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The Primary Curriculum
“The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.” 

The Primary National Curriculum in England

At Horsforth Featherbank Primary School we have worked together using the new framework for the National Curriculum in England to plan a curriculum that is enquiry and skills based, developing and expanding the core knowledge that is set out in the 2014 national curriculum.  It reflects the needs and interests of our children and is often inspired by those needs and interests.  It is, by its nature, an evolving and flexible curriculum, that provides a progressive development of skills and knowledge, and seeks to build on the prior knowledge and learning of the pupils at our school.  All pupils should be excited by the learning opportunities the curriculum provides, and be enabled to make good progress in an inclusive, nurturing and stimulating environment.  We seek to develop opportunities for pupils to become independent, take risks and be curious about the world they live in so that they will all become happy, successful and confident learners.


Curriculum Intent - What are we trying to achieve?


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is inspiring

Through a variety of approaches, which include theme days, educational visits, practical and real life experiences and outdoor learning, in our school and the local environment, teachers plan activities that engage and stimulate children’s learning whilst enriching the curriculum content in a creative, stimulating way.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is empowering

Children are taught to be effective, independent learners who develop growth mind sets. This enables them to develop the resilience needed to be intrigued by their mistakes and enjoy challenge, whilst fostering a life-long love of learning.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is child-centred

Where possible (and particularly in Early Years) teachers plan learning experiences that reflect the children’s own experiences and interests. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and work proactively to drive their critical thinking skills. We encourage children to be curious about every aspect of the curriculum, and use questioning to deepen their understanding.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is challenging

At Featherbank, we believe that every child can learn and so we use appropriate challenge to enable every child to grow and progress in a  language-rich environment. Children develop positive attitudes towards learning and are always eager to succeed and become the best learners that they can be.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is inclusive

Featherbank Primary School is a highly inclusive mainstream school that caters for a diverse range of backgrounds, needs and abilities. In order to achieve our vision: “Every child safe, every child happy, every child growing”, we have worked hard to design a curriculum that meets the needs of all our pupils, regardless of any barriers to learning they may have.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is nurturing

Our PHSE curriculum allows children to explore issues and feelings in a safe environment. They learn how to keep themselves healthy (physically and emotionally), safe (in the real world and the digital world) and understand how to respect the views and beliefs of others. Our dedicated staff team provide strong pastoral support for all children and this provision is further strengthened by the introduction of our new Learning Mentor.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is community-inspired

Here at Featherbank, we have a secure understanding of the need to work in close partnership with the children’s families and the local community in order to enhance our curriculum further. We aim to ensure that children develop a sound understanding of themselves and their place in the world around them, and we aspire to prepare them to be active citizens in adulthood.


 Featherbank Primary School’s curriculum is fun

Above all, we want our children to enjoy school and make the most of every opportunity given to them. We love nothing better than seeing happy, smiling faces and know that our very best learning comes from enjoying what we do. We know that our fun, engaging and interactive learning activities make Featherbank a place where everyone grows together and creates happy memories. 


Curriculum Implementation – How do we organise learning?

Throughout our curriculum we teach skills, knowledge and creativity. Children are given first hand learning experiences through a thematic curriculum.

Statutory expectations across Early Years Foundation Stage – Prime and specific areas

  • In Reception, children's learning is based on their own interests and projects developed around these. Key themes in the Early Learning Goals are addressed in provision areas and focus activities throughout the year depending on the project. Click here >> for the Development Matters guidance. For information on how we teach phonics please  click here>> for the Letters and Sounds document.

Statutory expectations across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 – National Curriculum subjects

  • Across Key Stage 1 and 2 we have designed our English curriculum to meet the needs of our children. Reading skills are explicitly taught through VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, retrieval, summary). The teaching of vocabulary is planned in across curriculum subjects to ensure maximum understanding. Writing is linked to our topics so that children have a purpose for writing.
  • Across Key Stage 1 and 2 we follow the White Rose Maths hub as a framework to teach the National Curriculum with additional focus around arithmetic to meet the needs of our children.
  • Science is taught through the topic where possible, but can be taught as a discrete subject if necessary; Science teaching is further supplemented by a scientific investigation each half term focussing on “Working Scientifically”.
  • Computing is taught discreetly but applied in many areas of the curriculum.
  • Other National Curriculum subjects are taught through a knowledge and skills based curriculum that links to the class topic, where appropriate.

Additional subjects – RE (Religious Eduction), PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education), RSE (Relationships & Sex Education), e-safety

  • RE is taught through the Leeds Agreed Syllabus; PSHE and RSE have been adapted for our children and families and taught through the "You, Me, PHSE" scheme of work. E-safety is taught through PSHE and also through computing lessons.

Enhancement opportunities 

We have worked hard to enhance our curriculum with as many trips and visitors as possible. We believe that children learn best through experience and an enhanced curriculum is a quality curriculum. Examples of our enhancement are listed below. 

  • A memorable experience to start or end the topic,or to enhance knowledge acquistion in the middle.
  • Regular opportunities to share achievements in assemblies and other whole school events.
  • Regular opportunities to contribute towards learning and be involved in decision-making that effects the whole school through pupil voice groups.
  • Opportunities to represent the school through sporting events and musical/dramatic performances.
  • Opportunities to join a wide range of clubs and extra-curricular activities after school.
  • The opportunity to play the guitar or violin.
  • Regular opportunities to work with the local community e.g. Leeds Rhinos, Horsforth Walk of Art
  • Opportunities to perform in plays and other dramatic and musical performances.
  • On-going opportunities to learn through practical, hands-on, investigative activities e.g. growing fruit and vegetables, cooking, etc
  • Opportunities for a residential visit in  and Year 6


Impact – How do we know we are achieving our aims?

We evaluate the impact of our curriuculum on children through the following accountability measures:

  • Attainment and progress of children are at least good
  • Good behaviour for learning is seen throughout school
  • Children attend school regulary and are on time for learning
  • Healthy lifestyle choices (physical and mental) are adopted by children
  • Children are fully prepared for secondary education
  • Children are fully prepared for positive involvement in society