The curriculum is a living thing.  It needs to change and be responsive.

Beam’s Curriculum Aims

Encouraging acquisition of knowledge and the application of skills across all curriculum areas. Our curriculum is knowledge-engaged: where it is pertinent cross-curricular teaching is utilised to make the curriculum relevant and meaningful to all our pupils.

Our curriculum has three main intentions:

Please click here to read our Curriculum Aims in more detail.

To develop the appropriate subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, so that children can flourish, reach and exceed their potential academically, physically and artistically.

The aim is to ensure that staff and the learner have high expectations, they enjoy learning and strive for excellence.

Pupils to have a holistic set of values that prepares them for life in the modern world in a diverse and ever-changing community.

In this, globally and digitally interconnected world, all learners, need new skills and knowledge to succeed. If we want to prepare our children for success in school, work, and life, opportunities to learn 21st-century and interpersonal skills are essential.

The aim is to ensure that learners are equipped with 21st Century skills needed to succeed in their careers during the Information Age.

Development of social skills and understanding of society. Pupils to begin building personal values, and to engage in the culture and environment in which they live and to understand the cultures of others.

The aim is to ensure that pupils are encouraged to have enquiring minds and seek opportunities to become culturally aware and responsible global citizens, who can make a positive contribution to society.   

Our aspiration is that our pupils will be confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

In this, globally and digitally interconnected world, all learners, need new skills and knowledge to succeed. If we want to prepare our children for success in school, work, and life, opportunities to learn 21st-century and interpersonal skills are essential.

At Beam, we embrace excellent pedagogy, which expects all children to work towards reaching or exceeding national expectations, to fulfill and develop their potential. High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfillment, and success; and teaching and learning are characterised by ambitious expectations and outcomes, challenging personal targets and early intervention to keep pupils on track. We use accurate assessments to check and maintain pupil progress. There are also clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain progress.

Our curriculum will be implemented with our intentions as the focus behind our actions.  By ensuring we think about the content of learning; pupils learning styles; when they are learning and how they act when they learn. We build happy, resilient, successful and good citizens.

Curriculum intent summary:

At Beam, we ensure that literacy skills are taught throughout all curriculum areas. Children will be able to contextualise their learning ensuring they have the knowledge and understanding to access the unit in which they are working on. Culture is an integral part of the curriculum and this will be explored in a variety of ways: performance, drama, and discussion of language. Throughout the school dialogic pedagogy form an essential part of literacy teaching.

Within the Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes, the discrete teaching of phonics follows the Letters and Sounds programme. Throughout the school, key texts are used to underpin units whereby themes, author intent and language are discussed, allowing children to understand the process of writing. This is then developed through oral rehearsal, unpicking good examples and shared writing, which aids children with their own innovation and composition. In Key stage 2, pupils will self-assess their work. Pupils are exposed to many forms of writing through opportunities to write for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Children are further absorbed into a rich reading environment by exploring a wide range of quality texts to support word recognition, comprehension and vocabulary development. Comprehension and engagement in books are encouraged through drama, ‘book talk’ and response activities including artwork, story mapping and guided reading. Reading for pleasure is encouraged and promoted through teachers sharing and bringing immersive texts to life during DEAR time.

Maths is taught through a daily numeracy lesson which follows the principles of the Primary Numeracy Strategy. This ensures a broad and through coverage of the main aspects of numeracy: number, shape space and measure, data handling and using and applying mathematics. There is also a strong emphasis on mental arithmetic and children are set regular tasks to develop this skill.

We use the Busy Ants Scheme of work for the planning of Maths. We realise the importance of number (the four operations) as well as reasoning in Maths. As such, teachers constantly apply the knowledge learnt in Maths to reasoning challenges. As a dialogic school, we encourage oracy and debate within reasoning challenges. Teachers assess continually throughout the year including the utilisation of formal assessments as stipulated by the National curriculum.

Science at Beam gives children the opportunity to be inquisitive, to explore and find out about the world around them.  As they progress through the school, the children carry out practical investigations with greater independence and have the opportunity to research information, use a variety of equipment and resources.  We are particularly fortunate to have our own wildlife area which we use to ensure that our pupils gain firsthand experience. In their work children develop a variety of strategies to analyse what they have found out and are encouraged to record their findings accordingly. The Science units can also be linked to other areas of the curriculum such as ICT, Maths and Art, Outdoor Learning and topics covered include Light and Sound, Changing Materials, Forces In Action, Life Cycles, habitats, and Healthy Living.  In years 5 and 6, our pupils receive a unit of lessons at our feeder Secondary Schools.

As part of Religious Education, children learn about Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.  It is our aim that children will recognise and value all people with their diversity of gifts, cultures, and faiths and develop consideration for others, learning to work together with a sense of social responsibility and compassion.

Personal and Social Education encourages children to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. PSHE will enable children to develop important life skills, such as how to react in difficult situations and to learn about rights and responsibilities for themselves and others. In doing this, it is anticipated that self-confidence and esteem will be promoted.

Teaching British Values

“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” (DfE)

The government set out its definition of British values in the, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.  At Beam County Primary School the 2011 Prevent Strategy values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards.

The Rule of Law:

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty:

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education.  Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.

Mutual Respect:

Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions promote tolerance as we play music from different cultures. Assemblies and discussion involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school has a high-profile ‘Language of the Term’ subject that runs throughout the year, linking to languages spoken by our EAL pupils. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our School Council in particular show that this has been successful.

Across all subjects, learning outside of the classroom is an essential part of finding out about our world around us. Beam County Primary School is particularly fortunate to have a vast outdoor area including a pond, a garden and a nature trail which all children have access to during their time at school.

Beam County Primary School recognises the value of Physical Education (P.E). We fully adhere to the aims of the national curriculum for physical education to ensure that all children:

  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives

P.E. is taught at Beam County Primary School as an area of learning in its own right as well as integrated where possible with other curriculum areas. It is taught for two sessions per week.

We teach lessons so that children:

  • Have fun and experience success in sport
  • Have the opportunity to participate in P.E at their own level of development
  • Secure and build on a range of skills
  • Develop good sporting attitudes
  • Understand basic rules
  • Experience positive competition
  • Learn in a safe environment
  • Have a foundation for lifelong physical activity, leaving primary school as physically active.

P.E is taught as a basis for lifelong learning, where the children have access to a wide range of activities in the belief that if taught well and the children are allowed to succeed, then they will continue to have a physically active life. A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all children to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities.

At Beam County, we provide opportunities for children to become physically confident in a way that supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

The school participates in many local competitions and has enjoyed great success over the years.

PE curriculum map 2017 – 2018

ICT is taught as a discrete subject, as well as being used to support cross-curricular learning. Pupils are taught a range of knowledge, skills, and understanding through four areas of learning: finding things out; developing ideas and making things happen; exchanging and sharing information; reviewing, modifying and evaluating work as it progresses. They use word-processing, multimedia, graphics, data handling, and modelling software. Children have good access to PCs and iPads. Digital Leaders are a group of Gifted pupils that provide iPad training to staff and pupils alike.

We have adopted the new Barking & Dagenham Scheme of work. This is an exciting scheme that incorporates current technologies and challenges the children to excel within the subject. The school has a programme of investment in ICT to ensure that children have access to resources that reflects the constantly changing technology that they encounter in the wider world.

Foundation stage and key stage one are introduced to history through sequencing, listening to stories and looking at photographs or exploring artefacts. Then as the children travel up the school the children go on to study the Romans, invaders and settlers, Exploration and Encounters, Tudors and Victorians, Ancient Egypt and Greece. Throughout the key stages, our children are given cross-curricular activities where relevant.  Drama and effective talk are key strategies.  All our children have the opportunity to visit museums and we also have visitors come into the school to present workshops and performances.

Geography is presented to the younger children with the focus of themselves. They explore their home, school and the local environment. They continue to focus on what’s familiar to them by looking at journeys and transport, and why people decide to make journeys.

In KS2 children develop their map skills and how to read and create various maps, they study settlements and land use. We are fortunate to have vast grounds and use our outdoor environment as a key learning tool.  They look at environmental issues by comparing and contrasting areas around Britain and locations around the world.

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Children are encouraged to develop their skills in D.T. through practical tasks and projects.  They are invited to find solutions to a range of problems.  Children are engaged in their own designing and planning, testing of ideas, and product creations.  They discuss, evaluate and amend their solutions/ products throughout the project, and support each other to improve upon original ideas.

The rationale for the Latin curriculum at Beam County Primary School    

In 2019, we decided to change the language we studied from French to Latin. We felt that this would give the children a broad understanding of a range of European languages, support their English vocabulary, and contribute to a comprehensive and challenging curriculum.  

Our teaching of Latin will ensure that our pupils can access the scientific and mathematical vocabulary as our pupils continue on their lifelong love of learning. The etymology of words will help our children prepare for secondary. It will equip them with the literacy skills they need to attain vital qualifications and become fully functioning members of society.  

At Beam, we are aiming to recalibrate our approach to literacy by focusing on:

  1. Etymology – linking Latin root words as much as possible. 
  2. Fluency (this will assist with comprehension)
  3. Vocabulary
  4. Structured Phonics – Little Wandle

Due to Covid and lost learning, we have adapted the information below and have phased our approach to teaching Latin:

In years 3, 4 and 2 ((summer only), we are using ‘Maximum Classics’, which explores:

  • Latin in everyday use,
  •  how words are connected by their Latin roots and meanings, 
  • and how Latin and English grammar relate to each other.  

Our children will also explore Roman myths and culture; they will have opportunities to learn more about the Ancient Roman influences within Barking and Dagenham. A version of the course can be accessed here:

 In years 5 and 6, we follow a story-based Latin course for primary pupils based around two textbooks – Minimus and Minimus Secundus. This approach allows our pupils to apply their word knowledge to text.

 Aims of Latin at Beam County Primary School:

We have worked closely with ‘Classics for All’, a charity set up to widen Classics teaching in state schools. They aim to: 

  • Raise pupils’ aspirations and achievements. Widening access to classical subjects can help break the link between educational opportunity and disadvantage, giving pupils the confidence to progress to higher education.
  • Support language skills for pupils of all abilities, encouraging a structured approach to grammar and a strong foundation for literacy and learning modern foreign languages.
  • Encourage cultural insight and awareness, offering pupils new perspectives on contemporary issues.



All children receive specialised lessons from an outstanding teacher, which ensures continuity and growth.  In Year 5 children learn an instrument, such as the guitar, violin, etc. from a peripatetic teacher.   Music plays a major part in school through assemblies and performances and children have many opportunities to participate by singing or playing their instrument.