Return to Curriculum

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 we aim to provide enrichment, creativity and enjoyment for all pupils through a varied curriculum and range of experiences, with high expectations for all.

Our curriculum encompasses all the statutory elements of the 2014 National Curriculum for England. We follow the 2014 National Curriculum for England for the teaching of English, Mathematics, Science, Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music and Physical Education.We have also included many of the non-statutory elements that benefit our pupils and have further adapted the curriculum, as recommended, to match the needs and interests of our pupils.

Where appropriate we use a cross curricular approach to maximise links between subjects and teach the skills required by our pupils through interesting and informative topics.

Termly updates are sent out to parents with more details of the curriculum being covered.


Please follow the link to see the English curriculum in full on the Government website.

The overarching aim for English in the 2014 National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

At Ashtree School English is taught throughout the day, not only through dedicated English lessons, but also through a wide variety of cross curricular activities.

In Key Stage 2, children receive daily English lessons in which they will develop skills in transcription (spelling and handwriting), composition (thinking of ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) and in using grammar and Standard English. In addition to this, children will take part in guided reading and individual reading sessions.

Every term we have an independent writing session as a whole school. Sometimes we write about strange events like the ruby slippers that appeared in our nature area!


Please follow the link to see the Mathematics curriculum in full on the Government website.

The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

At Ashtree School mathematics is taught as a ‘daily maths lesson’ for the majority of pupils in Key Stage 2. Setting is used where appropriate.

Through these daily lessons the principal focus in lower Key Stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. Children will develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. They will work on solving a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.  At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Please follow the links to see what The Year Three, The Year Four, The Year 5, and The Year 6 learner in Maths will cover.


Please follow the link to see the Science curriculum in full on the Government website.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

At Ashtree School the principal focus of science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions.

In addition in upper Key Stage 2 the pupils will develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time.

Science at Ashtree is, wherever possible, practical, involving exploration and experimentation.
Children are encouraged to:

  • observe, ask questions and decide which kind of scientific enquiry they will use
  • investigate and measure, recording and communicating information in a variety of ways
  • make statements of what they have found out and explanations for this, using some scientific language.

Physical Education

Please follow the link to see the PE curriculum in full on the Government website.

In Key Stage 2 the pupils will continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They will enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They will be encouraged to develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
  • play competitive games, such as football, hockey, netball and rounders and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
  • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance through athletics and gymnastics
  • perform dances using a range of movement patterns
  • take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
  • compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.

Children in Year 3 and 4 have weekly swimming lessons for a term each, and clubs are run after school for those children who wish to pursue various sports and physical activities further.

Cross Curricular subjects

Please follow the link to see the History, Geography, Art and Design and Design and Technology curriculum in full on the Government website.

The History, Geography, Art and Design and Design Technology curriculum will be met throughout the school by a combination of specific and cross curricular lessons.

There will be a series of topics, different for each year group, which will give the children a more creative approach to learning, an approach which is skills based and knowledge supported, including not only what to study but also how to study.

It aims to encourage links between subjects that will strengthen the children’s learning. These topics are largely based around the History, Geography and Art and Design curriculum but will also include other subject areas, as appropriate. It is a varied and exciting way for the children to approach their learning.


Please follow the link to see the Computing curriculum in full on the Government website.

All classes have dedicated Computing lessons, in our IT Suite, once a week. In Key Stage 2 pupils will work on designing simple programs, understand the internet and the associated benefits and concerns and will use a variety of software.

Alongside this, Computing now links across all curriculum areas, with teachers using laptops, connected to projectors and interactive whiteboards, to deliver effective and fully interactive teaching.

Foreign Languages

Please follow the link to see the Foreign Languages in full on the Government website.

In Key Stage 2 language teaching is designed to provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and will lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3.

The focus will be on practical communication including listening attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding. Children will explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words. They will be encouraged to speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures and develop accurate pronunciation. They will learn how to read carefully and show their understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.

All KS2 children receive teaching in French by a qualified teacher.


Please follow the link to see the Music curriculum in full on the Government website.

In Key Stage 2 pupils are taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They will learn to play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. Children will be encouraged to improvise and compose music, listen with attention to detail, and begin to use and understand staff and other musical notations. In addition they will start to appreciate and understand a wide range music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians and will develop an understanding of the history of music.

There is a school choir who perform at various events throughout the year. Special performances involving children from throughout the school occur at Christmas, and in smaller groups at other times of the year.

Peripatetic music teachers give individual or group lessons on woodwind, guitar and piano. Please contact the office if you would like your child to learn an instrument. These lessons are charged in accordance with our Charging and Remissions Policy.

Religious Education

The school seeks to promote the moral, social and religious development of the pupils in accordance with the aims set out in the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education 2012 – 2017. The six key areas of Religious education which form the basis of the programmes of study are:-

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Religious Practices and Lifestyles
  • Ways of Expressing Meaning
  • Human Identity, Personality and Experience
  • Questions of Meaning and Purpose
  • Values and Commitments

In using the programmes of study, the school ensures that Christianity and at least one other religion are taught in each Key Stage and the six principal religions are taught by the end of Key Stage 2.

An Act of Collective Worship is held every day for all children in the school. This takes the form of an assembly, sometimes for the whole school together, and at other times for Key Stage 2 separately or in Year Groups.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education, Collective Worship, or both. Any parent wishing to do so should contact the Headteacher.

Personal, Social & Health Education

Personal, Social & Health Education is a non-statutory, cross curricular element of school life which promotes the personal and social development of the children. It helps children to understand themselves and others.
The key areas taught are:

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
  • Developing a healthy, safe lifestyle
  • Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people

These skills are encouraged and developed implicitly throughout the school day via cross-curricular links and through everyday situations. Specific lessons, School and Class Councils, assemblies, Golden Time sessions and circle times are all ways we use to teach PSHE.

SRE (Sex and Relationship Education)

Sex Education is dealt with through normal school work; specifically science-based topics and through Personal, Social Health Education. Individual children’s questions are answered honestly as they arise. Sex Education at Ashtree School aims to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepare the pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The school works towards this aim in partnership with parents.

The Sex Education programme reflects the school ethos and demonstrates and encourages the following values:

  • Respect for each other, and for ourselves
  • Responsibility for our own actions
  • Responsibility for family, friends, school and the wider community

The Sex Education programme:

  • provides information which is easy to understand and relevant and appropriate to the age and maturity of the pupils
  • includes the development of communication and social skills
  • encourages the exploration and clarification of values and attitudes.

Sex Education is be taught in the context of relationships. Single gender groups will be used as deemed appropriate and relevant.

Parents will be invited to the school to preview materials which may be of a sensitive nature, to discuss their use in school and how they can assist in the delivery of the sex education programme.

The school is committed to working with parents. Under the Education Act 1993 pupils can be withdrawn by their parents from the part of Sex Education that is outside the compulsory elements of sex education contained in the National Curriculum for Science. Parents wanting to exercise this right are invited to see the Head. This will allow the concerns of parents to be explored as well as the possibilities of adjusting the programme or approach.

It will also offer an opportunity to discuss any impact that withdrawal may have on the child. Once a child has been withdrawn they cannot take part in Sex Education until the request for withdrawal has been removed.