The Curriculum

The Curriculum at Bushvalley

We aim to provide all our children with the widest possible range of curriculum experiences. We keep up to date with educational change and adjust our teaching methods to keep in line with the demands of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

School Polices have been written for all areas of the curriculum and these are reviewed, evaluated and updated regularly by the staff and Board of Governors.

Schemes of work have been prepared for each year group, ensuring the correct balance of subjects. Children in Primary 1 to Primary 7 are taught the main areas of learning; Language & Literacy, Mathematics & Numeracy,  ICT, The Arts, The World Around Us, Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PDMU), Physical Education & Movement & Religious Education.

Foundation Stage Curriculum

In Primary 1 and Primary 2, the children enjoy learning through an enriched curriculum centred on a play- based learning approach. The children enjoy a wide range of indoor and outdoor play opportunities.  Most recently our outdoor learning has been developed through an outdoor classroom area and outdoor play trail.  We also have an extensive range of outdoor play equipment.                                          

Language & Literacy

Foundation and Key Stage One are taught phonics through a synthetic phonics programme which is carefully progressed from Primary 1 to Primary 4.

The children are given the opportunity to develop their reading skills across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books. Our reading schemes include; Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn, Rigby Star and Big Cat Phonics.

Children at Bushvalley also have the opportunity to extend their reading skills through the Accelerated Reading Programme.  This programme enables pupils to read a book, take an online quiz and then receive immediate feedback.  With the regular feedback, we have found that the pupils are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.

To find out more check out the Accelerated Reader website below.

Physical Education

All pupils have two, one-hour sessions of PE each week.   

Primary 5 to Primary 7 go swimming at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre.

Primary 6 go swimming in Term 1, Primary 7 in Term 2 and Primary 5 in Term 3.  At the end of each block of swimming lessons, the children are tested and given distance and life-saving certificates according to their performance.                                                  

Religious Education

We have assembly every Tuesday morning.  This is taken monthly by the Rev M Jones and the Rev K Crowe. On the other weeks each class take it in turns to lead an assembly.

Primary 1 to Primary 7 follow a programme of Religious Education. This encourages our Christian morals and values.                                      


Music is taught to all classes and includes singing and the use of percussion instruments.  

Music tuition is available to all children from Primary 2.  String and Woodwind Tuition is provided by tutors from the EA Music Service. 

We also offer private piano, drum, guitar and singing lessons.

Assessments & Reports

Pupil's progress is continuously monitored throughout the school year.

Standardised Tests are used from Primary 3 to Primary 7 to assess the progress of each child and each class.

End of Key Stage Assessments from Primary 4 and Primary 7 are also carried out annually in keeping with statutory obligations.

Parents are invited to meet with teachers to discuss their child’s progress in October and February.   

Please note all parents are welcome to meet with teachers at any time throughout the year to discuss their child’s progress.                               


A little formal homework is required at Primary 1 and Primary 2.  It is most helpful if parents hear children read regularly and complete the tasks with their child.  

From Primary 3, children will have spellings and tables/number facts to learn, increasing in volume, with age, up to Primary 7.  Children also complete written Literacy and Numeracy homeworks.

Educational Visits

These are viewed as a vital part of a child’s educational and social development and all children are encouraged to take part in educational visits throughout the year. The visits range from half-day and day visits for the younger children, to a duration of two days for Primary 6 to Primary 7.

Primary 6 and Primary 7 have previously enjoyed trips to Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, where they have had fun at Old Trafford, Alton Towers, Museums and other places of interest. 

Children's Mental Health

At Bushvalley Primary School we recognise the importance of Children's Mental Health and Well-being.                 

Children's Mental Heath and Well-being is addressed frequently through workshops, curriculum activities and trained professional counsellors.  

Policies related to the teaching and learning at Bushvalley can be found in the Policies Section.