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How we plan our curriculum

At Holywell Primary we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and in the idea that both adults and pupils learn new things together.  At Holywell Primary learning is defined as:  The process of acquiring the essential Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills and Habits required for deep understanding. 


We believe learning should be engaging, creative and personalised and a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all.  Teaching and learning at Holywell is focused on developing rich dialogue between teachers and pupils, pupils and their peers and within the wider school community.  We understand everyone learns in different ways and seek to plan lessons and topics which will enable children to be active participants in their learning.


Through a knowledge and skills-based approach to learning we encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing what strategies and tools help to learn and how well they have mastered their learning.  We achieve this by developing a curriculum that offers children the opportunity to develop key thinking skills and learning habits on a daily basis.


Learning at Holywell

We believe people learn best in different ways.  At Holywell, we provide a rich and varied learning environment which allows all pupils to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.


Through our teaching, we aim to:

  • enable pupils to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
  • foster pupils self-esteem and help them to build positive relationships with other people;
  • develop pupils self-respect, encourage them to understand the ideas, attitudes and values of others, and teach them to respect other people's feelings;
  • show respect for a diverse range of cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudes towards other people;
  • enable pupils to understand their community, and help them feel valued as part of it;
  • help pupils grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.


Provision is designed to advance understanding and knowledge gradually through a key stage.  Lessons are not an event in themselves.  They are part of the process of learning and therefore we do not expect pupils to complete learning within a lesson.  Many lessons will carry on over several days or even weeks until a pupil is showing the required degree of understanding. 


Learning objectives define learning outcomes and focus teaching. They help to clarify, organise and prioritise learning.  The learning objectives are the measurable stages a learner will go through as part of the process of learning in order to advance and deepen their understanding.  Many lessons will involve multiple learning objectives, some of which may be encountered for the first time whilst others are being revised in a new context.


Planning our curriculum

Our curriculum starts with the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum and we create learning opportunities by teaching through thematic topics.  Our curriculum is designed to enable all pupils to experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.


We know learning is a change to long term memory and progress is an ongoing process of knowing more and remembering more.  Through the effective delivery of a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which shows opportunities to deliberately practise activities that over time embed and deepen knowledge, our children will be able to make connections between topics and build a conceptual understanding.


Throughout our whole school curriculum, we have woven 6 threads which shape the topics we have chosen to teach.   The 6 threads are:


  1. Our Relationships
  2. Equality and Diversity
  3. The Environment
  4. Our Rights
  5. Keeping us Safe
  6. Learning from the Past


It is our intention for pupils to develop a sound understanding of each of these threads throughout the school across all curriculum areas.  The 6 threads ensure we give our pupils appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities and provide them with the vital knowledge required to be thoughtful members of the community helping them to understand how their behaviours, choices, beliefs and actions can have a significant impact on themselves, others around them and the world. 


Curriculum Mapping

Our curriculum is mapped in the following way:

  1. Progression maps are created using the National Curriculum and Curriculum Essentials.
  2. Yearly overviews are created to map out progression of knowledge and skills across the year for each subject.
  3. Medium term plans are then made, often with an enquiry based question as a starting point and the key concepts that will be covered that half term/term.
  4. The knowledge children need to acquire is placed into knowledge organisers for children to refer to in their lessons. 
  5. Lesson PowerPoints are created making reference to learning objectives, key knowledge and vocabulary and outcomes.