Wider Curriculum

Wider Curriculum

At Orchard Vale we encourage parent/teacher communication. Please feel free to talk to your child’s class teacher about any questions you may have about your child’s learning and how you can help to support it outside of school. You can use your child's Teams or Tapestry to keep in touch with your class teacher or email orchardvale@ventrus.org.uk with details and we will ensure someone replies to you as soon as possible.

Design and Technology

Design and technology is a practical and inspiring subject.  Here at Orchard Vale, the children use creativity and imagination, alongside rigorous design and make techniques, to produce high quality products.  They progress through a range of different skills, from simple joining techniques to more complex mechanisms and electrical systems. All our DT projects are linked, where possible, to our termly topics.   

Our aim as a school is to provide our pupils with the technical and practical skills needed to perform everyday tasks confidently, and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.



Pupils use a variety of different tools, including tablets and laptops, to explore various ways of researching, exploring and presenting work.  

They learn how to employ ICT skills to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. 

These devices are fully portable, and are used throughout the school site to enhance learning in every subject, and they utilise the Wi-Fi, both within the classrooms and outside areas, such as the forest school. 

Each classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard and has a number of class iPads, which are used to support all areas of the curriculum, and each child has a Microsoft Teams login. This enables work to be set online and allows children to access teaching and learning wherever they are. It also allows them to interact with their teachers and receive feedback on work completed online. 

Through our computing curriculum, pupils experience a wide breadth of study, looking at hardware and software, programming, internet safety and word processing skills. This allows them to see the benefits of technology and how to really make the most of the technology rich world we now live in.

Pupils are taught computing through whole-class and group teaching, which may involve presentations and practical activities. It is taught both as a discrete subject and as an aid to support learning across the curriculum, for example researching of topics that are being taught. 

To ensure that we are covering all areas of the curriculum, we use resources from the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). This allows us to keep all children on track as they work their way through the years at Orchard Vale. 

We take internet safety very seriously at Orchard Vale. We have a clear policy that we all follow when teaching. This ensures that children understand the importance of keeping themselves safe online, and what they can do to minimise any potential risks. This policy is available for you to read if you would like to know more.



The school values music education and aims to inspire children to develop a love of music, whether this is through listening, composing or performing. The school uses a scheme called Charanga and all children take part in regular class music lessons, where they are introduced to music from different time periods and genres. They have opportunities to create their own music in different styles, using both instruments and technology and, by the end of their time at Orchard Vale, children will have developed an understanding of the different dimensions of music, such as pitch, tempo and structure.  

Singing and playing musical instruments are also important in the children’s musical experiences. When staffing permits, children can join the choir or learn a musical instrument. The choir has sung at different local events, including the Devon Music Mix, and children have learnt to play instruments such as violin, clarinet, keyboard and percussion. These lessons take place during the school day, when children come out of lessons to work with peripatetic teachers in our purpose-built music room. 

At Orchard Vale we aim to in still in children a love of learning about the past and how this has impacted the future and will continue to do so throughout time. 
In our Early Years provision children explore changes in; the environment, people around us and objects old and new. Introducing on new vocabulary and asking questions about other and the world around them. 
In KS1 the children explore significant people for example, Neil Armstrong, and the impact they have had on the world. They also learn about significant events, ranging from the Great Fire of London to more recent history such as the deforestation of rainforests and the impact these events have had. 
In Lower KS2 the children look at history from a wider timeline, studying the Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age, through to the Vikings and Ancient China leading up to more recent history such as new inventions. The children explore how these events happen in a chronological order and the impacts these have had on each other and the progression of the world.
In Higher KS2 the children begin to make comparisons between different cultures and civilizations throughout history. The look deeply at WW1 and WW2 and focus on the impact these have had worldwide. The children will think about cause, change and consequence across historical events, they will take part in discussions and debates based on their historical knowledge and research.

We strive to offer high-quality Geography education that inspires pupil’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching equips 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. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. 

Here at Orchard Vale Community School We aim to ensure that all pupils: 

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes. 

  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time. 

  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to: 

  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes. 

  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 

  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length. 

Subject content 

Pupils at Orchard Vale Community School extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. 

Pupils are taught: 

Locational knowledge 

  • locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities. 

  • name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features. 

  • (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

  • identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night). 

Place knowledge 

  • understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America. 

Human and physical geography 

  • describe and understand key aspects of: 

  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. 

  • human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. 

Geographical skills and fieldwork 

  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied. 

  • use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world. 

  • use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies. 

Physical Education 

Here at OV, we look to use PE and School Sport to inspire and encourage children to live a healthy and active lifestyle. We promote an ethos where children are motivated to improve their skills in a range of sports. During their time at OV children will take part in a range of sports such as football, cricket, netball, curling, cross country, golf, dodgeball, rounders, netball, hockey, tennis and gymnastics. These games allow children to learn the fundamental skills from within the national curriculum as well as learning how to play fairly, officiate games and win and lose in a competitive environment. 

We as a school recently achieved the GOLD school sports mark (July 2022) which is something we are extremely proud of.


Art and Design

We give every child the opportunity to experience Art and Design opportunities of quality and we encourage children to develop the creative aspects of their characters.

The children are taught the handling of different media, including painting, drawing, printing, clay work, collage, textiles and 3D design through a balance of observation, imaginative work and critical studies.

We have achieved ‘Gold Arts Mark’ status for our creative work in Art, Music and Dance.


Sex and Relationship Education

Sex and Relationship Education is a small part of our health /PSHE programme. Governors, Teachers and Parents have all been consulted on a Policy to introduce this topic in the best educational and informative way, and this has been integrated into the curriculum during the Summer Term.

The Policy includes answering questions sensitively and with consideration for any social, cultural and religious factors. The natural development of the subject means that we would explain fully all aspects of the physical and emotional changes experienced by children as they reach puberty.

We also make sure parents are informed when the children will be watching the video so that they can follow up any questions that may be raised at home. If parents would like to know more about our work in this area, we would be delighted to discuss this further.


PSHE: Physical, Social & Health Education and Citizenship

PSHE is a vital part of school life and one which the school promotes strongly. This work supports our pupils to becoming good, caring citizens of the future.

Our aim is to develop each child’s awareness of themselves and their ability to take responsibility for their own social, physical and mental well-being.

PSHE is taught using the scheme 1decision.

The 1decision vision

In an ideal world, children would arrive at school socially developed and ready to learn but this is not always the case. As such, high-quality life skills education is essential for all students to reach their full potential. 1decision provides an interactive bank of resources which supports PSHE, RSE, Health education, SMSC development, and safeguarding.

Mapped to the PSHE Association’s Programme of Study, our resources help children to develop the skills needed to manage difference influences and pressures, as a part of their personal development. Our unique suite of resources allows students to experience challenging situations in a safe environment.

During their time at primary school, children will encounter many of life’s challenges for the first time. 1decision aims to provide children with the knowledge and skills needed to lead safe, healthy, and happy lives.


R.E. and Collective Worship

We are continually encouraging the children to value themselves, each other, their environment and their own world. It is regarded here, as very important, that they are tolerant of others’ views and actions. In order to help meet these aims we follow the Devon Agreed Syllabus on Religious Education and Collective Worship.

This allows the children to develop an awareness of themselves and their place in society, their relationships with others and to show sensitivity towards the natural world. It fosters an understanding of why certain experiences of life are shown through celebrations, rituals and symbols and study is made of religions, other than Christianity.

Everyday the children experience some form of Collective Worship. These sessions are as varied as possible to keep the experience worthwhile, meaningful and enjoyable. To support high quality delivery of Collective Worship we use Simply Collective Worship. Please see https://simplycollectiveworship.co.uk/ for more information or visit our policies page to view our Collective Worship policy.

If the parents of any pupil requests that he/she be wholly or partly excused from attendance at collective worship or a Religious Education lesson, a letter to request this should be written to the Headteacher, alternative provision will then be made available.

Promoting British Values
The school actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
These values are exemplified in our curriculum, through collective worship and through our core values which determine how we lead our lives in school and how we prepare children for their role in society.
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