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In the eyes of God, every child matters, every moment of every day

In the eyes of God, every child matters, every moment of every day

Core Curriculum


Head of English - Mrs Purser

Year 6 Teacher 2021-2022

Kate Purser - I graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge with a B.Ed in English in 2003, and have worked at several Cambridgeshire schools before joining Buckden Primary in 2010.

Whilst at Buckden School, I have taught in years 1, 5 and 6, but have spent the majority of my time as a Year 6 teacher, where I particularly enjoy the challenge of preparing our children for their transition to secondary school.

I have a passion for both English and the Performing Arts and during my time at Buckden, I have organised two whole school productions – Buckden School Showcase – at The Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre in 2017 and 2019, which was an absolute pleasure and thoroughly enjoyed by children, parents and staff alike.

In more recent years, and as joint English Lead, I have worked closely with Voice 21 to develop the teaching of Oracy in our school.  Providing children with the opportunity to explore, debate, question and perform has undoubtedly empowered them to become more confident writers and has enabled us as a staff team to raise standards of both reading and writing across our school.

I currently work as a Year 6 Teacher and English Lead at Buckden, and I feel very privileged to work in a school which actively seeks out and supports new initiatives and ideas to improve the teaching and learning for our children.

Reading Subject Leader - Mrs Heal

Reception Teacher 2021-2024

Prior to becoming a primary school teacher, I was an Editor of children's books in New York City and London for 10 years. I earned my bachelor's degree in English from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After working in public relations in New York City for a year, I got my Masters in International Publishing from the University of Stirling in Scotland. I then began my publishing career in New York City, which I continued when I moved to London. When my sons began to attend primary school, I was fascinated by the primary school curriculum and the breadth of subjects taught within it, so I volunteered at my sons' school. Nothing thrilled me more than to share my vast collection of children's books with my sons and the best part of the day was when the four of us cuddled up in bed and read. It was during this time that I applied, and was accepted, to undertake a PGCE at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge.

I have now been teaching for 15 years and have been fortunate to teach in all year groups -- from Year 6 to Reception. I am extremely proud to be in Reception where we lay the foundations for all the future learning the children will undertake. And I firmly believe that the most important thing that children learn in Reception is how to read. Reading opens up new worlds, therefore it is paramount to me that we have a robust phonics programme, which creates engaged and enthusiastic readers. In addition, it is also of the utmost importance that children read for enjoyment. Studies show that children who read for enjoyment are empowered to succeed in many areas -- not just in academics. With our school curriculum being based on the Sustainable Development Goals, empathy and understanding of our world and our role as stewards of our planet are further developed by the books we read.

In a recent survey, the children in our school said how much they love being read to, by both their parents and their teachers. It has been such a pleasure planning World Book Day for the past 2 years and experiencing the delight of the children to have a day devoted to books. It has also been an honour to oversee the re-organisation of the school library and creating a space for children to explore books that appeal to them. We continue to develop close ties with our local community, in particular the library, and we host book fairs on our school site. I hope to continue to promote a love of reading throughout our school and look forward creating a whole school passionate about books.












National Curriculum English 

The Primary Curriculum changed in 2014

The curriculum aims to promote high standards of language and literacy, by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love for literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions of reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Buckden and the New Curriculum

All children receive quality first English teaching on a daily basis and activities are differentiated accordingly. This time will be allocated as English lessons including grammar, punctuation, reading, spelling and handwriting sessions. In addition, it is expected that cross-curricular links will contribute to pupils learning in speaking and listening, reading and writing.


Pupils have access to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. A wide range of reading material is available at each child’s personal reading level.

We provide plenty of reading opportunities for children. These include:

  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Regular independent reading
  • Home/school reading
  • Hearing books read aloud on a regular basis
  • Selecting own choice of texts including ICT texts
  • Reading whole texts
  • Reading in other subjects including ICT texts

Additional time is provided on a regular basis for reading, supported by the Accelerated Reading (AR) scheme; most children access this at the start of Key Stage 2. There is time set aside for independent reading, using the library, listening to whole class stories and research linked to other subjects.

The school has a well-stocked library, featuring fiction and non-fiction texts that are accessible to readers at any stage in their learning. Each classroom also has its own library/reading space, which features books chosen by the teacher. Books that are part of the AR reading scheme are easily identifiable by a sticker on the spine. Books that are not part of the AR scheme are also available as part of reading for pleasure and children choosing books that interest them, but may not be part of a scheme.


Pupils have access to a wide range of writing opportunities that include:

  • ‘Talk for writing’ as an integral part of the process.
  • Shared writing
  • Guided writing
  • Independent writing
  • Writing different text types and narrative styles
  • Writing in different curriculum areas
  • Handwriting practice
  • Collaborative writing
  • Writing related to own experiences and enjoyment
  • Writing from a variety of stimuli
  • Planning, drafting, editing and presenting
  • Using ICT

Head of Maths - Mrs Anderson

Year 5 Class Teacher 2023-2024

I have been teaching here at Buckden for 10 years, both as a language specialist and as a class teacher.

I have had the opportunity to teach from EYFS to Year 6 as a HLTA and in Year 1, 3, 4 and 5 as a class teacher.

More recently, I have become Maths Lead, something I am proud and passionate to be involved with. I have taken part in Maths for Mastery training and was instrumental in embedding mastery within Buckden School alongside Mrs Farmer.

Looking ahead, I will continue to promote my love and enthusiasm for Maths across all the school stakeholders and within Buckden as a community.

Maths CPD Lead - Christina Farmer

Year 2 Class Teacher 2023-24

I have been teaching at Buckden since my NQT year. I have taught in Year 4, Year 3, and Year 2 with some time spent covering PPA.

I trained at Plymouth University with a Mathematics Specialism element.

I have taken part in a Mastery for Maths peer group study and Sustaining Mastery with the Maths Hub. I am working with the NCETM and Maths Hub and am a Maths Mastery Specialist. Working with the Maths Hub, I have lead work groups for schools to start or embed their maths mastery approach, as well as running groups to improve Subject Knowledge for Teaching Maths. I have also attended a selection of courses hosted by different maths groups. These have covered; bar model, mastery in maths, and problem solving (Nrich).

From working with the NCETM and Maths Hub our school now uses Power Maths, White Rose and NCETM resources to support the mastery approach and ensure consistency in teaching maths across the school.

Maths Support Lead - Laura Conlong

Year 1 Class Teacher 2023-24

Early Maths Development Support - Mrs Heal - Reception Teacher 2021-2022

Our aim is to develop children into confident mathematicians who are able to use mathematics as a tool in a wide range of activities both in and out of school. Throughout the school the children are involved in mathematical activities which cover the key areas of mathematics: Number and the Number System; Calculations; Solving Problems; Measure, Shape and Space and Handling Data. This is taught through a mastery approach which every child has an opportunity to access. 

A high priority is given to teaching children mental strategies and written methods to support their ability to calculate independently and use both basic and more advanced numeracy skills as they move through school. The use of calculators and computers is vital to the children’s learning, therefore all children have opportunities to explore and use these teaching resources to enhance their mathematical knowledge and understanding.











The National Curriculum

The national curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 

Head of Science - Mrs Tarpey 

Head of Lower School & Year 2 teacher 2021-2022

Prior to becoming a primary school teacher, I was a research scientist for approximately 20 years. I hold a first class honours BSc in Biological Sciences and I have a PhD in Biochemistry. My research scientist career was primarily in the field of cytogenetics and genetics. Whilst my career was fulfilling and rewarding I wanted to experience an entirely different career and was hungry for a new challenge. My interest in teaching was fuelled by experiencing my children’s educational experiences as a parent helper in their school. I decided to undertake a PGCE at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge, a decision I have not once regretted.
I am currently in my eighth year of primary school teaching where I have gained experience in years 2, 3 and 4. In my fourth year of teaching I became KS1 lead and last year this transitioned to Head of Lower School (years 1-3). I have held the position of science lead for five years. I find primary science an incredibly inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable field to be a part of. Children are natural scientists with inquisitive minds and a never ending interest in the world around them. This is why leading primary science in our school is a pleasure.
Our science curriculum at Buckden, has been greatly enhanced by our school curriculum being based on the Sustainable Development Goals which strive to ensure a more hopeful future for our planet. An interest in science and developing young scientists will be a crucial contribution to achieving future success in protecting our planet. It is hugely rewarding to teach science with frequent opportunities to add meaningful context to the children’s scientific learning through topics such as Life on Land which is SDG #15.
I have particularly enjoyed planning (alongside my colleagues) science events including assemblies, visiting scientists, workshops, mini-conferences, innovation days, dress up days, science weeks and promoting the teaching of science through art and stories.

We have developed multiple outside areas to promote the love of plants and animals including a ‘quiet area’ offering children a space to be calm during their busy school day, a wildlife area incorporating a huge bug hotel, a school gardening area which is now used to run SEN interventions and an outdoor space outside my classroom. We have also had a school allotment for the last four years which is the site for frequent gardening clubs.
Between September 2018 and March 2019 we undertook a PSQM programme for our children and our school. This process ensured the quality of primary science teaching in our school was of a high standard and was embedded in our school ethos. We were awarded a Primary Science Quality Mark GILT award which we are extremely proud of.

My future aspirations include to further promote outdoor learning, to continue to provide a range of scientific learning opportunities for the children in our school and to develop a science library.






Science curriculum

It is our intention to help children develop skills and knowledge that will equip them with the skills and attitudes to prepare them for life in our ever-changing scientific world. We aim to build on children’s enthusiasm and natural sense of wonder about the world through practical skills.

This quote underpins the ever evolving nature of Science and the teaching of Science within our school. Science is a core subject alongside English and Mathematics. Each child takes part in 2 hours of science each week which develops their scientific enquiry skills and also their knowledge and understanding of a range of science topics through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. These are experienced through practical enquiry, development of scientific vocabulary and fun activities. The children are given many opportunities to apply their skills through their science lessons. Regular assessment informs both child and teacher and then empowers the children to become independent, inquisitive scientists.

Pupils are also encouraged to combine interest and curiosity with a responsible attitude towards health and safety, as well as respect for living things and the physical environment.

The school has a number of habitats to act as a resource for some aspects of science teaching. These include an environmental area with a pond, vegetable boxes, flower beds and wild flower areas.

This is Scientific Sam, this image represents how science is viewed at Buckden C.E .Primary Academy.

Can you spot our principles and all the scientific topics represented?

We are very proud that we have received the Primary Science Quality Mark

  • PSQM

Primary Science Quality Mark is a school improvement programme for primary science, which provides professional development for around 600 new and experienced subject leaders each year. PSQM enables confident, knowledgeable, reflective leadership
which results in an improvement in the way in which science is strategically planned and taught across the whole school.


  • Enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science. The process of achieving a PSQM raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school.
  • Supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. Working with an expert hub leader subject leaders evaluate current provision for science and put in place a development cycle that leads to sustained progress in science across the school.
  • Ensures strong and positive impact: Children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally. Teachers and children enjoy their science lessons.

What are the Primary Science Quality Marks?

There are three different Primary Science Quality Marks to ensure that all schools can achieve the accreditation. Primary Science Quality Marks are intended to be school appropriate, and provide a framework for improvement and development in leadership and provision, whatever the starting point.

The PSQM self-evaluation and development framework consists of 4 aims (5 for PSQM Outreach), identifying goals for:

  • science subject leadership
  • science teaching
  • science learning
  • wider opportunities

To achieve a Primary Science Quality Mark, schools submit evidence of the impact of a range of activities required to meet one of three sets of PSQM criteria that define the aims:

The criteria are differentiated for each Primary Science Quality Mark to ensure that there is appropriate challenge and development for all schools, whatever their starting point. Over 60% of schools begin with PSQM, but for some schools, where effective leadership is already embedded, the other quality marks provide the right development goals.



Science Cultural Capital  

Ada Twist, Scientist review: Brilliant children's TV for the curious | New  Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist is a TV series available on Netflix. Ada is an inquisitive 8-year-old with a passion for science. The episodes are packed full of scientific facts and learning opportunities

A review of the series is available to read in the NewScientist here: 

There is also a great series of books which promote women in science

Do you know who Mary Anning is?

Mary Anning was a palaeontologist. She was born in 1799 to a poor, working-class family, but made numerous ground-breaking discoveries, including a 5.2m (17ft) skeleton, now known to be an ichthyosaur, when she was just 12 years old.

Recently a campaign has raised £100,000 to have a statue to commemorate her and her contributions to palaeontology.


Model of Mary Anning statue superimposed on a photo of the location next to a footpath beside the sea

Click here to read all about a recent discovery of an ichthyosaur at Rutland Water

Palaeontologists working on the Ichthyosaur skeleton found at Rutland Water

It is possible to visit The Sedgwick museum in Cambridge for free and see an Ichthyosaur for yourself!