Arden Primary School

Every Child, Every Opportunity

Curriculum Implementation


Our Curriculum Implementation


‘Inspire the young minds of today, for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.’


We provide a bespoke topic-based curriculum that meets the needs of all our pupils through broad, rich and deep learning. We ensure an ambitious curriculum which allows children to showcase the best that they can be. The lessons we deliver demonstrate a progression of skills and knowledge that are coherently planned and sequencedWe seek to ensure that all the children enjoy and achieve pertinent learning in all lessons. We pledge that whatever the children's strengths they will have a chance to shine. We make sure that our curriculum inspires our children and develops their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding.




Children in our Early Years phase follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning. We teach children by ensuring there are challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning. We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. We support individual learning through our skillful interactions and observations which lead to detailed next step planning. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our curriculum and pupils’ learning. Through an enabling and well-planned environment, we ensure we provide meaningful opportunities for playing, active learning, creating and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics, they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement. Our curriculum is centered on 3 prime areas of learning:


1. Communication and Language.


 2. Physical Development


3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development


 We also provide activities and experiences through four specific areas which strengthen the prime areas. These are:


1. Literacy


2. Mathematics


3. Understanding the World


 4. Expressive Arts and Design


These Areas of Learning and Development address children’s physical, cogitative, linguistic, social and emotional development. No one aspect of development stands in isolation from the others as all Areas of Learning and Development are all closely interlinked. This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centered curriculum which allows children to make links between what they are learning. All Areas of Learning and Development are given equal weighting and value.


Key Stage 1 & 2


Each year group undertake 4 themed topics throughout the year. Our topics use cross curricular links for English, DT, Art and Design, Geography, History and Science, that translate the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum into effective classroom teaching, whilst inspiring our pupils to learn. Other subjects such as Mathematics, PSHEE, RE, PE, Computing, Drama and Music are discretely taught and linked to our topics where appropriate and follow the National Curriculum.



We also block our foundation subjects...


What is Block Teaching?

Teaching the foundation subjects multiple times within the same week, allowing the sequence to be delivered over a week or two weeks. Where possible, each block follows on from the previous block, allowing children to see the links between different subjects, and the opportunity for them to apply knowledge in different contexts.


Why Block Teaching?


  1. Subject delivery was being hindered by the fact that time was having to be factored in for setting up and packing away activities. As a result of this, 60-minute sessions were often in effect no longer than 50 minutes.
  2. This meant that the planning for 60 minutes of learning was not always being consistently delivered and the curriculum for foundation subjects was sometimes not fully completed. This resulted in some outcomes being of a lower standard than we would have desired.
  3. Children found that just as they were beginning to use and apply new knowledge, skills and understanding, they were having to pack up and transfer their thinking and effort to a new curriculum area. This resulted in many consecutive sessions having to recap on what the children had learned the previous week. This slowed the pace of progress for the children and often made learning feel disjointed. This was particularly true for more practical subjects like Design and Technology and Science.
  4. Resourcing was often a challenge for teachers when having to juggle four or five different curriculum subjects in one day. It meant that often breaks and lunchtimes were spent setting up resources for the next session. This was felt to have a negative impact on staff workload and well-being.


Block Teaching Rationale

Block teaching allows for all subjects to be taught in equal equity and have quality focused time. It allows us to ensure that no single subject or subjects are given reduced attention and that no subjects are missed from the curriculum.

It also allows for staff to focus on quality implementation, as the intent of each block is pre-determined. Staff spend time ensuring there is effective building of sequential knowledge, with shorter time periods between adding new knowledge to existing knowledge. We also provide meaningful opportunities to revisit and recap following a teaching sequence. We believe block teaching also allows for staff to address any misconceptions quickly and within a block.

Block teaching also allows for little to no afternoon transitions, enabling learning time to be maximised. There is no lost learning time to changing sets of resources between lessons, and awaiting books to be handed out and in.

Assessment is also more meaningful as it allows teachers to focus on a pupil’s progress in one particular curriculum area at a given time. We assess using a pre-unit knowledge check, post-unit knowledge check (Mini Quizzes) and a recall knowledge check at the end of the topic.

We have also noted an improvement on staff workload and well-being as they are able to focus on fewer subjects in more detail, creating high quality learning experiences for our pupils.

Some of our subjects are not taught as blocks due to them being provided on a weekly basis. These subjects are PE, Spanish (KS2), Music and Computing. We believe these subjects require input on an ongoing basis.


Children are also taught about Citizenship and the Rights Respecting Schools Charter, these also link with our school values. Here our pupils develop their understanding of the world and their place in it both now and in the future. These lessons shape our children and the adults that they will become. We pride ourselves on developing life skills.


We split our topics into three integral sections.


Engage- we feel this is a highly valuable stage of learning as it provides our pupils with first-hand experiences and overcomes some of the barriers to their learning allowing children to:


  • gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school
  • enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences
  • get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme
  • begin researching and setting enquiry questions
  • enjoy many opportunities to make observations
  • develop spoken language skills
  • take part in sensory activities
  • have lots of fun to fully 'engage' with their new topic.



At the ‘Develop’ stage, children:

  • improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
  • develop and practice their new skills
  • compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum
  • research their own questions and those set by others
  • follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests




At the ‘Express’ stage, children:

  • become the performers, experts and informers
  • share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community
  • evaluate finished products and processes
  • link what they have learnt to where they started
  • celebrate their achievements!


Our Wider Learning (OWL)

We also enjoy themed weeks that help further develop and ‘round’ our children to understand the world around them and build on the skills we believe they will need to thrive in their future. Our themed weeks and days support Arden’s wider learning opportunities. These give us the opportunity to add extra elements to ensure that we equip our children with an understanding of the world and the opportunities that are available. We endeavor to give our children experiences that outreach our local community.


Themed Weeks - Enquiry Week, Community Week, Aspiration Week


Themed Days - Black History month, Harvest, Remembrance Day, Diwali, Christmas, Friendship day, Valentine’s day, Mothering Sunday, Eid, St George’s Day, Female Empowerment, Anti Bullying, World Book Day, World Autism Awareness (Differences)


Our themed days may change to meet the needs of the pupils and the current climate.