National Curriculum (Chol)



At Beit Shvidler Primary School we have embraced the new National Curriculum, statutory from September 2014. Click here to see a copy of the new primary National Curriculum. Introducing the new National Curriculum into school gave us an opportunity to review our previous provision as well as offer new opportunities, experiences and challenges for our children. We have commissioned external consultants:

Click to see the new National Curriculum end of year expectations for Reception, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6



A school’s curriculum map shows which topics are going to be taught throughout the school year. In response to the new National Curriculum, we have devised a new curriculum map which includes the statutory requirements, as well as supplementary educational enhancements. For example, the new National Curriculum requires KS2 children to study a period of British history beyond 1066. We have chosen to retain successful and enjoyable topics from our previous curriculum such as the Y6 study of the Victorians, as well as WW2 where we have chosen to emphasise its significance to the British Jewish narrative through the study of Life in WW2 Britain, Anne Frank’s Diary and the Kindertransport. 


Click to see the Curriculum Maps for Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6



A school’s curriculum drivers are the principles that a school holds dear and believes should be the driving forces behind what and how to teach our children. At Beit Shvidler Primary School these are:

  1. Jewish Values and Practice
  2. Enquiry
  3. Relevance
  4. Worldly Knowledge and Scholarship
  5. Britishness and British Values
  6. Diversity


Jewish Values and Practice – this includes developing the children’s understanding of Tikkun Olam which is the Jewish concept of ‘improving the world’ – this incudes social reform, social justice, social responsibility and citizenship. Jewish Values and Practice embrace Torah laws within Jewish tradition which are taught predominantly through the kodesh (Jewish studies) curriculum and are often emphasised through the chol (secular) teaching.

Examples include:

  • The Parasha (weekly Bible portion) curriculum emphasises how we learn from and emulate in our daily lives, the mitzvos (Jewish laws) and middos (good deeds) practised by our great forefathers and foremothers.
  • When studying the NHS in Y2 the pupils make a connection between care for the sick and Pikuach Nefesh (preservation of the soul) via studying the great social reformer, Florence Nightingale.
  • In science and geography Y3 investigate world aid and relief responses to natural disasters. (Siyua VeHatzalah).
  • Y4 study the rights of a child by focussing on Malala Yousafzai, Charles Dickens, Thomas Coram, Barnardo’s, Kids Company and Childline, as well as the UN Conventions on the Rights of a Child (Zchuyot HaTalmid).
  • Y5, through their Rainforest project, discuss our personal and communal responsibility towards the conservation of our natural resources (Haganat HaTevah).
  • Y6 investigate the moral dilemma of putting ourselves out to help others, through their study of the Kindertransport (Ezrah LaZulat). 


Additionally, throughout the school year, we encourage the children to actively develop their sense of social responsibility by facilitating their involvement in charitable causes and events to assist their local and wider community.

  • The school adopts three charities (one national, one Jewish and one Israeli) for which the children collect money though daily collections, as well as through other events such as non- school uniform days, bring-and-buy fayres etc.
  • Our involvement with the charity, Camp Simcha, encourages the children to donate one of their birthday presents to children less fortunate than themselves, as well as to donate a toy to the national Chanukah Toy Drive which distributes toys to all children in hospitals throughout the December period.
  • We have an all year round programme of visiting Sydmar Lodge, a local senior citizens’ care home. In addition, our children perform an annual musical concert at Sydmar Lodge to mark national Mitzvah Day.  
  • As well as participating in year round GIFT national school initiatives, we ensure that our older pupils visit the GIFT warehouse at least once a year to participate in a packathon, preparing packages of food for distribution to those in need. 
  • We participate in the national Jewish Care Bake Day with pupils budgeting for, planning, cooking and selling cakes, the proceeds of which are donated to Jewish Care.
  • Pupils and families make an annual collection at Purim for the local synagogue to distribute to local families in need.
  • We seek out original projects for the children for example creating MP3 musical stories recordings for children to listen to in hospital (in association with GIFT).


Enquiry – each topic is planned around the children’s questions and desires for exploration. We encourage and instil deeper level thinking and problem solving throughout the new curriculum to further challenge the children. Our chol and kodesh teachers ask challenging and searching questions to model and facilitate higher order thinking. 


Relevance – we have chosen topics of study that are relevant to our locality, living in London and being an orthodox Jewish member of British society today. We believe this motivates the children to deepen their learning. Examples of relevance throughout our curriculum are:

  • Y1 learn the names of common trees and plants found in the school and nearby.
  • When learning about the Great Fire of London, Y2 use this is an opportunity to learn about our National Fire Service including a visit from the local Fire Station.
  • Y3’s local history study commences with learning about the great composer, Handel, who spent some of his life living in Canons Park, Edgware.
  • Y4 study London and all it has to offer.
  • Immigration to Britain is investigated during our ‘Britain is Great’ week, including a study of Jewish immigration to Britain, allowing the pupils to investigate their own  individual families’ journeys.
  • Y6 learn about Victorian contributions to modern Britain as well as British democracy.
  • Multi-Cultural and Equality week includes learning about the diversity of Jewish traditions such as Ashkenazi and Sephardi, as well as the rich multi-cultural society  we find in Britain today.   


Worldly Knowledge and Scholarship – we are continuing to prioritise the children’s appreciation of current affairs, the world, past present and future, as well the people and events that have shaped society today. Examples of Worldly Knowledge and Scholarship include:

  • Most science, history and geography units incorporate the study of an eminent person who has contributed to our current world knowledge or development of that topic. This may be through class study or home investigation. Click here to see the range of people studied for our Science topics in Y1 – Y6. Click here to see the range of people studied for our Humanities topics in Y1 – Y6.
  • Each child from Y2 to Y6 gives a current affairs presentation once a year in class, prepared at home.
  • Each Y4 child prepares a presentation on ‘Good News From Israel’ at the weekly KS2 assembly on a topic of interest in Israel, unrelated to war or conflict.
  • Staff plan and lead assemblies emphasising important current affairs or events at the time eg the Scottish Referendum, the Invictus Games etc.
  • Classes plan and present assemblies, often on topical issues or events, such as the Year 4 Remembrance assembly.  Click here to see the 2014 Y4 Remembrance assembly (in progress).
  • Each year we reserve one of our ‘speciality weeks’ for focussing on a major national or local event. The General Election will be the 2014-2015 focus.
  • Towards the end of Y3 the children are introduced to Newsround and First News, a leading quality children’s newspaper, during their ‘What’s in the News?’ unit.  Y4 – Y6 benefit from a weekly class subscription to First News and, where relevant, the teachers show videos from the Newsround website and include appropriate current affairs in their topic teaching.
  • Our curriculum map includes at least one short unit a year learning basic geographical or historical facts. We also have a capital city and river challenge in every school weekly newsletter.


Britishness and British ValuesWe want our children to understand the significance of family values, democracy, equality and tolerance as well as promoting their knowledge of and pride in British institutions. Examples in our curriculum include:

  • The Y1 study of the British Royal Family and what Britain was like when their grandparents were young.
  • Y2 learn about British institutions including the Fire Service, the NHS, the Police Force and London Transport.
  • The countries of the United Kingdom and its characteristics are addressed in Y3.
  • Y4 complete a chronological study of British law, crime and punishment from the Anglo- Saxons to the present day.
  • The different waves of immigration to Britain are studied in Y5 with an emphasis on tolerance and respect within our multi-cultural society, famous British people and religious rights and freedoms in Britain today compared to the past.
  • Y6 investigate the development of British democracy via their study of Ancient Greece civilisation.
  • Our annual Britain is Great week provides an opportunity to study a variety of British themes and topics. Click here to see the curriculum map for our Britain is Great week. During this speciality week, the school celebrates British artists, past and present. Click here to see the curriculum map for British Artists Day.
  • Where possible our science and humanities units are accompanied by a related quality book, which demonstrates strong and relevant moral messages regarding commitment, loyalty, respect and obligation towards our family and friends. We will use these texts in both the chol (secular) and kodesh (Jewish Studies) teaching to support our PSHCE and SMSC frameworks to deepen the children’s awareness and understanding of relationships, tolerance, loyalty, respect and responsibility.

Diversity we are committed to the children learning about a range of eminent people, past and present, who have influenced and contributed to British and Global society. This includes people from the following categories:

  • Men and women
  • White and non-white
  • People with additional needs
  • British and non- British
  • Jewish, non-Jewish and Israeli
  • Contemporary and past
  • Scientists, historians, authors and mathematicians
  • Politicians, artists, explorers and inventors
  • Social reformers and social activists
  • Young people who have made a difference

Other examples of Diversity throughout our curriculum are:

  • In the summer term of Y5, the humanities topic, ‘Why can I go to a Jewish School?’ investigates religious rights and freedoms in the UK today compared to the past,  and includes a comparison to current situations around the world.
  • During Multi-Cultural and Equality week the children have an opportunity to investigate and celebrate multi-cultural Britain and a multi-cultural world within the Equality week.
  • Our annual Disability Awareness week provides an opportunity for the children to learn about issues of disability and inclusion. The children are provided with opportunities to consider how they can shape our community and society to   be more tolerant of and user-friendly towards people with disabilities. They also learn from people who have overcome their disability to succeed and contribute to our world. Click here to see our curriculum map for Disability Awareness week (in progress). During this speciality week, our pupils will have the chance to produce art work accessible to all.



In addition to their kodesh (Jewish Studies) lessons Y1 – Y6 have daily mathematics, handwriting and English-Through-Topic (Learning Challenge) lessons. Kodesh includes the study of Biblical Hebrew through Chumash. We teach Ivrit (Modern Hebrew) as a Modern Foreign Language (MFL). Children from Reception to Y6 receive approximately 90 minutes of Ivrit teaching a week.  Each class also has a weekly PE and Computing lesson as well as a fortnightly music lesson. We teach Art and Design through six dedicated Art and Design days throughout the year. 



Our Art & Design curriculum is delivered through a series of six half-termly dedicated Art & Design days across the year, usually as an integral part of a Specialty Week or Chag (Jewish Festival). For each of these days, every class studies a chosen artist, their life and times, as well as their artistic style with the final outcome being a quality piece of art produced by the end of the day. Throughout the year, each class will study a range of artists and will cover all the required aspects of the Art & Design curriculum through developing their skills with Drawing, Paint, Still life, Contemporary art, 3D sculpture, Architecture & Design as well as Graphic Design / Mathematical Art. 


We follow the new Mathematics National Curriculum.

Click here to see our Mathematics policy.

Click below to see our new mathematics calculation policy documents:

Click below to see our mathematics year-by-year breakdown


To reflect the new Mathematics National Curriculum, 65% - 70% of the maths teaching and learning in school is based around the children developing and deepening their understanding and skills within number and calculation. Children are encouraged to develop and use formal written methods of calculation (column methods) from Y3. At least three times a week, there is an additional teacher in the class supporting individual children, identified by the class teacher, to develop specific mathematical skills and knowledge. In addition, we offer supplementary Y4 – Y6 maths booster groups for children identified as requiring additional support to reach the recommended expected levels as well as for those exceeding Y6 expectations. We work in partnership with our parents and ask that children are regularly practising number bonds and times tables at home. Maths homework is structured to develop the children’s accuracy, fluency and confidence with place value, number bonds, times-tables and calculation. Where appropriate, we consolidate the children’s maths skills in other subject areas. We are also developing our maths enrichment programme whereby children learn about the importance of maths in everyday life. For example, Metrobank (Edgware) deliver a Y5 Financial Awareness programme; Y6 visit the Bank of England museum and we are also developing a programme of parent visits to school for the children to hear how maths is used in a variety of professions.



At Beit Shvidler Primary School, the children are taught to read through the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme.  RWI provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. Alongside this, the children take home reading books, matched to their reading ability, from a range of different schemes such as: Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Phonics Bug/Comics, Jelly and Bean, Flying Boot, Storyworlds, National Geographic and Pocket Facts/Tales/Worlds, as well as access to Bug Club online books to read at home.



Y1 – Y6 children have a handwriting lesson at 8.30am on most mornings.

We use the Penpals handwriting scheme:

We teach cursive handwriting from Y1 and aim for children to be using it fluently and neatly by the end of Y3. We encourage children to use correct letter and number formation from the Early Years in order that this is reflected throughout the whole school. We ask that parents remind their children to use neat, cursive handwriting for their homework.



We teach phonics, spelling patterns and word spelling as detailed in the new National Curriculum.

To find out more information, please click on this Phonics link

Reception – Y2:

Children in Y1 and Y2, as well as any Y3 children who may still require it, receive weekly spelling homework from the Beit Shvidler spellings book. This is a short list of regular phonically spelt words combined with irregularly spelt high-frequency words.


Y3 – Y6:

We use Support for Spelling for identifying effective strategies for teaching the spelling patterns listed in the new National Curriculum. We also teach the spellings of the prescribed National Curriculum word lists. Y3 – Y6 children receive weekly spelling homework consisting of six ‘spelling pattern’ words (related to the spelling pattern taught in class that week) as well as six words from the National Curriculum word lists. We also give the Y3 – Y6 National Curriculum word lists to parents at the beginning of the school year and ask that parents assist their children in learning these spellings.

We are developing a school mnemonics list that will be used consistently in all year groups.

Click here to see the Y3-Y6 National Curriculum word list.


Reading Schemes and Reading Lists

We use a variety of reading schemes throughout the school in order that children experience a range of books and styles that suit their learning style and interests. These schemes include Jelly and Bean, Flying Boot, Rigby Star, Storyworlds, Alphablocks and Bug Club. The Bug Club scheme allows children on-line access to their reading books.

Each year group also has an ‘author of the half-term’ in order to encourage children to read books from a variety of quality authors. We encourage the children to read books written by this author and welcome book reviews and recommendations in class. 

Each child has regular opportunities to select and borrow a book from the school library during their weekly supported library visit. Additionally, emergent readers are individually supported in their book choices with learning support assistants.


English-Through-Topic (Learning Challenge)

We teach the English curriculum (Spoken Language, Reading and Writing including Grammar) through our Science and Humanities (History and Geography) topics. Each class has a rotating schedule of humanities and science topics in their curriculum map.

Click here to see the Curriculum Maps for Y1Y2, Y3Y4, Y5Y6

Most topic teaching is enhanced by the study of a related Quality Text. Teachers use the Quality Texts to immerse the children in the ‘writers’ craft’ so that they can learn grammar in context and can also develop a progressively complex range of writing genres, styles and techniques. Each topic includes at least one guided reading study taken directly from the Quality Text, as well as one extended writing assignment involving the children editing and proof-reading their work. We celebrate the children’s work through our school newsletter and provide examples through indoor and outdoor displays as well as portfolio books for visitors to enjoy in the school lobby.  



Children are encouraged to learn, recite and perform a variety of poetry. At least once every half term, children will learn a poem as part of their English Through Topic studies to recite and perform. The variety of poems chosen includes modern, classical, familiar rhyme, hiakus, acrostic and historic poems. 


We follow the Switched on Computing  program for the children to learn the new Computing curriculum. Each class has one computing lesson a week in our ICT suite. Children are encouraged to use ICT to further their learning, for example for research and presentations. Our e-safety policies and procedures ensure that children are empowered and protected in the safe use of the internet. We invite parents in to the school annually to learn about e-safety at home.



Our music curriculum is delivered by an external specialist music teacher with the Foundation Stage receiving a weekly session and Y1-Y6 fortnightly. Additionally our twice-weekly KS2 assemblies include guided whole school singing to support our kodesh and chol learning. Children learn songs connected to their British and Jewish heritage as well classical and topic related songs. Our end of year and special productions are enhanced by the experience and tuition of the specialist music teacher. Furthermore Y4 pupils benefit from weekly recorder lessons delivered in conjunction with the local authority.

We provide opportunities for parents to purchase peripatetic individual music sessions in guitar, keyboard and violin for their children during the school day. A reduced rate is offered for children in receipt of the Pupil Premium.


SRE (Growing Up and Relationships Education)

We offer a variety of ‘growing up’ sessions in Y6 encompassing personal hygiene, puberty and body changes and personal wellbeing, as well as managing relationships both in person and digitally. 



Sport plays an important part in school life. We have been awarded the Sainsbury’s School Games Silver Kitemark for PE and the Healthy Schools London Silver Award in recognition of our strong PE, sporting, health and wellbeing achievements. Engaging PE lessons run by a specialist PE teacher make use of a wide range of PE equipment and technology, such as flip cameras, to enable students to review each other’s performance. At breaktimes students have a wide range of equipment which is fun to play with and support their physical development, for example gliders (bicycles without pedals) for Early Years to help younger students to develop their balance. Playground games/clubs are designed and run by our Y6 Bronze Ambassadors. There is a wide range of before school, lunchtime and after school sports clubs led by PE staff and external agencies, which vary each term but have recently included football, dance, athletics, cricket, karate, netball, circuit training, long-distance running, chess and hockey. External agencies provide expert coaching from time to time, most recently in cheerleading and tag rugby, giving our students access to unique sporting opportunities, such as being able to be mascots at a Saracens match. Outdoor adventure trips to Mersea and Danbury feature climbing, archery, caving, orienteering and team challenges, developing children’s self-esteem, teamwork and confidence. Students regularly participate in Barnet and Maccabi matches, competitions, fixtures and festivals.


Details on the use of our Sports Grant funding can be seen at: