Curriculum Overview

We base our curriculum on the Government Curriculum. You can find out more about this at


image003In every subject area at Carlyle we encourage children to learn through a cross-curricular approach, making real life connections where possible. In English the units are inspired by the topics we are learning about incorporating stories where appropriate.

The main aim of the English curriculum is for pupils to develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. In each year group we build on what they have been taught previously to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. On a day to day basis we give children the opportunity to write narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations. This supports them by rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.


As part of our whole school approach to Phonics we use the Government guidance, Letters and Sounds. This works progressively through phases according to the children’s ability. More information about this can be obtained from your class teacher at parent interviews.



Mathematics is important in everyday life.

The Mathematics teaching and learning at Carlyle Infant School is geared towards enabling each pupil to develop within their capabilities; not only the mathematical skills and understanding required for later life, but also an enthusiasm and fascination about maths itself.

It is important for mathematics learning to move through stages, practical, visual, moving to abstract. Learnt facts, knowledge, reasoning and being able to make connections with learning and concepts and challenges are also important.

Active learning, exploring, creating and thinking critically are important skills. We aim to make independent learners who can select equipment they need to meet a challenge. So classroom resources are to hand and all reasoning and methods are valued.

In Mathematics we strive for an ethos where ‘having a go’ and ‘keep trying ‘are the main ideas. We support our children to develop the skills they need to tackle problems, by having a classroom culture where all children are happy and secure in having a go and one where questioning and deep thinking are valued.


image012At Carlyle Infant School children explore Science in a variety of hands on and investigative ways, focussing on understanding why things happen and making good decisions using scientific knowledge.

In Key Stage One the children are encouraged to develop their scientific skills through; asking questions and discovering ways to answer them, making observations, performing tests and gathering and recording data. The children explore a variety of Science topics such as; animals, humans, plants, light, sound, electricity, forces and materials.

In Foundation stage Science is taught through the strand of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ (KUW). This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Plans are currently underway for a STEM week next year where the children will look at how Science integrates with Technology, Engineering and Maths. We are really looking forward to bringing the four subjects together in exciting and creative ways!

Art & Design

Art DesignArt, craft and design are of course important aspects of the children’s education as they embrace a wide range of activities and experiences that form a major part of all our lives. Here at Carlyle Infant School, Art is an important part of the school curriculum and provides a vital means of communication for pupils, enabling them to make personal responses and to express themselves.  We aim to encourage enthusiasm and enable pupils to produce lively and expressive work using a range of art, craft and design materials and processes. We develop the children’s understanding and appreciation of art, artists, and designers work. We further the children’s understanding of colour, form, texture, pattern, line, shape and space, and help them to make thoughtful judgements and practical decisions to enable them to become involved in shaping their environment. We enjoy whole school art days and run an after school Art club, which takes place in the Spring Term. Most of all we aim to explore, investigate, create, and have fun!

Design and Technology at Carlyle Infant School prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world.  Creative thinking encourages children to become problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. They are encouraged to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and making products. Through the study of design and technology they combine practical skills with those of reflection and evaluation. We aim to encourage enthusiasm, enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making things, by providing exciting learning experiences that stimulate and inspire the children.


image002At Carlyle Infant School we recognise the breadth of children’s’ achievement both curricular and non-curricular. It is important that we assess to inform the next steps in learning and teaching. We involve children in the assessment of their own learning; track their progress through each Key Stage and set learning targets, some of which may be quite challenging, to move learning forward. Our assessments are continual, review progress and inform planning to meet the needs of the children. Teachers and teaching assistants use observation, discussion, professional judgement, test materials and products to assess children’s attainment formally and informally. Teacher assessment and standardised tests are used to show progression within each year group. Official Government tests for year two children are administered in May and are used to inform teacher assessments. In Year One, Phonics Screening is administered following DFE guidelines in June of each academic year. Children either pass or fail, and those who fail will be re-screened the following June, in their Year 2 year. Our marking concentrates on learning objectives and sets targets by identifying next steps. Marking is not always written but includes discussion with children (class/group/individual) and rewards such as smiley faces, picture stamps, stars and stickers are given. All staff use our own devised marking system which is displayed in each classroom.

Department for Education Performance Tables


image011At Carlyle Infant School, we recognise the importance of computing and strive for the integration of this vibrant subject within all areas of the curriculum. Computing is a tool for teaching and  learning, and it provides a platform for children to achieve their potential.

Our aim is to make learning fun so we have developed schemes of work to ensure this.

In our Foundation Stage children learn basic skills such as mouse control, selecting tools and colours by clicking, simple word processing, recording sounds and voices, controlling a remote controlled car and beginning to be aware of how technology is used to help us with our every day lives.

In Key Stage One the  following topics are taught:

  1. Data Handling – create pictograms, bar charts and data charts to answer simple questions, store, present and analyse information in a variety of ways.
  2. Modelling – explore on screen activities that represent a real situation, compare on screen and real situations, and create their own fantasy worlds.
  3. Datalogging – use a data logger to measure and record environmental conditions, display this information on screen and consider every day devices that use sensors.
  4. Text & Graphics – enter, rearrange, edit and correct text, begin to add pictures and clipart to texts and learn how text and graphics can be changed in appearance to present information.
  5. Control – give simple instructions to floor and on screen robots/sprites to make them move in a certain way and learn how to use a sequence of instructions to achieve a goal, with both floor and on screen robots.
  6. Digital Research – explore simple web pages to search and record information about a topic and compare information sources and the information they provide.
  7. Multimedia & Digital Imaging – take photographs and develop skills to create simple multimedia presentations with images, text and sound.

We buy into two schemes, ‘Education City’ and ‘Espresso’, which are used across the curriculum in all classes, and can also be accessed at home via our schools’ website.

Foundation Stage 2

In FS2 we have 3 guided sessions per day where children are invited to work with a grown-up. If the children are not working with an adult they are encouraged to be independent learners, either choosing their activities or completing activities set for them. In addition to this, children take part in 20 minutes of phonic learning and 20 minutes of guided reading.

The unit is set up so the children can access a range of learning areas to cover all aspects of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. These areas include…

  • Creative table
  • Reading corner
  • Writing table
  • Role play areas
  • Sand and Water

  • Construction
  • Computers and IWB
  • Small world
  • Fine Motor skills
  • Outside classroom

Every morning, we begin our day with 50 minutes of Free Flow time.  This gives us an opportunity to make observations and talk to the children about what they are learning. Children are encouraged to learn independently during this time, adults will play alongside the children.

In FS2 we currently assess our children against the Early Years Foundation Stage Ages and Stages Profile. Children meet milestones according to their age band, 30- 50 months, 40-60 months and 17 early Learning Goals.

We monitor the progress of your child using observations and photographs to build up a whole picture of how your child learns. If you would like to tell us about any milestones that you feel your child has met, we would be very happy to hear from you.

Healthy Schools

image009At Carlyle we promote healthy living through encouraging physical activity and educating our children about the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

We encourage walking to school both in order to keep fit and to look after our environment by reducing our carbon footprint.  For those rushing off to work maybe parking half way and then walking to school, the park and stride scheme, is an option.

We run a weekly competition encouraging the selection of healthy choices for those having a school lunch as well those bringing a packed lunch.  A certificate is awarded to the class receiving the most tokens for healthy choices, this is very popular with our children.

Our recent registration with the Colin Bloomfield Sun Safe scheme will enhance our delivery of keeping safe in the sun.  A message I am sure you will agree is important for everyone throughout their life time.


Our children learn about changes within their own life times in Foundation Stage and explore these concepts through play. In Key Stage 1, our children begin to learn about changes within living memory and changes beyond living memory, studying historical events such as The Great Fire of London. Our children also learn about figures of historical importance such as Florence Nightingale. We also study events and people from our local area. Children learn about the importance of sequencing events through chronology. They also learn how to describe events in history, using specific descriptive, technical and conceptual vocabulary.


In Foundation Stage, our children learn about their own environment and how it is different from others. They explore these concepts through play. In Key Stage 1, our children begin to learn about the continents and oceans. They learn about the countries of the United Kingdom. Our children also learn about similarities and differences between places in our locality and in the wider world. They look at the physical aspects of the world such as beaches, cliffs, towns and the countryside. We also study maps from our local area, our country and the world. Wherever possible, we use our extensive school grounds to extend our knowledge and geographical awareness.



The music curriculum aims to inspire and encourage every child to believe that they have the ability to explore and communicate through music. It is taught through class music lessons, collective singing practice and focused sessions. The children learn about the elements of music, how to compose and read from simple scores, perform to an audience and formulate opinions about a range of musical styles.

Each week there is a whole school singing assembly, where we share a range of songs, including more traditional Hymns.  The Foundation Stage also meets once a week to share rhymes and action songs.  Currently Year One is also having weekly singing lessons with the Derby Music Partnership and are working towards a performance in assembly.

Music Day is an annual event, which is a day when we celebrate all the children’s musical abilities and all learning is based around music. This year we had the challenge of composing a school song. Each class rose to the challenge and the day ended with a very lively whole school performance. We were also lucky enough to have a visit from Hot House Music, who inspired us with their musical energy and showed us that we can all be musicians!

Physical Education (P.E.)

image008In the Early Years Foundation Stage P.E. is focused around developing the fundamental movement skills, based around a series of story based exciting activity books, produced by the Youth Sport Trust.  The importance of movements with increasing control and coordination is embedded throughout the curriculum in promoting a physically literate child.

Children in the late Foundation Stage will start to prepare for the Key Stage 1 curriculum experiencing Gymnastics, Dance and Games lessons.  During these fun pack lesson children are further developing their A,B,C’s – Agility, Balance and Coordination.

During Year 1 and 2 equal time is given to Gymnastics, Dance and Games.  Children continue to develop the fundamental skills they need to take part in Games based activities with an awareness for tactics to outwit an opponent. Striking and fielding games develop coordination and help build cooperation and team work skills. During Gymnasts movement and balance with control are performed and progress into repeated sequences.  Whilst in Dance children develop movements inspired by music and topics, creating, repeating, performing and evaluating using a range of different genre.

At Carlyle we are supported by the Derby City School Sports Partnership, Derby County Coaching in the Community and Deda in providing both after school sports activities and enriching our P.E. curriculum.

PSHCE – Personal Social Health Citizenship Education

PSHCEWe have a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. As part of a whole school approach, PSHCE develops the qualities and skill set pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.

The children undertake a Road Safety course in Year 2 “TOGO and NOGO” delivery by Derby City Council and we have an annual Road Safety Week. This year we focussed on “Be Bright Be Seen” other years we have investigated Cycle Safety and Car Seat Belt Safety.

The children also learn about E Safety and how to protect themselves using computers and interactive media.  As our children are very young we teach them to only use the internet when they are with an adult.  We encourage them to discuss any concerns straightaway with their adult.

We have an annual “Anti Bullying” week where we share ideas about kind hands and words.  We discuss the importance of saying “No” to bullies and speaking to an adult if somebody is upsetting or hurting them.  We do stress that bullying is an unkind action that happens repeatedly.

Religious Education


Our school is filled with many faiths, cultures and beliefs. Therefore we place great importance on ensuring each one is celebrated, understood and tolerated by all children and staff. We achieve this through a rich and varied RE curriculum which embodies not only British values but also those of the community. The children are encouraged to question and debate the meaning of faith and realise that not all questions can be answered.

The children learn about other cultures and countries, whilst looking in depth at their own faith. We actively encourage family members to come in and share their customs with the children. So far this year we have had parents visiting to teach Bhangra dancing, the traditions of Chinese New Year and Diwali traditions.

Each year group takes part in an educational visit to a place of worship; including a church, Gurdwara and a Mosque. The children use these visits to enhance their understanding of religions and their role in the wider world. They begin to make connections between faiths, particularly their symbols, traditions and practices.