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Hanover Primary School

Learning at Hanover

Our curriculum intent 

Hanover's curriculum is designed to ensure that all children are challenged and stimulated through a creative and rigorous approach to teaching and learning. It is broad and ambitious in all subject areas. 

Primary schools in England are made up of three distinct phases; the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and must follow 2 statutory curriculums, the EYFS statutory framework and the National Curriculum. The EYFS caters for Nursery and Reception aged pupils, Key Stage 1 for pupils in Years 1 & 2 and Key Stage 2 for Years 3 to 6. While our school structure is based on mixed aged classes we ensure that pupils are taught the appropriate statutory curriculum for their age. 

We want our children to understand the world around them. We want them to develop skills and knowledge, and, crucially, to understand WHY these are so important. We try to ensure that planning represents our community, that we talk about the big issues that will face our children, and that we equip them for the next chapter in their lives. Our planning aims to make learning contextual and to give children first-hand experience wherever possible. 

Critical to our intent is the development of character. Our vision and ethos statement outlines how important this is at Hanover. 

English and maths are central to our curriculum. The mastery of early reading and the foundational aspects of mathematics are essential if children are to access the rest of the curriculum. However, we value the foundation subjects just as highly. We build in a range of enrichment projects in each phase - from ukulele lessons for all children in year 2, to wild-camping residentials in Year 6, regular art lessons with our resident specialist art teacher, or inter-school sports competitions, we know that these opportunities are hugely beneficial to our children. 


Our approach to learning in Nursery and Reception

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the curriculum stage for children aged 0-5. At Hanover, we have a nursery class, and three mixed Reception and Year 1 classes. 

Planning in the Momentplay

At Hanover, we believe that how children learn is as important as what they learn. We know that children learn best when they are engaged and involved in an activity and that the highest levels of involvement are seen in children during child-initiated play. What will captivate a child cannot be planned for in advance. Finding those moments of high involvement requires giving children time and space to explore their own ideas and interests through play. Therefore, in our EYFS and Year 1, much of the day is spent in child-initiated play, where each child chooses what they want to do. 

The Role of the Adult

Teaching happens through thoughtful adult interactions during play where a ‘teachable moment’ has been identified in a period of high involvement. Teachers therefore plan ‘in the moment’ and scaffold the next steps for that child there and then. This could be suggesting an idea, asking a question, introducing new words, providing equipment or modelling a skill, for example. Through sharing their play, the adults in the setting really get to know and develop strong relationships with each child. They have a detailed understanding of each child’s needs, interests and how to support each child as an individual. Every term each child in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 has a focus week where their interactions are recorded to create a personal learning journey which is shared with parents or carers.  

 Workshop Environment

We have a workshop-style environment inside and outside, with zoned areas for different types of activity. The children select what they want to do in each area. Resources are varied and open-ended to support high quality learning. They are accessible to the children at all times and stored with visual labels to promote independence and autonomy. Children have opportunities to try new things, take risks and to challenge themselves. They are also able to return to activities time and time again to develop and extend their understanding. Children have access to the outside areas throughout the day, every day, whatever the weather.

The Curriculum

The EYFS curriculum is statutory, which means it must be followed in all early years settings (children aged 0 – 5) in England. We use an additional non-statutory document called 'Birth to 5 matters' to further guide our practice. Learning in the EYFS framework is across seven areas, three prime areas and four specific areas. Each area has several aspects. These are listed below. 

Prime areas
Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
self-regulation, managing self and building relationships
Communication and Language:
listening, attention and understanding, and speaking
Physical Development: gross motor skills and fine motor skills 


Specific areas
Literacy: comprehension, word reading and writing
Mathematics: number and numerical patterns
Understanding the World: past and present, people, culture and communities, and the natural world
Expressive Arts and Design: creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive

The Prime Areas

At Hanover, we begin by focusing on the prime areas – personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development – as we know that these are the foundation of all future learning. We support our children in developing the skills they need to self-regulate their emotions and to self-govern their behaviour. We have a trauma-informed approach to behaviour management. We solve problems through talking about what has happened and what we can do to make it better. We encourage children to express their own ideas, needs and intentions and to listen to those of their friends. Each child’s voice is valued. We work with a speech and language therapist to deliver targeted support for children who need support with their communication.

We want all children to be independent in their self-care. We understand that children develop these skills by being given opportunities to make choices and to evaluate different situations for themselves. We help children to identify and understand potential risks and benefits in order to make good choices. In our woodwork area children use real tools to demonstrate how responsible and focused young children can be when given the chance to do so. Children have many opportunities for physical activity in their play; developing gross motor skills through activities such as running, climbing, balancing and building, and developing fine motor skills through activities such as mark-making, cutting, sticking and using tools.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

We know that this way of learning creates confident, independent and creative learners. Through following their own interests and learning through play, children develop the characteristics of effective learning. Children at Hanover are playing and exploring all the time, investigating their own ideas and having a go at new things. They learn actively and are highly motivated. They seek out challenges, take risks and aren’t afraid to make mistakes. They think critically and choose their own way of doing things. They are creative and imaginative and they are not afraid to have different ideas. These characteristics provide the foundation for all of their learning in the future.

The Daily Routine

There are certain times of the day when all the children within a class come together to talk about their learning or to share a story or song together. We also teach children directly for short periods, for example, for phonics or maths. This provides children with the opportunity to acquire specific skills and to consolidate their understanding. The length and content of these sessions are always developmentally appropriate for each year group. Children have a music session with a specialist teacher once a week as well as PE lessons, once they are in KS1.

Our approach to learning in Year 1


Year 1 has daily phonics lessons, shared and guided reading sessions, daily writing tasks and short, practical maths lessons. They also have regular PE and music lessons. Year 1 cover the other national curriculum subjects in a way that is developmentally appropriate, and  wherever possible links the content to the children’s interests and fascinations. For example, children have daily access to art resources, woodwork and other modelling materials; they find minibeasts and grow food in the garden; they cook regularly in the classroom; they are expected to research and present topics of interest to their classmates; families are invited to share aspects of their home cultures that bring geography, history and RE to life; the books teachers read to children are carefully chosen to expand their knowledge of various topics. Where curriculum objectives need to be taught more directly, short focused teaching sessions are also planned.  

Our approach to teaching in Year 2- Year 6

Teaching in years 2-6 becomes more formal, and discrete lessons are taught throughout the day. Below is a summary of how subjects are delivered. You can click on the links to find out more about each subject. 

  • Pupils have a daily English lesson, plus a reading lesson and opportunities for independent reading every day. 
  • They also have a maths lesson every day. 
  • All children have two hours of Physical Education (PE) each week. 
  • We teach Design Technology (DT) by running a full DT Day each term, inviting parents in to help with the practical aspects of this subject. 
  • All children have a music lesson and an art lesson two weeks out of three (on a rota).
  • Pupils from Y3-Y6 learn Spanish in a weekly lesson. 
  • Religious Education (RE) is taught every term, sometimes as single lessons, and sometimes with an RE Day to explore a subject in depth. 
  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is taught regularly through lessons, circle times and assemblies.
  • Computing is taught both as a separate subject, and as a tool to understand other areas of learning. 
  • History, geography and science are taught through cross-curricular topics. These cover these subjects’ national curriculum content in a way that also helps children understand key issues about the world around them. Children’s reading and writing are often linked to these topics. You can read about these in detail in the section below.

Our topic-led approach to science, history and geography in years 2-6

From year 2 up to year 6, we take a topic-led approach to teaching in history, science and geography, with these topics also lending themselves to cross-curricular work in other subjects too. Below is an overview of the topics that we teach. You can click on each title for a short summary of learning, as well as how our topics build upon each other.






Y 3&4     




Y 5&6 






Progression in learning

In order to ensure children are able to build upon prior knowledge, learning at Hanover is carefully sequenced so that we can ensure progression across all subjects. Click below to see how we sequence the curriculum for each subject.

 Art progression mapComputing progression mapDesign and Technology progression mapEnglish progression mapGeography progression mapHistory progression mapLanguages progression mapMathematics progression mapMusic progression mapPhysical Education progression mapPersonal, Social Health and Economic Education progression mapReligious Education progression mapScience progression map