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The curriculum

The teaching staff work very closely in phase teams when planning pupils’ work, so that each child’s learning progresses smoothly throughout the school. Each teacher carefully matches the work to the child and employs a wide range of teaching strategies to enable children to learn.

Children are taught as individuals, in groups, in year groups and as a whole class. Within each classroom teachers and assistants use their skills to achieve the correct balance between these different grouping arrangements. This allows each child to develop to the full.

All teachers have some time when they are not teaching in class. This may be their weekly timetabled planning time, when they go on courses, or may be when they are involved in some aspect of leadership and management of the school. At these times the class will be taken by one of our skilled Higher Level Teaching Assistants or a supply teacher.

  • Science

    At Pannal School, we see the teaching of science as a vital way for the children to understand the world in which they live. We place great value on outdoor learning; working outdoors teaches the children to respect their environment and begin to understand the complexity and relative fragility of the natural world.

    The children learn specific scientific vocabulary so that they can accurately explain their understanding of the concepts studied. Knowledge organisers, which have the key knowledge and scientific vocabulary we want the children to retain, are used for each unit of work. Regular revision of vocabulary and low-stakes quizzes are used to ensure that this knowledge is being secured.

    We believe that exciting and engaging practical investigations are key to deepening our children’s scientific knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding.   We ensure that all children are exposed to various ways of working scientifically whilst introducing and developing scientific concepts. They become familiar with five types of scientific enquiry: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and researching using secondary sources.

    We are fortunate to be able to make regular use of the woods next to our school, as well as the natural spaces around our grounds, to provide an abundance of scientific opportunities. These experiences provide a meaningful context and relevance to their learning. Science is taught discretely, but links are made to other areas of the curriculum wherever possible. In Key Stage One, for example, knowledge gained by first-hand experiences of the changing seasons in the woods is linked to report writing in literacy. In year six, during the summer term, pupils learn about living things in their habitats while working towards their John Muir Award.

    Curriculum Map


    Autumn 1

    Autumn 2

    Spring 1

    Spring 2

    Summer 1

    Summer 2

    Year 1



    Working Scientifically



    Year 2






    Working Scientifically

    Year 3


    Animals including Humans

    Animals including Humans

    Forces and Magnets



    Year 4

    Living things and their habitats


    Digestive system and teeth

    Materials: States of Matter

    Living things and their habitats: classification




    Year 5

    Living things and their habitats: lifecycles


    Earth and Space

    Materials: solids, liquids and gases



    Year 6

    Evolution and inheritance







    Animals including Humans


    Living things and their habitats: John Muir Award


  • Physical Education

    Please see the Sports section of our website here.

  • Modern Foreign Languages

    At Pannal, we have an enthusiastic team of linguists who aim to share their love of foreign languages with the children. We hope that this passion for speaking French and Spanish will be infectious and the children will develop a lifelong love for languages. 

    Our first aim is to develop speaking and listening skills and encourage the children to ‘have a go’ at all times.  We then lay the foundations, through written French, in readiness for the children’s transition to secondary school and hopefully future study in adulthood.

    French is introduced at Key Stage 1 through songs, rhymes and games. In Lower Key Stage 2 weekly lessons incorporate speaking and listening skills in a fun and enjoyable way. As the children progress to Upper Key Stage 2, they learn to read and write in French and speak with more confidence. Topics are interesting and relevant and engage and stimulate learning.

    During Upper Key Stage 2 the children continue to learn French, but we also provide the children with an introduction to Spanish.

    The children learn about both the language and the culture of France and other European countries. Each year we embrace this by marking European Day of Languages with a whole school themed day.

    At Pannal, we work closely with a cluster of primary schools to share good practice. We are developing links with the secondary schools in Harrogate to meet the needs of transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 to ensure that our children continue with their successful language journey.

    We hope, in the near future, to re-establish links with a French primary school so that the children can put their newfound love of French into practice and interact with similar aged children to themselves in France.

  • Religious Education and Collective Worship

    Religious Education is planned from the North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus 2019-2024.

    Parents may see a copy of this syllabus in school. All children will be involved in a daily act of worship, often known as assembly, which is broadly Christian. Parents may withdraw their child from Religious Education provided that such a request is made in writing to Mrs Turner. Alternative provision would then be made following consultation with parents.

    The North Yorkshire Syllabus aims for:

    “RE to explore big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.”


    The above is a pupil friendly version of the principal aim of RE. There are three main aims of RE. These are to ensure that all children in school will:

    1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

    • describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals

    • identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses, offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews

    • appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.

    2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

    • explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities

    • express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.

    3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:

    • find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively

    • enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all

    • articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

    To summarise, they will meet these aims through knowing, understanding, expressing ideas, gaining skills and deploying the skills needed to engage seriously about religions and worldviews. The children will have the opportunity to explore specific questions that will lead them into learning about different world religions.

    The syllabus is structured around the above aims and the three strands, Believing, Expressing and Living. These strands are woven into the units of work that we cover within each area of school. In each unit of work key questions that the syllabus identifies are addressed. The key questions within each unit of work opens up the content to be studied.

    In the Foundation Stage, children will encounter the beliefs of Christian people and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.

    In Key Stage 1, they will become more familiar with the beliefs of Christian people and begin to explore Jewish people.

    In Key Stage 2, children will explore Christian people, build on knowledge of Jewish people, explore Hindu and Muslim people. In lower KS2 children will be introduced to Hindu people in more depth and in upper KS2 Muslim people will be covered more exclusively in the units covered. However, some units of work will give children the opportunity to explore beliefs of Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim people to provide knowledge progression as the children journey through school.

  • Sex Education

    The school governors following consultation with parents and staff established our sex education policy. Sex education should be complementary to that given at home. The purpose is to prepare pupils to cope with the physical and emotional challenges of growing up, and to give them an understanding of human reproduction. We aim to present the facts in an objective, balanced and sensitive manner. The school nurse works alongside teaching staff for some lessons.

    In Years 5 and 6 information is given about puberty, conception, pregnancy and birth. It is taught in the context of a carefully planned science and health education programme, with particular regard to moral considerations and the value of family life. Parents are always given prior notification of these lessons and invited to preview the video material that is used.

    All parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons.

  • Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education

    We have explored the concept of “curriculum entitlements” - the idea that there are certain experiences that all children should have the opportunity to have during their childhood. We are taking part in a LA project to explore how schools promote SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) across the curriculum involving our Year 2 children. These activities will span many of our curriculum dimensions and also give an insight into SMSC which threads through all aspects of the curriculum.


    The strands of SMSC within Pannal School are not treated in isolation, but rather seen as inter-connected through every area of school life.  It has a very strong link within the work covered in Personal, Social, Health and Cultural Education (PSHCE)  and Religious Education (RE).  To break it down:

    Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:

    • beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life
    • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.
    • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
    • willingness to reflect on their experiences.

    Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:

    • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
    • understanding of the consequences of their actions
    • interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.

    Pupils’ social development is shown by their:

    • use of a range of social skills in different contexts
    • willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

    Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:

    • willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
    • interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity

    This is evident in school through strong values which are apparent in the day to day life of the school.  Pupils and all adults are respectful of each other and their environment.  They are reflective about beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experience, using their imagination and creativity, and developing curiosity in their learning.   There are many opportunities for pupils to further develop their social skills, an appreciation of theatre, music, art and literature.  They are encouraged to develop skills and attitudes to enable them to participate fully and positively in modern Britain.  Pupils respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting activities within the active and arts dimensions. 

  • Pupil Leaders

    We provide many opportiunities for all of our older pupils to take responsibilities which support the work of the school and enable them to  help to organise and lead our younger children. We believe this has many benefits for all of the children, both those being led and those doing the leading. Here are some examples:

    Our year 6 pupils have responsibilities such as delivering registers and letters to classes, preparing the hall for assemblies and working as librarians. They also manage the playground equipment, loaning out, collecting and storing games each playtime. In addition some of them are timetabled to play with the Reception children in their outdoor area at lunchtime.

    Each September, our year 6 children have the opportunity to become TOPs playleaders. They undergo training with Mrs Smith our PE coordinator and then are assessed by staff from Rossett High School. Having completed their training, those who wish to be involved are timetabled to organise games on the playgrounds and field, for younger children at lunchtime. They take this responsibility seriously and are an excellent role model for the younger children. Since 2013 Mrs Smith (PE coordinator) has developed this model further by organising a Primary School Sport Organising Crew which develops students' leadership skills. Children have opportunities to take on roles such as photographer, reporter, competition leader, coach and equipment leader.

    All KS2 pupils are  organised into 'Forum Families'. These are made up of children from across Key Stage Two, who discuss issues together that can help us to improve our school. The older children take responsibility for leading their teams and ensuring that the younger pupils understand what is required.

  • Music

               Music plays an important part in school life and we promote instrument tuition with nearly 150 children              learning an instrument with specialist instrument tutors.

              Both our singing ensembles and orchestra meet weekly and have performed at the Royal Hall, other local                        venues and music festivals.



  • Geography

    What we hope for our pupils by the time they leave Pannal School

    Geography is an important part of children’s understanding of the world and their place in it.  If children develop a sense of place, an understanding of the impact our environment has on us and the impact we have on it, we hope that they will grow up with a sense of awe and wonder about the world they live in and a sense of responsibility to care for it.

    Geography offers our children the opportunity to learn about their immediate environment and how we interact with it. We teach children about places close to home and far away and engage them in thinking about the character of different places, the impact of human and physical features on people, and how places differ from their familiar environments.

    We intend that children leave Pannal School with a sense of their place in the world, an ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings about different places they have learned about and a hunger to continue learning about the world in which they live. They will also have learned a range of skills for gathering and analysing information.

    Why we teach what we do

    Our geography curriculum is planned using the National Curriculum for geography. For each year group, the geography curriculum addresses core ‘Big Ideas’ so that themes are revisited throughout a child’s primary education in different contexts. These themes are location, climate, landscape, interdependence and connectedness, and environmental change. Associated with each of these themes, we have identified vocabulary and ensured that it is covered and revisited as part of the teaching of geography.  The geographical areas studied are at a local, national, and international level and encompass human and physical geography.  We aim to give the children breadth of experience of the vast diversity of the world while comparing with their own environment to recognise similarities and differences.

     We share knowledge organisers with the children. These outline the core information we want them to learn and retain. We provide opportunities for the children to review their learning, taking time to embed specific knowledge which forms a foundation for subsequent teaching and learning.

    Within our geography teaching, there are opportunities for the children to ask questions about their learning.  Fieldwork and first-hand experience are important parts of our teaching: we make use of the village where we live and the locations of our residential visits to give the children opportunities to carry out fieldwork.  Work is differentiated so that all children can access the learning at an appropriate level.

    How geography is taught

    In Foundation Stage, the children talk about their experience of environments (home, school, woodland) and how they differ from one another. Some children are beginning to recognise how people help to maintain or harm the environment. Geography is taught as a discreet subject from years 1 to 6. Children are taught about their immediate environment and about places nationally and internationally, encouraging them to recognise similarities and differences between different places.

    Maps are an important part of our teaching. We encourage children to make their own maps. By doing this the teachers gain a lot of knowledge about children’s perception of the world and they can use this to teach individual children new skills. We use printed maps, satellite imagery, and digital maps throughout the school to help the children develop a sense of place and to recognise that different maps give different information.

    Visits, local walks, and our residential visits are an important part of our geography teaching: giving the children first-hand experience in new surroundings to consider the human and physical characteristics of places.

    When learning about places further afield, we make use of photographs and websites and in some cases teachers’ first-hand experiences and knowledge. 

  • Computing

    Computing at Pannal is taught in a succinct and progressive way. Our Computing curriculum encourages pupils to develop and explore fundamental computing concepts, building pupils’ knowledge and enabling them to thrive in the digitally-rich environment in which they live. Whilst we acknowledge the importance of our pupils understanding how computers work and how they benefit our lives, we also recognise their potential to dominate children’s lives and experiences. We are therefore thoughtful about the best use of IT in other areas of our curriculum.

  • History

    What we hope for our pupils by the time they leave Pannal School

    History has an important part to play in our understanding of the world and the societies we live in. We want children to realise how the past has influenced our lives today. Learning about people and events in the past, both in Britain and the wider world, helps children to develop their own values and may influence decisions they make both at present and in the future. We want all children to value their own and other global cultures.

    Our history curriculum stimulates a child’s natural desire to investigate. Children are given the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the past through carefully planned structured learning investigations and a variety of high-quality provision.

    Children experience different periods of history in chronological order and their knowledge is consolidated and extended in each of the periods studied. At the same time, children are developing the key skills of enquiry. The ability to undertake independent research, evaluate and interpret evidence, and justify their own conclusions is seen as essential preparation for the next stage in their learning.     

    Why we teach what we do                                                                                                                                                        We follow the National Curriculum and aim to offer a ‘knowledge-rich, broad and balanced’ curriculum. We plan lessons to stimulate an interest in finding out about the past, encouraging children to ask meaningful questions that will further their understanding and increase their knowledge.

    As children move through the school, progression in history is carefully planned and monitored to ensure all children, regardless of their learning needs, can develop skills and knowledge. We provide learning opportunities and differentiated tasks that build upon previous knowledge and achievement. Topics are revisited to ensure that key concepts and facts are stored effectively in a child’s long term memory.

    History is taught as a discreet subject from Years 1 to 6 and there is a history focus in each term. The ‘Big Ideas’ in history are addressed in each year group and the topics studied are planned to include the historical concepts of:

    • Change and continuity; 
    • Cause and consequence; 
    • Similarity and difference; 
    • Significance and diversity.

    History in EYFS is incorporated into learning as the children begin to investigate their own history and that of their family and friends. As well as British and global history, local history is also studied. This reinforces the relevance of History to their lives and their community and further develops a sense of identity and place. Where we live and grow is an important part of who we are.                                                                                                                         

    How history is taught

    We share knowledge organisers with the children which provide the key information we want children to learn and retain. Key facts, events, dates and relevant vocabulary are featured. Key vocabulary is introduced, developed and extended for each topic and is revisited regularly. We give time to review learning and use a variety of retrieval activities and quizzes which inform subsequent planning.

    We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies with an emphasis on Inquiry-based Learning. We give children a wealth of experiences, from stories and role-play to research projects and lively debate.  The learning is enhanced through visits to museums and historical sites; workshops led by experts; visitors; the use of artefacts such as objects, paintings and documents; stories and drama.

  • Well-being

    Focusing on our well-being and the well-being of others is a thread that can be seen running throughout everything we do at Pannal school. To be ‘Pannal-shaped’, is to demonstrate both the Olympic values of self-belief, passion, respect, determination, teamwork, honesty; as well as make good choices from the 5 Ways to Well-being; connect, give, keep learning, take notice and be active. Pupils are celebrated when they demonstrate these values and choices and encouraged to work on those that they find hardest to achieve.

    Pupils at Pannal, also, work on their own personal ‘toolkit’ every year to  record activities, experiences and strategies that aid their ability to remain calm, stay focused and be happy i.e. to nurture their mental health. They also reflect on how this changes as the years progress; which methods still work for them and which no longer do. We hope this reflection will, in time, be invaluable in creating life-long strategies to maintain wellbeing.

    Staff are encouraged to share their own strategies for keeping mentally and physically healthy with pupils as well as each other. This could be spending time outdoors, appreciating nature, cooking, doodling or a physical activity like joining our running club etc. This supports everyone at Pannal to find techniques that work for them but also encourages them to see activities from a different angle, one which highlights the effect on their mental health.

    Finally, we aim for all our community members at Pannal School to embrace well-being and be able to cope with life’s ups and downs. On offer to pupils, parents and staff are a variety of external and internal programmes that can be used to support the well-being of all, both at home and at school. We value everyone’s mental and physical health and aim for everyone at Pannal school to thrive.

    Emotional Support

    The Go-to

    The Go-to is a new mental health website for supporting children and young people in North Yorkshire.

    Please see the attached guidance and link to access this resource.


    Elsa Support

    The link below offers free emotional support resources.


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