagination;
  • independently explore and investigate mathematical contexts and structures, communicate results clearly and systematically explain and generalise the mathematics.

Teaching at Birchwood Grove is under-pinned by careful curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. The ‘5 principles of mastery’ model exemplifies our aims in relation to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Mathematics Year 1

Mathematics Year 2

Mathematics Year 3

Mathematics Year 4

Mathematics Year 5

Mathematics Year 6



Children at Birchwood Grove are taught English through a combination of Phonics, Guided Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar. Children are ‘hooked’ into termly topics through the use of quality core texts and using the Mantle of The Expert to create lots of cross curricular writing..

At Birchwood Groves we believe phonics is crucial in children learning to read and write. We teach phonics in both discrete lessons and throughout the whole curriculum. We use a scheme called Read Write Inc to support the teaching of phonics; the children are taught the letter sounds, letter names and tricky words in a multi sensory way.

Reading is a strong focus throughout the whole school. Alongside teaching children to read, we believe reading for comprehension is of equal importance. We use a variety of strategies to teach reading, which include encouraging the children to use picture clues, phonics, and contextual clues. A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, story scaks, storybooks, reading scheme books, shared reading books, poetry and non-fiction books. The children also visit the library regularly where they can take out a range of books.

We believe parental involvement is crucial in developing children’s reading. We involve parents closely in the school’s reading programme, beginning with the taking home of wordless books for adults to read with their child; making the child the boss of the book. The school’s Home Reading Scheme is operated to give children a shared experience of reading with adults at home and to promote a love of, and respect for, books.

English Year 2

English Year 3 and 4

English Year 5 and 6


Science is a core subject in the National curriculum.

Through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics, our science curriculum will enable children to make sense of the world in which they live and prepare  for life in an increasingly scientific and technological environment.  Children will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We aim to build on children’s natural curiosity, help them identify rational explanations and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.


 To ensure all pupils

* Develop the skills involved in different types of science enquiries  - including, planning, communicating,  explaining and evaluating

 *  Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

* Develop the ability to work independently and cooperatively.



Geography allows children to develop a natural fascination for the world around them. It provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it is constantly evolving. Through a range of topics, children at Birchwood Grove learn key geographical skills including knowledge of natural and human environments, using and interpreting maps and diagrams and conducting field work in our local environment.  



The history curriculum at Birchwood Grove School helps pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain's past. They learn about significant aspects of the wider world and connected vocabulary such as 'empire', 'civilisation', 'parliament' and 'peasantry'. History is taught chronologically to give the children a sense of time and place. The topics covered encourage pupils to ask questions and enable them to develop perspective and judgement. Because of the varied history curriculum  children learn about the complexity of peoples lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


Physical Education

A high-quality and well-designed PE curriculum inspires pupils to succeed in competitive sports and other physically-demanding activities. Pupils, staff, parents and carers know how important physical activity and education is to us at Birchwood Grove. We understand how physical activity can directly impact on developing a healthy and active lifestyle. Birchwood Grove believes an active lifestyle can have a direct, positive impact on pupils’ mental health and emotional well-being.


Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils are able to:

* Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities

* Are physically active for sustained periods of time

* Engage in a range of competitive and sporting activities

* Lead healthy, active lives

Physical Education

Expressive Arts

The arts help us to connect to one another and allow us to express, shape and share our ideas. It involves using creativity, imagination and a variety of skills that support our understanding of our world. At Birchwood Grove, the children are encouraged to participate in a range of activities, involving art, music and drama.


Drama is an important part of the English curriculum, allowing children to experience different roles and viewpoints to enable them use language more creatively. Through the development of speaking and listening skills, children share their ideas with greater confidence.


In art, children are engaged in a range of activities that will develop technique and inspire creativity. As they move through the school, the children build upon and hone these skills to express themselves with greater independence and individuality.



We aim to foster a love of music as children progress through the school. As well as being given opportunities to perform, children are encouraged to compose, appreciate and respond to music with a more critical ear.

Across both key stages, children have the opportunity to get involved in extra-curricular activities including choir, band, drama club and annual school productions.



Our Computing curriculum allows children to become immersed in technology across all areas of learning and aims to give young people the skills and knowledge they need for the ever evolving digital world.

Interactive resources such as Scratch and will teach children the basic skills of programming, allowing them to learn more about how computer systems work, design their own games and de-bug problems. Each child also has an individual logon for Purple Mash, which can be used both in and out of school, which boasts a wealth of activities, games and educational resources, including user friendly coding activities.

An Interactive Whiteboard is provided in each classroom which allows learning to come to life through interactive games, informative video clips and a never ending bank of information using the internet. The children are given autonomy over their own learning and are enabled to develop their skills of research using our well-resourced Learning Zone, featuring a class set of laptops and i-pads. Additionally, we provide computers and Learn Pads in each classroom, allowing for cross curricular use of technology.

The children’s safety is of the utmost importance and this is controlled through a vigorous filter and careful adult supervision. E-safety is taught as part of the computing curriculum, as well as becoming a key focus on Safer Internet Day, whereby we aim to help support the children and parents on keeping safe online.      


Design and Technology 

The school’s aim is to give children the confidence and competence to identify, examine and solve practical problems. This will involve them in designing and producing a range of products, systems and environments at a level appropriate to their development. The children will experience a variety of approaches, materials and methods. As they develop they will be encouraged to make judgements about the quality of their own work and that of others. This evaluation process will help lead to higher levels of achievement and a greater sense of enjoyment and pride in their ability to design and construct. All children will have the opportunity to cook in school. The emphasis will be on learning the skills needed to make healthy meals. The school’s current goal is that by the end of year 6 children will be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods. They will learn enough about nutrition to be able to make informed choices about what constitutes a healthy diet.

Design and Technology

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education 

Personal, social, health education (PSHE) and citizenship help to give our pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. As a rights respecting school, pupils are taught about their rights as well as the importance of respecting the rights of others. These values underpin our whole school approach to the curriculum and beyond; teaching pupils to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning.



Learning French introduces children to the sounds of another language and provides an opening into understanding another culture, thereby deepening their understanding of the world. Through fun activities involving music, drama and games, children learn to express their thoughts and ideas in French and be able to understand and respond appropriately. It provides the foundation for learning further languages at secondary schools and beyond.



Religious Education at Birchwood Grove school aims to be far more than simply learning about the major world religions. We encourage children to express and develop their own feelings of compassion, humanity, respect and care for all others regardless of religious denomination.

Birchwood Grove School adheres to the agreed syllabus for West Sussex. Our teaching of RE allows the children to learn about religion and learn from religion and reflects the multicultural nature of our country and of the wider world. Through answering key questions, our RE curriculum gives children the opportunity to: engage, enquire, explore, evaluate and express.

Birchwood Grove School is not affiliated to a particular religious denomination; however, we have established good links with local churches, and their leaders, who come in to school and speak to the children in assemblies.

We respect the right of parents to withdraw their child from all part of religious worship. If you wish to withdraw your child please speak to the Headteacher to discuss arrangements.