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Castledawson Primary School

Curriculum and Assessment


At Castledawson Primary, as outlined in our vision, we are committed to providing the highest standard of education possible to our pupils. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum which is tailored to meet the needs of every individual. We are an inclusive school and believe strongly in every child's right to the best opportunities and experiences. Every child is valued and included in all aspects of school life.

Curriculum Areas

The Foundation Stage (Years 1 and 2), builds on the valuable work undertaken at Pre-school level.  Teaching is at a pace which is developmentally appropriate for very young children.  There is a strong emphasis on play-based learning and personal, emotional and social development.  At this stage we seek to develop the skills and competencies they will need to succeed in school and future life.

Pupils in Key Stage 1 (Years 3 and 4) and Key Stage 2 (Years 5, 6 and 7) build on the experiences provided at the Foundation Stage.  Pupils are encouraged to make connections in their learning and see the relevance of what they are studying.  Continued emphasis is placed on personal, social and emotional development as well as an explicit emphasis on the development of skills in Communication, Using Mathematics, Using ICT and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.  These are developed through the six learning areas:

  1. The Arts (Music, Drama, Art and Design)
  2. Language and Literacy
  3. Maths and Numeracy
  4. Personal Development (emotional development, learning to learn, health and relationships, understanding in the local and global community)
  5. Physical Development (knowledge, skills and understanding in a range of physical activities)
  6. The World Around Us (Science and Technology, Geography and History)

We offer Mathletics, Accelerated Reader and Reading Eggs to complement the curriculum. We have 32 iPads in school so infusing ICT throughout the curriculum is well established as we create further learning opportunities and experiences for all children. We are committed to ensuring activities are enquiry based and through effective use of questioning and plenaries, children are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills. Our lessons are active and emphasis is placed on learning outdoors as well as developing scientific skills. 

More information is available in our Curriculum Policy and Teaching & Learning Policy available in the policies section of this website. 

SEN Support

Appropriate support and challenge is provided in class ensuring we extend those who are gifted and talented while supporting those who need additional reinforcement of learning. Additional adult support is provided within the classroom setting and also with outside agencies where necessary. 

Reading Partners is a successful programme offered to children who lack confidence in reading. Children benefit greatly from the programme and become more confident and competent readers. Lexia is also offered to children who benefit from additional literacy support. At Castledawson PS we continually aim to meet the needs of all our pupils, so social and emotional support is also available in the form of nurturing strategies whole school, specific nurture provision in our nurture room, sensory breaks and breathing/ calming techniques timetabled in every class daily as well as fine motor skills development - exercises to develop muscle control in partnership with the OT. 

Further details are outlined in our SEN and Inclusion Policy.


In Castledawson Primary School we are committed to identifying early on barriers to learning and recognising children who may require support or challenge. Regular assessment for learning and of learning takes place (weekly, termly and yearly tests including use of standardised tests) which provides us with information on pupil progress. More details are outlined in our Assessment Policy.