Foundation Subjects


Religious Education (RE) is not a National Curriculum subject, but must be taught to all pupils as part of the Basic Curriculum.  As RE is not nationally determined, the Local Education Authority must provide an Agreed Syllabus for us to follow.  It is this Darlington Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education which we have used as the basis of our planning and delivery of RE.

RE is taught, as in other curriculum areas, by starting from the pupils’ own life experiences and relating these to similar or different experiences of other people in the local community and in the wider national and international community. The background of many children therefore appears to be Christian; however, the vast majority of pupils appear to have little experience of any strong faith or belief.

We believe at this school that RE both supports and strengthens what we aim to do in every aspect of school life.  Our caring ethos and the value which we place on the development of the whole child; spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and intellectually is reflected in the RE curriculum.

Specifically, RE at our school aims to enable pupils of whatever ability and level of development to:

  1. acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of principal world faiths practised in Great Britain.  These include Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism, each of which is represented in Darlington;
  2. develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures, including the local community;
  3. develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues with reference to the teachings of the principal religions;
  4. enhance their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
  • a. developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life arising from human experiences, and how religious beliefs and practices can relate to them;
  • b. responding to the fundamental questions of life in the light oftheir experience and with reference to religious beliefs and practices;
  • c. reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study;
  • d. expressing their own personal viewpoints in a thoughtful, reasoned and considerate way;
  1. recognise the right of people to hold different beliefs within an ethnically and socially diverse society.


The PSHE Association firmly believes ‘Effective PSHE education supports the development of physically, emotionally

and socially healthy young people, equipped to live healthy, safe, productive and responsible lives and to keep themselves and others safe. It supports the development of essential employability skills for the 21st Century, encouraging positive career choices, and good behaviour. It reduces or removes barriers to learning, such as bullying, low self-esteem, unhealthy, or risky behaviours. There is also strong evidence to suggest that the focus of PSHE education on health, wellbeing and key life skills has the potential to significantly support and enhance pupils’ academic attainment.’

As a Rights Respecting School, we recognise that each family has their own culture and beliefs and we aim to represent every family, as best we can, in our school community. We want everyone to feel valued and welcome.

Principles and Values

Relationships and sex education is required to be taught within a moral framework. Children will learn about moral values throughout every aspect of their school life, in every curriculum area. For this reason, Gurney Pease Academy believes that RSE should:

  • help pupils develop sensitivity and respect for themselves and others
  • be an integral part of the lifelong learning process, beginning in early childhood and continue into adult life.
  • be an entitlement for all pupils in our care.
  • encourage every pupil to contribute to the school community that aims to support each individual as they grow and learn.
  • be set within this wider school context and supports family commitment and love, respect and affection, knowledge and openness. Family is a broad concept; not just one model, e.g. nuclear family. It includes a variety of types of family structure, and acceptance of diversity.
  • encourage pupils and staff to share and respect each other’s views. We are aware of different approaches to sexual orientation, without promotion of any particular family structure. The important values are love, respect and care for each other.
  • generate an atmosphere where questions and discussion on personal matters can take place without any stigma or embarrassment.
  • recognise that parents and carers are the key people in teaching their children about sex, relationships and growing up. We aim to work in partnership with parents/carers and pupils, consulting them about the content of programmes.
  • recognise that the wider community has much to offer and we aim to work in partnership with other health and education professionals.

Aims of RSE

The aim of RSE is to provide balanced factual information about physical and emotional changes, together with consideration of the broader emotional, ethical, religious, and moral dimensions of sexual health. Our RSE programme aims to prepare pupils for an adult life in which they can:

  • develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgements and behaviour.
  • have the confidence and self-esteem to value themselves and others and respect for individual conscience and the skills to judge what kind of relationship they want.
  • understand the consequences of their actions and behave responsibly within personal relationships.
  • avoid being pressured into uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
  • communicate effectively by developing the appropriate language for sex and relationship issues.
  • develop awareness of their sexuality, challenge sexism and prejudice, and promote equality and diversity.
  • have sufficient information and skills to protect themselves in a variety of situations.
  • be aware of sources of help and acquire the skills and confidence to access advice and support if necessary.


At Gurney Pease, we strive to create a culture which aims to inspire an active generation that enjoy PE, encourage each other and achieve. We provide a safe and supportive environment for children to flourish in a range of different physical activities which is essential in supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual, social and moral development.

At Gurney Pease we offer a dynamic, varied and stimulating program of activity to ensure that all children progress physically through an inspirational, unique and fully inclusive PE curriculum. We encourage all children to develop their understanding of the way in which they can use their body, equipment and apparatus safely, yet imaginatively, to achieve their personal goals. All children have the opportunity to enjoy being physically active, maintain a healthy lifestyle and using the medium of sport, increase their self-esteem. We aspire for all children, of all ages, to adopt a positive mind-set and believe that anything can be achieved with determination and resilience.

The aim of Physical Education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. We look to develop and consolidate the fundamentals as follows: agility, balance and coordination. These fundamentals are then used to teach children how to improve various techniques such as running, throwing and catching. The opportunity to apply these skills in modified games and activities allow the children to build their knowledge of games and ways in which they can accomplish a goal.

We provide opportunities for children to learn how to stay safe in the water through regular access to swimming lessons throughout Key Stage 2.

Children are taught to observe and produce the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. Thus, embedding life-long values such as co-operation, collaboration and equity of play.

Our PE Curriculum, along with PSHE and science, teaches children about the importance of healthy living and the need for good nutrition.

At Gurney Pease, we aim for children to develop the necessary knowledge and skills which will have a positive impact on their future by becoming physically active citizens to benefit their long-term health and well-being


A people without knowledge of their past, history, origins and culture….

At Gurney Pease we believe that high quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about their past and where we came from as well as helping them to act and think as historians. We are fortunate to have such a rich history as a school and as a town. We try to ensure that our history curriculum makes full use of resources within the local area to enable children to develop a deep understanding of their locality.

Topics are informed by the National Curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at Gurney Pease is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.

In line with the national curriculum 2014, we aim to ensure that all pupils: Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past; Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement; Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills of each topic have been identified and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.

The local area is also utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. In addition, staff have access to the Twinkl Planit and Cornerstones planning and resources.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.


At Gurney Pease Academy, geography education should be fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.

Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England).  Our Geography curriculum also teaches children about the importance of conservation.

Geography teaching at Gurney Pease Academy has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the world and to have a better understanding of how people live in different locations. This all starts in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), where teachers follow the Development Matters Guidance which aims for all children to have an understanding of the world by the end of Reception to ready them for their learning in Key Stages 1 and 2.


At Gurney Pease, we want pupils to be MASTERS of technology and not slaves to it. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in pupils’ lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use.

We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists.

We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.


The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all children:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated

At Gurney Pease, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life.

We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

Art & Design

At Gurney Pease Academy, we believe that high-quality art lessons will inspire children to think innovatively and develop creative understanding. As the children progress in the learning, they should be able to think critically and develop a deeper understanding of art and design.

We believe that children should know how art and design both reflect and shape our history and contribute to the future and creativity around the world.

Wherever possible, we aim to link work to other curriculum areas such as English, Mathematics, PSHE, Science, History, and Geography.

Through the study of specific artists or forms, teaching staff will be able to make tangible links between art and the rest of the wider curriculum, including our developing Rights Respecting Schools ethos.

In art, children are expected to be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. This should be meaningful and continuous throughout the process, with evidence of age-related reflection. Children are encouraged to take risks and experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful or not for a particular project.

Design & Technology

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Delivered correctly, it encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team.  At Gurney Pease Academy, we encourage children to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.  Wherever possible, we aim to link work to other curriculum areas such as Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Art.  Our children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present designs, their uses and effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators.

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the knowledge, skills and vocabulary needed to engage in the process of designing and making.  Children will learn how to take creative risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world

High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity and culture of the nation.

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