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Borrow Wood Curriculum Framework

At Borrow Wood Primary School we provide a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each key stage. Our curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school.


Our aim is that our curriculum ensures that our pupils:  


·      Progress well and reach and exceed their potential academically, physically and artistically

·      Read easily, fluently and with good understanding

·      Acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written and spoken word

·      Are fluent in the fundamentals of maths, reason mathematically and solve problems

·      Develop resilience

·      Focus on finding ways to resolve problems  

·      Know how to keep themselves healthy and safe

·      Respect diversity

·      Develop a mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths, beliefs and viewpoints 



At Borrow Wood, throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, subjects are taught discretely, as individual subjects, but we do make cross curricular links that enable children to apply knowledge and skills in other areas. 


English, Maths, Reciprocal Reading and Phonics in Key Stage 1 are taught daily. P.E. is taught twice a week. Some subjects are taught weekly in the main e.g. Science, R.E. Music, French (in Key Stage 2), P.H.S.E. and Computing. In some subjects e.g. History, Geography, Art and Design and Design Technology, teaching may be blocked (e.g. 3 afternoons of learning focused on a subject/topic). The timetable is often used flexibly by staff e.g. in the event of extended Science Investigations or Enrichment Days.


In addition, when making decisions on the organisation of time and using time effectively in lessons, consideration is given to:


·      When to build in time to practise and revisit skills so that learning can be embedded more deeply

·      When to build in time to apply skills 

·      What needs regular sustained practice

·      What can be practised in the context of something else

·      What needs to be ‘drip fed’ taught



Subject Leads have devised progression maps in their subject areas showing the progression of knowledge and skills in each subject from Year 1 to Year 6. These support staff when planning sequences of learning, as they give a clear overview of knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage. 



A clear system is in place across school for the sharing of the learning objective at the start of each lesson, so that children understand the goal of their learning for the lesson. Steps to success or success criteria are shared with the children too, to help bring about improvement and new learning, and make children aware of the elements needed in their work.


Learning targets are revisited during the lesson and at the end of lessons so that children have an opportunity to consolidate their learning. 



Lessons are carefully planned taking children’s starting points and prior attainment into account. Stickers at the beginning of every piece of work indicate the Learning Objective, and steps to success are carefully broken down and differentiated as appropriate for different groups of learners. An additional challenge is indicated too.



Each half term, staff devise a Knowledge Organiser linked to the Science, History or Geography learning. The Knowledge Organisers set out the important knowledge we want every child to know by the end of the unit. Their purpose is to:


·      help children memorise important knowledge and have certain knowledge ‘at their finger tips’ and retain for the longer term 

·      make it really transparent for the children (and parents) in terms of what they are expected to learn

·      help children understand and use key vocabulary linked to a topic


All children take a copy of their Knowledge Organiser home and parents and children are encouraged to look through them regularly. Parents are given guidance about how they can support their child with learning key knowledge and new vocabulary.


In class, staff regularly refer to Knowledge Organisers and build in regular retrieval practice through, for example, quizzes.



Towards the end of a unit of work in some subjects including Science, R.E. Geography and History, pupils are set a ‘Mastery Question’ to answer. These questions require children to think deeply and apply their knowledge. Often, as children progress further up the school, they need to use higher order skills such as making comparisons, citing evidence and summarising.



We aim to provide the children with as many ‘hands on’ learning experiences as possible. As part of this, we offer a wide range of enrichment activities at Borrow Wood. These include a comprehensive range of visits and a range of visitors coming into school from a variety of backgrounds. These activities support our teaching of the National Curriculum and our wider school curriculum as well as promoting our aims to ensure that children respect diversity and develop a mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths, beliefs and viewpoints.



Formative assessment for the Core Subjects and Foundation Subjects consists of responsive teaching strategies i.e. responding and adjusting teaching in lessons. Short skills checks are used too. 


Summative assessments in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, and Maths take the form of tests at the end of each term. (Evidence from on-going assessments are also taken into account). Writing is assessed and moderated by staff against the age related objectives. 


Gathering evidence for summative assessments in the Foundation Subjects and Science can take the form of:


·      Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group, and in classes

·      Questioning, talking and listening to children

·      Considering work produced by the children together with discussion about this

·      Assessing extended written responses to the Mastery Question


Three or four assessment statements are selected to assess against towards the end of a unit of work. 



English lessons across school begin with a short revisit so that children have the opportunity to revisit and consolidate previous learning. 


Spoken Language

We have developed a range of systems and strategies in school so that children develop a strong command of the spoken language and develop a wide vocabulary. These include:


·      Having a strong focus on vocabulary on the Knowledge Organisers

·      Using correct, varied and rich language ourselves so that children have examples on which to model their own communication

·      Having a strong focus on vocabulary during Reciprocal Reading lessons, as well as in all lessons across the Curriculum

·      Displaying key vocabulary in classrooms and referring to it and providing opportunities for children to use the vocabulary in different contexts

·      Choosing ‘Word of the Day’ in classrooms and encouraging children to use these new words in context in their spoken language and in writing. 

·      Setting up meaningful, focused discussion time in lessons, with the expectation that everyone participates actively in collaborative conversations, exploring ideas



Our aim is that all children will learn to read fluently and with good understanding. Children are helped to read fluently with the systematic teaching of phonics in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. The progression in ‘Letters and Sounds’ is used as a basis for planning. Children are grouped according to their learning needs. 

Reciprocal Reading is taught across school as the main guided reading comprehension strategy. The Reciprocal Reading approach encourages pupils to develop the skills that effective readers and learners do automatically: summarise, question, clarify, predict and respond to what they are reading.

The school has invested in a wide range of high quality books for children to choose. Books have recently been organised into new ‘Book Bands’.  


We encourage children to develop the habit of reading widely for pleasure:


·      Children take part in the 25 Book Challenge (25B) and earn wristbands 

·      There are 25B book collections in every class 

·      Teachers read high quality class books, stories and poems to children

·      The ‘Little Borrow Wood Library’ enables children to share, swap and borrow books 



Our aim is that all children write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Each half term, class teachers choose a quality text which really engages the class and use it to support the writing in one or two genres. Lessons are carefully sequenced, leading to the children being given a longer period of time in order to do an extended piece of writing.  Grammar teaching is also interwoven into the sequence of learning. After the editing process, children proof read their work, checking their writing for accuracy. Proof reading is explicitly taught and modelled. 

Children have regular opportunities to practise and apply English skills across the curriculum in order to give context and real purpose to writing.


Handwriting is an important focus in the 2014 curriculum. Children learn cursive letter formation in the Foundation Stage and begin to write in a cursive, joined up style in Year 2. Children are discretely taught letter formations and joins and apply this in writing words, often focusing on spelling too. 



Spelling is taught systematically through the ‘Letters and Sounds Programme’ and from Year 2 onwards through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling Programme’.  



Power Maths is used as the basis for our maths lessons. This is an exciting class mastery approach which has been recommended by the DfE, that works for every child.  It is based upon the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. 

Every lesson is divided into sections that involve plenty of discovery, sharing, collaboration, practice and reflection.  Children are encouraged to solve problems every day through the use of concrete resources, pictorial representations and abstract thinking.

At the heart of this programme is the idea that all children can achieve and be successful mathematicians with the right growth mindset.


There is a clear system in place for the teaching of Maths across school, which matches the aims of the National Curriculum . The system allows for a clear pace of progression for pupils with different starting points and places no ceiling on learning. 


At Borrow Wood the learning of times tables and related division facts are actively promoted through:


·      Maths Probes which used at least three times a week as part of the Daily Count

·      Children accessing ‘Times Table Rock Stars’ at home and school



In Science we provide a broad and balanced learning experience for all our children and, whenever possible, opportunities to develop skills and gain an understanding of science concepts through first-hand experience and practical work. The curriculum content is organised across year groups following the guidance in the Science Curriculum and children develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage.


At the beginning of each unit children complete a pre-learning task in groups in order to explore their knowledge and share elements which they would like to find out through the topic. During the unit of work staff continually assess the children through observing children at work and questioning, talking and listening to children. At the end of a unit of work children are set a Mastery Question. This is used as an assessment tool. 


Science Days are held throughout the year. The curriculum is further enriched through a variety of additional visitors on these days, and children have extended periods of time to extend their curiosity for learning. 



The school follows the Derby City Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Children are taught about different religions, faiths and cultures and are encouraged to develop an understanding and respect for each one. Through this subject we aim to enhance the children's spiritual, moral, cultural and social development. 

Interfaith week takes place during the Autumn Term and this year it provided a valuable chance for pupils to hear speakers from a number of different religions and belief systems.



Our PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) work encompasses all the statutory requirement for Relationship and Health Education.

We believe that Relationships Education and Health Education are vital in providing pupils with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and become informed, active and responsible British citizens.


Our aim is to help prepare pupils for their future by developing life skills such as resilience, confidence and build upon their self-esteem, helping children to recognise their own self-worth as well as develop empathy and the ability to work with others.


The PSHE curriculum enables children to understand and respect individual differences and diversity so that they can go on to achieve effective and fulfilling relationships. Safeguarding is an important element as children learn about their own identity, risks, decision making and how to keep themselves safe.


PSHE is delivered through discrete lessons, assemblies, across other subjects, visits and visitors. We follow the PSHE Matters scheme. This introduces the children to the following 12 modules:


  • Drug Education (how to manage risk and peer influences)
  • Exploring Emotions (how to recognise and manage feelings)
  • Being Healthy (looking after our physical and mental health)
  • Growing Up (including Sex Education)
  • Changes (including loss)
  • Bullying Matters
  • Being Me (including identity and community)
  • Differences and Diversity (including challenging stereotypes)
  • Being Responsible (including looking after the environment)
  • Being Safe (including looking after the environment)
  • Relationships (including what makes a healthy relationship)
  • Money Matters (including enterprise)



Each half-term at Borrow Wood, we focus on a key area of computing. We cover Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology. 


Online Safety

Online Safety is taught throughout our computing curriculum and links to our PSHE sessions. Our planning follows the Education for a Connected World 2020 Framework. We use Project Evolve resources to support our planning. 



Classes are timetabled to have two P.E. sessions each week. The school has invested in the Rising Stars Champions PE planning scheme. It provides for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness.  The scheme of work is broad and balanced allowing for continuity and progression of skills.



Our children have swimming lessons when they reach Year 5, usually in the Summer Term. 



The History and Geography curriculum is planned using the National Curriculum relevant to each phase and is supplemented by Mastery Questions. 



History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past, compare this to modern life and understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today.


We organise a number of visits to places of interest or visitors to school throughout the year and have a range of historical artefacts that we use with the children.



The Geography curriculum inspires all pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We aim to equip pupils with a knowledge and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and environments and of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. We hope that this geographical knowledge will provide pupils with the tools to explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

We aim to provide frequent and repeated opportunities for exploratory and experiential learning and fieldwork as an integral element of purposeful geographical investigations.



The Art & Design curriculum encourages all children to develop their creativity and imagination. We actively develop a wide range of skills across the key stages to build on control of materials, tools and techniques. We aim for our children to become more confident in exploring different techniques and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. Every child has their own sketchbook to record their ideas and inspirations. 



At Borrow Wood, we encourage our children to become innovative designers. We develop their designing and making skills by supporting their technical knowledge and their understanding of processes and techniques. Our children are shown ways in which they can plan and evaluate their products as well as develop, investigate and communicate their ideas.



From Year 3 to Year 6 children are taught French once a week. We use the Catherine Cheater scheme of work which enables pupils to progressively express their ideas and thoughts and to understand and respond to French, in both speech and writing. 



Children are taught Music using elements of the Charanga Musical School Scheme as well as other high quality resources.  In Year 5 all children learn a musical instrument and experience making music in an ensemble through the Wider Opportunities Programme.  Our weekly singing assemblies give all children the chance to experience the pleasure of communal music-making. 



What is Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development?

Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.

Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.


At Borrow Wood Primary School we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive, caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of the cultures. 


This underpins our Curriculum - All curriculum areas have a contribution to make to the child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities for this will be planned in each area of the curriculum.


·         All adults will model and promote expected behaviour, treating all people as unique and valuable individuals and showing respect for pupils and their families.

·         The school community will be a place where pupils can find acceptance for themselves as unique individuals.

·         Pupils should learn to differentiate between right and wrong in as far as their actions affect other people. They will be encouraged to value themselves and others.

·         Pupils should understand the need for rules and the need to abide by rules for the good of everyone. School and classroom rules should reflect, reiterate, promote and reward acceptable behaviour and provide opportunities to celebrate pupils’ work and achievements.

·         All curriculum areas will seek to use illustrations and examples drawn from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible. This will be reflected in teacher’s planning and purchasing decisions.



Core aspects of British Values are promoted through the SMSC work that is integrated throughout every year group. The British Values of democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs are promoted through the Curriculum:


·         All children have a pupil voice and a say in their education. Each year the pupils decide on a class charter and the rights associated with these. All children contribute to the class charter.

·         Throughout the curriculum children are encouraged to debate their ideas and thoughts and to use voting when making class decisions

·         Pupils take part in Enterprise Initiatives, raising issues, organising events and activities for school and putting forward suggestions for curriculum ideas

·         Through all areas of the Curriculum children are taught the importance of listening to others and their viewpoint, allowing pupils to gain a full understanding of democracy.

·         The principle of democracy is explored through our History Curriculum

·         Through e-safety and PSHE lessons children are encourage to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely.

·         From time to time themes in high quality literature lend themselves to discussions and tasks in class around the importance of rules, mutual respect and diversity

·         Activities in classrooms during Anti-Bullying week bring out the importance of respect, rights and responsibilities


We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.


You can download a copy of the full national Curriculum below.