Learning & Improving

R.E. at Harbury School

What is our vision?
R.E. explores big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live. We teach R.E. so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.

How is R.E. delivered?
R.E. at Harbury is taught using the Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus which is structured around a series of thought provoking Big Questions e.g. Why do people pray? What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today? If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?  R.E. at Harbury is delivered in a variety of ways; from storytelling to debates, artistic expression to data collection. In all year groups R.E. units cover the 3 main strands of,

  • Believing: Religious beliefs, teachings, sources; questions about meaning, purpose and truth.
  • Expressing: Religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity.
  • Living: Religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments.

R.E. at Harbury is closely linked to Collective Worship and our School Values. We use assembly time to follow significant events in the Church Year and reflect on our Christian Values. We are also lucky enough to have fortnightly visits from the Parish Church’s Open the Book actors, who bring Bible stories to life for us, and the local vicar.


In Reception at Harbury, we strive to provide fun, meaningful learning opportunities which engage and inspire the children. By using high-quality books, and by tapping into the children’s individual interests, we build upon the inquisitive nature of young children, posing questions which encourage the children to extend their own thinking. We promote curiosity about the world around us through regular outdoor learning sessions and school visits. We value the importance of promoting self-confidence and nurture a positive self image through praise and celebration of personal achievements. We recognise the importance of forming purposeful relationships with pre-school education providers and parents, therefore regularly engaging in discussions in order to strengthen these links.


Reception and Year 1
Read, Write Inc drives spelling/phonics and early reading.  It focuses on the skills of blending and segmenting.  The spellings that children are given to learn in these years are driven by the sounds they need to know and words related to their learning.

Year 2 – Year 6:  No Nonsense spelling.
We use the ‘No Nonsense’ scheme as the basis for our teaching of spelling.  We use it to support discrete teaching and then build children’s understanding in context.   Children need to be explicitly taught the rules of groups of words as well as the strategies they can deploy to learn the spelling.

We hope to promote a love of reading throughout the school.  This starts with the conscious choice of a range of texts to hook in our learners and that are mostly linked to our topics.  We look at a broad range of authors – from our literary heritage, old favourites to new and perhaps less well known people.

Once our readers have progressed off Read, Write Inc in Key Stage 1 we move to whole class reading sessions where work is planned against year group objectives Some objectives will be covered in normal English sessions as well as we seek to show how reading leads into writing.

When we teach writing we make sure that we balance all the necessary skills needed to be a successful writer.

Our handwriting scheme, ‘Letter join’ teaches Reception children to use pre-cursive letter formation before making the move at the appropriate time in Year 1 to join those letters together.  This supports both fluency and spelling.

Some of our grammar is taught in separate sessions and it is also built into whole class teaching.  We look to create ‘real’ opportunities to write and to be explicit about both the audience and the purpose of writing.  We use our core texts to show how the professional writers deploy the strategies that we are asking the children to use wherever possible.  We also ask children to write in other areas of the curriculum so that they can see how transferable these skills are.  The National Curriculum places heavy emphasis on the need for children to draft, edit and proof-read their work; we have purple polish pens that the children use to make this visible.  Sometimes we have ‘Everybody Writes’ days where we share fantastic short texts and use them to inspire writing across whole Key Stages.


Mathematics is a way of making sense of the World by using numbers , shapes and symbols. It is about calculation (Fluency), Reasoning and Problem-Solving. Mathematics are one way that we communicate between ourselves about our world; therefore we need to understand what numbers, symbols and shapes represent.—

Mathematics is a core subject with a range of cross-curricular links (e.g. data handling in Science, measures in Geography) but most often, is best taught discretely, using opportunities from other subjects to rehearse skills in a context. Mathematics involves developing confidence and competence in number work; geometry and measure; statistics and the using and applying of these skills.

At Harbury Primary School, all receive a high-quality mathematical diet of mathematical teaching and learning experiences. Children will learn individually, in pairs and in a group throughout their time at our school. They will also experience using a range of equipment, including ICT, to develop their mathematical understanding. We aim to ensure that all children are able to appreciate how Mathematics links to everyday life and we promote, in particular, the fundamental skills of time telling, weights and measures, money (including finding change) and reading and interpreting timetables.

As the children progress through school, we aim to develop their fluency in Mathematics by practising the fundamentals of calculating rapidly and accurately. Reasoning mathematically by following and explaining a line of enquiry will become an important aspect of weekly lessons, as will being able to solve routine and non-routine problems. By the time Harbury Primary pupils leave year 6, we expect they will have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


Children are natural scientists: full of curiosity.

At Harbury we believe science should be engaging, purposeful and relevant. We aim to give children opportunities to study science in ways which are ‘brains-on’ as well as ‘hands-on’. Practical work is used to promote learning and children are able to show their understanding in creative ways.

We use complete or part investigations to help children develop a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. Through investigations we may teach subject knowledge or we may focus on the specific skills of working scientifically. Real scientists and their work are used to inspire children and provide role models for natural curiosity. Outdoor learning is important to us and we make opportunities to promote learning beyond the classroom.

We aim to link science to our learning themes wherever we can, although some science units may be taught discretely.


“A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.” (National Curriculum, 2014)

At Harbury, due to the ever-changing and far-reaching nature of computing in real life, Computing as a subject is embedded throughout the curriculum.

We aim to implement a creative, varied and fun computing curriculum as well as develop the children’s digital literacy and information technology skills throughout other areas of the curriculum.

We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation within computer science
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems in information technology
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

In Foundation Stage, children use computing programs such as Purple Mash, BeeBots, Scratch Jr and iPads. The children become familiar with the use of these resources at an early age, understanding the importance of digital technology throughout all aspects of life.

In Key Stage 1, the children become more familiar with a computer and iPad, using many different programs to develop their digital literacy. Key programs used include 2Code, Scratch, Logo, TextEase and 2Email.

In Key Stage 2, the children use similar programming tools (e.g. Scratch) but develop skills further by learning how to design, write and debug specific programs that achieve given goals. They learn to detect and correct errors in algorithms. Some children have the opportunity to attend a weekly Code Club where they learn more advanced skills in programming and debugging.

The children’s awareness of online safety is a large aspect of the Computing curriculum, and we endeavour to teach this throughout the school year. They learn to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour.

Art and Design
Art and Design at Harbury Primary School provides all children with the opportunity to express themselves imaginatively and creatively, as well as developing their understanding of the world around them. Art and Design content is fully integrated into the wider curriculum and links to topics studied each half term. Teaching methods and resources are employed to ensure that all children have equal access to the arts and are able to experience success and enjoyment in their work.

Children are exposed to a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences through drawing, painting, sculpture and other techniques.  Harbury Primary School enables children to become involved in, enjoy and appreciate different art forms; including their historical and cultural significance.  Children are encouraged to critically evaluate and analyse their own work and the work of others.



In line with the other Foundation subjects at Harbury, Design and Technology is delivered within creative half-termly learning themes. Our projects enable children to design, make and evaluate functional products with users and purposes in mind.



We are very fortunate to have a technology room at Harbury which houses a kitchen, all our Design and Technology resources and a workspace big enough for a whole class to work practically and safely.


Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.” (National Curriculum, 2014).

At Harbury, Music is taught throughout the school, from Reception up to Year 6. The children are given many opportunities to develop their love of music and their talent as musicians. As they progress through the school, they develop an engagement with music, which allows them to compose music and become critical listeners.

A large focus is placed on developing the use of our voices as an instrument, with weekly singing assemblies taking place, along with regular whole class singing sessions. We use a wide range of musical instruments throughout the school. The children in Foundation Stage have a music garden so that they can enjoy making ‘musical noise’ in an outdoor environment. Children in Key Stage 1 and 2 begin to use tuned and untuned instruments to compose their own music, experimenting with pitch, dynamics and tempo.

Another aspect of the curriculum includes learning about great composers and famous musicians through the history of music. The children study different styles of music, from a variety of cultures and traditions, learning to listen with discrimination, make comparisons and state opinions.

We are very proud of our musically talented pupils. Many children take part in peripatetic lessons, including steel pan, woodwind, strings, ukulele, guitar and piano. We have a dedicated team of music teachers, including our specialist music teacher Mr Hudson. The whole school enjoys coming together to celebrate musical achievements in many different concerts throughout the school calendar, including the Summer Concert at the end of the year.


Modern Foreign Languages
At Harbury we use a specialist language teacher, Mrs Tourigny to teach French in Key Stage 2.  She uses a range of activities including plenty of games to develop children’s ability to use and understand a modern foreign language.  She also offers a lunchtime club for the younger children to get started early with speaking more than one language.