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Balanced Curriculum

At Walkley Primary school it is our underlying belief that every unique. special and talented child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. Through a balanced  curriculum, where all subjects are regarded as equally important and celebrated, we can impact on each child’s talent and build their self -esteem, so that they feel confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face. Learning Zone behaviour in all areas of the curriculum promote the key skills of resilience, perseverance, determination and prioritises the  expectation that only the best effort is good enough in every challenge that is met.


We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development which means that in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects whilst being driven by PSHE and SMSC. Themes are planned for the academic year and are not demarcated by half term deadlines.


At Walkley Primary school we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental wellbeing are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore we carefully design our curriculum and adopted a flexible approach to learning to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. Children’s physical, social, emotional, spiritual and moral and mental wellbeing are as valued and important as academic development.


Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach national expectations and above in all subjects is of vital importance, if our children are to succeed at the next stage of their education and go on to achieve in line with their peers locally and nationally. First-hand learning experiences, contextualized learning through drama conventions, visits and visitors are essential components when providing a broad and balanced curriculum for our diverse community. The children have the opportunity to think like historians, linguists, mathematicians, scientists, environmentalists, designers, software programmers, artists, sports athletes and musicians, acquiring and mastering a deep skill set.


Our full and rich curriculum, with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at Walkley Primary School makes impressive progress both academically and personally. Our unique curriculum ensures that every child is given the opportunity to sparkle, flourish and enjoy their learning in our school.

Broad Curriculum

  • At Walkley Primary School we offer 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. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 combining other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of all pupils in our school. It is our firm belief that the quality of our education prepares children well for the challenges they will face in life and at the next stage of their education. We plan our curriculum to meet the diverse needs of our wonderful pupils and to celebrate the needs of our community.


  • The National Curriculum is delivered using an integrated topic approach and assessed using Target Tracker and the Chris Quigley Framework as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. Milestones at the end of Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 ensure that children are meeting expectations in their learning. The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly.


At Walkley Primary school careful analysis and discussion about our pupils’ diverse backgrounds, life experiences and cultures has helped us to design a curriculum with three key priorities underpinning every subject area. We believe that by focusing on the following key priorities our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives.

Our curriculum priorities are:


  1. Growing Aspirations: We aim to provide experiences which show children the wide range of possibilities available for their future.
  2. Promoting Initiative and responsibility:  We aim to offer experiences which help them to become independent and resourceful learners supported through our school learning zone behaviours.
  3. Celebrating Diversity, Citizenship and Community:  Teaching through contextualised learning and drama conventions, outside experiences and collaborative thinking to solve challenges, we aim to provide experiences which help our pupils understanding their responsibilities towards their locality, community, national and global issues.


Our curriculum has been carefully designed, planned and organised by the Walkley teaching teams to ensure that what lies at the heart of our curriculum, contextualised learning through drama techniques, is delivered as a whole school on a weekly basis.  We aim for our curriculum to inspire, challenge and excite all children. Staff are fully involved in the design, planning and implementation of our curriculum giving them ownership and opportunities to use their knowledge and skills. Staff report that the curriculum is motivational and that they enjoy creating new and exciting learning experiences for the children. Flexibility of timetables allows teachers to explore subjects in depth allowing the children to steer their learning and develop a deep level of understanding. Subject policies are written in collaboration within Champion Teams and all staff to ensure that everybody understands that we are not merely covering content and filling children with knowledge, but developing key skills, knowledge and understanding which can be applied across the curriculum.  The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities.  These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which belong and play an active part. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work towards their goals and dreams in life.

Deep Curriculum

One of the biggest challenges that we face in school education, is to identify the knowledge, skills and attributes required for life and work in the 21st Century.   At Walkley Primary school our definition of progress is; the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours.  We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.  The Learning Zone expectations are used to teach the pupils the key personal skills that they need to be successful.


Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practice opportunities for essential knowledge, skills and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child. We want our children to apply their skill or knowledge without recall to the teacher, with a high level of confidence and good resilience when there is a high level of challenge. True depth and mastery is achieved when pupils can apply their subject learning in a cross curricular fashion in a range of contexts, usually delivered through our contextualized learning and our drama conventions. Cross curricular disciplinary work is an essential growing need to promote creativity and the ability to develop innovative solutions to problem solving. We offer a basic skills curriculum where we teach the core skills, leading to an advanced curriculum where children get the chance to develop their skill set leading to a deep mastery curriculum.  No longer teaching themes in half term units allows us deeper understanding rather than dipping in and out of concepts.


Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order deep level of understanding rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.  We aim for children to use their skills, knowledge and understanding to organise ideas to make connections with other areas of learning, working with confidence and independence to develop life -long learning. Our 21st century pupils increasingly require the key skills of teamwork, good interpersonal skills and solution finding.

Taught in all maintained primary schools in England from September 2014, the individual programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 are also available for each subject: