Arkwright Primary School

 Our Curriculum

 Our Intent

"Our aspirations are our possibilities." (Samuel Johnson)

At Arkwright Primary School we believe that our children should be nurtured, challenged and inspired to become global citizens of the future. To achieve this, our curriculum should be broad and balanced; it should be rooted in rich language and communication, build knowledge, encourage curiosity and creativity; it should foster respect, promote responsibility and build resilience in all of our learners.


Central to our curriculum are our core skills that underpin everything that we do.  

Through our curriculum we strive to:

Promote Active learners:

  • To seek out and enjoy challenges
  • To collaborate with others
  • To show commitment and resilience
  • Assess themselves and others


Develop Basic Skills:

  • To speak clearly and convey ideas confidently
  • To read and communicate ideas in writing efficiently and effectively
  • To calculate efficiently and apply skills to solve problems
  • To use new technologies confidently and purposefully


Become Creative Thinkers:

  • To ask questions to extend their thinking
  • To generate ideas and explore possibilities
  • To overcome barriers by trying out alternatives or new solutions
  • To connect ideas and experiences in inventive ways



Our Implementation

Our curriculum uses ‘Cornerstones Curriculum’ which is concept-driven and knowledge-rich.  It is built on a sequenced knowledge and skills framework and the teaching sequences follows the four cornerstones – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.

There are three structural tiers. Each tier builds on the previous to create interconnected layers. These layers provide a clear framework that ensures connectivity across the curriculum with direct links back to the national curriculum programmes of study.

Tier 1: Our curriculum is led by 10 central Big Ideas. These Big Ideas are the overarching aims of the curriculum.  They were conceived by careful analysis of the national curriculum subjects, drawing out common themes, which then, through a period of refinement, became our Big Ideas.


Tier 2: Subjects (concepts and aspects).  We use the terms concepts and aspects. A concept is an abstract idea within a subject and an aspect is a particular part or feature of a subject. In the curriculum structure, each Big Idea is directly connected to the curriculum subjects, which have the relevant concepts or aspects through which the Big Idea can be delivered. For example, in geography, the Big Idea of Humankind is connected to and delivered through the geographical aspects of Settlements and land use and Human features and landmarks. In history, the Big Idea of Humankind is connected to and delivered through the historical concepts or aspects of Everyday life, Hierarchy and power, and Civilisations.

To ensure coverage of the national curriculum, each subject concept or aspect is then matched to the relevant programmes of study. There is full coverage of the programmes of study for art and design, design and technology, geography, history, computing and science.


Tier 3: In Tier 3, programmes of study, concepts and aspects are broken down into smaller component parts or ‘chunks’ to form a cohesive progression framework. The progression framework runs from Nursery to Year 6 and includes knowledge and skills that children need to know and be able to do in order to make progress through the curriculum.

The diagram below shows how a programme of study is broken down further into knowledge and skills statements for the aspect of Human features and landmarks in geography.


Our core subjects

English - Reading

At Arkwright Primary school we aim to provide a wealth of opportunities to foster a love of reading.  Reading is taught daily and skills are developed through consistent phonics, guided reading, regular independent and whole class reading.

Phonics Scheme

To teach phonics and early reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1, we follow the Little Wandle phonics scheme.  This is taught daily in school and forms the building blocks of sound, fluent reading.  When the children have complete the phonics programme (usually Year 2), they move on to our Accelerated Reader programme as the children develop their fluency and comprehension skills.


English - Writing

Writing at Arkwright is taught daily and it is linked to our termly projects.  Within each project, our pupils will write a minimum of 4 extended writing outcomes linked to their wider learning.  Communication and language is key and as such we follow Jane Considine’s ‘Write Stuff’ approach to whole-class writing.  To develop our Basic Skills through these sessions, we embed grammar techniques, key spelling and handwriting practice to ensure our pupils produce high standards and presentation across their writing.



We teach maths using a mastery approach and follow White Rose Maths throughout school.  Maths is taught daily and ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately.  To develop our Basic skills in maths, we teach ‘Early Bird Maths’ every morning for an additional 10 minutes of maths which focuses on times tables and key fluency facts which underpin much of the National Curriculum.  


Our impact

"Our aspirations are our possibilities." (Samuel Johnson)

All of our pupils at Arkwright Primary School are nurtured and inspired to learn and aspire for excellence.  Through a clearly planned and sequenced curriculum from nursery through to the end of Key Stage Two, our learners develop a curiosity and passion for learning.  They advance their core skills and all of our learners make sustained progress across the curriculum.  With the Big 10s strong emphasis on social and emotional development throughout the curriculum, pupils of Arkwright leave primary education as resilient, respectful and responsible learners ready to continue their life-long learning journey.


*Parents/carers are encouraged to ask class teachers about any aspect of the school's curriculum. Further information can be found on the subject-specific website pages.