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The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

  1. To give children appropriate experiences to develop as confident, aspirational citizens
  2. To provide links with our local and wider community to make learning relevant and purposeful
  3. To provide a coherent and structured curriculum that blends skills and knowledge

Our drivers shape the curriculum, bring about the aims and values of the school and respond to the particular needs of our community:

Communication: we listen, express ourselves, collaborate and perform with confidence

Exploration: we are curious to dig deeper, make links and have new experiences

Creativity: we are reflective and use our imaginations to problem solve and create something new of value

As a Unicef Gold Rights Respecting School and Nurture UK School, we promote children’s rights and the British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of others.

Our curriculum is based on research, with three main principles underpinning it:

  1. Learning is social. Children learn best when doing so with others. Lessons encourage interaction and collaboration.
  2. Learning is associative. Children are encouraged to look for links and build on their prior knowledge.
  3. Learning results in a change in long term memory and therefore cannot be assessed in the short term.


A coherently planned academic curriculum, underpinned by our drivers, sets out:

  1. A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered including detailed component knowledge/ skills
  2. The ‘big ideas’ children should understand (composite knowledge/ skills)
  3. Criteria for progression within the big ideas
  4. Criteria for assessing understanding

The diagram below shows a model of our academic curriculum structure for non-core subjects and Science:

  1. The curriculum breadth for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. It also provides key knowledge within subjects and has been carefully selected to ensure progression, relevance and purpose.
  2. Threshold Concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and permeate through all units.
  3. Milestones describe subject specific, broad objectives and span two academic years e.g. Milestone 2 for Y3-4
  4. Big Ideas draw together the component knowledge into one overarching question to encompass the unit.
  5. Units contain clear component knowledge that is linked to the milestones and summative assessments
  6. Assessment: pupils first develop their Fundamental (F) understanding of the concepts and acquire new knowledge. They then progress to an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding as they show they can apply the knowledge acquired in the Fundamental stage.

Breadth – How we determined our breadth

We determined the breadth of our curriculum by considering the specific needs of our school community and the cultural diversity within it, ensuring learning is relevant and purposeful. For example, as a Right Respecting School, the rights of children appear across subjects as do opportunities to learn about our city and the importance of migration and diversity in making it a special place. Our breadth includes the study of aspirational role models and it provides opportunities to extend the children’s cultural capital. All subjects within the National Curriculum are included in our breadth with subjects taught discreetly, enabling children to believe they could become scientists, historians or geographers of the future. Our ambition is to provide our children with the best opportunities to become confident and aspirational citizens.

Links and Progression

Links are included in our breadth and are made explicit for the children. These links help children make connections between their prior learning and their new learning. The more links children make the easier it is for them to ‘remember’ new knowledge. Links are made within and across subjects and within and across year groups.

Teaching and learning focuses on the threshold concepts, the key disciplinary aspects of each subject, and these are repeated many times within and across year groups. The milestone statements, defining the standards for each big idea, guarantee teaching for progression (knowledge and skills) across year groups.

Sustained Mastery

Image property of Chris Quigley

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memory. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term.  Our assessment process therefore addresses the following two questions: ‘How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content?’ and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’


The long-term plan specifies the content to be taught across each year group.  The medium-term plan provides the detail (components) for each year group and a clear end point (composite). The drivers – ‘Communicate, Explore, Create’ – are incorporated into the plan. For example plans, please see downloads at the bottom of the page.


The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build knowledge, make connections between different knowledge acquired and use it to explore and create. When pupils begin working within a new milestone they are likely to be working at a fundamental stage. By the end of the milestone, most pupils have sustained mastery of the content, e.g. they have fluency in procedural knowledge (skills) and strong, semantic understanding and they are assessed as working at an advancing stage within the milestone. Some pupils demonstrate a greater depth of understanding. Their use of procedural knowledge (skills) is automatic and they use their semantic knowledge to make connection that are not obvious. These pupils are assessed as working at a deep stage within the milestone.


Assessment in foundation subjects and Science allows children to show whether they have achieved a fundamental, advancing or deep understanding of each milestone.

Formative assessment opportunities; retrieval questions linked to prior learning, low stakes quizzes. These are used throughout the unit.

Summative assessment opportunities; end of term teacher assessment based on evidence in books and observations of learners in lessons.

Impact is monitored through:

  • Teacher assessment
  • Assessment data tracking for progress and attainment
  • Pupil Progress Meetings
  • Lesson observations
  • Learning walks
  • Work scrutiny
  • Staff collaborative monitoring
  • Pupil focus groups
Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
Stanley Grove Primary Academy
Parry Road, Longsight
Manchester M12 4NL
Ofsted CEOP