Arbourthorne Community Primary School

Arbourthorne Community Primary School

'... a place of joy, inclusivity and learning' OfSTED 2022

Curriculum Overview and Literacy through the Curriculum

The School’s Curriculum Aims 

We want our children to love learning and to see that it plays the most important part in their futures.  The school is committed to engaging parents in partnerships and encourages parents to take an active role in supporting their child’s learning at home as well as in school. 

Our curriculum builds on pupils’ strengths, interests and experiences through our ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’ and is designed to develop children’s confidence to learn and work both independently and collaboratively with others. Skills, knowledge and concepts run through our curriculum from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 6.  Each term the curriculum focus is based on one key subject driver (Autumn - Geography, Spring - History, Summer - Science). All the other foundation subjects and R.E are mapped into each term making meaningful connections between learning in different subjects.

Whatever a child’s starting point when they arrive at Arbourthorne, we aim to teach children the essential skills in reading and writing and teach a breadth of subjects. Getting children reading is crucial and this is our focus in school. Your child will take home a reading book each night and we encourage you to take an active role in getting them reading every day.

Children in our school have the opportunity to explore the Arts such as film, theatre, dance, music and the visual arts.  We have an artist in residence that enriches the curriculum in school. 

The curriculum promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) and in particular, principles for distinguishing between right and wrong.  It develops their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their own and others’ beliefs and cultures, and how these influence individuals and societies. It promotes equal opportunities and enables children to challenge discrimination and stereotyping.  It develops an awareness, understanding and respect for the environment beginning with the school grounds and extending to the world beyond. 

The school’s curriculum promotes pupil’s self-esteem and emotional well-being, based on respect for themselves and others at home, within school and the community.  It prepares them for the next steps in their education, training and employment. The personal development of children, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant role in their ability to learn and achieve.

Our 6 Part Learning Challenge Planning Sequence

Our Learning Challenge Curriculum is a six part process each term and is fluid and responsive to the needs of our learners. It highlights the fundamental aspects that must be covered and also gives opportunities to develop from children's current starting points and interests.

Part 1. Whole school overview of themes. This shows the whole school and parents what is happening where and when. 

Part 2.a - National Curriculum Coverage Long Term Yearly Overview (A3 sheets per year group. Approx 3)- This shows termly spread of allocated National Curriculum Coverage and the key skills for the year. These have been divided up to match the theme/ year group.

Part 2.b - Progression of Skills, Knowledge and Concepts through school from Foundation Stage to KS2 concepts within subjects that run through the curriculum are clearly identified within our curriculum plans. 

Part 3. Medium term planning: Termly knowledge and skills Progression: the skills and knowledge progression sheets show what skills and knowledge are being taught in each year.  Extra content is added when we follow children's additional questions and interests.

Part 4. Short term planning: translating the skills progression into action is our planning on a lesson by lesson basis and shows how we map the learning over the term. This shows how the medium term plan works in action on a day by day basis and how we include wow moments (trips, dressing up, drama, visitors, performances etc and work towards an authentic outcome (a real purpose to the activities planned which is meaningful to the children)

Part 5. My Learning Journey- a pupil and parent visual to show how the term will evolve and the major areas of study in brief.

Part 6. Knowledge mats (with vocab highlighted and key facts) 

Thank you to Owler Brook and Hucklow Primary Schools for sharing their curriculum planning structure and proud books, which we have adapted and modified when reviewing and developing our planning, teaching and assessment sequence for the Arbourthorne and Gleadless.

Example of Y4 full planning sequence

See below examples of our full planning sequence from Y4. This is the sequence for the Spring Term (Curriculum driver: History). We have these in all year groups for all subjects.

 Copy of Part 2_ Y4 National Curriculum Coverage - Long Term Yearly Overview.docxDownload
 HISTORY Y4 2021-22 - Learning Challenge Spring Term.pdfDownload
 Medium Term Y4 Knowledge and Skills Progression- Part 3.pdfDownload
 Part 1_ Whole School Yearly Overview 2021-22.pdfDownload
 Part 2b_ Geography Progression of Skills, Knowledge and Concepts .pdfDownload
 Y4 History My Learning Journey.pdfDownload
 Y4 Knowledge Organiser - Invaders and Settlers1.jpgDownload
 Y4 Part 4_ Short Term Planning - Invaders_History Spring Term.pdfDownload
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Literacy and the Curriculum


We encourage a love of reading! We celebrate this by making sure children have cosy spaces to read. In reading areas and around the school you’ll find familiar books, teacher favourites, author studies, current interests, comics and newspapers to motivate and inspire learners. We share and discuss book choices with each other. Children know their teacher’s favourite authors and books, and class reads are displayed on classroom doors. Children are read to every day. Taking guidance from the CLPE ‘Power of Reading’ project teachers select high quality, engaging texts that will inspire a love of reading, generate discussion and become a catalyst for writing. We foster a sustainable reading culture with events and activities designed to hook children into reading.

We are determined that every child is a fluent reader or well on the way to being fluent before they leave our school and accelerate progress for those starting who may need a rapid boost. We use a synthetic phonics approach (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds) where children are taught sounds in words and can read texts using their phonic knowledge. We prioritise early reading so that all children achieve early success and see themselves as readers. We accelerate reading progress and ensure that pupils do not fall behind through small group reading instruction, higher frequency teacher intervention, reading volunteers and 1:1 reading mentors. Vulnerable readers are a high priority for all of us and we have high expectations around all children becoming readers. Life chances and choices increase once a person can read and write. We see any barrier to this as a hurdle to overcome before children leave our school. We work with St Wilfrid's English Hub as a partner school with a focus on accelerating the progress in reading made by lowest 20% of readers. 

We actively encourage pupils to read outside of school whenever and wherever they can; we have a tailored approach to celebrating reading in each class and reading to children daily as a minimum - children enjoy rich texts and experience a breadth of new vocabulary. Colleagues know which pupils require further support and what that support must be, and provide as many opportunities as possible within the school day to ensure all pupils are spending the time they need to read. Everyone visits our local and school library regularly including parents, staff and volunteers.


We encourage a genuine engagement in writing as part of a creative and cross-curricular English curriculum. Our integrated programme of Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing, Punctuation and Grammar aims to develop our children’s abilities in a way that helps them make links between the different areas of learning. We know that good readers are confident writers, and that to write it children need to be able to say it first, so our sequence for teaching writing specifically interrelates the requirements of the English national curriculum. Our creative, broad and balanced approach recognises the importance of making purposeful links across our ‘Learning Challenge’ curriculum, and of celebrating meaningful writing experiences for our pupils. 

Our writing curriculum follows National Curriculum guidance to ensure high expectations are set for the age or stage that the child is working at. We provide appropriate support and challenge for pupils, using a range of strategies and resources to ensure all pupils are able to be successful in their writing across the curriculum.

‘Big Write’ sessions are an exciting and purposeful opportunity to write independently and build writing stamina. These take place throughout school at least every other week. They are preceded by a ‘Talk Homework’ where children and families are given the writing task to discuss at home as pre-learning.


We believe everyone can succeed in Maths. Our teaching of maths follows mastery principles, and is based on the White Rose scheme where all children are taught their year group objectives together and select learning challenges according to their understanding. We use White Rose maths resources to offer children challenging and exciting maths learning opportunities.

We teach mathematical concepts through a wide range of approaches with lots of practical and visual support to help children fully understand the concepts.

Same day intervention is used to support children’s next steps and address any misconceptions.

All pupils are encouraged to think deeply through mathematical reasoning and problem solving with opportunities being offered to reach a greater depth of understanding.