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Curriculum Overview

Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

"The books we do in English all link together with the other subjects so you feel you’re learning History in an English lesson too! It helps us to remember more things." Lexi-year 5 


Other quotes from the children's survey:


"It’s never boring because the teachers make learning fun."


"I love that the school takes care of you and my favourite thing is that you can express your creativity."


" I like how they always adapt to make it better for us students."



An introduction to our curriculum at Longlands by Mrs Allen - Deputy Headteacher


Curriculum Intent Statement


At Longlands Primary School we are committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum where all children are inspired and motivated to learn.

Our children are valued for their individuality, encouraged to be aspirational and are proud of their effort and achievements.  

Our Vision and Aims

  • To promote purposeful and relevant learning opportunities which enable children to embrace technological change and become global citizens.
  • To foster an environment whereby happiness and wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do.
  • To strengthen our relationships further and work collaboratively with parent/carers and the community in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for children.
  • To develop confident, independent, resilient learners who have a growth mindset and are confident to take risks.
  • To promote food growing and sustainability so children understand the important role they have in caring for our planet.


At Longlands we believe in building strong foundations from which the children can grow and develop into positive, resilient, happy people who are ready to embark on their journey into secondary school. We have high expectations and encourage the children to aim high by concentrating on the small steps that lead to success. Our curriculum offer is accessible to all and we are an inclusive school who believe that all children can achieve and reach their own unique potentials. We celebrate diversity and work together with parents and the wider community to support the children in our school. We endeavour to foster creativity and develop children’s imagination and we place children’s wellbeing at the centre of all we do.



At Longlands Primary School, we believe passionately in ensuring that our children are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum. All of the teaching and learning that takes place within school is underpinned by an engaging and inspirational cross-subject curriculum that challenges our children to consider three main points:


  1. Their role as global citizens and the way in which the decisions and innovations we make can impact the future for ourselves, our planet and future generations.
  2. How our own experiences relate to those of people from different countries and cultures and to recognise our position within the local and worldwide community.
  3. The effect history has had on shaping the modern world – both nationally and internationally.   



Our curriculum is designed to foster curiosity and wonder, a sense of responsibility and a passion for life-long learning. Across the school, topics will be closely linked to either a historical, geographical or scientific concept, question or idea and combined with an associated literary text. The texts chosen are from ‘The Power of Reading’, this is the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)’s proven professional development programme that supports Longlands to evolve a high quality literacy curriculum which develops reading comprehension and writing composition, and fosters a whole school love of reading and writing. In doing this, our aim is to further enhance children’s engagement with their learning by ensuring they are reading and writing about matters associated to their thematic topic. In addition to this, the children will study and create art linked with their topic and look at the work of notable artists from the region or period being studied. Alternatively, they may use their design and technology knowledge and skills to investigate matters arising from their topic or to overcome a challenge.


Subject leaders have produced detailed progression of skills documents which ensure that all teachers are fully aware of the journey of learning in each subject. During lessons teachers make use of all opportunities to revisit previous learning and consistently find ways to ensure learning becomes embedded through the use of mini quizzes, questioning, pre and post topic tests, working walls and through the use of verbal feedback during lessons. As an inclusive school we respond to the needs of the children as individuals. If a child needs a concept further broken down, explained and explored in a different way, this will be provided by the teacher. If a child has already got a firm grasp of a concept, adaptive teaching will enable the child to further deepen their knowledge through effective questioning, extension tasks and opportunities to further explain their understanding.


The cultural capital of our children is of equal importance. To ensure children leave with memorable experiences that inspire, enrich and broaden their minds, we plan opportunities across subjects and contexts to ensure a long term view of what a Longlands child is exposed to during their educational journey from Reception to Year 6.


Due to Longlands being a 1.5 entry school, our teachers will often focus on specific topics over either an entire term or half-term period to allow focused and in-depth study. To allow for the needs of mixed-aged classes, this programme is delivered over a two-year rolling programme. Where explicit links between subjects cannot be made, these areas are taught ‘discreetly’ or through an ‘enquiry-led’ investigation – this may regularly be the case with certain areas of Science.


At Longlands our teaching and learning philosophy is based on the importance that children need to ‘know more and remember more’. Leading academics, such as Rosenshine, believe that teachers need to better understand the neuroscience behind working memory and long-term knowledge retention. Therefore, underpinning our curriculum design is the assertion that children need a solid understanding of core knowledge if they are going to progress in their learning. 

We also believe in the Responsive Teaching Approach. This involves:


  1. Setting clear goals and planning learning carefully
  2. Identifying what pupils have understood and where they are struggling
  3. Responding, adapting our teaching to support pupils to do better.


At Longlands, we value each teacher’s creativity and flair so we do not have prescriptive methods of teaching each lesson. What a ‘typical lesson’ will look like will vary from subject to subject and individual teachers may utilise a variety of strategies based upon their professional judgement and knowledge. However, it is expected that the following high-quality teaching strategies based on current pedagogical research are used effectively in all lessons:



We have high expectations of all pupils all of the time. It is good for pupils to struggle just outside of their comfort zone. All pupils must be working harder than the teacher over time and should begin learning as soon as they arrive in the classroom and for the whole lesson



Teacher instruction should be planned with awareness of demands on pupils’ cognitive load, by presenting new material in small steps.

1. Limit the amount of material pupils receive at one time.

2. Give clear and simple instructions and explanations.

3. Think aloud and model steps.

4. Use more time to provide explanation and provide many examples.

5. Re-teach as necessary.



Teach to the top with expert instruction and modelling

To learn how to do something, pupils need to watch and listen to experts guide them through the process, step by step, before they try themselves. Modelling supports explanation and can help pupils to make abstract ideas concrete. E.g.:

1. Demonstrate the worked activity in front of pupils

2. Think aloud to show the thought process.

3. Show it is ok to make a mistake and empathy, e.g. I found this bit challenging too.

4. Integrate quick fire questioning e.g. why am I doing this now?


Guided practice with scaffolding

Worked examples and scaffolding used to all support pupils to demonstrate their learning e.g. sentence starters, key word definitions, procedural steps visible etc

Effective class discussion and questioning can happen at this stage.


Independent, deliberate practice

Pupils should be provided with the time they need to practise new material in a number of ways in order to master it. Scaffolding reduced or removed for majority of pupils. This is the component that will look the most different across curriculum areas, but all practice should be careful, deliberate and ideally just outside of pupil’s comfort zone.


Additionally, in order to ensure that pupils are engaged in learning and remember more the following strategies are used across the school:

  • Expectation that teachers use every opportunity to revisit prior knowledge
  • Clear explanations and modelling during lessons
  • Inference tray at the beginning of each new power of reading book and in KS1 a book talk grid to discuss the book when the class has finished.
  • In KS1, all classes follow the same sequence of phonics with spellings for each year group.
  • A focus on key vocabulary in all lessons.
  • Opportunities for children to discuss either with each other or as a class
  • The use of verbal feedback, live marking, self-assessment and peer assessment in KS2
  • History timelines in each class that should be referred to during History lessons
  • Use of knowledge organisers at the beginning of each topic for History, Geography and Science.
  • Pre and post topic tests for Science and Maths
  • The use of the ‘Big Question’ at the beginning and end of each Geography and History topic.
  • Breaking learning down into chunks and recapping constantly before moving on. This is especially true for phonics and maths
  • Following a maths mastery/mastering number approach in maths, whereby the learning is carefully sequenced and in small steps
  • Teachers use retrieval materials for History, Geography and Science as Early Morning work
  • The use of Blooket, particularly in KS2 on Chrome books to consolidate learning
  • Occasional quick-fire questions at the end of lessons.


It is important that teachers, support staff and pupils are all clear about the key learning that will take place in a lesson. Teachers should make learning objectives explicit to pupils and pupils should be able to explain what the key learning of the lesson is.

Teachers should ensure that learning has stuck, by checking for understanding. All teachers should confidently and accurately use teaching techniques to gather a secure overview about whether the key learning has actually been learnt. If learning is not yet secure for pupils the lesson should be adapted or retaught differently.

To support responsive teaching teachers can use:


Effective teachers ask a large number of questions skilfully, as questioning is our main tool to probe, check and extend pupil understanding.

Teachers should ask lots of questions, to lots of pupils, and then use what they learn from this process to adapt and reshape teaching within and between lessons.

Staff are encouraged to use a range of questioning styles in their teaching. This may be dependent on the subject they are teaching or the intended outcome of the questioning approach. Staff at Longlands can be observed to use the following range of strategies in a range of lessons.

  • Mutliple choice questions
  • Hinge questions
  • Reframing questions
  • Other questioning strategies used to check for understanding and to deepen thinking may include:
  • The use of socratic questioning (i.e. probing for answers)
  • Metocognitive strategies such as ‘why do you think that’ or ‘can you explain why that is?’
  • Administering a shock: ‘what if the opposite were true?’ ‘what if ….had never existed?’
  • An inquisitive role: ‘why does that work like that?’ ‘what if the opposite were true?’ ‘when could that be possible?’

Retrieval Practice

Retrieval is a learning strategy that should be used regularly in lessons to support pupils with retrieving material that they have previously learnt from their long-term memory. |Planned retrieval activities are low stakes and will vary throughout the week. Examples of the strategies we use at Longlands include:

  • The use of quizzes – including Accelerated Reader quizzes
  • Answering questions aloud
  • Use of Blooket
  • Peer discussion
  • Working in groups to encourage curiosity and debate


Effective feedback

Feedback exists in many forms (e.g. teacher marking of exercise books, whole class marking sheets, verbal feedback, peer and self-assessment), but what matters is what pupils do with it. Effective feedback should:

• Be frequent and timely

• Always generate action and should be more work for the recipient than the donor.

• Be specific and focused on the most prominent areas to improve.

• Be accompanied by support in how to be successful and the next step


See our EYFS policy for more details on our school’s teaching and learning in the early years:

 Early Years Policy



We measure the impact of our curriculum in a range of ways. This is done consistently during lessons to highlight misconceptions and intervene where appropriate. We monitor subjects using both formative and summative methods at various points throughout the year. This process is overseen by the Deputy Head, as Assessment Lead, and is done in partnership with the school’s Leadership Team and Curriculum Subject Leaders. Monitoring the impact of our curriculum is done in a range of ways, including:


  • data analysis
  • looking at children’s work and other evidence of outcomes
  • lesson observations
  • feedback from children
  • feedback from teachers


We use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set and in comparing pupils’ work over time. All subjects are assessed at the end of blocks or units through the use of teacher assessment, end of topic tests or big questions.


Last academic year our summative date at the end of the academic year was higher than National for the GLD in EYFS, Phonics, KS1 And KS2 across all subjects.


"Things don’t feel shoehorned in- the links are real and purposeful which support the children’s learning. The curriculum is broad and balanced and it doesn’t feel English or Maths heavy. Children have opportunities to learn about certain geographical, scientific or historical content/themes in more depth. The Power of Reading enables the children to become fully immersed in the text due to the different activities: hot seating, drama, role on the wall, conscience alley and others and the impact of this has been that the children are showing a much greater level of understanding in their writing."

Mr Allen Years 5 and 6 phase leader

"The teachers now feel confident enough to adapt the planning provided from Power of Reading so the children have opportunities to plan, draft and improve their work so that it can be published. AR is serving a useful purpose and children can see how well they are doing and teachers can check in. The links to other foundation  subjects are spectacular and couldn’t be better. They enable the children to experience detail across the curriculum with lots of learning becoming embedded."

Mrs Rossiter Years 3 and 4 phase leader

"Books are captivating to the children and lend themselves to different genres of writing. The curriculum links are not tenuous but do follow and support the learning. It’s nice to focus on one subject for a term or half term e.g. Science or Geography or History." 

Miss Gayson Years 1 and 2 phase leader



Teaching and Learning Policy