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The Firs' Scheme of Work


Our Firs' Scheme of Work sets out the learning in science and all the foundation subjects (history, geography, art and design, music, design technology, computing, physical education,  PSHRE (personal, social and health and relationships education) and French). It also details learning in religious education.


Creating the Firs' Scheme of Work

In creating the scheme of work, we reviewed the design of our curriculum in these areas and looked at a range of aspects that we wanted as the key drivers behind the makeup of our curriculum e.g.

  1. What we wanted to develop a ‘Firs’ Mindset’ (which we defined as the values and approaches to life we wanted our children to live by and hold to).

  2. The knowledge and skills we wished to develop in addition to those set out in the National Curriculum.

  3. The gaps in children’s knowledge, skills or awareness that we perceived, associated with the context of our local environment, location or general pupil characteristics.

  4. Our understanding of what ‘Cultural Capital’ meant to us at The Firs and in each year group, how we could give children the chance to experience it.

For example, when we thought about a 'Firs' Mindset', we prioritised the following 20 aspects:

  • Caring and thoughtful

  • A belief in equality for all

  • Tolerant of other faiths, ways of life and ideas - open minded

  • Being respectful and polite to everyone; ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ used instinctively

  • A good ‘moral compass’

  • Showing respect for the possessions of others

  • Happy with a sense of fun!

  • Healthy in body and mind; understands emotions and knows when to seek help

  • A growth mindset including:

          -A positive sense of self, their ability to improve and pride in their achievements

          -A belief that mistakes are ‘powerful’ as we can learn from them



          -Ready for a challenge

          -Positive when receiving constructive feedback

  • A good ability to socialise and make healthy relationships; a good team player

  • A confident ‘have a go’ attitude

  • Calm, dealing with conflict appropriately

  • Curious, with and a love of learning

  • Independent (e.g. dressing, personal hygiene, organising things they need and in learning!)

  • Respectful of the natural world, with an understanding of the challenging environmental issues we face

  • Articulate and confident when speaking, and a good listener

  • Good concentration

  • Ambitious

  • Adaptable

  • Patient

All the details about the drivers behind our curriculum can be seen in the Scheme of Work document attached below.


The Firs' Themes

We identified 4 additional strands of learning we wanted to pursue with our children, to reinforce and  compliment the work on the National Curriculum. We have named these strands the Firs' Themes.

Firs’ Theme


  1. Healthy Bodies and Minds 


  1. To ensure that children know about keeping hydrated and the key aspects in ensuring they eat a balanced diet.

  2. To provide opportunities to get enough exercise in school and to learn about the need to keep fit and healthy.

  3. To support children in recognising their own emotions and the feelings of others and to begin to understand how our emotions influence what we do.

  4. To help children to know about mental health, what it means, ways to look after their own and how to seek help.

  5. To make sure children know the dangers they may meet online or when messaging, ways to keep themselves safe and how to get help.

  1. Developing Me! 


  1. To provide opportunities to explore moral issues and personal qualities, so that children develop an understanding and appreciation of The Firs’ Values.

  2. To explore our 22 values in more depth, looking at how they shape the community we live in.

  3. To help children to understand and embrace the aspects of a Growth Mindset.

  4. To support the acquisition of good teamwork skills and an ability to work successfully with others.

  5. To teach the personal skills that will develop children’s independence and self confidence.

  6. To enrich children’s learning by giving opportunities to experience traditional games, nursery rhymes, songs, fairy tales and texts from the canon of great children’s literature.

  7. To teach children about some of the great artists, musicians and scientists of the past and to feature their work and thinking in the art, music and science curriculum.

  8. To develop children’s appreciation of and provide opportunities to experience, a range of traditional sports, whilst developing associated skills.

  9. To begin to learn about and discuss gender and race equality issues in Y4 and begin to learn some of the history behind the moves for emancipation in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

  10. To be given opportunities in Y4, to discuss and learn about age appropriate current affairs.

  1. Forest Schools and the Environment 


  1. To learn about the natural world around them, including local trees, wildlife and the seasons.

  2. To understand the problems facing the environment (including global warming, pollution, waste management and impact on the natural world) and ways we can take action to tackle issues.

  3. To be aware, at an age appropriate level, of current affairs relating to environmental issues. 

  4. To benefit from forest school’s work that develops practical skills, teaches about the natural world and gives opportunities to support outdoor learning in other curriculum areas.

  5. To develop social skills, independence and to foster self belief and confidence in Forest School sessions.

  1. Our Community 


  1. To develop an appreciation of the values and rules needed to support a successful and happy community.

  2. To learn at an age appropriate level, about the different roles and functions offered by members of the community (both male and female) beginning to awaken ideas about future interests / careers e.g. police, doctors, nurses, vets, firefighters, scientists, engineers, retail etc.

  3. To learn about Democracy in Year 4 and ensure children begin to understand how our democracy works.

  4. To learn about Ampthill and the area they come from (in its historical and cultural contexts).

  5. To learn about and develop an appreciation of different cultures, including those in nearby towns and globally.

  6. To learn about and respect the religious beliefs of others.

  7. To develop a basic understanding of French culture and life, to compliment MFL French work and to capitalise on Ampthill’s relationship with its twinned town Nissan-lez-Enserune.

  8. To have opportunities to meet, talk to and value the contribution and experience of older members of our community.


Knowledge and Skills Maps

We have created Knowledge and Skills maps for our Firs' Themes, science and for each foundation subject, to indicate what we want children to know and be able to do. 

This is to ensure that the curriculum is planned and sequenced well, with staff being able to see where the current lesson is rooted in the sequence of learning from the previous year, later in the current year or into the next year.

Below you can download a summary of our Firs' Themes, an explanatory text about how we evolved our curriculum and the Firs Scheme of Work itself.


Planning in the moment

We want children to enjoy their learning and make rapid progress with the acquisition of appropriate knowledge and skills. In designing our curriculum we have taken account of what is deemed as best early years practice. This is why the majority of children’s learning experiences in YR are planned following the ‘Planning in the moment’ principle.

“In the moment” planning is a very simple idea – observing and interacting with children as they pursue their own interests and also assessing and moving the learning on in that moment. The written account of some of these interactions becomes a learning journey.

Through our interactions with children we build a picture of both their interests and the next steps they need to develop their knowledge and skills. We use this information to plan experiences for the children that capture their interest and develop their learning.

The YR Scheme of Work

There are areas of knowledge and key skills that we need to ensure that we build into children's experiences in YR however and these are set out in the Year R Scheme of Work, which is downloadable below.