Handcross Primary School

Safe, Happy and Aiming High

Headteacher: Mrs Gillian Pedersen

The Curriculum

We believe that every day should be used to the full and we want every child to be challenged and keen to learn. In our constantly changing society, we recognise the need to teach the children how to learn. We want the children to strive for excellence in every aspect of our child-centred curriculum which is wide, balanced and cohesive. Our plans draw on the interests of the children. We base the learning on exciting multisensory experiences and we involve the children as much as possible in the setting of their individual targets and in the evaluation of their progress. We want the children to think for themselves, exercise their imaginations and, very importantly, develop a love of learning.

The programme that each child follows from Year R to Year 6 meets the statutory requirements of the Foundation Stage, new National Curriculum and West Sussex Religious Education Guidelines.

A summary of the curriculum for Infants and Juniors is provided below.  Get Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Reader may be required.

Detailed plans are available on request.

Infants Curriculum Overview

Maths Long Term Overview

Juniors Curriculum Overview (including English)

Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation 
Maths Long Term Overview


The Foundation Stage

In the Foundation Stage learning is organised into seven areas (3 prime areas and 4 specific areas):

Prime 1 - Personal, social and emotional development
Prime 2 – Communication and language
Prime 3 - Physical development
Specific 1 - Literacy
Specific 2 - Mathematics
Specific 3 - Understanding of the world
Specific 4 – Expressive arts and design

Our youngest children work towards ‘Early Learning Goals‛ in each of these areas. They are assessed against these goals by the teacher on entry and again at the end of their first year in school and the parents and children are involved throughout the year in setting appropriate targets to ensure their continued progress. Year R children work on many activities through the day, some adult directed, some independent. They have a daily Literacy lesson and Mathematics lesson to prepare them for the next stage. Much of the learning takes place outside.

Ruler and Pencils

Key Stages 1 & 2 and the National Curriculum

Once your child has achieved the Early Learning Goals, they are ready to start work on the new National Curriculum. This is a statutory requirement and provides a clear framework for the teaching of:

Information Technology (IT)
Design & Technology (DT)
Art & Design
Physical Education (Gymnastics, Dance, Games and Swimming)
A Modern Foreign Language (we teach French)
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

We follow the West Sussex Guidance on Religious Education (RE).

Child using computer

The National Curriculum is divided into ‘Key Stages.' Key Stage 1 and 2 are taught in the primary school. (Key Stage 3 is followed by 11-14 year olds in their secondary school). Key Stage 1 is followed by the Year 1/2 children and Key Stage 2 by the Juniors, Years 3-6. We ensure that there is a smooth transition between each of the three stages, with plenty of opportunity for catch-up or extension, as appropriate.

We do music and drama productions every year. At Christmas the Infants perform and at the end of the summer term the Juniors take their turn. These productions are of a very high quality – parents are always amazed by what the children manage to do. Where possible, the productions link in with our cross-curricular themes and further enhance our children‛s learning.

A Cross-Curricular Approach – Topic Time

English and Maths are mostly taught as separate subjects every day and most of the other subjects are taught in a cross-curricular way at 'Topic Time.' At Topic Time, different aspects of subjects are grouped around a theme which we know the children will enjoy and inspire their interest. Over the course of several days the children participate in whole class and focus group sessions and complete independent tasks on subjects related to the theme. Our feedback from the children about Topic Time is very positive: they love it!

Assessment and Grouping

The teachers plan lessons thoroughly and ensure that the work is differentiated to cater for the needs of all groups of children and individuals within the class. They also make thorough assessments of children‛s progress and set individual targets to ensure they remain on track. Children participate in the process of assessment and target setting to further involve them in their learning and we believe their involvement is the key to our success.

Gifted & Talented Children

We identify Gifted and Talented children and arrange for them to have extra provision both in and out of the classroom. Good mathematicians are accelerated by attending the daily maths lesson of the year above. In Year 6, they are then taught in an exclusive group of 6-8 children daily by a specialist maths teacher and many achieve the expected attainment level for a 14 year old. We also run master classes for our gifted writers every half term. Our Locality of schools has a very successful and full programme of special events and courses for Gifted & Talented children and our Gifted & Talented children attend these regularly. They also attend excellent courses for the Gifted & Talented at Burgess Hill School for Girls. We keep a record of activities provided for our most able children to ensure that they regularly receive the additional challenge they need.

Special Educational Needs

We are committed to meeting the needs of every individual child, whatever their needs are. We will always use our best endeavours to ensure children who have learning difficulties have access to the support they need. Children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which is specifically tailored by the class teacher, the child and Special Needs Coordinator to meet their needs. ILPs contain appropriate and specific targets which children work towards throughout the term. We recognise that needs change and so all ILPs are reviewed regularly. We take great care to bolster the self-esteem of SEND. We encourage parents of children with SEND to become involved with support programmes and we actively seek feedback through the ILP process and ask parents to support the work done with children at school in the home environment. All details regarding our provision for SEND children can be found in our Local Offer which can be viewed on our website on the Policies page.

NEARS/Locality Working

We have particularly strong links with our local network of 10 rural schools (NEARS); through NEARS we provide pupils with a wide range of enrichment and sporting activities, including extension opportunities for the Very Able; there are regular joint CPD events, shared projects and numerous opportunities for a healthy exchange of ideas for every stratum of the staff from bursars and TAs, to teachers, SENCOs and HTs; the Early Years teachers have had particularly constructive meetings over the last few years as they grapple with the implementation of the new statutory EY practice. NEARS also works as part of a Locality which is now a Community Interest Company (CIC); this is a larger group of 20 schools (including 2 secondary schools) and we work together on highly successful shared projects. The projects are designed to remove barriers to learning for many groups of children from those with social and emotional difficulties through to provision for the Gifted & Talented.

English and Mathematics

A good proportion of each day is given over to English and Mathematics. The daily Maths lesson is taught at the same time across the school so that children can be placed in the class that best meets their needs. Children showing a particular aptitude for maths attend the daily maths lesson of the above year group so that their progress is accelerated. This practice is known as ‘setting‛. We also set every day for our provision of Phonics, Spelling and Reading.

Child's story book

Daily Phonics and Spelling Programme

We follow the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach phonics, reading and spelling to our infant children. It is also used for children in older year groups who have significant difficulties in learning the basic skills of reading and spelling. Read Write Inc. Phonics is widely used in many schools and has proved to be hugely successful in getting children to read and write quickly and easily. The programme is taught daily in a very lively, highly interactive manner and children enjoy their sessions. They are taught in small groups, closely matched in ability, and make very good progress. The children are continually assessed so that as soon as they have outgrown one group, they move on to the next.


Homework is an important link between home and school. It allows parents to see work in progress, gives children the chance for interesting, independent study, and allows time for practising important skills. Tips to help your child with reading.

Here is our weekly homework timetable:

Year Reading Spelling Maths Other
R Daily RWI/letter sounds    
1 Daily RWI/Spelling Abacus Games and worksheet  
Daily RWI/Spelling Abacus Games and worksheet  
3 Daily RWI/Spelling Abacus Games and worksheet
Abacus Games
Topic or Literacy 30 mins
4/5 Daily RWI/Spelling 30 min weekly
Abacus Games and worksheet
Topic or Literacy 30 mins
6 Daily Spelling 30 min weekly Writing task to be specified


Religious Education and Collective Worship

The school follows the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. We aim to develop an awareness and understanding of Christian values and beliefs as well as those of other major world religions.

Assembly is an important part of the school day when we meet together as a community. It is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and to the world around us. Several assemblies each term are taken by the local Vicar.

Parents should contact the Headteacher if they wish to withdraw their children from all or part of the RE and collective worship provided by the school. However, the assemblies are very inclusive so that no-one feels the need to do this.

Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships is taught within the Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and Science programme. Parents are invited to view the DVD shown to the Juniors and ask any questions they may have before the start of these lessons. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex and Relationships education and should see the Headteacher if they wish to exercise this right. Please ask for a copy of our Sex & Relationships Policy if you would like to read it.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We are keen to develop and extend learning through a wide range of after-school clubs. These clubs are offered by staff and parents every term. The School Council ensures that there is a sufficient selection of clubs to choose from so that all Year 1-6 children attend at least one physical activity club. This year they include: Cross-Country, Football, Netball, Rounders, Stoolball, Basketball, Cricket, Athletics, Construction, Art, Gardening, Cookery, Infant & Junior Drama, Recorders, Choir, Needlework & Craft Club, Junk Modeling, Homework & Maths, Multisports, Circus Skills, Street Dance, Story Club and Keep Fit for Infants.

You can see the list clubs available here.

Child's bicycleCycling Proficiency

Every year we organise a Cycling Proficiency training course in association with the County's Road Safety Officers for children in Year 6.

Trips & Residential Visits

Every term, teachers plan a number of local trips to stimulate interest and support work within their class. This gives children hands-on experience on which further learning can build.

We believe strongly that children benefit educationally and socially from spending time together on residential trips. The children in Year 6 go on a residential trip to the fantastic PGL site at Osmington Bay in Dorset to undertake a programme of activities e.g. abseiling, quad biking, dragon boating as well as field studies e.g. historical enquiry at Corfe Castle and coastal formations at Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door.

Such opportunities are primarily funded from parental contributions without which we could not undertake the trips. If this proves to be difficult, you are invited to discuss the matter with the Headteacher in complete confidence and we may be able to make arrangements to subsidise the cost of your child‛s visit. The school reserves the right to cancel any trip where funds do not match the cost of the trip.


Charging Arrangements

While most activities and resources are funded from School accounts, there are some activities that can only take place if additional funds are found. Parents are asked to contribute towards things such as swimming, trips, visiting educational theatre companies, authors and cookery supplies. Contributions are voluntary, but if all parents who are able to pay do not do so, activities may have to be cancelled. Subsidies are available for parents with children who are in receipt of the pupil premium. Parents should contact the Headteacher for details.

The Governors may charge parents for avoidable losses and damage to school equipment by their children.

SATS Results

End of KS to result for 2016-17


Children achieving Age Related Expectations (ARE)



National % at ARE 2017

Handcross % at ARE 2017



73% - ABOVE



80% - ABOVE

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling






Combined Reading, Writing, Maths





87% - ABOVE



There were some big changes to the Key Stage 2 SATs tests in 2016. The expected standards of the tests were raised significantly this year in comparison to previous years. In addition, results no longer used the system of levels - instead, test results were converted into ‘scaled scores’ – with a score of 100 being the expected standard. Any score below 100 means the pupil is working 'towards the expected standard,' and any score above 100 means the pupil is working 'at or above the expected standard.' Previously the expected standard was what was called a level 4. The national results of the new, more challenging tests were published on 5th July 2016. You will notice that we achieved well above the National Results for 2016 in all areas despite the more challenging nature of the test.


National % at ARE 2016

Handcross % at ARE 2016



74% - ABOVE



68% (county average was 69% - West Sussex moderation was harsher than other counties)

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling





74% - ABOVE

Combined Reading, Writing, Maths





84% - ABOVE


Children achieving a high level of attainment



National high % 2017

Handcross high % 2017






27% - ABOVE

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling






Combined Reading, Writing, Maths


17% - ABOVE




National high % 2016

Handcross high %








Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling






Combined Reading, Writing, Maths






Analysis of Results (2014 & 2015)

We were at the top of the league tables – AGAIN!

Let’s start with some good news! For the second year running, we weree one of four primary schools in West Sussex that came joint first in the SATs 2015 league tables. Once more, 100% of our children achieved the desired Level 4 or above in combined Reading, Writing and Maths. This is a comparison with 292 schools across West Sussex in total.

2014 & 2015 KS2 Attainment

  Reading National Writing National Maths National RWM National SPAG National
2015 100% 89% 100% 87% 100% 87% 100% 80% 100% ?
2014 100% 89% 100% 86% 100% 86% 100% 79% n/a n/a

End of KS2 results were consistently above, and often well above National Averages (NA) at Level 4 for the last two years and more.

Nat – National Average
RWM – Reading, Writing and Maths combined score
SPAG – Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (2015 was the first year of testing)

2014 & 2015 KS2 Progress 

Table 1 Percentage of children achieving 2 levels of progress compared with National Averages

  Reading National Writing National Maths National
2015 93% 91% 100% 94% 100% 90%
2014 100% 91% 100% 93% 100% 90%


Table 2 Percentage of children achieving MORE than expected progress compared to National Averages in 2015

  Reading National Writing National Maths National
Expected progress 93% 91% 100% 94% 100% 90%
More than expected progress 73% 33% 53% 36% 80% 34%


Level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2 (2014-15)

By the end of KS2, having added value year on year as the children move through the school, we generally achieved a higher percentage of children at Level 5 compared to the National Average and in 2015, we achieved significantly higher numbers.

  Reading National Writing National Maths National RWM National
2015 73% 48% 53% 36% 73% 41% 47% 24%
2014 45% 50% 50% 33% 55% 42% 30% 24%
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