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The wider curriculum

Art and design

Art education stimulates creativity and imagination. Our curriculum includes practical experiences which help children explore art materials and techniques to develop skills. Each year, children will be involved in a range of art and design activities including observational drawing, painting, pastel work, printing, textiles, clay modelling and 3D construction work. Children will be helped to develop their knowledge of art forms from different periods and cultures and study different artists’ work to inspire and influence their own pieces of art and design.


At Abbey Woods, we understand that technology is changing the lives of everyone and is an integral   part of everyday life. Through teaching computing, we equip our children to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. Our intention is to use IT in creative and meaningful contexts across the curriculum and to give the children experiences of using a range of technologies. Our computing curriculum prepares the pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

Children have access to a bank of computers in the computing room. Laptops and iPads are available to facilitate the children’s use of IT for learning across the curriculum. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard to support teaching and learning. We have a range of other equipment that is available e.g. webcams, digital cameras and video cameras. As part of the computing curriculum, the children are also taught how to stay safe when using the internet.

Design and technology

Design enables children to use their knowledge from other areas of the curriculum to solve real problems. Skills in design and technology are developed through ‘hands on’ tasks and projects. Children establish a design brief, gather ideas and complete a series of focused practical tasks in order to give them the necessary skills and knowledge to complete their project. This includes a final evaluation of the finished project, when children think about what worked well and what could be changed. Children engage in projects that involve food technology, textiles, mechanisms, electricity, structures and materials.


Our geography curriculum aims to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, together with an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. We aim to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments so that they can ask questions about the world around them and begin to understand interrelations between the Earth and people. We cover a range of human, physical and environmental topics.


Our history curriculum aims to inspire in pupils a curiosity to know more about the past. History teaching at Abbey Woods has a wide application to everyday life and our wealth of local history, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the past and to have a better understanding of the society in which they live. When teaching history, artefacts, museum visits and themed days are used to bring the past to life.

Modern foreign language (MFL)

In Key Stage 2, the children begin to learn some basic French as a modern foreign language. We use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign language curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils. The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing are taught through a variety of topics and themes. The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for the pupils.


Music is an important part of the curriculum for all year groups. The children are involved in many activities, including listening and responding to music from a variety of cultures and periods, playing instruments, singing, writing and performing their own compositions. Through their music learning, we aim to increase the child’s self-confidence, ability to work cooperatively as part of a team and to give them a sense of achievement.

Music is taught by a specialist teacher.

Physical education

Physical education plays a vitally important part in a child’s development. The key areas of games, dance, gymnastics, athletics and swimming are taught throughout the year, with children taking part in at least two hours PE per week. The emphasis in all lessons is the acquisition of skills and the improvement of performance.

Children in years 5 and 6 have opportunities to attend competitive events and tournaments outside of school.

The children benefit from specialist Sports coaching in PE across the school.

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education

At Abbey Woods, we follow the Jigsaw PSHE scheme of work. Jigsaw brings together PSHE education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning. Jigsaw is designed on a whole school approach with all year groups working on the same theme (puzzle) at the same time.

Religious education

Religious education is important in every child’s development. At Abbey Woods, we follow the agreed syllabus for Oxfordshire which encourages children to study Christianity as the main component of the programmes of study and also to learn about Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Children also engage in assemblies, discussion and reflection. These take place as a whole school, key stage and in class. Visits are made to the local church, St Mary and St Berin, for special events in the church calendar.