The Curriculum

The principles of our Curriculum are to make it broad, balanced, relevant and most importantly, highly engaging.

As a consequence the school uses Cornerstones Curriculum so that many subjects are taught via a themed approach whist still adhering to the principles of the National Curriculum.

For more information please follow the link below:

Cornerstones Education

The Curriculum Balance

Subject Year 3 Year 4 Years 5 Year 6
English 5 hr 30 min 5 hr 30 min 5 hr 30 min 5 hr 30 min
Maths 5 hr 5 hr 5 hr 5 hr
Science 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr
Humanities (His & Geog) 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr
Design & Technology 50 min 50 min 50 min 50 min
ICT 1 hr (min) 1 hr (min) 1 hr (min) 1 hr (min)
Art 50 min 50 min 50 min 50 min
Music 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr
PE (inc. swimming) 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr
French 40 min 40 min 1 hr 1 hr
Religious Education 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr 1 hr
PSHE & Citizenship 40 min 40 min 40 min 40 min

Curriculum Overview


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English is the fundamental basis of all communication and learning.  It provides the children with the confidence and knowledge essential for them to communicate fluently and accurately in their working and social lives.  The English curriculum aims to help children reach their potential in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

The National Curriculum is the foundation for all English teaching in the school.  The children are given opportunities to evaluate their own and others’ work and to develop their ideas and enjoyment of writing.  Their knowledge is increased through discussion and drama activities.

Reading schemes and ‘real’ books are used to develop reading ability.  The children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the structure of language and how it is used.  Skimming, scanning, research and library skills are covered.  It is essential that children are supported with their reading from home.


Maths teaching follows the new Primary Curriculum in all year groups. Children are taught within their mixed ability classes. There is a strong emphasis on calculating and understanding number. Alongside this children are taught measurement, statistics and geometry. A wide range of resources is used to model and support the children and where possible their learning is practical and involves real life contexts.  Our teaching of maths is based around teaching children to be fluent in the fundamentals of maths, be able to reason and follow a line of enquiry as well as apply their knowledge to a range of problem solving activities. Where necessary some children will undertake maths intervention lessons to give additional support outside of their usual maths lesson.

Where possible, we encourage links between maths and other subjects to allow the children to practice their skills. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


The new Primary Curriculum places emphasis on scientific skills, such as; planning a fair test, predicting, experimenting & investigating, observing and concluding, as well as on scientific knowledge. Our curriculum aims to develop an enquiring mind and a scientific approach to problems and provides the opportunity for practical and investigative work in our specialist science room.

To further help our practical observation and experimentation we have created a wild area with a mature pond and trees providing a valuable natural habitat on our doorstep.  Children are actively encouraged to care for the environment.

Through our science teaching we aim to give children a better understanding of the world around them, as well as developing skills crucial for life.

Computing – (Including ICT Provision)

The school is continually updating its ICT provision and we currently have a computer network which includes over 60 PCs. These comprise 30 PCs in the ICT room, where whole class teaching can take place, machines in all classrooms and a portable trolley of 16 laptops which can be moved from classroom to classroom. The school is equipped with a Wi-Fi network that enables wireless connectivity across the school. Fund raising has enabled us to purchase a set of 15 Ipads for use around school.

Each class room is equipped with a complete Interactive Whiteboard set up, helping to make all lessons even more stimulating, engaging and interactive for the pupils.  All three specialist teaching areas are also equipped with Interactive Whiteboards.

Filtered Internet access is available to all pupils, in line with national and county guidance. The pupils are taught in all year groups how to use the internet safely and how to remain safe online. They are also taught how to respond to anything that makes them unhappy online.  All pupils have their own e-mail address and access to the school’s VLE which allows pupils to access educational content away from school.

Pupils are taught the subject of ‘Computing’ in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. The curriculum for this subject is broad, covering a range of skills including; programming, digital literacy and use of key software packages. Our aim is that pupils are able to use technology safely, intelligently and creatively and will leave DJS with a wide range of computing skills that will be valuable in everyday life.


The History National Curriculum is taught in all year groups through our cross-curricular topics.  Children cover aspects of British, local and world history through a variety of engaging strategies such as drama, studying evidence, asking and answering questions, research, art and educational visits and visitors.


The geography curriculum helps our children to make sense of their surroundings by concerning them with the study of places, the human and physical processes that shape them and the people who live there.  Areas of study include environmental issues, climate, physical features, social and cultural issues, and land usage.  Children’s understanding of the world they live in is enhanced through educational visits.

Design and Technology

The aim of our curriculum is to develop designing and making skills, whilst providing a good knowledge and understanding to support these skills.  Children will be encouraged to work with a range of tools, materials and components safely in our specialist design and technology room.

Pupils are given the opportunity to design, make and evaluate a range of ‘products’.  They will gain experience using a variety of media, including textiles, wood, construction kits and electronic components.  They are encouraged to develop an understanding of the ways in which people have designed products in the past and present to meet their needs.

Food technology is also a part of the design and technology curriculum, and our food technology room has excellent facilities that enable pupils to learn and improve their practical skills.

Physical Education

In accordance with the National Curriculum we aim to ensure that all pupils develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities.  We also encourage pupils to be physically active for sustained periods of time and lead healthy active lives.  Team sports, dance, swimming, gymnastics and outdoor and adventurous activities are taught, with the children having opportunities outside of school too at Hilltop and Brancaster.

We also provide opportunities for children to compete in a range of sports, for example, our Interhouse Sports Day, the Norwich Primary Schools City Sports at the UEA Sportspark, cross country events and a variety of team sports.

The school has received  the Sportsmark Silver Award, and the youth Sports Trust Quality Mark Bronze Award.


All pupils are encouraged to develop their visual perception allowing them to confidently express their ideas.  Each child is given the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different media.  The emphasis throughout is on decorative, observational, imaginative drawing, painting, three dimensional work and textiles.  Pottery and ceramics form a significant part of the art curriculum.

Many aspects for art lessons are derived from observing the work of famous artists and architects, artistic themes and also from other aspects of the curriculum such as science and history.

Religious Education

The school follows the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.  This reflects the fact that religious traditions in this country are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practises of other principal religions.

Parents who wish to withdraw their child from religious education are invited to discuss the matter with the Headteacher.


Music plays an important part in the life of the school.  Each pupil’s understanding and enjoyment of music is developed through a variety of activities.

Each pupil develops skills in performing, composing, listening and appraising.  Children are encouraged to perform a variety of music including their own compositions as well as listening and developing an understanding of music by well-known composers from our own culture and that of cultures across the world.

All children have the opportunity to learn to play a range of musical instruments during class music, including the ukulele, steel drums, keyboards and handbells.


Children are introduced to French in Year 3 in line with the new Primary Curriculum.  The curriculum covers skills in oracy and literacy as well as studying the country itself and its culture. The school uses a variety of interactive resources, as well as singing and action games, to enhance the children’s learning, the main resource being the Rigolo French Scheme.

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)

PSHE helps to give our pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens.  By following a progressive programme, we encourage the children to take increasing responsibility for themselves and their actions.  PHSE can be learnt through many genres including drama, art and Circle Time activities. Drayton Junior School feels it is important to encourage the children to think for themselves and draw on personal thoughts, feelings and experiences.  ‘Circle Time’ provides an ideal opportunity for the children to develop their own self-esteem and social skills, and consequently a sense of working together. We also pride ourselves in promoting British Values through the school ethos specific lessons and the school council.

Sex Education

Learning about sexuality and relationships is a lifelong process and occurs in both formal settings in the classroom as well as informal settings in the home, playground and community.

At Drayton Junior School, sex education is developed as an integral part of the school’s PSHE curriculum and an element is delivered in all four year groups.  It also forms part of the Science National Curriculum.  It is essential that every child learns about him or herself, to respect themselves and others, in a relaxed way, free from fear or doubt.

The school believes that sex education should be a partnership between teachers and parents to ensure sensitive support for children as they grow and mature.  Parents may, if they wish, withdraw their children from all or part of the sex education provided except that which is part of the Science National Curriculum.

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

A child has learning difficulties if he or she finds it significantly harder to learn than most children of the same age, or if he or she has a disability that makes it difficult to use the normal educational facilities in the area.

The law says that state maintained schools, such as Drayton Junior, must do their best to provide proper education for all children with SEND. Consequently a new Code of Practice was put in place in September 2014  for all Local Education Authorities and schools to have regard to when dealing with children who have SEND.  The Code also applies, where necessary, to Health and Social Services involvement.

At Drayton our policy is to protect the rights of children with SEND and also to provide a broad and well-balanced curriculum, including as much access as possible to the National Curriculum.  Most of the SEND provision will be organised and monitored by the SENDCo (Special Education Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator) and met by the school’s class teachers and teaching assistants, with the children being educated as far as possible within the school and with children of their own age.  This will be done in conjunction with the specialist help of outside agencies who will be enlisted to benefit the child’s progress.

You as parents have views, experience, knowledge and expectations that need to be shared with the school if your child’s progress is to be maintained.  A partnership between home/school is fundamental to this progress and you have a right to take part in decisions regarding your child’s education as well as to be fully informed at all stages.

(Copies of the School’s SEND Information Report can be obtained from the School Office)

Home Learning

Home learning is an important aspect of your child’s education at Drayton Junior School.  We believe that home learning:

  • provides an opportunity for parents to take an active part in their children’s learning,
  • shows the children that learning is an activity that takes place both outside and inside the classroom,
  • encourages good learning habits, helping children take responsibility for their own learning,
  • gives children the opportunity to continue or finish off work started at school.

Throughout the school, there is an expectation that children should complete home learning.  There will be regular homework to reinforce core skills in both English and Maths. This might include specific tasks set by the teacher as well as learning both spellings and times tables.  We also encourage every child to undertake a ‘Big Talk’ task which involves children discussing something with their parents. Homework can take on many forms and might include researching, drawing, designing, drafting, revision, simple experiments, model making, interviewing, collecting data and occasionally finishing off school work. In addition to these it is of course also important that every child reads at home regularly.

The amount of home learning given increases progressively as the children move through the school.

Children in Years 3 & 4 should expect 15 minutes of home learning up to three times a week.

Children in Years 5 & 6 should expect 30 minutes of home learning up to three times a week.


At Drayton Junior School we see the assessment of children’s learning as central to good teaching and learning. Staff use a wide range of on-going assessment techniques to continually monitor progress and to identify the learning needs of individuals. Assessment information is used to carefully plan the next stage of each child’s learning.

In addition to on-going assessments made by the teacher, children may also be required to undertake tests occasionally. Many of these are carried out in class in a very informal manner, as part of everyday learning. More formal testing takes place mid-year and again at the end of the year. The results of these tests, along with all the other assessment information gathered throughout the year, help teachers to ensure children are on track with their learning and to plan the next stages of learning for them.

The school also oversees the administration of any statutory, national tests. In the summer term Year 4, children take part in the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC). During May of year 6, children take the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests (Sats tests). They are tested in reading, GPS (grammar, punctuation, spelling) and Maths, with a moderated teacher assessment in writing.


For more information on the school’s performance data please see the section on the website under the Info tab.