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Intent – The aims of our curriculum


At Combs Infants School, we are a “School with a View”.

A view to promote positivity, happiness and self-esteem enabling each and every one of our children to become confident, independent learners who believe in themselves and discover their endless potential. Our infant school is nestled within the hills of Combs village, enabling our children to learn on natures doorstep whilst being surrounded by a positive, calming, picturesque environment.

Our curriculum is designed around our belief that every child is unique and should be empowered to be a resilient, inspired and a self-motivated lifelong learner. We are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to make learning exciting, to ensure everyone enjoys the sense of adventure that learning brings. 

The curriculum has been designed around a core set of progressive knowledge and skills. The context in which these are delivered is tailored to each cohort of children dependent on their needs and interests. Each individual area of the curriculum is planned so the sequencing of knowledge and skills are explored and embedded. This provides the opportunity for children to develop a deeper understanding as they progress throughout their learning journey. Opportunities and sequences of learning are carefully and skillfully designed to ensure that pupils’ personal, social and emotional development takes priority as they smoothly transition between year groups.

It is our intention that opportunities are endless for each pupil. Any barriers to success are overcome for disadvantaged or vulnerable pupils. We aim to provide equality and excellence for all in order to promote the highest possible standards of attainment and success. It is important to us that in our school we meet the needs of all pupils to ensure inclusion in a diverse society that is multi-ethnic and inclusive.   

As a close, supportive, friendly team at Combs, we ensure that we constantly offer the highest quality of education for our children. We continuously reflect upon and develop the pedagogy unpinning our curriculum. Care for each other is an overarching value which underpins all we believe.  Inclusion applies to all members of the school community: pupils, staff, governors, parents/carers and wider community.  We recognise that equal opportunities for pupils are inextricably linked with equal opportunities for staff. We believe that it is of utmost importance that parents are supported, engaged and are aware of what their children are learning at school.

As a result, we shape a bespoke curriculum offer for our pupils and their families.


Implementation – How we achieve this?


Our curriculum is implemented through our intent, which is at the heart of all we do.


Through careful planning we can help the children to progress and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding. By regular review and adaptation, we can ensure that children’s learning builds effectively over time to help them meet their yearly expectations.

All our units are underpinned by high quality texts and carefully selected enrichment opportunities, and an understanding of the fundamental British values is filtered throughout. We introduce these units with an entry based ‘hook’ to excite and engage the children and a ‘purpose’ for study so learning is meaningful and relevant for them.

The children’s learning experiences enable them to develop and achieve in the early learning areas through play and exploration. In Key Stage One, we follow an integrated and creative approach to planning the curriculum. We understand that young children learn best through experiences and opportunities that are relevant and meaningful to them.  This is secured by Early Years practice and in encompassing the National Curriculum requirements. As the children progress through school they become more involved in directed and independent activities related to the weekly learning objectives. These are cross-curricular wherever possible and differentiated as appropriate, to meet the children’s individual learning needs.
We are committed to ensuring that children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We follow a two year rolling cycle of topics as the basis for learning experiences. Class groups may follow themes that are more suitable to their cohorts or that the children themselves have shown an enthusiasm and interest in. In both the Early Years and Key Stage One, the children’s skills are enriched alongside specialist sessions led by outside support to include physical education, mindfulness, yoga and music sessions.  Educational trips and visitors to our school are planned throughout the year to help deepen our pupil’s knowledge and enhance their learning. We participate in special themed weeks throughout the year which have a clear focus, for example ‘Friendship week’, ‘Anti-bullying week’, ‘Science week’, ‘RE week’ and ‘Walk to school week’

Our teaching practice is deep rooted in evidence- based research. Our teachers are self-reflective and enhance their teaching skills and strategies to raise standards across the full breadth of the curriculum.


Impact – What difference does our curriculum make to our children?


We continuously reflect on the impact of our curriculum. Everything we do is centred around the child to ensure strong relationships are built between pupils, their families and staff to create an atmosphere for learning which is conducive to success.

Our impact is evident through observations, questioning, the children’s work and our ongoing assessments of their learning.
The impact of our curriculum is evaluated through key point and end of year assessments and Government tests; through governor meetings; moderations, book scrutinies, learning walks, visits and through our own monitoring of teaching, learning and from our pupil’s voice.
From individual starting points, all our children will make progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically and all children with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes, by being supported closely in school. Their progress is fed back and monitored by our governors.

Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning. This is identified through assessments to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils. Knowledge, understanding and skills are deep rooted and secured to ensure our children have the confidence to apply their knowledge in different contexts and to achieve their highest potential.

Our children will acquire strong communication skills, both written and verbal and listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others. They develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities. Our children are kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society which we reinforce through our Combs Promises.

Children leave Combs Infant School prepared for the next stage in their learning. They will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best. They will demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge. They will have a good understanding of the importance of being kind, respectful, independent and ready to contribute positively in the next chapter of their learning journey.





Teaching and Learning in the Foundation Stage


Teaching and learning in the Foundation Stage is very carefully planned. The curriculum is based upon the new Foundation Stage National Curriculum, which all providers of Early Years Education must follow. We deliver our curriculum through a highly structured environment which incorporates the following areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Education
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

During the teaching sessions, the children have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of activities. They learn with other children in small and large groups. Some activities will be independent and others will be led by staff. Teaching and learning is based on learning through play and structured individual or small group teaching.

Home visits are an essential part of our induction policy for children starting the nursery. The visit enables our staff to meet each child in familiar surroundings where he/she can feel confident and comfortable. Parents can discuss their child’s admission on an individual basis and can share any queries or concerns with staff. Children starting in Reception will be invited to spend a full day, including lunch, prior to the beginning of their first term.

EYFS to KS1 Bridge

This bridging document links the EYFS curriculum into the KS1 curriculum to support the progression of learning. This document shows where there are aspects of the KS1 curriculum that are not covered in the Early Learning Goals, but how we support that learning progression through our provision. For example, there are no Early Learning Goals for shape or measure, but we provide opportunities for the children to explore these concepts and develop early knowledge through play and exploratory provision.


Teaching and Learning in Key Stages 1 and 2

A well-structured programme of transition helps the children transfer smoothly from their reception class into their new class in Key Stage 1. Here the curriculum will progressively change from the Foundation Stage for Learning to one which follows the National Curriculum for key stages 1 and 2. This change is made with great care and sensitivity towards the individual children’s readiness for this change.

School places a high priority on developing the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. However, we also offer the children a broad and balanced curriculum which includes Religious Education, Design and technology, History, Geography, Art and design. Music, and Physical education (PE).


Phonics and reading schemes

In Nursery we use First Class Phonics and in Key stage 1 Read, Write Inc. is used for our phonics and reading schemes.


Further Information

Combs Infant School follows the national curriculum.  You can find out more about the national curriculum here:

For our English curriculum we use a combination of CLPE's (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) and Curriculum Maestro.

For our Maths curriculum we use a combination of Whiterose and NCETM Maths.

We also use the Cornerstones Maestro project based curriculum to ensure all areas of History, Geography, Science, Art and Design in Technology are covered in an interesting, progressive and challenging way. Click on the link below to find out more about the topics we will be covering in Cornerstones. During each topic the children will cover a range of subjects.


We use Barefoot and Teach Computing for Computing, Derby and Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus to teach RE and Jigsaw for RHE and PSHE.

For Music and PE we have external teachers come in to teach these subjects.

The children also have Mindfulness lessons once a week taught by an external teacher.

Assessment at Combs


Assessing pupils' progress is an integral part of teaching and learning at Combs Infant School.


A broad and established range of assessment strategies and approaches are used by staff to identify the next steps in learning and to monitor the progress pupils are making. Assessment is about informed observation, the monitoring of work produced by pupils and effective questioning which enables us to record what both they can do and what they need to do next.


Children engage regularly in self-assessment at an age-appropriate level so that they can explain what they have done well and how they can improve their work.


All pupils attending the school are assessed in line with statutory requirements. An early years foundation stage profile is completed at the end of the Reception year and non-statutory national curriculum tests are administered in the summer term of Year Two.


A statutory phonics screening check also takes place in June in Year One.


Assessment information is shared with parents and carers at each consultation event and through an annual pupil attainment and progress report sent to parents and carers at the end of the academic year.


If you would like further information on the curriculum we teach, please feel free to contact the school directly either by email or phone 01298 813120. 



Please click on the links below for our SEN and Accessibility Plan and class pages.